Logan recommends all vote-by-mail by 2007

At a 9:30 AM press conference, King County elections director Dean Logan released plans to transition the county to all vote-by-mail elections by the August, 2007 primary election. The implementation plan is detailed in a 30-page document, “Moving to Vote By Mail.”

King County Executive Ron Sims first proposed the move back in December, at which time he instructed Logan to study the issue and come back with recommendations. The resulting proposal was guided by the following planning objectives:

Adopt and implement a vote-by-mail election system to:

  • Simplify and streamline election administration
  • Be a model jurisdiction for accountability, accuracy and transparency
  • Increase voter participation
  • Enhance access to voting

Hard to argue with those objectives… though I’m sure some people will try.

Insiders tell me there is council support for the required ordinances and funding, so this move is virtually guaranteed. When the transition has been completed, King County will be the largest jurisdiction in the nation conducting all vote-by-mail elections.

I’m still reading through the document and will update with further analysis later this morning.

UPDATE:
I’ve skimmed through the report, but it’s kind of detailed, so here are a few quick observations.

With 70 to 80 percent already voting by mail, it has simply become too costly and too inefficient to simultaneously maintain two different election systems. In addition to increasing voter turnout, particularly in low profile elections…

Voting by mail means we move to a single, common voting system. It means simpler instructions for voters and more streamlined and efficient systems for election workers. As we move to voting by mail, there will be fewer provisional ballots and decreased dependency on manual processes. Voting by mail offers the opportunity to eventually provide something new for voters that they have told us they want: the ability to track their own ballot.

Again, I’ve repeatedly stated my preference to vote at the polls, but all this is a good thing, and the motivations behind this transition are based on pragmatism.

One thing the report makes perfectly clear is that the complexity of this transition is not being taken lightly; that’s why the final implementation has been pushed back to 2007. This is a very thorough report that realistically discusses the technical, organizational and political obstacles to a successful transition. For example, the report outlines a number of legislative changes that need to be made, and how their failure might impact the transition.

The report also notes the import of getting things right the first time:

In implementing the vote-by-mail system countywide, the biggest concern (and greatest threat to success) is the potential for missing critical path deadlines in a large, complex, and highly visible public process. Though the average voter does not understand the many processes and complexities inherent in running the largest vote-by-mail system in the country, they will know without a doubt if something goes wrong in their individual case, or if the system is implemented in a way that increases the potential for error. We will not get a second chance to make a first impression about how well this was done.

Looks to me like Logan has learned an important lesson from the 2004 election… perception counts. The whole purpose of the move to all vote-by-mail is to make voting more secure, reliable, accessible, and efficient. In doing so, Logan plans to bring in important new technologies like high-speed ballot tabulators, automated signature verification, and voter-verifiable ballot tracking. But when it comes to rebuilding public faith in our election systems, all this will go to naught if KC trips up out of the gate.

I’ll write more on the subject when I have the time to give this report the detailed attention it deserves.

Comments

  1. 1

    Zappini spews:

    I’m progressive and I’m 100% against 100% vote by mail. Elections should be open, fair, and verifiable. Absentee voting is not transparent. The counting machines are black boxes. Etc.

    We’ve discussed all this ad nauseum in the Washington Citizens for Fair Elections mailing list, for anyone who cares to come over and ask questions. In fact, last month’s presentation covered vote by mail. Many of the myths were debunked. Short list: it’s more complicated, it’s more expensive, and it does not increase turnout.

  2. 2

    RennDawg spews:

    83

    I was in the Navy. I was not in state. How could I vote provisional. If I could go to the polling place, Like we have done for hundreds of years, there would not be a problem. My ballot was late once. I will never let it happed again.

  3. 3

    Voter Advocate spews:

    82.

    If you received a ballot too late to count, you received it after election day, since it only need a postmark of election day to be counted. KCRE will be counting ballots in this election until Tuesday for that very reason.

    The voter must take some initiative in corner cases like this, such as going to a polling place to vote a provisional ballot.

  4. 4

    RennDawg spews:

    Okay. I am conservative and I am against all mail voting. However, as I have said before, I recieved a ballot too late to vote. I have excanged e-mails with members of the County Council and Dean Logan, Not one of them said that they could guarentee that I would recieve my ballot on time. I was told baout drop off points when I get my ballots. But no one could promise I will get my ballot. No one has put my mind at ease on this issue. I feel until I can be guarenteed that my ballot will be in my hand on time the County should not go all-mail. I admit I am also motivated by a selfish reason. I also like voting at a poll place. Is this selfish yes it is, no more though than someone who votes by mail because they just do not want to go to the polling place, even though they have no reason why they cannot go. I.E. they have the time and ability but just do not want to. But my passion in this issue comes from in the 1996 election when my ballot arrived too late for my vote to count. That is not a liberal or conservative issue. that is an American issue. Thank you for readind my rant.

