Vote By Mail Disenfranchises 10,993 Voters in King County Alone… No One Notices

The Seattle Weekly reports:

Here’s the final voter breakdown – right word – from the Obama election: the ballots of 10,993 King County voters could not be counted. That’s a record, total-wise, but lower, percentage-wise, than the August primary election failure rate.

Out of 774,580 registered county voters who were sent general election mail ballots, 656,565 returned them. But only 645,572 could be verified.

Among the disqualified were 1,611 voters who sent their ballots in too late. Others sent empty envelopes. Fourteen were found to have died (their ballots not processed).

The majority were “signature issues,” says King County Elections spokesperson Bobbie Egan (this is her last week; she’s moving on to PR for Alaska Airlines). That included 4,130 votes tossed for poor penmanship – their signatures, for varied reasons, could not be matched to the ones on file. Another 823 forgot to sign the ballot envelope.

Of course, Washington State’s Secretary of State, Sam Reed, wants to now force everyone to Vote-By Mail, so everyone can be equally likely to be disenfranchised by this stupid Vote-By Mail system. And with only Pierce County holding out, and most voters being left outta the discussion as the media asks no questions and just repeats the totally innacurate mantra that Vote-By Mail increases turnout, I bet Sam will get his wish…

But as if that’s not bad enough, Mr. Reed is once again proposing Internet Voting, as the Olympian reports:

Let military and overseas voters cast ballots online, picking up on an experiment that the Department of Defense began in 2004 and then let lapse. Hunt wants to consider Reed’s concept; money could be a sticking point, Ammons said.

First they came for the vote counting machines, then they came for the vote counters themselves (by closing the polls), and now they want to open voting up to all kinds of problems by putting it online. These people are either nuts, dumb as stumps, or totally corrupt. Your choice.

The Department of Defense abandoned that program on Internet Voting years ago as the chorus of computer scientists grew ever louder against the use of the Internet. But while activists grow tired fighting without pay to perserve election integrity, it seems election officials never grow tired of working to undermine and destroy the system America built to make sure every vote was counted accurately, fairly, and without bias.

But here’s a new study on the situation with “e-Voting,” just in case you are interested.

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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.

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.