I just can’t believe the state of our elective process. I voted early this year, as I usually do, at the library downtown. I brought my sample ballot with me, since I had already marked my choices after going through it with my wife, and I figured it would make the actual voting process go a little more quickly if I didn’t have to reread everything in the booth.
That sample ballot unraveled the last threads of my belief in the system.
When I got to the front of the line, a polling official asked me to sign and date the tear-off portion of the sample ballot, and she took it for processing; they handed me a card with a number on it (19) and I was sent to wait in a chair. A few minutes later my number was called, I was handed a smart card, and pointed to a booth.
What was missing there, do you think?
Hmm... how about any attempt to verify my identity? Perhaps a request to see a driver’s license or other official identity document? Or maybe even asking if I was the person named on the sample ballot?
That’s right – as long as you walk in with a sample ballot, you can vote. And it doesn’t even have to be yours.
“So what?” you may ask. How about this: you know someone who isn’t voting, and you ask if you can have their sample ballot. Or you borrow one from a friend, and “lose” it. Or you grab a few from unattended mailboxes. Whatever. Then you go on a tour of early polling places during the week before the election, and you proceed to vote as many times as you have sample ballots. The people whose ballots you stole will probably still vote on election day, since you can vote with a driver’s license if you don’t have your sample ballot – but you’ll have more than made sure your candidate has the most votes, because you and all of your friends have been voting early and often.
I wonder if this is the way we taught them to do it in Afghanistan?