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NYCVIE
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Is Mail-in Voting going to change the game going forward?

Thu Nov 05, 2020 8:22 pm

Obviously in this election, due to COVID 19, a significant number of people voted by mail. Disregarding who or what party may have benefited from that this cycle, there's no question that mail voting drove turnout up to record levels.

So is there a possibility we see mail voting as a normalized way of voting in the future?
 
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casinterest
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Re: Is Mail-in Voting going to change the game going forward?

Thu Nov 05, 2020 8:26 pm

I think it will depend on how the states implement it. You can request an absentee ballot in any election. Trump himself has used it.

As can be seen, I think there will be changes in how states tabulate mail in votes in the future, especially with this many outstanding.
 
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ArcticSEA
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Re: Is Mail-in Voting going to change the game going forward?

Thu Nov 05, 2020 8:28 pm

It's already normal in many US states. If we are going to rely on it nationwide going forward, the USPS needs to be adequately (and fairly) governed and substantially modernized.
 
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c933103
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Re: Is Mail-in Voting going to change the game going forward?

Thu Nov 05, 2020 8:32 pm

ArcticSEA wrote:
It's already normal in many US states. If we are going to rely on it nationwide going forward, the USPS needs to be adequately (and fairly) governed and substantially modernized.

I have recently saw an ad of a Japanese private courier company with branch in the US saying they can help send US mail ballots. How does it work?
 
rfields5421
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Re: Is Mail-in Voting going to change the game going forward?

Thu Nov 05, 2020 9:10 pm

Texas several years ago, under a Republican legislature and governor, changed their absentee voting requirements to allow anyone over age 65 to vote absentee by choice with not other reason than their age.

The Texas Republican Governor and Secretary of State approved 'drive-in voting' locations this summer. Only one part of one country implemented that choice, but it was open to all counties in the state (who the heck wants to stand outside in 90+F temps in October in Texas and deal with voters casting their ballots)

I think absentee/ mail-in voting is going to stay popular, and may grow.

It threatens the established power in the county, Democrat or Republican. Some states may try to restrict it.
 
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flyingclrs727
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Re: Is Mail-in Voting going to change the game going forward?

Thu Nov 05, 2020 10:38 pm

rfields5421 wrote:
Texas several years ago, under a Republican legislature and governor, changed their absentee voting requirements to allow anyone over age 65 to vote absentee by choice with not other reason than their age.

The Texas Republican Governor and Secretary of State approved 'drive-in voting' locations this summer. Only one part of one country implemented that choice, but it was open to all counties in the state (who the heck wants to stand outside in 90+F temps in October in Texas and deal with voters casting their ballots)

I think absentee/ mail-in voting is going to stay popular, and may grow.

It threatens the established power in the county, Democrat or Republican. Some states may try to restrict it.


Not true. The bulk of the current laws governing elections were enacted in 1987 and implemented well before Republicans controlled state government in Texas. Before that there was no early voting, and it was illegal to vote an absentee ballot unless one were to going to be out of the county of residence in election day. My father being a petroleum geologist could never count on being in town on election day and often illegally had a absentee ballot sent to Houston so he could vote.

Early voting in person was first started in 1988. It is available to all registered voters in Texas with no restrictions. I have never had to wait in line outside for early voting. Usually there is no line at all when I vote. Early voting takes care of all the processing of ID before access to a voting machine is allowed. Early votes are quite fast and cheap to count, and all of the early votes are counted the weekend prior to election day. Absentee ballots are still restricted.

Texas released about 9 million tabulated votes just after poll closing time on Tuesday primarily from early voting but also from absentee ballots returned to the courthouse prior to the last weekend before election day. We had just about all precincts in the state reporting by midnight CDT. Compare that to other large states expected to be swing states this year.
 
rfields5421
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Re: Is Mail-in Voting going to change the game going forward?

Thu Nov 05, 2020 10:47 pm

https://results.texas-election.com/races

Texas has not yet counted all their ballots. A little over 300 polling locations have not yet been counted.

Now Texas is one of the states which refuses to comply with the Federal Law about voting for military, military family members, and others who are overseas. Texas does not count ballots received after the close of the polls. Where the federal law requires military and other overseas absentee ballots be accepted an counted for up to 10 days after the election.
 
ltbewr
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Re: Is Mail-in Voting going to change the game going forward?

Thu Nov 05, 2020 11:07 pm

I think that with some states already exclusively using Vote by Mail, it will grow from this years general and primary elections due to its apparent success.

Mail voting does seem to significantly improve overall turnout. It is convenient for many voters. It is a paper record that can be used to do audits and recounts, something really limited by computer based voting equipment. Electronic voting systems can be also subject to incorrect programing and hacking. Privacy as can be done at home.

Yes, it has flaws. Signature matching. Strict procedures (like the 2nd security envelope. The strain on the USPS. The time and staffing it takes to process ballots especially where cannot count mail or absentee ballots until election day or after the polls closing time to do so. It does delay the results that most want minutes or a few hours after polls close. There also needs to be more secure 'drop boxes' where one can drop their ballot instead of returning by mail. Most of the issues can be resolved by improved voter education as to the process, national standards allowing counting mail ballots before election day, and set number of days after election day, clear postmark by day of election and arrives by the x # of days allowed by state law.

I think what we might see more of and also grew this year was physical early voting sites with extend hours open weeks before the election date.

Perhaps a blended system could evolve - with mail, early in-person voting sites and traditional in person, election day poll sites.
 
CometII
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Re: Is Mail-in Voting going to change the game going forward?

Thu Nov 05, 2020 11:14 pm

While I 100% am not agree with Donald Trump about "vote invention", to be fair I think early voting needs some clear rules of limitation at the federal level. The states can still organize their own methods, but we can't have this whole situation of having to wait for mail-in or early votes posted on the 11th hour on election day.

I think it should be reasonable both from a logistical standpoint, but also for the overall sake of the process and country, that any mail-in voting have a deadline of 48 hours before the actual day of the election. The way I see it, if you didn't make the time during the 2-8 weeks prior to get your vote cast and mailed, then really that's your individual fault and if you still want to vote within 48 hours, you just have to go in person to do it.
 
rfields5421
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Re: Is Mail-in Voting going to change the game going forward?

Thu Nov 05, 2020 11:25 pm

I agree with you. There should be a national standard.

However, this is a major states rights issue. That each state can control their own elections, set their own laws, etc. And within any singles state the methodology of counting votes varies.

Some counties still use only paper, non-machine readable ballots simply because of the expense of having the equipment to be able to do that. Loving County in Texas has an official population in 2010 of 82 people. Estimated at near 170 now. Normal average of population range would be about 100-120 people eligible to vote. I don't know if Loving County still uses paper ballots that are non-machine readable, but I would not be surprised.

My 2020 absentee ballot from Polk County Texas was machine readable. I do not think my 2016 absentee ballot was.
 
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DL717
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Re: Is Mail-in Voting going to change the game going forward?

Thu Nov 05, 2020 11:27 pm

For some. I personally have seen too much lost in the mail. I request one, then drop it off so I don’t need to stand in line. That way I’m sure they get it. I think if they just did this it would be easier to vote and less prone to errors. If you’re unable to get to the polls, then you can mail. For seniors, they can send someone to a rest home. There’s something enjoyable about going to the polls on Election Day. Ballots should need to be postmarked by Election Day and then counted by Friday unless overseas. That or have a cutoff a week before so they can be verified and ready to go for counting on Election Day. They need a different identification method than a signature. Maybe a thumbprint they can scan or something. If it’s in the system, they can quickly compare it. Signatures change slightly over time for some people. Tremors and things like that can make a mess of things. To be completely comfortable with the process, I prefer people to show ID. Have a voter card with a barcode. No excuses if it’s free.
 
CometII
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Re: Is Mail-in Voting going to change the game going forward?

Thu Nov 05, 2020 11:51 pm

rfields5421 wrote:
I agree with you. There should be a national standard.

However, this is a major states rights issue. That each state can control their own elections, set their own laws, etc. And within any singles state the methodology of counting votes varies.

Some counties still use only paper, non-machine readable ballots simply because of the expense of having the equipment to be able to do that. Loving County in Texas has an official population in 2010 of 82 people. Estimated at near 170 now. Normal average of population range would be about 100-120 people eligible to vote. I don't know if Loving County still uses paper ballots that are non-machine readable, but I would not be surprised.

My 2020 absentee ballot from Polk County Texas was machine readable. I do not think my 2016 absentee ballot was.


But the vote for president is not a state-only issue in my opinion. I don't want to take away any freedom from the states and counties, because that would be counter productive, that's why maybe the vote for president should be cast separately perhaps? Because you just can't have one county out in western PA or in the upper peninsula of Michigan, or in rural Georgia ,or on the Mexican border, or some urban precinct on a huge east coast city holding an entire continental nation hostage, and creating unnecessary rumors, theories, and street anxiety and tension.
 
rfields5421
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Re: Is Mail-in Voting going to change the game going forward?

Fri Nov 06, 2020 12:06 am

Perhaps. The last 'standardization' was setting a national election day, which some states objected to being told when to vote. Much of the debate that resulted in Tuesday being the voting day is was that day would ensure the least number of working or out of town people voted. A large turnout was seen as a possible threat to the existing political leadership.

First thing to remember is the actual election processing has to be done by local level authorities, which are always local politicians. So much of those procedures is designed to protect incumbents. Even choosing

I'm sure no one wants a new federal agency and work force to handle the Presidential election. Just research how difficult it is to do the national census.

I fully agree standardization of absentee ballot deadlines and such, set standards for early voting and when the polls will be open. At a minimum, several states will demand money to pay for the local level work necessary to implement federal standards.

I have no hope that the nation will be standardized/ united during my remaining lifetime. Maybe after 2052.
 
cpd
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Re: Is Mail-in Voting going to change the game going forward?

Fri Nov 06, 2020 1:21 am

rfields5421 wrote:
Perhaps. The last 'standardization' was setting a national election day, which some states objected to being told when to vote. Much of the debate that resulted in Tuesday being the voting day is was that day would ensure the least number of working or out of town people voted. A large turnout was seen as a possible threat to the existing political leadership.

First thing to remember is the actual election processing has to be done by local level authorities, which are always local politicians. So much of those procedures is designed to protect incumbents. Even choosing

I'm sure no one wants a new federal agency and work force to handle the Presidential election. Just research how difficult it is to do the national census.

I fully agree standardization of absentee ballot deadlines and such, set standards for early voting and when the polls will be open. At a minimum, several states will demand money to pay for the local level work necessary to implement federal standards.

I have no hope that the nation will be standardized/ united during my remaining lifetime. Maybe after 2052.


Streamlining the processes across the board would take away all the gamesmanship. My country is a lot smaller but we deal with absentee voting and votes away from your local polling station without any drama, it's just part of the normal process and it all just happens regardless. Nobody questions the processes - perhaps aside from the fringe candidates/parties, but they are usually very small and no threat to the major two parties.
 
B777LRF
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Re: Is Mail-in Voting going to change the game going forward?

Fri Nov 06, 2020 1:35 am

In my neck of the woods every citizen* receives a ballot paper by mail around 2 weeks prior to an election. You don't have do to anything to get the paper, apart from being 18 and having an address. The ballot paper comes with a prepaid envelope which you must post no later than 1 week prior to the election, otherwise you present yourself at one the polling stations (usually schools or a community building), where your ballot paper will be exchanged for a long list of parties and candidates of each party, allowing you to vote for a person or a party, once you have provided proof of identification. You use a pen to place an X or a checkmark next to the candidate or party you wish to vote for, and that's it.

If you return the ballot paper by mail, you write the name of the party or candidate you wish to vote for.

And that's it. Awfully simple, utterly democratic, gives every person an equal and fair chance to cast their vote, and works flawlessly - which are all good reasons why the US won't adopt such a system.

*There are a few exceptions such as insanity.
 
rfields5421
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Re: Is Mail-in Voting going to change the game going forward?

Fri Nov 06, 2020 2:06 am

B777LRF wrote:
If you return the ballot paper by mail, you write the name of the party or candidate you wish to vote for.


That must be a nightmare to count.

I even wonder if anyone could ever read my handwriting. I can't most of the time a day later.
 
steveinbc
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Re: Is Mail-in Voting going to change the game going forward?

Fri Nov 06, 2020 2:18 am

I understand that the US Military overseas were allowed to vote online. That's the way to go. It should be federally funded and I'm sure that there's plenty of ability to ensure the individual voting has at least as many checks on their identity as a polling station.
 
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DL717
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Re: Is Mail-in Voting going to change the game going forward?

Fri Nov 06, 2020 3:26 am

steveinbc wrote:
I understand that the US Military overseas were allowed to vote online. That's the way to go. It should be federally funded and I'm sure that there's plenty of ability to ensure the individual voting has at least as many checks on their identity as a polling station.


You’d have to change the constitution to get there. Unlikely due to States rights on election handling. If they did anything, they could amend the electoral college component to an apportionment scheme (think Nebraska) based on who gets the most votes in a given congressional district getting an elector. Standardize bipartisan districting. There would be a more likely passage. Senatorial electors go to 50% +1 vote or split if neither gets 50/50. That can all be done Federally, and should. Makes your vote matter in a given State, particularly those who are heavy in one direction or the other. If you do the math, Biden would likely still win, but it would make things more fun on election night watching those clowns on TV trying to figure it out.

Another issue with mail voting is the postage mark. You can get a stamp up to midnight (think taxes). You’d be voting after the polls closed. They’d need to have it postmarked the day before Election Day for it to work properly or there would be a mad dash to stuff the mailbox to try and alter things.
 
tommy1808
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Re: Is Mail-in Voting going to change the game going forward?

Fri Nov 06, 2020 5:28 am

steveinbc wrote:
I understand that the US Military overseas were allowed to vote online. That's the way to go. It should be federally funded and I'm sure that there's plenty of ability to ensure the individual voting has at least as many checks on their identity as a polling station.


Nope. Any system that doesn´t generate a ballot that a) the voter can check, b) leaves a paper trial behind and c) allows laymen participation in the count, is useless.

best regards
Thomas
 
flyguy89
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Re: Is Mail-in Voting going to change the game going forward?

Fri Nov 06, 2020 6:24 am

NYCVIE wrote:
Obviously in this election, due to COVID 19, a significant number of people voted by mail. Disregarding who or what party may have benefited from that this cycle, there's no question that mail voting drove turnout up to record levels.

So is there a possibility we see mail voting as a normalized way of voting in the future?

Nah, not for me at least. I don't have anything inherently against limited mail-in voting, but nothing beats the security and assuredness of voting in person, and it's the best way generally to ensure people have get secret and coercion-free balloting.
 
tommy1808
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Re: Is Mail-in Voting going to change the game going forward?

Fri Nov 06, 2020 6:36 am

flyguy89 wrote:
get secret and coercion-free balloting.


unless you forgo secrecy completely a simply "take a picture of your ballot or there will be hell to pay when you come home" makes coercion just as possible. When you limit mail in voting coercing someone to apply for it is also no harder that coercing them to mark the ballot where you want them to.

best regards
Thomas
 
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Aesma
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Re: Is Mail-in Voting going to change the game going forward?

Fri Nov 06, 2020 6:49 am

I had my reservations about mail in voting (which doesn't exist in my country, even for the military, they vote on base or give the right to vote instead of them to someone) however I've seen that at least in some states you can see on the web that your ballot has been received and accepted, so that's reassuring.

If there was some kind of hashcode of your vote that you could encode on the ballot and would get a web confirmation of, that would be even better. By hashcode I mean you assign a value to each vote (01 Trump, 02 Biden, etc.) then a hash function is applied to all your votes. That way it's difficult/impossible to tamper with any choice you've made, and get the same hash.

Also we vote on Sundays, quite sensibly in my opinion. Here the excuse to not vote is not "I was working" but "I was fishing at the lake"...
 
flyguy89
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Re: Is Mail-in Voting going to change the game going forward?

Fri Nov 06, 2020 7:01 am

tommy1808 wrote:
flyguy89 wrote:
get secret and coercion-free balloting.


unless you forgo secrecy completely a simply "take a picture of your ballot or there will be hell to pay when you come home" makes coercion just as possible.

I believe polling centers in pretty much every state forbid photos or video recording, so that ends that. It's a far more easy possibility however to imagine a woman having to fill out her mail-in ballot under the watchful eye of her husband.

tommy1808 wrote:
When you limit mail in voting coercing someone to apply for it is also no harder that coercing them to mark the ballot where you want them to.

That's precisely why you limit it, set up certain criteria to meet for qualifying for a mail ballot. It's not going to eliminate the risk completely, sure, but it's one additional safeguard against coercion than would otherwise be the case.
 
tommy1808
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Re: Is Mail-in Voting going to change the game going forward?

Fri Nov 06, 2020 7:24 am

flyguy89 wrote:
tommy1808 wrote:
flyguy89 wrote:
get secret and coercion-free balloting.


unless you forgo secrecy completely a simply "take a picture of your ballot or there will be hell to pay when you come home" makes coercion just as possible.

I believe polling centers in pretty much every state forbid photos or video recording, so that ends that. It's a far more easy possibility however to imagine a woman having to fill out her mail-in ballot under the watchful eye of her husband.


That is why i said you have to forgo the "secret" bit, because otherwise that ban in unenforceable. Here it voids your vote and means up to two years in prison, yet people get only caught when they are stupid enough to post it on social media since no one can look over your shoulder while you actually vote. .... and of course, it is someone committing a felony..... just buy a pen camera and make them wear it. Heck, you can livestream their voting process to your phone if you like. "In case you want to rat me out, i ordered the pen camera in your name".

tommy1808 wrote:
When you limit mail in voting coercing someone to apply for it is also no harder that coercing them to mark the ballot where you want them to.

That's precisely why you limit it, set up certain criteria to meet for qualifying for a mail ballot. It's not going to eliminate the risk completely, sure, but it's one additional safeguard against coercion than would otherwise be the case.


I find it curious what makes you think someone willing to commit a felony to coerce someone in their household to vote the way they want would shrink from bringing about the circumstances that allow for requesting a mail in ballot?

best regards
Thomas
 
94717
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Re: Is Mail-in Voting going to change the game going forward?

Fri Nov 06, 2020 7:41 am

As a Swede where close 100% of adults using E-Signatures for most day to day activities I assume that E-Voting will within a few years be dominating.

When it is allowed it will soon be 100% of the swedish / Scandinavian elections.

The problem will actually be another. Privacy. You do not want to who made a specific vote...
 
flyguy89
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Re: Is Mail-in Voting going to change the game going forward?

Fri Nov 06, 2020 7:49 am

tommy1808 wrote:
flyguy89 wrote:
tommy1808 wrote:

unless you forgo secrecy completely a simply "take a picture of your ballot or there will be hell to pay when you come home" makes coercion just as possible.

I believe polling centers in pretty much every state forbid photos or video recording, so that ends that. It's a far more easy possibility however to imagine a woman having to fill out her mail-in ballot under the watchful eye of her husband.


That is why i said you have to forgo the "secret" bit, because otherwise that ban in unenforceable. Here it voids your vote and means up to two years in prison, yet people get only caught when they are stupid enough to post it on social media since no one can look over your shoulder while you actually vote. .... and of course, it is someone committing a felony..... just buy a pen camera and make them wear it. Heck, you can livestream their voting process to your phone if you like. "In case you want to rat me out, i ordered the pen camera in your name".

Sorry, I'm not tracking with you. Technically you can get away with murder, too, but we still have laws and enforcement procedures against it. Certainly you can get away with coercing someone's vote at an in-person precinct, but the point is it's much more difficult to do so compared to just watching someone fill out a mail ballot at home.

tommy1808 wrote:
flyguy89 wrote:
tommy1808 wrote:
When you limit mail in voting coercing someone to apply for it is also no harder that coercing them to mark the ballot where you want them to.

That's precisely why you limit it, set up certain criteria to meet for qualifying for a mail ballot. It's not going to eliminate the risk completely, sure, but it's one additional safeguard against coercion than would otherwise be the case.

I find it curious what makes you think someone willing to commit a felony to coerce someone in their household to vote the way they want would shrink from bringing about the circumstances that allow for requesting a mail in ballot?

Depends on what criteria are set up. They may be willing to bring about those circumstances, but whether they'll be able to is a different story. Just like safety in aviation, layers of Swiss cheese mean more security.
 
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c933103
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Re: Is Mail-in Voting going to change the game going forward?

Fri Nov 06, 2020 9:16 am

I think many who voted by mail, especially those who do this for the first time this year, will see the chaos now and think twice when doing so next time, and might reverse the trend
 
bgm
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Re: Is Mail-in Voting going to change the game going forward?

Fri Nov 06, 2020 12:13 pm

ArcticSEA wrote:
It's already normal in many US states. If we are going to rely on it nationwide going forward, the USPS needs to be adequately (and fairly) governed and substantially modernized.


and a postmaster general who isn't actively trying to sabotage it.
 
Jetty
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Re: Is Mail-in Voting going to change the game going forward?

Fri Nov 06, 2020 12:55 pm

From an outside perspective mail-in voting seems like a bad idea. Mostly because you want a secure chain of custody of ballots for which mail isn’t suited, but also because people should vote in private and without outside pressure. For this reason they don’t even allow 2 people in the voting booth in many countries.
 
LCDFlight
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Re: Is Mail-in Voting going to change the game going forward?

Fri Nov 06, 2020 10:26 pm

If you buy the idea that mail-in voting helps Democratic candidates, then it follows that Trump would have decisively won the 2020 election if it were held in the traditional way. Even taking his performance into account, he would have won re-election.

Or, maybe you don't buy the statement that mail-in voting helps Democratic candidates. But if you do, then Trump would have repeated his 2016 result.
 
NYCVIE
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Re: Is Mail-in Voting going to change the game going forward?

Fri Nov 06, 2020 11:10 pm

LCDFlight wrote:
If you buy the idea that mail-in voting helps Democratic candidates, then it follows that Trump would have decisively won the 2020 election if it were held in the traditional way. Even taking his performance into account, he would have won re-election.

Or, maybe you don't buy the statement that mail-in voting helps Democratic candidates. But if you do, then Trump would have repeated his 2016 result.


That in this particular election mail-in voting favored Biden/Democrats has little to do with the mail-in voting itself and everything to do with Trump advocating for his voters not to do it. He almost certainly would have been better off advocating for his supporters to also do mail-in voting as it would have most likely increased turnout beyond the increase we're observing now. By encouraging everyone to vote on one specific day (which isn't a federal holiday) obviously you're limiting the number of people who would be able to come out.

I think your conclusion is wrong anyways (because it hinges on the assumption that people who voted by mail wouldn't have voted at all if it weren't an option) and I have my own thoughts on why he suggested his voters not vote early but that's for a different thread...

rfields5421 wrote:
I agree with you. There should be a national standard.

However, this is a major states rights issue. That each state can control their own elections, set their own laws, etc. And within any singles state the methodology of counting votes varies.

Some counties still use only paper, non-machine readable ballots simply because of the expense of having the equipment to be able to do that. Loving County in Texas has an official population in 2010 of 82 people. Estimated at near 170 now. Normal average of population range would be about 100-120 people eligible to vote. I don't know if Loving County still uses paper ballots that are non-machine readable, but I would not be surprised.

My 2020 absentee ballot from Polk County Texas was machine readable. I do not think my 2016 absentee ballot was.


I think setting a national standard/agency to handle this might actually create more issues than we see now because the possibility is open for someone or a group of people in the federal government to try to tamper with the vote across the board. Think right now, if mail-in voting were handled at the federal level there would be even more shenanigans than we see going on now. With each state having their own system it makes it difficult/almost impossible for an incumbent party/individual to interfere with a national election.
 
flyguy89
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Re: Is Mail-in Voting going to change the game going forward?

Fri Nov 06, 2020 11:14 pm

NYCVIE wrote:
I think setting a national standard/agency to handle this might actually create more issues than we see now because the possibility is open for someone or a group of people in the federal government to try to tamper with the vote across the board. Think right now, if mail-in voting were handled at the federal level there would be even more shenanigans than we see going on now. With each state having their own system it makes it difficult/almost impossible for an incumbent party/individual to interfere with a national election.

I think this is an understated point. The idea of having 50 different voting systems may seem sclerotic at the surface, but it does actually afford a great deal of protection against election tampering.
 
M564038
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Re: Is Mail-in Voting going to change the game going forward?

Fri Nov 06, 2020 11:20 pm

I am surprised there is so little mention on WHY there is no firm limit or a standard as to when to votes should be ready.
And I think the primary answer, formally speaking is that there don’t need to be?

The election is November 3, and it decides what the states electoral college representatives is going to vote in the electoral college, which is in december.
So thats the limit. It has to be ready before the electoral college.
That isn’t the evening of Nov 3rd, nor is it even Nov 25th.

Seeing how tight and uptight everything is in this election, that probably need to change, but it will, as far as I understand, need to happen on the state level, and you can be sure some of them insist staying different.

Anyways, it seems like the current system WORKS.
You have republican congress, Supreme court, many republican governors, a large part of the population is republican and armed to the teeth and their republican president attempts a Coup on live TV.

And still the count continues as if nothing happened in every state, and the institutions of the United States and most people just shruggs it off and continues as it always has.

That is on some level a very IMPRESSIVE, very well regulated and very solid democracy! Hats off.
 
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Aesma
Posts: 14641
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Re: Is Mail-in Voting going to change the game going forward?

Sat Nov 07, 2020 4:33 am

NYCVIE : you do not need the system to be nationalized, it could simply be harmonized. Same rules everywhere, same format for ballots, same machines, same dates, etc.

Maybe also mandate the number of "ballot counters" relative to the population or something, so that counting takes roughly the same time everywhere.
 
rfields5421
Posts: 6374
Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2007 12:45 am

Re: Is Mail-in Voting going to change the game going forward?

Sat Nov 07, 2020 4:47 am

Aesma wrote:
NYCVIE : you do not need the system to be nationalized, it could simply be harmonized. Same rules everywhere, same format for ballots, same machines, same dates, etc.

Maybe also mandate the number of "ballot counters" relative to the population or something, so that counting takes roughly the same time everywhere.


Have you seen the number of ballots in some places? Pallets of ballots in boxes - approx 1.5m x1.5m and 1.5m tall. Many places have two to three times the number of absentee/ mail-in ballots than ever before in history.

Now I agree on standard rules. Are you? Going to pay for a standardized $200,000 voting system that will handle counting several thousand ballots an hour - for Loving County Texas with a total population near 150 people. Likely under 100 voters.

And as mentioned we do have a SAME DATE for results - Dec 8.

The five weeks between the election and the Safe Harbor date are to allow such problems, discrepancies and such to be handled by the procedures already in place, which includes allowing for recounts, challenges and such.
 
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flyingclrs727
Posts: 2811
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Re: Is Mail-in Voting going to change the game going forward?

Sat Nov 07, 2020 5:31 am

Aesma wrote:
I had my reservations about mail in voting (which doesn't exist in my country, even for the military, they vote on base or give the right to vote instead of them to someone) however I've seen that at least in some states you can see on the web that your ballot has been received and accepted, so that's reassuring.

If there was some kind of hashcode of your vote that you could encode on the ballot and would get a web confirmation of, that would be even better. By hashcode I mean you assign a value to each vote (01 Trump, 02 Biden, etc.) then a hash function is applied to all your votes. That way it's difficult/impossible to tamper with any choice you've made, and get the same hash.

Also we vote on Sundays, quite sensibly in my opinion. Here the excuse to not vote is not "I was working" but "I was fishing at the lake"...


Weekends in the fall are not sensible at all for election days in the US. That is when football games are played. The biggest college rivalry games are played in November. The second half of the NFL season, where the games start having playoff implications, starts in November. The real workaround for having election day during the work week is having extended early voting periods.

It also helps get rid of the problem that having multiple time zones has on voting. Back in 1980 the projections of Ronald Reagan's victory were announced not long after 7 pm when polls started closing in the Central Time zone. This was just an hour after the first polls closed on the east coast. People were still voting in the Mountain and Pacific time zones. Many people hearing about the results of the presidential election didn't even bother to vote on the west coast. Several congressmen attributed their losses to people not voting. In 2000 the media projected Florida had been won by Gore based on exit polling minutes after polls closed in the Eastern time zone of Florida but people were still voting in the panhandle if Florida. Many people who were in line to vote in the panhandle went home without voting. Having the election all on one day does nothing to decrease the effect of results from eastern elections on voting in the western parts of the US.
 
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scbriml
Posts: 20086
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Re: Is Mail-in Voting going to change the game going forward?

Sat Nov 07, 2020 9:17 am

flyingclrs727 wrote:
Weekends in the fall are not sensible at all for election days in the US. That is when football games are played. The biggest college rivalry games are played in November. The second half of the NFL season, where the games start having playoff implications, starts in November. The real workaround for having election day during the work week is having extended early voting periods.


Yeah, it's tough when democracy gets in the way of a game of football.
 
JJJ
Posts: 4107
Joined: Wed May 31, 2006 5:12 pm

Re: Is Mail-in Voting going to change the game going forward?

Tue Nov 10, 2020 12:20 pm

scbriml wrote:
flyingclrs727 wrote:
Weekends in the fall are not sensible at all for election days in the US. That is when football games are played. The biggest college rivalry games are played in November. The second half of the NFL season, where the games start having playoff implications, starts in November. The real workaround for having election day during the work week is having extended early voting periods.


Yeah, it's tough when democracy gets in the way of a game of football.


Yup, those 12 to 14 hour long games really don't let any spare time to go place your vote.
 
frmrCapCadet
Posts: 4974
Joined: Thu May 29, 2008 8:24 pm

Re: Is Mail-in Voting going to change the game going forward?

Tue Nov 10, 2020 3:02 pm

Votes need to be done by precinct, water, fire, school, cemetery district, levee, county, city etc. This results in very customized ballots. So that address of your paper ballot determines just what is on it. I thought paper votes were counted and saved by precinct. (in the olden days I served as a voting official in my neighboring precinct, friend and I would race to be the first precinct reporting, only once did we have a missing vote, procedure is to do one recount of votes, we did three, never could figure out what happened.). That 'box' is saved for a specific amount of time. A scanner is programmed for a specific precinct, and a final score is sent on with votes assigned to the various candidates and districts. Results are amalgamated on up to state level. A recount is fairly straight forward, the precinct can be hand counted and rescanned. Likely a statistically number of precincts are recounted. I have never served on the back end of an auditor office on the recounts. Anyone done so, and able to give us more accurate info.

The huge, to my mind, advantage of paper scannable voting, whether in person or by mail, is that it leaves the paper trail. What is wrong with mail voting is also wrong with driver licenses and passports. There is seldom a face to face contact. At least every five years we should be expected to have an employer, bank, doctor, religious group confirm our identity and existence. The party confirming having only minimal obligations. At our church in the 1970s we were asked to confirm birth or marriage information, as those records were not well kept by civil authorities before 1910(?).
 
User avatar
DL717
Posts: 2364
Joined: Wed May 23, 2018 10:53 pm

Re: Is Mail-in Voting going to change the game going forward?

Tue Nov 10, 2020 6:34 pm

flyingclrs727 wrote:
Aesma wrote:
I had my reservations about mail in voting (which doesn't exist in my country, even for the military, they vote on base or give the right to vote instead of them to someone) however I've seen that at least in some states you can see on the web that your ballot has been received and accepted, so that's reassuring.

If there was some kind of hashcode of your vote that you could encode on the ballot and would get a web confirmation of, that would be even better. By hashcode I mean you assign a value to each vote (01 Trump, 02 Biden, etc.) then a hash function is applied to all your votes. That way it's difficult/impossible to tamper with any choice you've made, and get the same hash.

Also we vote on Sundays, quite sensibly in my opinion. Here the excuse to not vote is not "I was working" but "I was fishing at the lake"...


Weekends in the fall are not sensible at all for election days in the US. That is when football games are played. The biggest college rivalry games are played in November. The second half of the NFL season, where the games start having playoff implications, starts in November. The real workaround for having election day during the work week is having extended early voting periods.

It also helps get rid of the problem that having multiple time zones has on voting. Back in 1980 the projections of Ronald Reagan's victory were announced not long after 7 pm when polls started closing in the Central Time zone. This was just an hour after the first polls closed on the east coast. People were still voting in the Mountain and Pacific time zones. Many people hearing about the results of the presidential election didn't even bother to vote on the west coast. Several congressmen attributed their losses to people not voting. In 2000 the media projected Florida had been won by Gore based on exit polling minutes after polls closed in the Eastern time zone of Florida but people were still voting in the panhandle if Florida. Many people who were in line to vote in the panhandle went home without voting. Having the election all on one day does nothing to decrease the effect of results from eastern elections on voting in the western parts of the US.


On the prior, vote absentee. On the later, it would be nice if there was an embargo on the official counts until the next morning so they couldn’t make projections while people are still voting across the country.
 
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flyingclrs727
Posts: 2811
Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2007 7:44 am

Re: Is Mail-in Voting going to change the game going forward?

Tue Nov 10, 2020 10:12 pm

JJJ wrote:
scbriml wrote:
flyingclrs727 wrote:
Weekends in the fall are not sensible at all for election days in the US. That is when football games are played. The biggest college rivalry games are played in November. The second half of the NFL season, where the games start having playoff implications, starts in November. The real workaround for having election day during the work week is having extended early voting periods.


Yeah, it's tough when democracy gets in the way of a game of football.


Yup, those 12 to 14 hour long games really don't let any spare time to go place your vote.


If you're hundreds of miles away from your county of residence on election day, you can't vote. My country has a system that allows voting from any polling location in the county on election day and is the smallest population county in Texas with this system. It doesn't allow voting from outside the county. You don't seem to understand American college football. People often drive several hours to get to a game to see their alma mater play, then drive back home the same day. They could easily spend 12-14 hours or more in a day traveling to a game, seeing the game, and driving back. I seriously doubt universities will be interested in the interference with election day. They use game days to connect with alumni and get donations. Likewise the NFL and the TV networks wouldn't appreciate their audience cut down on Sunday.
 
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DL717
Posts: 2364
Joined: Wed May 23, 2018 10:53 pm

Re: Is Mail-in Voting going to change the game going forward?

Tue Nov 10, 2020 10:24 pm

flyingclrs727 wrote:
JJJ wrote:
scbriml wrote:

Yeah, it's tough when democracy gets in the way of a game of football.


Yup, those 12 to 14 hour long games really don't let any spare time to go place your vote.


If you're hundreds of miles away from your county of residence on election day, you can't vote. My country has a system that allows voting from any polling location in the county on election day and is the smallest population county in Texas with this system. It doesn't allow voting from outside the county. You don't seem to understand American college football. People often drive several hours to get to a game to see their alma mater play, then drive back home the same day. They could easily spend 12-14 hours or more in a day traveling to a game, seeing the game, and driving back. I seriously doubt universities will be interested in the interference with election day. They use game days to connect with alumni and get donations. Likewise the NFL and the TV networks wouldn't appreciate their audience cut down on Sunday.


Once again. Absentee ballot.
 
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DL717
Posts: 2364
Joined: Wed May 23, 2018 10:53 pm

Re: Is Mail-in Voting going to change the game going forward?

Tue Nov 10, 2020 10:26 pm

frmrCapCadet wrote:
Votes need to be done by precinct, water, fire, school, cemetery district, levee, county, city etc. This results in very customized ballots. So that address of your paper ballot determines just what is on it. I thought paper votes were counted and saved by precinct. (in the olden days I served as a voting official in my neighboring precinct, friend and I would race to be the first precinct reporting, only once did we have a missing vote, procedure is to do one recount of votes, we did three, never could figure out what happened.). That 'box' is saved for a specific amount of time. A scanner is programmed for a specific precinct, and a final score is sent on with votes assigned to the various candidates and districts. Results are amalgamated on up to state level. A recount is fairly straight forward, the precinct can be hand counted and rescanned. Likely a statistically number of precincts are recounted. I have never served on the back end of an auditor office on the recounts. Anyone done so, and able to give us more accurate info.

The huge, to my mind, advantage of paper scannable voting, whether in person or by mail, is that it leaves the paper trail. What is wrong with mail voting is also wrong with driver licenses and passports. There is seldom a face to face contact. At least every five years we should be expected to have an employer, bank, doctor, religious group confirm our identity and existence. The party confirming having only minimal obligations. At our church in the 1970s we were asked to confirm birth or marriage information, as those records were not well kept by civil authorities before 1910(?).


I’ve often thought Federal Elections should be just Federal. Clear off the clutter. Vote for House, Senate and President. Nothing else. No straight ballot options either. If you can’t fill in a circle for each candidate, don’t bother voting. You’re lazy.
 
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flyingclrs727
Posts: 2811
Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2007 7:44 am

Re: Is Mail-in Voting going to change the game going forward?

Tue Nov 10, 2020 11:38 pm

DL717 wrote:
flyingclrs727 wrote:
JJJ wrote:

Yup, those 12 to 14 hour long games really don't let any spare time to go place your vote.


If you're hundreds of miles away from your county of residence on election day, you can't vote. My country has a system that allows voting from any polling location in the county on election day and is the smallest population county in Texas with this system. It doesn't allow voting from outside the county. You don't seem to understand American college football. People often drive several hours to get to a game to see their alma mater play, then drive back home the same day. They could easily spend 12-14 hours or more in a day traveling to a game, seeing the game, and driving back. I seriously doubt universities will be interested in the interference with election day. They use game days to connect with alumni and get donations. Likewise the NFL and the TV networks wouldn't appreciate their audience cut down on Sunday.


Once again. Absentee ballot.


In person early voting is easier, and the votes get reported early on election night.
 
JJJ
Posts: 4107
Joined: Wed May 31, 2006 5:12 pm

Re: Is Mail-in Voting going to change the game going forward?

Wed Nov 11, 2020 9:56 am

flyingclrs727 wrote:
JJJ wrote:
scbriml wrote:

Yeah, it's tough when democracy gets in the way of a game of football.


Yup, those 12 to 14 hour long games really don't let any spare time to go place your vote.


If you're hundreds of miles away from your county of residence on election day, you can't vote. My country has a system that allows voting from any polling location in the county on election day and is the smallest population county in Texas with this system. It doesn't allow voting from outside the county. You don't seem to understand American college football. People often drive several hours to get to a game to see their alma mater play, then drive back home the same day. They could easily spend 12-14 hours or more in a day traveling to a game, seeing the game, and driving back. I seriously doubt universities will be interested in the interference with election day. They use game days to connect with alumni and get donations. Likewise the NFL and the TV networks wouldn't appreciate their audience cut down on Sunday.


Most countries hold big sports events on Sundays, yet choose to hold election on Sundays either way.

If you value supporting your team more than having your voice heard once every few years it's probably better that you don't vote. Polling stations are open long enough that you can still watch your team on the telly, and if your team plays on the opposite side of the country you can still vote by mail so it's not like the cruel Government discriminates against football fans.
 
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seb146
Posts: 23881
Joined: Wed Dec 01, 1999 7:19 am

Re: Is Mail-in Voting going to change the game going forward?

Wed Nov 11, 2020 7:21 pm

B777LRF wrote:
In my neck of the woods every citizen* receives a ballot paper by mail around 2 weeks prior to an election. You don't have do to anything to get the paper, apart from being 18 and having an address. The ballot paper comes with a prepaid envelope which you must post no later than 1 week prior to the election, otherwise you present yourself at one the polling stations (usually schools or a community building), where your ballot paper will be exchanged for a long list of parties and candidates of each party, allowing you to vote for a person or a party, once you have provided proof of identification. You use a pen to place an X or a checkmark next to the candidate or party you wish to vote for, and that's it.

If you return the ballot paper by mail, you write the name of the party or candidate you wish to vote for.

And that's it. Awfully simple, utterly democratic, gives every person an equal and fair chance to cast their vote, and works flawlessly - which are all good reasons why the US won't adopt such a system.

*There are a few exceptions such as insanity.


Oregon has machine readable ballots for every election in every district. Just fill in the circle next to the person you wish to vote for or ballot measure you want to vote yes or no on, in black or blue ink. The added bonus is that every eligible adult gets a ballot because all of that was verified at the DMV, so the photo ID is already known, the citizenship status is known, the legality of the person is known.
 
apodino
Posts: 4087
Joined: Mon Apr 04, 2005 2:11 am

Re: Is Mail-in Voting going to change the game going forward?

Wed Nov 11, 2020 11:55 pm

flyingclrs727 wrote:
DL717 wrote:
flyingclrs727 wrote:

If you're hundreds of miles away from your county of residence on election day, you can't vote. My country has a system that allows voting from any polling location in the county on election day and is the smallest population county in Texas with this system. It doesn't allow voting from outside the county. You don't seem to understand American college football. People often drive several hours to get to a game to see their alma mater play, then drive back home the same day. They could easily spend 12-14 hours or more in a day traveling to a game, seeing the game, and driving back. I seriously doubt universities will be interested in the interference with election day. They use game days to connect with alumni and get donations. Likewise the NFL and the TV networks wouldn't appreciate their audience cut down on Sunday.


Once again. Absentee ballot.


In person early voting is easier, and the votes get reported early on election night.


I actually think this is the future when Covid goes away. I voted early in person and it was great. No lines at the polls, sanitized styluses so there is no contact with the touchscreen other than with the stylus, and after you finish it prints a paper copy so that things can be verified later. No reason needed, and in my area you can go to any polling location; you are not tied to one specific polling location, and I like that way so much better than the old ways of doing things.
 
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zippyjet
Posts: 5189
Joined: Tue Sep 04, 2001 3:32 pm

Re: Is Mail-in Voting going to change the game going forward?

Thu Nov 12, 2020 3:20 am

Even if there was little or no mail ballots with all the stuff that's going down this year; where your life could depend on your voice your vote. Turnout would still be higher than in the past. IMO next time around still have absent T ballots but!
1. Get back to the old school neighborhood. Voting precincts.
2. Early Voting should continue.
3. Standardization: across the country synchronized polling. 2 weeks before election day you know that the polling places are open from 0700-1900 whether you live in Hollywood, Ca. Or Hollywood Fla or Md.
4. Keep things classified...Start counting the damn votes at the end of each day. If you are an election counter you are sworn under oath no leaking of information or face hefty fines, incarcaration or both!
5. Amazing how private endeavors like Amazon run like a Rolex watch. If you can have an Amazon or IRS we should be wble to come up with an automated Internet voting system where your Driver Liscense or "Federal ID" could have the chip, software or technical wherewithall where like modern time clocks you scan your encrypted ID maybe with finger printing or eye verification scanning.

Why haven't we done this? IMO, we get off on sensationalism theater courtesy of our so called media. That's how they hook you and advertise to you. Plus efficient almost full proof voting would put many lawyers and government bureaucracies would have less business.
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