  5. 5

    Nibbler, Yakkler, and Whiterton, attys. at law spews:

    Just give all the ballots to Stefan and he can then invalidate anyone’s ballot who voted Democratic and throw in an x-tra 3% on the ACU-VOTE machines in favor of the Republicans and we will finally have the kind of election “honesty” these far-right big soft shoe right wing scary death klowns are looking for.

  6. 6

    Nibbler, Yakkler, and Whiterton, attys. at law spews:

    The constant right wing din in King Co. about voting problems is the same sort of trick as the phantom “War on Terror” — which could more accurately be called : the war on your poketbook and the constitution. I’ll bet the rightwingers are steaming about their dwindling opportunities to mess with the vote in King Co.

  7. 8

    Cougar spews:

    RUFUS @ 77. Laugh my ass off at you!!!! You RepubliCONS are the biggest cause of all the major problems in the entire USA. When will you spoiled rotten imbeciles grow up?

  8. 9

    Proud To Be An Ass spews:

    Forget the post office. Why the hell would anyone trust KCRE. It is Chicago West.

    Comment by RUFUS— 2/8/06 @ 7:54 pm

    How laughable. If King County were anything like Chicago, there would never have been a FIRST recount. Since there’s not much to “clean up” then please accept our thanks, RUFUS, and leave well enough alone.

  9. 10

    RUFUS spews:

    the Democrats principal Law Firm, Preston Gates”

    Have you guys noticed that whenever the facts aren’t on their side, wingnuts just make shit up?
    Comment by Roger Rabbit— 2/8/06 @ 10:24 am

    You lefties know a lot about making shit up. It has been “donkumented”

  10. 11

    RUFUS spews:

    As long as there is a location to hand delivery my vote I will go along with mail in voting. I don’t trust the post office that much.

    I am still more concerneed with the registration issues.

    Comment by Sven— 2/8/06 @ 10:40 am

    Forget the post office. Why the hell would anyone trust KCRE. It is Chicago West.

  11. 12

    RUFUS spews:

    I dotn care what system they use as long as they clean up the voter database and keep some integrity in it.

    Comment by Sven— 2/8/06 @ 11:01 am

    Sven that is why us republicans are here challanging voter registrations. It is up to the republicans to clean up King County.

  12. 13

    RUFUS spews:

    To head off wingnut BULLSHIT at the pass, let me reiterate that King County disqualified only 16 overseas ballots (of 13,816 received) for arriving too late in the 2004 election. http://www.metrokc.gov/electio....._01_05.htm

    Comment by Roger Rabbit— 2/8/06 @ 10:02 am

    Yeah too bad the forgot to mail out a couple bags. They had to keep some spare ones in case it came down to a second recount.

  13. 14

    leftsucks spews:

    I encourage all of you to read the Seattle Times article and stay tuned for more. This tidbit speaks volumes:
    “Abramoff would emerge as the firm’s star in the capital, pulling in millions of dollars and catapulting Preston Gates into the big leagues of lobbying even as his freewheeling style, disdain for authority and penchant for secrecy strained relations with his bosses.

    Ultimately, Abramoff’s lobbying practice at Preston Gates became a launching pad for schemes of fraud and influence peddling that would play out on a larger scale once he left the firm at the end of 2000 — eventually exploding into one of the biggest lobbying scandals in a generation.”

    Preston Gates took the money Abramhoff generated ladies & gentlemen. Millions & Millions of dollars directly in Lobbying and indirectly through other work. It was split up among many. Trying to pretend Preston Gates is not a heavily leaning Democratic Law Firm is quite laughable. Besides, have you ever looked at polls of Trial Lawyers? Upwards of 80% admit to being Democrats. Look at where the Trial Lawyers Association puts its money.
    Lobbying, political contributions etc. can be a real shell game. Lawyers are crafty at putting layers in between the money and themselves and their candidates and causes.
    Roger Rabbit, who do the Trial Attorneys generally endorse and fund?
    Keep trying to deflect from the reality. This Lobbying Fiasco is an out & out attack against America.
    Support McCain & Lieberman!

  14. 15

    Ken In Seattle spews:

    Preston Gates a primary Dem Law firm? Hoo boy tell us another one.
    They are almost too big to catigorize as one way or the other, but from people who have interviewed with then that I know, they are not a happy place to work.

    Federal Election Commission records show that the firm and its partners have been consistent campaign contributors to Mr. Hastings, donating more than $14,000 since he entered Congress a decade ago, $1,000 of that from Mr. Abramoff.

    The Seattle firm that is more profoundly Dem (and yet has repub partners) is Perkins Coie, a top rated place to work from all accounts.
    http://money.cnn.com/magazines...../2328.html

    re the vote by mail. While it will bring in touch screen voting, it leaves an easy way to avoid it by simply doing the absentee thing.
    It also cuts out the most mysterious and hackable section of the current system, the memory cards used in the remote accuvote counters at polling places and the use of modems to call results into the GEMS tabulator.

    All you whiners are perfectly able to join me and your repub party observers in watching any part of the vote counting you feel the need to. Ask your party chair to put you on the schedule.

