Absentee Votes Just Found from 2005, Salt Lake County

Label this, “Something that doesn’t usually happen with Precinct Based Poll Voting”

http://www.sltrib.com/news/ci_10315614

Every vote did not count in Salt Lake County three years ago.
    A metal ballot box – still locked – was recently found in Cottonwood Heights and two absentee ballots were inside.
    Salt Lake County Clerk Sherry Swensen says her office determined the ballots were absentee ballots for the 2005 primary election. One was from a West Jordan resident, the other Salt Lake City.

Reminds me of the problems with late arriving mail when that mail might be your vote….

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How Much Mail Would A Mailman Lose If A Mailman Lost Your Mail?

Apparently they United States Post Office has nothing to say on the subject:

http://funny.zeeblum.com/2007/03/10/what-percentage-of-mail-is-lost-by-the-usps/

You’d have better luck finding Dick Cheney’s social security number. Even though the United States Postal Service routinely hires contractors to assess performance, it doesn’t release statistics on lost mail. The post office uses something called the “External First-Class Measurement System,” or EXFC, to determine the percentage of first-class mail that travels within USPS time standards from a collection box to the addressee. Relying on those results, the post office has determined it’s doing a pretty good job. For example, the USPS reported an EXFC score of 90% nationwide last year.

The Government Accountability Office, however, has found some post office assessment criteria “unsuitable as benchmarks.” Furthermore, the post office “does not measure and report its delivery performance for most types of mail. Therefore, transparency with regard to its overall performance in timely mail delivery is limited…(so) it is difficult to hold management accountable for results and conduct independent oversight.”

So what are we suppose to think about voting-by mail’s accuracy, when they won’t even tell you or me or anyone else what percentage of mail is routinely lost by the United States Post Office?

More info, here, here and here.

New Jersey Moves Closer to Vote-By Mail

New Jersey is moving closer to voting by mail, and the Vote By Mail Project (as opposed to the No VBM project) is pushing their lies on the voter of New Jersey as well. Chief among them the lie that there’s “no pesky voting machines to malfunction in a VBM system”. Um how are the votes counted in a VBM system then? Let me assure you New Jersey is not looking at a hand counted vote-by mail system.

Anyway here’s the link to the Newsday article.

I Voted-by Mail in Today’s Primary for Jason Osgood for Washington’s Secretary of State

Last year I moved to Kitsap County, and as the County switched to Forced Vote-By Mail voting, I had little choice. As I was going to be out of town on the 19th (in Seattle), I had a good reason to vote absentee anyway. But I would much rather it was a limited system of absentees, rather than a mandatory Vote-By Mail system. Which is probably obvious by the title of this blog.

Anyway, I voted for Jason Aaron Osgood, for Secretary of State. I know Jason, and he is a well known voting activist around King County. He’s managed to be affective in his activism in the County, and is very knowledgeable about computer systems.

Besides which Sam Reed is a total nightmare when it comes to voting machines, voting, vote-by mail, and anything that resembles voting integrity. On this front I am sure Jason will be a welcome relief for voters who are tired of all the bullshit that’s come to Washigton in the past few years.

As to Jason Osgood’s campaign for Secretary of State, I must say that I’m fairly disappointed so far as he hasn’t really run much of a campaign. There’s been almost no news, no real endorsements, and when he is mentioned in the press it is usually very derragatory. Even Nirvana’s old base player, Krist Novaselic,  lamblasted him lately, as did the Stranger. In fact, the best press coverage he’s managed lately has been the controversy stirred up by Dow Constantine.

I’m not one to argue for listening to a former Nirvana bass player or The Stranger about who to vote for, but watching that video of The Stranger interview did make me cringe at the beginning, because you need to know when you are dropping a quote, like “I’ve been a software developer since the 3rd grade,” that the children at the Stranger will of course lead with that, instead of the very valid objections to secret vote counting machines. Jason also obviously does himself harm when he continuously interrupts Sam Reed during the interview. It’s also far too easy to label a candidate as a one issue candidate when that candidate embraces that label. Note to the Osgood campaign, watch this video and understand that you are going to need to prepare for prime time debates soon, and then watch it again.

Now, I understand that running a campaign is hard work. So, as a supporter, and a voter, I really hope Jason gets out there a bit more in the general election. Because as the only “prefers Democratic Party” candidate in the race, he’ll make it through the top-two primary. But I suspect his numbers will be fairly low.

They don’t call it a race for nothing, Jason, and at this point most voters just found out you were running when the voter’s pamphlet and their ballots arrived in the mail.

