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Military Ballots





jwellsy
Illinois is one of several states that have delayed sending out military absentee ballots on time. The vote tampering begins.

Quote:
SPRINGFIELD - Nearly one in five Illinois counties failed to meet last month's deadline to send military and overseas ballots.

Illinois Statehouse News contacted each of the 110 local election offices in the state and found many that sent out ballots after the Sept. 18 deadline for soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen who are serving overseas. Twenty-one counties missed the deadline, while 87 mailed out ballots on time. Two counties, Marion and Will, did not return our calls.

The majority of counties that did not get overseas ballots into the mail on time are smaller, rural counties. Kane and St. Clair counties are two of the larger counties that did not meet the deadline.

But local election officials insist that no one is being disenfranchised. Carla Hoelsch, chief deputy clerk for Clinton County, said the 30 or so ballots she sent out just after the September deadline will be counted.

"I am a big supporter of the military. My son-in-law is deployed for the second time in Afghanistan," Hoelsch said. "I would lean toward busting my behind to do anything we can for the military. But it has been done, and we got them out within four days of the deadline."

In Edgar County, County Clerk Becky Kraemer said she had three military ballots on her desk before Sept. 18 but waited until the Sept. 21 to send them to voters because of a pending ballot challenge from the Constitution Party.

"I am extremely sorry that I did not hit that deadline," Kraemer said. "We would have mailed (the ballots) out on the 17th had this court case not been looming and (we were) uncertain about everything."

Kraemer noted that she and a lot of other election officials feared a court ruling that would require more ballots or more last-minute changes.

Massac County received two military absentee ballot requests and two overseas citizen ballot requests before Sept. 18.

But Massac County Clerk John "Bubba" Taylor said the county did not fulfill those requests until Oct. 8.

"We're a very poor county. It's 30 cents a ballot," Taylor said. "It doesn't sound like much, but when you're printing 11,000 ballots, it really adds up."

Taylor said he understood there were concerns about counties missing the federal deadline for fulfilling ballot requests.

"But until you have ballots and have them proofed, you can't send them to people," he said.

That lack of guidance from the court is a common complaint from counties. Kraemer from Edgar County said she had to choose between the federal deadline and the state court.

"The courts don't always look at deadlines for election authorities," she said. "We're at their mercy to expeditiously take care of election questions."

Kraemer said she knew that even if she missed the September deadline, those voters would still have their ballots counted.

In fact, nearly every election office in the state has sent military and overseas ballots since the deadline. Ballots will continue to be sent to military members until Oct. 22 and to overseas civilians until Oct. 28.

Bureau County Clerk Kami Hieronymus adds that she will wait until Nov. 16 to count all the ballots.

"It's the same process as it would be for any registered voter," she said. "As long as they get their ballot in the mail, and postmarked the day before the election, then we wait for that mail to come in. We have 14 days after the election to count all of the absentee and military ballots that are returned to us."


http://www.thetelegraph.com/news/deadline-45988-militmlary-counties.ht
deanhills
Well maybe this should be next on Obama's agenda then? Fix Voter Fraud by sorting out an election system that is voter fraud proof? All they have to do is look across the border at what Canada is doing. And copy that? It is an excellent system. I still am shocked that the US of all countries is having a problem with that.
jwellsy
Why would B.O. want to eliminate voter fraud?
deanhills
jwellsy wrote:
Why would B.O. want to eliminate voter fraud?
Smile OK, I get the humour, but on a serious note, why single BO out? This voter fraud thing has been around for years and years apparently and is a result of a system of registering voters that can be manipulated for fraud. If they can have registration systems in other Western countries that work, why not in the United States? Would have thought that everything would have been done to sort it out after that fiasco vote counting in Florida when Bush got elected the first time. Wow!
ocalhoun
deanhills wrote:
Well maybe this should be next on Obama's agenda then? Fix Voter Fraud by sorting out an election system that is voter fraud proof?

Any system can be subject to fraud, the only difference is how difficult the fraud is.

Now, you can make it more difficult, and reduce fraud, but no system that large and important could ever be 100% free of fraud.

Now, as for the original topic of getting ballots from overseas military members filed on time... I can't imagine why a left-of-center wouldn't put maximum priority on that...
http://www.militarytimes.com/static/projects/pages/081003_ep_2pp.pdf
Oh, wait... Now I can.
deanhills
ocalhoun wrote:
Now, you can make it more difficult, and reduce fraud, but no system that large and important could ever be 100% free of fraud.
TOTALLY agreed. But it would seem that in the United States the chances for fraud is much larger than anywhere else in the major Western countries of the world. We are talking in the thousands, not the hundreds.

ocalhoun wrote:
Now, as for the original topic of getting ballots from overseas military members filed on time... I can't imagine why a left-of-center wouldn't put maximum priority on that...
http://www.militarytimes.com/static/projects/pages/081003_ep_2pp.pdf
Oh, wait... Now I can.
Wow! That is right on the number. I picked up on it too but could not figure out how and what was happening. So is that voter fraud as well, but of the unproven variety more on a subtle level?
ocalhoun
deanhills wrote:

ocalhoun wrote:
Now, as for the original topic of getting ballots from overseas military members filed on time... I can't imagine why a left-of-center wouldn't put maximum priority on that...
http://www.militarytimes.com/static/projects/pages/081003_ep_2pp.pdf
Oh, wait... Now I can.
Wow! That is right on the number. I picked up on it too but could not figure out how and what was happening. So is that voter fraud as well, but of the unproven variety more on a subtle level?

Not fraud per se, as it is currently perfectly legal in some states/counties to miss the deadline in filing absentee ballots, and there is no (nation-wide) legal requirement to amend the results when those ballots finally are counted.


Hopefully, a national law can be passed requiring absentee ballots to be sent out well ahead of time (especially important for overseas voters who might have to deal with very slow mail systems), and requiring that all absentee ballots postmarked before the election are counted, even if they arrive late.
Since the majority of absentee ballots are for military members, and the military consistently votes right-of-center, this has an obvious benefit to one side, and a detriment to the other. It is, however, only fair that all eligible voters are given an honest chance to vote.
deanhills
ocalhoun wrote:
Hopefully, a national law can be passed requiring absentee ballots to be sent out well ahead of time (especially important for overseas voters who might have to deal with very slow mail systems), and requiring that all absentee ballots postmarked before the election are counted, even if they arrive late.
Why would a law be necessary? Why can't it just be more efficiently managed? Wouldn't it be better to manage it Federally? Rather than by State? And then when the votes are in to dispatch the results to the States?

I prefer also not to think of this as fraud with intent, more just complete mismanagement and a system that is obviously not working, and through that can be manipulated to the advantage of whoever has the opportunity to manipulate it.
ocalhoun
deanhills wrote:
Why would a law be necessary?

Because currently, individual states are free to administer the details of collecting votes how they see fit (within limits).

Making any change to this apply to all states would require a federal mandate.

(Much the same way that laws were enacted due to the civil rights movement to counteract some of the local vote-rigging Jim Crow laws.)
deanhills
ocalhoun wrote:
deanhills wrote:
Why would a law be necessary?

Because currently, individual states are free to administer the details of collecting votes how they see fit (within limits).

Making any change to this apply to all states would require a federal mandate.

(Much the same way that laws were enacted due to the civil rights movement to counteract some of the local vote-rigging Jim Crow laws.)
Wouldn't it be far easier just to centralize the collection of votes by the Federal Government, to make sure that it is fairly administered, and on an evenly keel for all the States?
jmi256
deanhills wrote:
ocalhoun wrote:
deanhills wrote:
Why would a law be necessary?

Because currently, individual states are free to administer the details of collecting votes how they see fit (within limits).

Making any change to this apply to all states would require a federal mandate.

(Much the same way that laws were enacted due to the civil rights movement to counteract some of the local vote-rigging Jim Crow laws.)
Wouldn't it be far easier just to centralize the collection of votes by the Federal Government, to make sure that it is fairly administered, and on an evenly keel for all the States?


What makes you think that the federal government would be any more fair? While from an execution standpoint it may seem that it would be easier for a single entity to administer the process, in reality it just introduces more bureaucracy. And I would suggest that less bureaucracy on the state and local level would be more effective. From my own experience, I never really had any issues with absentee voting, either in my time in the Marines or after I was out and working in various states and countries as a civilian. I would simply make sure to write a letter (now I think you can also email in some jurisdictions), call or stop into the local municipal building if I was in the area a few months before upcoming elections. The little old ladies in the local municipal building were more than eager to help out, and I always got my ballot in time to vote. Most years I would request an absentee ballot even if I wasn’t sure whether I would be able to vote in person, and if I was in the area on election day I would turn in the absentee ballot when I showed up to vote. In essence, while voting is a right, it is a right that must be exercised. The exercise of that right may mean a bit of work on our part, but that’s our responsibility.
deanhills
jmi256 wrote:
In essence, while voting is a right, it is a right that must be exercised. The exercise of that right may mean a bit of work on our part, but that’s our responsibility.
Thanks for the details as it presents a different picture that does make sense to me. The initiative to ensure that everyone does have their ballot forms on time to make the voting deadline resides with the voters in the Military themselves? The onus is on them to sort the people out who have to provide them with the ballot forms and there may be more than one way to sort it out? Think that does make sense to me.

I would be curious to hear your general views about election fraud in the United States, and what you think the solution for that could be.
jwellsy
The state of Illinois appears to be giving an extension to return absentee ballots, ONE DAY

Quote:
"It's a disgrace," said Beverly Perlson of the group Band of Mothers when she learned that soldiers from Illinois were only going to get a one-day extension on the deadline to get their absentee ballots postmarked, despite them being printed and mailed as much as two weeks late.

"These guys are fighting, dying and losing limbs on the battlefield. How do you think this makes them feel?" She shouted rhetorically.



Representatives of the Department of Justice met with representatives from the State of Illinois, the Illinois State Board of Elections and, according to a source, representatives of The Illinois Attorney General. They produced a consent decree which extends the deadline for the postmark on absentee ballots from November 1 to November 2. This in the face of 35 Illinois counties failing to mail their absentee ballots 45 days ahead of the election as mandated by the 2009 Military Overseas Voter Empowerment Act (MOVE).



The State Board of Elections reports that 2,665 ballots were mailed late. More than 1,200 of those are from St. Clair County, home of Scott Air Force Base. The ballots were printed late due to a court challenge, because a third party wanted to get on the ballot. The counties did not want to incur the expense of printing and mailing, only to cause confusion if they needed to print and mail a second ballot. So, they missed the September 18th deadline to get the ballots out to absentee voters, a group that includes fighting men and women overseas.

The Illinois Republican Party will file a motion to intervene as early as Thursday. The intervention will call on equal protection actions; that each citizen has a fair an equal amount of time to vote. They will also recognize the 45 day mandate under the MOVE act and call on Illinois election code, which grants an additional 14 days to count the ballots.

"The message we want to send, is that there are people back here who care," said Pat Brady, chairman of the Illinois Republican Party. "We will get this taken care of."


http://politics.blogs.foxnews.com/2010/10/20/illinois-absentee-voters-only-get-one-day-extension-0
standready
deanhills wrote:
Why would a law be necessary? Why can't it just be more efficiently managed? Wouldn't it be better to manage it Federally? Rather than by State? And then when the votes are in to dispatch the results to the States?

If the elections were only for national offices that might work but each location has several local office elections as well that would make the federal government handling impossible.
Example: Let's see Johnny can vote for this office but not for that one because he is outside the city limits. In other words, confusing.
deanhills
standready wrote:
deanhills wrote:
Why would a law be necessary? Why can't it just be more efficiently managed? Wouldn't it be better to manage it Federally? Rather than by State? And then when the votes are in to dispatch the results to the States?

If the elections were only for national offices that might work but each location has several local office elections as well that would make the federal government handling impossible.
Example: Let's see Johnny can vote for this office but not for that one because he is outside the city limits. In other words, confusing.
Thanks for the insight. So how do you think could the problem be resolved?
ocalhoun
deanhills wrote:
Thanks for the insight. So how do you think could the problem be resolved?

By mandating three things:
1- All states must mail out absentee ballots on request, well in advance. Take the time required for the slowest mailing system in the world to make a round trip, then add a week or two.
2- Absentee ballots that arrive late -- but are postmarked before the election -- must be counted when they arrive, and the outcome must be reversed if these late votes change it.
3- A request for an absentee ballot means that the ballot must be sent out reasonably quickly. Say, 3 business days, for example.
deanhills
ocalhoun wrote:
deanhills wrote:
Thanks for the insight. So how do you think could the problem be resolved?

By mandating three things:
1- All states must mail out absentee ballots on request, well in advance. Take the time required for the slowest mailing system in the world to make a round trip, then add a week or two.
2- Absentee ballots that arrive late -- but are postmarked before the election -- must be counted when they arrive, and the outcome must be reversed if these late votes change it.
3- A request for an absentee ballot means that the ballot must be sent out reasonably quickly. Say, 3 business days, for example.
These are basic requirements, and it is shocking that they are not enforced. Hopefully the current media attention will bring this to the attention of decision makers that can make the necessary changes.
standready
deanhills wrote:
standready wrote:
deanhills wrote:
Why would a law be necessary? Why can't it just be more efficiently managed? Wouldn't it be better to manage it Federally? Rather than by State? And then when the votes are in to dispatch the results to the States?

If the elections were only for national offices that might work but each location has several local office elections as well that would make the federal government handling impossible.
Example: Let's see Johnny can vote for this office but not for that one because he is outside the city limits. In other words, confusing.
Thanks for the insight. So how do you think could the problem be resolved?


I think ocalhoun is on the right track. However, we are dealing with government employees. Most of them are there to collect a paycheck not work. My county government offices are filled with these people. You want them to actually work?
deanhills
standready wrote:
I think ocalhoun is on the right track. However, we are dealing with government employees. Most of them are there to collect a paycheck not work. My county government offices are filled with these people. You want them to actually work?
Well all I can say is that it is also Government who is responsible for the registration of voters in Canada, and that seems to work quite fine there. Maybe it is the way how they organize it? The bulk of the work in the Provinces is contracted to private individuals who really need the jobs. I can't recall ever coming across any crookedness or tardiness, more like really pleased to provide a service and anxious to get it right and make the deadline. I'm not saying all is perfect, but I have not heard of any imperfections yet. Maybe there are other Canadians who can comment on this as well.
standready
deanhills wrote:
Maybe it is the way how they organize it? The bulk of the work in the Provinces is contracted to private individuals who really need the jobs.

Hmmm, Privatize sending of absentee ballots. That could work - you don't paid unless the the work is done and in a timely manner. I like that!

To comment on OP:
Quinn victory?
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703805704575594764132673600.html
I could not locate the total number of absentee ballots sent out.
ocalhoun
standready wrote:
deanhills wrote:
Maybe it is the way how they organize it? The bulk of the work in the Provinces is contracted to private individuals who really need the jobs.

Hmmm, Privatize sending of absentee ballots. That could work - you don't paid unless the the work is done and in a timely manner. I like that!

It doesn't need to be privatized... There just needs to be a system to hold them accountable if they fail to meet their obligations.
Even government employees can be productive if they are expected to perform, punished when they don't, and rewarded when they do.
deanhills
ocalhoun wrote:
It doesn't need to be privatized... There just needs to be a system to hold them accountable if they fail to meet their obligations.
Even government employees can be productive if they are expected to perform, punished when they don't, and rewarded when they do.
Totally agreed. It is the system that always makes the difference. And it is not really privatized at all. They are supervised and are reporting individually to Government. If it had been an organization like ACORN, then I would be wary and concerned. But as far as I know these guys are appointed by Government on a short-term basis for the duration of the election only.

OK, just found something on the Web for Elections Canada Online.
Abhishukla
nice article. i came to know many things from this post .
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