How Not To Increase “Voter” Participation

Dallas, WFAA-TV: Dallas vote fraud allegations multiply <read/view>

It may turn out that mail-in voting enhanced turnout in the wrong way:

News 8 first reported the allegations early last month. Now there is new evidence of a more orchestrated campaign by so-called “vote harvesters” allegedly tampering with mail-in ballots.

In question are the Dallas County Precinct 5 Constable and Justice of the Peace races. The primary concern surrounds the mail-in ballots cast in those races.

A growing number of residents have cited case after case of mystery mail-in ballots and strangers showing up at their door, allegedly stealing their votes.

Bob Carter of Oak Cliff said it has happened before at election time, and it happened again a few weeks ago. Mail-in ballots arrived in his mailbox in someone else’s name.

The same thing happened to his neighbor next door.

Four mail-in ballots were received by the elections bureau from that address from four people who voted in the March primary.

Carter owns that house, and the people who voted don’t live there.

Mail-in voting, including no-excuse absentee voting is risky.   It can contribute to an image of democracy, but not always the reality of democracy.

Update: 4/21/2010:  A list of mail-in voting problems <read>

Trading the security, integrity, and shared experience of the in-person election process for all-mail elections is a bad idea for a number of reasons. An exam­ination of voter fraud cases over the past two decades reveals that ballots requested and sent through the mail are vote thieves’ tool of choice. Despite claims that voting by mail will increase voter turnout, the evidence leads to the exact opposite conclusion. Such elections, while possi­bly less expensive for election administrators, can be more expensive for candidates, thereby increasing the costs of campaigns for ordinary citizens who want to run for office. Mail elections put voters at the mercy of the postal service: If their ballots are delayed or misdirected, their votes will not count. Also, voters could be casting their ballots without the same access to timely informa­tion about candidates. Finally, elections conducted through the mail destroy the communal act of voting in a way that is damaging to America’s voting traditions and the inculcation of civic virtues.

Trading the security, integrity, and shared experience of the in-person election process for all-mail elections is a bad idea for a number of reasons. An exam­ination of voter fraud cases over the past two decades reveals that ballots requested and sent through the mail are vote thieves’ tool of choice. Despite claims that voting by mail will increase voter turnout, the evidence leads to the exact opposite conclusion. Such elections, while possi­bly less expensive for election administrators, can be more expensive for candidates, thereby increasing the costs of campaigns for ordinary citizens who want to run for office. Mail elections put voters at the mercy of the postal service: If their ballots are delayed or misdirected, their votes will not count. Also, voters could be casting their ballots without the same access to timely informa­tion about candidates. Finally, elections conducted through the mail destroy the communal act of voting in a way that is damaging to America’s voting traditions and the inculcation of civic virtues.
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