The Time Has Come for National Vote-by-Mail

Comments

1
You're an idiot to suggest that "Republicans" are responsible for long lines at polling stations. I waited two hours to vote at my precinct in Washington, DC, which is utterly dominated by Democrats. Obama won 91.7% here.
2
Why stick with old technology like snail mail?

Vote by internet. Allow vote by mail. And for the old folks, still operate some polling stations.

The open source community has already created voting technologies that are more secure than the existing machines. There’s a TED talk on this, and lots of information via google. Fraud proof elections are a possibility.

With internet technology, why do we even need political representatives? We certainly don't need the House of Representatives if each citizen can represent themselves, electronically.

The reality, to me, is that our government doesn’t want more participation in elections, and that additional participation doesn’t guarantee better results.
3
We need an independent electoral commission, like they have in every other Democratic country.
4
@1: There's a big difference between saying that Republican politicians have caused (or exacerbated) something and saying that voters who are Republican have caused something. Idiot.
5
@5:

You're missing my point. I'm not talking about the voters. I'm talking about the fact that Democratic officials govern the District, and thus control the voting process here. Which republican politicians were responsible for long lines at my polling place?
6
A: Why is dcreader on this blog?

B: While I appreciated Obama mentioning electoral reform, it was pretty devastating that he made no mention of campaign finance reform. The exorbitant role that money plays in our elections is just a tad more disconcerting than having to wait in line a few hours.
7
@6. I lived in PDX for many years and like to keep up with what's happening there.

To be clear: I'm not making a partisan point here. I just think Goldy is waaaaay off in suggesting that long lines at polling places are the work of nefarious "Republicans."
8
@2 Yes. My pet peeve this election season has been that the electronic voting systems are all proprietary, and so when the SOS of Ohio installs a software patch just before the election, everyone freaks out.

Non-proprietary voting software is a must, and if you have to do that, you might as well go the extra step and vote online as well.
9
@cat - Asking for anything "independent" as related to our elections is a fantasy. There is no such thing as a true independent - just look at the people who claim to be "independent" and you'll find the most partisan hacks out there. These people are purposefully masking their political choices (case in point: StJohnsRules). Even if you staff the Blue Party in equal proportion to the Red Party, then you still have no guarantee of their actual allegiances, or that they are not corrupted.

@Soccor21chr - but financing didn't play a larger role in our elections after Citizen's United – that’s the important lesson of the 2012 elections! Romney out spent Obama, Nolan outspent Fritz. You can certainly pay for elections in this country, but you don't do it by paying for advertisements, you hire spies to stuff/remove ballots, rig machines, and ole fashion fraud. Direct campaign spending like advertising has a small marginal effect on voting choices, but unless spending is truly lopsided, the effect is marginal, and demonstrably negated. Plus, you can't stop free people from spending their money on candidates/elections, and you can't prevent people from spending money anonymously, campaign financing just needs to be a totally open market, which is what Citizen’s United did. I guarantee you that the corporate billionaires spent the same proportion of money as they did in 2008, but now they don’t have to hide it. Plus, most corporate billionaires spend on both sides of the aisle, which excludes only 3rd party folks.

@pdxM8 – I think that whole “patch” was a rouse. The release was probably a date & time patch, or something else inane. It’s a doublesided claim though: what if the “patch” was to scare off people who designed software to undermine the vote? What if the patch undermined the vote? Ahh- it’s all bullshit. Who cares? Elections are a big joke anyways.
10
@dcreader: If you weren't talking about voters, why talk about the percentage of voters in your precinct who are Democrats? Anyway, this issue is much larger than your precinct. This is a national issue. If you want help finding out which Republicans have created obstacles to convenient voting, there's a better way to find out than jump in and start calling people idiots because their general points may not hold true for your particular area.
11
"If Congress required every state to offer a vote-by-mail option..."

Just curious, on what Constitutional basis would Congress do that?

Also, one might note that there were extremely long lines in states that already have no-excuse early voting, which is typically functionally equivalent to vote-by-mail. For instance, Ohio and Florida already allow it. Did that solve their problems?
12
"Necessary and proper clause", tODD.

But in reality, congress and the government generally don't need authority or justification for any of their actions anymore. Where was the congressional authorization to bomb Libya or Pakistan?
13
Never mind. A better reading of Article I, Section 4, convinced me I'm an idiot. Sorry.
14
OK, I normally hate posting links. But here are a few relating to the Wash. DC internet voting test:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/debonis/2010/10/hacker_infiltration_ends_dc_on.html

http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/politics/Test-Hackers-Crack-DC-Internet-Voting-System.html

google search returns:

https://www.google.com/search?q=dc+internet+voting+test


As someone who is a tech professional, and has an interest in network security I will NEVER trust internet voting.