I just finished reading a disturbing article from yesterday's New York Times concerning absentee voting. I highly recommend that you read this if you are considering voting absentee.
Much of the article deals with election fraud using absentee ballots. While this is extremely important and definitely needs to be addressed, the part of the article that concerns me at this moment concerns the counting of absentee ballots. The article notes that voting by absentee ballot has increased in the past 30 years and now makes up about 20% of votes, but also notes that this has led to problems.
Yet votes cast by mail are less likely to be counted, more likely to be compromised and more likely to be contested than those cast in a voting booth, statistics show. Election officials reject almost 2 percent of ballots cast by mail, double the rate for in-person voting.One of the reasons for this is the complicated instructions and procedures for mailing an absentee ballot including the many places it must be signed, the order of the pages being correct, and where the ballot is mailed from. Another reason is that election officials must decide whether the signature matches the one on record.
“This ‘r’ is not like that ‘r,’ ” Judge Augustus D. Aikens Jr. said, suggesting that a ballot should be rejected.Now in the case above, the ballot was ultimately accepted after the election supervisor pointed out that the "k" looked like the "k" on record. But it does illustrate the possible arbitrary nature of deciding whose signature is valid. It rang a bell with me because there are a number of letters (s, r, k, and a, in particular) that I write differently at times. No particular reason I do it and I don't think about it, it just happens. And I imagine that other people are also not consistent in how they form letters. Of course, even if one is consistent, health issues, such as arthritis or stroke, lead to changes in handwriting.
The entire article is worth a read, but I wanted to focus on this aspect of the article because of the push to vote absentee, especially in states with new voter ID laws.
2:45 I have to leave for a few hours but will check in again when I return home. Thanks to everyone who has or will participate in the discussion