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Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette Logo Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette


Directors move wisely in vote count review

The Ocean Pines Association Board of Directors took the common-sense approach last week when they decided to table the discussion of ordering a forensic audit of August’s election results, even though the final tabulation was inaccurate.

Instead, the board directed its newly appointed Elections Committee to gather as much information as it can and then see if those results reveal the cause of the skewed vote count, or whether a closer examination is needed.

As the board concluded, there is no point in spending several thousand dollars to have a private auditing team pick fish bones out of the election’s carcass if the answer is clearly evident to the committee — at no charge to the association.

Further, chances are that will be the case and the committee will find that the miscount was the result of the test ballot run, or a software glitch, or someone pushed the “on” button when they should have pressed “off.”

Although it’s been argued that the public’s confidence in elections is involved here, that either isn’t or shouldn’t be the case.

First of all, the win/loss column of the election did not change because of the miscount. Secondly, all this concern about election integrity in general is the product of a political argument that has yet to discover and present any evidence of actual skullduggery.

In Ocean Pines’ case, until such time that something other than an easily corrected balloting bungle seems possible — and the chances of that are about the same as winning the lottery three times in row — the Elections Committee should be trusted to do its job.

The board of directors apparently does, and so should Ocean Pines voters. Besides, the odds are good that the committee will determine the source of the problem much sooner than any team of auditors can be settled in and get to the task at hand.