Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Election Code Review

The election code review committee presented their findings to the city council, and the resulting bills (O-33-07, CA-2-07) are on their way to passage.

Folks, the rules for elections may seem technical and geeky to you, but I can tell you with certainty that the city of Annapolis experiences fraud in its elections. It is a great challenge to balance the right of every eligible citizen to vote with the necesity to maintain the integrity of the electoral system.

The proposed charter amendment and ordinance would make the following changes to the election code:
-clarify the 4 year terms of the members of the Board of Supervisors of Elections
-election judges can now be residents of the county--they don't have to live in the city
-election judges can work partial days, rather than having to work the entire time the polls are open
-changes to how results are reported
-any voter may request to be put on a permanent absentee ballot application list
-defines instructions for provisional ballots (which are what you have to fill out if you are eligible to vote but for some reason your name is not on the list)
-if somebody sends in an absentee ballot, then dies before election day, the vote counts
-campaign financial reporting schedule tightened
-anybody can request an absentee ballot without explaining why they need one

Some comments on these changes:
1. the city needs more judges--allowing county judges to work and allowing judges to work partial days is good
2. it is generally bad to allow absentee ballots whithout a reason. is voting on election day really that much of a hardship? this makes fraud easier. same line of reasoning for the permanent absentee ballot application part
3. people who are not alive should not have their votes counted...i don't care how hard it is to check the death lists and cross reference them to the absentee ballots

Remember, fraud happens! And every vote counts! In the Ward 4 special election, the result was determined by 35 votes. With margins so tight we have to make sure that people can vote, and that the people who do vote are the persons they claim to be.