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Sun Nov 4, 2012, 08:03 AM

Democrats Leaving Mail Ballots on The Table

By Michael P.Mc Donald

Posted: 11/03/2012


Both figurative and literally, registered Democrats are leaving requested mail ballots on the table. Democrats are returning the mail ballots at a lower rate than Republicans, leading to wide disparities among the ballots that have been cast compared to the ballots that are still sitting on kitchen tables across the country.
Many states require mail ballots cast by domestic civilians to be returned to election officials by election day, although some -- notably Ohio -- allow mail ballots to be postmarked by the day before the election and will continue to accept them until Nov. 16.

Persons who requested a mail ballot but attempt to vote in-person on Election Day should bring their mail ballot with them to the polling place, if they still have it. If they do not, most states require these individuals to cast a provisional ballot to ensure that they do not vote twice, once by mail and once in-person. (This is the easiest form of vote fraud for election officials to detect, so don't even think of trying it.)

Here are some numbers that will give the Obama campaign heartburn in the key states of Iowa and Florida.

In Florida, 406,634 registered Democrats have not returned their mail ballots compared to 362,920 Republicans. In comparison, registered Democrats have returned 700,970 mail ballots compared to 781,043 Republicans. Thus, even though Republicans outnumber Democrats in returned mail ballots by a wide margin, more Democrats have yet to return their ballot.

In Iowa, 40,601 registered Democrats have not returned their mail ballots compared to 21,224 Republicans. Iowa is not reporting their ballot status in the same way as Florida, but we know that among all ballots cast -- both by mail and in-person -- registered Democrats outnumber Republicans 261,166 to 198,130. And while that may look like a comfortable margin, keep in mind that Iowa Republicans have historically voted in-person on Election Day in large numbers; John Kerry won the Iowa early vote in 2004, but lost the state.

It is not out of the question that a person with a mail ballot sitting on the counter may think of themselves as a voter even if they have not filled out the ballot. If so, when surveyed they may respond in the affirmative that they have voted even if they have not. The polling within these states may thus favor Romney slightly more than we may think.

Source:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-p-mcdonald/democrats-leaving-mail-ba_b_2069037.html


25 replies, 2102 views

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Arrow 25 replies Author Time Post
Reply Democrats Leaving Mail Ballots on The Table (Original post)
Dalai_1 Nov 2012 OP
kansasobama Nov 2012 #1
leveymg Nov 2012 #2
Dalai_1 Nov 2012 #4
leveymg Nov 2012 #9
berni_mccoy Nov 2012 #13
SickOfTheOnePct Nov 2012 #20
leveymg Nov 2012 #23
SickOfTheOnePct Nov 2012 #24
Honeycombe8 Nov 2012 #14
SickOfTheOnePct Nov 2012 #16
Maeve Nov 2012 #22
Life Long Dem Nov 2012 #3
Jennicut Nov 2012 #5
Dalai_1 Nov 2012 #6
jenw2 Nov 2012 #8
NEOhiodemocrat Nov 2012 #7
LisaL Nov 2012 #10
leveymg Nov 2012 #15
berni_mccoy Nov 2012 #11
SickOfTheOnePct Nov 2012 #19
kansasobama Nov 2012 #12
Fla Dem Nov 2012 #17
LisaL Nov 2012 #18
Fla Dem Nov 2012 #21
leveymg Nov 2012 #25

Response to Dalai_1 (Original post)

Sun Nov 4, 2012, 08:08 AM

1. It is the truth

I am sorry to say it is the truth. How could our friends do this.........Shame on us. We can destroy GOP if only we act.

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Response to Dalai_1 (Original post)

Sun Nov 4, 2012, 08:12 AM

2. DON'T fret. Many did In-Person Absentee balloting instead, others will vote on Tues.

Many evidently don't trust the Mail with their ballot. I received one of these from one of the Democratic organizations (never personally asked for one), left it on my desk, and voted In Person Absentee, instead. AFIK, THERE IS NO requirement to vote a provisional ballot if you received a mail ballot, unless you personally requested it.

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Response to leveymg (Reply #2)

Sun Nov 4, 2012, 08:20 AM

4. Thank you for sharing!

I tracked this down with a Nate Silver tweet this morning and it really
concerned me!

Nate Silver ‏@fivethirtyeight
@chrislhayes: See here. Although I think the link I tweeted earlier has more updated data for Ohio. http://elections.gmu.edu/early_vote_2012.html


This is the earlier tweet he was referring to

Nate Silver ‏@fivethirtyeight
Basically early voting data seems consistent with polls. Drop-off for Dems in IA & NV, but they still lead. Ohio more similar to 2008.

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Response to Dalai_1 (Reply #4)

Sun Nov 4, 2012, 08:38 AM

9. Look at McDonald's resume - he works with Norm Ornstein at AEI, does GOP redistricting, gets $ from

conservative foundations:
http://elections.gmu.edu/Vita.html

Grants

To date, I have raised approximately $1.5 million to support my research activities.

New York Redistricting. 2011. ($379,000). Project funded by the Sloan Foundation to provide for public redistricting in New York and continued software development.

Citizen Redistricting Education, Supplement. ($50,000). Money to support development of redistricting software.

National Redistricting Reform Coordination. 2009-2010. ($100,000). With Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein. Project funded by Joyce Foundation to support coordination of national redistricting reform efforts by the Brookings Institution and the American Enterprise Institute.

Citizen Mapping Project. 2009-2010. ($124,000 & $98,000). With Micah Altman, Thomas Mann, and Norman Ornstein. Project funded by the Sloan Foundation. An award to George Mason University enables development of software that, essentially, permits on-line redistricting through commonly used internet mapping programs. A second award to the Brookings Institution and American Enterprise Institute provides organizational support, including the convening of an advisory board.

Citizen Redistricting Education. 2010. ($104,000). Project funded by the Joyce Foundation. Provides for redistricting education forums in five Midwestern state capitals in 2010 and other continuing education efforts.

Pre-Registration Programs. 2008-9. ($86,000). Project funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts' Make Voting Work Initiative to examine pre-registration programs (voter registration for persons under age 18) in Florida and Hawaii.

Sound Redistricting Reform. 2006-9. ($405,000). Project funded by the Joyce Foundation, conducted jointly with the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU to investigate impacts of redistricting reform in Midwestern states.

Electoral Competition Project. 2005-6. ($200,000) Project funded by The Armstrong Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the JEHT Foundation, The Joyce Foundation, The Kerr Foundation, Inc., and anonymous donors. Jointly conducted by the Brookings Institution and Cato Institute to investigate the state of electoral competition in the United States.

George Mason University Provost Summer Research Grant. 2004. ($5,000).

ICPSR Data Document Initiative. 1999. Awarded beta test grant. Member, advisory committee on creation of electronic codebook standards.
Awards

Virginia Senate. 2010. Commendation for Virginia Redistricting Competition.
American Political Science Association, Information and Technology Politics Section. 2009. Software of the Year for BARD.

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Response to leveymg (Reply #9)

Sun Nov 4, 2012, 08:43 AM

13. Yep, and his post is definitely misleading (see link below)

http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=1707406

The facts don't correspond with what he is saying.

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Response to berni_mccoy (Reply #13)

Sun Nov 4, 2012, 09:25 AM

20. I looked at the Herald link and at the blog

And I don't see what you're talking about. Both say the same thing - Republicans are leading in number of absentee ballots returned, and Democrats are leading in number of early voters, with Democrats leading overall.

Where is the discrepancy?

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Response to SickOfTheOnePct (Reply #20)

Sun Nov 4, 2012, 11:50 AM

23. The issue concerns the statement that Ohioans who received mail-in ballots should bring them

with them to the poll on Tues. They should instead mail them immediately so they are postmarked tomorrow. If they show up on Tues. at their polling station with a mail-in ballot, they will have to vote a provisional ballot. That's according to someone in the thread above, and I believe that is accurate.

My understanding is that this rule also may apply elsewhere, but only to those who personally requested a mail-in ballot! Lots of people got them unsolicited from various groups. If you did not request an absentee ballot , and haven't voted by now, best to simply go and vote on Tues in person.

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Response to leveymg (Reply #23)

Sun Nov 4, 2012, 11:52 AM

24. That's not what I'm talking about

berni mccoy said that the numbers in the blog and the numbers in the Herald directly contradict each other, but I'm not seeing that.

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Response to leveymg (Reply #2)

Sun Nov 4, 2012, 08:51 AM

14. How can a person be both "in person" and "absentee" voter at the same time?

Seems to me you're one or the other. Do you mean early voter?

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Response to Honeycombe8 (Reply #14)

Sun Nov 4, 2012, 08:55 AM

16. Virginia has in-person absentee voting

I did it last election. If you meet the qualifications to vote an absentee ballot (and there are lots of them, including commuting/work time on election day), you can go to a number of voting centers prior to election day and vote in person using a regular scan ballot or electronic touch screen instead of mailing in an absentee ballot.

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Response to Honeycombe8 (Reply #14)

Sun Nov 4, 2012, 09:45 AM

22. Ohio early voters are "in-person absentee"

You fill out an absentee request at the designated polling place and vote there (usually not your normal polling place)

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Response to Dalai_1 (Original post)

Sun Nov 4, 2012, 08:18 AM

3. If they can't mail them

 

Or they don't want to get the postage to mail them, then hand deliver them. This way you don't need to pay for the postage.

Or if you don't want to fill them out, then just vote for the President, and leave the rest blank. That is if you don't want to take the time to fill out the whole ballot.

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Response to Dalai_1 (Original post)

Sun Nov 4, 2012, 08:24 AM

5. Absentee ballots are more favored by Repubs and in person early voting is more favored by Dems

Repubs have always loved voting that way.

We have not been that behind in FL on the absentee ballots and are ahead in the in person early voting there.

Check out daily kos early voting report in FL: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/11/03/1155000/-Florida-Early-Voting-Update-11-03-12

It will be close but it can be done. Could go either way depending on turnout on election day.

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Response to Jennicut (Reply #5)

Sun Nov 4, 2012, 08:28 AM

6. Thank you for the link!

It gives a much clearer picture of where we are!

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Response to Jennicut (Reply #5)

Sun Nov 4, 2012, 08:37 AM

8. Exactly which is why we have mail ballots here in WA

 

The CONservatives here have tight control over voting.

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Response to Dalai_1 (Original post)

Sun Nov 4, 2012, 08:35 AM

7. Here in Ohio

Don't bother bringing your absentee ballot to the poll. We can not take it there and you will only be allowed to vote provisional if you vote the day of the election after requesting an absentee ballot. If you bring in a completed absentee ballot we are not permitted to take it as it has to be at the election board before 7:30 on election day (or postmarked the day before) and our supplies do not get there by that time, as we do not close until then and still have to reconcile the book, close up etc. So those who bring in an absentee ballot have the choice of hand delivering to the election board or voting provisional and trashing their absentee ballot. You will not be allowed to turn in the unused absentee ballot and vote as if you did not receive one. Once the election board checks that the absentee ballot has not been returned then the provisional ballot will be counted. (post election day). I spent yesterday marking the ABS (absentee ballot sent) voters in the signature book for our precinct. So Ohio voters please get those ballots sent in now, or even better, deliver them to your election board in person (or can be taken in by family member). Encourage everyone to do the same. Thank you! (poll worker-presiding judge)

Edit to add, Ohio ballots must be postmarked by November the 5th! It says above they are accepted latter, but that does NOT mean they can be postmarked after the 5th! That just allows for mail delivery time.

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Response to NEOhiodemocrat (Reply #7)

Sun Nov 4, 2012, 08:40 AM

10. Very glad you pointed that out.

Voters can not bring their absentee ballots to the polling place in OH. The ballots either have to be mailed before or on Nov 5, or hand delivered to the board of election.
Still a lot of outstanding ballots that people requested but have not returned. If OH is close, we could be waiting until after Nov 17 to find out who won it.
So, people hand deliver your ballots to the board of election ASAP!

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Response to NEOhiodemocrat (Reply #7)

Sun Nov 4, 2012, 08:52 AM

15. THIS IS AN IMPORTANT POINT. The PuffPost piece appears to be misleading. No surprise.

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Response to Dalai_1 (Original post)

Sun Nov 4, 2012, 08:41 AM

11. That blog post is suspicious. Go directly to the source.

What is said by his blog entry and what are reported in the Miami Herald are completely opposite. See here:

http://miamiherald.typepad.com/nakedpolitics/2012/11/about-4-million-early-fl-ballots-cast-and-growing-ds-leading-rs-by-104000.html

He uses Miami Herald as his source for his "study" (here: http://elections.gmu.edu/early_vote_2012.html)

From Miami Herald:

(These are returned ballots)
The early vote numbers:

Party EV Total %
DEM 928,205 46%
REP 740,674 37%
IND 357,750 18%
Total 2,026,629
Absentee votes:

Party AB Total %
REP 821,394 44%
DEM 737,620 39%
IND 328,736 17%
Total 1,887,750
Total early votes:

Party Early Totals %
DEM 1,665,825 43%
REP 1,562,068 40%
IND 686,486 18%
Total 3,914,379

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Response to berni_mccoy (Reply #11)

Sun Nov 4, 2012, 09:21 AM

19. I just looked at his blog numbers and compared them to the Herald numbers

And I'm not seeing where the two contradict each other, especially since the Herald numbers don't even reference unreturned ballots.

I do see a slight discrepancy in the number of ballots returned by both parties (Herald numbers are slightly higher than the blog numbers), but I don't know what time the Herald numbers were compiled.

Looks to me like they are saying the exact same thing - Republicans lead the numbers in absentee ballots, Democrats lead the numbers in early voting, and Democrats lead overall when the two are combined.

Where is the "completely opposite" that you cite?

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Response to Dalai_1 (Original post)

Sun Nov 4, 2012, 08:41 AM

12. Dear NEOhioDemocrat

Can you pass this message to Iowa and Nevada please. You seem to know more. I am really concerned about Iowa. Many seem to be just sitting on it after all the calls we made.

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Response to Dalai_1 (Original post)

Sun Nov 4, 2012, 08:57 AM

17. Why would someone take the time to request a mail-in ballot


and then not use it. That just baffles the mind. In my way of thinking, someone who requests a mail in ballot is a very interested voter. I can see a few votes not mailed in, but over 400,000? Something doesn't smell right here.

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Response to Fla Dem (Reply #17)

Sun Nov 4, 2012, 08:59 AM

18. Well, in OH, SOS Husted mailed every voter an absentee ballot application.

So some people requested ballots that didn't really have an intention to vote absentee.
And now, if they don't use the absentee ballots, they will not be allowed to vote except on provisional ballots.

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Response to LisaL (Reply #18)

Sun Nov 4, 2012, 09:40 AM

21. I'm trying to , but I don't remember Fl sending out mail-in vote applications.

I could be wrong, but I think you had to request one. But, even in a state where a mail-in ballot application is automatically sent to you, you have to take the time to fill out the application and mail it back in. If I know I will not be able to vote except by provisional ballot if I have requested a m/i ballot, I'm sure as heck going to fill out that ballot.

Not to be a conspiracy theorist, but what I would be concerned about is:

1. Election clerks office doesn't fulfill the request for a mail-in ballot, but records that one was requested and sent.
2. Election clerks office destroying mail-in ballots once they come in and never records receipt.

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Response to Fla Dem (Reply #21)

Sun Nov 4, 2012, 11:55 AM

25. If you did not personally request a mail-in ballot, you don't have to use it. But, if you do, mail

it no later than Monday or better hand carry it to the Registrar of Voter's office tomorrow. For those who still haven't voted, I'd just vote at the polls on Tues.

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