September 16, 2005
Absentee Ballot Curiosity (III)
This ballot was very obviously not signed by the voter to whom it was issued. Nevertheless, it was tabulated and the nominal voter (not the signer) was credited.
Why should any of us worry when thousands of voters receive multiple ballots and when illegal postal endorsements permit ballots to be forwarded all over the place when we have signature verification?
Posted by Stefan Sharkansky at September 16, 2005
01:13 AM | Email This
I am tired of this already.
I will not vote if mail is my only choice. What's the point?
If we boycotted the vote, would that do any good?
Heck, we keep losing anyway! (one way or another...)
Do you have Amy Richardson's envelope?
It appears that Richardson and Long share a residence. It would be interesting to see who's signature is on Richardson's actual envelope.
Begs the question; Did signature verification even take place in 2004 election?
This is clear evidence that it didn't or at least the employee processing this batch did not perform the task. How many other batches were processed by the same employee.
Here is a way to check quality control. During the primary election a performance test should be done. In conjunction with the SOS there should be 100 simulated envelopes returned to King County with matching dummy registrations on file. None of the envelopes would contain real ballots. The signatures wouldn't even be close to matching the issued name on the envelope or the signature of the dummy registration in the computer. Then you see how many of the 100 following the election were credited or rejected.
Before any county in Washington can go to all mail ballot elections they must all pass this test by catching 100% of the bogus signature ballots. That is the only way we can be sure that the loophole for this type of fraud is closed. Not only that but put all the counties on notice after their initial performance test that there will be random checks to make sure they are processing the ballots correctly.
I will be happy to work in the Super Secret Vote Security Office at the SOS. Give me a call Sam, I have plenty more sensible ideas to make sure counties are doing their job. I will even make up neat report cards for every county following each election with grades for different aspects of election security.
Then we can publish them so each office and their auditor can be held accountable!
Don't worry, I won't hold my breath.
What an excellent idea. This type of quality control is something that corporate America often uses in an effort to make certain systems are working as designed. You would judge the result by how many of these phoney sig ballots were actually opened....and there would be no harm. Perfect.
Of course as Joe knows, KingCo will never ever do this. They want to masquerade as competent ad infinitum.
Dean Logan probably subscribes to the adage that if we don't prove how incompetent we are...maybe no one will notice?!!
4. Not only verify the accuracy of the signatures Take a Heavy Democratic precinct and verify the signatures. Then go to a Heavy Republican precinct and compare the results. It would be interesting to see if different standards were used in Democratic precincts compared to Republican Precints. The big question are the treated the same or are standards different depending on where you live.
Libs always believe they are honest and have integrity it is only the Republicans that are evil and corrupt the system. There by looser controls on Democratic precincts is permissible. We only need to watch those evil Republicans. I know Headless belives this from the way comments are written.
That is a really good idea!
Joe...I also like your idea! Considering the current condition of KC elections, I am more in favor of banning vote by mail insead of considering all mail-in. But this would be a good test to run statewide every few years. Counties that pass can retain all mail-in balloting if they wish, but counties that fail must return to poll balloting until their accuracy improves.
Stefan...a memory is bouncing around, something about KC elections workers being so busy last November checking signatures, that there was no time to credit voters, reconcile numbers, or to perform other manditory election functions?? No wonder they stalled so long prior to allowing you access to their "transparent" public records. Many thanks, and keep up the good work!
7. I really think if we provided sufficiently onerous penalties, say 10 to 15 years in prison, for this kind of "crime," people like Amy would think twice and pay a little more attention to which ballot they were signing. We'd have a lot fewer of this type of accident wrecking havoc our electoral process.
Thank you for digging into this and providing documentation that should have been provided at the trial earlier this year.
The fraud taking place and being enabled by King County officials is shocking.
I have NO faith any longer in State-wide elections.
I have NO faith in the Secretary of State to protect the integrity of the electorial process.
I have No faith in King County elections.
Government derives its powers from the legitimate delegation of power by the people.
Elected official are in for a rude surprise when the people refuse to delegate their powers and take them back. I am not sure how this peaceful revolution will take place, but I for one will work for change and do no longer trust state wide elections where King County can sway the results.
There is no audit of ballots. As long as each of 39 election offices are printing their own ballots, and also doing the inventory on them, fraud from within is easy.
If a bank teller double pays the bank knows it that very day. The inventory rules are the same for ballots and none of these election officers are so obtuse that they don't know how to count ballots printed minus ballots distributed. Sending two ballots to one person would be easy.
Bottom line: with voting by mail there is no way to know who really returned those ballots.
Signature checking is a joke. They don't even identify that the name signed isn't the right name. The checkers are not handwriting analysts, the work is tedious, and workers appear to be on automatic pilot, anyway.
The money would be better spent keeping the voter rolls clean- as required by law-, updating the dead, the address changes and contacting those mystery households that have, say, john jones and john j jones to see if this is a father-son or the same person.
None of this will be done- voting by mail is a farce. An easy way to steal an election from the inside.
Joe's quality control proposal makes sense, with one exception: It is just as important for counties without
The reason is that anyone who wants to commit fraud today can do it by voting absentee. All-mail voting just forces honest people to vote by mail; crooks can do it already.
So if you are worried about vote fraud, don't waste your time fighting all-mail voting. And don't waste your time tightening the ID procedures for in-person voting. Instead, tighten the biggest security hole that exists today, the one that this voter (whether intentionally or not) violated.
But... I don't think signatures are checked 100% of the time on checks or credit card receipts, either. And it must be expensive to check them on ballots, especially if you include the costs of following up on questionable (not obviously wrong) matches. I'm not sure what the right answer is -- I do value the increased participation of honest voters that comes with mail voting.
11. I am so happy to live in Snohomish County where our Republican-controlled council refused to let the auditor and executive force all-mail voting down our throats. Now if they can only roll mail voting back even more ...
This envelope should not have been opened. Read page 7 of voters pamphlet, regarding voting absentee. Step #10 says, "your signature is verified. If it matches, the ballot is removed from the envelope." Step #11 says "If your signature doesn't match, we'll contact you. Be sure to respond..."
Dare we hope for better this time around?
Great ideas, all--and Witz even had a lucid moment--I'd reconsider the prison, but DEFINITELY have hefty monetary fines. $5-10k usually gets one's attention IF it's enforced;
still sounds like humans eyeball the signatures for verification; don't computers match some scan on, say, 3-5 points of the image? i guess trained and experienced people used to match fingerprints manually long ago, but i'm surprised technology hasn't found this process yet;
14. Actually, I donít see anywhere on the envelope stating the persons signature on the outside must be from the person whose ballot is enclosed. Reading the statements, itís implied, but not really stated that way. The signature which is shown could very well meet all the criteria listed.
Joe - Great idea.
Ted - You are correct as long as Amy did not also vote the ballot mailed to her.
16. Ted Bundy ... then what would the signature be matched against??
17. Ted -- C'mon. It says "Signature of Voter". It's on the outside of an envelope containing a ballot. Any court would hold that this implies "voter of the ballot contained in this envelope" as opposed to "someone who once voted somewhere".
I guess it all boils down what your definition of "is" is.
19. THIS vote was counted??? Can KCE GET any dumber than this??? This should be spread all over the media. ENOUGH~!! We have HAD it!!! This proves that KCE just wants VOTES--legal OR illegal. They will count them no matter how improper. THIS is how King County controls all the rest of the state. The veil is off, thanks to Stefan.
When I think of all of the money wasted over the past several years - by Ron Sims on election task forces, temporary software fixes, blue ribbon committees, felon printing services, processing buildings, election oversight committees, more task forces, etc.....it adds up to at least a billion dollars! AND OUR ELECTIONS HAVE BECOME MORE SCREWED UP!
If Ron Sims had any management sense (and any sense of honesty) he would have invested in technology that could scan signatures on a 5 point basis for matches. He would have invested in an election software program that could integrate all ballot transactions instantly so there could be a constant updated total of absentee ballots sent, received, verified and processed. Along with poll ballot verification, tabulation after a crosscheck with the voter database. etc....
The county could have saved millions of dollars.... and their reputation..
21. Unkl Witz. You stated that "We'd have a lot fewer of this type of accident wrecking havoc our electoral process". Are you serious? Fraudulent voting is an accident? How stupid do you have to be to get someone else's mail, fill it out, sign your name to it, and mail it back without ever noticing that IT ISN'T YOURS. I used to get mail all the time for people who lived at my address before I bought the house. Not once did I "accidentally" apply for a credit card in their name, show up at court for them, or pay their bills for them. Wonder why?
I should be shocked. I want to be shocked. But for some unexplainable reason, I feel no shock. You could prove Elvis, Tupac and Jimmy Hoffa were are still alive, living together in a Fremont apartment, and all voted six times, and still, I would feel no shock.
That is what KC Rec. and Elections has done to me.
23. Yes, Unkl, please re-calibrate, here. This was NO accident! No soft-pedaling on fraud, please. Call it what it is.
As long as Ron Sims is at the helm - fraud and corruption in the voting booth will be commonplace. People will be much more wary of it this time. However, it will take a sustained attack (like the Cubans made in a Miami polling place in the 2000 Presidential election) to thwart the onslaught of illegal votes - OR a much easier solution; by electing David Irons in November as County Exec. However, it will take a concerted effort by fair-minded activists to count all legal votes ONLY so that the real result that people can be achieved !
You know and I know that Sims & the current crop of Democrats of the County Council say count every vote because their belief is every illegal vote is potentially a vote for them. This isn't America - it's more like Cuba or Stalingrad, thanks these leaders from Hell...
25. Outrageous. Where are the democrats with their favorite word - "unconscionable"?
Amy L. Richardson registered to vote at that address in 2004. Thomas R. Long Jr. registered in 1997. Both are Permanent Absentee.
The database says that Amy is NOT credited with voting.
Just guessing, I would say that she lost her absentee ballot and returned the one she did have. Her actions might be excuseable.
KCE's are not.
Another "shining example" of Reed's expertise in the elections process!
He has been pumping the "all absentee balloting" as productive, efficient and necessary.
I guess he forgot to tell us that it would be a magnet for voter fraud.
How in the world did I ever vote for that guy?
There is so much more spineless Sam Reed could do, but didn't because he didn't want to offend any special interest groups.
I too will not ever vote for him again !
29. Wow: Thanks for pointing this out for me. I learn more and more each day about WA Democratically controlled King County politics. Ron Sims did get trainnig in CA.
I think Joe has a great idea, but PLEASE folks, lets not forget what we really have to do. I know that a huge percentage of the voters are so frustrated by the fraud and manipulation of the system that they are just giving up, this is what they want, but we CAN NOT give up. We MUST redouble our efforts. Not only must each and every one of us cast our votes we MUST get 10 others to do the same.
We can win this one. David Irons and I WILL turn this around and make our Elections department one of the best in the country. No matter what it takes, up to and including starting from scratch if that is what is needed, we will get that job done, you have my word on that. We will have the votes to make it happen at the council level, and David is as committed as I am to cleaning up this cesspool.