cmf
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Why So Hard To Run An Election

Mon Nov 05, 2012 12:31 am

"Elections officials, overwhelmed with voters, locked the doors to its Doral headquarters and temporarily shut down the operation, angering nearly 200 voters standing in line outside — only to resume the proceedings an hour later.
...
Nearly all the voters stayed in line until a campaign worker reported her car had been towed from a private parking lot across the street. Scores of people ducked out of the line to check on their own cars.

Behind closed doors were back-and-forth phone calls among the department, the county attorney’s office and the mayor, who eventually decided to let the people outside the elections department vote."

http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/11/0...e%20turnout&asset_type=html_module

Why are we having so many problems running an election? We have had the ID issues, registration problems with people who should be allowed to vote not being able to and voters who shouldn't doing it anyway, thrown away registrations, multi-hour lines. The article above lists many more problems with how election officials try to circumvent one craziness by doing many other.

Come Tuesday and the following days I'm sure we will be able to add many more cases of the above plust counting problems.

On another thread someone complained about UN sending election monitors and some states are threatening to ban them. Are we so embarrassed about or election process that we are afraid to let people see it?


Will we ever be able to run a smooth election?
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AirframeAS
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RE: Why So Hard To Run An Election

Mon Nov 05, 2012 1:27 am

This is why I oppose early voting, because this is what you get. Waiting in line for 4 hours just to vote early is ridiculous.

Absentee Ballots are the way to go, or just go vote on Nov 6. It's not that difficult to do. Doing early voting just complicates things, IMO.

For those who think voting on a Tuesday is so difficult and disrupts lives, then they are delusional. Taking one day to vote is really nothing.
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Klaus
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RE: Why So Hard To Run An Election

Mon Nov 05, 2012 2:15 am

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 1):
This is why I oppose early voting, because this is what you get. Waiting in line for 4 hours just to vote early is ridiculous.

If the organisation can't handle multiple days of early voting already, how would it be able to handle everyone voting on the same day?

This appears to be a combination of issues:

• doing the election on the cheap with far too little resources

• exposing the electoral process to partisan manipulation instead of having a unified, rigid electoral process every state and community was forced to adhere to

• deliberately screwing with the process, making it more fragile and less transparent (voting machines are a pandora's box all by themselves)

Germany has "only" about 80 million people, but elections are a non-issue with automatic voter registration (you automatically get your notification in the mail), no need for early voting, still no or insignificant lines on election day (I've never waited for longer than maybe 5 minutes), no voting machines (regular, standardized paper ballots filled in with ball pens), manual counting, no significant complications and results are still in a few hours after end of voting the same evening.

The US electoral process looks like a giant avoidable mess which sometimes reaches into vote suppression territory (the electoral system as such is another problem in itself). Horrendous.
 
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RE: Why So Hard To Run An Election

Mon Nov 05, 2012 2:33 am

Quoting Klaus (Reply 2):
If the organisation can't handle multiple days of early voting already, how would it be able to handle everyone voting on the same day?

It was never an issue in the past here in the U.S before this crap program started. Why its an issue now is because of the fact that the early voting thing was ill planned and not conducted correctly. The organizers did not anticipate nor plan or these crowds, in which is why thy cannot handle what they started.

Voting on Election Day was never a problem. I have never ever seen a crowd waiting to vote.

IMO, early voting has backfired badly. No one should have to wait 4 hours to vote. Pathetic and piss poor planning.

If its worth anything.....I voted with an absentee ballot and mailed it in, checked online if my ballot was accepted.....and it was. No lines, no fuss.....no stress.  
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hOMSaR
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RE: Why So Hard To Run An Election

Mon Nov 05, 2012 2:34 am

Quoting Klaus (Reply 2):
If the organisation can't handle multiple days of early voting already, how would it be able to handle everyone voting on the same day?

  

These problems occur every election cycle. They just are being reported more and more often.

If people didn't vote early, then voting sites would be overwhelmed on election day (many still are, anyway).

I think having everyone vote on one day (and on a Tuesday, no less) is really a dumb idea. Especially in today's society, where people are on the go a lot more and have many things going on.

For example, I'm away from home and won't get back until Tuesday night, and if everything went exactly right, I might get to the polls just a few minutes before they close. But, I knew that ahead of time, so I voted two weeks ago.

The last time I tried voting absentee, my ballot got lost in the mail (I never received it). I reported it to the elections office, and they said they'd send me a replacement. I never received that either.

I'd rather vote in person, and know that my ballot has been cast. But it's just not practical to be available on the day of all the time. Instead of Tuesday being "election day," it really should just be "last day to vote."
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Newark727
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RE: Why So Hard To Run An Election

Mon Nov 05, 2012 3:36 am

I read somewhere that India has its elections over a couple of weeks or something like that. It makes sense. If you want people to vote, allow them to pick times when they have the chance to do so without missing work/kids/etc. and make the process as smooth as you can. I voted by mail this year though- I checked that box when I first registered and it makes voting like a normal person more complicated so I'm kind of stuck with it at the moment.

OTOH if you don't want people to vote this is excellent ammunition for anyone who wants to dispute the election outcome (and when I say anyone I mean everyone as Team Obama and Team Romney have both hired dozens and dozens of lawyers already.)
 
Klaus
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RE: Why So Hard To Run An Election

Mon Nov 05, 2012 3:55 am

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 3):
It was never an issue in the past here in the U.S before this crap program started. Why its an issue now is because of the fact that the early voting thing was ill planned and not conducted correctly.

Have the number of polling places been cut at the same time? If not, why can they suddenly not handle the same number of voters stretched out over multiple days they had served in a single day before? Or have many voters just been prevented from casting their ballot?

From reports so far it seems this time many votes will effectively be suppressed by dismal voting infrastructure combined with ballots deliberately being loaded up with extraneous crap.

One could have imagined that the disastrous 2000 election should have woken up a few people. That doesn't seem to have been enough, apparently. This is utterly bizarre, extremely embarrassing for a country that paints itself as the shining example of how democracy is supposed to work, and ultimately it's just sad.
 
AirframeAS
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RE: Why So Hard To Run An Election

Mon Nov 05, 2012 3:57 am

Quoting Newark727 (Reply 5):
If you want people to vote, allow them to pick times when they have the chance to do so without missing work/kids/etc.

Here is a solution to SOME of the problem. You have PLENTY of time to vote on Election Day.....

http://www.findlaw.com/voting-rights-law.html

I'm tired of some BS excuse that people say they don't simply have the time when they really do. These laws that I provided helps with this issue. It helps to know the voting laws in your State.

Excuses, excuses, excuses...... Lame.
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Aesma
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RE: Why So Hard To Run An Election

Mon Nov 05, 2012 5:29 am

Here we vote on Sundays, it helps people to have time to vote, and also to volunteer on the spot to help with the process.
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CaliAtenza
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RE: Why So Hard To Run An Election

Mon Nov 05, 2012 6:05 am

It is voter suppression when you have GOP governors and officials trying to mess with people's right to vote. Was it that hard of Florida's governor to have extended voting for one more day?
 
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DocLightning
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RE: Why So Hard To Run An Election

Mon Nov 05, 2012 6:28 am

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 7):
I'm tired of some BS excuse that people say they don't simply have the time when they really do. These laws that I provided helps with this issue. It helps to know the voting laws in your State.

People work two jobs. They have to wait in line for hours. Those in more urban communities tend to have to wait longer in line.

Why would you not want 100.0% of Americans to be able to cast a ballot easily and conveniently?
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LoneStarMike
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RE: Why So Hard To Run An Election

Mon Nov 05, 2012 9:35 am

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 3):
It was never an issue in the past here in the U.S before this crap program started. Why its an issue now is because of the fact that the early voting thing was ill planned and not conducted correctly.

I think it depends on what state you live in. It's certainly not the case where I live (Austin, TX). Early voting has only gotten easier and more convenient here.

Our Early voting ran from Oct 22 through November 2. We had 22 early voting sites throughout the county at customer-friendly polling locations in high-traffic retail locations like grocery stores, malls, libraries, The University of Texas, etc. In addition there were mobile early voting sites which operate on certain days/times in municipal buildings, retirement communities, some of the smaller colleges campuses,etc.

In the past, in my particular county, if you waited until election day to vote, you had to go to your individual precinct. Now, even that has changed. Any registered voter in Travis County can vote at any of the 207 polling places on election day.

Of course, there's no reason to make voting hard here. It doesn't really matter how many Democrats turn out to vote. Texas is still a red state (so far).

It seems like the states that have the most problems are the swing states (Like Florida & Ohio)

LoneStarMike
 
Mir
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RE: Why So Hard To Run An Election

Mon Nov 05, 2012 10:43 am

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 7):
These laws that I provided helps with this issue.

Yeah, those two hours after the polls open are plenty of time when the line is two hours long. Or the hour after when it might take you an hour to get to the polls from where you work. Or you might have to work several jobs. Or you might have a family you need to get home to to take care of. Or you might live in one of those states where there is no law allowing you time off to vote. Or your employer just might threaten to fire you, knowing that you're probably not going to go through the hassle of challenging it legally.

There are plenty of reasons why early voting makes sense. All the states have to do is run it properly. It cannot be that hard.

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 3):
Voting on Election Day was never a problem. I have never ever seen a crowd waiting to vote.

The first time I voted (2004), I waited in line for about three hours, on Election Day. I got there about an hour before the polls closed.

Quoting LoneStarMike (Reply 11):
It seems like the states that have the most problems are the swing states (Like Florida & Ohio)

Where the politicians have reason to interfere with the process. Which is all the more reason to get the job of elections out of their hands.

And then you've got all the third-party groups who are trying to disenfranchise people who they think would vote for the other side (under the guise of being "concerned citizens" monitoring the election), you've got electronic voting machines that don't leave a paper trail (we'd better hope there's no recount required in Pennsylvania or Virginia), etc. It's an absolute mess. And the way to fix it would be to impose a national standard for procedure, machines, ID requirements and the like, but that'll probably run into some massive opposition for some reason or other.

-Mir
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AirframeAS
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RE: Why So Hard To Run An Election

Mon Nov 05, 2012 1:20 pm

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 10):
Why would you not want 100.0% of Americans to be able to cast a ballot easily and conveniently?

Did you not see the link I provided?

Quoting Mir,reply=12Yeah, those two hours after the polls open are plenty of time when the line is two hours long. Or the hour after when it might take you an hour to get to the polls from where you work. Or you might have to work several jobs. Or you might have a family you need to get home to to take care of. Or you might live in one of those states where there is no law allowing you time off to vote. Or your employer just might threaten to fire you, knowing that you're probably not going to go through the hassle of challenging it legally.][/quote]

Again: excuses, excuses, excuses. Get an absentee ballot. It's not that difficult to request one and mail it in.

[quote=Mir
(Reply 12):
I got there about an hour before the polls closed.

Sounds like lack of planning to me. That's your own fault.

Quoting LoneStarMike (Reply 11):
if you waited until election day to vote, you had to go to your individual precinct.

And there is a reason for that. It cuts down on crowds, especially if you're assigned to a precinct. If you can't vote in Election Day, get a mail in ballot.
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zkojq
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RE: Why So Hard To Run An Election

Mon Nov 05, 2012 1:37 pm

I would be very, very angry if the local voting station's inefficiency caused long queues and thus polls to close before my vote had been counted. I remember it happening in the UK during the last election. Totally unacceptable.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/election_2010/8666338.stm

Quoting Aesma (Reply 8):

Here we vote on Sundays, it helps people to have time to vote, and also to volunteer on the spot to help with the process.

