Dave Ross – Kiro Radio Monday Morning

I was on Kiro 710 yesterday talking about Vote-By Mail in King County, the link is here for the archived episode:


I’m on about the last 10 minutes of the second hour, linked above.

Here’s my Cliff Notes for King County and Washington listeners:

1. Why Vote By Mail is a bad idea:

– It gets rid of a truly secret ballot, one that is behind the voting booth curtain, or away from prying eyes

– It gets rid of the precinct system which is the People, running elections, not the post office or Diebold, or other private non-transparent systems.

– It is subject to the error rates of the post office and lost mail

– It is the total privitzation of the system, from voting machine software, to ballot handeling… vote-by mail is the final nail in the coffin of democracy

2. What has happened in King County recently?

– New regional centers will only have Diebold touch screens

– New Diebold equipment is being purchased, specifically high-speed ballot scan equipment that supposedly won’t work with King County’s Diebold folded ballots, as reported by activists, like Elizabeth Walter, Jason Aaron Osgood, and others…

3. Vote counting actually will take longer, and replace Voting Day with Voting Month

Specifically, I have reported exstensively within this blog, NOVBM, about the problems with Vote Counts taking longer in Washington State. And votes coming in for weeks after the election, in both Seattle’s recent special election… as well as the Darcy Burner and Dave Reichert Race. Nationally, the most glaring example was in Montana were about 4,000 votes took, I seem to recall, about a month to count.

For more info Read:

King County, WA, 13 Days of Vote Counting, Seattle Special Election, 2007

I will be posting more links as I have time before the show…. and after…. but here’s the complete breakdown for King County from emails and notes (thanks to Zappini for his quick response):

  • Placing Unique barcodes on the ballots as tried in San Juan County, ala Votehere, was seemingly killed by the council
    legislation last week.
  • It looks like counting ballots before election day and electronically adjudicating ballots (electronicall altering ballots) won’t happen, because it looks like the DRS and Central Tally System won’t be purchased.
  • It’s very unlikely the council will accept automated signature verification. The product doesn’t exist yet, the SOS hasn’t set any guidelines, the Whatcom Co tests showed a false rejection rate of over 60%.
  • The big unknowns right now are buying sorters for inhouse sorting (doubtful), ballot tracking/batch accountability software (VoteHere’s Mail-in Ballot Tracker). The council was sitting the fence last week.

The current plan for regional voting centers is:

a) 17 locations (subject to change)
b) 40-50 drop boxes
c) King Co libraries and Seattle community centers
d) no paper ballots, provisional voting on touchscreens, really bad idea
e) electronic poll books
f) no contingency plan (e.g. lose electricity)

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