Sunday, August 03, 2014
Disappeared absentee ballots? Did anyone else not get their Hawaii absentee ballots yet?
by Larry Geller
It’s very rare that the US post office loses anything. but neither of us here at disappeared news land have received our absentee ballots in the mail. The County Clerks office advised on the phone that they had been mailed, so where are they?
When I called on two different occasions, I got two slightly different answers—one was mailed “early July” and the other was “by July 18th.”
Either way, as of yesterday, they have not yet been delivered.
Were they indeed sent?
Is there anyone else out there who has not yet received a ballot? Which island are you on?
Larry, a couple reported theri absentee ballots stolen on Kauai. The husbands ballot was filled out by the thief and submitted to be counted, but was caught because the thief had not forged the voter's signature on the inner envelope.
There ARE safeguards in place. And the penalties for being caught are so severe, it is hard to believe it happens very much. The price for being caught is so much greater than the potential benefit. Stealing ballots to prevent someone from voting might make some sense.
I suspect family members submitting ballots on behalf of deceased or incapacitated family members is probably more pervasive.
Ooops, here's a link:
Iʻm lost on how this works. Absentee ballots are available pretty much in bunches if one wants to get them, right?
Or do people specifically request absentee ballots be sent to them, with their names on them?
I remember a couple years back when my husband was running for office for the 1st time and new to the whole thing, someone (a government worker) told us just get as many of them as you can and get your constituents to fill them out right there and send them in. We didnʻt bother. But there was a candidate that was on the news for doing that in Kalihi.
But how is it the ballots a specified individualʻs ballot? I guess thatʻs where Iʻm confused.
And last question: how would the specific ballot be diverted to someone else or where/who does the ballot originate from?
I think you mean voter registration forms. Those are available in bunches, and many organizations distribute them to members or at events in order to encourage people to register to vote.
Any voter can request an absentee ballot or can request that they be permanently sent absentee ballots. Even voters present in Hawaii can request them. It saves the trip to the polling place and is probably a good use of government resources.
In theory it can't be diverted to someone else because the postal person drops it in your mailbox. But even if a relative or someone else grabs it, a signature is necessary, and if the voter suspects foul play, they can notify the Office of Elections. Penalties for voting fraud are high enough to make it not very worth while for someone to commit fraud just for a single vote.
There are controversies, though. For example, people "helping" others to fill out their ballots. That made the news last time.
Since the US Post Office is generally pretty reliable, diversion is unlikely. In this case, I suspect the missing ballots were simply not mailed. Of course, they could arrive in this afternoon's mail...