  15. 16

    Sven spews:

    Roger @ 58

    Yea I remember other examples of this crap when I was active duty. The military always does the accountability game when the reg pushers forget their common sense in the barracks that day.

    It’s a testimony to the rigidity of army regs, not the war, and I applaud your sensible response.

  16. 17

    Voter Advocate spews:

    46.

    Yeah, Goldy, but the ‘pugs look upon reducing errors as a way to lessen the chances of their candidates. Accuracy hurts them.

  17. 18

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    53

    “Accordingly, you have no basis to talk about who at Preston Gates may have financially benefited from Abramoff’s fees.”

    Sure he does. Since Abramoff committed his crimes after leaving Preston, no one at Preston benefitted financially from Abramoff’s crimes.

  18. 19

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    He’s just a lying trollfuck trying to spin the Abramoff scandal as dirt against the Democrats. Total bullshit. Abramoff is a 100% REPUBLICAN scandal. The GOP owns this one, lock, stock, and barrel. Leftsucks is a wingfuck liar.

  19. 20

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    57

    “New buildings will not improve trust in the counting of votes in King County.”

    I’ll tell you what will improve trust in the counting of votes in King County: Duct taping shut the mouths of Republican liars like you.

  20. 21

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    51

    “My vote is too important to give to someone else and not be able to make sure that it at least gets to the counting machine. After that I have to trust that the procedures will make sure mine, and all other votes cast, are properly counted.”

    Too bad you don’t care this much about the drugs that Bush’s FDA wants to put in your body, or whether your widow will have the right to sue the company whose negligence killed you.

  21. 22

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    28

    “Am I the only one who thinks it is funny that Roger Rabbit, who hides behind an alias, is all bothered that Stefan Sharkansky added a letter to his name?”

    Janet, as usual, you miss the point. What kind of fucking idiot can’t spell his own name? Do you see me posting as Roger Rabbbit, Rogger Rabbett, Rogr Rabit? Nooooooooo …

  22. 24

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    47

    “If so, I can appreciate your Code of Unethics that calls for circling the wagons whenever one of you stumbles”

    Tell me again which Democratic lawyer “stumbled” because of Abramoff’s machinations, you lying fuck?

  23. 25

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    47

    “Are you a lawyer Mr. Rabbit?” “your Code of Unethics?” “one of you?”

    What the FUCK are you talking about? Are you suggesting I had something to do with the Abramoff scandal? Don’t know him — never met the man, dude. One of who? Are you suggesting that because Abramoff and I are both members of the same state bar association, that somehow taints me? That because he’s a crook, I’m somehow unethical? Man, what the fuck are you smoking. Abramoff is an ex-lawyer, dude. Maybe not officially yet, but inasmuch as he has pleaded guilty to a felony, his disbarment is a sure thing.

    Hey, I can play the guilt-by-association game, too! Here’s how it works. Jack Abramoff is a human. You are a human. Therefore, you are guilty too. How you like them apples, dude?

  24. 26

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    47

    Spin, spin, spin. You posted that Preston Gates is the Democrats’ law firm, that’s FALSE, Perkins Coie is. Given how large and far-flung Preston is, it’s hardly surprising that a big-name Democrat works for the firm. I’m pretty sure Perkins Coie has some Republican lawyers. In any case, what Abramoff did after leaving Preston neither reflects on Preston, nor inured to the benefit of Preston’s partners. This is a lame attempt on your part to use the cheap rightwing guilt-by-association ploy to tar McDonald with what is 100% a REPUBLICAN scandal. You fuckers own this one.

  25. 27

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    44

    “ThinkProgress has obtained emails written by Jack Abramoff in which the fallen lobbyist personally describes his relationship with President Bush. They describe a relationship far more extensive than has been previously reported.”

    Bush lied. What else is new.

  26. 28

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    43

    Re the body armor screwup — honestly, it’s not Bush’s or Rumsfeld’s fault, and I for one won’t make a partisan issue of it. It’s just bureaucracy, and it will get straightened out. This happens in every war. I remember a soldier in Vietnam was dunned for “losing” his M-16 while being loaded unconscious on a Medevac chopper. The Army said, we hate doing this, but regulations are regulations — so Congress passed a special appropriation to pay for the rifle so the wounded soldier didn’t have to. Trust me, this lieutenant will get reimbursed for the body armor. It may be the only thing this year that Republicans and Democrats cooperate on, but they will get it done.

  27. 29

    klake spews:

    The facilities have to be consolodated, and the AccuVote and AccuFeed equipment used to tabulate absentee ballots is on it’s last legs.

    Comment by Voter Advocate— 2/8/06 @ 10:54 am
    New buildings will not improve trust in the counting of votes in King County. How is that Federal Audit going on King County Dean Logan=VoterAdvocate. If you goverment workers don’t clean up your voter Registers no thing will matter.

  28. 30

    Anonymous spews:

    “When the transition has been completed, King County will be the largest jurisdiction in the nation conducting all vote-by-mail elections.”

