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Monday, September 13, 2004

It can't happen here -- can it?

The New York Times had a scary front-page story on Monday about the rapid increase in absentee voting around the country, and the increasing number of instances of fraud surrounding the practice:

As both major political parties intensify their efforts to promote absentee balloting as a way to lock up votes in the presidential race, election officials say they are struggling to cope with coercive tactics and fraudulent vote-gathering involving absentee ballots that have undermined local races across the country.
Among the documented illegalities: Voters being paid for their ballots. Party workers "collecting" ballots for delivery, then not mailing them. Helpless nursing home patients having their vote steered by high-pressure tactics. There are prosecutions for these and other "shenanigans," as the Times calls them at one point, pending in several states.

Although Oregon was listed in a chart among swing states with loose absentee ballot rules, no mention was made of the fact that all balloting here is done by mail. But if the Times is worried about fraud wherever absentee voting is popular, imagine its horror at the Oregon system.

Does vote fraud happen here? Oh no, not in Oregon. It's unthinkable. The very idea is as preposterous as the thought of a Portland mayor having sex with a 14-year-old repeatedly for years and getting away with it.

Guess that's why you've heard of zero prosecutions for vote fraud since vote-by-mail took effect here. Everything here is fine, just fine.

Comments (9)

There have been ZERO (0%) bad ballot prosecution 'convictions'? Or 'attempts'? I find that hard to believe. I'm not arguing because it is believable, just difficult.

And what is the US Gov't going to do about retirees voting in 2 states (such as New York and Florida)? Answer: Not soon.

Is the voting system going to be nationalized? Answer: Yes.

Will it suffer from the same lack of competence as Tom Daschle's 'professionalized' TSA? Answer: Yes.

I say "you've never heard of" any prosecutions. If there have been any, they've been darned quiet. Certainly we haven't "made an example" of anybody.

And when you look at how much fakery was recently alleged in connection with the Nader petitions in Oregon, you just know that there are dead people voting, and other mischief is happening, all over the Beaver State. Vote-by-mail is a cheap, easily corruptible system -- not what we should be doing with something as important as voting.

I hate to admit this, but I know someone who voted for someone else. She justified it by saying she had forgotten to register and he didn't want to vote anyway. Still, it's unethical, right? That's the argument I used anyway.

DeAnn, I expect Bill Bradbury will be at your doorstep as soon as possible to resolve this horrendous allegation of voter fraud... ...unless of course, your "friend" is a Democrat. Oh, and you can't be voting for Nadar.

I talked earlier this year about the fact that I could waltz into the election bureau and get a duplicate ballot a week before the primaries, yet was never asked for ID or my voter registration card.

I guess they figured if I knew my name and former mailing address (I'd moved mid-stream and hadn't gotten my ballot to the new place), I must have been who I said I was, no...?

Given the high amount of mail theft that goes on, I wonder how many ballots get stolen. I know I always look for my ballot come election time, but I'm sure many people don't even think about it. Pretty scary to think about it.

During the last legislative session there was a bill to require having proof of citizenship in order to register to vote in Oregon.

Only the Secretary of State testified in opposition. It died.

I have my preference for the presidential race, however, I would like whomever wins to win fair and square. Naive, I know. But, one can always hope.

How many vote fraud prosecutions happened before vote-by-mail? Do you think there was no voter fraud back then?

When I hung out with Eugene McCarthy's campaign in Albany in 1968 there were two campaign workers there fresh from Gary, Indiana. They assured me that $2 was the going rate for votes in Gary.

I know someone who witnessed nursing home patients being "helped" with their ballots in a coercive way in Canby.

All before vote-by-mail.

No one would ever claim there is no voter fraud, no matter what the voting method. The system, here at least, has just assumed the level of fraud is insignificant to the outcome of elections.

The biggest issue with vote-by-mail is that it potentially makes it easier to perpetrate larger-scale fraud. That's why they are now making people who register by mail provide proof of address.

There are some very good things about vote-by-mail. A heightened level of vigilance and beefing up the safeguards seems preferable to me to throwing the whole thing overboard.

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