The laziest way to vote, the easiest way to get cheated

It would be difficult to believe that anyone would not want tovote this election year, but apparently, both Democrats andRepublicans are concerned that we might not get our ballots in soonenough, or perhaps (gasp) not at all.

In fact, they are so concerned that they have sent canvassersout amongst the most “needy” neighborhoods to collect ballots forus. We don’t even have to go to the mailbox anymore, we can justwait for someone to pick up our ballot at our door. Does anyonefind this as scary as I do?

Two of my friends who live on the eastside were among theselucky people. A ballot collector showed up on their doorstep,typing away on his palm pilot. Without bothering to look up to seewhom he was talking to, he asked for their ballots, referring tothem by name. He was turned away as quickly as he arrived.

Knowing how crazy this election has become, I can’t help butwonder why anyone with a mailbox would trust a complete strangerwith their ballot, especially considering some of the anticscanvassers have been indulging in lately, like the PSU students whowere asked to sign a petition against child molesters and were thentold that they would have to register as Republicans first if theywant their signature to be used.

Also, consider the allegations, reported in the Vanguard, thatvoter registration forms submitted by Democratic voters in Nevadaand Oregon were destroyed by employees of a company under contractwith the Republican National Committee.

This is not the first year ballot collectors have gone door todoor. In 2000 and 2002, Democratic canvassers collected a couplethousand ballots. This year there will be as many Republicancollectors as there are Democrats.

Kevin Mannix, the Republican Party chairman, told The Oregonianthat his party collectors will be wearing obvious colors like redand will carry identification.


Doesn’t it seem that there is a strong possibility that someoneout there could put on a red shirt, hold out any type of I.D. (whoknows what they are supposed to really look like), take yourballot, and toss it? By the time you found out and got around towriting that letter, the elections would be over.

This leads us to another question: Though it is a felony not toturn in a collected ballot, one has to wonder how you will knowwhether or not your ballot has been turned in?

Though there have been no problems yet, here is some informationon what to do if you are concerned about your ballot.

If you want to find out whether it was turned in or not, youneed to call the County elections office. And if your ballotdoesn’t show up, then you have to write a letter explaining yourconcerns and mail it in.

OK, wait a second. If I am too lazy to mail in my own ballot andI give it to a total stranger to mail it in for me, but they don’tdo it, then I have to take all that extra time to write a letter ofcomplaint and then mail that in? Doesn’t that seem a littlecounterproductive?

Maybe I’m just paranoid, and since there were only a couplethousand who did it last election, perhaps there will be even fewerthis election year. Maybe. But my advice on the ballot situationis, mail it in yourself. You still have plenty of time to get somestamps on your next trip to the grocery store.


Holly Roose can be reached at [email protected]