An Open Letter to Al Franken and His Friends from The No Vote By Mail Project

Often, I am told I look like Al Franken.

I resemble that remark. Oh well.

It’s ironic then, that Al Franken is contesting his election based on Absentee Ballots. Ironic, at least to me, as the Director of The No Vote By Mail Project.

Personally I like Al Franken ok, and in this instance I think he stands a good chance of proving that absentee ballots are not statistically an accurate way to count votes. The problem for Mr. Franken will be to show that those absentee ballot errors specifically affected him, personally, and unequally. To this end I think Mr. Franken will probably fail. But if he can prove this there’s fertile ground for adding up the 200 votes he trails by.

So here’s a shout out to the Al Franken fan club, and his legal team, you are welcome to use this blog to prove your case. But please give me a shout out when you can. I’ve been fighting the Vote-By Mail trend all by my lonesome for quite some time. All while being told I look kinda like Mr. Franken. It’s high time more people heard about the problems with voting by mail and absentee ballot. It’s not just something that affects a few elections, sometimes. It’s happening all over the country. So hey, maybe you know an agent who wants to publish a book about absentee voting problems? I’ve got plenty of material….

What to expect in the 2008 election…

Ok, so here’s my prediction. At least from a Vote-By Mail perspective, I expect these trends to continue:

  1. Longer and longer vote counts. When elections are conducted by mail it takes more like a month to collect, sort and count ballots than the previous 1 to 2 days that it used to take.
  2. Cases of granny farming will increase in Vote-By Mail, no-reason, or no-excuse absentee voting. Why? Because when you vote-by mail, you take away the secret ballot, and thereby make coercion easier. Therefore the incidences of voter coercion will increase.
  3. Votes will be lost in the mail.

Many other trends in voting problems, caused directly by switching away from precinct based pollsites and to voting by post, will also increase. See here, and here for more information.

As for the states to watch, of course Washington tops the list. But Montana has also had some fun problems… and there’s so many other states that have relaxed their absentee voting requirements, that I expect that up to 20 states will report problems with their absentee voting integrity (or lack thereof).

For instance, the Milwaukee, Wisconsin Police recently put out this report.

As California Heads to Vote-By Mail, Turnout Low and Going Lower?

Riddle me this… as Vote-By Mail percentages increase turnout is decreasing? If the postal voting enthusiasts really had it right, shouldn’t we be seeing the opposite trend? This article says a largely mail vote in California is expecting a low turnout:

http://www.mydesert.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080603/NEWS03/80603045

The California Association of Clerks and Elections Officials estimated a 31 percent turn out statewide. Riverside officials had anticipated turnout here would fall just under that.

“I’m not optimistic because what I heard from polling places today is that turnout was very low,” Dunmore said.

“Getting to the 30 percent looks like it might be a challenge.”

In contrast, the February presidential primary drew about 407,000 – or 55 percent of registered voters – to the polls.

Unlike February, when far more Democrats darkened the county’s voting booths – a total 74 percent turnout to 57 percent – slightly more Republicans voted this primary election absentee, 14 percent to Democrats’ 11 percent.

Riverside County has 763,941 registered voters.

Coachella Valley voters said tradition brought them out to the polls Tuesday.

The article also makes a great case against centralized vote-counting. Starting off by showing that trucking in the votes is a timely process. Poll-site vote counts! Yes. Centralized counts, no.