Coastside election results

Updated Wednesday 9pm

Posted by on Wed, November 7, 2007

Number To Vote For: 3
Completed Precincts: 18 of 18
Vote Count Percentage
JOHN DRAPER 1,094 17.8%
BERT SILVA 1,048 17.0%
GREGG A. HOSFELDT 1,033 16.8%
JERRY C. DONOVAN 1,028 16.7%
RON TABORSKI 651 10.6%
JOHN J. SZABO 146 2.4%

Completed Precincts: 5 of 5
Vote Count Percentage

Number To Vote For: 2
Completed Precincts: 6 of 6
Vote Count Percentage
SCOTT BOYD 557 37.0%

Number To Vote For: 3
Completed Precincts: 10 of 10
Vote Count Percentage
BOB PTACEK 497 15.0%

I guess it’s vote early or vote by mail?  Nice to see the power out all over Princeton and the harbor and the polling place(!) when I showed up to vote after work around 6:45PM tonight.  And it appeared to have been out for some time since all of the restaurants had found the candles and had seated diners.  Oh, and my Comcast is out too… but oh, a rant for another thread.  Still nice to see some of my ‘non-selections’ doing well in the mail-in.  Good luck to all in the running.  And I so was looking forward to voting with those nifty machines.

Comment 2
Wed, November 7, 2007 12:28am
Carl May
All my comments

Was the polling place closed? It should not have been. There were optional paper ballots, you know; and these were collected in a box for later counting (not run through a machine as our paper ballots in the past).

Carl May


Tough to say.  The doors to the building were closed.  There were a few people outside at the edge of the parking lot near the steps, but nothing looked too official.  I did not get out of the car only because I didn’t have my headlamp.  And to be honest, the whole idea of voting by headlight on the hood of a car seems a little sketchy.  I will ping Mr. W. Slocum later today with my concerns.  -kg

Comment 4
Wed, November 7, 2007 11:55am
Mary Ascher
All my comments


I told my husband who was an Inspector at his polling place….....he does that every election…....and he said that all Inspectors and Judges are asked to bring flash-lights with them to the polling place for just such an eventuality.  He said his polling place was equipped with 3 flash-lights…..but they were lucky enough not to have lost power.


Comment 5
Sat, November 10, 2007 1:53am
Kevin Barron
All my comments

Interestingly, not much comment on how cumbersome those voting machines were, in lieu of trying to make everything “idiot proof” it seemed be an O/S written for monkeys. Not be critical, but wow… it was operating system from another time. A flywheel?

Comment 6
Sat, November 10, 2007 11:30am
Barry Parr
All my comments

The new voting machines were not a good experience for me, either.  The wheel and the big buttons are, I think, the result of the primary driver for voting machines: accessibility for the handicapped.

Lots of brand-new user-interface ideas, and way-ugly graphics, were on exhibit in these machines and I was confused or lost a couple of times. To their credit, I adapted pretty fast.

However, I’m certain that older voters had more problems with these gadgets. I’m going to see if I can get some poll workers to share their experiences.

Comment 7
Sat, November 10, 2007 12:25pm
Dennis Paull
All my comments

I am the Inspector at precinct 3324 (Hatch School) and very involved locally and statewide with voting machine and voting systems issues.

From what I heard, the power outage at the mobile home park, precinct 3301/3302, was handled well under the circumstances. The only better method would have been to have a portable generator there along with portable lights. That’s not anything the County is going to fund. But given the frequent power outages in Moss Beach and Montara, maybe the folks there could make sure that such equipment is available at the mobile home park and at Farallone View School on election days, 3 in 2008.

I would be happy to discuss election procedural issues with anyone interested. I also recommend that folks come down to the Elections Office on Tower Rd to observe the manual recount of the Fire Board election and the 1% manual audit of all precincts. Call 312-5222 to find out exactly when but most likely about Wed next week.

I was there yesterday, Friday, and they were still qualifying provisional ballots and counting absentee ballots. The recounts won’t start until all ballots have been processed.

Comment 8
Sat, November 10, 2007 3:10pm
Bill Serra
All my comments

I was a poll worker in Montara.

We could talk for hours about the voting machines but for the sake of brevity I will focus on the selection wheel and the user experience.

124 people used the voting machines in my precinct. Those who gave us feedback provided varying degrees of satisfaction. Most of them told us that they tried to operate the voting machine by touching the screen, as they would have done at the airport or at a modern ATM. We had to remind every voter that the voting machine didn’t have a touch screen. We had to help a few voters. Most people figured out the user interface.

Last year when they introduced the new voting machines I took a class and was particularly annoyed at the selection wheel. I asked them why they had decided to use a wheel instead of a touch-screen, a mouse or an electronic pen. They told me that the selection wheel is less error prone because each selection must be made in sequence. A year later I still think it was a bad idea because it doesn’t contribute to a positive user experience.

If people feel strong about this, I would suggest that they let us know about their experience. If enough people post their opinions here, perhaps Barry can write an editorial and forward it to Warren Slocum.

Comment 9
Sat, November 10, 2007 3:40pm
Bill Serra
All my comments

This has nothing to do with the voting machines user interface but it has to do with the election process.

The collection and counting of “absentee votes” (called votes by mail in the current nomenclature) is long and tedious.

A simple way to reduce the number of votes by mail is to allow people to vote over the Internet very much like shareholders vote the directors proposals for the annual shareholder meetings.

Yes, there are identity, checks & balances, and security issues that would have to be addressed but if corporations, banks and securities exchanges do it flawlessly, the State can do it too.

Voting over the Internet would not be 100% anonymous but I presume a fair amount of people wouldn’t mind as long as the State keeps the databases secret and destroys them after the election process has concluded.

Just an idea.

Comment 10
Sat, November 10, 2007 4:21pm
All my comments

I was an inspector at Precinct 3314, one of those at the Pillar Ridge clubhouse.  We were open throughout the power outage and people voted using paper ballots until we were able to bring the machines up on battery power.  There was no outside lighting until our technicians parked their truck with its headlights shining on the stairs.  Later on a firetruck came and lit up the place with spotlights until power was restored.

Joe Toschik

Hi Bill et al,

I have yet to hear of a way to vote over the internet that is not wide open to fraud.

I think that most businesses don’t really care how their shareholders vote since the wishes of all the big shareholders are already known. They are simply following the law.

Federal elections have a huge economic and ‘power’ outcome. The incentive to bend the results is overwhelming. If a system is devised that any competant teenager from some remote country can fudge, they will. This is in addition to the NSA who knows everything and can do anything without your knowledge. And has the incentive to do it.

No, I will not agree to the internet. MicroSoft issues frequent software updates just to try to keep ahead of the hackers who have much less incentive than to select the leader of the free world.

Hi Bill et al,

As to the select wheel and touchscreens.

Many current DRE voting systems do use a touchscreen that is subject to calibration errors. That is due to the vendors’ poor choice of screen design. There were products available a decade ago that I used for designing some systems that had no alignment issues. They were a bit more expensive but well worth it in my mind.

I had 109 voters at my polling place and 70 of them used the eSlate DRE. All voters were offered the option of paper or electronic ballot. Those who chose electronic seemed to be happy with their choice. The voters who chose paper were generally older or had heard of problems with the electronic machines somewhere. Several were quite insistent on wanting paper.

I heard that some poll workers had pushed the eSlates so hard that no voters chose paper. I think that there were probably some voters that felt coerced. It’s hard to say what they will do in the Feb primary. There could be a backlash.

Comment 13
Sat, November 10, 2007 10:17pm
Kevin Barron
All my comments

I don’t know, but to me ...keep it simple. The more ‘they’ try, the more simplistically confusing it becomes. Not to recount Florida ‘00… but it seems the voting machines, and many other forms of technology that is coming out these days, that the greater good tries to prevent some citizens from being the “disenfranchised” albeit across the myriad of socio-economic criteria, moreover, the absence of intelligence capital are overly simplified, attempting to serve and protect the lowest common denominator.

Not sure, but if you can’t figure out the most simplistic of voting processes… how in the WORLD are you somehow qualified and knowledgeable to evaluate, measure, and decide upon a measure which requires revenue from the issuance and underwriting of 3 series of general obligation bonds and their effect upon and from taxation and tax revenue across the various municipalities it effects, including yours. Course…, those may be the same ppl that still can’t seem to figure right-of-way, much less that the posted speed limit also serves as a referral for flow of traffic.

Comment 14
Sat, November 10, 2007 11:31pm
Dennis Paull
All my comments

Joe, can you give us a quick rundown on how long the blackout lasted, how long after it started you were able to get voting (on paper) operational, how long before the portable lights came and how many voters went away because of the

I think it was exciting to be able to keep the process going even during a blackout. That is kind of a worst case that I hope I never have to deal with.

Comment 15
Sat, November 10, 2007 11:37pm
Dennis Paull
All my comments

Kevin, I tend to agree with your concerns. But voting should be for as many folks as possible. The problems come when equipment designed for voters with certain capabilities are used by others, either more or less nimble.

I’m pretty sure we don’t want to limit voting to only those who have some semblance of knowledge of the relevant issues. Still, .......

Comment 16
Sun, November 11, 2007 12:15am
Kevin Barron
All my comments

Dennis well taken, but I’ll caveat that with “as many folks as possible who understand what they are voting for.”

Voting is a right, not a privilege… but at the same time it is our civic duty to be informed of what we are voting on…

It was easy to figure out the interface, but I found it odd as it just seemed very non-intuitive via making it idiot proof, flywheel aside. Not sure how much a flywheel helps over a touchscreen, much less dragging a pen across a broken arrow… but no need to go into logistics and the ADA of ‘80. Looks like it gave a number of folks in Redwood City something to do over the course of the last 2 or 3 years.

Thankfully, we don’t have 3 votes separating the MWSD outcome and the confusion of voting flywheel thereof… otherwise, we’d see’s disk space at capacity on the threading/posting thereof.

Comment 17
Sun, November 11, 2007 4:45pm
Ken Johnson
All my comments

The voting machines were designed for someone with the mobility of Stephen Hawkins and the vision of Mr. Magoo. I truly support the ADA objectives. My recollection thou is that the entrance to the polling place was not ADA friendly.

It was our ‘wise’ decision makers who chose to offer only one system rather than one for ADA purposes and one for everyone else. The result will probably be even further depression of voter turn out - if that is possible - on a ballot with more than a couple of items.  I was NOT offered the alternative of a paper ballot. The written directions would have driven Stephen Hawkins to try and tear them up. Fortunately, the user interface was quick to work out on a trial and error basis.

As to the subject of “internet voting”; I have been involved since it was a DARPA project and I will fight my way to the front of the queue to protest any such ill informed suggestion!

Since the thread started on “Coastside election results” a word or two on Coastside election results”

MWSD results proved that PCF/CCF stands for Poor Charlie Failed!

And note that Mario Vazquez received more that one third as many votes as Jim Larimer without a ballot statement, no campaign, not even opening his mouth - just being ‘Not Jim Larimer’ !

A final reflection:
Today is Veterans’ Day - take a moment to thank those, past and present, who preserved the right to vote!

Ken Johnson

Comment 18
Mon, November 12, 2007 12:24pm
Ken Johnson
All my comments

Five votes now separate winning and loosing with a change in third (winning) and fourth (loosing) positions.


DOUG MACKINTOSH     1,300     18.7%
JOHN DRAPER         1,238     17.8%
GREGG A. HOSFELDT   1,180     17.0%
BERT SILVA          1,175     16.9%
JERRY C. DONOVAN    1,159     16.7%
RON TABORSKI          728     10.5%
JOHN J. SZABO         162      2.3%

I was wrong; I presumed that JERRY DONOVAN was going to be in 1st place.

Ken Johnson

The most interesting part of this is that Doug won with the firefighter’s support, only 4 years after they did everything they could to sully his reputation to get him off the Board.  Go figure…

Ken, I’m glad that you put “wise” in quotes.  Sabotaging voting for the majority in order to facilitate voting for a very tiny minority doesn’t make sense to me either.  The old system that San Mateo County used was just fine for most of us.  I’m sure that someone could have come up with a way to meet ADA for those who need it, without forcing everyone else to use a system which most people seem to be unhappy with, and which provides a much greater opportunity for undetectable election fraud.

I agree with Kevin—I’d rather have fewer well-informed voters than a large turnout of voters who don’t know about the issues.  I want people to vote, but only if they truly understand what they’re voting for.  For higher offices, one way to fix this would be to ban political parties so that people have to think for themselves instead of just voting the party ticket.  Thomas Jefferson didn’t like the idea of political parties and thought that they had designed a political system to avoid them.  That lasted, what, 4 years?  In any case, I wish the “get out the vote” people would spend at least as much effort on informing voters of the issues.  I’ll claim that one reason for the low turnout for this election is that most voters didn’t really know what the issues are.

Comment 20
Mon, November 12, 2007 1:50pm
Ken Johnson
All my comments


President Bush and Vice President Gore? [or the other way around]
AMENDMENT XII, Passed by Congress December 9, 1803. Ratified June 15, 1804.
took care of that.
I wasn’t certain of the date either.

Yes, I preferred the old ballots also.

Do you think we are really that far removed from the ballots in Afghanistan, just as an example, with pictures for the political parties to tell you who you are voting for?

I have always been annoyed with those ‘slate cards’ received in the mail, otoh, how many people actually sit down and read the full text - e.g. CA Proposition 218 was really the prevailing authority on another question on the thread on MWSD water rates.

Ken Johnson