Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Where are the ballots?

Six days since last post. Time for some shop talk.

The biggest question in the Johnson County election is: how many of the 7986 outstanding mailed absentee ballots will come back? (Also: why does there seem to be an inverse relationship between the distance a ballot has to travel and the date the request shows up? The last week always sees a disproportionate share of the long distance ballots.)

There's a Democratic skew to those unreturned ballots. The Republicans still trail in requests and returns, even beyond their 2 to 1 registration deficit, but they're doing a noticably better job at getting them returned. Which plays into my theory  that the GOP's absentee improvement is coming out of their regular reliable election day voters, while Democrats were targeting weak voters.

About 1800 of those 8000 have gone out in the last week, making it harder for campaigns to reel them in. At this point it's basically too late to ask for a mailed ballot. Yes, the law says you can ask till Friday at 5, but there's not a lot of turnaround time.  If at all possible you should vote early in person.

If you have your mailed ballot I recommend BRINGING the ballot in rather than mailing it. Any ballot without a postmark that arrives after election day is worthless. If you do need to mail it, stop waiting to "study" the soil and water candidates because there is absolutely no information available on that stuff. Get it done and get it in.

If you requested a ballot by mail, decide to instead to vote on Election Day, and show up without the mailed ballot, first of all don't do that. Vote the mailed ballot. And if you lost it, get it replaced, preferably in person.

But if you do show up to vote, without that mailed ballot, you have to vote a provisional ballot. Harder and riskier.

If you've lost damaged or never got your ballot, or if you get a call that you forgot to sign it, it's also best if at all possible to come in to the office rather than getting a replacement by mail. Not enough turnaround time to be safe. And don't feel bad about forgetting to sign it because you weren't the only one.

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