How To Rig An Election Using Absentee Ballots

There’s an excellent article here, and some highlights:

According to the self-appointed liberal guardians of the poor, practically every effort to legislate against or prosecute voter fraud is intended to keep minori­ties and the poor from voting at all. Concern over voter fraud, say some partisans, is simply Republi­cans’ cover to intimidate voters and raise obstacles to minority voting. Indeed, groups like the NAACP argue that racism and intimidation are the motivation for voter fraud prosecutions, and some prominent Democrats dismiss voter fraud as virtually nonexist­ent. As a result, prosecutors are intimidated from fighting vote fraud for fear of the political conse­quences, and elections continue to be stolen.

Greene County shows that these groups have it backwards. Voter fraud prosecutions do not intim­idate voters; what does intimidate them is the knowledge that voter fraud is routine and goes unpunished. Too often, not only is no one willing to take action against it, but the organizations that victims expect to help them instead take the side of the vote thieves. In contrast to the views of such organizations, an overwhelming majority of citi­zens support such common-sense and nonpartisan reforms as requiring voter identification when an individual votes.

Further, the Greene County case demonstrates that voter fraud need not be partisan in nature. Par­tisan conspiracy theories about election reform just do not apply to intra-party voter fraud in primary elections in heavily Democratic or Republican jurisdictions where primary results determine who wins in the general election. The perpetrators of voter fraud, particularly in small rural counties, are often political incumbents whose control of local government is threatened by challengers from the same political party. In Greene County, almost all of the candidates, incumbents and challengers alike, were both Democrats and African–Americans.

Although some partisans will cling to their debunked conspiracy theories, those who honestly seek to protect voters’ rights must study the methods and means of voter fraud in order to combat it. Absentee ballot fraud in particular is difficult to con­trol. It is “the ‘tool of choice’ for those who are engag­ing in election fraud,”[2]  as the Florida Department of Law Enforcement concluded in its investigation of the 1997 Miami mayoral election. The results of that election were thrown out because of massive fraud involving over 5,000 absentee ballots.[3]  With the growth of no-fault absentee voting and all-mail elec­tions, there is the real risk that fraud will affect more election results and even wipe out voting rights hard won by the Civil Rights movement.

The Greene County case is important, then, because it demonstrates the ease with which fraud­ulent absentee ballots can be used to steal elections, the tactics used to steal those votes, the complete failure of liberal advocacy groups to protect the interests of vulnerable voters who have been disen­franchised by fraud, and the value of vigorous law enforcement to protect legitimate voters’ rights. It also points the way toward common-sense solu­tions to make voting more secure and increase public confidence in the electoral process. 


The No Vote By Mail Project Gets Own Mail Ballot Rejected

Mail Ballot Rejected

Mail Ballot Rejected

Here at The No Vote By Mail Project, run by me, Gentry Lange, I don’t relish getting letters from the county auditor that look like the one above. If you can’t read it, it basically tells me that my vote-by mail ballot wasn’t cast in time for the primary election, and therefore it was not counted.

However, I recall casting my ballot (by dropping it in the outgoing mail of my girlfriend’s apartment in Seattle where I was staying), a full day before the election. But oddly, they just didn’t get it in time. My guess is that in many apartment buildings outgoing mail isn’t routinely checked. So my mistake was in trusting the system. I should have dropped my ballot off at the post office, or directly at elections. But the system encourages you to follow your folly and toss it in the mail, so I tried it… and I failed.

I also recall thinking I should have photographed the mailing of my ballot for proof that I mailed it before it was due… because the building just got new mail boxes, and I thought maybe the postman wasn’t picking up mail yet from the new boxes… even though the old mailbox wasn’t really there anymore. But alas, it turns out that they were picking up the mail there, because I got this letter that says they got my ballot, late.

Now, if I wasn’t the Director of the No Vote By Mail Project, I’d say something was a bit fishy. But knowing that the vote-by mail voting system is full of holes, I know it is just standard operating procedure. I’ve watched too many friends open a similar letter, a letter telling them that their signature didn’t match the signature at the County on file and therefore their ballot didn’t count, either.

Vote-by mail is about the worst possible system for voting I have ever encountered as a voter. Don’t believe the hype, get the facts, and start fighting in your state to stop the switch to vote by mail. Vote by mail is worse than touchscreens, worse than centralized vote counts, it’s all the bad things in one convenient package. Heck, if you think about it an absentee ballot isn’t even a secret ballot.

But alas, I fear Americans are far too willing to sacrifice their rights for convenience, and won’t notice when their secret ballot disappeared any more than they noticed when the vote counting became computerized.

Oregon’s Vote-By Mail System Audited in Multnomah County

While these government audits are fairly useless, and rarely ask tough questions, the Multnomah County audit did provide this interesting info:

Elections can improve its inspection processes by requiring consultation with other board members before a ballot is enhanced. According to state guidelines, the responsibility for determining voter intent lies with the inspection board, under the guidance of the Elections Director. When a question arises, guidelines state that a team of at least two board members of different political party affiliations should work together to determine voter intent. If the inspection board agrees on the voter’s intent, the ballot should be enhanced or duplicated to reflect that intent and the enhanced or duplicated ballot should then be counted. If they do not agree, the ballot should be tallied as is.

According to Elections, markings with obvious voter intent are the largest part of enhancing ballots and do not require consultation. However, this leaves the important task of determining whether there is a question about voter intent up to an individual. Only rarely did we observe a board member consulting another before enhancing a ballot. This creates a risk for error and undermines the intent of the state requirement for multiple party inspection. We recommend that Elections have at least two board members of different political parties agree on all enhancements.

Um, ok, so individual workers are determining voter intent for themselves without multi-party observation. Nice!!!!!! Not only is ballot stuffing simple in vote-by mail systems, as is vote-buying, granny farming and myriad other fraudulent acts, but even this sham audit mentions at least one serious problem… even though there are dozens of problems with absentee and mail ballots. And I love that language of this audit regarding this problem in that it, “creates a risk for error and undermines the intent of the state requirement for multiple party inspection.” Let me restate that in clearer language, “This creates a risk for FRAUD and blatantly violates Oregon State law requiring multi-party observation and inspection of the ballot duplication process.” See that wasn’t so hard.


NPR Reports on Push to Vote-By Mail in 2008

Citing long lines at polling places, many election officials are pushing for the greater use of absentee ballots across the country. In this NPR report, Ohio is highlighted as one potential problem area for voters who faced long lines at polling places in 2004. I would love to see NPR interview Harvey Wasserman or Bob Fitrakis for an alternative view of why there were long lines in Ohio, or at least to ask the question, “If we take away the evidence of long lines and huge turnouts, have we really eliminated the problem, or simply removed the evidence of the problem that exists?”

And here’s a new article from Bob and Harvey on the problems we face going into the 2008 election in Ohio: