Jason Osgood or Sam Reed?

Sam Reed skates along as Washington’s Secretary of State for no good reason. Many Democrats mistakenly believe he is their “friend” because the 2004 recount went to Gregiore. Republicans don’t really like him, but they like him “just enough.” While the majority of Washington newspapers and endorsements have gone to Sam Reed, I for one, have been fighting against Sam Reed for 5 years now .

On Sam Reed’s watch as Secretary of State, Washington bought into privately owned and controlled vote counting software, and Mr. Reed has continuously certified software that should not have been permitted on our vote counting machines under Washington State Law. From Diebold to ES&S to Sequoia, Touchscreen voting, or centralized vote counting Optical Scan machines, Sam Reed has never met a proprietary piece of vote counting software he didn’t like.

In addition, Mr. Reed seems to have no vision for using the office to bring new industries, the kind we need in the 21st Century, to the state of Washington. I want a Secretary of State to be out front, talking about wind energy, solar, biodiesel, and in-sourcing jobs rather than sending them overseas. Mr. Reed, for all his faults, seems to have no positives that I can think of… except a keen ability to slither through one election to the next without having to suffer the consequences of his very bad and undemocratic decisions.

In addition, Mr. Reed is a vocal, and national proponent of Vote-By Mail. Obviously, as the Director of the No Vote-By Mail Project I have a thing or two to say about the problems inherent in liberalized vote-by mail systems. But this year takes the cake… 

I tried to vote for Jason Osgood in the primaries this year. But I got a letter instead saying my vote didn’t count. This year since I’m forced to vote through the mail, tomorrow I’ll be filling out my absentee ballot, and once again I’ll try to vote for Jason Osgood, and I hope you do as well. But I’d recommend sending that ballot in just as early as you can, lest your vote get lost in the rush of ballots as we near Nov. 4th like mine was in the primaries.

Jason Osgood is a computer programmer and locally known voting activist who will set a new direction in the office. Mr. Osgood has pledged to defend my right to a secret ballot, and in my personal interactions with Jason he has been honest, thoughtful, and knowledgeable in the problems and solutions needed in our voting systems in Washington State. Honestly, there are few people I know who aren’t more qualified than Sam Reed to hold the office, but Jason Osgood is one of the more qualified people I know who could be running for the office this year. He’s a computer expert with a passion for accurate, secure and secret voting. Mr. Osgood has risen to the challenge and put together a respectable campaign, and a few great TV ads. I wish he had enough money to run them on TV more frequently.

So send in your vote early for Jason, and maybe send him a check in the last two weeks of the election. But either way, Sam Reed does not deserve your vote.

I Tried To Vote For Jason Osgood and Got Rejected!

Holy Cow! I tried to vote for Jason Osgood, Democratic Candidate for Secretary of State in Washington State. And instead got this letter in return, saying my vote didn’t count.

Ironically, Jason Osgood is a well-known voting integrity advocate running for Secretary of State, in part calling attention to the problems with Voting By Mail here in Washington. While Jason is not running directly opposed to Voting-By Mail, I happen to agree with the stance he advocates that reversing the trend towards voting by mail is going to be a longterm endeavor, and Jason’s personal efforts educating the people of Washington State about the problems with forcing everyone to vote by mail have been good.

The incumbent, Sam Reed, is clearly on the wrong side of this issue, pushing Vote-By Mail as the solution to all that ails our voting system through the likes of the Vote By Mail Project. Jason Osgood or Sam Reed, vote for Jason this November!

Oddly today also marked one of the first times this year I’ve heard another election integrity critic get much air time. Tavis Smiley (Smily?) had Brad Friedman on his show, and Brad went off on the Republican conspiracy to suppress voter turnout. Which is so blatant it shouldn’t really be called a conspiracy “theory” anymore.  The Democrats haven’t been fighting hard for voting integrity, but the Republicans have been outright hostile to voting integrity efforts. So check out the Bradblog, another vote-by mail critic, for one of the most important voices out there today.

