February 17, 2005
Election Reform in Olympia
The AP reports that some election reform bills have passed out of committee in the Democrat-controlled Senate.
The Senate package would hold the primary a month earlier so counties would have more time to get out general election ballots. It would impose statewide standards for handling ballots, require first-time voters to produce identification at the polls, require regular audits of county election departments, and require a paper trail for touch-screen voting machines like Snohomish and Yakima counties are using.
Another Senate bill would allow counties to opt for conducting their elections entirely by mail.
Unfortunately, not all of it is good as it sounds. Some of it is girlie-man feel-good stuff that won't accomplish anything except give the (misleading) impression that the Democrats are actually serious about election reform. This AP story didn't include bill numbers, but if you go to Sen. Kastama's Sponsored Bills page
, one finds SB 5499
"Clarifying and standardizing various election procedures".
The ID requirement is pretty weak:
The identification required in this section can be satisfied by providing a current and valid driver's license or state identification card, a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document that shows the name and a photo, signature, or address of the voter.
All you have to do is dig somebody's City Light bill out of their trashcan and you can vote on their behalf! And then there is this lameburger:
The county auditor shall make and preserve a copy of the county list of registered voters ten days before the primary or election. After certification of the election, the county auditor shall compare the number of votes cast at the election with the copy of the list of registered voters created under this section.
How dumb is that? Why not reconcile ballots with voters before
certification? This "reform" is hardly different from what we have today, where if the auditor "compares" the numbers and finds they don't match he can just laugh it off as "human error".
A couple of proposals from Rep. Toby Nixon sound quite a bit better:
[Nixon] wants a revote to be held within 60 days of an election where the number of ballots cast for a measure or office exceeds the number of voters who cast a ballot.
Indeed. He also proposes measures to require re-registration, which, naturally, don't sit well with those Democrats who are dependent on illegal votes. I'll be interested in seeing Rep. Nixon's complete package, which is still being finalaized.
Senate Republicans have proposed a number of important measures that the Democrats, for some reason, have not chosen to include in their bills, for example: Photo ID, proof of citizenship, requirement to reconcile ballots with voters before certification, etc.. Hard to see why any of these would be objectionable to the Democrats unless ...
Contact your own legislators and insist on meaningful election reform, not the girlie-man version that the Democrats are trying to palm off as the real thing.
Posted by Stefan Sharkansky at February 17, 2005
06:41 PM | Email This
"The identification required in this section can be satisfied by providing a current and valid driver's license or state identification card, a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document that shows the name and a photo, signature, or address of the voter."
There is an illegal that I'm going to call Jose Lopez,one of very very many residing in this state, working on a farm. When he came to eastern WA he knew where to go and who to contact long before arriving.
First he had to get a driver' license and he did not drive to the local Dept. of Licensing. A go-between for a fee went to the XXXXXX branch of the Dept. of Licensing with a picture of Jose in hand. For another "fee" besides the cost of the driver's license, Jose had his license without taking his test or even showing up.
Social security cards are a breeze. Flag down one of those Chevy vans cruzing the country side and pay the going "fee" and your SS card is in hand.
So tell me folks, will the Demos idea of a driver's license, utility bill, bank statement or paycheck solve the problem? Do you really think the Demos want people to have to really prove they are a legal resident of this state by showing a birth certificate or proof of citenship if not born here? Then where will they get votes beside the cemetaries?
The SOS should set a three month period of time to complete voter registration. The only identification that would be allowed would be:
1. Certified birth certificate
2. Certificate of Citzenship
3. Driver's license
4. Minimum of 3 months of receipts from rent, house payment, untility bill and pay stubs.
5. If the person is a young adult that has not been employed, a certificate of graduation or form showing a current enrollment in a local high school or college along with the birth certificate or certificate of citizenship.
This will elimiate the dead, the illegals and hopefully those who vote more that once, twice or three times.
