Kentucky Develops a Surprisingly Good Model for Mail-In Voting

Mish

Amid charges of potential postal fraud comes a surprisingly good model from Kentucky.

Here is the Entire Thread courtesy of @JoshuaADouglas

Kentucky Mail-In Model

  1. @KYSecState delivered recommendations for running Nov election in Kentucky. It’s VERY good news. Let’s walk through the provisions. But here’s the bottom line: anyone who believes they need to vote by mail cause of #COVID may do so.
  2. KY will essentially run election in 3 stages. First is vote-by-mail. Online portal to request a mail-in ballot will open on Aug. 21. Voters will have until Oct. 9 to request a ballot. Though an “excuse” is needed, any voter can say they want to vote by mail cause of #COVID. 
  3. Both sides should claim victory: technically an excuse is required, but every voter has a valid excuse if they believe that voting in person will subject them to an unreasonable risk of harm from the coronavirus. 
  4. The relevant language is “of an age, or possessing of a health condition or vulnerability, or potentially in contact [with someone with age or health concerns] that the voter believes subjects the voter or other person to unacceptable risk of harm from the novel coronavirus.”
  5. There’s no age cut-off. No specific health criteria. Only the voter can say whether they qualify. Formally, an excuse is required; functionality, everyone qualifies.
  6. Voters can return their ballots via secure ballot drop boxes—and there will be more than in June (though still maybe not enough). They can also mail them in.
  7. If mailing in, ballots must be postmarked by Nov. 3 and received by Nov. 6. I’m really happy they made the postmark deadline Election Day.
  8. @KYSecState  just reiterated: "it's the voter's subjective determination" if they have a #COVID reason to vote absentee. It's the voter's "subjective decision."
  9. This next provision should avoid lots of mistakes: county clerks must highlight the two places on the ballot envelopes where voters must sign, to avoid the problem of voters not realizing they must sign twice.
  10. In addition—and this is HUGE—counties must notify voters regarding ANY rejected ballot and give that voter an opportunity to cure the error. That means that missing signature, mismatched signature, removal of flap, etc. can all be cured--by 6 days after election. 
  11. Further, State Board of Elections must promulgate a uniform statewide regulation that will allow counties to count a ballot even if the voter made a minor mistake. This will lead to a lot fewer rejected ballots.
  12. Early voting will open on Oct. 13, meaning there will be *three weeks* of early voting. That must include three Saturdays for at least 4 hours on those Saturdays. Anyone can vote early in-person. 
  13. Election Day voting. Each county must have at least one Vote Center where any voter in the county may go. Counties must seek approval of Gov and SOS for reducing polling places—an attempt to avoid the single-polling-place-per-county problem.
  14. There will be fewer polling places because of a lack of poll workers. But hopefully counties will submit sensible plans, and both the (Dem) Gov and (Repub) SOS must agree to those plans to reduce polling places. 
  15. Now, some (slightly) bad news: new photo ID law is still being implemented, but with tweaks to ease burden on those w/o an ID. Essentially, voters w/o photo ID can claim COVID-related reason for not having ID, fill out “reasonable impediment” form, and cast a regular ballot.
  16. The new law allows anyone without a photo ID, but with a non-photo ID, to fill out the reasonable impediment form. The problem is that the list of reasons is not inclusive enough. The new rule expands list of reasons for why someone doesn’t have an ID to include COVID.
  17. Voters who use the online portal to request an absentee ballot, and have the portal pull their DMV information (almost all absentee voters), need not do anything else to comply with the photo ID requirement. The online system has verified their identity.
  18. I was very concerned about absentee voters needing to print out a copy of their ID, as text of new photo ID law seems to require. That’s not necessary with the online portal serving as the identity check through DMV data.
  19. I still think the state should just delay implementation of photo ID entirely. There has been virtually no voter education of this new burden, which was not in effect in June. The reasonable impediment form could cause longer lines at the polls. And the law is unnecessary. 
  20. I think the court hearing the case will reject ACLU’s first claim on modifying the election procedures—they did that very well!—but there’s a chance the court will still order the state to delay photo ID law entirely.
  21. Either way, these modifications to new photo ID law due to COVID are step in the right direction to ease the burdens of this law. I’m glad that those using vote-by-mail will not have to do anything else, and that in-person voters have more outlets if they don’t have photo ID. 
  22. So where do we end up? A more expansive voting plan than normal. Remember that KY normally has restrictive voting laws: excuse required for absentee or early voting, with limited list of excuses. This is pretty close to the better plan from the successful June primary.
  23. Essentially no-excuse absentee balloting allowed, although we’re not calling it that, as voters still must say that they believe they are at risk to vote in person cause of COVID concerns. But that’s the voter’s decision.
  24. Fewer mail-in ballots will be rejected because voters notified of all mistakes, not just signature mismatches as in June. Early voting for three weeks, including at least four hours on each of the three Saturdays leading up to Election Day.
  25. In-person voting, with more polling places than in June (but fewer than in a normal year). If you want more in-person polling places, sign up to be a poll worker.
  26. New photo ID law still in place, but more excuses allowed under reasonable impediment provision due to COVID and online portal pulling DMV data for voters using vote-by-mail. 
  27. This is a good, bipartisan plan. I’m really happy with almost all of it (everything except full delay of photo ID law)—and that’s saying a lot. I applaud and for working in such a bipartisan manner to create a plan to protect KY voters.
  28. This is again a model for how election administration should be done. Most people should find something they like here—and most importantly, voters have multiple options for voting this November. #AllEyesonKentucky once again for good election law news.
  29. This plan—3 flexible ways for voters to choose how to vote—is a model for how to run a successful election. If you fear #COVID transmission, request your vote-by-mail ballot (preferably) using the online portal. If you want to vote in person, go early. Or vote on Nov. 3.

