Absentee Ballot Problems Start to Mount

When it comes to voting procedures and problems these days, Washington State and Oregon are being looked at as the “go-to” models for other states to follow. Many states in the union have been juggling their voting machines and technologies since the 2000 election. And here on the west coast, where I report from,¬†we’ve seen a huge increase in absentee voting. Washington and California vote largely absentee, while Oregon is out front with a virtually 100% Vote-By Mail system, where they closed the polls, and EVERYONE votes-by-mail.

Expect stories like these to become more frequent in the coming weeks. The problem? Vote early, and late changing events could affect how you might have voted had you had the “last minute details” that come out about the candidates or issue. In fact, each election cycle I am always too busy to keep up on all the new problems I have not yet recorded with absentee ballots. From the military’s vote not getting counted from oversees, to this situation where people are voting without putting the ballot in the envelope.

Once, I remember coming home and having the situation where my roomate accidentally spoiled my ballot by opening it, voting, and then signing the wrong ballot. These types of situations add error into the system. And when it comes to voting, losing votes should not be built into the very nature of the voting system. But as society moves to vote-by mail systems it undermines any real control over the chain-of-custody of the ballots throughout that voting system, a chain-of-custody that previously existed within the precinct level voting system.

It should be ludicrous on its face.

But now it’s probably coming to a state by you, as near 25 states have proposed relaxing their absentee rules, or moving to Universal Mail Voting procedures.

Should the dead be voting?

http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5g51lYdB8i6BdEmw53fQR5sVl9JqAD924CPPO4

“If you vote by mail, but die before Election Day, does your vote count? It depends on where you lived.”

More Vote By Mail Problems in California

More problems arise in California:

http://www.my58.com/news/15142222/detail.html

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Some vote-by-mail voters may not get their votes counted in Sacramento County, officials said.

Elections officials said in some cases, voters who are registered to one party are writing in a candidate from another party. Officials said they began noticing the problem on Friday after elections workers began opening up ballots from vote-by-mail voters — which used to be known as absentee voters.It’s a problem that officials said they have seen in previous presidential primaries, but it seems to be a more widespread problem in this election — perhaps because of increased interest.

Of course, it could also be that with Optical Scan ballots, when voted at poll sites, the optical scan reader has a chance to spit the ballot back to the voter for error correction, but a mail ballot never gives this second chance to the voter.