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Oregon Elections Office Invalidates Ballots
Scott Rohter at the Lane County Elections Office
The Oregon Secretary of State and the Lane County Elections Office Invalidates my Ballot
By Scott Rohter, May 2011
"It doesn't matter who votes, ...just who counts the votes." - Joseph Stalin
“You better sign your ballot before you turn it in, because you won’t be given
'a reasonable opportunity' to sign it later!” - Scott Rohter
I shouldn’t have to give up my intelligence just in order to vote in Oregon! I know about half of the Democrats who run this state are as dumb as a post, but some of us who live here are not 'Dummycrats', and I shouldn’t have to check my intelligence or my skeptical nature at the front door of the Lane County Elections Office, just in order to cast my ballot, or to comply with the unreasonable departmental protocols of Cheryl Betschart and Bill Bradbury! That’s not to mention some of the other stupid things that Democrats have done in their long stint in control of the State Legislature and the Governor's office since 1986!
I dropped my ballot in the Official Lane Elections Drop Box as I usually do, rather close to the May 17 deadline for voting. I do this in order to reduce the potential for vote fraud! Two days later I received a postcard in the mail from the Elections Office informing me that I didn't sign the return envelope. That has never happened to me before! I distinctly remember thinking about how to sign the envelope so that my signature would match the signature on my voter’s card. That’s because I have several different ways of signing my name, and I can never remember which way I signed the voter’s card, so I always have to think about it before I sign the envelope. But since I do remember thinking about it, I believe that I actually did sign the return envelope as the law requires, before I dropped it in the ballot box!
Nevertheless, I went down to the Elections Office with the intention of signing the envelope and I tried to be cooperative. A friendly clerk showed me a return envelope with my name, computer printed on the back of it, but no signature on the signature line! How strange, I thought! I’m sure I signed it! “How can I be sure that this envelope you are showing me is the same envelope that I put in the ballot box two days ago with my ballot inside?” (I didn’t mail it, so I didn’t write my return address on the envelope, and there is no other identifying information from me on the envelope, indicating that this is the same envelope that I deposited in the ballot box, with my ballot inside! So I can’t actually be sure of that! You can’t be too safe, with the fox guarding the hen house!) “Why don’t you open the envelope in front of me, or let me open the envelope in front of you, and just let me look at the ballot inside. If I can verify that it is my ballot, I will be happy to sign the envelope and you can put it in the mix with the other ballots, or you can take it to the next station," (or you can do whatever the hell you do with it! No one outside of this Elections Office really knows what you do with it, because you are so secretive that no one ever gets close enough to actually find out!)
I remember when I volunteered to be a poll watcher one year. They stationed me so far away from the persons checking the signatures on the envelopes with the signatures on the computer, that the only thing I could actually see was the back of their heads! And they warned me not to get up out of my seat, or I would be asked to leave! Half of the terminals that I was supposed to observe were on the other side of a wall, where I couldn’t even see the back of their heads! Does that sound like the Elections Office is trying to be open and transparent, or does it sound like they are being secretive? Is there still any reason to believe in the integrity of the process of counting our votes? I don’t think so! And remember, they still have to count our votes no matter what method we choose to cast our ballots! ...But what I did notice was that from every tray of ballots that was marked United States Postal Service, which contained about 70 to 80 ballots, approximately 4 to 8 ballots were removed and re-routed in a different direction from the rest of the ballots! That is between 5% and 10% of the total number of ballots received, that were excluded at the very first step of the process, which is the signature verification! That is probably where my envelope was removed from the others and re-routed in a different direction, which generated the little postcard that I received in the mail telling me to come in and sign the return envelope! So now we are back to my current snafu at the elections office: “If that envelope is the actual envelope that I dropped in the ballot box, and the ballot inside is my actual ballot,” I said “then why can’t I see it now before I sign the return envelope?” I don’t know sir, but you just can’t, they said. It’s the law! “That’s not good enough,” I said. “They say that the law is an ass! Maybe the law is wrong in this instance! Do you think? It doesn’t seem to make any sense to me! Let’s try to look at this another way. If there is a mix-up somehow (I know of course that never happens, but let’s just assume for the sake of argument that it did) and there is a different ballot in the envelope than the one I actually filled out and dropped in the ballot box, since there is no signature on the ballot, or even on the return envelope, I couldn’t possibly know who marked the ballot! I would only know whether the votes inside were mine or not! So then just whose privacy would I actually be violating by looking at the ballot, except the privacy of the Public Lane County Elections Office? If I could just see the ballot, I would know whether it was mine or not, because of course I know how I voted! I might also be able to recognize my own markings on the card. If I am sure that it is my ballot, then I can sign the return envelope, and you can put it in the mix with the other opened ballots. Bingo, problem solved! If however I don’t believe that is my ballot after looking at it, then I should be allowed to void it and fill out a new one, and the disputed ballot should be discarded! How about it? What do you say?
Elections Office: No, we can’t let you do that!
Scott Rohter: Why not?
EO: Because it’s the law!
SR: Oh, there’s that damn jackass again! It’s everywhere. It’s no wonder that the mascot of the Democratic Party is a donkey! Did you ever hear the phrase, dumb as an ass? Or was that stubborn as a mule? There isn’t much of a difference sometimes you know.
EO: You have to sign the envelope without seeing what’s inside of it!
