Sunday, November 12, 2006

Best Way To Vote

I was having an e-mail chat with Heather Mueller, of the Eureka Reporter, just the other day. We broached the topic of different ways to vote. I was wondering if it wouldn't be better to go to a mail ballot only vote system, like Oregon has?

Whad'ya think? Seems to me it might help avoid a lot of the pitfalls of in- person voting. If nothing else, we wouldn't expect immediate results.

I'm not sure just how Oregon does theirs. Regardless, seems to me you could have the ballots mailed out to a certain deadline. Then, accept the ballots over a certain time period- perhaps two or three weeks- with none accepted after the deadline.

Then, maybe have a deadline, of sorts, for the results to be tabulated.

We wouldn't have any of the back and forth quibbling over what ballots are being counted or who's in the lead at any given time. Hopefully, we could have some kind of rule that would prohibit partial vote count releases.

So, maybe six weeks after the start of election period, the results would be released to the press and powers that be.

I realize some think that we have a duty to show up in person and vote. I used to feel that way myself. In fact, this year is the first time I've ever voted absentee, except for some local special election that took place while I was in Saudi Arabia.

Anybody have some good talking points against mail- in- only voting?


At 11:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So yer having talks with people at the Eureka Reporter. Geuss that means yer in Arkleys back pocket.

Geuss now we know why your entering contests for hygene products.

At 11:57 AM, Blogger Fred said...

I guess that must be it, although I wasn't entering a sweepstakes for hygiene products. The Grand Prize is something like $10,000.

At 11:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No no no 11:55. You got it all wrong! Fred is simply trying to get sympathy from heather due to his wife being sick. Soon heathers nuturing instincts will kick in and then she'll invite fred to her place and wackiness will ensue.

At 11:59 AM, Blogger Hank Sims said...

Fraud, maybe? A body at the polling place at least confirms that the voter exists and is alive.

Another concern, possibly: The loss of the secret vote. With mail-in or absentees, a husband could pressure a wife to vote a certain way, and verify that she has followed his instructions. You could maybe stretch that to other relationships -- employer/employee, etc.

At 12:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just like Fred admited to pressuring his wife and a female friend in regards to their absentee ballots.

Fred, are you trying to cover your tracks?

At 12:29 PM, Blogger Fred said...

Good points, Hank.

"Pressured" my wife and female friend, 12:03?

I hardly think so. The "friend" called me on the phone and asked me how to vote on various issues.

The wife doesn't pay much attention to politics. Doesn't really ask me how to vote, I just fill in her sample ballot for her.

She doesn't always go by my recommendations. Back when Razooly ran for Eureka Mayor, I voted for him. I'm not sure who she voted for, but she said she wasn't voting for Razooly. She seems to find owners of strip clubs offensive.

Keep in mind also, 12:03, both the wife and the friend went and filled out their ballots by themselves at the precinct. The results wouldn't have been any different if they'd voted absentee.

There are a lot of people that pay scant attention to political issues and ask for help when it comes time to vote.

At 1:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That TS article is a good example of what passes for reporting in Humboldt County. A story that hinges on demographics and voter statistics contains no independently verified demographics or voter statistics. Instead the newspaper let two political pundits talk their spin. I am dumber for having read the article.

At 1:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

@!@##$*^&%! Posted to the wrong thread.

At 1:41 PM, Blogger Halitosis said...

I think a thumb print should be required when you register to vote and a thumb print should be required on all mail-in ballots.

At 1:52 PM, Anonymous mresquan said...

good talking points against mail-in-only voting: relying 100% on the post office to deliver mail accurately and on time.Wasn't the post office broken into fairly recently?Unverifiable signatures could also be a problem.And if you made a mistake marking your ballot you'd have to wait until you receive another one.Hopefully you'd get it back to you asap,and were able able to send it out on time.I vote absentee only because I usually work at the polls,if not I don't think I'd even consider it.

At 2:13 PM, Blogger Fred said...

Thing is, voters have to sign the roster when they vote at the polling places too. Does anyone verify those signatures?

But, yes, the logistics of mail in voting could cause some problems. Wonder what kind of problems Oregon has?

Oh, and Hank, in regards to some guy forcing his wife to vote his way because he has access to her ballot; If he had that much of a hold over his wife, wouldn't he just force her to vote absentee anyways, so he could monitor her voting activities?

Halitosis suggest thumb printing. Perhaps that would be a good idea for all ballots? I'm curious how Halitosis feels about requiring other proof of identity, such as a driver's license, to vote?

There are some around the country suggesting picture I.D. be required to vote. It seems to me it's mostly those on the Left that oppose that idea.

What say all to that idea?

At 2:24 PM, Blogger Eric V. Kirk said...

I just like the ritual of voting. We bring our kids to vote each time hoping they'll catch on to the importance. They get stickers and my 5 year old is already asking questions. Soon enough they'll be telling us how to vote.

I've only voted absentee once. Takes something out of the experience. Kind of like watching a movie on your television screen rather than in a theater.

At 3:17 PM, Blogger Halitosis said...

Sure, I am all for verifying the identity of the person voting. But then again, I could care less if the government taps my phones or has by DNA on file.

At 3:17 PM, Blogger Halitosis said... DNA on file.

At 4:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am pretty sure that Heather's last name is spelled Muller...

At 7:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So the government knows more about halitosis than we do??

At 9:32 PM, Blogger Halitosis said...

I am just a simpleton. Trying to get by in life. Catching a few fish, drinking a couple of beers, enjoying the anonymity of the web.

At 10:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Years ago the late Eureka Mayor Fred Moore, Jr. (previously, as Humboldt County Clerk, the dean of California County Clerks) advanced the idea of a 100% mail-in ballot for every Humboldt County election. His feeling was (and I think he was right on point) this would be the ultimate way to make voting easy and would increase voter participation up to a respectable level.

At 6:38 AM, Blogger Fred said...

Possibly. Not that I really care about how many people show up to vote.

I'm not so sure, though. I left my absenteed ballot sitting on the table for at least a couple weeks and almost had to force myself to get around to filling it out.

Might other, less interested, folks not get around to filling it out at all? I don't know.

At 2:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

low turnout usually hurts lefties, but lately it has helped them with salzman's get out the vote effort, he's just whining because this time he's losing.


At 9:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If there weren't so many absentee ballots, we would know who won the close elections by now. Each absentee ballot has the signature checked then goes to another stack to be run through a machine to be counted. If the machine kicks the ballot out, it goes into another stack to be looked at to determine why the machine would not count it. A lot of times the ballot was marked in the wrong color pen or a check mark or an X which the machine does not read and then it has to be duplicated on another balllot with the ovals filled in completely then put in another stack to be fed into the machine to be counted. (and on and on and on). Mail in only ballots would probably have the same issues. For those who think mail only ballots are the answer drop by the election division while they are still counting ballots. Might change your mind (absentee voters also).


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