Absentee Ballot Voting News for March 31st, 2008

Texas Prosecutes Little Old Ladies for Voter Fraud
AlterNet – 12 hours ago
State’s Attorney General has prosecuted Democrats who help seniors vote by mail while ignoring documented Republican ballot box stuffing.
James Bryant MacTavish: Late absentee ballot for primary inexcusable
The Capital Times – 5 hours ago
In the six days before the election, I was required to find another American to witness my vote and spend 15 percent of my salary to send my ballot express mail. I did not have 15 percent of my salary as the ballot arrived shortly before my payday.
Details about Indiana’s presidential primary
Munster Times – 14 hours ago
Absentee ballots will be mailed beginning March 27 to voters whose applications have been approved; April 28 is the deadline for applications to vote absentee by mail to be received by county election boards. A: Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York
Advertisements

On the Road to Montana, then I’ll be back next week, so here’s some lite reading

Here’s your assignment, while I’m on a vacation for the next week 😉 

I should try to meet the guy that interviewed me for radio over in Idaho while I’m passing through. Somewhere in this blog I’ll find his name. That’s what this blog is… it’s a useful index card system of info and failures I’ve found so far with forced mail voting systems. Which, coincidentally, is a system that will be coming to a state near you  soon.

If you like the new look of the website, check-out the calendar on the right…. it’s interesting to see how many posts I’ve made on this subject so far. The calendar links you to all my posts by the day I wrote them. It also makes me feel sorta lazy some times. What I only published one rant on Vote-by Mail this week? Gosh, someone might have read my blog lately and thought, jesus this guy isn’t serious about disliking voting by mail, he hasn’t posted a new rant on absentee voting in like 10 whole days now.

Actually, this blog started when I began writing a book on vote-by mail. But somewhere along the way the blog became more important to me than the book.  It’s easier to share. And if you use the search function, or the calendar, or the archive links in the left column of the site, you’ll find that this blog is growing deeper day by day, data point by date point. But, if you want to publish my writing as a book I’d be more than happy to talk!

So thanks for reading. Set a bookmark for The No Vote By Mail Project’s blogsite… http://www.novbm.com. And I’ll be back next week to continue my ongoing monologue about Democracy in the age of Convenience and Technology.

While in the spirit of being on vacation for a week, here’s an another article worth linking to again, put it on your reading list for this week. There will be a quiz when I return.

Post Office Loses Ballots in Florida Election Contest

Something I’ve warned about in this blog continuously over the past two years, is the US Post Office’s ability to lose mail. Well in Florida it actually made the news when absentee ballots were lost in the race for State House District 55:

http://www.tampabays10.com/news/local/article.aspx?storyid=76237

Molinaro says the race is in jeopardy because of a mix-up at the post office. 1117 absentee ballots – gone.

“They show a record of them coming into that clearing house, but not going out, and nothing going through Tampa or going back to St. Pete,” she explained. 

Of course anyone with a functioning brain could have predicted such an occurence. Just ask yourself how much of your neighbor’s mail have you received in the past few years. But the forces behind Vote-By Mail will not give up just because ballots are sometimes lost, in fact, it’s probably statistically safe to say ballots are lost in virtually every Vote-By Mail election.

Another Election Expert Questions Florida Do-over by Mail

Over on Alternet, Dan Tokaji, of Ohio’s Moritz College of Law, issued a pretty good essay on Florida’s possible “do-over” primary election. I’ve followed Mr. Tokaji’s writing and blog somewhat regularly, and believe there’s a link over in the right-side column to Moritz College of Law, but it’s always refreshing to know that the experts agree, Vote-By Mail is not trusted by the experts. But Dan says it better than I…

http://www.alternet.org/democracy/79544/?page=2

Even if one believes that all-mail voting works well in a smaller and relatively homogeneous state like Oregon, there’s reason to be very cautious about exporting it to larger, more heterogeneous states. These concerns are especially acute in states such as Florida and Michigan, parts of which are covered by Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. That means that any change to their election rules — including an all-mail primary election — would have to be precleared by the U.S. Department of Justice or the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. If the use of all-mail voting would have a retrogressive effect, making racial minorities worse off than they were before, then the change couldn’t be made.