    Except for the ENTIRE STATE of Oregon, which has had an all vote-by-mail system for 10 years

  29. 31

    ConservativeFirst spews:

    Comment by For the Clueless— 2/8/06 @ 11:52 am

    “Caring enough to study the issues, make a decision and fill out a mail-in ballot and then mailing it off (or dropping it off for the “cautious”) obviously doesn’t count.”

    Nope, how hard is it get to the polling place instead? Ironically, the only place I couldn’t walk to my polling place was when I lived in downtown Seattle and had to vote in Beacon Hill, even though there was a polling place two blocks from my residence. But I voted anyway.

    “How about a drop-off provision for the “only the paranoid survive crowd”?”

    Sure that works. You still need somebody there to collect them. Doesn’t seem like much of a cost savings when you consider the postage to send out all the ballots in the first place.

    “Then get involved. For a conservative, you’re not too civic minded.”

    How do you know I’m not?

    “So says Mr. DVF Miller, huh?”

    Not sure who that is.

    I thought it seemed pretty obvious when the County dumps hundreds of thousands of ballots on the USPS and has no way to track where they go, that the potential of fraud goes up. Esepcially compared to the current process where a person signs for a ballot, someone can see stand in the booth, and watch them put the ballot in the voting machine, then track the ballot from there. I have a lot more confidence in the latter process. I guess you and Roger are just a lot more trusting of the Republicans than I am.

  30. 32

    Saul Rosenberg, ESQ [JCH] spews:

    Hillary Clinton has decided to kiss a little labor union booty and get in on the war against Wal-Mart, America’s biggest private employer. Hillary, of course, thinks that it is the role of government, to decide just how a private company needs to spend its payroll budget. The government should determine what percentage of the payroll budget goes into actual pay, what percentage into pensions, and, of course, what percentage goes into health care. Hillary, being the champion of socialized medicine that she is, believes that the last person to be responsible for an individual’s health care is ….. the individual. Now Hillary is very concerned about the health care benefits Wal-Mart bestows on its employees. Here’s your interesting but probably forgotten little fact. For several years Hillary was on the board of directors of Wal-Mart. She stepped down when her “husband” stepped up to the White House. Not once during that time … not once … did Hillary enter an objection into the record over the amount Wal-Mart was spending on health benefits … and the figure was quite a bit lower than it is right now. This is all about politics and kissing union ass.

  31. 33

    ConservativeFirst spews:

    Comment by Sven— 2/8/06 @ 12:02 pm

    “my only concern about voting by mail, and frankly its a personal issue, is that sending it too early, you may suffer ballot regret is something comes to light to change your mind.”

    Excellent point, I also wonder how this affects campaign finance laws. Will “Election Day” be the day the ballots are due, or the day the ballots are mailed?

  32. 34

    proud leftist spews:

    Leftsucks @ 47
    You speak with a certainty in your tone that is a defining characteristic of rightwingers who don’t know what the hell they’re talking about. Preston Gates is a major corporate law firm. That means the firm represents a roster of Republican-oriented banking and financial interests, manufacturers, and other white-shoe business entities. The firm does not represent the little guys, and often is involved in asserting positions antithetical to the interests of Democrats. The firm’s lawyers are a mix of Democrats and Republicans. Calling Preston Gates “one of the largest Democratic law firms in the country” is, frankly, nonsense. Have you taken a poll concerning the political leanings of its members? Moreover, your claim that in an LLC or partnership all partners benefit in the revenue which any one of them generates is an utter fabrication. Partnership-revenue agreements among law firms vary greatly. Some have an “eat what you kill” flavor to them, others do involve a sharing component. With regard to firms that have branches in various cities, the agreements can be quite complex. My hunch is that you have not been privy to Preston Gates’ partnership agreement. Accordingly, you have no basis to talk about who at Preston Gates may have financially benefited from Abramoff’s fees. For rightwingers, however, having no factual basis for spewing some opinion is hardly a reason not to spew.

  33. 35

    ConservativeFirst spews:

    Comment by Roger Rabbit— 2/8/06 @ 10:38 am

    “#1 – How is voting by mail “not caring enough” to vote? Do people who vote by mail because they work away from home “not care”? How about people whose work schedule doesn’t allow them to get to a polling place – do they “not care”? How about a stay-at-home-mom who has to change diapers, feed, and supervise young children – does she “not care” if she votes by mail instead of driving to a polling place? This argument is bullshit – it’s just an excuse for disenfranchising voters who find poll voting inconvenient or impossible.”

    Any reasonably intelligent person who cares enough to vote can overcome any of the inconveniences you’ve listed here. Absentee ballots were created for those who won’t have physical access to a polling place, travel, disability, etc. Your argument sounds like McDisenfranchisment when compared to the poll taxes and literacy tests used to disenfranchise black voters prior the 1960s. Nice try Chicken Little, the sky isn’t falling here.

