Overseas Postal Service Insight!

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My daughter and son-in-law are career enlisted in the Air Force. They have both been stationed overseas a number of times individualy and she has always worked in the postal units. I visited with her about the situation in Florida and the apparent lack of postal marks on many of the mailed ballots. She said that on occasion in times past, those ballots have been shipped back home without being stamped with a date, but just put on a plane and sent back stateside. Nobody ever said anything about it before.It was also suggested that a directive might have been sent to these bases suggesting that it wasn't totally necessary to get them stamped before sending them. They are also extremely upset along with many others in the branches that this has happened and that they have been betrayed. They feel that if they are going to so much trouble and make rules up as they go along, then why if this is a problem they can't overlook the no postal mark and at least count their vote as it was cast. They did their part and did what they were told. If somebody else has changed things to fit their personal political wants and needs, it is a betrayal and a slap in the face of those who serve and are loyal to this country and it's flag. If this isn't corrected soon I feel that this could be a major problem with keeping these people as our peacekeepers.

-- John Thomas (cjseed@webtv.net), November 19, 2000


The ballots in question were not SIGNED either. Tell your children to read the instructions next time.

-- Palm Beach voter (confusing@ballot.gov), November 19, 2000.

With or without postmarks, there's no excuse for them being so late. Clearly, if they expect their vote to be counted in an election that takes place on Nov. 7, they should plan ahead to either have them postmarked by that date, or at the required location by that date.

-- (sorry@no.cheating), November 19, 2000.

Palm beach voter is the pot that calls the kettle black. What about the democratic children that could not understand a simple butterfly ballot? You silly ass!

-- ... (...@...com), November 19, 2000.

http://abcnews.go.com/sections/politics/DailyNews/ELECTION_PROBLEMS2_A BSENTEE001118.html

How About Ballots Without Postmarks?

Inconsistencies in the way the different counties could handle questionable ballots could spur a constitutional challenge, says Baran.

Duval County, for example, has 100 overseas absentee ballots without a postmark, so they will be rejected because Florida law requires these ballots have a postmark, says Richard Carlberg, assistant elections supervisor.

But in Bay County, which has 83 pending overseas ballots, election supervisor Melanie Williams-Boyd says she has one ballot without a postmark, but which her office stamped on Nov. 8 when it came in. Williams-Boyd says she believes that this vote should count because “it is impossible for the voter to have voted after the election because of the time it took for the mail to arrive from overseas.” It will be up to the canvassing board to decide.

Although Duval also stamps its ballots, Duval's Carlberg says it “hurts” to “throw out” the 100 ballots without postmarks.

Handwritten Dates Problematic, Too

Florida constitutional expert Timothy McLendon, from the Center for Governmental Responsibility at the University of Florida, raises another potential problem with dating ballots: The law allows elections officials to accept ballots postmarked after the election, as long as the voter has manually written Nov. 7 -- or an earlier date -- on the envelope.

McLendon says this dating option, which is acceptable under Florida law, leaves open the possibility of fraud at either end of the process: The voter may have put a pre- Nov. 7 date on after the election. Someone could have put the date on while it was being mailed. Finally, someone in the elections' office could have written a date.

“It is unlikely there would be too many cases of this kind of situation, but it could happen,” McLendon says. “Every vote counts.”

Other problems with overseas ballots identified by an ABCNEWS survey include 20 in Lee County that have questionable or missing witness signatures (Florida law requires the voter to sign and have a witness sign and also write in an address); and 50 in Okaloosa County lacking a postmark.

-- (the@legal.issues), November 19, 2000.

It doesn't surprise me about the reaction to my posting considering the tension that is going on between the two sides which will only get worse as the days go by with no resolution. Neither I nor any service people for that matter are advocating counting a ballot that has no signature to it. Only those without a postmark that were not included which should have been. As far as being late that is not a fault either. They are no later this year than they have been in the past. And their counting has beat the absolutely ridiculous recounting that is going on down there in that handfull of counties in Florida. The geographical shape of Florida is exemplifies a perfect picture of the electile dysfunction that state suffers. What other state in the Union would be held hostage by a bunch of senile voters that got beat out by 4th graders when given the same butterfly ballot to test their skill or lack of. This whole country is being politically held hostage by a few and it needs to end.

-- John Thomas (cjseed@webtv.net), November 19, 2000.

And as for that Palm Beach voter that thinks my kids should learn how to read before voting. Maybe you should check on your own walking dead in your own county before criticizing someone that did get it right! And also why don't you shove it up your ass and give it a 180% twist!

-- John Thomas (cjseed@webtv.net), November 19, 2000.

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