There’s a reasonable argument that preclearance should be denied, on the ground that an all-mail election will have a negative impact on the participation of minority voters. But even if preclearance is granted, mail voting could still have a disproportionate impact on participation by some groups of voters. And that, of course, would cloud the legitimacy of Florida’s election — and perhaps the selection of our next President. As Yogi Berra (or John Fogerty) might put it, it’s like deja vu all over again. If there’s going to be a re-vote in Florida, it should be conducted at precincts rather than by mail.

Of course the rest of the article is great too, and he outlines 5 major reasons to oppose a Vote-By Mail re-do in Florida, so please read the whole essay when you have a chance. He concludes, it seems, just like I, that the right place to vote is at the precinct level.

Vote-By Mail Not Accurate Enough to Conduct Florida Primary

Much has been said about the possible “do-over” in Florida and Michigan’s primary. And recently the idea of going to an all mail-in primary has been suggested as a way to re-do Florida.

Mail-in balloting is not accurate enough to clearly distinguish a winner when the candidates are this close.  It has problems with signature rejection, lost mail, late arriving mail, and outright vote fraud.  Between Clinton and Obama the system just is not good enough to legitamately choose a winner.  The error-rate from people just forgetting to sign their ballots is quite likely greater than the percentage difference between these two candidates.

Of course, Miami voters should clearly remember the 1997 Mayoral race as well, a race eventually thrown out because of massive amount of absentee voting fraud…

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9800E4D61E39F931A25752C1A961958260

http://www.ejfi.org/Voting/Voting-88.htm

Oh, well as long as it’s cheaper.

New York Looks To Ease Absentee Ballot Restriction, NY League of Women Voters Supports Eliminating Secret Ballot

 

Everytime I see an article about the push to ease absentee ballot restrictions, I’m always amazed that the League of Women Voters supports this move. Why is this suprising? Because the League of Women Voters has traditionally supported the secret ballot. However absentee ballots are not secret ballots, and for one, enable fraud like Granny Farming.

Judie Gorenstein, of the New York Suffolk County League of Women Voters, who supports the easing of restrictions on absentee ballots, was quoted in the Suffolf Life Newspaper, “We think it will decrease problems on Election Day if people can vote by mail.” Maybe Judie Gorenstein, and other members of the League around the country have never seen a detailed breakdown of the problems that absentee voting causes regularly, wherever and whenever it is used, so here’s that list

But it’s not just New York’s League that supports this move, most state chapters of the League seem to support this move as well. Florida’s League has in fact set up a website called, VoteAnywhere.org, to push this agenda. Here’s hoping that once they’ve done some homework on the subject that the League will amend it’s position on voting-by mail, and continue instead to support the secret ballot.

Absentee Ballot Fraud Hits Texas, Grannyfarming a longterm problem

Yet another case of vote-by mail fraud hits Texas. Click2Houston.com is reporting that an investigation has been opened into allegations of absentee voting fraud, and door-to-door granny farming, the practice of targeting older voters with absentee ballot fraud.

http://www.click2houston.com/news/15492166/detail.html

Precinct Judge Edna Russell told Local 2 Investigates that some senior citizen voters had to be turned away because absentee ballots had already been mailed in using their names.

“Somebody had already voted for me,” said Georgia Ireland.

She and the other victims reported that people were going door-to-door, offering help to seniors with filing voter registration forms.

Some victims signed the paperwork, while others did not, but the scammers then used the information to mail absentee ballots in their names, meaning their votes were stolen from them.

“I thought that was horrible,” Ireland said. “I really wanted to know how they could do that (because) I never signed nothing. Not a thing.”

Witnesses inside the voting location at Mount Olive Baptist Church said some of the victims cried and others yelled, “This is how they’re going to steal the election from (Presidential candidate Barrack) Obama.”

The precinct judge said some of the victims have had their votes stolen in the past, which indicates that once the scammers have someone’s personal information, they could become victims again and again in the future.

Many Vote-By Mail proponents continually say that absentee ballot fraud is an imaginary problem, made up by those of us who oppose the push towards vote-by mail. The reality is really the reverse, I oppose voting by mail because of the many problems I’ve documented since I started tracking the issue almost two years ago now.