I guess many consider this a "non-issue" but Senate bill 5744 that would allow counties to conduct their elections entirely by mail is what worries me. I've researched this subject and believe it will suppress independent review and public verification. Before you say "it will save money, time and increase participation" answer me this this,
If WA was a Mail-In state, like Oregon, would Christin Gregoire have grass roots opposition?
How many so called "irregularities" would been exposed for public scrutiny?
How many found/discovered/enhanced ballots would have been reported by elections officials such as Dean Logan?
Why are so many career politicians eager to have the voting public vote by mail?
Where will the "cost savings" will go?
Have last minute "October Surprises" effected elections and how is that effected by early voting?
Even my wife doesn't agree with me on this (she voted absentee), but until someone can point out why my concerns are unfounded (Sam Reed called my questions "rumor with no proof") I will believe Mail-In voting is an awful idea.
4. It's going to take an initiative to get reasonable, effective election laws in this state. The sooner the better.
5. "a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document that shows the name and a photo, signature, or address of the voter. "
First, I agree with the necessity of Photo ID, and this wording indicates to me that such is not a requirement, regardless of what it says. How many utility bills do you get with you picture on it?
"Why not reconcile ballots with voters before certification?"
I thought that was the requirement, but given the last election cycle(s), perhaps not...
Now, to the ridiculous...
"Requiring voters reaffirm American citizenship before voting: Places a check-box on the ballot envelope which states, “Check here if you are a citizen of the United States.” Failure to mark the check-box does not affect the validity of the ballot. However, fraudulently checking the box is a class C felony. (SB 5080) "
If you are voting, you are (re)affirming citizenship. If you are not a citizen, you should be shot for impersonating one (oops! sorry, got carried away)...
I believe our best chance for preventing fraud in our elections is at the registration desk. We must develop the state-wide database, re-register every voter and every person registering must provide PROOF of eligibility.
A driver's license will NOT do that. They do not even ASK you if you are a citizen when you apply for a driver's license, let alone require proof of it. If we do not stand firm on this issue, if none others, we are toast. It will just become more and more lax until eventually it will be a pointless freeforall.
The Democrats and Republicans are both offering us pablum when what we need is meat.
7. I took a look at my representatives (all D's) for the first time I can remember while being conscious, and I'm sad to report that none of them look normal. Where the heck do these people crawl out of the woodwork from? And don't blame me, I can't vote! (Well I guess I could - according to Sims et al, but I actually respect your rule of law, and so I don't)
Well, at least you're looking. Thats a good thing. While your at it check how many "representatives" have backgrounds in the Education System and how many have business backgrounds. No big surprise, WA-MOB.
An addition to "The only identification that would be allowed would be:" list that Mel put up about 20 minutes ago:
A current valid personal or official US Passport.
I am embarrassed to admit that I am not quite sure which safety deposit or other box my US Birth Certificate is in, but I can lay my hands on my Passport in about 30 seconds. :-]
"It's going to take an initiative to get reasonable, effective election laws in this state. The sooner the better."
As someone who took several regulatory reform initiatives through the filing process with the SOS in 2004, I am a big fan of the people's right to legislate. But in this case I would on balance urge a little (but not much) patience; i.e.:
It is probably prudent to wait to file any election reform initiatives until AFTER the adjournment of the current legislative session. There are so many proposed alterations to key provisions of Title 29A RCW flying around the legislature right now that it might be hard to file an initiative before sine die; or at least prior to the deadline for dropping bills; without taking a big chance of having to start over:
Remember that if you are modifying existing statues you have to include the PRECISE current language on the back on the initiative petition. If the legislature changes ONE WORD in what you have sent thru the SOS, you have to start the entire process over again from scratch.
Because of filing deadlines, as a practical matter waiting to file an election reform initiative until we are safe from "interference" by this session means that it will be too late to file an initiative to the people this year. However, an initiative to the 2006 Legislature could still be considered; since you have all the way out into December to submit signatures in that case.
10. How does ID checking for first-time voters keep democrats from looking up people who haven't voted in the last four elections (as noted here elsewhere by Hannah, I think) and voting in their place????
