Medical Marijuana Backers File Voting Suit

Medical Marijuana Backers File Voting Suit
Posted by CN Staff on January 07, 2005 at 13:07:22 PT
By Eric Kurhi, Staff Writer
Source: Contra Costa Times 
While the recount for Berkeley's medical marijuana initiative continues, the group that sponsored the measure has filed a lawsuit against the Alameda County Registrar of Voters.At issue are the electronic voting machines used in the Nov. 2 election. While a manual recount is being done for the 29,000 paper ballots submitted, for the 31,500 that were cast electronically, the registrar can only recheck what the computer says the tally is.
"They don't trust the electronic voting machines," said Elaine Ginnold, assistant registrar of voters. "They don't believe that electronic ballots can be recounted the way we recount them."Hillary McQuie, who is a spokeswoman for plaintiff Americans for Safe Access, said the Diebold machines are not democratic."There's no way to triangulate data from the machines," McQuie said. "Private companies can say what the vote is, but we have no way of knowing if it's right or not."The lawsuit seeks data in the machines that can be compared with the results transferred to the main Alameda County vote-tallying computer. It also seeks comprehensive logs of each transaction on the machine and a list of people who had access to the machine."It's not really a recount that they're asking for ... they want an investigation," Ginnold said.Measure R would give the city the most lax marijuana laws in the nation by eliminating limits on the number of marijuana plants a patient can grow -- now capped at 10 -- and authorizing medical marijuana collectives to police themselves through a peer review process. It would also have given new medical marijuana dispensaries the right to open without first having a public hearing.It lost by 191 votes out of more than 50,000 cast, which prompted its sponsor to call for the recount.Source: Contra Costa Times (CA)Author: Eric Kurhi, Staff WriterPublished: Friday, January 5, 2005Copyright: 2005 Knight RidderContact: letters cctimes.comWebsite: Articles & Web Site:Americans For Safe Access Measure R Proponents Contest Vote Recount Measure Still Has A Chance
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on January 12, 2005 at 07:58:15 PT
Related Article from SFC
Medical Pot Measure Loses in RecountCharles BurressWednesday, January 12, 2005 
 A medical marijuana initiative defeated in Berkeley last November lost again in a recount, Alameda County election officials said Tuesday. Measure R, which would have permitted medical marijuana clubs in retail areas without public hearings and removed limits on the amount of pot patients could possess, lost in November by only 191 votes, 25,167 to 24,976. The recount, completed Friday, showed the measure lost by 166 votes, 25, 249 to 25,083, said Assistant Registrar of Voters Elaine Ginnold. The $27,695 recount was sought and funded by the Alliance for Berkeley Patients. An attorney for the group, Gregory Luke, challenged the recount Tuesday saying it failed to provide voter access to all the records of the voters as required by California law. Snipped:Complete Article:
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on January 07, 2005 at 16:50:20 PT
Related Article from Inside Bay Area
Medical Marijuana Recount Nears EndRegistrar expected to finish today, release results for Berkeley's Measure R shortly By Kristin Bender, Staff Writer January 7, 2005 
BERKELEY  The Alameda County Registrar of Voters is expected to finish today with a recount of a November ballot measure that would have relaxed medical marijuana laws in Berkeley. The measure lost by 191 votes, leading proponents to spend $27,000 to date on a recount. Results could be available as early as today but might not be released until next week. In the midst of the recount, Americans for Safe Access, a medical cannabis advocacy group, filed a lawsuit last week in an effort to gain backup data from the Diebold electronic voting machines used in the election. The plaintiffs are requesting the backup records to assess the "accuracy and integrity of electronically stored vote data," according to the lawsuit filed in Superior Court in Oakland. Elaine  Ginnold, assistant registrar of voters, said the material requested is not relevant to a recount. "Our definition of meaningful and their definition of meaningful are two different things," she said. Measure R would have replaced the city's 10-plant limit with a patient's "personal needs," as defined by a doctor and the patient. It would have relaxed zoning laws for dispensariesRecount is due today and set up a peer review committee to oversee operations at the city's three dispensaries. Ginnold said the measure was the closest vote in Alameda County on Nov. 2 and the only one where a recount was requested. Results showed 25,167 Berkeley residents voted against the measure, while 24,976 voted in favor of it. Both paper absentee and provisional  ballots have been recounted by hand during the past three weeks. The ballot measure to loosen medical marijuana laws followed city leaders' unsuccessful attempt in the spring to relax the laws. The Berkeley City Council in April tabled Councilmember Kriss Worthington's proposal to increase the number of medical cannabis plants from 10 to 72 following concerns about increased crime  and questions about how much dry marijuana one plant produces. Copyright: 2005 ANG Newspapers 
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