Letters to the Editor

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VOTING: Early deadline for ballots unnecessary

Letter by Stephen Hemmert, Tacoma on Jan. 31, 2013 at 11:37 am with No Comments »
January 31, 2013 1:41 pm

State Sen. Pam Roach’s bill requiring ballots to be received by 8 p.m. Election Day (TNT, 1-30) must be rejected. There is absolutely no compelling reason for that requirement. It would effectively disenfranchise many voters.

The U.S. Postal Service has considered closing mail-processing centers, leaving two centers open in Washington: in Seattle and Spokane. Those closures will effectively eliminate overnight mail service. The USPS has also proposed ending Saturday mail service.

Those proposed actions by the USPS will require voters to mail their ballots at least four days prior to any election. Much can happen during the four days prior to an election.

Timely delivery will still be dependent on the USPS. This does not even address whether absentee voters out of state or in the military will be able to have their ballots delivered in a timely manner.

With 100 percent mail-in balloting there is no opportunity for voters to cast their ballots at the polls the day of the election. Senate Bill 5291 would also have an adverse impact on levy elections not held in November which require a specific number of ballots to validate an election results.

There have been many attempts across the country to disenfranchise voters. Washington state does not need to jump onto the bandwagon to make it more difficult for voters to exercise their voting rights. I am willing to wait the additional time necessary to certify the results of any election.

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