11. These people are transparent. How can this be seen as anything but a white wash? Here what the token Republican has proposed..
In the House, Rep. Toby Nixon, R-Kirkland, offered a softer version of Roach's proposal to reregister all voters. His bill - not yet filed - would not drop voters from the rolls if they failed to reregister, but would put them on inactive status. They could vote by provisional ballot until they reregistered.
Yes, there it is, the infamous provisional ballot! Why..TELL ME..Why do these people think provisional ballots are so wonderful? The same reason they love Mail-in / Absentee ballots? I think so.
Michele, I am not advocating ID checking for first-time voters. That process can only work on poll voters and will have no impact on absentee voters.
I am advocating deleting the current voter registration rolls, requiring everyone to re-register, providing proof of eligibility when they do so.
That would take care of this problem you refer to for now.
There are other reforms needed in addition to this registration process and one of those is to either remove people from the rolls after they fail to vote a number of times...there are already counties in this state that do that...or making those voters inactive and requiring them to go through some process to reactivate their eligibility.
There is no simple fix. The problems are or fixes, however you look at it, have been spawned and taken root in every aspect of the process. One bill, etc is not going to do it and it is going to be a helacious fight to get it done.
Last night was ample evidence that elections officials (auditors etc.) are totally opposed to any reforms that have any value. I was not exagerating when I said that audience members raised their hands in favor and all the auditor types raised their hands for nay.
Ken may be right. It just may take initatives to get the job done. I think it is obvious that the Democrats don't want reform and the Republicans don't have the..........
Do you want to insure that REAL people vote? Do you want to reduce dead people voting? I have the answer.
GO TO THE POLLS!
REDUCE Mail-in/Provisional/Absentee/Permanent Absentee voting. (some is needed, some is not)
What if, everyone who voted had to (This is radical) had to vote on the same day, then had to (never happen) show a valid voter registration card and had their (crazy idea) a finger marked with ink that would not easily wash off? I know this goes against everything America is based on, but so does election fraud.
14. Here's my prediction: Washington State's "election reform" will end up being a combination of purely cosmetic changes and changes which will make it worse.
If you read the following very closely, you will see there is NO provision for absentee ballots. The Constitution states that EVERYONE votes on the same day. Right?
Constitution of the United States
"The Congress may determine the Time of chusing the Electors, and the Day on which they shall give their Votes; which Day shall be the same throughout the United States."
16. Um, the Electors are (and were this time) chosen on the same day. It just isn't anywhere near Nov. 2. Absentee ballots didn't affect the choosing of the Electors.
"REDUCE Mail-in/Provisional/Absentee/Permanent Absentee voting."
I have voted absentee for several years. If it would help clean up our election process, I would gladly forgo this privilege. I am also one of those people who likes to go through all the voting material in a quiet room, and make my choices slowly. Usually I don't mail it in too early though. Do I feel like I should volunteer to vote at the polls? Not yet, but this all mail-in voting that is being pushed as part of "election reform" seems to be a set up for failure, or a win for the status quo.
I vote an absentee ballot also, and for the very same reasons JG does, BUT, I also put my fanny in the car on election day and take my absentee ballot (and my husbands absentee ballot -he's frequently out of the country) TO our polling place and put it into the box with my own two little hands.
I too would give up absentee if it would solve the problems we faced this election cycle and I believe many others would as well, IF (and that's a great big, huge IF) they would put together an election pamphlet that you didn't need an advanced organizational degree to sort through and read or a sample ballot specific to the particular contests for which we are voting.
1. Require all WA voters to re-register before the next election cycle.
2. Require a birth certificate or proof of naturalization to register.
3. Require a drivers license or other government-issued document (utility bill, tax bill, etc.) with the voter's name and physical address to register.
4. Require a photo ID (driver's license or state-issued ID) to vote.
5. Limit use of absentee ballots to individuals who are physically unable to go to their designated polling place. Except for chronic cases of physical infirmity/medical necessity, a request for an absentee ballot should only be valid for one election.
6. Require re-registration if a voter does not cast a ballot in two consecutive elections.
7. Utilize provisional ballots only to the extent required by (and strictly in accordance with) Federal law.
Expanding the use of mail-in ballots will only exacerbate the problems we saw last November. Impersonating a voter in person is a lot harder to do than forging someone's signature (especially when county election workers aren't trained handwriting analysts). Absentee/mail-in ballots should be the exception, not the rule, and only for those who truly need them.
My wife and I have voted absentee in a number of elections when we were traveling or living out of the country. Otherwise, we happily trot down to the local elementary school and cast our votes. It's a small price to pay for freedom.
20. You guys are absolutely convinced that our voter rolls are full of . . . . Democrats. You won't rest until you've purged the rolls of them.
21. Here's a reform I'd like to see-- If a recount reverses the previous outcome, the election is invalidated and a revote is taken. If this was in effect, the best the Dems could have done was to keep Rossi out of office, instead of stealing the election for Gov. Pro Tem Xine Gregoire.
22. "You guys are absolutely convinced that our voter rolls are full of Democrats. You won't rest until you've purged the rolls of them."
We only want to purge the dead ones who still seem to be able to find their way to the polls every November. And the ones who left this state when Clinton was president and haven't been back since, but keep sending a ballot.
Absentee voting has its place. Provisional ballots have their place. I am not opposed to accommodating voters who need it. What I am against is this cleverly disguised agenda, pushing vote-by-mail.
The proponents of this want you to believe any problems are "rumors" and there is "no proof" of vote-by-mail fraud. Hey! Now thats two words that go together. Mail. Fraud. Mail Fraud. But that would never happen during an election, right Mr. Reed?
Imagine the problems vote-by-mail could solve!
Close elections can be calculated weeks ahead of time. No more "mystery ballots". An exact number could eliminate those pesky re-re-counts.
Signatures can be checked/verified/tossed before election day.
Any "irregularities" can be corrected ahead of time. No more waiting for while we decide the voters intent. We have time to fix the ballots.
Paper trails will show who voted for whom. No more pesky "secret" ballots.
If a candidate is found to have committed a "digression", he/she will not be unduly penalized come election day. They already have your vote.
As Oregon's Secretary of State, Bill Bradbury -D, says "The reality is, you won't find a more fraud-free system than the one we operate."
That's right Billy boy, "you won't find".
BTW.. The search engine indexes have been flooded with Pro vote-by-mail articles. You will see the same names and articles, ten pages deep. That is what they want you to think.
Think for yourself. What is more important.. The convenience of vote-by-mail or a fair election?
docbenton - Are you saying that all the deceased voters, felons, illegals, double voters, etc. are Democrats??
Concerning checking of signatures...this election clearly demonstrates that signature comparisons don't work. If it worked, the ballots cast for the deceased would have been thrown out.
About drivers licenses ... Several years ago my daughter, then 33, moved here from CA. She had her purse stolen and had to get her Social Security card reissued and a new drivers license. We had her certified birth certificate, her new SS Card and even my birth certificate showing that I was her mother and my WA drivers license. We didn't just talk to the person at the window, we talked to their boss and to the bosses boss. No matter what we produced they would not give her a drivers license until we provided a photo id.
Out of desperation and total frustration we went to COSTCO and I bought her a membership, they took her photo and placed it on the membership card. The drivers license department accepted and issued her a WA drivers license based on her photo ID from COSTCO ... not her birth certificate or any other documentation we provided. We are both blue eyed blonds and neither of us look like potential terrorists but, you should all sleep better at night knowing how thorough the department of licensing is to make sure only qualified citizens/residents receive a valid drivers license in this state.
Hanna -- no, I am not saying that. In fact, so far as has been reported in the press to date, it appears that Dino Rossi enjoyed substantial majorities among the dead and the felons. When we actually get around to hard evidence in court of which illegal voter voted for which candidate, and subtract those votes from the candidates' totals, Chris Gregoire's lead is likely to expand. Maybe we will hear more about this issue today.
