Re: Consolidation Voter Fraud
By Dave Kiffer
November 08, 2006
The problem with asserting fraud or conspiracy is that it pre-supposes
there is at least some "intelligence" at work behind
what is happening. More often the case it is just stupidity or
If you ask the state government about mail-in absentee ballots,
you get two answers. One, we are told, the state has a lot of
experience on these ballots. Two, but not in larger communities
so Ketchikan is a bit of a guinea pig on this one.
But that doesn't excuse the sorry way Ketchikan consolidation
ballots are being handled by the state. And make no mistake,
the decision to do this ballot as a mail in was the state's not
First of all, the use of the standard "absentee" envelope
is obviously confusing. The state apparently has a big box of
envelopes somewhere that say "absentee." Since the
state is supposedly saving so much money with this mail in election,
it should have spent some of that money on some new envelopes
that read "Ketchikan Consolidation." Just a suggestion.
Second, what is up with requiring voters to get someone else
to sign the form for them? Is the state really that concerned
about massive "fraud" in the election? It's been my
experience that the more steps you put into any process, the
more likely someone will drop out of it. Just let folks fill
out the ballot and get on with it. We're getting a little old
to have to go find our "mommies" to sign things for
us. Our own signatures are good enough at traditional polls,
they should be good enough on mail in votes.
Third, no return postage? And to make things worse it's not just
one stamp, it's one and a half (more or less) stamps. Is it that
hard to send out prepaid mailers? No, marketers do it all the
time. Does it cost a little money? Yes. And since the state wants
to recycle envelopes from other elections, apparently the real
issue is not making voting easier (the stated reason) but to
make it cheaper for the state. In some places requiring voters
to spend any "money" to vote used to be call a "poll"
tax and was ruled illegal by the courts because it was used to
prevent disadvantaged people from voting.
If you ask the state, it will tell you that if you don't want
to mail the ballot back in, you can save a stamp and drop it
off at the borough or city clerk offices. That's fine, but it
doesn't say that in any of the materials that arrived in my "absentee"
The bottom line is that voting should be as easy as possible
for members of the public. While the consolidation "absentee"
ballot doesn't accomplish that, I don't think it was intentional
(other than the saving money part). I would hope that after hearing
our complaints, the Division of Elections will make adjustments
the next time they do this.
But if you really feel that someone on either side of the issue
is trying to steal the election, then the one thing you can do
to prevent that is to vote.
No matter how difficult they make, just vote.
That'll show them!
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