Here are some of my observations from the machine recount in Cabarrus County today:
I arrived at the board of elections at 9.45 and found out that the recount had started at 9.15, not 10.00 like I was told.
The Observers were 2 young "bimbos" that worked for Hayes, A lady called Firth that worked for the U.S. House (but that obviously was a republican) and Me. An hour later Larry G. (Chair of the cabarrus GOP) arrived. So it was me and 4 republicans.
A reporter for the Observer also showed up in the afternoon, together with a photographer.
In Cabarrus County we voted by way of optical scan on election day and touch screen for the early vote.
I had a printout handed to me that explains in detail what procedure they followed for the recount. They basically just fed all the ballots through 2 M650 counting machines. Whatever ballot was not counted by the machine (machine "spits" it out), was handed to a panel of 2 Democrats and 2 Republicans who did an eye/hand recount on those.
They did all the precincts in numerical order and then fed the provisional ballots through the machine.
Especially with the provisional ballots, the machine stopped a lot and all those ballots had to be counted by hand by the panel.
Some ballots were longer/taller than others, usually between 1/4 and 1/2 inch longer than the regular ones, but that did not seem to hamper the machine.I guess whoever made the ballots did not cut those off properly.
I saw some examples of ballots where the voter obviously did not know how to properly vote.
On one ballot the voter used the pen to punch holes(!) in the ovals instead of just coloring in the ovals (guess he liked the old system better). If it makes you feel better, this person voted for Hayes. On another ballot the voter drew arrows pointing towards the person he wanted to vote for.
In all those cases the ballots got handled by the panel and these peoples votes WERE counted.
The recount stopped at 2.45 pm and at 3.15 (after a board meeting) we got the official result:
Kissell gained 15 votes, Hayes 13 votes, so a net gain for us of 2.
The funniest part of the day was hearing the woman that worked in the House and the 2 Hayes "bimbo's" talk about all the people they knew that were leaving the House now since the Dems kicked their behinds out. They were feeling really sad...
It took a lot for me not to burst out in hysterical laughter.