Wednesday, July 29, 2020

CRITICAL UPDATE: Vote by Mail? Three Strikes and You Failed!

Trust issues.

Verifiable trust issues.

Why do many people not want "Vote by Mail"?

When you can prove that your local elections office doesn't even follow the rules and laws, why would you believe that a "fair and impartial" election will take place with a whole new element?

This morning (July 29, 2020) I completed my New York State Absentee Ballot Application.

When I ventured on to the interwebs and Googled "Jefferson County NY Board of Elections" to ascertain the correct mailing address, I was pleasantly surprised to find the following:
Look at that final sentence in the first paragraph: " Applications for absentee ballots may be made by mail, email, fax or in person."

Fax? I can do that!
Email? Hallelujah!

So I promptly took advantage of both options (making sure that I specified that I had done each), just in case a catastrophic technological failure should occur. After all, redundancy is good operating policy.

And then I prepared to file away my paperwork with a note to double check receipt in a few weeks.

Much to my astonishment, a new email appeared in my inbox in response to my application! 5 minute response time? Such rapid service! I felt all warm and fuzzy about the immediate personal attention!

Until I read the email.

"Good morning Elizabeth,

Unfortunately we cannot accept a copy of your application. If you will mail us the original we can process your request and will mail your ballot when it becomes available. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Have a great day and be safe!"

POOF! Like that, the warm fuzzies disappeared!

Apparently the employees don't read their own website or the ever increasing spewing of Executive Orders from the state leadership.

More to the point, the title under the signature gave me even more reason to be frustrated: 
"Deputy Democratic Commissioner"

Last time I checked, this was not the political party in which I was registered to vote.

I responded with a link to the county's own website with a direct quote regarding the stated ways in which I might apply for my absentee ballot.

I also took a screenshot (see above) of the website as it existed at the time of my submission.

It has now been over thirty minutes since I replied with the information.

Apparently rapid response only applies to denying an absentee ballot application duly submitted under published guidelines.

Strike one: Publishing Absentee Ballot Application guidelines which are de facto false;
Strike two: Rejecting Absentee Ballot Application submitted under those guidelines;
Strike three: Failing to respond to a reminder of the published guidelines.

Voting by mail? Not just no, but HELL NO!

When I have first-hand documentation of how just one county is unable to adhere to local and state guidelines for "well established" Absentee Ballot procedures, why would I feel that they could successfully manage an entirely new process?

So take the concept of voting by mail off the table - it WON'T work!

Update: I finally received a response to my email indicating that "there was a mistake on the website" and the Executive Order in question had "expired".

Not only were there multiple fails during the process, there was an additional one in this agency being negligent in keeping updated voter information on their website.

So I am back to once again submitting an application by mail.

The irony? I am currently in one of those states on the governor's "list"...and now my local board of elections would like me to mail in an application that has been in prolonged exposure with this environment?

Kinda makes you wonder, doesn't it?

This is the email that I had to send tonight:

On Wednesday, July 29, 2020 I emailed and faxed my absentee ballot application in to your email address as well as the listed fax number, in accordance with the information that was posted on the Jefferson County, NY Board of Elections website.

I received a response from Michelle LaFave stating that the provisions on the website were erroneously still posted and had expired on June 23, 2020, and that I would need to mail in my completed application.

I mailed in my application, and have USPS delivery confirmation that it was received on August 6, 2020 by an individual at your office.

At that time, the website stated that I should receive my absentee ballot within 15 days of your receipt of my application.

As of today, it has been 26 calendar days and 18 business days since your receipt of my application and I STILL have not received my absentee ballot.

I visited the website tonight only to discover that apparently now I am able to apply online, via fax, and via email, as well as by regular mail, for my absentee ballot.

I applied online tonight, and have already applied via mail, fax, and email with my previous submissions which have been confirmed as received in your office. 

I have attached documentation to this email for my online application.

Consequently, I expect to see delivery of my absentee ballot within 15 days, or I will research further action to take.

I have a constitutional right to vote and have attempted three times so far to secure that right following the guidelines posted by your office.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Not only haven't I received my Absentee Ballot within the posted guideline of 15 days, it appears that Jefferson County NY is deliberately ignoring my application which has been submitted THREE TIMES according to the current guidelines.

If someone who legitimately is requesting an absentee ballot is being ignored, how well do you think that the proposal for "mail in voting" will go overall?

Time to seriously reconsider your position on the claims being put forward in the media!

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