Today’s editorial from Whidbey Island’s Newspaper, the News-Times, is fairly interesting, and recaps the case of a mother who illegally voted for her daughter, a daughter who consented to the act, and a mother who now faces more than 2k in fines, and a criminal record. The editorial in closing poses this hypothesis:
It was an unfortunate lesson that proved costly for one woman, but if it helps restore public confidence in our electoral system then something good came out of the process.
This answer of course is no… no it does not restore the public’s confidence. A confidence that has been eroded by inept public officials, the privatization of our vote counting system, and the new proposal to take away the Secret Voting Booth all together by moving to Forced Vote By Mail Systems throughout the State.
No, this woman’s vote just exemplifies one of the many problems inherent in vote by mail systems–the fact that other people can vote for you! Restoring the secret ballot booth is the way to solve this problem, because the voting booth is a key element in making secret ballots secret. Prosecuting someone who was only following the actual instructions of the voter herself, does not restore my confidence in a system that is broken in so many other notable ways. In fact, if the woman’s daughter were simply to have said it WAS her signature, the vote would have counted. The only reason this woman is paying the price for illegally voting for her daughter is that both her and her daughter were…. HONEST, and a system that prosecutes the HONEST is one that I don’t trust.
If you want to restore public confidence in our Voting System here in Washington you have to start elsewhere. You could start by supporting a ban on private corporate controlled voting machines, like Diebold, or privately corporately controlled ballot sorting companies, like PSI Group. You could also support the removal from office of the politicians who have sold us down this river in the first place. From Sam Reed to Ron Sims, this has been a bipartisan era of dismanteling many of the protections we used to enjoy in Washington State. So getting back to a system we can trust will require their bipartisan replacement with people who understand why we used to vote at our precincts, on secret paper ballots, in secret voting booths, and the vote was counted by hand at the precinct by members of the public.
Anything less is unacceptable.
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