[Update:  At about 26 minutes into the Stranger Interview Video, Jason and Sam Reed get into an argument regarding Sam Reed’s supposed support of Touchscreen Voting. Sam Reed then says that he is a Vote-By Mail proponent, but that he has “Never been an advocate of Touchscreen Voting.” Really Sam, you don’t recall visiting all those highschools promoting touchscreen voting machines, the “future of voting?”]

[Update 2: At 34 minutes into the Stranger Interview Video, Jason succinctly states why he should be Secretary of State. Gosh if he stated this upfront instead he’d have done much better in this Interview.]

[Update 3: MY VOTE GETS REJECTED!!!!!!!!!!!  Holy Crap Batman! I tried to vote-by mail for Jason Osgood, and my vote got rejected because they didn’t pick up my mail, apparently for several days. Read all about it here.]

Neither the Top Two Primary nor Vote-By Mail Expected to Increase Turnout in Washington State

Though the spin is always the same, neither the Top Two Primary, nor the vastly increased use of Vote-By Mail throughout Washington State is expected to increase turnout.

Secretary of State Sam Reed has predicted a 46 percent turnout, and county officials surveyed by The Associated Press supported that forecast. The state’s 39 counties’ turnout expectations range from a low of 35 percent in Adams County to a high of 62 percent in Jefferson County.

If expectations hold, it would be the highest turnout since 1972, when turnout was more than 49 percent.

So if expectations hold, we are told, this election is going to have “the highest turnout since 1972.” Gosh, if I read the report from the 2004 primary, that looks like about exactly the same turnout as last time it was a Presidential election year.

WASHINGTON STATE PRIMARY – SEPTEMBER 14, 2004
http://www.secstate.wa.gov/elections/voterguides/2004PrimaryResults/www.eirs-wa.org/results/status0b50.html?estat=p

Ballots Counted* Registered Voters Turnout To Date
1,480,247 3,279,205 45.14%

So maybe if you consider that all but 3 counties throughout the state are now vote-by mail counties, a less than 1% increase doesn’t scream “highest turnout since 1972” as much as it says “Sam Reed is stretching the truth, again.” I suspect that anything over 45.5% will be rounded up in all Press Release reports to support that 46 figure. Or, if it is a few points lower, I expect that the press that regurgitated this crap, is never going to bring up the previous, higher, estimates.

Same Day Registration and Vote-By Mail in Ohio Good For Obama?

It looks like the Democratic Secretary of State, Jennifer Brunner, of Ohio has helped create a wide open door to “vote-banking.” Unlike other types of electioneering efforts, vote-banking is not necessarily illegal. And in vote-by mail states like Washington and Oregon it is practically guarunteed.

The Obama campaign appears ready to take advantage of the situation, at least according to this article

http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5gmJpgsrR27lwSUQ24_WSSrU0W-JwD92H8JE06

In Ohio, Republicans are clearly not pleased with same-day registration and voting and have not ruled out a lawsuit against Democratic Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner’s office.

“You have to wonder, when they look at what they consider a loophole with such excitement,” said Jason Mauk, the Ohio Republican Party’s executive director. “That would suggest manipulating the process, and I think opens the door to suspicion.”

The voting window, so far, is only being implemented in some counties — typically, urban areas or those with college campuses — leading Republicans to cry foul.

“The prospect of someone coming in with no ID and registering and voting is contrary to every sort of protection that legislators and lawmakers have built into this system for decades,” said Kevin DeWine, a Republican lawmaker who is poised to take over the state party after the election. “The processes and the law and the systems in our 88 counties are not equipped to handle same-day registration.”

People in Ohio can register without identification, but they have to show some sort of ID to vote.

State lawmakers accidentally made the window before the 2006 elections. Obama’s campaign is eager to take advantage of it this year.

“This is one of many ways we’ll be encouraging our supporters to skip the lines on Election Day and make sure their vote is cast early,” said Isaac Baker, an Obama spokesman.

Michigan Pushes No-Excuse Absentee Voting

http://www.hometownlife.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080810/OPINION/808100324/1207/NEWS18

The above link takes you to a very wrongheaded editorial about no-excuse absentee voting.  Apparently an unsigned editorial.

Michigan voters, however, might want to read up on the facts about absentee voting problems, here. The bill you should be aware of is S.B. 12.

Earlier this month, state Sens. Liz Brater (D-Ann Arbor) and Hilda Z. Jacobs (D-Huntington Woods) announced a “No Excuses Voting Initiative” that supports the passage of Senate Bill 12, which would allow voters to vote by absentee ballot for any reason.