October 19, 2010

Why Early Voting Is a Travesty, Reason 12

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 6:10 pm

I had 11 reasons when I last wrote on this subject two years ago.

Make that 12 — “Activist” teachers (i.e., Democratic operatives) will take voting-age (we hope) kids to the polls during school hours:

Three van loads of Hughes High students were taken last week – during school hours – to vote and given sample ballots only for Democratic candidates and then taken for ice cream, a Monday lawsuit alleges.

The complaint was made by Thomas Brinkman Jr., a Republican candidate for Hamilton County auditor, and the Coalition Opposed to Additional Spending & Taxes against Cincinnati Public Schools.

“They plan to bring four more high schools (to vote) this week,” Christopher Finney, COAST attorney, said Monday after filing the suit.

… CPS spokeswoman Janet Walsh said taking students on school time to vote has been done before. “It has to be scrupulously nonpartisan,” Walsh said.

Stepaniak said church vans were volunteered to drive students to vote.

The suit alleges three van loads of Hughes High students arrived at the Downtown Board of Elections offices at 1 p.m. Wednesday, supervised by a school employee. School lets out at 3:15 p.m.

When they got out of the vans, the students, the suit alleges, also were accompanied by adults who appeared to be campaign workers or supporters for U.S. Rep. Steve Driehaus, D-West Price Hill, the congressman being challenged this fall by Steve Chabot. When the students got out of the vans, the suit alleges they were given sample ballots containing only Democratic candidates.

… The suit alleges those actions violated a 2002 agreement between CPS and COAST where the school agreed it wouldn’t allow school property or employees to be used for “advocating the election or defeat of candidates for public office.”

Information as to whether the kids could actually read what was on the ballots was apparently unavailable.

The original 11 reasons follow:

  1. The political landscape can change after you’ve voted.
  2. Candidates often reveal their less-than-desirable sides in the stressful runup to Election Day.
  3. Unpleasant or pleasant truths about candidates that should legitimately affect voter opinion sometimes arrive in the final days.
  4. Candidates can abuse early voting if they get into disputes over their residency or voter registration status.
  5. Early voting by mail corrupts the secret ballot.
  6. There is no way to verify that only duly registered voters cast ballots (i.e., a person can use someone else’s ballot to vote).
  7. There is no way to absolutely safeguard ballots against loss or alteration.
  8. It’s much easier for someone who wishes to vote in multiple states to do so.
  9. Boards of elections will want to start counting the votes before Election Day (in some cases, they already are).
  10. It’s even possible, because of the previous item, for an elections employee to determine whether or not a person who promised to vote early for a given candidate has actually voted.
  11. Pollsters are now revealing exit poll results to the public weeks ahead of what is still quaintly referred to as “Election Day,” influencing the subsequent pattern of voting.
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