OT: Early voting increases potential for vote fraud

I just heard on NPR a couple days ago that up to 1/3 of U.S. voters are expected to vote early in the upcoming election. While the convenience of a longer window to vote is an obvious advantage for people with busy work schedules, travelers and others, and I realize trying to get people to vote early is standard procedure for political parties and campaigns as a way to wrap up their supporters' votes, I've begun to seriously rethink the desirability of encouraging people to vote absentee or at special early polling stations. To be blunt, I don't have a lot of confidence in the electoral system in this country, and voting in advance means those ballots will be sitting around somewhere under the control of the authorities until Election Day. Simple common sense suggests that the longer they have those ballots under their control, the more opportunities arise for unscrupulous persons to manipulate the vote.

  I have served as a vote-counting observer first-hand, and I can tell you that I do not personally have confidence that the way they process the ballots is secure from potential fraud. Just the other day while in the office of the San Francisco Elections Department, I asked a worker there to inspect the area where ballots already cast are being stored. She told me that she could go ask the person in charge of that and get me an appointment. That is unacceptable as a civilian oversight procedure. If you have to make an appointment in advance, that gives potentially gives corrupt insiders time to make things look OK for a visitor.

  I'm not saying I have any evidence that vote fraud is happening in SF, but neither do I have confidence that it *couldn't* happen. I still remember a few years ago when ballot box lids were mysteriously found floating in San Francisco Bay and elsewhere. While the director in charge at the time has been replaced, there never was a convincing explanation of how it happened in the first place. Do you know where those early ballots that have already been cast are being stored right now, and what security procedures are in place to guarantee their sanctity? I don't. Or do you place absolute trust in the ethics of the Newsom administration and its appointees, or the folks in charge where you live? Again, not to malign any particular individual, but I don't. I've requested numerous times, including on my aforementioned visit a few days ago, to speak with SF Elections Department Director Jon Arntz, and never once has he sat down with me to hear my concerns.

   So unless you're going to be out of town on November 4 or have reason to think you may not have time to vote on Election Day, it might be a good idea to wait and cast your ballot then. But that's just my cynical take on it.

Love & Liberty,
        ((( starchild )))