Loose Ballots? Just send them back, voter vigilantes.

Colorado Peak Politics, your source for hysterical news reports about all manner of possible voter fraud which could conceivably happen someday, wants you to know that Todd Shepherd has loose ballots accumulating in his apartment complex foyer. Mr. Shepherd was so upset about this that he went on a mission to two other apartment buildings with ballots lying around.  And he found them, and breathlessly reported on them on CPP. "Who knows what other violations are out there?" CPP asks.

 

Mr. Shepherd, just so you know, it is illegal to tamper with other people's mail. This includes opening, destroying, and damaging mail. Probably videotaping other people's mail, and posting it on youtube would be considered mail tampering, as well.

While we're talking criminal penalties, you may want to be aware that forging a signature on a ballot not your own (i.e., impersonating a voter) is a felony.  And the County Clerks do have visual recognition software which checks voter signatures. So your concerns about Colorado's all mail ballot system causing voter fraud through loose ballots are not justified.

What to do if your apartment foyer is infested with "loose ballots":

1. Contact the apartment manager and ask if the ballots can be forwarded to a tenant.

2. If you are an apartment manager or landlord of a building, and you know that the tenant to whom a ballot is addressed has moved, but you do not have a forwarding address,  the civic-minded responsible thing to do is not  to rummage through their mail, videotape it, and post it on youtube and a right wing website.

3.  The  correct response to loose ballots with no forwarding address is to write "MOVED – NO LONGER AT THIS ADDRESS" on the ballot, and then put it back in the outgoing mail.

4. When the County Election Clerk receives these ballots, the voter will be inactivated. Per Pueblo Clerk Gilbert Ortiz, around 3800, or 4% of the county electorate, was "inactivated undeliverable."

This is, of course, an absurd story. It is, however, part of a continuing push to discredit Colorado's HB1303, the Voter Access and Modernized Elections Act. Jon Keyser shared his fake "double ballots" story on CPP. Every time a "mail ballot fraud in Colorado" story is debunked, two more pop up in right wing media.

Colorado is considered to be a model of good voter access and reliability. Colorado's voter turnout of 71%  was third in the nation in the all mail-ballot 2012 election.  So, of course, too many people are voting, and this is suspect..

Moral: If you see a loose ballot, don't videotape it.  Get it to the voter, or get it inactivated. 

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About kwtree

Retired teacher, aspiring writer, doting grandma. Nosy, curious, persistent.

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