Reports from Georgia and Texas reveal people waiting in line to vote for up to 8 hours. This should simply not occur in our country. It is flat-out voter suppression and intimidation to make somebody wait 8 hours to vote.
Where I live, I received my ballot in the mail. I filled it out the same day. The next day I drove about 1/2 mile and dropped the ballot off in an official drop box.
Texas governor Greg Abbott decided to make it harder for voters in Texas by limiting the number of drop boxes, thus making people drive up to 50 miles in some counties. In California, the Republican Party is placing fake voting boxes in some counties to confuse voters.
Let's face it, Republicans don't want people to vote or they want to make it as hard as possible for certain kinds of people because those people are so unlikely to vote Republican while Democrats want to make it easier to the point where verification becomes increasingly difficult.
Everyone who is eligible to vote should be able to do so easily. There's got to be a better way. Voting should be possible via the internet with multiple authentication or via mail with multiple ways to authenticate.
Waiting 8 hours in line to vote is obscene.
Checking a half dozen articles, I saw wait times of 20 minutes, one hour, two hours, three hours and 3 1/2 hours. Nothing even coming close to 8 hours.
But whatever the average or even maximum is, I have to wonder why it is happening? Are people just trying to beat the expected long lines and everybody wants to be through on the first day of early voting? I may well do the same in my town, where early voting is possible just a mile from my home.
As far as getting to ballot boxes - there are people living on the Snake River, miles and miles into Hells Canyon. It will take them, not a couple of hours, but a day to boat out, drive to the nearest town (probably around 30 miles), vote and go home. They're so far off the grid I understand that mail (via boat) comes only once per week. I would imagine that many residents of Alaska face the same challenge.
Point being that if you live in the middle of nowhere, don't expect to find a voting place on your doorstep.
Agree, though, that Democrats want to make it easier for everyone to vote...legally or not. Whereupon they will declare that there was no fraud...without ever testing to see if there was or not. Been going on for years.
I admit that Democrats are somewhat lackadaisical about allowing everyone to vote. Why do you have such a hard time admitting that Republicans want to make it harder for people to vote? They are particularly interested in keeping people in Democratic counties from voting or making the lines so long that people are discouraged from voting. Republicans typically make it harder for black people to vote.
The solution to this is voting via mail or voting via internet with multiple safeguards in place. For instance, you should be able to take your personal computer to a polling site, log in to a secure network, and vote that way. Same goes for a phone. You take your phone to a polling place and vote that way because the phone number is registered to you and the data on the phone corroborates you are registered to vote. You still have to be within a certain distance of the polling place, but it would eliminate lines entirely.
The fraud question has, in fact, been tested over and over.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics … story.html
https://www.brennancenter.org/issues/en … oter-fraud
I looked at the reports of R's putting up fake ballot boxes. Beyond the pale, to say the least, whether legal (which they claim) or not. Not to be allowed if at all possible.
We've had voting by mail for decades. When we figure out how to avoid fraud with unsolicited ballots, when we've figured out how to ensure NO ONE not deserving of a ballot (dead or alive, citizen or not, felon or not, of age or not, registered or not) gets one, when we figured out how to ensure that people get exactly ONE ballot, the one to which they are entitled, to the correct address, THEN we can vote via unsolicited ballots. When we hear that tens of thousands of ballots are sent to wrong addresses, this isn't happening.
Computers; I'm not sanguine AT ALL voting from home via the 'net. Taking computers to the polling station - are you going to give everyone in the country a computer (you know that will be demanded) and how will you guarantee that no one downloads a virus? Phones are an interesting idea...until you figure that thousands and thousands change phone numbers.
I can't read your first link, and the second simply says it doesn't happen. This is my problem; everybody (of the Democrat persuasion) says it doesn't happen but no one actually checks. For instance, on unsolicited ballots:
1. How many people are checked as receiving their ballot, and ONLY their ballot?
2. How many people are checked as to what they voted for and does it match the ballot received?
As near as I can tell the answer is "zero" to both questions, yet both are absolutely integral and necessary to find fraud (or mistake) in the process. Yet we still see "There is no fraud"! How does that happen?