Holding general elections in the weekend seems pretty logical. Here they are held on a Saturday (so the majority of the population won't be at work), but people can vote up to two weeks early. The system is very efficient; in the 2011 election 89% of voters didn't have to queue.
http://www.elections.org.nz/study/re...oter-satisfaction-survey-2011.html

In Australia it is compulsory for everyone of voting age to return a ballot, yet their elections are still run efficiently.

Quoting Mir (Reply 12):
you've got electronic voting machines that don't leave a paper trail

Absolute craziness.    I often think that having Election Ink where a ballot has the voter's fingerprint on it, has many merits.

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 13):
Sounds like lack of planning to me. That's your own fault.

Unfortunately the nature of life is that there are plenty of situations out of one's control which could cause one's trip to the voting station to be delayed.

Just my 2c.
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Mir
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RE: Why So Hard To Run An Election

Mon Nov 05, 2012 2:16 pm

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 13):
Sounds like lack of planning to me.

A presence of classes, actually.

-Mir
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casinterest
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RE: Why So Hard To Run An Election

Mon Nov 05, 2012 2:24 pm

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 1):
This is why I oppose early voting, because this is what you get. Waiting in line for 4 hours just to vote early is ridiculous

I waited 10 minutes.

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 1):
For those who think voting on a Tuesday is so difficult and disrupts lives, then they are delusional. Taking one day to vote is really nothing.

Why would one day be better than multiple days?
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StarAC17
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RE: Why So Hard To Run An Election

Mon Nov 05, 2012 4:57 pm

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 1):
This is why I oppose early voting, because this is what you get. Waiting in line for 4 hours just to vote early is ridiculous.

That isn't a reason to oppose early voting, make the process more efficient than it is.

What I would oppose is a federally imposed GAG order to not allow the media to poll on early voters and say that a majority of either party is voting more than the other because it will turn off others to vote on election day.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 2):
exposing the electoral process to partisan manipulation instead of having a unified, rigid electoral process every state and community was forced to adhere to

  

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 7):
I'm tired of some BS excuse that people say they don't simply have the time when they really do. These laws that I provided helps with this issue. It helps to know the voting laws in your State.

I was going to ask about that and skimming through the article it is good that most states give time off to vote which is how things work north of the border.

The best solution to this is to put election day on a Saturday or make it a holiday which is what some countries do and they have much higher turnouts than the US does.

Quoting Aesma (Reply 8):
Here we vote on Sundays, it helps people to have time to vote, and also to volunteer on the spot to help with the process.

The issue I would have with Sunday is that its football day in the US so that might backfire  
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Mir
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RE: Why So Hard To Run An Election

Mon Nov 05, 2012 5:31 pm

Quoting StarAC17 (Reply 17):
What I would oppose is a federally imposed GAG order to not allow the media to poll on early voters and say that a majority of either party is voting more than the other because it will turn off others to vote on election day.

And I do think that would hold up constitution-wise, since knowing the results of early voting can influence the election. Poll results should only be discussed once the polls in that state have closed.

-Mir
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zckls04
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RE: Why So Hard To Run An Election

Mon Nov 05, 2012 7:06 pm

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 13):
Did you not see the link I provided?
Quoting StarAC17 (Reply 17):
I was going to ask about that and skimming through the article it is good that most states give time off to vote which is how things work north of the border.

Seems to me what that article shows is that less than half the states offer paid time off. Time off isn't worth much if you're having to pay for the privilege.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 10):
Why would you not want 100.0% of Americans to be able to cast a ballot easily and conveniently?

This is the only question anybody should be asking. More specifically, do you want voting to be as easy for one person as it is for another? Or do you want to make certain sections of the population more likely than others to be able to vote?

Imagine a hypothetical situation that is not based on one person's perceptions of what certain sections of society "should" and "shouldn't" be able to do. Let's just say we use a system where all voters who voted for the Democrats in the last election have to pay $1 to vote in this election, while Republican voters can vote for free. After all, everybody can afford $1 to vote, right? And if they aren't willing to pay that $1, they couldn't have wanted to vote that badly. So what difference does it make?

Is that a fair system? One we should aspire to? What if you replace "Democrats" with "men" and "Republicans" with "women" in that example? Or with blacks and whites; old and young?

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cmf
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RE: Why So Hard To Run An Election

Mon Nov 05, 2012 7:06 pm

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 1):
This is why I oppose early voting, because this is what you get. Waiting in line for 4 hours just to vote early is ridiculous.

Sounds like the wrong solution to me. The goal should be to get as many as possible to care enough to vote but reality is that even if we made the voting day a public holiday there are many essentials jobs that can't stop, e.g. hospitals, and the solution is to make it possible for them to work at times off. Thus the solution should be to provide enough capacity for the demand that so clearly is there.

Quoting LoneStarMike (Reply 11):
It seems like the states that have the most problems are the swing states (Like Florida & Ohio)

Makes you think that there is something other than practical reasons behind it.

Quoting Mir (Reply 12):
Yeah, those two hours after the polls open are plenty of time when the line is two hours long. Or the hour after when it might take you an hour to get to the polls from where you work. Or you might have to work several jobs. Or you might have a family you need to get home to to take care of. Or you might live in one of those states where there is no law allowing you time off to vote. Or your employer just might threaten to fire you, knowing that you're probably not going to go through the hassle of challenging it legally.

Reality.

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 13):
Did you not see the link I provided?

I saw it. 40% of states provide nothing.

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 13):
Sounds like lack of planning to me. That's your own fault.

Sound like reality to me.

Quoting zkojq (Reply 14):
I often think that having Election Ink where a ballot has the voter's fingerprint on it, has many merits.

I don't like this one bit. I do not like the idea that you can identify who cast a certain vote. A separate sheet identifying who has cast votes I'd support.
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LoneStarMike
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RE: Why So Hard To Run An Election

Mon Nov 05, 2012 7:18 pm

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 7):
Here is a solution to SOME of the problem. You have PLENTY of time to vote on Election Day.....

http://www.findlaw.com/voting-rights-law.html

I'm tired of some BS excuse that people say they don't simply have the time when they really do. These laws that I provided helps with this issue. It helps to know the voting laws in your State.

I took the time to look at that link (thanks for providing it) and I noticed that 17 states and the District of Columbia don't have any specific laws requiring employers to give employees time off to vote. (And Florida is one of those states.)

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 13):
Quoting LoneStarMike (Reply 11):
if you waited until election day to vote, you had to go to your individual precinct.

And there is a reason for that. It cuts down on crowds, especially if you're assigned to a precinct. If you can't vote in Election Day, get a mail in ballot.

Sorry, but I disagree. I remember here in Texas before we had early voting. It didn't take 4 hours to vote, but it often took at least an hour. And that was back when you had to vote at the polling place for your precinct. Back in 1990 my county only had 576,000 residents, and we have over 1,000,000 today. If we were only allowed to vote on election day, I suspect the lines for voting would be much longer for those who don't choose to use mail-in ballots. And not everyone likes using the mail-in ballots. How do you know it won't get lost in the mail? Or how do you know whether or not your election official will decide that your signature on the ballot doesn't match what's on file and throw out your ballot? Voting in person helps avoid these situations.

Using that link you provided, Texas law requires

Quote:
Employees must be given time to vote without any penalty if polls are not open for 2 consecutive hours outside the employee's work day.

Here - on election day - the polls are open from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm. If you live in the suburbs but work downtown, and your workday is 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, there's probably not enough time for you to vote on election day and still get to work on time. If you get off at 5:00 pm, then technically the polls will still be open 2 hours outside your working day, so the employer doesn't have to give you any time off. But it can take you an hour or more in traffic to get home (where your polling place would be.) and perhaps longer if you had to pick up your kids on the way.

Allowing people to vote at any polling place on election day means people can vote at a place near where they work on their lunch hour, or near where they have to pick up their kids, or at a mega voting site with more machines and personnel where the lines move more quickly. (I think it's ridiculous that some states like Ohio sometimes have more voting machines at precincts out in the suburbs, and fewer voting machines at polling places in the more heavily populated inner cities)

I thought having more choices for people was a good thing. That's why airlines offer First Class, Business Class, Economy Plus, Coach, etc. But when it comes to voting you are suggesting that people have one of two choices. Deal with long lines on early voting days/election day, or use a mail-in ballot.

BTW, if you don't mind me asking,

1. Do you live in what's considered a swing state? and

2. Does your state offer early voting, and if so, are the early voting lines very long?

LoneStarMike
 
AirframeAS
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RE: Why So Hard To Run An Election

Mon Nov 05, 2012 10:31 pm

Quoting zkojq (Reply 14):
Unfortunately the nature of life is that there are plenty of situations out of one's control which could cause one's trip to the voting station to be delayed.

I disagree. Plan ahead. If you're too busy to vote, again....get an absentee ballot and mail it in.

Quoting StarAC17 (Reply 17):
What I would oppose is a federally imposed GAG order to not allow the media to poll on early voters and say that a majority of either party is voting more than the other because it will turn off others to vote on election day.

  . Agreed. Releasing preliminary numbers just influences the voting outcome for both, the good and the bad. The numbers should be held secretly until 7 pm on Election Day. I really get annoyed when the media releases the days numbers every morning.

Quoting cmf (Reply 20):
Sounds like the wrong solution to me.

Huh?! The only solution that I have offered for those "oh, so busy and way too important to vote" folks is to get an absentee ballot. Trust me, they're not THAT busy. It's sheer laziness.

Quoting LoneStarMike (Reply 21):
How do you know it won't get lost in the mail?

Boulder County, Colorado offers confirmation on the Internet that shows if your ballot was accepted or not...

https://www.bouldercounty.org/elections/register/pages/voterinfolookup.aspx

I used this to see if they accepted by ballot or not. And they did.

Quoting LoneStarMike (Reply 21):
Voting in person helps avoid these situations.

No, it doesn't. A provisional ballot has zero guarantee that it will be counted.

Quoting LoneStarMike (Reply 21):
1. Do you live in what's considered a swing state?

I live in Colorado, a battleground state.

Quoting LoneStarMike (Reply 21):
2. Does your state offer early voting, and if so, are the early voting lines very long?

Yes it does. And 9News has reported very long lines at some early voting polling places last week.
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DocLightning
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RE: Why So Hard To Run An Election

Mon Nov 05, 2012 10:46 pm

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 13):
Did you not see the link I provided?

Yes I did. In many states, employers are required to make absolutely no accommodation for voting. In many, they are required to grant two hours. That's pretty useless with an eight-hour line.

Again, what are you afraid of? Why is it so intolerable to you that 100% of Americans should be able to easily and quickly cast their ballot? Why should exercising a fundamental right take a bunch of planning and scheduling?

The only possible reason you (and the Conservatives in general) would oppose it is because you might not like the result. And that is beyond cynical. It's anti-American.

There, I said it. Now PROVE you have another motivation. PROVE that there is another valid reason why 100.0% of Americans should not be able to vote quickly and conveniently either at home or at a poll without waiting in line for even one hour.
-Doc Lightning-

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AirframeAS
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RE: Why So Hard To Run An Election

Mon Nov 05, 2012 11:06 pm

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 23):
Again, what are you afraid of?

Who said I was afraid of anything?   

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 23):
Why is it so intolerable to you that 100% of Americans should be able to easily and quickly cast their ballot?

