Friday, March 14, 2008

Obama Sponsored Mail-In Vote Legislation...Now He is Against It

From on March 14, 2008: "On this morning’s conference call, Sen. Obama’s campaign manager repeated deep reservations about using the mail-in option in both Michigan and Florida. Yesterday, an Obama campaign strategist highlighted what he thought were potential problems:

"Obviously there are concerns about a mail-in vote. I mean, there are concerns about eligibility, ballot security," [Axelrod] said during a conference call. [AP, 12/11/08]
Even Sen. Obama is now expressing hesitation to endorse a vote by mail system. The Associated Press reported:

Obama...said in an interview with CNN that he had reservations about a vote by mail. "I think there's some concerns in terms of making sure that whatever we do is fair, and that votes are properly counted and the logistics make sense," he said.
But the Obama campaign is making a political argument that doesn’t match Sen. Obama’s legislative record. In June, Sen. Obama co-sponsored a bill that would establish a vote by mail grant program.

The text of the legislation Sen. Obama endorsed explains the benefits of a vote by mail system over other forms of voting:

(12) Vote by Mail allows voters to educate themselves because they receive ballots well before election day, which provides them with ample time to research issues, study ballots, and deliberate in a way that is not possible at a polling place.
(13) Vote by Mail is accurate--at least 2 studies comparing voting technologies show that absentee voting methods, including Vote by Mail systems, result in a more accurate vote count.
(14) Vote by Mail results in more up-to-date voter rolls, since election officials use forwarding information from the post office to update voter registration.
(15) Vote by Mail allows voters to visually verify that their votes were cast correctly and produces a paper trail for recounts."