What I am really saying is that some, not all, but some, of the suggestions for reform touted on this site and others are not really about "reform" at all, but about suppressing the vote of populations perceived to be in opposition to Republicans. This may be good politics in the short run, but it is bad policy in the long run. Requiring everyone to re-register, for example, because there is a perception based on PR propaganda that there is a raft load of illegal voters out there is far less important, given the truly tiny scale of the problem, than the far larger real problem of getting the 50% of eligible voters who don't vote at all to the polls. Washington's stated policy is to encourage as many eligilbe voters to vote as possible and we should be doing everything possible to address that problem and to make it easy to show up and vote.
That being said, we can do some things to make voting better (and to remove red herring issues from the debate) such as: moving the primary to an earlier time to eliminate the non-issue of military people not getting their ballots on time (the military returned the same percentage of votes as the general population -- hard to make a case they didn't get their ballots on time, but that hasn't stopped the GOP from trotting out this issue, but let's be sure) and to allow the auditors time to get the ballots printed and out in an orderly manner rather than in a mad dash; changing the voting machines or ballots so that they cannot scan provisional ballots until confirmed, to take the heat off our volunteer poll workers and off of an electorate ignorant of procedures (even though the vast majority of provisional voters who put their ballots in the machines were later confirmed to be legitimate); establish an accurate statewide data base of felons (and while we're at it, let's have a real debate about whether felons should be allowed to vote after completing time served), for example. The last two of those are underway and the first, the primary, may actually make it by the legislature, despite the fact that incumbents of both parties don't really want a primary before September (as it turns out, retaining one's elected position has strong bi-partisan support).
What we shouldn't do is throw the baby out with the bath water by requiring everyone to re-register because some perceive that there are a few illegal voters in the system. There always will be a few, but there will be fewer over time as out technology improves. In the meantime, the real problem remains -- getting people to vote in the first place. Instead of attempting to suppress the vote of people who disagree with one, I suggest each of us attempts to persuade eligible voters to agree with our positions and go to the polls.
If human history is any teacher, the attempt to get everyone to re-register will have an inordinate impact on minority voters, undereducated voters, and second language voters. Witness the poll taxes and other "requirement" for voting imposed on minorty voters in the American South over the last century and a half, for example. Many such legitimate voters won't reregister, because of ignorance, because of the hassle of doing so (I assume that if you want everyone to reregister, you want a procedure for that that is more than simply mailing in a new form), and because they feel intimidated by our government (or any government) heavily scrutinizing them. And don't come back with "What do they have to hide?" To many people, especially those who are different from the majority, interacting with authority is intimidating and they avoid it. Don't erect barriers to voting where in the big picture of things they aren't necessary. The GOP powers-that-be know all of this, of course, and are jsut salivating at the chance to unregister many legitimate voters who they perceive to be . . . . Democrats.
Let's devote our energy to getting people to the polls, not keeping legitimate voters away from them becasue we perceive that there are a very few illegal voters in the mix who will be weeded out over time anyway. Think big, instead of small.
docbenton: "When we actually get around to hard evidence in court of which illegal voter voted for which candidate..."
This is an argumant I've never understood: with a secret ballot, how can one determine which physical ballots were cast illegally (and then subtract those votes from the candidate's total)? The RCW refers to this as a possible remedy for illegally cast votes, yet it would seem to be physically impossible, since individual illegal ballots are not identifiable...the law is nonsensical on its face.
As far as making it "easier" to vote: I have no interest in "disenfranchising" anyone who is legally entitled to vote - in fact, I would like to see EVERY eligible voter involved in the process. I just also happen to believe that the integrity of the process is more important than its convenience.
We should not compromise the sanctity of the ballot box to accomodate people who can't be bothered to get up and go to the polls (health permitting), or who for some reason are unwilling to obtain a photo ID to which they are legally entitled. Such is the price of liberty. Could you imagine the Iraqis complaining because they weren't allowed to vote by mail, or about having to live with purple ink stains? Sheesh.
