Don’t be deceived: Drop Boxes are more of a solution than a problem

Since the absentee ballot cheating in Bridgeport we have heard more and more calls for banning drop boxes. That is illogical.

The culprit(s) were conclusively caught on video tape of a drop box outside of city hall, making multiple trips by the same person dropping in multiple envelopes into the same drop box. There was also much paper and statistical evidence pointing to likely a much larger number of fraudulent ballots, plenty to make it likely that the wrong winner was declared. The additonal evidence was partially related to the logging of daily drop box retrievals and reviewing the numbers of ballots unstamped, stamped, and cancelled.

This evidence was only possible because of video surveilled drop boxes.  Without drop boxes and surveillance ballots could have been mailed through many post office boxes,  from individual mail boxes, or just added to the system in city hall, somewhere between the mail room and the municipal clerk’s office.

The alternative would be unsurveilled mail boxes, sent through the mail, to the mail room, and then through some unknown system to the clerk’s office.  Even if U.S. mail boxes were surveilled (which might be illegal for those in post offices or at homes) there would  be no way of identifying what was mailed by particular individuals.

The mail system is also more of a risk than drop boxes because of all the postal workers and contractors involved in collecting and delivering each piece of mail. Also because of all the city employees involved in distributing the mail from the mail room to the clerk’s office. Take Bridgeport, the city employee and campaign supporter caught using the drop boxes could have presumably put them in the system from postal boxes or somehow from the mail room and gotten away with it. Presumably the culprit(s) wanted  to avoid paying for stamps.

Some have suggested that drop boxes be inside town halls and only available during business hours. That would be a solution to prevent people blowing up or stealing whole boxes (even though that has not proven to be a problem and at most would result in the theft of one day’s ballots – not the addition of many forged/fake ballots). It would also greatly inconvenience voters who want to submit ballots on the way to work, on the way home, or on the weekend.  And still those drop boxes would need to be surveilled.

You can legitimately be concerned with the greater risks of mail balloting. Yet we all should recognize that drop boxes are a part of the solution, not a part of the problem.


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