Anti-VBM Ds and Rs in the News

This is a very intersting article from last year:

Once upon a time, one of America’s top election officials issued a warning about the dangers of absentee ballot voter fraud, which is the type of fraud that the new version of the Georgia voter law makes easier.

“As more and more states have relaxed their rules for casting mail-in ballots, absentee ballots have become ‘the tool of choice for those who are engaging in election fraud,'” wrote the official who’s now an appointee to the Federal Election Commission. “Absentee ballots also make vote buying easier because buyers can make sure that the votes ‘stay bought.'”

Now, this wasn’t some whiny Atlanta liberal criticizing the revised version of Georgia’s voter ID bill, which the Republicans rammed through the General Assembly last week like niblets through a goose.

No, it was none other than local-boy-made-good Hans A. von Spakovsky, who used to run a law office and consulting company out of his Sandy Springs house. At the time, he also served on the Fulton County Board of Registration and Elections and headed the Fulton County Republican Party.

After the Bush ascendancy, von Spakovsky was named counsel to the assistant attorney general for civil rights in the U.S. Justice Department. And, then, on Jan. 4 of this year, President Bush named von Spakovsky to the FEC.

Ok, so that’s pretty interesting… but even more interesting, the Democrat opposing Georgia’s Voter ID law, from the same article:

One of the most concerned is Secretary of State Cathy Cox, who kicked off her campaign for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination last week. She notes that the most common source of election fraud in Georgia, for many years, has been absentee ballots.

“Time after time, our elections investigators and the State Elections Board have investigated allegations involving the mishandling, theft or other improper use of absentee ballots,” Cox said in an e-mail to CL.

“When the General Assembly considered this legislation last year, we warned of its potential for greatly expanding opportunities for the kinds of real frauds we see in nearly every election — those involving absentees. When a ballot leaves the supervision and control of an election official, any number of bad things can happen, including vote buying and selling, voter intimidation, ballot theft and tampering.”

Interesting stuff from Georgia… the land of 100% Diebold machines.

More Vote By Mail Fraud in the News

Two days ago, from my home state, Washington:

The unusual case of an Oak Harbor woman accused of feloniously filling out her daughter’s absentee ballot and signing it was settled with a plea bargain in Island County Superior Court Tuesday.

Notably, the case was one of the rare times in the state that a person has been charged for unlawfully voting, according to elections officials at the Washington Secretary of State’s office.

Elizabeth Reddy, 45, pleaded guilty to the charge of “attempted voting absentee ballot unlawfully,” a gross misdemeanor offense.”

From the Whidbey Island News-Times

Of course the daughter wanted her to do it. But it just shows how easy it would be to vote for someone else using absentee ballots. Just like this case out of the Smokey Mountain News, 1/17/07:

Ron and Rhonda Bedsaul say they were forced to apply for an absentee ballot and then vote a straight Democratic ticket or be evicted from their trailer park in the Alarka community, according to sworn affidavits taken from the Bedsauls. The complaint has been turned over the N.C. Board of Elections for further investigation.

Groupthink is when groups of people continue to believe false assumptions, though their is ample evidence against their beliefs, usually because they have leaders pushing them in the group to this false conclusion or belief. Sounds just like the push to Vote By Mail here in Washington State.

Anyway, here’s another good report to read called, “Going Postal“, here’s the abstract:

We examine the question of whether or not reducing the costs of voting by conducting elections entirely through the mail rather than at the traditional polling place increases participation. Using election data from Oregon, we examine whether or not elections conducted through the mail increase turnout in both local and statewide elections. Using precinct-level data merged with census data we also examine how postal voting may alter the composition of the electorate. We find that, while all-mail elections tend to produce higher turnout, the most significant increases occur in low stimulus elections, such as local elections or primaries where turnout is usually low. The increase in turnout, however, is not uniform across demographic groups. Voting only by mail is likely to increase turnout among those who are already predisposed to vote, such as those with higher socioeconomic status. Like other administrative reforms designed to make voting easier, postal voting has the potential to increase turnout. However, the expanded pool of voters will be limited most likely to those already inclined to vote but find it inconvenient to go to the polling place. This conclusion is consistent with the growing body of research that suggests that relaxing administrative requirements is not likely to be the panacea for low turnout among the disenfranchised.

The Politics of Minority VBM at UW, Feb 6, 2007

WISER Brown Bag Series on Race, Ethnicity and Sexuality: Matt Barreto (UW Political Science), “The Impact of Vote-By-Mail in County on Minority Voters,” Tuesday, February 6, 2007, 12:00-1:30pm, Gowen 1A.

This was posted over on Election Updates website, but since it’s local I thought I’d make sure to highlight it here as well.