Thursday, October 05, 2006

Manipulating the facts

The articles “More voters using absentee ballots” and “Cost to vote is increasing” are great illustrations of government propaganda.

Boulder County has done everything it can do to get people to vote by absentee ballot. Why?

1. Staff hopes to reduce the Election Day workload on the poorly designed HART ballot scanning equipment, and
2. Staff hopes to reduce long lines at Early and Election Day polling places.
What harm is done by encouraging people to vote by absentee ballot? Absentee ballots are not secure and they result in disenfranchised voters

1. Not every absentee ballot gets counted.
2. Absentee ballots get lost and stolen and can be switched.
3. Eligible voter’s ballots get rejected by staff.
4. Ineligible people get to vote, hence eligible votes get cancelled.
On a practical side, absentee ballots cost more and take much longer to process than in-person paper ballots.

Staff knows that informed voters study the candidates and issues before they come to the polling place. Most come prepared with a checklist of their votes. Instead of educating voters to come to the polls prepared, staff promotes the myth of the unprepared voter. This encourages voters to come to the polls unprepared.

And don’t be comforted by staff claims that the Logic and Accuracy Tests and the Post Election Audit will catch any problems. This is an irresponsible and absolutely untrue claim.

Why has Boulder County hired a person to promote the insecure, inaccurate, and expensive absentee ballot? Because for staff, elections are all about staff convenience and making staff look good.

What is our advice to voters?

(1) Always use a paper ballot (not a paper receipt).
(2) Personally cast your anonymous ballot into the ballot box.
(3) Don’t vote absentee or provisional ballots unless there is absolutely no alternative. (These ballots must be placed into a sealed envelop, and risk being not counted.)
(4) Never use voting equipment that records your votes electronically, even if the equipment also prints your votes on a paper receipt. (The votes on the electronic record decide the election, not the ones on the paper receipt.)

Al Kolwicz