A few months ago, I met some really great activists in Washington State’s San Juan Islands, who graciously put me up in a super cool artist’s cabin while I was there to present a speech on the problems with Voting-By Mail. They were really upset by barcodes being added to their mail-in absentee ballots, and have filed suit in Washington against the County to stop the use of these not-so-secret ballots with barcodes.
The full-story is available from San Juan’s Public Access Media project.
Now it seems those who object to tracking numbers, barcodes, or identifying marks on ballots, or the envelopes containing ballots, have a well known devil’s advocate to contend with. Her name is Susan Davis, a Califonrian Democrat leading the charge for liberalized absentee voting laws. In fact she has proposed that voting by mail is a constitutional right. I think that alone makes her worthy of a few phone calls and emails from election integrity activists. However, as I pointed out yesterday, it’s not just Susan Davis, it is a long list of Democrats including some from my home state. So if you oppose the undermining of the secret ballot, send Susan Davis your thoughts. But if you are in the state of Washington, Jay Inslee (D-WA), deserves a phone call as well…
Any voters who have worried whether the local election office has received their mail-in ballots would be able to track the status their ballots under a bill introduced by Congresswoman Susan Davis (D-CA, pictured at left). The Mail-In Ballot Tracking Act (HR 1646) would require states to implement procedures for tracking, via the telephone and Internet, the growing number of mail-in ballots.
“Although voters across the nation are increasingly choosing to cast their ballots by mail because it is more convenient and they have more time to study their choices, many voters have been hesitant to do so because they fear their ballots would get “lost” in the system,” said Davis. “Implementing ballot tracking systems will bring voters peace of mind and reduce the burden on elections offices which are often barraged with phone calls from voters trying to determine the status of their ballots.”
In California’s San Mateo County, mail-in ballots are tracked with great success. The process of tracking overnight packages by using the Internet and the telephone has been available for years. Davis sees no reason why ballots cannot be tracked using similar technology.
The United States Postal Service is currently introducing an “Intelligent Mail” system which, if applied to election mail, will allow voters to find out via the internet or the telephone which postal processing facility last handled their ballots and when they were handled there.
“Mail ballot tracking is a win-win for all,” added Davis. “I believe it will increase voter participation as it increases peace of mind.”
So I’m still wondering who is funding the “Vote-By Mail” lobbyists who seem to be working state-by-state? But at the very least I’ve now identified Susan Davis as one potential fountainhead of the Vote-By Mail phenomenon. Chris Dodd and Barack Obama have also shown a complete lack of understanding of election integrity with their previous and continued support of Vote-by Mail legislation.
I’ve said it before and will say it again, Republicans typically try to limit access to the poll-sites and the ballot to a select few. Voter ID laws, and the concern with individual vote fraud top their public agenda. While Democrats seem to publicly ignore the security, accuracy, or precision of the system in favor of throwing open the floodgates to as many people voting as possible.
The solution to the issues we must deal with as election integrity advocates will not spring forth from the mind of partisan legislation, and will only be found through logic and reason of the populist nature. A “populist” system of voting would be owned and operated by the public, not private corporations, the post office, or the County. A populist system would aim to make the system of voting in the United States more secure, accurate, and honest, while simultaneously making voting convenient and accesible for all rightful voters. A populist system would look more like this, and less like this.
Filed under: Voting News