How Voting Really Works: An Eyewitness Account

Obviously, this election cycle has evolved into a circus of corruption.  The mud-slinging is interminable, filled with duck and run operations, outright fraud, and lawlessness.  In a little over a week, by hook or crook, we will know the winner of the presidential election.  The question is, will it be fair, or is the voting rigged?  In the State of Washington, it is hard to tell.  There are so many avenues for potential dishonesty.

This week, I took the time to personally carry my "mail-in ballot" to the local voting office in King County, Washington.  The state instituted its slick new balloting system several years ago.  However, the way they handle ballots is extraordinarily disturbing.  Here's what happened.

Entering the building, my husband and I were met by a cadre of temporary employees steering citizens to various areas.  The woman who approached me appeared stern, as if I wasn't supposed to be there, and asked what my business was.  I replied, "I would like to hand-deliver my ballot to the election office."  Her response was, "Oh, that's unnecessary.  All you have to do is drop it in the repository in the parking lot."

Aware of this practice, I balked.

A large steel box has been placed at the end of the parking area (over 50 yards from the front door), abutting the freeway, near a far corner of the building.  Guiding me to the window, she pointed out a large white and blue steel container with a slot in it, somewhat like an oversized U.S. Postal Service mailbox.  I turned to her and said, very patiently, "No...I want to hand-deliver it to an election official.  I am not comfortable with drive-by voting."

She banally replied, "But that's the way we are set up to collect ballots." 

Again: "No.  There isn't anyone monitoring the boxes." 

Rolling her eyes and looking for backup, she brought my persistence to the attention of another employee at a desk in the lobby, who spoke in a loud, admonishing voice.  "That's the way that it is done now."

Perturbed, I asked to speak with a supervisor who had been listening all the while.  He hustled over to engage me.  I repeated, "I insist on handing my ballot in to a proper voting official."  He replied as if on script: "If you put it in the box outside, it will be picked up at the end of the day by our staff."

Again, I explained that I did not feel that it was proper to leave ballots sitting in a parking lot unattended.  He finally relented and allowed us to hand our ballots to someone behind the counter, assuring me that the ballot would be stored in the facility's steel security cage until processing began.

The biggest problem with their "drive-by" voting system is there are multiple box locations all over the county, such as the library near my home.  All are unattended and vulnerable to tampering or mayhem.  They are placed in public places and unprotected by day and by night.  The heavy steel boxes have built in forklift skid slots for transport and placement.  My point is, if these boxes are unattended, anyone with the proper equipment could come in at night, pick them up, and load them into a truck.  In such unattended locations, ballots may be tampered with – or simply stolen.  Or another possible scenario might be malicious incineration of the boxes where the votes would be lost.

The State of Washington is not taking voting seriously. They are making it a convenience and fiscal issue.

After I finally handed over my ballot, another high-level superior who had been alerted by my noisy insistence pulled us aside to ask if we would like to take tour of the facility.  She was a pleasant woman, and I believe she was trying to assuage our concerns about the election process.  The tour was instructive, but my insecurities were not satisfied.

She explained all the processes by which ballots were collected and secured.  During early voting, the boxes are checked only once a day.  Upon collection, an army of temporary workers inspects each ballot to validate the voter's signature with a computer database from previous elections.  One must sign the envelope on the outside flap before mailing.  This means your signature is displayed to postal workers at USPS and anyone else who handles the ballot.  I'll let readers imagine what might happen, given such a stupid decision by lawmakers.

If your signature doesn't match the previous one on file, your vote can be challenged.  If you don't respond to the challenge, then your vote goes unrecorded.  What used to be a secret ballot now passes through many hands and is loaded into a computer database – which I was assured was internal only and not connected to the internet!  Yup, I believe that one.

The processing facility is divided into various sections, filled with all sorts of computers and fancy equipment designed to sort ballots by district.  As they pass through one of the two electronic sorting machines (which processes 41,000 ballots an hour), the top is sliced off so that the ballot can be removed and run through another machine by hand to register your selections.  A barcode is assigned to each ballot by address.  After the election, the original ballots along with digital copies are stored up to 22 months in a warehouse off site. 

 Of course, this was very informative, but it appears that the larger privacy and veracity issues are no longer a concern for state officials.  How can they be sure who actually filled out the ballot?  Was the vote legitimate and legal?  For example, how many old folks' homes are receiving ballots?  Is the proprietor filling them out and returning them?  How many dead people are voting?

Our guide had no answers to these contentious questions.  However, she went on to mention that there was one woman whose job it was to cull the dead folks from the voter rolls using obituaries and vital statistics records.  If all the states are doing this, then how is it that so many dead voters are cropping up and sometimes voting more than once?

The final question is this: when did big government decide that it is their right to change the old system requiring people to physically go to the polls to cast their secret and sacred votes?  If a voter takes his responsibility as an American citizen seriously, he should proudly show up at the polls and participate in the process.

Unfortunately, we in the State of Washington no longer have polling places – only a mail-in vehicle to register choices.  We were told that it is more economical for the state.  I find that hard to believe.  Nowadays, accuracy is more important than ever.  State and federal governments are shirking their duty by streamlining the vote for their own convenience.  What happened to training community members to come together and participate in the democratic process of electing our leaders?  The smoke and mirrors of the electronic age are ominous to a free and just society.  Is it too late to wake up and start rattling the cages of a complicit government?

Colonel Allen West has some great points to add in an article on his website.  This is a must-read for every American.