OK, I'm going to show that I am an independent, not a democrat or a republican. Both of you have arguments that have merit. I saw relatives in western states on Facebook complaining about how long it took them to vote in person while people in other states like TN said they were in and out in 5 to 10 minutes so I think it depends on where you live. There has always been voter fraud somewhere. I remember when I was a reporter back in 1980, officials found that 13 dead people had voted in that years general election in Arkansas and a big deal was made over it. That was in the days before electronic voting of any kind was available.
My husband and I vote regularly in our elections, so it is very easy for officials to verify our legitimate mail-in vote. We conveniently voted by mail this year because we both have disabilities and health concerns. I believe that it is the first-time or sporadic voter with whom officials should have concern.
I also think voters of both parties have legitimate concerns because of actions by states to make it harder for them to vote. Non-authorized ballot boxes shouldn't be allowed under any circumstances, but those boxes should be closely checked for ballots from legitimate voters who have been tricked into using them, but I doubt that those boxes will ever surface. Or surface untampered. California should be subject to some kind of penalty for allowing that. Texas should also be penalized for not allowing more official ballot boxes in large rural counties. Not naming any names, but it is pretty obvious who is trying to suppress voting in those two states.
It is also shameful that the president and his family vote by the same method that he claims is fraudulent.
I have no problem with solicited mail in ballots, and Trump has made it very plain that he has the same opinion.
Unsolicited ballots (routinely mailed to all registered voters) are another matter, though, in both my opinion and Trump's; it is only that method that is so ripe for fraud.
"Not naming any names, but it is pretty obvious who is trying to suppress voting in those two states."
Are you sure? Consider that Texas cities are primarily liberal (as they are all over the country) and that rural counties are primarily conservative. Who do you think is suppress voting in conservative areas then? Republicans, suppressing the votes they need to win?
I agree with you that no unsolicited ballots should be sent out. That's too ripe for fraud. Re: your last paragraph, I only know that the complaints were coming from Democrats that Republicans were trying to suppress the votes of the Mexican American and other liberal community. I saw it on CNN and heard a little from Texas relatives. Mostly smug comments because except for my granddaughter, most of them are Trump rooters. Critics are saying the Governor is behind the putting out fake ballot boxes. The defense by Republicans is that the fake boxes are for the convenience of voters in the rural counties. However, that is also ripe for fraud as the democrats ballots could be selectively eliminated and not counted.
" However, that is also ripe for fraud as the democrats ballots could be selectively eliminated and not counted."
This thought puzzles me. It is similar to Republican, and Pres. Trump, claims about ballots in the trash can because they had a Trump selection. How can one know—either way—without first opening the ballots? I have not heard either side claim the ballots were opened, only that they were discarded?
Wouldn't, for legitimacy's sake, those claims offer that the ballots questioned had been opened and examined? Did I miss that they had?
I don't support unsolicited ballot mailing, I too think the situation is open to fraud, but, I have not seen any evidence that the claimed "fraud," (like the military ballots in the trashcan), has any merit.
"I don't support unsolicited ballot mailing, I too think the situation is open to fraud, but, I have not seen any evidence that the claimed "fraud," (like the military ballots in the trashcan), has any merit."
Same question I keep asking, GA - what is being done to check that ballots were received by the voter, marked according to their wishes, and returned to the state? As far as I've heard there are no checks being done...which means no fraud can be found. A negative result, then, (no fraud found) because no effort was made to find any.
A mail-in ballot should be sent to any registered voter who verifies their registration. It would be extremely hard to commit fraud under this scenario and, in fact, very little fraud has ever been committed with regard to mail-in voting.
https://theconversation.com/research-on … ase-141847
https://www.vox.com/recode/2020/10/14/2 … ai-benkler
https://news.stanford.edu/2020/09/03/ex … in-voting/
The thing you should realize is that mail-in voting does not appear to give one party and advantage over another.
We have mail-in voting here in Colorado and the process is easy as can be. Committing some kind of mass fraud, enough to impact an election, would be an absolutely massive undertaking. It would be much easier and cheaper to stand at a polling place and offer to pay people to vote a certain way.
"A mail-in ballot should be sent to any registered voter who verifies their registration."
And there is one crux of the argument against unsolicited ballot mailings.
As I just noted to Wilderness, and it is just an anecdotal note, my mother just received her Maryland sample ballot—and she has been dead for five years.
