Letters to the Editor

From Sept. 17

Election 2005

Vote by mail? Be warned

Since all-mail elections have been forced upon Kitsap electors by the Auditor and County Commissioners, I want to issue a warning to voters.

Depositing ballots early removes access to details which may change your decisions. Voters’ questions at forums, and from surveys, provide additional information about candidates and issues that may not appear in voters’ pamphlets.

I will deposit my ballot Sept. 20 in one of the six ballot drop-off locations, after I have received all information.

True ballot security is not provided by the drop box, however I will use it to protest the commissioners’ and Auditor’s decision to force this unconstitutional vote by mail system.

After the 2004 election fiasco, many voters recognized absentee ballots have the greatest potential for election fraud, and determined never to vote absentee again, unless they legitimately qualified under Article 6(4) of the Washington state Constitution. Too late, they learned vote by mail is not like elections at the polls where election workers are accountable for every ballot. Voters learned only returned mail ballots are counted. For instance, if one-third of ballots issued by mail are not returned, no one is held responsible for unreturned ballots. Nor does the voter sign to receive them as they would at the polls.

Early voting is a mistake. However, if you have not returned your ballot, and change your mind on a candidate or issue, you can request another ballot from the courthouse. It will be your responsibility, however, to destroy the first one you received.

CRIS SHARDELMAN

Poulsbo

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