“Sound Politics” on VBM

In a recent posting, Seattle area blogger Stefan Sharkansky weighs in against voting by mail, which is going to be adopted by King County, WA starting in 2007.

Here is what I posted on his blog:


You can find a fairly vigorous debate on the merits of voting by mail here: http://www.blueoregon.com/2006/04/democracy_begin.html

You promote a few urban myths about voting by mail. The reason it is less expensive is that there are no polling places. Your comparisons to Iowa and other localities where they have a mixed system are inaccurate.

Voting by mail will save King County money, compared to the current system where 75% of the voters cast their ballots absentee anyway.

Voting by mail may be an invitation to fraud–I look forward to your future posts on the topic. However, my own study of voting by mail in Oregon and absentee balloting nationwide (reported on here: http://www.sos.state.or.us/executive/policy-initiatives/vbm/execvbm.htm) found no evidence of fraud.

Finally, the record shows that absentee/early voters are actually counted more, not less, accurately than precinct day ballots, where poll workers are operating under severe time pressures.

There are reasons to oppose voting by mail, but the argument you make is mostly false.