    “#2 – If USPS is so unreliable at delivering mail, how come I always get my bills every month, without fail? I can’t remember EVER not receiving a piece of mail. Another rightwing bullsh*t argument.” (expletive deleted)

    My vote is too important to give to someone else and not be able to make sure that it at least gets to the counting machine. After that I have to trust that the procedures will make sure mine, and all other votes cast, are properly counted. Only a transparent, well defined audit trail can ensure that. You must be a lucky guy, I’ve had lots of mail not show up, including bills. I’ve also had things stolen from the mail.

    “#3 How is there any more “potential fraud” in handling mail ballots than there is in handling polling place ballots? If anything, there’s more potential for fraud at polling places, because you have thousands of poorly trained poll workers handling those ballots – and more opportunities for the ballots to get lost, as was demonstrated in 2004. In reality, the “potential for fraud” is infinitely greater with electronic voting machines controlled by private companies than with paper mail-in ballots. More bullsh*t.” (expletive deleted)

    I agree with that electronic voting machines shouldn’t be used, I’m against those. I want paper ballots with an audit trail. But the potential for fraud increase when you add two additional steps in the process that are out of the control of the elections workers, wouldn’t you agree? Funny I’d think you’d be worried about Republicans committing fraud, if given more of any opportunity to do so, since you seem to trust them so little.

  34. 36

    Saul Rosenberg, ESQ [JCH] spews:

    A shrimp a hibachi chef tossed at a man eating at a Japanese steakhouse ultimately led to the diner’s death, his family claims in a $10 million wrongful death lawsuit against the restaurant chain Benihana. [We at the Democrat Law Firm of Rosenberg and Lowenstein are pround the announce our lawsuit against evil Benihana. We will sue and drive them right out of business! Ms Jules Hypenstein, my asst, is taking depositions as we speak!]

  35. 37

    union maid spews:

    @ 29: BTW, still haven’t seen comment on the cartoon story. I would have thought that a story about free speech would have been an easy around here.

    Comment by Janet S— 2/8/06 @ 12:11 pm

    It’s too easy. But wait! What was the National Review doing in the 70’s when Pinochet was running Chile? Why, not a peep. Somehow I’m not suprised.

    You go first, Janet. Otherwise, you are just another common garden variety right wing loon authoritarian hypocrite.

  36. 38

    union maid spews:

    @28:

    Am I the only one who thinks it is funny that Roger Rabbit, who hides behind an alias, is all bothered that Stefan Sharkansky added a letter to his name?

    Why, Janet S., you know the answer is a resounding rhetorical YES. Why did you ask?

  37. 39

    leftsucks spews:

    Roger Rabbit:
    Anyone knows that in a Partnership or LLC, that the revenue each partner brings into the firm like Preston Gates, benefits all of the partners. Preston Gates is one of the largest Democratic Law Firms in the Country. Follow the money Mr. Rabbit. I’m not arguing that the Republicans have plenty of poop all over them, but just because you want to pretend the Democrats don’t does not make it so.
    Just look at Revenues for Preston-Gates. Look at fees Abramhoff generated. Look at who the Preston-Gates Partners are. Look at who each of them gave money too. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out their are connections. Law Firms are very crafty, especially when they engage in lobbying. They are expert at removing themselves a step or 2 and pleading innocence.
    Are you a lawyer Mr. Rabbit?
    If so, I can appreciate your Code of Unethics that calls for circling the wagons whenever one of you stumbles.

  38. 40

    spews:

    Voter Advocate @18,

    From the report:

    Cost is relative. All things being equal, and they are not, going vote-by-mail would benefit King County by helping to minimize the impact of other growing costs. In that sense, a vote-by-mail system represents a cost-avoidance benefit more so than a cost reduction. It is fair to say that vote- by-mail will, for example, avoid the need to pay $500,000 in election official (poll worker) wages and paying $65,000 in polling place rent. Additional, less-significant savings would come from not having to manage poll-based voting. While the sum of these reductions is sizable, it does not take into account the additional upfront and ongoing costs associated with administering vote-by-mail on a countywide basis in a jurisdiction the size of King County.

    In a vote-by-mail system, more ballots will be printed, processed and mailed to voters. More ballots will be returned from voters requiring increased resources for incoming processing, tracking, and tabulating. The added cost of these activities is marginally greater than the savings generated by eliminating poll voting but represents an increased cost benefit when considering reduced opportunity for errors, increased accountability and greater security. Historically, and purely on a financial basis, the dual system (poll and absentee) was more economical despite the growing cost of poll-based voting for a dwindling number of voters. However, with essentially 600,000 regular ongoing absentee voters, King County is now at or near the break even point with an entirely vote-by-mail system. In other words, the savings generated by not voting at the polls is nearly enough to cover the costs associated with increased vote-by-mail activity.

