HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Topics » Government & Elections » Election Reform (Group) » Scientific American: Vot...

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 08:49 PM

Scientific American: Votes by Mail Are Less Likely to Be Counted

Not really true in states that are all vote by mail, though.


he biggest challenge to voting accuracy in the U.S. isn't hanging chads or hacked voting machines - it's the mail. A new report by the Voting Technology Project (VTP) - a joint venture between the California Institute of Technology and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology -finds that even though absentee ballots account for about only a quarter of all ballots cast during an election, the number of uncounted absentee and election-day ballots may be roughly the same.

The researchers estimate that up to 3.9 million absentee ballots were requested but not received by voters in the 2008 presidential election. Another 2.9 million ballots sent to voters requesting them were not returned for counting. And 800,000 returned absentee ballots were rejected for one reason or another. In all, 21 percent of requested absentee ballots were never counted in 2008 - 35.5 million requests for absentee ballots led to 27.9 million mail-in ballots being counted.

The number of unaccounted for mail-in votes is comparable to the number that fall through the cracks at in-precinct voting locations, a problem likely to grow as demand for more convenient methods of voting increases, according to the report. Votes cast by absentee and early voting have more than doubled in the past 12 years, leading the report's authors to warn that these voter-friendly initiatives could sabotage the accuracy of the overall election process.

2 replies, 1336 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 2 replies Author Time Post
Reply Scientific American: Votes by Mail Are Less Likely to Be Counted (Original post)
eridani Nov 2012 OP
msongs Nov 2012 #1
eridani Nov 2012 #2

Response to eridani (Original post)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 08:57 PM

1. but vote by mail is the new savior! nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to msongs (Reply #1)

Thu Nov 15, 2012, 02:30 AM

2. If it's run for maximum enfranchisement it can work fine.

Right now WA State has a "postmarked by Election Day" rule, which insures that most ballots are going to get counted, unlike Oregon, which disenfranchises tens of thousands that way.

King County Elections department also refuses to use the electronic signature validation that speeds the process up in Oregon, because they have found it to be inaccurate. WA law requires elections departments to notify voters whose signatures have been rejected once by mail and twice by phone or email. They are permitted to send in a new signature card and have their ballots counted.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread