Election Snippet: The McCain Campaign and Invalid Absentee Ballots


Today’s election snippet comes from the Racine Post:

GOP absentee ballot mailings called voter fraud

Democratic voters in at least two Wisconsin communities have received absentee voter forms from the McCain campaign that — if used — could cause their votes to be ignored.

Read the whole story. Nice. Let’s hear it for the straight- talking maverick who wants to clean up government.

Comments

  1. Justin says

    Oh come on Greta, this is a lot of hubbub over nothing. Yes, I read the story (twice, you mentioned it in your maverick article too), and there’s nothing there.
    So, basically, some of McCain’s high school interns screwed up when they mailed out absentee ballot request forms to people. Oh no! He must have personally orchestrated this simple mistake!
    Selecting Sarah Palin shows a serious lack of judgement. This just shows that his campaign’s high school interns make mistakes.
    And note that the path to losing your vote this way is rather tortuous. For most people, this means you may not get an absentee ballot, and have to vote in person. Annoying, but not a disaster.

  2. David D.G. says

    Justin, since when are ballots supposed to be mailed out by the flunkies of ANY political party? They are supposed to be mailed out by the state, not by partisan hacks!
    Also, the GOP mailed these invalid absentee ballots ONLY TO REGISTERED DEMOCRATS, so only votes that (likely) would have gone to Obama would have been neutralized. (And if it’s “only a suspicion” that they came from the GOP, ask why the heck these things were sent out only to registered Democrats. The correct agency would have been sending them to people in both parties, and the Dems would never have risked screwing up their own likely votes by sending out bogus ballots to their own people!)
    One would have to be unbelievably naive to see this as just clerical incompetence and not what it actually is — a deliberate attempt at voter fraud by agents of the Republican Party.
    ~David D.G.

  3. says

    What David said. Plus I’ll add this:

    And note that the path to losing your vote this way is rather tortuous. For most people, this means you may not get an absentee ballot, and have to vote in person. Annoying, but not a disaster.

    That’s simply mistaken. Not everyone can vote in person. That’s the whole point of absentee ballots. They’re not just a convenience. They enable people who can’t get to a polling place — because of age, physical disability, travel schedule, what have you — to vote anyway. If those people don’t get absentee ballots because of this, they don’t get to vote.

  4. Justin says

    David and Greta:
    Seriously. Go read the article again.
    These *are not absentee ballots*. These are signup forms asking the local election office to put you on the list for an absentee! Sending these out is similar to sending out a voter registration form!
    I didn’t see any actual evidence in the article that they only went to democrats, just that some democrats complained. And in most cases, the election workers were forwarding them on for you. All this is is them sending out the wrong bulk printed form!
    There’s just no evidence of a sinister plot here. I’m sure some of McCain’s high school interns grabbed the wrong nearly identical post card pile, and had no idea that screwing up the clerk address was even a problem.
    “Hey you, high schoolers! Put labels on these piles of cards and put them in the mailbox! Make sure the district is right first.”
    “Gee ok… Hey Joey, what’s a district?”
    Greta, I don’t mean to say that not getting an absentee isn’t a big deal for some people, but according to the article the clerks were mostly forwarding stuff anyway, so it didn’t even matter.
    What’s that saying? Don’t attribute to malice what can be adequately explained via stupidity?

  5. says

    I’m sorry, Justin, but I don’t find your analysis convincing. I probably won’t convince you, and after this I’m going to stop trying. But for the benefit of anyone else reading this:
    1: This is not just an isolated incident. Identical and similar incidents have been reported in multiple states. One time might, just possibly, have been a mistake. Multiple times, in multiple states? It is far more plausible to think it was being done on purpose.
    2: Absentee ballot applications weren’t just mailed incorrectly. They were printed incorrectly. They had had a box added to them that made them invalid. That wasn’t dumb high school students mailing things to the wrong address. Somebody designed those forms.
    3: This would hardly be a new technique. Voter fraud related to absentee balloting is a time-honored dirty trick. And trying to prevent likely Democratic voters from having their votes counted has been a well- documented Republican tactic of the last eight Rovian years.
    And the article I linked to didn’t indicate at all that this “didn’t even matter.” The election officials are very concerned about it. Quote: “This bogus form not only gums up and overworks the process to get absentee ballots sent out, it could cause some to not even be mailed.”
    Do a little Googling. There is plenty of evidence that this was deliberate, and that it was widespread.

  6. Justin says

    Greta,
    Well, that’s fair. I certainly won’t argue that the Repubs aren’t up to all manner on fraud and dirty tricks this year — certainly their campaign to disenfranchise voters who lost their homes and so forth seems to qualify. And election fraud in the last elections was well documented.
    I just didn’t find this evidence to meet the bar. I could most certainly be wrong about this one.
    I recall a number of years ago, one party got a Florida judge to throw out all absentee ballots and declare a winner without them. Now as election fraud goes, that ought to win some sort of award.

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