  39. 41

    Robert spews:

    http://thinkprogress.org/2006/.....ff-emails/

    But according to Eisler, Abramoff told him that the two have met almost a dozen times, shared jokes, and spoke about details of Abramoff’s family:

    HE HAS ONE OF THE BEST MEMORIES OF ANY POLITICIAN I HAVE EVER MET. IT WAS ONE IF [sic] HIS TRADEMARKS, THOUGH OF COURSE HE CAN’T RECALL THAT HE HAS A GREAT MEMORY! THE GUY SAW ME IN ALMOST A DOZEN SETTINGS, AND JOKED WITH ME ABOUT A BUNCH OF THINGS, INCLUDING DETAILS OF MY KIDS. PERHAPS HE HAS FORGOTTEN EVERYTHING. WHO KNOWS.

  40. 42

    Robert spews:

    Bush ♥ Abramoff

    ThinkProgress has obtained emails written by Jack Abramoff in which the fallen lobbyist personally describes his relationship with President Bush. They describe a relationship far more extensive than has been previously reported.

    The emails written by Abramoff were addressed to Kim Eisler, the national editor of Washingtonian magazine. The Washingtonian recently reported on the existence of several photographs showing Abramoff and Bush together. Eisler is also the author of Revenge of the Pequots, a book about tribal politics for which Abramoff was interviewed.

    In the emails, Abramoff describes meeting Bush “in almost a dozen settings,” and details how he was personally invited to President Bush’s private ranch in Crawford, Texas, for a gathering of Bush fundraisers in 2003. Abramoff did not attend, citing a religious observance.

  41. 43

    leftsucks spews:

    Read the story—
    http://archives.seattletimes.n.....ston+Gates

    Joe Lieberman and John McCain are absolutely on track trying to de-politicize all of this Lobbying Reform. The other fools on both sides want status quo or some political circus rather than solutions.
    It’s crazy. I admire both Lieberman & McCain. My guess is Russ Feingold and others on both sides will join them….but the Democrat & Republican Powerbrokers will do everything they can to obstruct change. Obama was a complete sell-out. His caving into politics over desperately needed change was pathetic and disappointing. It will haunt him for the rest of his career.

  42. 44

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    The real reason Republicans are against mail voting is because they think a radio transmitter is hidden in the ZIP code.

  43. 46

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    39

    “Joe Lieberman and John McCain are absolutely on track trying to de-politicize all of this Lobbying Reform.”

    Sorry dude — Abramoff is a REPUBLICAN scandal. Under Bush, Hastert, Delay, and Frist, Washington D.C. has become a cesspool of REPUBLICAN corruption. The GOP owns this shit. Democrats had nothing to do with it.

  44. 48

    Janet S spews:

    Face it – voting at the polls is dead. It is expensive and time consuming. I’m glad you like to visit the little old lady pollworkers, but their time is gone.

    We are evolving into online voting, which should be as secure as banking online. People are busy.

    Whether it happens is not of much interest. How it will change the election process is the really intriguing story.

  45. 49

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    16

    “I don’t trust the post office that much.”

    Hey, whatever. I don’t trust Republicans all that much.

  46. 50

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    I have nothing against Sven driving to a drop-off point to deposit his ballot. But don’t make me do it.

  47. 51

    leftsucks spews:

    It’s undeniable that:
    A) The Preston Gates Law Firm made millions & millions in fees off Abramhoff’s “lobbying” efforts while employed at Preston gates.
    B) The Preston Gates Law Firm was deeply involved in the Election Contest with one of their key Partners, David McDonald, an actual Defendent & Strategist. McDonald is active in the Democratic Party as well
    C) Preston Gates has numerous Democratic Party ties which far exceed Republican ties.
    D) As a Partner, Mr. McDonald & other partners benefitted directly or indirectly as the result of Abramhoff’s activities.

  48. 52

    spews:

    Not publishing because the brass thinks its bad taste is not appeasement. Its good business. Aren’t you a bit hypocritical? Doesn’t free expression mean its ok to NOT print something?

  49. 53

    mesa spews:

    @31

    If you had bothered to follow the issue at all you would know that it isn’t just radical Muslims who are upset…I have no sympathy for anyone participating in or advocating violence concerning these cartoons…but to publish just to piss off or get back at the Muslim world is childish

  50. 54

    leftsucks spews:

    This came right out of the 5/21/05 Seattle P-I:
    David McDonald: A partner at Preston Gates & Ellis in Seattle, McDonald won’t participate in the trial, but he’s the overall strategist for the Democratic legal team. A Democratic National Committee member since 1992, he successfully defended Microsoft against Apple Computer in the copyright lawsuit over Windows.

    The Washington Democrats will do anything possible to distance themselves from Preston-Gates and the Abramhoff scandal. The fact of the matter is the Preston Gates Firm made millions & millions off Abramhoff’s work and is intimately involved with Democrats and particularly Governor Gregoire.

  51. 55

    Janet S spews:

    Yes, but our local Times has decided to be sensitive to the murderous thugs who are burning down embassies. Sounds like appeasement to me, by the home boys. Or they are scared. If so, I think it is an important local story.

  52. 57

    Janet S spews:

    Am I the only one who thinks it is funny that Roger Rabbit, who hides behind an alias, is all bothered that Stefan Sharkansky added a letter to his name?

  53. 58

    Janet S spews:

    BTW, still haven’t seen comment on the cartoon story. I would have thought that a story about free speech would have been an easy around here.

  54. 59

    Sven spews:

    my only concern about voting by mail, and frankly its a personal issue, is that sending it too early, you may suffer ballot regret is something comes to light to change your mind.

    When I poll vote, I can take the msot time to evaluate the issues and make an informed choice.

    But if they maintain a drop off spot, I can still do that, so effectively I regard this as a wash. If they do not use the drop off spots, then I will oppose it.

  55. 60

    JDB spews:

    ConservativeFirst at 6:

    In further answer to your points:

    1) Here in Tacoma, they set up booths around the city where you can physically drop off your ballot. I don’t know if they do it throughout the county, but I would assume they do. Portland did the same thing when Oregon went to all mail in voting. I would assume that King County would too, and I think it would be a good practice to set up booths for drop off for any jurisdiction that goes to all mail in balloting.

    I have voted absetee for ever, because it lets me take my time with large ballots and do some research. I do miss the community feel of going to the polls, but voitng by mail doesn’t mean that I don’t care.

    I USPS is amazingly good considering the amounts of mail they go through. I don’t think even in his paranoid little mind that Sharansky has ever claimed problems with the mail led to problems with ballots being counted. Since the minnow reads this site more than his own boring little site, he can correct me if I’m wrong. If we hear nothing from him by the end of the day, we can assume that this arguement has no basis what-so-ever.

    I’m not sure where Goldy stands on this, but he has often pointed out that vote by mail does give you a nice paper trail, something that you don’t get otherwise. Further, mail fraud via tampering with the actual mail is pretty damn hard to do. A famous story: When the largest diamond in the world was found in South Africa, it was shipped by regular post to London. Why? Trying to find one little pacakge amongst thousands is pretty hard to do, and more secure than a courier who is an obvious target. The post is very secure.

    The only problem with vote by mail is that it prevents little tyrants in the name of their own view of the law from preventing people from voting. I know of only one person who is in favor of that, and now that he is no longer an useful idiot, no one listens to him anymore.

  56. 61

    fire_one spews:

    Hey you Goobers! Why don’t you head on back to your trailer, turn on Lush Rimbaugh, and pop another Bud Light…. Oh and don’t forget to tell the librarian you are done with the computer….

  57. 62

    For the Clueless spews:

    CF @ 6 (not really conservative at all)

    1) People should care enough to vote to show up at the polls, unless the are invalids.

    Caring enough to study the issues, make a decision and fill out a mail-in ballot and then mailing it off (or dropping it off for the “cautious”) obviously doesn’t count.

    2) The USPS is not the best at delivering. I want to do all I can to make sure my vote gets counted, I think showing up at the polls ensures this as much as possible.

    How about a drop-off provision for the “only the paranoid survive crowd”?

    3) Potential fraud. Having a non-documented chain of posession from when the vote is made until it is tabluated (something KCRE did a poor job of in 2004) is very poor for all-mail elections.

    Then get involved. For a conservative, you’re not too civic minded.

    I’m not saying it’s happened but there’s more potential for it in all mail elections.

    So says Mr. DVF Miller, huh?

  58. 63

    Saul Rosenberg, ESQ [JCH] spews:

    An African-American woman claims Southwest Airlines unfairly subjected her to its policy requiring large passengers to buy two seats because of her race, a lawyer said yesterday at the start of her federal trial against the airline. [The Legal Firm of Rosenberg and Lowenstein is ready to sue! Legal ast Jules Hypenstein, take the black women’s deposition!!!!]

    Comment by Saul Rosenberg, ESQ [JCH]— 2/8/06 @ 11:32 am

  59. 65

    Abu Hamza al-Masri [JCH] spews:

    Gays no vote in Iran, but gays vote many times Democrat in Amerika! Democrat good! Bush bad! Iran loves Democrats! Bush bad! Roger Rabbit good! 9/11 never happened! Praise to Allah!

  60. 66

    Sven spews:

    I dotn care what system they use as long as they clean up the voter database and keep some integrity in it.

  61. 67

    Abu Hamza al-Masri [JCH] spews:

    Vote by mail good! DNC sends in many Democrat votes! Tehren sends many many Democrat votes! Kerry wins! Bush bad! Praise to Allah!!

  62. 70

    Sven spews:

    As long as there is a location to hand delivery my vote I will go along with mail in voting. I don’t trust the post office that much.

    I am still more concerneed with the registration issues.

  63. 71

    Voter Advocate spews:

    The ‘pugs will, no doubt, scream about the cost. Elections won’t occur cheaper, even though the elimination of poll workers and rent amounts to about $565,000. To offset, and probably more, that will be the additional staff and cost of equipment and the need for modern high-speed tabulation machines.

    The reality is the added costs would happen in any case, because absentee voting would increase — even in the absense of all-mail-voting.

    The facilities have to be consolodated, and the AccuVote and AccuFeed equipment used to tabulate absentee ballots is on it’s last legs.

