News and notes from Reston (tm).

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

RA Board Election: Not Quite Hanging Chads, But Close

hanging-chads-300x242.jpgFollowing Mike Collins' narrow 2-vote victory over Peter Greenberg in the RA Board elections announced last week, rumors began swirling about the potential impact of 24 deleted ballots from the North Point district. Adam Viener of GoReston.com attended yesterday's special RA elections committee meeting. Here's his account:

Due to an election malfunction, 24 Ballots (48 votes) were DELETED, and very little follow-up was done explain the situation and make sure that these residents were able to cast their ballots. As a result 6 of these home owners have been disenfranchised in the election.

The board discussed the issue in the meeting, and decided that they would allow Mr. Greenberg and others inspect the invalidated ballots, they would allow BDO, the accounting firm responsible for counting the ballots, to provide Mr. Greenberg with more detailed information surrounding the 24 deleted ballots and the 17 re-votes.

The board refused to take the further step, requested by Mr. Greenberg, of contacting the potentially disenfranchised voters, to clarify their intentions to make sure their proper votes were counted in the election.

Ken Chadwick, General Counsel for the board, advised the election committee and Mr. Greenberg that a Civil case would need to be filed and a court order would need to be rendered for any further steps to be taken in the election.

“Win or lose, I’m not out to change the election, I just want to make sure none of my neighbors were disenfranchised” said Peter Greenberg. “Issues like these go to the heart of why I ran, as neighbors we have to treat each other very well and not see the association as something separate from it’s members, the members are the association.”

“I really know a thing about voter protection and voter rights, it’s kind of become a hobby of mine” said Mike Collins, “The worse thing an entity can do is make up new procedures after the votes have been counted.”
It just never ends.

108 comments:

  1. So, how do the affected 17 know if their vote was accepted...??

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  2. "In the election, 166 ballots were declared invalid for one reason or another, and 109 were declared partially invalid."

    I'd be interested in these too

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  3. Anon 9:11, agreed, but invalid or partially invalid are normal items in any election process. The real issue is the "glitch," where there really are 17 affected households.

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  4. 24 North Point residents (who were owner/occupants) attempted to vote online and were only allowed to vote for the at-large candidate, they should also have been allowed to vote for the North Point representative. After RA discovered the error the deleted the initial 24 votes so that the people could revote in both races. They reassured the candidates that they would personally get in touch with all affected voters and make sure that they votes. Come to find out all they did was send a single email. Now after much prodding they admit that just 18 of the 24 revoted. That means 6 had their initial votes erased and did not revote. The question is after RA's online voting system malfunctioned and RA deleted their votes is sending a single email sufficient follow-up. In my opinion no, every attempt should have been made to reach these people including phone calls. When you send an email you have no idea if it ever reaches the person. To me this is a prime example of voter disenfranchisement.

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  5. Given that Collins margin of victory was 2 votes (1 owner/occupant household) this calls into question the results of the election. If RA's online voting system hadn't malfunctioned the results might have been different. Doesn't RA owe it to the voters involved to make sure that their votes are counted?

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  6. Given the board's past treatment of Greenberg they should have known that a 2 vote victory for their (Chew) hand picked canidate would raise some eyebrows. They should have been out ahead of this one, particularly since the rest of the SBC canidates won their seats.

    Unless there is more to this story? Get it together folks...

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  7. Why did you leave me hanging, RA?

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  8. Just call the 17 households with BDO, Collins, and Greenberg auditing. Case closed.

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  9. Sue RA. It's time for someone to step up and do this dirty work. RA has along history of issues around voting; this would probably put an end. A judgement will settle the matter once and for all.

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  10. anon 10:39 - isn't it even easier? there are only six households to call. We have one year to get it right before the next election, hopefully RA won't take the entire year to resolve this issue. Milton what say you??

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  11. Anon 10:55 -- agredd. Just call the actual affected 6 households. A win-win for everyone involved with this "glitch". Collins and Greenberg agree to the tally and not to pursue further - we're done.

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  12. anon 10:50 - lawsuits are expensive. Who do you suggest should pay for it?

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  13. This issue is the one that will get me to comment when almost nothing else did.

    An election process speaks to the credibility of the organization. If the process is flawed the organization is flawed and needs to be fixed. There has to be complete faith that a cast vote is a sacred vote otherwise what is the point of voting and what sort of candidate will be inspired to spend six weeks of time, money and energy in a non-election??

    I would like to hear an explanation of how votes were deleted. By who and at one point? It took a lot to get me to post but this is the issue that did it.

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  14. Precedent was set to reach out to the six affected households again, when someone at RA had to directly contact the affected households, during the election, due to a "glitch" in the online system.

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  15. I can't believe this is still going on. *face palm*

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  16. One of these days RA may get something right. I say 'may' because if they do it is likely to be either an accident or a mistake.

    Apart from the obvious screw up which should be put right as described by Anon 11:08 there are two elements that also disturb me based on what occurred at the meeting.

    First RA did not volunteer the information about what happened. The squirmed and avoided direct answers until it was dragged out of them. This is not right and those involved should answer for their behavior.

    Second Milton kept his mouth shut and let others shoulder the blame. Most conspicuous was Kate - who had a hand in the decision to delete the votes, took on following up and told people that it would be done right and then simply sent a single email that she did not know was ever received. She should not have shouldered or had the responsibility for these decisions. Milton Matthews as CEO the buck stops with you. How can you let one of your people stand out there alone? Shame on you,

    Mistakes are made. Acknowledge them, put them right and learn from them. That's a learning organization that can be trusted. Unfortunately that is not RA led by Mr. Matthews.

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  17. Mike Collins - keep your mouth shut and hope this blows over.

    Every time you say that you understand voter rights but nothing can be done about it in this case you look bad.

    I didn't vote for you but I also don't want to be embarrassed by you.

    Please just keep quiet.

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  18. RA don't send this to court. Do you have no moral fiber at all?

    Milton, Kate, Robin, Richard, Kathleen....

    Don't sit there and hope that the cost of a court case will dissuade Pete and the six from getting justice.

    That is not how Reston should act.

    It is just too low.

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  19. Kathleen - time to step up to the plate and be fair. The buck stops with you now as RA President. Do the right thing; other than the "glitch" it's loud and clear what the outcome of the election would have been.
    It would settle all the questions, comments, gossip and give RA the transparency and confidence that it's owed to the membership. Don't fall from grace like Robin and Jennifer. Hold Milton accountable; it should not be overlooked. Don't allow these shenanigans. It’s time for change.

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  20. When will they (RA) learn ---

    Take the highest possible road and avoid any controversy -- the ways o smyers should be dispatched bit not forgotten.

    Do the recount, timely, announce the results, take appropriate action and move on.

    It's time to do what is right and just in and for this community. Enough with the arrogance and bloated egos!

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  21. Broke in Charter Oak (BiCO): Soon-to-Be "Amongst the 'Hoods in Colvin Woods"April 20, 2010 at 2:47 PM

    Anonymous needs a hug! :-)

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  22. I truly thought this was an April Fool's post but the date is wrong and the comments have filled in enough details for me to know it's not. Sigh.

    PLEASE don't anybody sue! It will make our RA dues go up.

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  23. There are a few fools in the story but none of them are called April.

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  24. Broke in Charter Oak (BiCO): Soon-to-Be "Amongst the 'Hoods in Colvin Woods"April 20, 2010 at 5:33 PM

    SouthLakesMom is back! YAY!!! Maybe now some of the snarkiness from "Anonymous" will stop? ;-)

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  25. two things that do not go good together.."RA" and "election".

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  26. I don't normally post either but as a North Point resident this really upsets me. Unless you are in my address book your e-mail is going to go to my junk mail folder which I hardly ever check. Sending out one e-mail to the affected voters is unacceptable.

    They need to come clean and stop it from going any further by addressing it immediately.

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  27. Agree Anon 6:23: RA should have documented they communicated with all 24 households, the method used to communicate with them, as well as documenting the fact the vote went through and was tallied.

    If a household was unreachable via phone, email, etc., that in turn should have raised a flag, and notice given to all candidates of the issue.

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  28. looks like that link to GoReston is broken. :-)

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  29. Agreed Anon 6:23

    RA should have documented they reached the affected 24 households, documented the outcome, and validated the votes counted.

    Any household that was not reached, should have raised a red flag, and all candidates as well as BDO notified.

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  30. The election committee is hiding behind the statutes, and saying they won't do anything unless a judge forces them to.

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  31. Sorry for my repeated message to Anon 6:23. It appeared not to go through -- server must be getting abused.

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  32. I actually think that RA should not be the ones to contact voters given the fact that RA endorsed candidates in this election.

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  33. The accounting firm should contact the 6 missing votes and identify what their intentions were in the election. The voted on day one and their votes should be counted!

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  34. Is anyone considering the possibility that the 6 families got Cate's e-mail and either chose or simply neglected to vote?

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  35. Anon 10:11. Of course that is possible, but these are people who chose to vote and in fact did vote (just not for both races that they were eligible to vote in), therefore they probably want their vote counted.

