Citizen poll watchers expose need for scrutiny of elections

September 10, 2014 By Bruce Parker

Counting votes behind closed doors, letting uncertified voters vote, stacking wards with majority party poll workers — questionable activities at Burlington, Vt., polling places reveal a need for greater scrutiny of elections, two citizen poll watchers say.Voting Booths

On Aug. 26, Wendy and Jim Robert spent the day at Burlington’s Ward 7 voter precinct to get a closer look at how elections work in the Queen City.

As voting rolled on, the Burlington residents became disturbed by what they saw — and in one case, what they weren’t allowed to see.

“Jim was told he had to leave at 7 p.m. and that no one could stay that was not an official poll worker. Everyone who was not a poll worker was escorted out of the building and the doors were then closed,” Wendy Robert told Vermont Watchdog.

When voting hours ended, Jim Robert asked to watch the counting of write-in and absentee ballots. But poll workers shuffled everyone out of the building, locked the doors and began counting ballots.

What happened behind closed doors is anyone’s guess.

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