Thursday, April 25, 2013

Dennis Leone exposes their own ballot scandal to STRS board...and their response is dead silence! (Any surprise there?)

From John Curry, April 24, 2013 
The following is a transcription by John Curry, taken from the CD-ROM recording of the April 18, 2013 STRS board meeting. The attachments can be viewed in the post below this one; or click here. They are posted in the order mentioned. 
Greetings, my name is Dennis Leone, I’ve passed out in front of you here today a couple of pages from this booklet.  
[SEE ATTACHMENT 1] This is the Board adopted election manual  for this particular election, 2013. Please turn to the next page [SEE ATTACHMENT 2], and you’ll see that’s page 12 of the manual booklet, and it indicates item number 12 and it indicates that the board form, the ballot, shall be prescribed by the retirement board. That’s the actual ballot itself.  
Also note that it says ‘see Appendix E and Appendix M.’ Ok, so let’s look at Appendix M. Turn the page[SEE ATTACHMENT 3], this is Appendix M.  
Four years ago, this was the ballot. Four people running for two spots on the board. Look what it says, the circle: “Select up to two candidates.”  
Next page [SEE ATTACHMENT 4]…’s the ballot for this year…four candidates running for two spots, “Select two candidates.” 
 Now, if you don’t understand how this causes confusion for retirees who think they have to vote for two people then you’re mistaken. You’re not understanding the situation. It doesn’t matter that there’s other documents that say that you can vote for up to two people, this is the ballot.  
There are several people, lots of them, that intended to vote for me in a single way, as well as Nadine Mcllwain, and when they see this language, they end up feeling like, and they’ve told me this, they feel like for their vote to count they have to cast a second ballot. And, that’s what they’ve done!   
And, more times than not, it was for the safe vote, it is for the OEA one-two ticket of McGreevy and Stein. People wanting to vote for me, they don’t know who Nadine Mcllwain is, then they’ll vote for one of these two. The same for people wanting to cast a single ballot for her, not knowing who I am, will cast a second ballot for these two people.  
The next page [SEE ATTACHMENT 5] is something I’ve decided to do different this year, I’ve decided to vote online. That’s what popped up, “select two candidates.” So, I voted for myself. One time, I thought I was done, I clicked the word confirm.  What happened? I wasn’t done! Next page, this popped up [SEE ATTACHMENT 6]: a second sheet saying would you like to vote for one more? I clicked down (Resend) no, I wasn’t interested in that.  
So, that’s what we have, we have a situation here where retirees have been made to feel like, in order for their vote to count, they’re supposed to select two candidates.  
How did this happen? How could there be a ballot that looked like this in 2009 and another that looked like this in 2013? Why? How did this happen? I keep asking….nobody will answer my question. It says here, “You are to prescribe the ballot yourself.” You know what you’ve done? This is like a school board authorizing a bond issue and not checking to see what the ballot language is going to be. That’s what this is!  
And I want an answer for how this happened. I am entitled to it. It has caused widespread confusion. There are a lot of people who feel this whole thing should be started all over again. How did this happen? Somebody tell me. Why was there a ballot that said one thing four years ago and the same number of people running  four years later and there’s a different ballot?  
I know one thing, four years from now, the ballot that went out this time…it won’t go out again, will it? And…not one of you are going to  say, “and that’s because that’s because we screwed up four years ago.” No one is admitting that right now. Nobody is. Why? 
Why isn’t it that somebody is acknowledging that there has been a mistake made? Why? I am entitled to an answer. How did this happen? How did this happen [a long period of silence on the recording]? Nobody [another long period of silence]?  This is OK [a third long period of silence]?  You know what you should have done? Any person that sent in a ballot with one vote…….you should send them a SECOND ballot and ask them if they want to vote again….for a second person. That’s what you did to me when I voted electronically. How did this happen? No answer………..[a fourth long period of silence]? OK!
[Click here to see ballot samples.]
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