I never said that. What I said was if one cannot cast their ballot on Election Day, then cast it on an absentee ballot and send it in the mail. No lines to fuss over and it's pretty, pretty simple.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 23):
Why should exercising a fundamental right take a bunch of planning and scheduling?

You're gonna have to ask Congress that. I don't make the rules. They do.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 23):
The only possible reason you (and the Conservatives in general) would oppose it is because you might not like the result.

Are you friggin serious?! Seriously?! Are you THAT naive to think that?! The only thing I do NOT like is how the media gets the numbers for the days voting. That should be illegal like someone suggested earlier in reply 17.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 23):
It's anti-American.

   unreal coming from you calling me anti-American.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 23):
Now PROVE you have another motivation.

You need to read. I just did.......many, many times on this thread.
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Ken777
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RE: Why So Hard To Run An Election

Mon Nov 05, 2012 11:12 pm

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 1):
This is why I oppose early voting, because this is what you get

If you are white, or live in a more accommodating location it' fine to vote on Tuesday. I won't have a problem (I fit both requirements) and will even be able to take my 8 year old grandson with me - and he gets to mark the ballot.

If you are a person of color in Florida or Ohio then voting early is a smart idea as it avoids the risk of being rejected on Tuesday when you have no way to correct any challenge.

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 1):
Waiting in line for 4 hours just to vote early is ridiculous.

For those in high risk areas (high risk of being improperly denied) need to vote early simply to protect their vote.

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 1):
Doing early voting just complicates things, IMO.

Not really. It highlights very clearly the obstructions that some GOP state governments have put in place to minimize the votes for Obama and other Democrats.

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 3):
It was never an issue in the past here in the U.S before this crap program started.

Voter obstruction has been around my entire life. I remember the Poll Tax in Texas when I was growing up there. That was state wide (as well as in a lot of other southern states). These days you have "Observers" challenging voters. I personally hope that anyone who is barred from legally voting call the FBI on the spot and get some one in there taking names of the obstructionists.

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 3):
Voting on Election Day was never a problem.

It is for a lot of people and for a lot of legitimate reasons.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 6):
Have the number of polling places been cut at the same time?

Voting opportunities have been cut in GOP states. Ohio and Florida are the ones with the worst record of democracy at the pools.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 6):
From reports so far it seems this time many votes will effectively be suppressed by dismal voting infrastructure combined with ballots deliberately being loaded up with extraneous crap.

Voters are more suppressed by political action than anything else - outside of the areas impacted by Sandy.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 6):
One could have imagined that the disastrous 2000 election should have woken up a few people.

2000 was a lesson for the GOP on the ability to obstruct votes of opponents. It pointed the way for "fixing" the vote in their favor.

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 7):
You have PLENTY of time to vote on Election Day.....

Even our friend who is an RN and is working 7 to 7 on Tuesday?

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 7):
Excuses, excuses, excuses...... Lame.

Or reasons, reasons, reasons . . . . . . . far from lame.
 
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zckls04
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RE: Why So Hard To Run An Election

Mon Nov 05, 2012 11:52 pm

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 24):
I never said that. What I said was if one cannot cast their ballot on Election Day, then cast it on an absentee ballot and send it in the mail. No lines to fuss over and it's pretty, pretty simple.

The problem is that mail-in ballots are the most easy method to exploit for fraudulent purposes. In fact the vast majority of election fraud is associated with absentee voting.

Early voting (including some time at the weekend) is the best balance of election fairness and election safety. That's the case in favor of it; why are you against it? Give us some concrete reasons not to allow early voting.
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AirframeAS
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RE: Why So Hard To Run An Election

Mon Nov 05, 2012 11:55 pm

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 25):
Not really.

It does. Waiting in line to vote for 1-4 hours, for starters. You should not be waiting in line to vote, period.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 25):

Voter obstruction has been around my entire life.

To be honest, I have never seen it. Maybe I just never paid that much attention to it, but I have never seen it.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 25):
I remember the Poll Tax in Texas when I was growing up there.

Again with this tax. There is no such thing. I have never paid a poll tax just to vote. If you need ID, the State will give you one for free. This has been beaten to death in many threads on A.net in the past. Why bring this up again??

There is/was no poll tax.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 25):
It is for a lot of people and for a lot of legitimate reasons.

One mo' time: If it is really that inconvenient for anyone to vote on Nov 6, then get an absentee ballot. It is not even that difficult to do.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 25):
Even our friend who is an RN and is working 7 to 7 on Tuesday?

Dare I say it again.... ABSENTEE BALLOT!!!!!!!!!!!! Get one while they are HOT!   
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DocLightning
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RE: Why So Hard To Run An Election

Mon Nov 05, 2012 11:55 pm

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 24):
You need to read. I just did.......many, many times on this thread.

No. You did not. Even once. You just said that people need to suck it up and stop making excuses. You did not say why voting should not be effortless and wait-free.

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 24):
Are you friggin serious?! Seriously?! Are you THAT naive to think that?!

No. I'm astute. That's why I think that.

There is NO reason why anyone who actually wants a truly democratic election would want to put the slightest barrier to allowing a citizen to vote... unless they didn't want a truly democratic election.

Again, assuming that we could get on top of fraud (which is rare), why not? I'd even support a death penalty for fraud.

You haven't even once said why not.
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LoneStarMike
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RE: Why So Hard To Run An Election

Mon Nov 05, 2012 11:57 pm

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 22):
Quoting LoneStarMike (Reply 21):
How do you know it won't get lost in the mail?

Boulder County, Colorado offers confirmation on the Internet that shows if your ballot was accepted or not...

Thanks for the info. Obviously, different states have different rules and procedures. In Texas, we can go on the internet to see if we are registered to vote, but those who vote using a provisional ballot are notified by mail within 10 days after the election whether or not their ballot was accepted, and if not, the reason why.

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 22):
Quoting LoneStarMike (Reply 21):
Voting in person helps avoid these situations.

No, it doesn't. A provisional ballot has zero guarantee that it will be counted.

You're right about that, but in Texas, provisional ballots are only given out if a voter's name does not appear on the list of registered voters due to an administrative error to vote. The voter must complete an affidavit stating the reasons he or she is qualified to vote.

In a normal case, you go into the polling place, you show your voter registration card, they verify you're on the voting rolls and you get a small computer-generated piece of paper with a number (kind of like a PIN number) that you enter into the elctronic voting machine, and then you cast your ballot electronically.

BTW, I did some further research on Texas voting laws and most Texans don't have the option to vote absentee by mail. The only one that do are voters who:

1. will be away from their county on Election Day and during early voting;
2. are sick or disabled;
3. are 65 years of age or older on Election Day; or
4. are confined in jail.

(hey, I learned something new!   so ths has been a good discussion)

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 22):
Quoting LoneStarMike (Reply 21):
1. Do you live in what's considered a swing state?

I live in Colorado, a battleground state.

Quoting LoneStarMike (Reply 21):
2. Does your state offer early voting, and if so, are the early voting lines very long?

Yes it does. And 9News has reported very long lines at some early voting polling places last week.

Again, thanks for the info  

So we have reports of long lines in Colorado (a swing state); long lines in Ohio (a swing state); and long lines in Florida (a swing state)

I'd be interested to hear from other a.netters who live in non-swing states that offer early voting (especially those that live in urban areas) if the early-voting lines are long where you live.

LoneStarMike

[Edited 2012-11-05 16:02:57]
 
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DocLightning
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RE: Why So Hard To Run An Election

Tue Nov 06, 2012 12:01 am

Quoting LoneStarMike (Reply 29):
1. will be away from their county on Election Day and during early voting;
2. are sick or disabled;
3. are 65 years of age or older on Election Day; or
4. are confined in jail.

Yup. Exactly. So those "lazy" people who work 14-hour days and can't wait 8 hours to vote at their precinct don't get to vote. Oddly, those "lazy" people tend to be poor.
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AirframeAS
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RE: Why So Hard To Run An Election

Tue Nov 06, 2012 12:26 am

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 28):
No. You did not. Even once.

Yes I did..... See here:

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 1):
Absentee Ballots are the way to go, or just go vote on Nov 6.
Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 3):
I voted with an absentee ballot and mailed it in
Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 7):
Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 13):
If you can't vote in Election Day, get a mail in ballot.
Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 22):
Plan ahead. If you're too busy to vote, again....get an absentee ballot and mail it in.
Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 24):
What I said was if one cannot cast their ballot on Election Day, then cast it on an absentee ballot and send it in the mail.
Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 27):
Dare I say it again.... ABSENTEE BALLOT!!!!!!!!!!!! Get one while they are HOT!

I have to read FOR you. Uh, ok.   

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 28):
You did not say why voting should not be effortless and wait-free.

You should be able to go home, sit down, read the facts, decide for yourself, take your time and then mark your ballot, throw it in the mail with no waiting in lines, no hassle and virtually stress free. But no, that is not good enough for you, it seems. Uh, okayyyyyyyyyy.....

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 28):
There is NO reason why anyone who actually wants a truly democratic election would want to put the slightest barrier to allowing a citizen to vote... unless they didn't want a truly democratic election.

I never said otherwise, nor did I ever suggest that no one should be allowed to vote, period. It is YOUR duty as an American citizen to vote, and it is your responsibility to do so. Not voting, sir, is anti-American....IMO.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 28):
You haven't even once said why not.

Because I never suggested it. You did.    I now no longer can have a civil conversation with you. I am done arguing with you. This is not the first time you pulled this crap with me. I'm done.

Quoting LoneStarMike (Reply 29):
BTW, I did some further research on Texas voting laws and most Texans don't have the option to vote absentee by mail. The only one that do are voters who:

1. will be away from their county on Election Day and during early voting;
2. are sick or disabled;
3. are 65 years of age or older on Election Day; or
4. are confined in jail.

That is interesting. Thanks for sharing.

Quoting LoneStarMike (Reply 29):
4. are confined in jail.

One problem: I thought felons were not allowed to vote until their 4th amendment rights are restored.

Quoting LoneStarMike (Reply 29):
Again, thanks for the info

Not a problem at all. I call things as I see it. I am as honest as I can get.  
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Newark727
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RE: Why So Hard To Run An Election

Tue Nov 06, 2012 12:40 am

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 31):
One problem: I thought felons were not allowed to vote until their 4th amendment rights are restored.

Not like I have any first hand experience, but I think the rules for felons voting vary from state to state.
 
LoneStarMike
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RE: Why So Hard To Run An Election

Tue Nov 06, 2012 12:48 am

I also wanted to address an earlier point made by AirframeAS with a link to support an earlier claim I made about long lines in Texas on election day prior to early voting.

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 3):
Quoting Klaus (Reply 2):
If the organisation can't handle multiple days of early voting already, how would it be able to handle everyone voting on the same day?

It was never an issue in the past here in the U.S before this crap program started.

It truly may not have been a problem where you voted, but it was a problem in Texas, which is why we've had early voting here since 1987.

Quote:
Voting also can impose numerous and substantial transaction costs. As with all transactions, voters must spend time that could be used for other productive or leisure activities. In the United States the time many Americans spend voting is longer than it could be, because we rely primarily on single-day, mid-week elections.

Traditionally, most working people vote as soon as the polls open in the morning or after work; such voting patterns make the polling locations quite busy at these hours, and thereby raise the cost of the voting "transaction." In Texas, these transaction costs (e.g., time spent waiting in line, the frustration of contending with crowds) are exacerbated by the fact that polls close at 7:00 p.m. There is little time after the end of the work day to vote.

[SNIP]

Complaints about short polling hours and mid-week elections finally resulted in the relaxation of voting laws. Since 1987, Texas has offered two types of early voting: in person and by mail (this second type is sometimes referred to as absentee voting). Voting early in person does not require any special circumstances, additional paperwork, or procedures. Voters simply choose an early voting location convenient to them. These are located in busy public places like malls, supermarkets, colleges, and universities.

Source: Texas Politics

Being able to vote absentee by mail back then had the same requirements as now.

(Note: I'm not trying to nitpick or be snarky, AirframeAS, but since I made the claim that lines were longer in Texas, I should have supported my earlier assertation with a link, so I am now.)

LoneStarMike
 
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DocLightning
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RE: Why So Hard To Run An Election

Tue Nov 06, 2012 12:51 am

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 31):
Yes I did..... See here:

And yet you conveniently ignore the bit about Texas refusing absentee ballots for people who have to work all day and can't physically make it to the polls. You dismiss them as "lazy."

So... what is your issue with the fact that some people don't qualify for an absentee ballot and yet cannot make it to the polls on that day? What should they do? Skip work and get fired?

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 31):
I now no longer can have a civil conversation with you. I am done arguing with you. This is not the first time you pulled this crap with me. I'm done.

If you answer my question reasonably, I'll concede the point. You have yet to do so.
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LoneStarMike
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RE: Why So Hard To Run An Election

Tue Nov 06, 2012 12:51 am

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 31):
Quoting LoneStarMike (Reply 29):
4. are confined in jail.

One problem: I thought felons were not allowed to vote until their 4th amendment rights are restored.

You're correct, but not everyone in jail is there on a felony charge, and even then, I "think" you can still vote while in jail if you haven't yet been convicted on a felony charge.

LoneStarMike
 
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Jetsgo
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RE: Why So Hard To Run An Election

Tue Nov 06, 2012 12:56 am

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 25):

Funny how it's always you who brings up race. Wait a minute, no, it's not funny, it's just plain sad.  
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AirframeAS
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RE: Why So Hard To Run An Election

Tue Nov 06, 2012 12:57 am

Quoting LoneStarMike (Reply 33):
(Note: I'm not trying to nitpick or be snarky, AirframeAS, but since I made the claim that lines were longer in Texas, I should have supported my earlier assertation with a link, so I am now.)

oh, not a problem. You did not have to do that, but I respect you for it. Thanks.

Quoting LoneStarMike (Reply 35):
I "think" you can still vote while in jail if you haven't yet been convicted on a felony charge.

I wonder how this works, given that one is in jail, how would he or she get his/her ballot? A friend visits and drops it off?
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us330
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RE: Why So Hard To Run An Election

Tue Nov 06, 2012 12:58 am

Quoting zckls04 (Reply 26):
In fact the vast majority of election fraud is associated with absentee voting.

And sometimes the ballot won't be counted, even if it was not a product of fraud. I voted absentee in Texas one year for the gubernatorial election, and as part of the absentee ballot, I had to sign over the envelope seal. Now, my normal signature isn't that big. Most people's aren't that big or garish--so I purposely made my signature bigger so that it would cover both sides of the seal.
I get my ballot back in the mail a week or two later saying it was rejected because the signatures didn't match...
 
Newark727
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RE: Why So Hard To Run An Election

Tue Nov 06, 2012 1:03 am

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 37):

I wonder how this works, given that one is in jail, how would he or she get his/her ballot? A friend visits and drops it off?

You get baked a cake with a ballot inside.
 
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DocLightning
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RE: Why So Hard To Run An Election

Tue Nov 06, 2012 1:04 am

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 31):
You should be able to go home, sit down, read the facts, decide for yourself, take your time and then mark your ballot, throw it in the mail with no waiting in lines, no hassle and virtually stress free. But no, that is not good enough for you, it seems. Uh, okayyyyyyyyyy.....

Wait, are you saying everyone should be able to have an absentee ballot?

In that case, then I agree and I have no dispute with you. But that's not what is actually happening in most states.

In CA anyone who wants one can have one. I have one, although I will drop by my polling place tomorrow and cast it in person. I wanted to sit down, as you say, read the issues one-by-one (there were a lot of them), and fill it out on my own time.
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AirframeAS
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RE: Why So Hard To Run An Election

Tue Nov 06, 2012 1:09 am

Quoting Newark727 (Reply 39):
You get baked a cake with a ballot inside.

LOL! I would LOVE to see that happen. I guess then it would need to be sneaked out, too? LOL!
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AeroWesty
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RE: Why So Hard To Run An Election

Tue Nov 06, 2012 1:20 am

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 40):
In CA anyone who wants one can have one. I have one, although I will drop by my polling place tomorrow and cast it in person. I wanted to sit down, as you say, read the issues one-by-one (there were a lot of them), and fill it out on my own time.

Didn't you get a sample ballot to do that in the mail? Sample ballots are also downloadable. People voting in person who'd requested absentee ballots is one of the big voting problems in Ohio. Don't know how they account for it in California.
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LoneStarMike
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RE: Why So Hard To Run An Election

Tue Nov 06, 2012 1:36 am

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 37):
Quoting LoneStarMike (Reply 35):
I "think" you can still vote while in jail if you haven't yet been convicted on a felony charge.

I wonder how this works, given that one is in jail, how would he or she get his/her ballot? A friend visits and drops it off?

Well fortunately, I have no experience in that matter  (knock on wood) but I'm assuming that inmates can send and receive mail. I did find this on one of the Texas voting sites:

Quote:
Send your application for a ballot by mail as early as 60 days before an election. This will give you plenty of time to receive your ballot, mark it, and mail it back to the Early Voting Clerk.

[SNIP]

Generally, a ballot must be mailed to the address where you are registered to vote. However, if you are 65 or older or have a physical disability, you may have your ballot sent to a hospital, nursing home or long-term care facility, retirement center, or relative, but you must check the blank on the form indicating which address you are providing. If your reason for voting by mail is absence from the county, the ballot must be mailed to an address outside the county.