Obviously, this election cycle has evolved into a circus of corruption.  The mud-slinging is interminable, filled with duck and run operations, outright fraud, and lawlessness.  In a little over a week, by hook or crook, we will know the winner of the presidential election.  The question is, will it be fair, or is the voting rigged?  In the State of Washington, it is hard to tell.  There are so many avenues for potential dishonesty.

This week, I took the time to personally carry my "mail-in ballot" to the local voting office in King County, Washington.  The state instituted its slick new balloting system several years ago.  However, the way they handle ballots is extraordinarily disturbing.  Here's what happened.

Entering the building, my husband and I were met by a cadre of temporary employees steering citizens to various areas.  The woman who approached me appeared stern, as if I wasn't supposed to be there, and asked what my business was.  I replied, "I would like to hand-deliver my ballot to the election office."  Her response was, "Oh, that's unnecessary.  All you have to do is drop it in the repository in the parking lot."

Aware of this practice, I balked.

A large steel box has been placed at the end of the parking area (over 50 yards from the front door), abutting the freeway, near a far corner of the building.  Guiding me to the window, she pointed out a large white and blue steel container with a slot in it, somewhat like an oversized U.S. Postal Service mailbox.  I turned to her and said, very patiently, "No...I want to hand-deliver it to an election official.  I am not comfortable with drive-by voting."

She banally replied, "But that's the way we are set up to collect ballots." 

Again: "No.  There isn't anyone monitoring the boxes." 

Rolling her eyes and looking for backup, she brought my persistence to the attention of another employee at a desk in the lobby, who spoke in a loud, admonishing voice.  "That's the way that it is done now."

Perturbed, I asked to speak with a supervisor who had been listening all the while.  He hustled over to engage me.  I repeated, "I insist on handing my ballot in to a proper voting official."  He replied as if on script: "If you put it in the box outside, it will be picked up at the end of the day by our staff."

Again, I explained that I did not feel that it was proper to leave ballots sitting in a parking lot unattended.  He finally relented and allowed us to hand our ballots to someone behind the counter, assuring me that the ballot would be stored in the facility's steel security cage until processing began.

The biggest problem with their "drive-by" voting system is there are multiple box locations all over the county, such as the library near my home.  All are unattended and vulnerable to tampering or mayhem.  They are placed in public places and unprotected by day and by night.  The heavy steel boxes have built in forklift skid slots for transport and placement.  My point is, if these boxes are unattended, anyone with the proper equipment could come in at night, pick them up, and load them into a truck.  In such unattended locations, ballots may be tampered with – or simply stolen.  Or another possible scenario might be malicious incineration of the boxes where the votes would be lost.

The State of Washington is not taking voting seriously. They are making it a convenience and fiscal issue.

After I finally handed over my ballot, another high-level superior who had been alerted by my noisy insistence pulled us aside to ask if we would like to take tour of the facility.  She was a pleasant woman, and I believe she was trying to assuage our concerns about the election process.  The tour was instructive, but my insecurities were not satisfied.

She explained all the processes by which ballots were collected and secured.  During early voting, the boxes are checked only once a day.  Upon collection, an army of temporary workers inspects each ballot to validate the voter's signature with a computer database from previous elections.  One must sign the envelope on the outside flap before mailing.  This means your signature is displayed to postal workers at USPS and anyone else who handles the ballot.  I'll let readers imagine what might happen, given such a stupid decision by lawmakers.

If your signature doesn't match the previous one on file, your vote can be challenged.  If you don't respond to the challenge, then your vote goes unrecorded.  What used to be a secret ballot now passes through many hands and is loaded into a computer database – which I was assured was internal only and not connected to the internet!  Yup, I believe that one.

The processing facility is divided into various sections, filled with all sorts of computers and fancy equipment designed to sort ballots by district.  As they pass through one of the two electronic sorting machines (which processes 41,000 ballots an hour), the top is sliced off so that the ballot can be removed and run through another machine by hand to register your selections.  A barcode is assigned to each ballot by address.  After the election, the original ballots along with digital copies are stored up to 22 months in a warehouse off site. 

 Of course, this was very informative, but it appears that the larger privacy and veracity issues are no longer a concern for state officials.  How can they be sure who actually filled out the ballot?  Was the vote legitimate and legal?  For example, how many old folks' homes are receiving ballots?  Is the proprietor filling them out and returning them?  How many dead people are voting?

Our guide had no answers to these contentious questions.  However, she went on to mention that there was one woman whose job it was to cull the dead folks from the voter rolls using obituaries and vital statistics records.  If all the states are doing this, then how is it that so many dead voters are cropping up and sometimes voting more than once?

The final question is this: when did big government decide that it is their right to change the old system requiring people to physically go to the polls to cast their secret and sacred votes?  If a voter takes his responsibility as an American citizen seriously, he should proudly show up at the polls and participate in the process.

Unfortunately, we in the State of Washington no longer have polling places – only a mail-in vehicle to register choices.  We were told that it is more economical for the state.  I find that hard to believe.  Nowadays, accuracy is more important than ever.  State and federal governments are shirking their duty by streamlining the vote for their own convenience.  What happened to training community members to come together and participate in the democratic process of electing our leaders?  The smoke and mirrors of the electronic age are ominous to a free and just society.  Is it too late to wake up and start rattling the cages of a complicit government?

Colonel Allen West has some great points to add in an article on his website.  This is a must-read for every American.