Your argument that we would be best served by "getting people to vote in the first place" is wrong. Numbers for numbers sake mean nothing. Ask any statistician.
Democracies are best served when their populations are well informed (hence the First Amendment and the rise of the Blog over the MSM) and self motivated. Don't take my word for it ... read some history.
PC happy liberals don't like hearing it, but a fact is a fact ... anyone too ignorant or lazy to properly register would also show the same lack of responsibility regarding their civic duty to become informed about the issues and people they're voting on. This is a very bad thing for a Democracy.
PC happy liberals DO however like to make it easy for such individuals to vote because lazy people are most likely to follow the democrat line: that taxes should be raised on productive people (oops, "the rich") in order that the government can "take care of them".
29. Republicans (and ALL honest Washingtonians) just want to purge the fraud from the voter rolls. Too bad Dems don't want to. We will NOT be stopped by phoney allegations that just mean Dems are scared that honesty may actually come to election process and they won't be able to vote in place of people who haven't voted in the last four elections (thanks to Hannah for alerting us about this)
Patrick -- the burden is necessarily very heavy on the moving party. Go find the actual people you allege voted illegally and put them on the stand establish that they voted illegally, and ask them how they voted. If you don't do that, then you run the risk of mistakenly removing from office a legitimate winner and disenfranchising the majority who voted for that candidate. The words of the statute about subtraction of illegal votes from the candidates totals mean those votes have to be allocated somehow and statistics ain't going to cut it. Good luck with this burden, by the way. I'm sure each of the felons accused of voting illegally will be happy to testify.
Lee -- if you propose that a qualification for voting is being fully informed on the issues, then you and I might be the only voters left . . . . In a democracy, every legitimate voter gets to vote, Lee, even those who don't know squat.
Michele -- when you have some hard evidence that that really happened, other than pure unadulterated hearsay, let me and the prosecutors know.
31. DocBenton, actually, due to the secret ballot requremnts it is impossible to know. I would guess you are talking about the MSM stories which speculated the "what if" of Rossi receiving illegal votes. What stands to reason is using the ratio of Gregoire to Rossi votes in the precinct for which they were cast and apply that against the total statewide vote. Since the majority of the illegal votes surfaced in heavily democratic precincts in high population areas there stands to reason that Gregoire's totals would be more severely impacted Than Rossi's. With the numbers they are talking so far, over 1000, that leaves Gregoire, with just the county wide ratios and not the precinct ratios, behind Rossi by more than 30 votes. Using precinct ratios Rossi wins with a higher percentage. Now you take into account the total number of votes in error; FWIBs, the illegal ballots in the previous example, the enhanced ballots, and the precinct by precinct vote tallys being off and it comes to a healthy win for Rossi of over 9700 votes. This number comes without identifying votes the Democrats assistants gathered by "voting" for those who forgot to vote in the last couple elections and the votes the democrats failed to account for when they went house to house gathering signatures. Doc, this is why the residents of the state of Washington demand voting reform. That California has it worse then us only shows how lucky we have it with our discovering this now. My bet is with a watertight voting reform the power shift in most metropolitan counties woudl shift ocnsiderably. You know, I like the odds on who I would bet on in those races.
"I don't belong to an organized political party. I'm a Democrat." - Will Rogers
Michele S asked:
"How does ID checking for first-time voters keep democrats from looking up people who haven't voted in the last four elections (as noted here elsewhere by Hannah, I think) and voting in their place????
So, it would be ok if a Republican did it? ;-)
It would prevent it for both parties the same way. Too big a risk for not enough return. The idea here is to prevent the vast majority of cheating. After all, we evil Democrats can't count on elections being this close very often. It even said so in the "Evil Democrat Newsletter".
The same with letting someone use a utility bill. I assume that Mr. Sharkanski doesn't throw out his utility bills, (since the power still seems to be on at his computer) so it's unlikely that someone would:
1. Go dumpster diving for utility bills.
2. Compare the bills that were found to the voter registration files.
3. Risk getting caught when the real person (to whom the bill belonged) went in and registered.
I agree, however, that it's pretty weak as far as identification goes. Not as weak as is being implied, but still, pretty weak. A photo id would be far better. Anyone want to start campaigning for free Washington ID cards to anyone that doesn't have a driver's license?
As to the signed statement of citizenship, it will at least remove the "I didn't know" factor. A legal immigrant signing that statement by risks losing eventual citizenship. Not a risk that many will be willing to take.
(Does anyone have hard numbers regarding non-citizens registering to vote? People have been looking pretty hard recently. How many have been found? Essentially, how big a problem is this? It wouldn't take that many to change my mind about the severity of this problem.)
Now, I'm presuming that there will also be:
1. Computerized checking against a statewide database of felons that have not had voting rights restored. (This is both easy and cheap.)
2. Computerized comparisons of voter registrations to prevent dual registration by the same person. (Again, easy to do and cheap to implement.)
3. Computerized checking against the Social Security database to check for "living-impaired" voters.
None of these changes requires any new law, just new procedure. Secretary Reed should have enough clout after this mess to implement those reforms. If he can't or won't, I'll have to re-think my opinion of him.
Now, as for requiring everyone to re-register, that sounds really nice. The only problem is that it seems to conflict with federal law (Voting Rights Act of 1965, public law 89 110, 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1973) that prevents cancelling a voter's registration except under certain limited circumstances. But, why let a little thing like that interfere with condemning Democrats anyway? ;-) (Hey, two smilies in one post!)
As to the comments regarding vote-by-mail. It seems that both sides are pushing for this, and I couldn't even begin to say why. It seems like a can of worms to me, and I've always believed that voting is important enough to roust my sorry tail end out of my recliner and down to my polling place.
Still, I presume that the Republicans that keep pushing for this are not doing it because they want to cheat, so how about presuming the same thing about the Democrats?
Overall, this is a pretty weak step, but the fact that it's being taken at all is encouraging. So, the question is, would you rather have a weak step taken in the right direction, or do nothing except continue to complain?
You are one of the commenters who does a real disservice to "honest" Republicans/Washingtonians.
Do you REALLY believe that Democratic Party folks were "able to vote in place of people who haven't voted in the last four elections"???
I mean, come ON... If there is actual evidence of that I would expect Vance and the GOP to trumpeting it to the rooftops. It wouldn't only turn the tide of opinion on the gubernatorial election but on anything the Dems in this state touch for a long time.
docbenton: "Go find the actual people you allege voted illegally and put them on the stand establish that they voted illegally, and ask them how they voted."
That's exactly the point of the 384 provisional ballots (I think that was the number) that were counted without being verified. They look just like the others, they have been separated from the envelopes with the voters' names, and there's no way to know to which 384 voters out of the thousands who cast provisional ballots these particular ballots belonged.
There is also no way to know whether the unverified provisionals were intentionally cast illegally, or if they were legitimate votes that just missed the controls. If we accept the possibility that the process was intentionally bypassed, why should anyone assume that the illegal votes are split in the same proportion as the rest of the votes? It would be more likely that the illegal votes were intended to favor a specific candidate - but of course, there is no way to know which one. The result is that the true outcome of the election is unknowable.
What we have here is a situation not envisioned in the particular statute that speaks of subtracting votes from a candidate's total. Instead of individual cases of vote fraud ascribable to specific persons, we have a massive breakdown in the system resulting in a mathematically knowable number of invalid (anonymous) votes that far exceeds the margin of victory. The situation requires a judicial remedy in which a court exercises the discretion granted it by the statute.
35. This is nothing more then more of Christine GangFraud and her Band of Felons WHITEWASH. Maybe we should get together and bring brushes and buckets of whitwash to olympia, ronnie sims office and the king county of voter fraud. They must be running low by now.