Election Assistance Commission Issues New Guidelines

The United States Election Assistance Commission has issued new guidelines:

http://www.gcn.com/online/vol1_no1/45364-1.html

Included in the guidelines,  are new recommendations on conducting elections by mail, testing optical scan machines, and media relations. The media recommendations are basically a set of marketing guidelines. While the quickstart guide on voting-by mail is a bit more um… I don’t know… unconstitutional:

  • Incorporate the use of bar codes on the ballot envelopes for ease in receiving return envelopes and updating voter history.
  • If using an external mailing/distribution center for ballot mailing, it is recommended that election staff
    be on-site at all times.
  • TIP: Always work in teams of two when receiving returned ballot envelopes. At no time should any one person be alone with the voted ballot envelopes.
  • Determine if you will provide off -site collection/drop off receptacles for returned ballot envelopes.
    Establish procedures for securing and monitoring these locations.

So the “bipartisan,” aka not non-partisan, EAC basically recommends barcodes, and outsourcing ballot distribution. While throwing a few bones to secrecy (maybe try a secrecy envelope) and security (never leave a voted ballots with just one person). But then it turns around and offers up the idea of off-site drop boxes, and never mentions the fact that unvoted ballots are far more numerous in all vote-by mail systems. So you shouldn’t leave voted ballots with just one person, but ballot printing, sorting, and receiving, well those can all be done by private companies. Private vote-counting software, also apparently just fine with the commission.

Idaho’s County Clerks will Try Once Again to Move to Vote-By Mail

Idaho is poised to try moving to unrestricted absentee ballots again next year:

http://www.magicvalley.com/articles/2007/10/31/news/local_state/123723.txt

 

A Second Chance

County clerks give vote-by-mail another try

County clerks will give vote-by-mail a second try when the 2008 Idaho Legislature convenes in January, but they scaled down their attempt from choosing entire elections to only non-candidate elections.

The change would allow voters to submit ballots via postal mail for elections besides primary and general contests, such as bond issue votes, taxing districts and recall elections.

“This is just a step to try and show the citizens how convenient it is to have vote-by-mail, so we thought if we tried it with non-candidates, it might work,” Twin Falls County Clerk Kristina Glascock said. “This is baby steps, I guess, to get people used to the process.”

The county clerks continue to make the argument that Vote-By Mail is more convenient. Obviously, this Texas county commisioner, thought the same thing. As did this mayor, and all these convenience loving folks in England, as well as a few honorable people in New Jersey.

Yep, looks like Vote-By Mail is really convenient, if what you want to do is rig an election.