Anyway, let me know if you’ve gotten a similar letter rejecting your vote. I’d be very interested to hear about the reasons in the comments.

Terminology of the day, Absentee Ballot Problems

I don’t often talk in terms of “absenteee ballots” and instead use the term, Vote-By Mail, frequently throughout this blog. The point for me is to underline the lie in the new terminology. And in fact, this blog is called the No Vote By Mail Project, and not the No Absentee Voting Project, for a reason. Why? Because I’m not against absentee voting. In limited ways, absentee voting is ok. It’s not great, but you can check it against general trends, and if it matches statistical projections based on expected voting patterns, it’s not going to be a serious problem for your election system. It may even improve the validity of the system by allowing small but vocal populations to vote that may not have had access to a voting place before, due to financial or physical reasons.

That said, a lot of what I do here, on the NOVBM website, is to track problems that appear in limited systems of absentee voting across the country. Why? Well only one state so-far is truly Vote-By Mail and that is Oregon. My state, Washington is quickly going that direction, and Califonria is right behind us. However, 50 states are using some form of absentee voting. And therefore the No Vote By Mail Project also tracks news and information about absentee ballot problems, remote voting, internet voting, black box voting, and voting news from around the world. Democracy is about participation, voting from home and tossing your vote in the mail, relying on faith to guide it to it’s destination, and faith to trust in the system to count your vote accurately, this is about as far away from particiapatory Democracy as I could ever envision.

 

Vote-By Mail, Absentee Ballots Slow California Vote Count

 California, we have a problem:

http://www.mercurynews.com/valley/ci_9511448

Thousands of vote-by-mail ballots that county elections workers have scurried to tally this week show a new name in the runoff for a judge’s seat – and a San Jose City Council race still too close to call.

When the final poll numbers from Tuesday’s election were released earlier this week, prosecutor Lane Liroff trailed court commissioner Jesus Valencia by just 28 votes in the race for Santa Clara County Superior Court judge. But the 50,000 additional vote-by-mail ballots voters turned in at polling places on Election Night changed the picture: Liroff ended up with about 1,000 more total votes and will almost certainly face San Jose attorney Diane Ritchie, the top vote-getter, in November.

Things remain even tighter in San Jose’s council District 2. With all the mail ballots counted late Friday, non-candidate Jacquelyn Adams – who withdrew from the race but still appeared on the ballot – led third-place candidate Ram Singh by a mere 12 votes.

Large use of absentee ballots slows down the entire vote collecting, and subsequent counting. Switching from largely precinct poll voting to Vote-by mail systems has slowed the vote count in every election cycle I have observed since starting this site a few years back. In Montana, a 4000 vote tally almost took a month to count, and in Washington the last Darcy Burner and Dave Reichert race was too close to call for a bit, if I recall correctly.

Want to know more, here’s 89 Articles on Why Voting By Mail is bad for democracy. Or if you are making a presentation to the County Board or your State Legistlator here’s the bullet list.

Another Case of Vote-By Mail Fraud

Apparently when you open up a system to absentee voting, absentee voting enables vote fraud, who knew?

http://www.lvrj.com/opinion/13729142.html 

On Thursday, former Assembly candidate Gary Horrocks and his wife were fined $7,000, put on probation and sentenced to community service for a voting scam they tried to pull in 2002.

Back then, Mr. Horrocks, who owned a local tavern, entered the Republican primary for Assembly District 37. In order to better his chances, Mr. Horrocks hit up patrons at his bar for votes. If they didn’t live in the district or weren’t registered, no problem. He had change-of-address forms or voter registration paperwork on which customers could list the bar as their residence.

Then all they had to do was request an absentee ballot. Voila — the ballots were mailed right to Mr. Horrocks’ tavern.

Another trick was to register patrons at vacant lots within the district and then have them request their absentee ballots be sent to the bar.