It doesn't address what to do if you are in jail, but I'm guessing that if you provide some sort of affidavit that you are incarcerated, then the ballot could be mailed back to you at the jail and/or you could designate a relative, who - I guess - could bring it to you.

And the key word is "jail." People convicted of misdemeanors and/or awaiting trial on felony charges are usually held in a county jail. Once you've been convicted of a felony, you go to prison. People in prison obviously can't vote.

Quoting Newark727 (Reply 39):
You get baked a cake with a ballot inside.

Five minutes later and I'm still LMAO!

LoneStarMike
 
AirframeAS
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RE: Why So Hard To Run An Election

Tue Nov 06, 2012 1:41 am

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 42):

I would reckon if a person requests an absentee ballot, they would be on the absentee "precinct" and then taken off the voter rolls at their normal polling place to prevent that person from voting twice.

Quoting LoneStarMike (Reply 43):
Quoting Newark727 (Reply 39):
You get baked a cake with a ballot inside.

Five minutes later and I'm still LMAO!

Same here. This quote by Newark727 should go down as one of the best classic replies in the politics thread in A.net history!!!    Brilliant!!!
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DocLightning
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RE: Why So Hard To Run An Election

Tue Nov 06, 2012 2:38 am

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 42):
Didn't you get a sample ballot to do that in the mail? Sample ballots are also downloadable.

Because the ballot is HUGE. I can't (or at least don't want to) memorize my answers to every ballot issue and candidate.

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 42):
People voting in person who'd requested absentee ballots is one of the big voting problems in Ohio. Don't know how they account for it in California.

Don't understand how it's an issue. I have a ballot. It's filled out. I go to the polling place and put it in the counting machine just as if I'd walked up.

If I get an absentee ballot and lose it (or the USPS, in their fantastic reliability, doesn't deliver it) then I can go vote a provisional ballot in person.

Voting should be easy and convenient. It should NEVER involve an 8-hour wait in any functioning democracy.
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AeroWesty
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RE: Why So Hard To Run An Election

Tue Nov 06, 2012 2:46 am

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 45):
Because the ballot is HUGE. I can't (or at least don't want to) memorize my answers to every ballot issue and candidate.

That doesn't answer my question. I get a Voter's Pamphlet in the mail, and used to get a sample ballot to fill out too to take with me to my precinct, before I moved to Oregon where voters get a separate official ballot in the mail due to required vote-by-mail.

When I voted in person in California, you'd have to show up at your precinct and be crossed off the list in order to vote. I'm asking a simple question here—how do they validate your eligibility to vote if you had an absentee ballot? Is there just a separate absentee ballot box to toss your ballot in?
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cmf
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RE: Why So Hard To Run An Election

Tue Nov 06, 2012 3:55 am

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 22):
Huh?! The only solution that I have offered for those "oh, so busy and way too important to vote" folks is to get an absentee ballot.

Hold your huh, oh and way too important and look back at your own reply and you'll see that your suggestion wasn't just to get an absentee ballot but also to not offer early voting.

Problem with absentee is that it too has its set of problems.They both fill valuable purposes and thus the solution is to make both work. Certainly not to make the easiest option for fraud the only alternative.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 25):
Not really. It highlights very clearly the obstructions that some GOP state governments have put in place to minimize the votes for Obama and other Democrats.

A sad example of the problems we have.

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 27):
To be honest, I have never seen it. Maybe I just never paid that much attention to it, but I have never seen it.

Obstructions have been around throughout history.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 28):
There is NO reason why anyone who actually wants a truly democratic election would want to put the slightest barrier to allowing a citizen to vote... unless they didn't want a truly democratic election.

  

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 31):
You should be able to go home, sit down, read the facts, decide for yourself, take your time and then mark your ballot, throw it in the mail with no waiting in lines, no hassle and virtually stress free. But no, that is not good enough for you, it seems. Uh, okayyyyyyyyyy.....

It should be possible, but as stated above we have a long way to go before getting their, It is easier to fix the early voting long lines. I can't find a single reason for why early voting shouldn't be an option.
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DocLightning
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RE: Why So Hard To Run An Election

Tue Nov 06, 2012 4:05 am

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 46):
When I voted in person in California, you'd have to show up at your precinct and be crossed off the list in order to vote. I'm asking a simple question here—how do they validate your eligibility to vote if you had an absentee ballot? Is there just a separate absentee ballot box to toss your ballot in?

No. You are holding a valid ballot with a serial number on it.

I'll spell it out.

There are two ways to get a ballot:

1) Vote absentee and it arrives in the mail. If you do this, your name will show up on your precinct's list as having an absentee ballot. If you DO walk up to the precinct holding a valid ballot, then you just put it in the machine and walk away. It's no different than if you mailed it in.

If you walk up to the precinct and say that you are there to vote, they are going to tell you that you got an absentee ballot. If you say that you lost it/dog ate it/Glenn Beck took it, they issue a provisional ballot and you vote on that. In order for your mail-in vote to count, your name has to be written on the envelope (which is already printed with your precinct), so if your named envelope shows up in the mail, your provisional ballot is thrown out.

2) Vote in person and a valid ballot is issued to you at the polls, of course.
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Mir
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RE: Why So Hard To Run An Election

Tue Nov 06, 2012 4:12 am

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 40):
Wait, are you saying everyone should be able to have an absentee ballot?

He's saying that, but he's also saying that absentee should be the only way to vote other than showing up at the polls on election day. No early voting.

Quoting cmf (Reply 47):
Problem with absentee is that it too has its set of problems.They both fill valuable purposes and thus the solution is to make both work.

   Early voting can work if states do it properly. Those who don't appear to have politicians meddling in the issue.

-Mir
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