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Cocoa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 05:27 PM
Original message
Florida absentee vote requests on a hot pace
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-0407...

The late-arriving ballots that swung Florida and the 2000 presidential election in favor of George Bush might be back again in greater numbers this year.

An Orlando Sentinel survey of Florida's 67 counties shows military and civilian overseas absentee-ballot requests on pace to far exceed the number requested in 2000. Without these votes, Bush's 537-vote victory four years ago would have been a 202-vote victory for Al Gore.

As Florida prepares for another close election, overseas absentee voters could again wield great influence. Florida officials already have received at least 9,513 requests for general-election absentee ballots from U.S. service personnel and civilians living overseas.

Together with other absentee-ballot requests from military personnel, the 35,661 ballots already amount to about 60 percent of the nearly 58,000 such requests in all of 2000. Yet the peak period for absentee-ballot requestsJuly to Septemberhas just begun.

more...
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missile_bender Donating Member (193 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 05:37 PM
Response to Original message
1. Since Florida changed
the law so that you don't have to prove your identity on an absentee ballot, there is lots of room here for shenanigans. How many dead people will vote for Bush? That's what the Dems have to watch out for. How many people will vote in place of somebody they know aren't voting? That's what Dems have to watch out for. If the Dems don't demand that every absentee ballot be certified as valid, then that's one of the ways Jeb plan to steal the state.
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mtnester Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 05:50 PM
Response to Original message
2. And how can you make sure
legitimate ballots don't end up in the shredder/furnace/destroyed by water/left in a box behind a file cabinet...etc.
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aquart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 06:00 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Pollwatchers. At every single poll.
Chicanery is not new. What may be new is that this time we are prepared to fight.

We are, aren't we?
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Florida G Man Donating Member (12 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 08:00 PM
Response to Reply #3
12. We are prepared to fight
We wont let the chimp steal another election.

BUT

Kerry really needs to campaign hard NOW, these smurky commercials in Florida are whipping up the rePIGS here.

HELP

Kerry needs to step it up NOW
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Florida_Geek Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 06:03 PM
Response to Original message
4. Before people comment they need to know the facts.
The changes in the laws on absentee ballots made sense. They dropped the requirement for a witness. BFD, they do not have a signature card on the witness in the first place. They still check your signature against the signature on file.

Second all ballots are opened in front of representatives of any party that wants to watch.
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Cocoa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 06:04 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. I agree
the extra restrictions seemed like another way to disenfranchise people.

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MidwestTransplant Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 06:11 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. Yup. It made it easier to throw out ballots.
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ElsewheresDaughter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 09:28 PM
Response to Reply #4
14. in NY absentee ballots aren't even opened or counted unless it is a close
race
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Spangle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 11:23 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. They are counted in Florida
They are opened, then the signature is verified (problem, if the signature on file is many years old, it might not match) and that envelope is opened and the one inside is put in a pile.

That pile is opened on election day and the absentee ballots are ran through the machine and counted.

Florida also has pre-voting for several weekends and on several different days before the election. These machines are not tallied until election day.

The biggest deal about absentee ballots is the signature. As I stated earlier, alot of people don't update their signature card. Age and sickness can change your signature. IT has got to match or it could be tossed!
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missile_bender Donating Member (193 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-20-04 07:10 AM
Response to Reply #4
17. I disagree
By requiring a witness, it is harder to steal someone's identity in an absentee ballot. A false witness would then be a conspiratorial act to steal a vote; two people would have to be involved in the scam instead of just one, as the law is now. The risk is greater. It may not be much of a deterrent, but without a witness, every absentee ballot is more suspect. In at least one extreme scenario, if the same witness appears on a million ballots, that's a red flag to be investigated.
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floridaguy Donating Member (751 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 06:13 PM
Response to Original message
7. What keeps our Winter residents from voting twice?
Do you think anyone in Illinois(or Ohio, Mich.,etc.), or anyone in Florida, checks to see if Mr. & Mrs. Republican aren't voting in both places? Does anyone know if there is anything in place to keep this from happening?

It could happen, right?

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Cocoa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 06:40 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. good question
most likely the voter registration system checks that. Not sure how, exactly...

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david_vincent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 07:17 PM
Response to Reply #7
10. Nothing
At least, as far as I know. As a former Deputy Supervisor of Elections for one of the Florida counties, I could go on and on about the problems with the system. The biggest, and most fundamental, problem is that it's all based, at bottom, on the honor system. I have seen first hand that enough people are not honorable in this regard to sway the outcome of an election. I saw election fraud up close and in several different ways.
When it comes to the absentee ballots, I can only speak for how it used to be done. It may be that changes have been implemented recently that have actually done some good. One of the biggest problems is that the Supervisors of Elections are elected, not appointed. What this means is that they refuse to enforce the law in order to curry favor with their constituents.
I'll be more specific: under Florida law, at least when I was there, a voter had to have a specific reason why he/she could not go in and vote on election day. There was a list of reasons stipulated by law, such as poor health, election day is your Sabbath, etc. Yet time and time again, people called up and asked for an absentee ballot. When asked what their reason was, they'd just say "We're playing tennis that day." Not only that, but half the time, they'd go ballistic that you had even asked. Several times they'd bitch out the Supervisor, demanding that you be fired. EVERY single time, an absentee ballot was sent to them.
There are lots of things wrong with the way things are done. There's nothing to keep someone from voting twice except their own sense of honor and/or shame.
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Spangle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 11:29 PM
Response to Reply #7
16. It is against the law
Could get introuble if found out. However, no one is trying to hard to find out if people are double voting. The ONLY way to enforce this law is proof. The ONLY way to get/have that proof is to have a national voter base system. We don't have one.

However, after the 2000 election the Republicans claimed they caught some democrats double voting. They bragged that they were building such a data base and all ready had several states "on-line". They spoke to soon, because when the feds wanted the info about those voters... it seemed there were republicans as well. The republicans didn't want to turn over the data and get their voters in trouble. I don't know what every came of it.

The other way it could be done is if YOU suspect someone has done this, you would have to check the two areas were you think it happened. How many people are going to go through this much trouble to rat out someone they know? And you would have to really know someone to know where those two places might be.

Personaly, I think when a person changes their drivers licenses, that information should be sent to the Voters Reg where they moved from, notifying them of the "move."
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happyslug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-20-04 10:49 AM
Response to Reply #16
19. It may not be....
Remember when you vote, you are voting for Candidates in your state. This is true even in Presidential Voting for you are NOT voting for a Candidate but his Electoral Voter Nominee. Simply put you are voting for X to vote for your Candidate during the Electoral Election that takes place in December.

The reason I mention this is even if you vote twice in a Presidential election, you are NOT voting for the same person twice. In State X you are voting for Electoral Voter Y, in State A you are voting for Electoral Voter B. Y and B may be committed to the same Candidate, but they are TWO DIFFERENT ELECTED PEOPLE (WHO can not hold any FEDERAL Position).

Unless a State law Clearly says you can NOT vote in another State's Election, why can you not? If I have the Right to vote in two different states given I meet the voting requirements in BOTH states why can I not?
IF Both States says I Can vote if I lived in the state three months in the last year, I meet BOTH state's LEGAL Requirements.

Furthermore they is the "Military Exemption". Most states permit Military personal to vote even if the personal have been out of the state for years, at the same time if the Military Personal has lived in another states for the legal time set by that state why can he NOT vote twice? He has meet the LEGAL REQUIREMENTS of BOTH STATES.
under the concept of Federalism.

For a synopsis of Voting Requirements by State see:
http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0781452.html

The KEY is the term "Residence". Can someone be a Residence of two (or more) states at the same time? In an IRS case it was held it was possible for a person NOT to be a residence of ANY ONE STATE for purposes of Income Tax deductions, thus it is possible to be a US Citizen and NOT a resident of any one state (It involved a Traveling Salesman who never lived in any one state for more than a few weeks at a time). By the logic of that case, if two different state Residency's laws permits someone to claim residency in EACH STATE AT THE SAME TIME, than that person can vote in both states.

Now most states require a 30 day residence, but notice that some states do not AND THE MILITARY EXCEPTION TO RESIDENCY.

As a general Rule 99% of the Population will NOT be legally vote in more than one state but they may be exceptions to that rule.
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fishnfla Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 06:51 PM
Response to Original message
9. aren't we being encouraged to vote absentee due to BBV
I heard amovement was afoot to make sure your vote counts, and absentee is the best way. I'm voting absentee
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kysrsoze Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 07:53 PM
Response to Original message
11. I wonder how many absentee ballots will actually be for Kerry
Probably a lot considering how many tired and pissed off soldiers there are.
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Cocoa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-19-04 08:10 PM
Response to Reply #11
13. expatriates too
big voter registration drives are being conducted abroad.

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Florida_Geek Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-20-04 09:46 AM
Response to Original message
18. I am voting absentee because of touchscreens
it is not 100% but is better in Florida than TS.
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