That appears to be the case. As contrary as it may seem, (to accept absentee balloting, yet oppose open ballot mailing), I do strongly oppose the current course of mailing ballots to every registered voter.
As a point of reference; (and it is an anecdotal reference), I recently received my Maryland sample ballot. But my dead mother, (died in 2015), also received a sample ballot. Although Maryland is not one of those automatic mailing states, would my 5-years-dead mother receive a legitimate ballot in those other states?
Could Maryland be the only state that hasn't updated its voter registration in 5 years?
Realistically, that doesn't create fraud. That ballot will simply not be turned in. It's just not really possible to commit fraud with mail-in voting in any significant way, which is why there's no evidence that such a thing is possible.
The only obvious way such fraud could occur would be at the source, so if you believe in government conspiracy theories, perhaps some insider is harvesting all those dead people and collecting the ballots and plans to submit them.
Really, "The ballot will simply not turned in."?
Consider that in my anecdotal case it is just happenstance that I would not turn in her ballot, but, if I were of a mind to, there is no doubt, in my mind, that her ballot would be accepted. Why wouldn't it be? I can mimic her signature, and be a valid witness to it.
Plus, have you ever considered what a ballot validator must face when confirming a signature? Most signatures are just scrawls that would only draw attention if they appeared to be as different as a product of a pre-schooler compared to the signature of a calligrapher.
Now, consider that in such possible cases as the 'supposed' ballot harvesters that have been in the news recently, and judging such instances magnified by the tens of millions of ballots sent out, and in the context of such narrow margins as Wisconson in 2016, just how many voter role registration errors do you think it would take to possibly 'turn' an election.
Sorry to disagree with you Crankalicious, but I see the possible numbers as just too dangerous to place any faith in our current rushed mail-in ballots initiatives.
And you think that's an opening for massive fraud? That is an awful lot of effort to turn in one, fraudulent vote.
Again, no evidence that mail-in voting leads to fraud. It would be about as easy to show up as your mom at the voting booth with a fake ID.
Now don't get carried away with that thought. I was speaking of possibilities, not probabilities. But, if I were a paranoid conspiracy type, that possibility would be all I needed to have concrete doubts about this rushed mail-in ballot initiative.
Fortunately, my latest conspiracy worry is the coming Covid-19 virus vaccination. There is little doubt that the government is going to sneak in a nano-tracker via the prepackaged vaccination needle packets. AstraZeneca so much as admitted it when they spoke of how their vaccines would be sent out as single-use needle packets with proprietary plunger properties. Why a special "proprietary" needle if not to hide what they are injecting you with? Did you know our government now has molecule-sized nano-tracker technologies?
I don't know the answer to your questions, GA, but which states send unsolicited official ballots? I was unaware there were any. In Arkansas, we have to apply for a ballot request which is then made available to us by mail or pick up in person. We fill out the request and if we are a spasmodic or first-time voter, the person must send in a photo ID from an official source like a drivers license, a college ID, a military ID, etc. If we are a regular voter like my husband and I are, we sign an affidavit which is checked against our voting record, and then under either condition, the ballot is mailed to the person or persons in the household who requested it/them or they may be picked up in person. I guess I should never assume anything, but I just thought all states handled absentee ballots this way.
I do hear other states, both democrat and republican, saying that there are official procedures for handling mail in-voting. I think a lot of this hoopla about unsolicited ballots is just hogwash. The part about being mailed a sample ballot has no bearing on the real thing. It is only to acquaint the voter with the real ballot so the voter won't spend too much time pondering the ballot while voting at the polling place. Sample ballots can be found on states' websites and in newspapers, too. So concern for sample ballots is unwarranted.
By the way, this Trump BS about sending his supporters to monitor polling places will result in chaos and probably their arrests. Twenty years ago when I was in better health, I served as a poll watcher for my party. Only one watcher per party is allowed inside the polling place. That watcher is required to be certified by his/her party and also by the secretary of state. I believe I heard on the news that this is the procedure in all states, not just Arkansas.
By the way, GA, be a good citizen and inform the source of the sample ballot (secretary of state, county, etc.) that your mother is deceased and her name should be removed from voter records. You said Maryland, so they are lax about removing deceased persons from voter records. They do have access to death records, so someone has dropped the ball.