    Keep in mind they did cast one vote and it was deleted by RA. This is not simply a case of people running into technical difficulties and not being able to vote, but of people actually casting a vote and having it deleted. If that's not disenfranchisement I don't know what it.

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  36. To South Lakes Mom, no one wants to sue RA. All RA has to do is cooperate and do the right thing. Instead they are up to their old tricks. They immediately went into protective mode, don't give any information, don't cooperate, and hide behind legal counsel. They are the ones trying to force a lawsuit. So much for a new era of openness and cooperation.

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  37. Anon 10:39, I wouldn't call it disenfranchisement per se, I think that's being a bit melodramatic. These people could not vote for more than one election as they should have been able to. They voted for one, but RA seemingly decided that their vote was tainted because of the glitch. "Tainted" not in that the voter did something wrong, but that the correct processing got messed up. So if they had done nothing, of course, people would have raised a huge stink because they were only partially-franchised. Instead, removed their "tainted" vote, and attempted to contact them so they could revote without having this question of validity. Most of these people were reached and revoted fine. The main problem I see is that the RA did not take it to its logical conclusion and make it a priority to get the remaining people to revote. To me this seems more like laziness then fear of the vote changing in a way that was undesirable to a majority currently on the board. But in any case they really should have taken further steps for the obvious reasons that people have pointed out already - a) the vote being so close these lost votes could have changed who was elected, and b) it's just 6 households for Pete's sake! It does not take a monumental effort to contact these people. Email is fine, but it's not gaurenteed. If it was registered mail, or even an election official going to their house and getting a signature saying they had been informed that their vote was invalidated and they needed to do it again within X days or they would lose that vote permanently, anyway, the point is that given how contentious this election was and how much RA has been criticized rightly or wrongly for lack of transparency, they really need to appear 100% on the up and up, and agree with others that their actions to date have not quite cut it in that regard...

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  38. Anon 10:39

    So after their first attempt,these 6 had second thoughts (aka buyer's remorse), and decided not to vote. Stranger things have happened.

    Every year there are folks who stand in line, produce an ID, get checked in are handed a ballot and then, without voting leave the polling place and don't return. Sounds bizarre but it happens at every polling place in every election, some times more than once per election per polling place.

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  39. Remember, these are people who voted right at the begining of the election. Only the most dedicated voters would vote right when they get the ballot, they certainly wanted their votes to count in the election and have every right to have their votes counted.

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  40. Anon 11:45
    we don't know if "buyer's remorse" is the issue because they were never heard from. An election is not supposed to be about guessing the intention of the voter. As an association we paid to have a vendor, Cvent, manage the online portion of our election. They fell down on the job when the online system had a glitch. Now I am feeling "buyer's remorse" - not about a candidate but about the company that our dues paid for.

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  41. This story like so many important stories of the election will not appear in the Fairfax Times or the Connection yet they want our advertising dollars. We on the Restonioan will read about it but not most of the 62,000 citizens who live here. Even though I lost the election I'm still for more open communication in Reston. Who knows what could of happened if the Restonian were not here to blow the whistle? And who knows how much beter of a community we could be if we had more open communications. The lady who runs the Smart Mart Famers Markets (coming next Wednesday in Reston At Reston Parkway and Sunrisevalley) asked me, well is there any bullitin boards in Reston by the pools like other communities. I had to say no we don't have any in Reston.

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  42. People do not seem to get what happened here. Let's walk it through from the point of view of one of the six:

    I receive my envelope with the ballot code. I clearly have a strong desire to vote as I go online in the first weekend and make my vote. I am feeling good that I have done my part in the community.

    Unknown to me RA has discovered a 'glitch' in their system. They decide to delete mine and twenty three other votes. We are all from North Point where we will later learn that one house made the difference in the outcome.

    Now one of two things happen.

    My spam filter catches the one email that RA tried to send me. I don't even know that my vote was deleted. I am disenfranchised and don't even know it.

    I received the RA email and was either confused or I made a conscious choice not to vote again. Neither are good but the latter is my choice.

    Does this person (a) have the right to know what happened and (b) the right to lobby for a vote that they were denied.

    I would say yes and yes. RA apparently says 'speak to my lawyer' and 'sue me'.

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  43. DVDmon

    I love your phrase "it's just 6 households for Pete's sake".

    Was the pun intended?

    These are six North Point households and Pete Greenberg lost that seat by one household.

