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View Diary: VA-GOV: Election Day In Virginia--Early Turnout Appears Light (254 comments)

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  •  Insanity to have voting in person, on ONE day, (13+ / 0-)

    a weekday at that, and expect it to be a true free democratic process.

    If man could be crossed with the cat, it would improve man, but it would deteriorate the cat.

    by Amayi on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 09:40:54 AM PDT

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    •  Even WV is better than that! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      grasshopper, Amayi

      We have early voting for a couple of WEEKS before every election.

      "...Reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled." Richard Feynman

      by QuestionAuthority on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 09:49:02 AM PDT

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      •  Vote by mail. That is the only reasonableprocess. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        grasshopper

        At the very least, elections should not be held on a freaking Tuesday.

        If man could be crossed with the cat, it would improve man, but it would deteriorate the cat.

        by Amayi on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 09:52:16 AM PDT

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        •  I'd welcome weekend elections (8+ / 0-)

          Am not a fan of vote-by-mail because of the corruption/coercion risks; how about early voting in person at post offices, public libraries and government offices?

          •  Prove that corruption is a big problem (0+ / 0-)

            That's what I always say to Vote by Mail opponents.  If there were a single case you know they'd be hammering it into the ground.  

            That being said, I would also support in-person absentee voting at multiple locations...

            "Polls are like crack, political activists know they're bad for them but they read them anyways."-Unknown

            by skywaker9 on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 09:57:24 AM PDT

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            •  I Can Give You An Amusing One, Skywaker.... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              skywaker9

              In the hullabaloo after the 2004 gubernatorial election in Washington, it was revealed that an elderly Republican in the Seattle area filled out HIS absentee ballot, and then also filled in the absentee ballot of his recently-deceased wife.

              This, of course, is technically voter fraud. His rationale was "it was what she would have wanted."

              :)

              "You share your young with the wolves of the nation...
              Theres nothing left til you pray for salvation"
              Black Rebel Motorcycle Club "American X"

              by Steve Singiser on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 09:59:30 AM PDT

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            •  I've seen it in Phila (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              skywaker9, Sanuk

              And it led to an election's outcome being overturned:

              What sparked the Republican suspicion was that the victory depended on a large number of absentee ballots. Stinson, a jeweler and beauty-shop owner, won by 461 votes of 40,575 cast. But Marks, a former aide to Senator Arlen Specter, led by 564 votes at the machines. It was Stinson's 1,391-to-366 victory in the absentee ballots that put him over the top.

              Marks started to investigate, as did the Philadelphia Inquirer. Since the election, the Inquirer has found 333 Stinson voters who did not obey the law that restricts absentee balloting to those physically unable to get to the polls. Many of the fraudulent ballots were cast by Puerto Rican natives who say they were duped by people offering absentee ballots as "una nueva forma de votar" -- a new way to vote. "She said, 'Sign. I'll do the rest,' " recalls Carmen Silva, 55. "I signed. I didn't know for who or what." Others were encouraged to sign for members of their families. Zoraida Rodriguez voted on behalf of her husband, who was in jail. Nineteen ballots, according to the Inquirer, appear to have been outright forgeries. Among them are those of Rose Fellman and Elpiniki Kousis, residents of Nevada and Greece, respectively, both of whose signatures appear on absentee ballots for Stinson.

              No difference between absentee balloting and vote-by-mail in terms of the potential for this corruption.

            •  Think of it like a union vote (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              skywaker9, Superpole

              One of the most important items when a shop goes union is to have a secret ballot so that management isn't "suggesting" that you vote a certain way and looking over your shoulder when you do vote.

              Same with an election ballot.  I'm not suggesting there will be widespread corruption where employers "suggest" that employees fill out their ballots together at work with the boss there to "help."  I'm suggesting a much more subtle form of corruption.  

              Imagine a conservative family in the reddest of red states.  Do you think it is possible that a domineering husband would insist that he and his wife fill out their ballots together?  Do you think she would be subtly pressured into voting what he says?  Do you think its possible that some men would just take the ballot and fill it out without even consulting her?

              By keeping a secret ballot, we ensure that people who might otherwise have no voice be able to speak in the voting booth.  Then they can tell whatever lie they need to tell to keep the peace with family.

              I used to be in favor of vote by mail myself until I heard this argument.  It persuaded me.  The objection isn't to the wide spread corruption, it is to the subtle coercion that can exist when someone who is on the fence or not heavily committed changes a vote just to fit in.

            •  Prove that it's not. (0+ / 0-)

              Do you understand burden of proof?

              I agree with you, in principle, but don't say that something new is sound just because no one has proven it isn't. The potential for problems is certainly there.

