The Sham of Automatic Mail-in Ballots
Some Transparency on Westside Election
Near the end of 2021, Westside Community Schools requested a levy override be done completely by mail-in ballot. The ballots would automatically be mailed without the voter requesting a ballot. I had no idea a government entity could make and receive such a request.
Most infuriating was how far I had to go to get information about the results. If elections are going to maintain their integrity, elections officials must be very transparent as to what is taking place.
In this instance, I was directed by the staff of the Douglas County Election Office to contact the Douglas County Attorney’s Office which handles public records requests. I submitted the request and a few weeks later received the data. The data still leaves me with questions but here are the results. See image at end of text.
There are 21,491 registered voters in the school district. The election office mailed out 19,971. Why this number is 1,500 less is beyond my comprehension at this point.
995 ballots were returned as undeliverable. In other words, about 5 percent of the ballots sent out were undeliverable. But here is the shocker, only 7,924 were returned to be counted! We have been told mail-in ballots would encourage people to vote, but 12,000 ballots got lost somewhere! The difference between the “yes” and “no” votes on this ballot issue was a mere 1,674 votes!
To most election officials, the results look normal, but they miss the point. They presume 12,000 people chose not to vote. Such presumption is lacking in proof and creates transparency issues. Some ballots may have been lost or stolen or merely sent to the wrong address. Perhaps, 2 to 3 thousand ballots are sitting in a bin at the post office which never made it to the mail carrier and were never received by the voter. This is what is wrong about automatically mailing out ballots. The accountability and evidence of what was done with the ballots is lost.
The election officials would be better off if they could say x number ballots were requested by registered voters and x number were returned. This makes the election more transparent and accountable.
One good item is the election office did do signature checks. However, too much faith is put on such signatures as proof of voter intent. I am certain someone out there said something to the extent of, “Mom filled out my ballot for me and keeps telling me I need to sign the envelope so she can mail it in”.