Absentee voting and mail voting are not the same

Absentee voting and mail voting are not the same.

Absentee voting is the Header, and Mail voting is the subtype.

But just because the President is a moron, let’s not all get confused.

Absentee Voting Includes:
1. Mail voting
2. Drop Off Absentee Ballots
3. Phone Voting
4. Computer Voting

Each of these systems have strengths and weaknesses. #2 is the most secure and compatible with public ownership and control of elections. The other 3 hand control of our elections over to other entities both governmental and privately controlled.

We are witnessing the problems inherent, right now, when you hand over our voting system to the USPS, which is part of the Executive Branch.

From the beginning I have despised mail voting for many, many, detailed reasons. But the fact that forced mail voting removes elections from the hands of the people, and puts it in control of fascists… That’s the main reason I hate mail voting. And computerized voting, etc.

Let’s remember, Fascism is rule by the merger of State and Corporate control. So controlling our votes, and counting our votes, is part and parcel to fascism.

You are seeing it happen in real time.

And still, I swear, Democrats will lose this 2020 election, while watching it stolen, all while waiving a mail ballot high in the air and screaming, “Why, why didn’t mail voting work?”

What’s Wrong with Vote-By Mail and Mail Voting

So while we are Nationally, finally, talking about the problems with VBM, and people are paying attention I’m going to work on refreshing the list, the FAQ, and start working through some video explanations as well. I’ve been writing about problems with Mail Voting for 16 years now… so…

Problems with Vote-By-Mail (The Running List)

1. The Postal Service is part of the Executive Branch, and allows the President a lot of undue power over elections, when we vote by mail in large numbers. The Precinct system with poll sites, is not under the thumb of the executive branch.

2. Absentee ballots are not “secret ballots.”

3. Absentee ballots are still counted by the same privately owned voting machines that have been in the news, including Diebold, ES&S, Sequoia and all the rest.

4. In many cases, like King County, WA, the Post Office no longer controls the incoming mail, instead a private company sorts incoming absentee ballots into precincts before giving them back to county for counting. This breaks down any chain of custody rules that may have been in place, and privatizes another link in the chain.

5. The cost of running an all mail voting system can actually be greater than a poll based voting system.

6. The Signature Verification Process is error prone and routinely disenfranchises thousands of voters when it is used. Ballots rejected for having invalid signatures are treated as “Guilty before proven innocent.”

Almost 96 thousand votes were tossed in Washington in our 2020 Presidential Primary, tens of thousands of which are routinely rejected for signature problems.

7. Voter Suppression, Vote Buying, Vote Stuffing become far easier in this system. Granny Farming is a real term, and means collecting ballots from old folk’s homes, often illegal.

8. Accidental double voting can and does happen.

9. Some studies show a short term spike, but long term decline in voter participation, in 100% absentee systems. Claims that Vote-By Mail will increase turnout have no real evidence supporting this assertion.

10. The post office loses mail or just misplaces it for years, the county loses ballots, and people lose their own ballots. MIT Reports up to 21% of ballots are lost in the mail. And New York recently rejected 1 in 5 or 20% in their 2020 Presidential Primary.

11. The Absentee System greatly alters the Precinct System.

12. Vote-By Mail systems vastly increase the time it takes to count elections. This is going to be litigated endlessly.


This is both a promise and a threat:


13. Vote-By Mail systems eliminate “Election Day” and replace it with “Election Month,” thereby greatly increasing the costs campaigns must spend on GOTV (Get-Out the Vote) efforts.

14. Many, many people have gone to jail already for rigging elections using absentees, throughout the country and around the world. This is occurring in the here and now, not some distant past. These are not “isolated incidents.”

Here’s a famous case where a whole congressional race for Mark Harris was rigged by Republicans in North Carolina:


15. Vote-By Mail systems alter the time-table of the election cycle. The change to Vote-By Mail means many voters will vote before all the information has been presented by candidates, civic institutions are forced then to either adjust their calendars, or as is currently the case, they don’t change there forum dates, rather fewer voters have a chance to see candidates in person at these forums.

16. From beginning to end, the whole system of Absentee Ballots is insecure, as ballots are no longer strictly controlled by the County and citizen poll workers in the individual Precincts.


Other things to consider:

A. Fauci says poll sites are safe with proper social distancing…


B. A Hybrid System with Early Voting Centers could increase the safety and security of our elections. Making absentee voting safer with monitored drop site locations, while removing the vulnerable system of mailing our votes through the USPS. This hybrid system could also re-store the secret ballot.