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  44. Hah, didn't even realize that, Anon 10:46. I'm good, huh? ;-)

    I must say though that while I do think these folks should be contacted, the whole spam filter thing is a bit unlikely. Maybe one of the posters above filters everyone who isn't in their address book, but I don't know of anyone else. Sure there are those services that make you do some extra stuff when you email someone, but I don't know anyone personally who use them and when I do get something back telling me I need to go fill out some form on the web just to email someone, I usually just drop my communication strategy - too onerous to have to deal with that, and I think most people feel similar. Spam used to be more of a problem for me, but when I switched to Gmail I end up getting about one a month! Even when it was a problem, I probably spent upwards of a few minutes each day deleting these messages, if that much, so while I hate spam and spammers, taking the "nuclear option" of filtering all email except from addresses in your address book I deem to be both extreme and rare. Out of 6 households, the chance of even one of them having this practice seems still to be on the order of 1 out of 100 or 1 out of 500. So I would bet that these people either got too busy or were just not interested in expending the energy again do to it, but given the closeness, yes, RA should have verified that they knew their vote didn't get counted and give them one more opportunity to cast it...

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  45. Apparently the "glitch" was in the voter's face that morning. When one went on-line that morning -- the only choice was the At-Large candidate, no North Point candidate vote was available.

    This was quickly pointed out to RA, but apparently 24 households decided to vote anyway, assuming the At-large was their only choice. This was really screwed up.

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  46. anon 11:18. Actually what happened is that the first screen gave you a chance to vote for the At Large candidates. Once you voted for At Large you got a message that said "Thank You for Voting" and your session was ended. When you tried to go back online you got a message that your password was invalid because it had already been used for voting. There was no way to know at the beginning of the process that you were not going to be given a chance to vote for North Point. RA only knew about the the glitch after some of us tracked them down to report the problem. So you are incorrect when you say the glitch was in the voter's face and voted anyway. They were kicked off the system after one of their votes was received and then they would have had to take action in order to get their North Point vote in and counted.

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  47. dvdmom, spam filters do occasionally filter genuine messages.

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  48. Anon 11:18 to Anon 11:29 -- a very good description -- appreciate the clarification. I guess the "in-your-face" moment occured only after the vote for the "At Large" candidate took place. That had to be a frustrating moment.

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  49. Three problems: My filter often grabs stuff it isn't meant to. With the amount of spam it leaves behind, I occasionaly delete a genuine piece of mail in the process of cleaning out my box. I have an old email account that I rarely check.

    I think that the chances are high that the 6 families didn't recieve an email notification. Again....there seems to be a simple solution to the problem, why on earth does the RA want to drag this into court??? That doesn't seem to be in anyone's best interest. Let's employ some common sense, it's 6 households - pick up the phone!

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  50. Personally, I am signed up for RA e-notifications and I get many emails from RA. I might have seen Cates message and assumed it was yet another generic communication from RA and not even opened it. I'm sure I'm not the only one who gets dozens of emails everyday. I generally open the ones that are directed to me personally and often just delete without opening those that appear to be mass emails.

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  51. The bottom line is that RA just simply failed to do the right thing and follow up by phone or even certified mail to capture the individual's attention. Another "screw up" under Matthew Milton disgusting leadership. 180K+ that go down the drain.

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  52. General Counsel is probably advising that the by-laws do not provide for a fix.(Because they didn't anticipate this problem.) The By-laws can only be amended by referendum.

    So even if there are "common sense" solutions, without authorizing language in the By-laws, the RA Board is stuck.

    Thus, the law suit solution.

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  53. We all pay for the screw ups of Milty.

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  54. Monday, RA had a public arts meeting and Milton flew in paid consultants from as far away as St. Louis, Mo. at RA's expense. Tuesday, DRB announced they would be installing extra lights at Ridge Heights pool, even though nearby neighbors don't want them and say they're no needed citing other pools with more parking and further away from housing. Both wastes of money and further evidence of incompetence.

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  55. Question: Did the By-laws authorize the board to delete votes?

    Further (and I really don't know the answer to this, but would like to), did the By-laws authorize the board to impliment the fix that they did try?

    I suspect, and it sounds like this may ulimatly come out in court, that the board has already been out of the bounds of the by-laws and their current stance has been suggested by legal counsel in an attempt to minimize damage.

    Wouldn't it make sense for the board and the candidates to come to an agreement so they don't drag the rest of us through the mud at our expense?

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  56. The RA board could vote to adjust the bylaws, and vote to do the right thing here to avoid the lawsuit, but honestly I think the best solution would be to get the candidates to sign a contract agreeing to not sue if the 6 candidates are contacted and their votes counted.

    That is the fair solution that would avoid the cost of the legal mess.