          •  That's What We Have In CA, Adam.... (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            skywaker9, Adam B, Wee Mama, Amayi

            They open up about a dozen or so precincts in Los Angeles County, mostly at libraries, if memory serves.

            They open up a few weeks before. There is no reason why every state can't do that. It is not even all that expensive to staff up, because there are so few locations.

            "You share your young with the wolves of the nation...
            Theres nothing left til you pray for salvation"
            Black Rebel Motorcycle Club "American X"

            by Steve Singiser on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 09:57:44 AM PDT

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          •  I look at it from the perspective of (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            skywaker9

            transportation problems, as that's an issue for me. Early voting could be an option, but I would like to see universal access with vote by mail.

            If man could be crossed with the cat, it would improve man, but it would deteriorate the cat.

            by Amayi on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 10:00:29 AM PDT

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            •  And Vote by Mail is not free of access problems (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Amayi

              Either, such as requiring a stamp to vote unless you can get close enough to drop it off at an official drop box (easy in urban areas, harder in rural ones)...

              "Polls are like crack, political activists know they're bad for them but they read them anyways."-Unknown

              by skywaker9 on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 10:03:49 AM PDT

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              •  Poll tax, effectively (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                skywaker9

                I see I came across as vote-by-mail hardliner upthread-- "early voting" didn't get pasted into that one. There is no pure solution-- it's a big complex country. Mail is still best option IMO, but early voting should be available.

                If man could be crossed with the cat, it would improve man, but it would deteriorate the cat.

                by Amayi on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 10:13:18 AM PDT

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                •  In OR (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Amayi

                  All public libraries and most public buildings along with other key gathering places (like some McDonalds) all host official ballot boxes.  If your ballot is in there by 8 PM on election day (in any of them), it counts...

                  "Polls are like crack, political activists know they're bad for them but they read them anyways."-Unknown

                  by skywaker9 on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 10:14:12 AM PDT

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            •  Although I'll say this (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Amayi

              Vote by Mail requires a paper ballot....

              "Polls are like crack, political activists know they're bad for them but they read them anyways."-Unknown

              by skywaker9 on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 10:12:58 AM PDT

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              •  I do taxes online... pay student loans online... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                skywaker9

                but it seems beyond gov't capability still to institute online voting, so didn't bother mentioning it :) There would still be access issues with online voting, though, especially in my state--IIRC last in internet access.

                If man could be crossed with the cat, it would improve man, but it would deteriorate the cat.

                by Amayi on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 10:15:58 AM PDT

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          •  plus there's the timeliness issue (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            skywaker9, Adam B

            While I support reforms to make voting more accessible to people with busy schedules (including early in-person or vote-by-mail options), I'm not a big supporter of the "make all elections vote by mail" movement. I prefer to have the option to change my mind at the last possible moment.

            •  My view on that has always been (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              pine, Amayi

              That besides creating potential problems with logistical issues (since you have to find and then dispose of an earlier ballot), most of the stuff you hear late in the campaign is BS anyways so it shouldn't really change your mind...

              "Polls are like crack, political activists know they're bad for them but they read them anyways."-Unknown

              by skywaker9 on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 10:11:32 AM PDT

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              •  yes, but . . . (0+ / 0-)

                Things can still happen at the last minute, as we've seen in several high-profile races. Jim Webb didn't pull ahead of George Allen in the '06 VA Senate race until the last week of the campaign. One could make similar arguments for the '00 Missouri and Michigan Senate races. And then there's John Edwards, who dropped out of the Democratic primaries one week before Super Tuesday.

                Regardless of our exact views about early voting and how to  best implement it, I think we can all agree that voting ought to be easier than it currently is in the United States.

    •  The BEST Comment of All (5+ / 0-)

      a weekday at that, and expect it to be a true free democratic process.

      exactly-- I think the recent EU general election occurred over the entire weekend, as do many elections for individual EU nations.

      let's face it: our system has built-in bullcrap like only a twelve hour window to vote, having to vote on a work/school day, etc.

      it's these pathetic/dumb laws which in fact DIScourage large voter turnout.. and one need only look to the general stat: less than 50 percent of eligible voters actually vote during POTUS elections.

      (the recent POTUS election being a slight, but not huge exception.)

      The bank bailouts are a failure. Robert Reich

      by Superpole on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 09:53:16 AM PDT

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    •  Yup. Either weekend elections or (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      skywaker9, Amayi

      give everyone the day off. Hell we get the day off to celebrate the Puritans f***ing up the country for 400 years - that would be Thanksgiving - why can't we have the day off to vote?

      This ain't no party. This ain't no disco. This ain't no foolin' around!

      by Snud on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 10:07:47 AM PDT

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