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Thu Jul 26, 2018, 11:36 PM

Voting by mail

Is it safer? More hack proof?

I'm hoping some of the good minds here on DU can give me arguments for or against.

My husband and I vote by mail, have been doing so for years.

I'm volunteering as a canvasser and we encourage people to sign up to vote by mail.

I personally feel safer, especially in Florida.

But is it really safer?

32 replies, 1823 views

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Arrow 32 replies Author Time Post
Reply Voting by mail (Original post)
coeur_de_lion Jul 2018 OP
marlakay Jul 2018 #1
flibbitygiblets Jul 2018 #3
underthematrix Jul 2018 #2
coeur_de_lion Jul 2018 #4
underthematrix Jul 2018 #5
leftieNanner Jul 2018 #26
radical noodle Jul 2018 #6
Blue_true Jul 2018 #20
radical noodle Jul 2018 #22
pnwmom Jul 2018 #7
Gothmog Jul 2018 #8
diva77 Jul 2018 #9
coeur_de_lion Jul 2018 #16
diva77 Jul 2018 #17
coeur_de_lion Jul 2018 #18
diva77 Jul 2018 #24
leftieNanner Jul 2018 #27
Blue_true Jul 2018 #21
trueblue2007 Jul 2018 #10
leftieNanner Jul 2018 #28
Hoyt Jul 2018 #11
cbreezen Jul 2018 #12
Doreen Jul 2018 #13
Lady Freedom Returns Jul 2018 #14
OregonBlue Jul 2018 #15
Jane Austin Jul 2018 #19
Mme. Defarge Jul 2018 #23
crazycatlady Jul 2018 #25
cutroot Jul 2018 #29
FakeNoose Jul 2018 #30
ProudLib72 Jul 2018 #31
jdadd Jul 2018 #32

Response to coeur_de_lion (Original post)

Thu Jul 26, 2018, 11:40 PM

1. Most of my state Oregon is by mail

I drive it to drop off box in front of election office. Never had a problem.

If there is a issue or question your signature has to match the one you started with which is drivers license for most.

I notice on voting day the ballots turned in early do get counted because those are the ones they drop when voting time closes.

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Response to marlakay (Reply #1)

Thu Jul 26, 2018, 11:46 PM

3. One (Republican) paper vote scandal in OR that I know of

It was limited to a single precinct from what I remember. And yeah, they got caught. Oh, and of course the would be cheaters were Republicans.

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Response to coeur_de_lion (Original post)

Thu Jul 26, 2018, 11:46 PM

2. My CA county votes by mail only

I love it. Me and hubby make it a big deal. We go through each candidates education, history of public service and character. The most important is character. We want representatives who can do the right thing even when it's hard.

Just something very important to keep in mind. Read ALL instructions. Use the sample ballot to mark your choices. Copy your choices onto to your ballot.

Follow all instructions on how to mail in your ballot. YOU MUST READ THE INSTRUCTIONS ON HAVING SOMEONE ELSE MAIL IN YOU BALLOT which includes dropping it off at the post office for you. Your ballot could be deemed invalid if you do not follow ALL instructions.

This is why it's better to do your sample ballot as a family.

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Response to underthematrix (Reply #2)

Thu Jul 26, 2018, 11:51 PM

4. I think you misunderstand the purpose of my post

We have been voting by mail for years, and love it also. Do it the same way you do.

I want pros and cons from people about the safety of mail in votes.

Are they less susceptible to being hacked for example.

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Response to coeur_de_lion (Reply #4)

Fri Jul 27, 2018, 12:03 AM

5. Oh. Okay. So you're asking

for opinions about whether mail in ballots can be hacked.

I think mail in ballots can be tampered with through the validation process - whether the person followed the instructions for completing their ballot or mailing it in - I believe in CA we're advised not to use RED ink. Would the ballot be invalid if someone used red ink? I don't know

Mail in ballots are scanned using software. I think it's hard to manipulate the vote count at this stage but I'm sure it could be done.

I consider it the safest method of voting because the voter has a record. The voter can take a picture of their ballot and envelope to verify their claim that they voted and submitted their ballot.

I've advised my sister and adult nephew to use mail in ballots. I told her it's too dangerous to go to the polls, especially for black people. She assured me she and her son would use mail in ballots.

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Response to coeur_de_lion (Reply #4)

Sat Jul 28, 2018, 05:32 PM

26. Ultimately, a mail in ballot is a piece of paper

that can be recounted whenever necessary.

I am in Oregon now and I love it. My husband and I sit down with a cup of tea (or a glass of wine) and discuss the issues and candidates. Easy peasy.

I lived in California before we moved north, and I was a poll inspector for a number of years. Voting in person appeals to many people, but again, we used paper ballots.

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Response to coeur_de_lion (Original post)

Fri Jul 27, 2018, 12:15 AM

6. I'm in Florida, but was in Indiana before I moved here

I've never felt safe about voting by mail because I always worried they could be thrown out or not get there. When we were registering voters in 2016, I found that most black voters do not want to vote by mail either and I think they're probably the most astute voting group there is, so I continue not to vote by mail. JMHO

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Response to radical noodle (Reply #6)

Fri Jul 27, 2018, 08:56 PM

20. I am in Florida.

My county uses paper ballots that are scanned and stored. I feel safe doing in person early voting. When I walk in, my ID is checked and I am handed a ballot and asked if I want paper verification that I got a ballot.

The biggest problem here is people not voting. We recently had a mayoral race, the progressive lost by less than 900 votes out of something like 10,000-20,000 votes. The polling place that I went to to vote, which should have favored her big was like a morgue. I asked the lady handing out the ballot whether many people were voting and she said no. I see posters writing about votes being changed when the largest problem by far is getting people on our side to fucking vote to begin with. When people don't vote, they obstruct themselves, republicans and Russians don't have to do shit because their job is made easy.

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Response to Blue_true (Reply #20)

Fri Jul 27, 2018, 10:44 PM

22. That's our system too

I normally early vote as well. I live in an area with a lot of seniors, and they all vote every election but I know what you mean. I've voted in every election since I was old enough to vote. I wasn't always excited about the candidates, but I managed to get off my butt and go to the polls. Blue could win regularly in Florida if people would just come out and do it. They don't care enough to vote, but they complain constantly that they don't like what's going on.

Do you have a favorite for governor?

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Response to coeur_de_lion (Original post)

Fri Jul 27, 2018, 12:18 AM

7. In my state we can go online and make sure our mailed ballot got there.

There is an inner envelope to preserve privacy, and an outer envelope with a number so it can be tracked.

I feel confident the way it works here, anyway.

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Response to coeur_de_lion (Original post)

Fri Jul 27, 2018, 12:27 AM

8. There is about a 2% rejection rate for vote by mail

If the ballot board decides that your signature does not match the signature on your voter registration card they can reject the ballot. Even with that the Texas Democratic Party is encouraging ballot by mail. This locks in a vote. Inn 2016, a good friend died a week after he sent his ballot in. Under Texas law that ballot counted.

Juanita Jean is raising money for the ballot by mail program for small counties http://juanitajean.com/pestering-time/

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Response to coeur_de_lion (Original post)

Fri Jul 27, 2018, 12:40 AM

9. Problems with VBM

-chain of custody is broken -- your ballot is not subject to the same security it would receive on election day (in a clean election)
-the ballot alleged to have arrived (some counties allow you to look up online whether your ballot arrived) may not be the ballot that gets tallied
-the fact that ballots are collected prior to election day means that data on election results is being stored prior to election day and therefore becomes vulnerable to hacking
-VBM ballots may be spoiled more easily than election day ballots due to signature matching or other measures to verify authenticity


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Response to diva77 (Reply #9)

Fri Jul 27, 2018, 10:18 AM

16. Thats what I was afraid of

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Response to coeur_de_lion (Reply #16)

Fri Jul 27, 2018, 12:41 PM

17. It's unfortunate, but a real problem. The best way to vote is: 1)ensure that your registration is

still valid with your county elections official prior to registration deadline 2) vote at your precinct ON election day on a paper ballot

We need to push for having people recruited to be hand-counters thru the jury system -- people would only be called to duty once every few years for approximately 3 to 4 hours of service on election night.

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Response to diva77 (Reply #17)

Fri Jul 27, 2018, 02:46 PM

18. what if I fill out my ballot

and hand carry it to the voting station?

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Response to coeur_de_lion (Reply #18)

Sat Jul 28, 2018, 05:22 PM

24. carry it there on election day? or prior? Since I don't know what state you're in

my only advice would be that if you are able to surrender your VBM ballot ON election day and vote on a regular paper ballot, that is what I would do. I would find out about this from your county elections official. Certainly bringing your ballot to the voting station prior to election day circumvents the vulnerability your ballot could encounter by going through regular mail, so in that regard, yes, I would take it there, but the other problems still apply.

I applaud you for at least asking questions about problems with VBM.

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Response to coeur_de_lion (Reply #18)

Sat Jul 28, 2018, 05:35 PM

27. In California, this is fine.

Don't know about your state.

We could accept VBM ballots that were brought in. We had to verify that they were signed. If someone other than the voter wanted to drop off the ballot, there was a spot on the back of the envelope where they would sign as well.

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Response to diva77 (Reply #17)

Fri Jul 27, 2018, 09:07 PM

21. My county has scanned paper ballots for all elections.

Except for very local races (city), early voting happens for around 10-11 days, 8am-8pm, there is one whole weekend during that time. And I can ask for verification that I was given a ballot. There really is no logical reason for a person not to vote if that person really gives a shit.

Republicans cut early voting back to one weekend, but a person still should be able to vote on one of the 12 hour voting days, even if they work 12 hour shifts.

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Response to coeur_de_lion (Original post)

Fri Jul 27, 2018, 12:51 AM

10. we need to VOTE BY MAIL .... like we do in OREGON. it is great

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Response to trueblue2007 (Reply #10)

Sat Jul 28, 2018, 05:37 PM

28. Agreed

And because of the VBM here, our voter turnout tends to be higher than in other places.

I'm in Ashland, trueblue, where are you?

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Response to coeur_de_lion (Original post)

Fri Jul 27, 2018, 12:54 AM

11. Most important thing is that it is easy to vote by mail. I doubt it's any easier to hack,

unless the totals are hacked. To me, itís easier; thereís no chance of bad weather, illness, etc., keeping one from standing in line. In fact, I am going to vote by mail in case a family member is sick, Iím in a coma, or worse, on Election Day.

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Response to coeur_de_lion (Original post)

Fri Jul 27, 2018, 03:26 AM

12. I love voting by mail!

Here in Oregon, we receive the votors' pamphlet about a week before we receive our ballots. I ignore the media advertising and research those I am interested in. Weather is never an excuse!

As for safer, at least there's some paper trail there.

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Response to coeur_de_lion (Original post)

Fri Jul 27, 2018, 04:06 AM

13. My friends daughter worked in a place that collected mail ins

and monitored polling areas. She found out that if a persons signature is not extremely legible then the vote is thrown out. Now, tell me, how many blind people are not getting their vote heard? My friend is blind and smarter and more capable than most people but because her signature is not perfect her vote will more than likely be thrown out. She votes even with that knowledge but what is she to do? Living in Washington state all voting is done by mail and except for what I just said I like it better than going to the machines. However, if they can throw my friends away it would be just as easy for them to throw anybodies away.

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Response to coeur_de_lion (Original post)

Fri Jul 27, 2018, 04:50 AM

14. Arizona here. I vote by mail.

But I take straight to the Post Office. Pima County may be Blue, but we still have some MAGA freaks that might break into a mailbox 📬 to swipe it.

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Response to coeur_de_lion (Original post)

Fri Jul 27, 2018, 10:15 AM

15. We always vote by mail but we take the ballots straight to the courthouse. Most cities have drop

boxes that are emptied several times a day by employees of the county clerk's office or whoever conducts the process in that county. You can also hand them in directly at the clerk's office. I live in an area with lots of poor seniors and I often collect everyone's. DEM or GOP and submit them all directly. Very safe that way.

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Response to coeur_de_lion (Original post)

Fri Jul 27, 2018, 08:22 PM

19. I can vote by mail because I'm older than 65.

I think it's a good idea because you never know when you're going to get the flu or have to go out of town to care for a sick relative or go to a funeral. Or battle floods or blizzards.

And - there's no way they can pull that crap about not enough ballots or voting machines for your precinct.

Your vote is already in the ballot box.

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Response to coeur_de_lion (Original post)

Sat Jul 28, 2018, 01:01 PM

23. I live in Oregon where vote-by-mail

is our only option. While I love the convenience and the relative security as compared to electronic voting systems, what we have lost st is the sanctity of the voting booth. Knowing someone who has bragged on multiple occasions about multiplying her vote as a result of her having access to the ballots of those in her care, I have to wonder how much that may actually go in Oregonís households behind closed doors.

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Response to coeur_de_lion (Original post)

Sat Jul 28, 2018, 05:26 PM

25. Can't speak for security but it is easier

But I exclusively vote by mail in NJ. (I'm also never around on Election Day). You don't need a reason in NJ.

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Response to coeur_de_lion (Original post)

Sat Jul 28, 2018, 05:47 PM

29. "It's not the people who vote that count, it's the people who count the votes."

This quote is attributed to Joseph Stalin. It depends on what happens to your ballot once it leaves your hands that matter. I vote absentee so that I can take it home and really go over it. I want to make sure that I give every ounce of support that I can to the candidates that represent me. I take it to the city clerks office and watch it go into a big bin right on election day, because I figure it will get the highest amount of scrutiny that day. From that point on I have to trust the integrity of the clerks.

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Response to coeur_de_lion (Original post)

Sat Jul 28, 2018, 05:54 PM

30. When we vote by mail, how do they know that we only voted once?

There has to be a control but I don't understand how that works.

Asking for a friend.

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Response to coeur_de_lion (Original post)

Sat Jul 28, 2018, 06:21 PM

31. Is it safer? I'm not sure because it's down to who or what counts those votes

However, it is a LOT easier. I hope someone comes along with some statistics on percentages of people who vote in person versus mail in during a mid-term.

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Response to coeur_de_lion (Original post)

Sun Jul 29, 2018, 12:01 AM

32. I just voted absentee,(Mail in) in Ohio...

Special Election, congress 12th district. I went online at County board of elections, to check My status.... My ballot has been accepted for counting...Easy Peasy!

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