Five states send out unsolicited (you don't have to ask; the state simply sends them out) ballots. Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Utah and Washington.
https://thehill.com/homenews/state-watc … -in-voting
More states are trying to make all voting by mail, and that requires that they send out ballots whether asked for them or not. Hopefully to the right people at the right addresses, but of course no state checks, before or after, to see if the address is correct. They just send them.
To address your last point first, I was a good citizen and did call my local elections office to inform them of the error. This was the first year, since her death, that such an incident occurred.
To address another point, you are right with respect to your absentee ballot procedures, but, regarding the mail-in ballot changes I was speaking of, Google says 9 states are automatically sending ballots to every voter on their registration lists. That is a lot of unsolicited mailings.
I also agree that Pres. Trump's prod for election watchers was a bone-headed move that will more likely cause more damage than help.
Yes, GA, you are a good citizen. Your paragraph 2, I didn't know that for sure, but now I do. Fox has pretty good story on it.
https://www.fox5ny.com/news/voting-by-m … her-reason
Thanks for the info. I'm not a Fox fan, but I've noticed that they are becoming more neutral in their reporting.
Yep, I live in Colorado where they send out ballots via mail. The process is great and easy. There's been no fraud because it's just too difficult to accomplish in any significant way. If there's going to be fraud, it's going to happen at the ballot box through intimidation or on some kind of systemic level that couldn't be prevented one way or the other.
Voting by mail works. I'm all for creating more safeguards if need be.
How many ballots each year are checked by going back to the recipient and asking if they filled them out and did they mail one back at all?
Without checks it seems impossible to say there's been no fraud, and I can't find anywhere that indicates any checks at all are being done.
*I retract that: it is easy to say there's been no fraud - much more difficult to support the statement with factual information when none is available.
It's just not a place where fraud on some large scale could happen. When those ballots are sent to individual addresses, how would you commit fraud by collecting enough of the ballots sent to bad addresses and then voting and then returning them using signatures that matched the voter's file signature?
https://coloradosun.com/2020/10/09/colo … questions/
You would have the same chance of committing fraud by using fake IDs and showing up at the polls to vote in place of the actual person. You'd have an even better chance of moving an election by showing up to a polling place with a weapon and intimidating voters. The latter is by far the easiest way to discourage voting.
Historically, voter intimidation has been, by far, the most common way to change the outcome of an election.
Please explain what you are scared of and how you think fraud on a scale massive enough to swing an election could happen using mail-in voting. In order for this fraud to occur, you'd have to be able to replicate the voter's signature.
I like the signature thing used in Colorado (is that the only state that does it?), particularly in conjunction with a computer.
I agree you could show up with fake ID's (in states that are brave enough to require an ID), but that means a fake ID for every ballot you vote. Possible, I suppose, but not very practical.
Historically intimidation as been the most common way. Does that mean that no one will ever find (and use) a better way? I don't see that excuse to ignore possibilities as valid.
Scared of? That should be obvious - a fixed election. If, for instance, California in it's zeal to make voting very simple and easy doesn't do a decent job of verifying ballots are legit and goes Republican then the election will have changed. I did note in your link a grumble (want to bet it won't grow into a massive complaint if common knowledge?) that non-white and the young are most often rejected. Looks like more "voter suppression", or at least what will be called that.
But Crank, if you simply sit back and swallow claims that everything is fair and on the up and up, knowing the massive efforts in the past (ranging from intimidation at the ballot box to gerrymandering to "losing" ballots to "hanging chads") you really need to put some serious though into the processes being used. I have yet to claim that unsolicited ballots are fraudulent, but have complained that the process is ripe for fraud. And I will stand behind that until proven different (the one state in your link I might accept as producing very little in the way of fraudulent possibilities). I do not automatically trust the balloting process, not when such huge efforts are made to make fraud possible (such as not requiring ID's).
If you agree that unsolicited ballots should not be used as a voting method, then you agree with the President, for that is his major complaint. That "vote-by-mail", via the unsolicited ballot method, is ripe for fraud. The insinuation by many liberals that he is referring to solicited ballots for mail in votes is completely false, and he has made that very plain.
Claims of voter suppression are a dime a dozen, and comes up with every change in any part of the voting process. Don't believe everything you hear, whether CNN or your relatives (I would put far more emphasis on their account, remembering that it is only personal experience, not wide ranging statistics).
I haven't heard anyone blaming the (Democratic) governor of California for putting out fake ballot boxes. The claim seems highly suspect. And I agree (as I stated) - putting those out with the claim that they are merely "helping" the process, without any oversight over claiming and submitting them, is irrational and foolish. Whoever is putting them, it is irrational and foolish to believe such a claim.
" I saw relatives in western states on Facebook complaining about how long it took them to vote in person while people in other states like TN said they were in and out in 5 to 10 minutes so I think it depends on where you live."
Yes, MsBejabbers, you did show your Independent status. And I agree with you. Different situations will always exist—and for different reasons.
I could have highlighted more of your comment quotes, but I think that one best illustrates the situation.
I also agree that different states—with different political persuasions, have made the problems worse than they should be.
There are few 'innocents' in this type of discussion. Both parties, and their power-levers deserve blame in this issue.
Nobody should have to wait hours to vote. It's damaging to our country and our democracy.
How many poll stations would you suggest for the state of, say, Texas to guarantee that? Texas has 268,000 square miles; would one station per square mile be adequate, with another 100,000 in the major cities be sufficient to guarantee that no one waited two hours or more? Because I highly doubt even that would do.
So we do the best we reasonably can with the resources available. And that means that there will be long lines at some times in some areas.
Voting by mail is one solution. Easier absentee ballot access. Using technology to allow people to vote.
We have a lot of technology that can solve this problem.
. . . and a lot of technology that can subvert the system.
With all the hacker, ransomware, and other nefarious internet dangers, I am surprised you are so casual about the use of internet or mobile voting. Certainly, you must be aware that a simple piece of readily available software will let you disguise your call as coming from any number you wish-like one of a validly registered number of another voter? Telemarketers use this software every day.
Try not to be such a luddite.
If each polling place has a secure. closed network with limited range, you could create a dual authentication system where only authorized people could vote. It would eliminate lines.
People would still have to show up to vote, but it would happen a lot faster and eliminate lines.
Ha! My old brain must be becoming fossilized. I had to go look up "Luddite."
And when I did I found that I could very easily disagree with your sanguine acceptance of mobile and internet security.
So I will send you on a search task. Check out how big and extensive the internet malware and privacy industry is to see how easily such security efforts are so easily breached.
After that search, consider how vulnerable such an open system—one that allows any user in limited proximity to log on, would be to some of the off-the-shelf hacker ware available in just a quick download, (consider the TJMax security breach of millions of SS and credit card numbers that were hacked by folks driving through their parking lots with laptops), and then, consider such vulnerabilities being attacked by dedicated agents, not just basement teenagers out for a lark.
Nope, I can't share your confidence that such a scenario would be worry-free. Contrarily, I see it as just handing the keys to the store to the burglars.
Yep, and waiting more than twelve minutes in a grocery checkout is a travesty that should result in the failure of the store as a consumer business. Geesh.
Here in Michigan, one must be a registered voter, we have voter ID cards. One can register to vote online. When voting in person we need to produce a photo ID at the polls, a passport, driver's license, or state ID card with a photo. One can apply for an absentee ballot if they choose, just by filling out an application. The only different thing our Governor Whitmer is doing that is different is sending mass mailings of absentee ballot applications. One finds them in their mailbox, local papers, as well as more popular Detroit newspapers. As I canvased many complained they had gotten anywhere from 6 to 10 in their mail. I can't see where these applications will become a problem, one must fill them out provide their personal info, voter ID information that shows they are a registered voter.
Myself, I have received two of these applications in the mail. I vote absentee and have for years, each and every election my ballot is sent out in a timely fashion. The flood of absentee ballot applications is meant to promote citizens to vote if registered. If one is not registered they can't even use the application. I would guess someone could commit some sort of fraud, but doubt it would sway the election. I always encourage people I have talked to use the application if they can't make it to the polls. I have helped a few to fill the form out. I feel pretty good about how Michigan has always handled voting, I don't think we will see a problem other than the count will be slower due to so many using mail in ballots.
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