C. Your Democratic Candidate for Secretary of State in Washington is either willfully ignorant or woefully ignorant of the issues.

D. There are ways to fix the system, but this election is too late. Your goal should be to vote in person at the polls if possible, drop your ballot off, and try to get 10 people to vote to overwhelm the system.

E. Moving forward after November is going to take a lot of education. Most of you all seriously don’t understand elections, accounting, or the ability to audit systems, or not.


Okay, I’ll keep updating this list with links for sharing. Liking doesn’t help much.


Gentry Lange
Director of The No Vote By Mail Project


PS I’ll be working on a full explanation of each item in the coming weeks. Welcome to the No Vote By Mail Project. It’s my way of researching and tracking the myriad problems encountered and created by all mail voting systems. I try to use this site for the education of others, as the media, and most people in general have no understanding of these systems, how they work, and how they don’t work.

Welcome Washington Voters

I know, I know, this is The No Vote By Mail Project. But as I am running for WA Secretary of State, the site is getting lots of hits….

Therefore, you may believe I want to shut down Vote-By Mail during a Pandemic. People have even accused me of exactly this.

But, first, I am not currently elected, so I have no power over your elections during this pandemic. So I neither have the power, nor am I arguing to shut-down mail voting during a pandemic. I’m arguing against other states adopting this system without knowing the faults. I am quite literally the world’s biggest critic of mail voting. But if you love Vote-by Mail, wouldn’t you want the most security paranoid person in charge of the system, rather than those who act as if problems don’t exist?

No, I won’t dismantle mail voting, I’m arguing for improvements.

I am arguing for at least:

  • 10 Early Voting Centers Per County (Adjusted for Geography and Population Needs)
  • Early Voting Center Poll Sites Open 7 Days before the election in conjunction with our drop box system
  • A real examination of why almost 36,000 votes were thrown out in 2016, and a lot more were just rejected during the primaries of 2020.
  • Improving our absentee system, rather than immediately dismantling the system
  • Real talk about the short-comings of undermining the secret ballot in Washington and VBM systems. How to restore the Secret Ballot even in an Absentee System.

Let’s all think about this during this election: The same people who signed the contracts and sold you a proverbial “bill-of-goods” on Diebold and proprietary touchscreen voting machines, are the same people selling the idea that Vote-By Mail is the solution to our voting woes. Just look at the NASS website, it is cholk full of corporate sponsors who love counting your votes. They are happy to do it with VBM. But with mail voting, your ballot is still gets fed into the same voting machines as before the implementation of Vote-By Mail.  Read the whole book “Blackbox Voting, Ballot Tampering in the 21st Century,” or watch the documentary, “Hacking Democracy,” and learn about computer voting problems yourself. Afterall, it is your Republic if you can keep it.

Has this voting machine problem been fixed? Nope. Not by mail voting it hasn’t.


Here’s all 4 candidates in their own words, judge for yourself:

First Debate:

2nd Debate:

3rd Debate:

Bonus, a fairly neutral Spokesman Review Write-Up https://www.spokesman.com/stories/2020/jul/10/election-reform-in-focus-as-3-candidates-challenge/

Greg Palast on The Problems with Voting-By-Mail


Sorry Democrats, But Vote By Mail Won’t Save You
Most likely, it will make matters worse. I’ll let Greg Palast Explain

  • Oregon, Washington, and Colorado — are the three states with the highest number of uncounted ballots in America.
  • Your chance of losing your vote if you’re African American and young is about six times that if you’re an older white person

    “All over the country we’re going to have massive problems with minority voters. I could go on but I want to hit one final point, which is that in the African American communities, according to Michael Wychocki, one of the great mail-in experts of America. He said about 4% to 20% of messages to voters from the government go astray. And he said the 20% is in urban rental areas. You’re not supposed to lose your vote if you move down the street, but if you have moved, you’re not going to get that mail-in ballot. You’re not going to get the request for a mail-in ballot.

    You’re going to have people who never get their ballots — millions according to MIT. A huge number of the people who request a mail-in ballot never get them or never get them in time to return them. And it’s extreme in urban areas and also among students who move dorm rooms or apartments, et cetera. So basically, Democratic voters get demolished in an all mail-in election.”

