Georgia narrative about voting systems is false; legislators ignore benefits of vote-by-mail

computer network

As February came to a close, the Georgia legislature moved a bill forward that would replace the state’s 27,000 aging electronic voting machines with units that provide a paper-trail.

However, this narrative offered by Rep. Barry Fleming (R) is false:

The bill’s author, Republican state Rep. Barry Fleming of Harlem, said … electronic ballot markers are the only way to accommodate all Georgians, including disabled voters, with one system.

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Tacoma columnist calls for national vote by mail

official election mail logo

“Enough is enough,” writes Tacoma News-Tribune columnist Matt Driscoll, lamenting polling glitches witnessed across the country on Tuesday.

There were long lines across the country, with voters far and wide forced to wait hours upon hours just to have their voices heard.

In some places, there weren’t enough voting machines. In others, precincts were late to open. In still others, there were ballot shortages, car crashes and power outages — all of which needlessly affected peoples’ Constitutionally enshrined right to vote.

It was painfully evident on Tuesday that in many states, voting systems failed voters.

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Friday is deadline for Georgians to apply for absentee ballots

voting flickr CC

County election officials in Georgia have closed almost 8% of their polling places since 2012 according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution. Closures took place in 214 precincts and one-third of the counties across the state.

Of the counties that have closed voting locations, 39 have poverty rates that are higher than the state average. Thirty have significant African-American populations, making up at least 25 percent of residents.

Those voters can request a non-excuse absentee ballot to vote in the November 6th election, but they must do so at their county elections office by close of business on Friday [deadline details].

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Voter suppression, Kansas style: Dodge City

dodge city Kansas vote

UPDATE: 1 November

Voters who have already received absentee ballots have until November 5 to return to the county office in Dodge City or be certain to have them postmarked no later than November 6th.

There is in-office voting on Saturday and Monday

  • Saturday, November 3, from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm
  • Monday, November 5, 9:00 am until noon

* Original story below *

Attention Dodge City, Kansas, voters: you have until Tuesday October 30 to apply for a no-excuse absentee ballot.

Voting by mail is not only easier, it circumvents voter suppression efforts like those demonstrated by Ford County election officials; Dodge City is the county seat of Ford County.

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Challenges to voting in North Dakota

voting flickr CC

North Dakota made news earlier this month when the Supreme Court failed to act on a decision of the Eighth Circuit which found that a new state law did not discriminate against Native Americans who live in remote areas of the state.

Judges in the Eighth Circuit overturned the North Dakota District Court ruling that a voter ID law (HB 1369 ) signed by Republican Gov. Doug Burgum in April 2017  is discriminatory. In its failure to act, the Supreme Court (4-2) changed the rules for voters less than four weeks before the general election.

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How to get a replacement ballot in Washington State

ballots

If your ballot has not arrived in the mail or you want to start over, you can get a replacement ballot from the Washington Secretary of State.

If you mis-marked a candidate or measure, you can correct the ballot (make sure your intent is clear). If you’re not comfortable with that, get a replacement.

It’s easy! Go to MyVote.Wa.Gov and enter your voter registration info. The system will display a dashboard that looks something like this. To obtain a replacement ballot, click the “My Ballot” button.

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If pen and paper are recommended contingency plans, why not make them first choice in voting?

return ballot by mail

After a cyberattack forced a local Alaska government to disconnect its computer systems from the Internet this summer, employees were ready with a Plan B. They picked up pens and paper — and even resorted to typewriters — so that the government could continue its daily work, from collecting property taxes to checking out books at public libraries.

In a Cybersecurity 202 column, the Washington Post references security professionals who recommend that government officials “should just assume they will be hacked.”

Although the focus of this column is cybersecurity planning, similar to crisis communication planning, let’s extend the premise (assume you’ll be hacked) to voting.

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This week’s absentee voter deadlines

Vote on paper - King County Elections image

Twenty-seven states and the District of Columbia allow anyone who is registered to vote to use an absentee ballot. Twenty require an excuse. Three vote 100% by mail.

This week’s states with vote-by-mail (absentee) deadlines are mostly on Friday October 26. Alaska’s deadline is Saturday, October 27.

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