    Honestly, if any of the candidates would be unwilling to agree to this, I wouldn't want them as an RA board member.

    Who could rightfully disagree with making sure these votes, that got screwed up by the election process, are counted?

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  57. GoReston, I agree with you. But, I wonder if RA is legally allowed to make that decision -- assuming the candidates agree.

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  58. GoReston

    The By-laws can only be changed BY REFERENDUM.

    Did you just ignore Anon 4:32's post?

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  59. Anon 5:29

    The ballots with only one contest on it could have been determined to be spoiled and replacement ballots provided.

    That would well within the plenary power of the Election committee to conduct the election.

    But allowing the 6 houses to vote after the election period set by the By-laws has passed would require a By-law amend.

    The issue would be framed as follows: if those 6 are allowed to vote now why not some of the other 15,000+ that didn't vote either?

    It's not just a matter for the candidates and the Board to resolve. The folks who voted for Collins and against Greenburg and Morro would be adversely affected also.

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  60. Anon 9:28

    I see what you're saying, but were the other people who had their votes thrown out for the same reason, but not due to the 'glitch', provided the same opportunity to re-vote? I think we're getting into a sticky issue that probably has leagal implications.

    You may have just made the argument for invalidating the North Point election. I would hate to see the Reston community pay for A: a leagal battle or B: a re-do of the North Point election. We have a lot of smart people in this town, it's six votes, can't we figure out another way?

    If we don't find a way to count the votes then aren't all the people that voted adversely affected? If we can't trust the RA board to run an election that respects all of the votes and voters, particularly when they have publicly expressed a bias for the outcome, don't we all lose?

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  61. I started writing a reply, to Anon 5:29's comment about:

    "“if those 6 are allowed to vote now why not some of the other 15,000+ that didn’t vote either?”"

    But it got too long to be a comment. So I posted a blog post:

    Why the RA Board Elections will probably head to the Courts:

    http://tinyurl.com/ra-election

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  62. Adam Viener

    Your position makes no sense. We know you wanted Greenburg to win but that bias is foggy your logic.

    24 homes got spoiled ballots. 24 were sent notifications. 18 voted real ballots within the time allowed. 6 did not.

    Now you want to extend the time for just those 6 to vote but not for anyone else.

    This makes no sense.

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  63. Adam

    You blog posting is based on a supposition that's unproven: that the 6 who didn't vote were not effectively communicated with.

    Obviously, the other 18 were effectively communicated with. We know this because they voted in both contests.

    Were these 6 not sent an e-mail?

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  64. Anon 5:36

    I think the issue is that the way they were contacted was not verifyable, so we don't know if they were contacted or not, and neither does the RA. The situation may be as you stated, or there could have been any number of problems. Right now we just don't know.

    The election came down to two votes, if even one of those households was affected then it makes a difference.

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  65. Suing is the only option. This will settle the matter once an for all people. There's no other way out.

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  66. Broke in Charter Oak (BiCO): Soon-to-Be "Amongst the 'Hoods in Colvin Woods"April 22, 2010 at 7:27 AM

    (Sigh). Maybe I should have moved to Arlington after all.

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  67. The problem is that we just don't know what happened to the other 6. We do know that they were one of the FIRST people to vote in the election, and their votes were deleted.

    Some would like to "assume" that these 6 saw the email and decided not to re-vote.

    Some would like to "assume" that these 6 never received the email or understood that their vote was incomplete and deleted.

    The only way to know for sure is to contact the 6 households and find out for sure what their intentions were. If their intentions were not to vote in the election, fine, case closed.

    Clearly there is a big difference between these 6 households who had their votes deleted and the people who never tried to vote in the election.

    The unfortunate part is this could have and, in my opinion, should have been done during the election. Now that the election is over the courts have to decide what to do next.

    Adam

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  68. wouldn't the easiest/fairest thing be to just throw out the northpoint election and start over?

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  69. There was some talk during the election that after the election there would be a important meeting by the election committee (and maybe with the board)to resolve things like endorsements and actions of officials during the election. One candidate, Guy proposed canceling the whole election. I and I know another candidate protested the Milton endorsements and I think they were. Have any of these issues been resolved or been addressed by the new board or the old reelection committee?

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  70. I would rather see more trails built and maintained with the money than to have a lawsuit . . . as much as I am impressed with Peter, it just isn't worth it . . .

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  71. delete the North Point seat from the board until the next election which is in one year.

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  72. RA: one more reason to incorporate as a town.

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  73. I agree with the last post. The North Point election was not valid. Difference of one house and six houses did not get a vote. Collins should not take that seat until it is resolved. If that takes a year, so be it. Hopefully there is a solution that can be found earlier.

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  74. The email sent to the 24 had the subject line "Reston Association - North Point voting information". If you had already voted would this have gotten your attention.

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  75. If you had already voted - you wouldn't think that email applied to you

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  76. "Reston Association - North Point voting information"

    REALLY? OMG!

    It just get's worse and worse!!!

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  77. I want to address some of the previous comments. Someone said why are the 24 any different than the other (166) invalidated ballots. The reason is that the 24 did nothing wrong. They attempted to vote and did place one vote. Their votes were subsequently deleted by RA. The other invalidated ballots presumably had something wrong with them most likely caused by the voter.

    Someone also said if the 6 get to vote after the election, then everyone who didn't vote would have to get a chance to vote as well. The difference is that the 6 did vote within the election period, and their votes were deleted. The others approx. 80% of people who did vote -- simply did not vote.

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  78. Regardless, if we are only dealing with the 6 ballots, which I believe is the right approach -- it is a very close race.

    If the 6 are counted -- then Greenberg could conceivably win by 3 households, or Collins could win by 4 households -- best case scenarios.

    I believe best efforts were made by RA (one can argue perhaps better approaches should have been taken). But the only option now is the nuclear option (with court) and I don't think this community needs to go through that, given everything its been through to-date. Let's move on, and let all parties take a break and re-focus on issues at hand.

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  79. Never give in. That's what Winston Churchill said. I don't think letting this go is a good idea to be honest. Today it's 6 votes, tomorrow it can be 1,000.

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  80. Hanging/Dimpled/Pregnant/Swinging ChadApril 22, 2010 at 4:20 PM

    The state of Florida (remember 2000?) ironically smiles upon us in Reston...

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  81. Perhaps the RA board and Mr. Greenberg can come to another understanding. Maybe if he was offered a seat on the finance committee so that he could have a voice where it appears to matter most to him, he would be willing to not file the lawsuit.

    In any event, I think all the parties need to sit down and talk through alternatives.

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  82. Now that is what we're talking about, can't we get creative and avoid the expense and divisiveness of a suit? Honestly, the rest of us want to see this settled reasonably. The new president has already talked about election reform, presumably they could add language to deal with the problems of this election at that time.

    Think Greenberg would go for it?

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  83. Anon 10:17

    The title line on the e-mail was good enough to get the attention of 18 of 24 homes. They got the message and voted a proper ballot.

    Why didn't the other 6 vote? We will never know.

    For too many posting here it seems that nothing short of RA preemptorily declaring Greenburg the winner will be acceptable.

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  84. Convict

    A town means unnecessary duplication and even more taxes.

    It's city status or forget it.

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  85. Anon 5:28

    Re-read the posts, no one is saying anything of the sort. Let's be adults, people are just asking for both sides to to come up with an equitable solution. We can't just ignore the fact that there was a problem because it's easy. Do you really think that the RA would just move on if the NP election had ended up 2 votes in the other direction? We want an answer because we need to be able to trust that our vote is being counted correctly in the future, it may not change the result - and that's ok

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  86. Anon 5:47

    Far more votes were thrown out for invalidity, but those invalidated votes are being ignored on this thread.

    If Greenburg had won by 1 ballot, I guarantee that this issue would have been ignored by Collins, Chew etc as a regrettable glitch to be avoided next time.

    There is no "equitable solution" available under the By-laws, short of a lawsuit.

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  87. Anon 6:58

    Funny you should say that because, I acually posted the second comment on this thread bringing up the very same issue of invalidated votes, I agree that they should be looked at as well.

    You and I will just have to agree to disagree about what Collins would have done, but Chew has a record of behavior (re-snowgate and hand picking canidates) that suggests he would not have ignored this issue.....neither of us will ever really know (unless you're Chew I suppose).

    Clearly Collins knows where he stands (according to his quotes in the Reston Connection) with more people voting against him than for him in the election. If Greenberg's point of view resinated with that many people in NP, why not get him involved in some way like Anon 4:58 suggested? It wouldn't solve the vote count issue, but maybe it would allow everyone to move forward with all points of view represented.

    Even Obama knew it was in his best interest to give Clinton a seat at the table after the primary...

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  88. Invalid votes are completely different.

    If I vote and do something that makes it invalid it is my fault. I do not and should not have recourse to vote again.

    If I vote validly and someone else deletes my vote or prevents me from completing my vote then it was beyond my control.

    We police elections in third world countries to make sure this does not happen. It is embarassing that we can't do it right 20 miles outside Washington DC. And when we screw it up we can't even fix it.

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  89. Anon 7:52

    More people voted against each candidate in every contest than voted for winner in every contest.

    Why would Collins "know where he stands" with the people of North Point any more or less than Knueval in Lake Anne or Leighton across Reston. They each only got 40%.

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  90. Too many assumptions!

    "Collins would have done..."

    "The RA would have acted if it were two points for Greenberg..."

    We just don't know. What we do know is that the screwed up the election, failed to fix it during the election, and have left it to the courts to fix now.

    The RA process and the people running this process have failed us. We need new people.

    Those that messed this up, that are not elected, should be terminated and more competent people bought in.

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  91. To delete the votes already cast is incorrect. Those votes were NOT invalid as cast-- clearly they were only deleted in order to honor the one ballot per household policy. The fact that these folks received incorrect electronic ballots means only that they should have been given another opportunity to vote on the missing seat. It's ridiculous.

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  92. Anon 10:40

    When a voter is given an incorrect ballot,it is standard practice to invalidate the ballot and give the voter a correct ballot.

    That's what happened here. The initial ballot given to the 24 was defective. Those ballots were invalidated and corrected ballots were issued to all 24.

    18 of the 24 voted the corrected ballot. 6 did not within the time allowed, for reasons we do not yet know.

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  93. Maybe I missed it in the thread, but does Greenberg have a stated position on this? It seems to me that lack of action speaks louder than words. Or maybe it's still too early in the process.

    5:31, Citydom would be a good thing. But I think we would be hard pressed seeing as how we're still smaller than Town of Vienna. On the other hand, just because Vienna doesn't want to get a promotion to City doesn't mean that we shouldn't aspire to it.

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  94. Greenberg filed a complaint with the election committee.

    His position is the same as it was when the glitch occurred on March 6. At that time he sent an email to RA, and their legal counsel, he asked them to turn the matter over to a neutral 3rd party to handle. He also stated that they needed to reach out to the affected voters until each and everyone had recast their ballots. Only them would the matter be resolved and the election considered fair.

    Did RA follow his advice -- No. Instead they treated it as a minor issue to be handled by an employee. They deleted the votes and merely sent an email which may or may not have been received by the affected parties. Where was CEO Milton Matthews? This is exactly the sort of issue that he should have been involved in. Now he is letting his employees take the heat.

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  95. We need Richmond to grant the charter though. While McDonnell is running the shit-show down there, fat chance the Dem stronghold of Reston will be given anything.

    To the Bush v Gore 2000 recount retards:

    Give it a rest. Greenberg lost albeit closely but he lost.

    The election for RA (homeowners assn.) is not the same as a municipal election so there is no such thing as voter disenfranchisement. No fundamental constitutional right has been violated.

    Suing the RA to get your SBC stranglehold on the board is not in the best interests of the community.

    I was for saving Brown's Chapel from development, not for this bullshit and I'm going to remove myself from their mailing list pronto.

    Save Reston from SBC.
    What a bunch of Northpoint Assholes.....

    HCKD

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  96. Greenberg and SBC should give it a rest.

    He lost.

    There is no such thing as voter disenfranchisement in an election of a PRIVATE HOA BOD. There is no fundamental constitutional right being trammeled here.

    RA tried to correct the error with the 6 votes, but for whatever reason, those voters chose not to vote again.

    End

    of

    Story

    SBC = whiney crybaby assn.

    I've cancelled my enrollment in their mailing list because while SBC was ACTUALLY Saving Brown's Chapel, I supported their cause.

    Now that they are some sort of quasi political party, they have outlived their usefulness.

    The new agenda seems to be suing RA so that Greenberg gets to play politician. I call bullshit.
    Change the name to Greenberg on the Board or we'll sue.

    Save Reston from SBC.

    HCKD

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  97. I'm not SBC, but I do commend them for acting as watch dog and doing the work for the rest of us. I guess you'll sign up again when the RA is looking to raise your dues and tear up your neighborhood HCKD - in the mean time, anger issues man...

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  98. HCKD
    where do you get your information that SBC is suing anyone? The email I read, which I assume is the same one you read, states pretty clearly that whatever happens next is up to the candidate and that SBC's position is that they hope it has a quick resolution for the benefit of everyone. I appreciate the information sources from Restonian, SBC, Reston 2020, GoReston etc. If we did not have these people involved in our community than you would be giving RA and FFX CY alot of rope. We don't have enough oversight in our community, Our voter turnout is pathetic. We need anyone who cares to be involved. I re read the SBC email and I did not see anything in there about that group taking any action, and I was looking for it.

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  99. This thread has gotten stupid. There are no new facts at this point. Give it a rest until new FACTS are presented. The only facts we know as true right now are the ones posted on http://www.goreston.com

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  100. convict

    Town of Vienna population 15,000

    City of Reston - 62,000

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  101. http://www.goreston.com/reston-news/reston-politics/why-the-ra-board-elections-will-probably-head-to-the-courts

    Anon 9:13 see the above post on the above plugged GoReston blog (an anemic simulacrum of the storied and great Restonian IMHO, but I digress)

    If this DOES go to a court battle it only proves that SBC does not give a shit about Reston, rather is shows that their appetite for power, whetted on the Rec Center debacle, has now become an insatiable desire to push their agenda and take over the RA board.

    SBC = stupid bitching crybabies.

    A law suit in this context would be the stupidest waste of resources imaginable.

    HCKD

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  102. HCKD
    anon 9:13 here. thanks for making me look up simulacrum. But I am not throwing SBC out with the simulac (whaaaat naw suca?!). I still do not agree with your leap that SBC is the evil doer here. We need push back. We did not have any last year when a group of RA and RCC board members plotted to give away RA land and tax money (rec center debacle) at least now the RA and RCC are on notice. I do not want to see a lawsuit over the votes. I agree that seems a waste of time and money. But I want Milton Matthews to earn his job security, not manipulate an election to get it.

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  103. Balance says:

    Two points to make tonight.
    First, RA's feckless effort to notify voters of the "Big Glitch". The unstirring subject line may well have caused me to delete without reading that piece. The discussion of it being sent to a spam folder prompted me to look at mine. Thank Chew, I did. Not only am I now $4 million richer having won the Irish Lottery, I will soon be sporting an impressive manstick that is both thicker and wider. (Ever wonder just what they mean by that?)

    Second, we give SBC far too much credit. The plan rolled out by RA and RCC was laughable from the start. One member chose to throw his considerable spare time and and resources into pounding the gnat with a hammer, and in the process stirred "a movement" - first among neighbors, then with a diverse cast who made it a crusade to "save" something. Rubbish. The plan had zero chance from the start. But I have to give SBC credit for the excellent execution of their needless effort. As a result, they stirred enough negativity to bring out an electoral field with champions of all but the positive.

    I concede, this is not a very balanced posting. But I feel better having discharged my own negativity.

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  104. Do I have this straight?
    1. CVENT has a contract to supply online voting.
    2. CVENT software malfunctions.
    3. RA deletes votes that could not be completeddue to software glitch.
    4. General Counsel advises no revote for disenfranchised voters.
    5. Now talk of lawsuits at cost to RA members?
    What's wrong with this picture? Does RA contract with CVENT have a clause regarding non-performance, or even a clause to cover contingencies that compromise the vote?
    What is RA Board doing deleting votes -- isn't CVENT supposed to be a non-interested party in validating the vote? Is responsiblity for deleting votes in the contract?
    Why are emails/notifications to disenfranchised persons coming from RA Board,and not from CVENT?
    Did General Counsel review the CVENT contract for performance and contingencies? Is there a clause in the contract for monetary penalty for non-performance by CVENT?
    Will I get any answers to these questions?

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  105. There are no "disenfranchised" voters. Nobody has a fundamental Constitutional right to vote in their HOA BOD election.

    Now if Reston were and actual municipality: You would have an FEC claim.
    RA BOD? Not so much.

    Give it a rest. Election over, Greenberg lost. The End.

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  106. Just wondering...does RA Membership have a right to know what was in the CVENT contract regarding contingencies and performance? After all, it's our money--OH! this isn't Wall Street!

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  107. There is always a way where there is a will, to steal an election. If Homeowners have paid dues, they own the rights to elect their leaders.

    Since it doesnt matter that they have no constitutional rights in a HOA, give them a REFUND...because they didnt get represented per the bylaws.

    I see things haven't changed since I left reston in 94. By the way, in case all of you in the reston herndon metroplex haven't looked around, the maxim that reston used to live by where work and family are balanced in a refreshingly attractive palette of open area green ways and non intrusive office buildings, appears to have gone the way of the dinosaur and developers wallet. Who sold out? it was just a load of you know what.

    Look around you, Reston got Fairfaxed! And it looks like the developers will win again on this issue of open area land vs development.

    Looks like you need to go to Front Royal to see an undeveloped area....but that will change.

    thanx Mum for pointing this out to me. Now get out of the land of damn yankees, and move back south, where at least they are friendly and smiling when swindling you out of your money and land.

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  108. As Ferris Bueller said:

    "...You're still here? It's over. Go home. Go..."

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