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:

http://www.nwlaborpress.org/2007/8-3-07VBM.html

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.

http://www.metrokc.gov/elections/abstats/default.aspx?eid=1219

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.