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Just place a 'kick me' sign around your neck

Broward County Florida can't send out absentee ballots without controversy.

The office of the Broward County Supervisor of Elections sent out more than 60,000 absentee ballots last week with return envelopes that identify voters' party affiliations.

The system invites fraud, critics say, because mailed ballots go through many handlers who are not certified as poll watchers.

How many hands touch the ballots at the elections office?

Registered Democrats who vote by absentee ballot in the county are identified on the return envelopes with "Dem." Republicans are "Rep," and independents are "NPA," for "no party affiliation."

The ballots for the November 4 general election are the same, so there is no need to distinguish between Democratic and Republican ballots.

Mary Cooney, a spokesperson for Elections Supervisor Brenda Snipes, said that the party references on the envelopes were merely a matter of computer-programmed information.

"That's just the way it was programmed," Cooney said. "The affiliation is not pertinent to the election."

Blame it on the computer. Why then was this only done in Broward County? Chuck Lichtman, who is a lawyer for the Florida Democratic party is quoted saying "I've never heard of that happening in Florida or anywhere else," he said. "This offends me."

Neither Palm Beach County nor Miami-Dade County includes party affiliations on return envelopes. Cooney acknowledged that there "have been issues" in the past with the delivery of absentee ballots. She added, though, that the missing ballots in 2004 were outgoing ballots.
Memo to Cooney- This is a outgoing ballot issue also. Your cockermamie office sent out return envelopes a person's party affiliation on the outside.

Oh and the ballot screwup of 2004 involved 58,000 ballots that disappeared. I guess the office is 'improving', this year they made a mess of all absentee ballots.

Before that, the Broward County Elections Supervisor had to be removed from office in 2003 by then Governor Jeb Bush for 'grave neglect and incompetence.'

Broward County Republican chairman Chip LaMarca said that he had "a slight concern" about openly identifying voters' party affiliations.

"I'm going to err on the side of having faith in the postal employees," he said.

Neither Republicans or Democrats are too happy with what has happened. The only difference, being one Republican official saying-

"This is a shame that we cannot trust the postal people," said Colleen Stolberg, the absentee ballot chairwoman for the Broward Republican Party. "These people are stealing votes from us."
Which is dumb. No one at this point besides Stollberg is claiming ballots are being stolen, discarded, etc. Postal workers are now asking for an apology, and the local GOP is escalating by asking the US Justice Department to monitor the Postal Service. Does anyone with a brain realistically expect every post office and all its employees to watched? What does realism have to do with elections in Florida?

A commenter at The Daily Pulp wrote-

Our absentee ballots had our party affiliation written on the mailing envelope. Isn't this an invitation to electoral fraud?
Bob Norman's simple answer was "Yes". I have to agree.

Bob, who is one of the small handful of bloggers I've had the pleasure of meeting face to face, asks a very good question with the title of his blog post

Why Brenda Snipes, Why?


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Comments (7)

Where are Jimmy Carter and ... (Below threshold)
epador:

Where are Jimmy Carter and Kofi Annan when you need them?

Same county as 2000, still ... (Below threshold)
bill-tb:

Same county as 2000, still run by Democrats, for Democrats, of Democrats.

It wouldn't be so depressin... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

It wouldn't be so depressing if they were COMPETENT democrats, but they AREN'T.

Sheesh! 2000 wasn't a wakeup call, neither was 2004 - and this is the party that thinks it can run the country?

Well, at least they can't b... (Below threshold)
James Cloninger:

Well, at least they can't bitch about some god-damned hanging chad this time.

I can see the need to put D... (Below threshold)
Scrapiron:

I can see the need to put Dem on a democrats ballot. They need daily reminders and most of their mothers still stencil they're name in their underwear, that is the ones from the 20's through the 40's. After 50 most are in a mental facility or nursing home doing what they did when they were born, eating from a bottle and crapping in a diaper.

*sigh*I'm sure we'... (Below threshold)
Clint:

*sigh*

I'm sure we'll never completely eliminate fraud in our elections -- but could we at least try to avoid making it easier??

My favorite example is still from when I was voting in San Francisco. Election precincts there all posted, outside the precinct, a list of voters registered to vote there. Reasonable, so that you don't have to wait in line only to discover that you're in the wrong place.

But here's the kicker: they crossed off people as they voted, on the list OUTSIDE the precinct.

If you wanted to cast a few dozen votes, all you had to do was drive from polling place to polling place near the end of the day, pick the name of someone who hasn't voted off the handy list, and then claim to be that person when you get to the front of the line. Remember that it's illegal for them to ask for any evidence that you are who you say you are.

Crazy, crazy system.

What every Republican who h... (Below threshold)

What every Republican who has voted absentee should do right now is contact the Broward County election office and see if they have received their absentee ballot. If not drag yourself to the polls and cast a provisional ballot. One or the other WILL be counted.

If you haven't sent it in, cross off the R and mark D on the outside. That will cause some doubt with anyone who might want to cause trouble.




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