Sunday, July 03, 2005

The truth about voter turnout

Saying that “mail ballot elections INCREASE voter turnout” is a marketing statement, not a statement of fact. Like many marketing statements, it is not true.

When voter turnout for a mail ballot election is NOT greater than turnout for a traditional election, election officials just make up excuses and falsely represent them to the public as fact. This deceitful habit should be stopped.

Check out the logic below. Remember, when working with the turnout numbers, it is easier to cast fraudulent ballots by mail than it is to cast fraudulent ballots in a precinct. The number of “votes cast” by mail ballot, therefore, is likely to be overstated.


U. S. Presidential elections typically enjoy the highest turnout. With the exception of Oregon (I think), these elections are never mail ballot elections. Officials explain that the ISSUE drives the high turnout in presidential years.

Look at the U.S. turnout statistics for the 2000 Presidential election - -- same election, different states.

Notice that the VAP turnout ranges from 68.8% (Minnesota) to 40.5% (Hawaii). This is a 28.3% difference between the highest and lowest turnout. What explains this difference?

Note that Oregon’s mail ballot turnout was 60.6% which is 8.2% lower than the top, non-mail ballot election. In fact, 8 traditional voting states had turnout which exceeded Oregon’s mail ballot turnout. What explains these differences?


The City of Boulder conducted a mail ballot election in March 2005. Turnout was 23.4%. In the November 2003 Boulder City Council MAIL BALLOT ELECTION, turnout reported was 58.2% -- What explains this difference?


Colorado’s county to county variation in the 2001 election cannot be explained by mail ballot voting. See -- same odd year election, different Colorado counties. Also, review attachments to this report, "Press release – Voter Turnout Report" and working document "Voter Turnout Report".


Oregon’s 2004 mail ballot election for President had turnout by county ranging from 80.9% to 91.4% - a difference of 10.5% -- see Yet Boulder County Colorado’s traditional election for the same Presidential election had a turnout of 90.8% -- see

Boulder County’s 90.8% turnout in its 2004 traditional Presidential election was only 0.6% less than the best county turnout in Oregon’s 2004 mail ballot Presidential election, and was 9.9% better than Oregon’s worst mail ballot voting county.


The numbers do not support the thesis that mail ballot elections increase voter turnout. Election officials who say they do are not telling the truth.

Wall Street Journal editorial writer and author of the book Stealing Elections, John Fund says, "It's about time that someone step forward and admit that the root cause of low turnout isn't restrictive voting laws, but voter apathy. People are fed up with mediocre candidates, gerrymandered districts and uncompetitive elections."