King County wraps up seventh day of vote counting

Seven days of vote counting? 1,037 additional absentee ballots counted today. I guess I’ll keep tracking the returns until the one day vote return total drops below the margin of victory from the last Washington Governor’s race.

US Postal Service Unions Pushing Vote-By Mail

This cartoon, used without permission but linked to Tom Tomorrow’s amazing cartoon website,  reminds me of the movement to privatize voting systems. First we had the private software, now to solve that problem the idea is to shut-down all the polling places by moving to vote-by mail (while still using the same privately controlled vote-counting software). A very bad idea followed by a very very bad idea.

Anyway, I almost missed this press release:

For several years, the U.S. Postal Service and its unions have been advocating that “vote-by-mail” replace traditional Election Day polling stations. In July, they took their message to a Portland meeting of state elections officials from around the country, and were backed up by Oregon Secretary of State Bill Bradbury.

Well what ever could be wrong with that? A government controlled entity, the USPS, wants to replace all the poll sites across the country with the ease and convenience of voting through the mail. Sounds like utopia:

Vote-by-mail produces a marginal increase in mail handled by the Postal Service, but its appeal to postal unions isn’t about economics, said Cliff Duffy, executive vice president of the American Postal Workers Union.

“It’s a pride issue,” Duffy said. “It’s a source of pride for us to imagine we could become part of the voting process in this country.”

Well shucks, that just makes it so clear to me, the postal unions want a hand in the process because they’re proud civil servants. Well why not? They’ve got pride! Who cares about issues like chain-of-custody, month long election cycles, and 1st class mail arriving over a year late, accuracy isn’t as important as pride!

Apparently completely changing the way elections have been done in this country for hundreds of years, ya know by shutting down all the polling places and privitizing the vote counting system, isn’t a big issue to the postal unions.


798 More Ballots Arrive One Week After the Election…

This election just keeps going, and going, and going… And when we move to all forced mail voting next year in King County, during a Presidential election and another Washington State Governor’s race, well that could be a total trainwreck.

If you are wondering what should be done to reverse this trend in elections, well first we need to stop the train. Then we need to turn it around. Vote-by mail is quietly failing, and failing badly, to provide a system for voting that is trustworthy by being more accurate and effecient than poll site voting. Democracy needs to be rejuvenated, not outsourced to Diebold and Postal Services, Inc.

1 Week Later… Votes still coming in to King County Elections

Ok, it’s the Tuesday following election day, and 480 new votes arrived yesterday. Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t that greater than the margin of victory in the 2004 Governor’s race?

4th Day of Vote Counting brought to you by Vote-by Mail

Last Friday marked the 4th day of vote counting in King County, Washington. The King County Website proclaimed:

Ballot counting wraps fourth day
The King County Elections tabulation team counted 31,309 additional absentee ballots today.

It’s Monday today, will we add another 30,000 votes 5 business days after election day?  King County is moving to switch to 100% forced-mail voting. This switch is blatantly slowing down the election process.

King County Adds 27,114 Votes in 3rd Day of Counting

From the county website, “The King County Elections tabulation team counted 27,114 additional absentee ballots today. ”

So, I just can’t imagine how anyone can believe the lie that all vote-by mail elections are somehow “faster” and more effecient? I used to remember that elections were called shortly after the polls closed, and concession speeches commenced.

Voting month is repeating itself. Vote-by mail elections make elections, and vote counting take a lot, A LOT LONGER.

VBM turns out about 1/3rd of Washington Voter’s

[Updated August 29th, 2007]

Turn-out during the primary is now at roughly 36.6499%. Which is higher than the 34% predicted, and which has steadily climbed from the election day number of 19%.

Isn’t having half the votes come in after election day a bigger problem than low voter turn-out? And the basic numbers stayed the same, about 1/3rd of the registered voter population voted in the primary, which is typical in primaries in Washington State. So these results don’t really justify the idea that moving to VBM will be greatly increasing turnout do they?

Vote-by mail enthusiasts will no doubt cry about the early primary… good for them. They’ll also undoubtedly ignore the fact that Vote-by mail is increasing the time it takes to get all the votes counted. But spinning the facts won’t eliminate the mounting evidence that voting through the mail is a really bad idea.

Voter turnout – higher or lower or the same?

Hmm, this year’s Washington State Primary is a real interesting lesson in the art of spinning turnout.

First on August 9th, 2007 Sam Reed predicted 34 percent turnout. Beating 2005’s numbers. But then on August 20th, the AP Reports, Small turnout predicted for WA’s first early primary

Then there’s this at the end of the article:

Historically, odd-year primaries haven’t generated much voter interest, but Reed thinks this year’s turnout could be above average because of the state’s conversion to an almost all-mail election.

So either way, it looks like turnout is going to be about the same, even though the majority of people are voting by mail. Which somehow is then spun into a victory for turn-out of the Vote-By Mail system, because the early primary is either decreasing turn-out or not having an affect.

Hard  to folow the logic of it all…

My mail from June 13, 2006


I don’t know if everyone will be able to see this, but just last week these three pieces of mail showed up in my mail box. The postmark is from June 13th, 2006. These three pieces of mail arrived on August 2, 2007. They were all sent 1st class mail from Bellevue, Washington. Now I don’t know about you, but this is exactly one of the things that bothers me about voting through the United States mail. Your ballot must be postmarked by the election day, but if it arrives oh… 14 months late… I believe that it just won’t count. Just a hunch.

It reminded me of this photo I took at a friends house earlier this year and forgot to post:

Return to sender vote-by mail ballot

Now, in light of the fact that King County’s Vote-by mail is open to voting by dogs, I think that getting a few extra ballots in the mail is an open invitation to committing vote fraud.

Vote Buying (You don’t say)

Dateline: New Jersey. Looks like absentee ballots might have been used in a vote buying scheme in a New Jersey Council Race.

Two weeks ago, Campos filed a 33-page complaint with the Superior Court of New Jersey charging the victorious campaign of Dawn Zimmer with more than 200 counts of voter fraud.

The allegations range from the technical – mishandling absentee ballots – to the more nefarious, paying for votes.

The case is scheduled to go before Judge Maurice Gallipoli in September.

Campos has been assisted in his investigation by former Jersey City Mayor Gerald McCann, a convicted felon who said he got involved in the matter in order to seek “revenge” on the powerful Hudson County Democratic Organization (HCDO) that supported Zimmer.

“I don’t think Dawn Zimmer instructed her people to go out and do these things,” McCann said last week, “but she got involved with the wrong people, and they’re going to lead to her demise.”

The complaint also alleges that Zimmer’s campaign actually distributed instant scratch-off lottery games with absentee ballot applications.

You really can’t buy votes in a poll-based system. But in an absentee balloting system, especially a no-excuse absentee ballot system, vote-buying is a piece of cake. Here’s more:

Campos’ investigation focuses primarily on Zimmer’s 146 absentee ballots, which helped boost her over the top. Voters fill out absentee ballots when they cannot get to the polls. In past years, use of the ballots required a reason, like illness or travel. This year, for the first time, voters could file them without a reason – a fact that the Zimmer campaign capitalized on by encouraging people to vote by mail in advance.

It’s just another example of how voting by mail is, well, just stupid.