Posted By Craig Barshinger

Responding to public concern over how we vote, Senator Neville James called a meeting of appropriate cmte on October 13. The Supervisor of Elections and the Board of Elections members were invited. John Abramson, Supervisor of Elections. No board members attended.

I attended in order to pursue my intent to allow Paper Ballot Early Voting (announced below in my Oct 2 blog post). I asked Mr. Abramson if the Elections Office could accommodate more walk-in absentee voters now than in the past. He said yes.

I asked him why the Elections Office required proof from the voter when the voter chose a reason to execute his/her vote by walk-in absentee in the 14 days prior to an election. He revealed, after discussion, that there was no statutory basis to require proof.

I took Mr. Abramson to task for the Elections System's penchant for scolding voters. Even when a voter is simply trying to exercise his/her choice in a neutral manner, the Election System has a habit of scolding the voter. This has the effect of lowering voter confidence in the Election System.

I then asked him, "Would allowing walk-in absentees to vote without challenge impair the accuracy and fairness of the vote tally in any way?" He said No.

After a lunch break, Mr. Abramson reported that he had spoken with the Board of Elections members, and they had decided that there would no longer be any challenge whatsoever to voters wishing to vote on paper by a walk-in absentee ballot.

The voter need only choose one of the nine reasons specified in the law, and affirm by signature that this is his/her reason.

Every voter who wants to vote on paper ballot can do so. I was very pleased to be able to create the same effect as my "EARLY VOTING" legislation by reasoned conversation on the floor of the Legislative Chambers.

[see part 2 for conclusion]




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Craig Barshinger


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