The hysteria of election season (which seems to be perpetual these days) is in full swing, and there’s nothing like it to bring out…interesting behavior in people.
Case in point:
A ballot box at the Klamath Basin Senior Center in Klamath Falls, Oregon was broken into over the weekend and ballots were found in a nearby dumpster.
From The Bulletin:
The Klamath County Sheriff’s Office is investigating after around 240 ballots were taken from a box near the Klamath Basin Senior Center. The recovered ballots can still be counted, Klamath County Clerk Linda Smith said.
“The State Elections Division has advised that the recovered ballots can be processed and counted,” according to the clerk’s office.
First thought: Are they sure they recovered all of the tossed ballots? How would they know? What if some blew away, or ended up stuck to the bottom of someone’s shoe, or were carried away by a bird for use as nest-building material?
Klamath County residents were voting on whether to overturn their county’s ban on marijuana dispensaries and on candidates for a state Senate seat.
Secretary of State spokeswoman Molly Woon says anyone whose ballot was not turned in by Monday evening will not have their vote counted, reports KOIN.
Woon told KOIN that stealing ballots is a felony and something the state takes very seriously.
The Oregon presidential primary is today, along with a host of state and local races.
Oregon is now one of three states that vote entirely by mail (the others are Washington and Colorado). Ballots can be mailed in or placed in one of the 185 drop boxes available around the state.
In 1996, Oregon Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden became the first person ever elected to Congress exclusively through a vote-by-mail election. He’s a big supporter of the system, and is submitting a bill that would require all federal elections to be held via mail.
Some say that voting by mail increases the risk of fraud, as NBC reported several years ago:
Election fraud is rare, but it usually involves absentee or mail ballots, said Paul Gronke, a Reed College political scientist, who directs the Early Voting Information Center in Oregon. He cites what he calls a classic example of election fraud, a local official stealing votes by filling out absentee ballots. That was the case in Lincoln County, W.Va., where the sheriff and clerk pleaded guilty to distributing absentee ballots to unqualified voters and helping mark them during a 2010 Democratic primary.
Curtis Gans, director of the Center for the Study of the American Electorate, said vote-buying and bribery could occur more easily with mail voting and absentee voting. At a polling place, someone who bribed voters would have no way to verify that the bribe worked. A person who bribes mail voters could watch as they mark ballots or even mark ballots for them.
Gans also points to the potential to influence voters in gatherings that some call ballot-signing parties. A caregiver could mark a dependent’s ballot.
“All the other types of fraud are essentially hard to do and easy to defend against,” Gans said. “This isn’t.”
Other concerns include the security of mailed ballots, smudges, lost mail, and mishandled ballots.
In fact, the ballot-trashing in Klamath isn’t the only problem that has surfaced in Oregon this year: some voters were sent multiple ballots, some were sent outdated ones, and others were sent the wrong ballots.
It is often said that voters might as well pitch their ballots right in the garbage, so maybe whoever tampered with the ballot box in Klamath did everyone a favor. The system is rigged anyway – elections are nonsense. They serve to maintain the illusion that we actually have a say in selecting new masters. Participating in the system legitimizes it – voters are giving their permission to keep the current system in place.
Delivered by The Daily Sheeple
We encourage you to share and republish our reports, analyses, breaking news and videos (Click for details).
Contributed by Lily Dane of The Daily Sheeple.
Lily Dane is a staff writer for The Daily Sheeple. Her goal is to help people to “Wake the Flock Up!”