Should Montana’s elections be conducted through the mail in an effort to save money? HB 130, which is sponsored by Pat Ingraham (R-Thompson Falls) calls for vote-by-mail elections in every local, state, and federal election in Montana beginning in 2012. According to Secretary of State Linda McColloch, a hand-picked member of the George Soros-funded Secretary of State Project:
“Vote-by-mail elections increase voter participation, enhance voter protection and save taxpayer money.”
Representatives from the Montana League of Rural Voters, Montana Disability Rights, Montana Conservation Voters, Montana Association of Clerks and Recorders, Forward Montana, Montana Women Vote and Montana’s sovereign Indian nations worked together to propose the legislation. Election administrators participating were from Blaine, Gallatin, Missoula, Pondera and Yellowstone counties.
Many opponents believe that all-mail voting is a way to increase dem turnout because it appeals to slackers and parasites who are too lazy to get off their duffs and vote in person while others think that voting should require some effort as a means of being certain of who is casting the votes. Personally, although I’ve often voted via absentee ballot, I believe the proposed switch would primarily benefit democrats and I question whether the financial savings created by all-mail voting would outweigh the potential for voter fraud.
“All-mail” is somewhat of a misnomer in other states, as completed ballots are often left at unofficial drop sites or picked up at doors by volunteers, most often sponsored by political groups and elected officials present this as a beneficial form of constituent service. Election officials in states where elections are conducted by mail (like WA and OR) admit that they have no way of knowing whether they received every single ballot that was handed over to someone other than an authorized election official. Voting by mail requires cooperation with universities, private mail services and group homes. Group homes present extraordinary opportunities for voter fraud as dozens of ailing patients can be easily manipulated by a corrupt worker or coerced by campaign workers in a GOTV effort. In universities, the high rate of turnover can be utilized to submit numerous fraudulent ballots.
On a local and state level, where elections are often won by a handful of votes (SD 25 for instance, where Democrat Kendall Van Dyk beat incumbent Republican Roy Brown by only 4 votes), just a few fraudulent votes could turn an election. The possibilities are truly endless. My primary reason for not voting early is more practical than legal, however. Much potential exists for decision-changing events or the exposure of scandalous information in the days prior to elections. I want to ensure I don’t vote early for a flawed candidate as there is no buyer’s remorse provision for the voter.
On the other hand, there is always potential for election fraud and it is estimated that counties could save up to $2 million every election cycle by switching to voting by mail. Your thoughts?