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View Diary: Voter Intimidation in Tennessee: My Week in Voting Hell (134 comments)

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  •  Voting by mail (19+ / 0-)

    should be everywhere. It saves so much trouble, expense and limits opportunities to suppress the vote. I wonder if it is possible to do federal legislation for this? I know the states get to control how their elections go, but these are federal elections.

    "The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness." —John Kenneth Galbraith

    by eyeswideopen on Mon Oct 22, 2012 at 11:44:55 AM PDT

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    •  I wish election processes (17+ / 0-)

      could be totally standardized across the nation. We are no longer carrying messages by horseback, we have one instantaneous national dialogue: we need one set of rules. Of course states' rights people would go nuts.

      The founding fathers knew of the mutually corrupting influences of Church and state, wisely sending them to opposite corners.

      by emidesu on Mon Oct 22, 2012 at 12:57:56 PM PDT

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    •  voting by mail feels great (14+ / 0-)

      but your ballot does go into a black hole.

      In FL, we early voted at the election office.  It's basically the same as a mail-in, but in person.  You fill out the same form for an absentee vote, receive the mail ballot and envelope, and then fill out and cast the ballot into a ballot box.

      From there, the ballot is handled as a mail-in.  And that's where the problems can come.

      For instance, the envelope must be sealed and signed.  We heard from the clerks that we'd be surprised how many people forget to sign the outside of the envelope.  That's a dead ballot in the election.

      When we brought our ballots out to put them in the box, the clerk asked us if we wanted her to inspect our signatures.  We said sure, and when she compared my wife's sig, she had signed differently (first and second initials and last name) than what was on file (both names written out).  She told us that if the ballot had been put in the box, it later wouldn't match.  It was a simple matter for my wife to submit a second sig sample to resolve the matter, but a mail-in might or might not have made it to the count.

      There're probably more ways to blow a mail-in than an in-person vote, but that's not communicated widely at all.

      Not to be a sceptic, but mail-in ballots seem to have some issues based on our single experience.

      •  I vote absentee in Florida (7+ / 0-)

        and when I go to sign my envelope, I pull out my voter registration card to ensure that I sign my name exactly the way it appears on my voter registration card. Of course, I sign my name with first name, middle initial, and last name on everything so it is always the same.  But it is good practice to check your voter id card signature just to be sure.

        "Growing up is for those who don't have the guts not to. Grow wise, grow loving, grow compassionate, but why grow up?" - Fiddlegirl

        by gulfgal98 on Mon Oct 22, 2012 at 01:46:18 PM PDT

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      •  I'd prefer to vote in person, but WA has been (6+ / 0-)

        migrating to mail-in only, county by county, for about 10 years...the last county switched last year. And in counties that still maintained polling stations, I'd say as much as 70% of voters chose to vote absentee in 2008.

        Call me a Pollyanna, but I trust our system. In 2004, we had a governor's race that was came down to difference of 129 votes. We had 3 recounts...everything was on paper, so it was possible to do the final tally manually by eye, with a D and an R overseeing the whole process in each county.

        I can check the routing of my ballot online as the county receives it, verifies my signature and counts it. Political parties can be present as the ballots are unsealed and processed.

        No system is tamper-proof, we just have to make sure that it's a process that is open to the voter and to scrutiny by outside observers.

        •  and did you have a R or a D Sec of State overseein (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bleeding blue, eyeswideopen

          your counting?

          I do remember that count taking bloomin' forever, and having it blow up in the nasty R's face (that was the fun part: the final re-count came out even more in favor of the D candidate)

          As far as I'm concerned, R's shouldn't be allowed to run for Sec State, even if you find a "good" one -- they're just too untrustworthy. It's really sickening watching all these Midwestern & Southern Repub SStates gleefully trying to quash the vote!

          "real" work : a job where you wash your hands BEFORE you use the bathroom...

          by chimene on Mon Oct 22, 2012 at 03:17:41 PM PDT

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      •  That is such a good point. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ladybug53, murrayewv

        IF the ballot is not properly signed the vote doesn't count.
        I'm glad you put that info out there!

        "I think of the right-wing Republicans as jihadists; they’re as crazy as those people. They want to destroy the country that we want to save." Paul Auster

        by zesty grapher on Mon Oct 22, 2012 at 05:16:10 PM PDT

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      •  I think Oregon's experience (0+ / 0-)

        ...has been very good and there has been an increase in participation.

        "The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness." —John Kenneth Galbraith

        by eyeswideopen on Mon Oct 22, 2012 at 08:15:33 PM PDT

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