SR: Oh, that sounds like a great game that children might play. Thinking… [That really sounds like a lot of fun, if only that wasn’t supposed to be my vote inside of there! After all it’s really the only thing that I get for paying my taxes! Now they are even trying to take that away from me! I know if my name was Jose Ramirez and I had just recently moved here illegally, Oregon would bend over backwards to allow me to vote! I wouldn’t even have to show a valid ID in order to get a ballot, but over 60 years in this country and a fourth generation American, and this is how I get treated by the Democrats who run this State!] I have another idea, I said. Why don’t you just rip up that envelope, since I dispute that it is my ballot inside, and you can just hand me a new one, and I can vote right here in your presence. I have my driver’s license with me.
EO: No, we can’t let you do that!
SR: Why the XXXX not?
EO: Because! It’s the law!
SR: There it is again, the law. I should have guessed! I don’t suppose it would help to remind you again that the law can be as dumb as an ass sometimes, would it?
EO: No sir. It wouldn’t.
SR: Let’s try this. You don’t dispute that I am Scott Rohter, do you?
SR: And this is my driver’s license with my picture on it, right?
SR: And this is the postcard that you mailed to me, asking me to come in here and sign the envelope. Right?
EO: Yes, that’s right!
SR: And yet I still can’t see what’s inside of that envelope, that you claim is my envelope?
SR: In other words I have to sign the envelope without seeing the ballot inside, and attest to the fact that it is my ballot inside there, without actually looking at it. Is that right?
EO: That’s right!
SR: And I can’t just rip up the envelope with the disputed ballot inside so that I can vote over?
EO: Correct again!
SR: But why not?
EO: Because it’s the law! You already voted!
SR: Uh-huh… well not really, if you say that you are not going to count my ballot, then I haven’t really voted, have I?
EO: It is your right not to sign the envelope, but then your ballot won't be counted! That is your choice.
SR: But I am not asking you to let me vote twice. I just want my vote to be counted once! Thinking… [Not like you Democrats whose votes are counted twice!]
EO: I’m sorry sir, you already voted! You can either sign this envelope or not, but if you don’t sign it, then your vote won’t be counted, not even once!
SR: So you want me to sign this envelope and acknowledge, I mean pretend, that the votes inside there are my actual votes, even though I don’t really know for a fact that they are, because you won’t let me see them!
EO: I think you are beginning to understand, sir.
SR: Then are you asking me essentially to perjure myself, or quite possibly to perjure myself, by attesting to something that I don’t really know?
EO: We don’t look at it that way.
SR: You don’t?
EO: No, we don’t!
SR: You are asking me to just trust you, and quite possibly to lie, and commit vote fraud just in order to vindicate your stupid, hair-brained protocols in the Elections Office. I am not going to do that! Before I sign something, I read it! If I don’t understand it, I will have an attorney read it! You don’t expect me to sign my name and attest to something, without first knowing exactly what it is that I am attesting to, do you?
EO: Why yes sir, as a matter of fact, in this office we do! It’s the law!
SR: Well then it sounds to me like your law doesn’t make any sense. It is asking me to possibly commit perjury! ...or even vote fraud! It appears only designed to protect your stupid office protocols, and to keep as much of a veil of secrecy over this whole process of voting (by mail) that it appears to be totally unreliable and untrustworthy! Is that what you really want? You are not providing for the necessary transparency to protect the integrity of the process of voting and counting the votes, which we must maintain if we are to continue to trust our elections! It does not make any logical sense for me to just assume that this envelope that you are showing me is the same, actual envelope that I dropped in the ballot box two days ago, or that it contains my actual ballot inside! Do you just want me to trust you or believe you on faith? That is just ridiculous on the face of it! This is an election, not a religion! And you are not members of the clergy. You are partisan bureaucrats, probably Democrats! I am a Republican from the opposition party. Why would I trust you or believe you? Your party has been in power for twenty-four years and you have been lying to Oregon voters during much of that time! You administer Oregon like it was your own private corporation! Why should I believe anything that your side says, especially during an election! You have no ethics. As author Ann Coulter says, “If Democrats didn’t have low standards, they probably wouldn’t have any standards at all!” Why should I believe that my ballot is inside of that envelope? You need to let me look inside of it and make sure that my ballot is in there before you can expect me to sign the envelope! Voting is not supposed to be a test of faith! I should not be expected to trust you, that this envelope you are asking me to sign contains my actual ballot inside of it!
EO: Well sir, I am sorry that you feel that way. But you can either sign this envelope without looking inside of it, or not! That is your choice and your right. But if you don’t sign the envelope, then your vote won’t be counted, not even once, and we are not going to issue you another ballot! That’s the law!
EDITORS NOTE: In conclusion, I would like to add some other things about my experience as a poll watcher. I only saw one person stationed at every computer terminal, validating signatures. There should be two people sitting side by side, one from both major political parties, or from two political parties with diametrically different political agendas, like the Constitution Party and the Green Party! This would ensure the reliability and integrity of the election! Also, each tray of ballots had a tag accompanying it that identified what part of the city or county that it came from, for instance, North Eugene, South Eugene, River Road, Danebo, Creswell, Cottage Grove, etc. This can sometimes be relied upon to predict whether the majority of the votes in a tray are mainly Democratic or Republican votes! The practice of tagging the ballot trays with a geographical designation should be discontinued! Finally, we should be voting on ballots that have a carbonless duplicate and triplicate copy! The hard cardboard copy can be mailed to the various County Elections Offices, just as it currently is, but the 2nd or yellow copy should be mailed or given to an independent counting authority, staffed by seasonal or part-time volunteers from the minority party, or a coalition of minority parties. The 3rd copy would be retained by the voter, in the very unlikely event that the two separate tabulations do not closely match. The certain knowledge of being exposed would almost certainly be sufficient to eliminate any cheating!
"A journalist has no better friend than the truth." - Scott Rohter