Official Announcement

Here is the Official Announcement from Secretary of State Michael Adams (R) to Governor Andy Beshear (D).

Wow. That is the way it should be.

Rare Bipartisan Success

I believe in voting IDs, but the rest of the outline is a rare bipartisan effort that makes sense.

If states adopt this procedure it will end all of the nonsense about the post office warning it cannot handle the surge in volume.

Related Articles

  1. Post Office Warns 46 States It Cannot Handle a Surge in Ballots
  2. Huge Opening for Election Fraud by Trump
  3. Republicans are in a No-Win Position on the Post Office

Mish

Comments (48)
No. 1-17
Jmurr
Jmurr

If the masks are the lightsaber against the virus, why can’t we just wear our masks to the voting booth.

nlightn
nlightn

I'm positive this has been posted,...but,...

Beginning December 16 the agency expects to process and deliver nearly >>>2.5 billion pieces of mail<<<, this week alone.

Overall, the Postal Service anticipates delivering >>>800 million packages<<< between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.

Ah,...I'm thinking that they can more than handle mail-in ballots.

Nice try Trumpalina,...but your tactic is a huge fail !!!

Sechel
Sechel

Where is this evidence of postal fraud from which charges are being based? When prosecutors bring charges they cite evidence. Your opening salvo to this piece gets a huge thumbs down from me. Why are you buying into an argument that hasn't been made. Oregon has had mail in voting since 1998. Where's the fraud?

Realist
Realist

I'm impressed. A bipartisan effort.

Sechel
Sechel

Two messages, one for Republicans, one for Democrats.

The mailer was sent out by the North Carolina Republican Party, press secretary Tim Wigginton told CNN. The state party has sent several statewide mailers "to make it easier for interested voters to participate," Wigginton said.

"We want our voters to know they can utilize this tool to cast their ballot in an easy, safe and secure manner. It is important to note that the North Carolina system requires a voter to actively solicit a ballot and go through an easy but important verification process to request a ballot," he added. "We along with President Trump oppose an all-mail election process where voters are mailed ballots without a prior request and authentication."

Sechel
Sechel

Nothing wrong with voter ID if it's not being used to suppress the vote. Care must be taken to deal with citizens that may not have a drivers license or passport etc. If done there should be a serious voter drive. Too often voter ID is code for voter suppression. Why can't this be done right?

