Re: Absentee voting (Was: Why I am a Poll Worker)

From: Edmund R. Kennedy <ekennedyx_at_yahoo_dot_com>
Date: Tue May 23 2006 - 12:02:35 CDT

OK. How does Oregon and Washington State deal with
this issue? Absentee and vote by mail are very
popular means of voting there.

Again, I argue that vote by mail/absentee voting is
better than using a non vvpat voting machine. I
notice that all of you have avoided that argument.

Thanks, Ed Kennedy

--- "Douglas W. Jones" <jones@cs.uiowa.edu> wrote:

> On May 23, 2006, at 10:03 AM, Edmund R. Kennedy
> wrote:
>
> > Voting by mail is vastly superior to voting on a
> > Diebold TsX. It routinely and successfully done
> in
> > both Oregon and Washington State. Besides, any
> minor
> > fraud falls under the 'retail' fraud
> classification.
>
> Retail fraud has been routinely conducted for many
> years
> on a scale worthy of considering to be wholsale, so
> don't
> write it off merely because it is retail. I've seen
> reports
> from Texas (discussed at length in Gumble's book,
> Steal This
> Vote) of absentee ballot purchasing deals as
> recently as
> the 2000 election.
>
> The going cost appears to remain as it was a century
> ago,
> a bottle of rotgut, or the cash equivalent thereof.
> In exchange
> for either a signed privacy envelope and blank
> ballot, or
> for a correctly voted ballot, the crook gives the
> voter a bottle
> or cash.
>
> In a more subtle form of absentee ballot fraud, the
> crook merely
> volunteers to help mail the ballots or to hand
> deliver them to
> the courthouse on behalf of the voter. The crook
> has pre-screened
> the voters, based on party membership or on polling
> data, and
> proceeds to return only those ballots that came from
> voters likely
> to support the crook's candidates, while ditching
> the others.
>
> And, then, there is the "ballot challenge", widely
> practiced
> in 2000 and 2004. The less honest party gets the
> list of absentee
> voters from the county (it's generally public
> record), goes over
> it with their pollsters and demographers to select
> voters they
> don't want to vote, then goes to the courthouse with
> these lists
> and gives them to their "challengers", partisan
> officials entitled
> to observe the processing of absentee ballots and
> challenge any
> that they suspect are not legitimate.
>
> Instead of looking for evidence of illegitimacy on
> all ballots,
> they look extremely closely at the signatures and
> postmarks on
> the ballots they've targeted, challenging them if
> there is even
> the slightest question about the postmark (a smudged
> date must
> mean it was mailed after the deadline) or signature
> (not exactly
> the same as the signature on record).
>
> There is ample evidence of successful use of the
> ballot challenge
> trick on absentee ballots in Florida 2000, and it
> was most
> definitely used in Iowa in 2004, according to my
> county auditor.
>
> The ballot challenge trick is definitely wholsale
> fraud.
>
> Quite frankly, I expect the frequency of such
> shenanigans to
> increase as more states move to no-fault absentee
> voting.
>
> Doug Jones
> jones@cs.uiowa.edu
>
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>

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Received on Wed May 31 23:17:06 2006

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