  64. 72

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Comment on 10

    “Scumbag con-artist Abramhoff is a lifelong Republican who never personally gave one penny to a Democratic Candidate.”

    GOP claims that Democrats took tainted money from Abramoff have been thoroughly debunked, but the wingnuts just keep coming back with the same pack of lies.

    GOP Strategy = Deny, and if that doesn’t work, Lie

  65. 73

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Speaking of “potential for fraud,” we heard lots and lots of rightwing hooting about “fraud” in the 2004 governor’s election. Well, there was “fraud” all right — Judge Bridges subtracted 4 fraudulent votes from Rossi’s total. Anytime anyone mentions “voting fraud,” I automatically associate the term with the word “Republican.”

  66. 74

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    6

    #1 — How is voting by mail “not caring enough” to vote? Do people who vote by mail because they work away from home “not care”? How about people whose work schedule doesn’t allow them to get to a polling place — do they “not care”? How about a stay-at-home-mom who has to change diapers, feed, and supervise young children — does she “not care” if she votes by mail instead of driving to a polling place? This argument is bullshit — it’s just an excuse for disenfranchising voters who find poll voting inconvenient or impossible.

    #2 — If USPS is so unreliable at delivering mail, how come I always get my bills every month, without fail? I can’t remember EVER not receiving a piece of mail. Another rightwing bullshit argument.

    #3 How is there any more “potential fraud” in handling mail ballots than there is in handling polling place ballots? If anything, there’s more potential for fraud at polling places, because you have thousands of poorly trained poll workers handling those ballots — and more opportunities for the ballots to get lost, as was demonstrated in 2004. In reality, the “potential for fraud” is infinitely greater with electronic voting machines controlled by private companies than with paper mail-in ballots. More bullshit.

  67. 75

    Robert spews:

    “leftsucks” is playing cut-n-paste with his “huge mystery” bull. Scumbag con-artist Abramhoff is a lifelong Republican who never personally gave one penny to a Democratic Candidate.

  68. 76

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    5

    Anything to do with biased Stefan Sharansky* loses all credibility and validity immediately.

    * The correct spelling of Stefan’s name; Stefan can’t even spell his own name correctly!

  69. 78

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Liar @4

    “the Democrats principal Law Firm, Preston Gates”

    Have you guys noticed that whenever the facts aren’t on their side, wingnuts just make shit up?

    The Democrats’ principal law firm is Perkins Coie, not Preston.

  70. 79

    LEFT is RIGHT spews:

    Allowing for regional voting centers would still let people who wish to vote at a physical polling location do so and for people who don’t trust the USPS to hand their ballots to a real live person (hopefully not StePHan)

    This last suggestion will be sure to inflame the ReThugs and they do it in Oregon without problems. Allowing people on election day to collect sealed ballots and turn them in.

  71. 80

    ConservativeFirst spews:

    Roger, I think Goldy has stated that he’d rather have people go to the polls. Something I agree with, but voting by mail, seems to be popular amongst the voters so despite my personal disagreement with it, I’m resigned to the fact that it will happen.

    The main reasons I’m against all mail voting:

    1) People should care enough to vote to show up at the polls, unless the are invalids.
    2) The USPS is not the best at delivering. I want to do all I can to make sure my vote gets counted, I think showing up at the polls ensures this as much as possible.
    3) Potential fraud. Having a non-documented chain of posession from when the vote is made until it is tabluated (something KCRE did a poor job of in 2004) is very poor for all-mail elections. I’m not saying it’s happened but there’s more potential for it in all mail elections.

  72. 81

    Mark1 spews:

    Anything to do with biased Dean Logan loses all credibility and validity immediately. Why the hell is he still here? Let’s restore some faith in the system and find a replacement for the king of incompetence. Thanks.

  73. 82

    leftsucks spews:

    A HUGE mystery to me is why none of the Blogs were all over the devastating article in yesterday’s Seattle Times regarding the Democrats principal Law Firm, Preston Gates and their ties to Abramhoff–
    http://archives.seattletimes.n.....ston+Gates

    This is unbelievable stuff and shows the Dems links to the lobbying cesspool…even though the Seattle Times sanitized it and made it look like this massive law firm was somehow “victims” cuz they were big-time Democrat leaning. Follow the money folks.
    This Blog was so concerned about Lobbying improprieties. However now that it has been disclosed how the primary Democrat Law Firm has profited from Abramhoff, the silence is deafening.
    John McCain was absolutely right when he bitch-slapped Obama for going back on his word and continuing to politicize the crookedness that both Party’s should be ashamed of.
    One of the main solutions to the Lobbying problem is a Flat Tax. Where is Steve Forbes when we need him.

  74. 83

    Josef for Buggering JCH spews:

    Also, mail-in elections give weak little men like Stefan no opportunity to disenfranchise and intimidate people at the polls.

    Stefan would have made an excellent concentration camp guard.

  75. 85

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Rightys are against absentee voting — so expect some trollfuck comments today! They’ll probably complain that mail voting disenfranchises military voters.