Felix_Mish
Felix_Mish

Did I miss the part that says how voters are notified of problems with their ballots?

TimeToTest
TimeToTest

The main reason I don’t like mail in voting is the centralization of voting. Nowhere have I read the county offices with handle the vote counting and report to the state. This leads me to believe the votes will all be sent to one central location to be sorted and counted. Centralization hasn’t worked and opens the door for a small number of people to to have large amounts of power. A well timed fire or theft could swing an entire election for either party.

Like everything this knife cuts both ways. While one side may want this now at some point the other side may manipulate it to work in their favor. Centralization is government only leads to more government. The pandemic will become a memory in the future but the changes because of it could have lasting consequences.

PecuniaNonOlet
PecuniaNonOlet

Didnt see anything in the list about the post office actually delivering ballots and routing them back, isnt that the core issue?

I recall during the 2000 election those electors looking at chads and dimples to determine how a ballot should be cast, seems like we will have the same thing here except with signatures and mismatched names.

It doesnt matter though, if Trump doesnt get booted out there will be massive rioting, trump will respond with force and civil war 2 will begin.

I hope your passports are up to date.

TumblingDice
TumblingDice

I believe vote by mail opens up a can of worms and creates an opportunity for fraud and create undue influence.

Let’s assume that the U.S. Postal Service is able to process all vote-by-mail ballots.

One needs to look at the fact that voting at a polling place creates a CONTROLLED environment.

Vote By Mail – ALLOWS:

1)
Undue influence – currently at a polling place there are laws against campaigning
with like 100 feet of the location. When voting one cannot wear buttons, shirts, hats, etc. for a particular candidate.

One that lives with their parents could be influenced by them.
A renter could be influenced by his/her landlord, by an apartment sign in the front lawn.

2)
How does the state know who actually casts a ballot?
At a polling place, judges look up who is registered and where a person lives.
People show up in person and sign their name.
If 4 ballots are sent to the same house, what is to prevent someone from
fraudulently signing another person’s name.

3)
How does the state know if people have died before the election occurs?
In that case that person’s vote shouldn’t count.

4)
Lastly Vote-by-mail allows one to sell their vote. Say one doesn’t care who wins the election. Now they could go to a Biden rep or Trump rep and ask how they would pay for the ballot.

Candidates currently spends millions on political ads. Knowing they can vote the ballot for one’s candidate allow votes to be bought directly.

ABSENTEE Ballots:
Absentee ballots have a purpose for military personnel and people who will be out of town for work or vacation. Otherwise people should vote in person.

TumblingDice
TumblingDice

Nothing with Vote By Mail prevents the Democrat or Republican party from having get out and vote rallies (outright buying votes).

Would Trump have a rally to allow people to use his golf course for a vote?
Would celebrities who are for a specific democrat have a rally to get for votes that person?

Augustthegreat
Augustthegreat

I have decided to do the mail-in vote. Nobody should force me to vote in-person.

KidHorn
KidHorn

I think the issue is whether or not ballots are sent to all eligible voters. Regardless if they requested them or not. I'm against that because the voter rolls are very unreliable. Dead people and wrong addresses are common. I'm OK with mail in voting provided the voter requested the ballot.

davebarnes2
davebarnes2

I fail to understand the excitement about KY.
Colorado's system is great. Why not just copy Colorado's system?

Sechel
Sechel

Postmaster General Louis DeJoy has agreed to House Democrats’ request for him to testify next week about his controversial Postal Service changes that have raised hackles around the nation, according to two people familiar with the matter.

aprnext
aprnext

I am Irish American, born/raised in San Francisco CA (the ONLY city and county combined in Calif). Therefore I am uniquely qualified to comment on mail-in voting. Advice? under no circumstance EVER, for anyone including in uniform USA citizens, permit mail in ballots, EVER.

Casual_Observer
Casual_Observer

The Republicants wont agree to anything that allows people to vote.


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