Media Contact


With the huge push to Voting By Mail, if media needs to talk to me, my cell number is 206.498.3937

Excellent Christian Science Monitor Article and News out of North Carolina

Hi Everyone! Welcome today is February 19th, 2019. I’ve been getting a few reporters tracking me down lately in the wake of North Carolina’s not surprising vote rigging scandal.

I haven’t been online for this site in several months. So I thought I’d check in to give you some updates.

Check out this recent excellent article by The Christian Science Monitor Here

Check out coverage of North Carolina here:

Almost 40,000 Votes Rejected in 2016 General Election in Washington State’s Vote-By Mail System…. Over 1% Error

In the 2016 General Election in Washington State, 35,927 votes were rejected through the Vote-By Mail system. Almost 40,000 people were denied their right to vote. That’s out of 3,401,591 total votes that were received “on-time” by the counties. That works out to an error-rate of 1.056 percent just through the official stats I can find on ballot rejection. There’s a LOT more error in the system than that.

1 out of 100 people in Washington State tried to vote, most likely legally, and had their ballot rejected.

This is by design. And this is not a problem that can be solved with Vote-By Mail.

Here’s the reconciliation reports:


What are the problems with Voting By Mail or Absentee Ballot?

Recent News:

Dead people voting with Absentee Ballots, Say it ain’t so….

Slate Covers Absentee Voting Fraud

Christian Science Monitor’s Multi-part series on the United State’s Election System

New York Times on problems with Voting By Mail

What’s wrong with Voting-By Mail?


I’ve been working on this bullet list for, oh, the many years now I’ve, so it keeps changing. It also isn’t my highest priority to fully edit, what is essentially always evolving. However, by posting this list, it will inevitably make it apparent that some edits are absolutely necessary.  As of November 17th, an upcoming article in the Christian Science Monitor will be driving some traffic this way, so I will be trying to fix broken links and add any new information that I find along the way.

So in that spirit here’s my working list of the problems I have found so far with Voting By Mail, around the country, here in Washington State, down in Oregon, California, and everywhere else. There’s about 17 points on the list so far, so be sure to check below the fold:

    1. Absentee ballots are not “secret ballots.” Voting at the kitchen table in front of your spouse is not voting in secret behind a privacy screen at a polling booth. The secret ballot is not created by a “privacy envelop,” rather the secret ballot relies on the the polling site, and the secrecy provided by a polling booth. Without this fundamental level of protection, the ballot becomes far more susceptible to influence. Vote buying, vote collecting, and vote stuffing schemes become possible in vote by mail systems. Additionally, a signed but unvoted ballot becomes valuable in a system that spends billions on elections every year.
    2. Absentee ballots are still counted by the same privately owned voting machines that have been in the news, including Diebold, ES&S, Sequoia and all the rest. Don’t be fooled into thinking that Vote-By Mail systems do away with privatized computer vote counting. Diebold, or ES & S, Sequoia, and all the other voting machine companies use proprietary software vote counting machines that are just as capable (or incapable) of counting vote-by mail “paper ballots” as they are at counting touchscreen votes. Most vote by mail systems are counted by the very same computer systems that your vote would be counted upon were you to be voting at a polling site. And in the case of some counties that have been switched over to touch screens, there have been reports that the absentee ballots are typically hand entered into the touchscreen system anyway. In 2006, Maryland made national headlines because the state had switched to touch screen machines but absentees were still using paper ballots. The Republican Governor made a fuss about the touch screens that the Democratic Secretary of State, Linda Lamone, was pushing. The rate of absentee ballot requests went through the roof in Maryland because people wanted a paper ballot. However, if their paper ballot system is anything like King County, the paper ballots are eventually fed into the AccuVote system made by Diebold, and then counted by the centralized, GEMS central tabulation software. Or so similar system.  “Hacking Democracy,” the recent HBO documentary, makes it clear that the problem is deeper than machine A versus machine B. Feeding paper ballots into machines and then never auditing the paper ballots is not acceptable. However, it is a common practice with absentee vote-by mail systems.
    3. In many cases, like King County, WA, the Post Office no longer maintains control of the incoming ballots during processing of incoming mail. Instead of the government run Post Office maintaining the chain of custody of absentees, a private company sorts incoming absentee ballots into precincts before giving them back to King County for counting. This breaks down any chain of custody rules that may have been in place at the post office, and privatizes another link in the chain. Not surprisingly, the Post Office never makes an official tally of the number of ballots given to this company. So if they don’t know how many ballots are provided, how would they know how many should be returned? A basic rule in accounting has been foolishly eliminated. Recent reports by Blackboxvoting.org from New Hampshire, indicate that the “chain of custody” procedures in state systems are broken at a fundamental level, around the country. From beginning to end, thewhole system of Absentee Ballots is insecure, as ballots are no longer strictly controlled by the County and citizen poll workers in the individual Precincts.
    4. The cost of running an all mail voting system can actually be greater than a poll based voting system. The supporters of VBM have frequently argued that the system saves money over the cost of poll-based voting systems, and they often deride the current poll system as a “mixed” or “hybrid” system. But upon deeper examination this argument is questionable at best. First off, instead of providing ballots only to voters who “turn-out” to vote, a 100% VBM system prints and mails ballots to every registered voter in the county, precinct, or jurisdiction. Typical elections do not come anywhere near 100% turnout. So in a hypothetical 50% turnout election, 50% of the ballots will have been printed, sorted, stamped and mailed to people that are not voting.Printing absentee ballots is far more expensive than printing poll ballots. Why? Because there’s a host off additional items that are necessary to print and mail a ballot. First you print the ballot, then you have privacy envelops and mailing envelopes that have extra printing, instructions, and a security flap over a signature box. This makes for a fairly expensive piece of mail. And in counties of tens or hundreds of thousands of voters, it adds up fairly quickly. Additionally, there’s a bit more upfront cost, as the ballots must go out weeks ahead of time. So ballot printing is on a rush schedule following a primary vote when compared to the printing cycle necessary for a poll-based voting system. This is a major factor in the now commonly seen headline, “Absentee Ballots mailed late,” or, “Absentee Ballots misprinted.”
    5. The Signature Verification Process is error prone and routinely disenfranchises thousands of voters when it is used. Ballots rejected for having invalid signatures are treated as “Guilty before proven innocent.”In King County, Washington, in 2006, the Seattle Weekly reported that over 7,000 votes were initially removed from the vote totals, until voters were contacted, and given a chance to verify their signature and the validity of his or her ballot. Over 3,000 voters did not respond in time, and those ballots were disenfranchised. That’s just one County in an off year election. Vote-By Mail systems increase the error rate in numerous ways.

Continue reading

Washington State, Secretary of State


This year for Washington State’s Secretary of State, it is (R) Kim Wyman versus (D) Kathleen Drew. In Washington State, our voting system is a joke, a bad joke. All Vote-By Mail is a system that is by design, inaccurate and not very precise. 20,000 votes will probably be disqualified in King County alone in this coming election of 2012. In 2008, King County disqualified 16,000+ votes. I pulled those numbers for 2008 from King County’s website, and they were still available the last time I checked. I personally had a vote I voted 4 days early, rejected, by letter that I had voted too late for my vote to count. I dropped off my ballot 4 days before the election in a US Postal Service Mail Box.

This whole website is dedicated to exposing the problems I’ve uncovered in Washington’s Election System, there’s a lot of material if you click around. Try some links up top to read more… anyway…

Neither of these candidates is for real solutions to Washington State’s Election System. For a solution based voting system, check out Bradblog’s excellent piece on Democracy’s Gold Standard of Elections:

I personally can’t endorse either candidate. I have debated Kim Wyman on Public Access Television. She is slick, qualified, and Sam Reed’s hand-picked replacement to fill his absence. I don’t trust her. Kim Wyman seems to support Vote-By Mail, Computerized Voting, and I would never endorse either of these positions.

Kathleen Drew, the Democrat in the race, seems to have absolutely no experience that would lead me to believe she is qualified to run this office, elections, or anything really. Her campaign website doesn’t help much either.

So you can vote tweedledum or tweedledee it doesn’t matter to me. Neither Democrat or Republican is proposing real voting reform, or fixing this broken system.

Vote By Mail Spreads, But Doesn’t Help All Voters


Vote by Mail Spreads, But Doesn’t Help All Voters

Some progressives overlook that voting by mail does not always help their longtime constituents.

As state and county officials look for ways to streamline elections during tough budgetary times, many jurisdictions are increasingly relying on mail-based voting—and winning praises from progressives for doing so. But the true litmus test for any election reform should be whether it helps expand the franchise to those whose voices are missing in our democracy. What some groups may overlook in their enthusiasm about voting by mail is that it does not always serve underrepresented or vulnerable populations as well as traditional polls.

Just last week, Hawaii held an all mail-in vote for a special congressional election, and the Progressive States Center applauded the reform for resulting in higher turnout (54 percent of 317,000 mailed ballots were returned), and for costing less (about 75 percent of the cost of precinct-based systems). They also championed the administrative ease of the method, and how it helps counter negative campaigning (since it is costly to run negative ads over the three-week period that ballots could be returned).

And Hawaii is not alone. Oregon has already instituted all-mail voting, as has most of Washington state. Most Californians (62 percent) voted by mail in the 2008 presidential election, though counties still offer precinct voting. Colorado had high mail-in voting rates in 2008 (64 percent), and the state is considering an all mail system.

The progressive impulse to embrace solution-oriented reforms is always laudable. But, in elections, as in all else, the devil is in the details. There are several layers of facts and fine print that we should heed before embracing any election reform.

First, studies show that voting by mail has not been a magnificent success among low-income communities of color (in inner cities and rural areas), because of higher mobility rates and poorer mail service among these populations, among other factors.

A recent academic study commissioned by the Pew Center on the States, one of the nation’s leading sponsors of election reform research and analysis, looked at the impact of adopting an all-mail system in California. The study—based on research conducted in 2009—concluded that a mandatory, all-mail system would negatively impact urban, low-income and communities of color.

The reports found that, when a mandatory vote-by-mail system is implemented, the estimated odds of an individual voter voting actually decreases by 13.2%. The report also found that the negative impact of being forced to vote-by-mail further is worse across certain populations, with the estimated odds of voting decreasing 50% for urban voters, 30.3% for Asian voters; and 27.3% for Hispanic voters.

There is no perfect election system, of course, but these findings suggest that additional steps must be taken by state and local election officials to ensure that the populations that traditionally are hardest to reach and engage are not left behind in a rush to mandatory mail-in voting.

For example, in Colorado, any voter who does not cast a ballot during one federal election cycle is listed as an “inactive voter.” Under Colorado election laws, inactive voters are not mailed a ballot in an all-mail election, which obviously would disenfranchise many eligible voters—just because they did not vote in the last federal election. (Inactive voters in Oregon, Washington, and California also do not receive mail-in ballots—although California, unlike its neighbors, also has precinct-based voting in all counties.)

Other voters on Colorado’s inactive list include voters whose last piece of election mail was returned as undeliverable. Relying on mail delivery to determine voting eligibility is a notoriously error-prone practice, guaranteed to disenfranchise eligible voters. Only about 90% of first-class mail is successfully delivered nationwide, meaning 10 percent of the eligible population could be disenfranchised. Poor mail delivery is particularly an issue in inner cities, but also on university campuses, Native American reservations, among young people, students and transient workers —basically anywhere there is a population that is more mobile than the suburbs. This kind of unintended consequence is critical in assessing the impact of all-mail elections, and must not be overlooked by state legislators who otherwise might see great savings in adopting a new voting process.

What is needed as states and counties eye reforms are pragmatic safeguards that will balance the ease of administering all-mail voting with serving all eligible voters. That means election offices will need to increase communications with voters in their jurisdiction. It also means retaining voting centers, or perhaps consolidating precinct-based voting, but not eliminating it. It means working with the Postal Service to improve current address information to reduce returned mail—and undelivered ballots. Additionally, legislators should make voter registrations portable, so they can be moved between jurisdictions by election officials when a voter moves, enabling them to present identification to receive a regular ballot on Election Day.

Moreover, there is a potential for partisan abuses when political campaign workers assist voters, especially elderly, infirm, or housebound voters, to fill out any ballot, especially when completed ballots are collected en masse before submittal. Limits should be imposed, particularly on political party and political campaign workers, to prevent them from distributing and collecting mail-in ballots, to help prevent potential vote fraud, especially when dealing with infirm or housebound populations.

The message that election officials, legislators, and advocates need to heed on all-mail voting is that the reform is not a one-size-fits-all solution for streamlining Election Day. Voting is a complex undertaking, and any reform must be scrutinized for all of its consequences—unintended and otherwise—not just bottom-line budgetary and administrative impacts. The most challenging or mobile populations have always been the hardest to serve, but it is government’s job to reach them, not to sweep them aside in a rush for “progress.”