E-Mail Voting Added for New Jersey Residents

New Jersey Residents displaced by Hurricane Sandy will be allowed to vote by e-mail or fax. The directive issued today is here.

Any voter who has been displaced from their primary residence because of Hurricane Sandy is hereby designated as an “overseas voter” for purposes of the Overseas Residents/Absentee Voting Law, N.J.S.A. 19:59-1, et seq.

For those wanting to vote in person, check your polling place by texting WHERE to 877877 or visiting elections.nj.gov.

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  • Display: Sort:
    That's incredible! (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Angel on Sat Nov 03, 2012 at 06:49:49 PM EST
    And it's the way it should be - make it easier to vote, not harder.

    Amen (none / 0) (#2)
    by mogal on Sat Nov 03, 2012 at 07:07:31 PM EST
    Two Problems with This (none / 0) (#3)
    by jarober on Sat Nov 03, 2012 at 08:21:58 PM EST
    First, I doubt they have anything like proper security on this - how do they know who is voting?  Simple case: what prevents any person in a household (even an underage one) from voting in place of a valid voter?

    Second, it's kind of pointless in this instance.  The people who've been displaced are also the least likely to be able to vote this way.

    Far better to set up paper ballots.  Low tech, easy to do.

    Did you read the directive and the instructions (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Angel on Sat Nov 03, 2012 at 09:24:20 PM EST
    they have provided?  Nothing is safe these days but at least they are trying to give people an opportunity to vote and will check the ballots, etc., for fraud.  Also, did you hear about the mailed-in paper ballots in Oregon wherein an employee in the County Clerk's office was coloring in the dots to vote straight Republican ticket?  There is a DOJ investigation into that matter as I type this.  Paper ballots can be tampered with too.  

    Perhaps they'll do it like (none / 0) (#4)
    by nycstray on Sat Nov 03, 2012 at 08:57:59 PM EST
    online voter registration. Ya know, verify said person!

    And maybe using a security password (none / 0) (#5)
    by shoephone on Sat Nov 03, 2012 at 09:05:07 PM EST
    I don't remember what they did for CA voter reg (none / 0) (#6)
    by nycstray on Sat Nov 03, 2012 at 09:12:43 PM EST
    this was the first year and it sounded darn simple and sane,iirc. I was already registered, so it didn't stick in my brain.  They did a push to get more voters registered though, especially young ones. We're above 50% in the vote-by-mail group, which is also pretty painless :D Online voting in the future would also suit me just fine.

    why don't you read the linked announcement (none / 0) (#8)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Nov 03, 2012 at 10:25:41 PM EST
    and policy? There are procedures in place and the votes will be checked.

    Not so much (2.00 / 1) (#9)
    by jarober on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 12:41:19 AM EST
    Quoted from the link:

    "Essex County Clerk Chris Durkin told NBC 4 New York the program is being run on an honor system, relying on voters to only use the system if they truly can't get to his or her polling place. "

    You might as well put up a sign reading: 'to commit fraud, go this way'


    Sorry, you didn't cherry pick. But you are (none / 0) (#12)
    by Angel on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 12:00:09 AM EST
    misconstruing the statement regarding the honor system.  They have put in place checks and balances to verify the legitimacy of the ballots.  

    The "honor system" part being (none / 0) (#10)
    by Angel on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 12:53:22 AM EST
    to request a ballot only if said person cannot get to their voting place.  Read the entire article and don't cherry pick sentence parts in an attempt to make people believe it says something it doesn't.  The election officials will verify required information to make sure the ballot is legitimate and can be counted.  

    Umm... (1.00 / 1) (#11)
    by jarober on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 12:57:36 AM EST
    You did notice the "honor system" part of the quote, right?  That means they are trusting people when they say they are from an impacted area.  

    See comment #12. (none / 0) (#13)
    by Angel on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 12:08:53 AM EST
    read the directive (none / 0) (#14)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 01:45:44 AM EST
    It says:

    Upon receipt of the application, the County Clerk shall determine if the applicant is a qualified voter. If so, the County Clerk shall electronically send the ballot and the waiver of secrecy form to the voter by the method chosen by the voter (email/fax).

    Your honor system clerk also said this:

    Durkin said you fill the ballot out and email it back, where it will be printed, held several days and cross checked to make sure you didn't vote some other way.  

    Voting is better than not voting, but... (none / 0) (#15)
    by Lora on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 06:58:13 PM EST
    There will be no secret ballot for these voters.  They must waive privacy.  That is huge.

    As far as checking the ballots and voters, who is to check the checkers?

    Electronic voting and counting systems and voting systems that use the internet cannot be adequately protected.  They are at risk from hackers, especially inside operatives.  They are also remarkably error-prone.

    Vote-by-mail is also more subject to tampering than casting a paper ballot at the polling place (see Jeralyn's above reference to mail-in ballot tampering in Colorado).

    I do not think people realize the threat to our democracy that arises from voting other than by paper ballots, hand-counted publicly at the polling place the night of the election.  

    In the words Stalin is credited with:

    Those who cast the votes decide nothing.
    Those who count the votes decide everything.

    i disagree. It is possible to put in proper (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by caseyOR on Sun Nov 04, 2012 at 10:39:39 PM EST
    security and safeguards for online or mail-in voting. We've had vote-by-mail for more than ten years in Oregon. The system has many checks and balances built in to safeguard votes.

    This is the first election where there has been any kind of problem. That has occurred with an election worker in Clackamas County who was caught because of the security safeguards in place.

    I find it odd that you consider paper ballots to be so much safer. They are not.  Ballots disappear by the boxful. New ballots mysteriously appear for counting. Do some reading on the 1948 Texas race for U.S. Senate, the race that earned LJB then sarcastic nickname "Landslide Lyndon." It is a textbook case in vote tampering.

    Any voting system can be corrupted. What is needed are strict and strictly enforced safeguards and security.


    security (none / 0) (#17)
    by Lora on Mon Nov 05, 2012 at 11:37:25 AM EST
    Clearly safeguards need to be put in place for paper ballots.  You need an unbroken chain of evidence.

    However, at least you know (if you are allowed to examine the ballots) when paper ballots have been tampered with.  Paper ballots can be tampered with a ballot at a time.

    Electronic votes can be tampered with by the thousands at a time.

    With electronic voting and counting, how do you know?  You may never know if your votes were ever counted correctly.

    Ask any legitimate computer expert if electronic voting can be compromised with little or no trace --- especially by an inside agent.

    That doesn't even address the many errors that have occurred with e-voting.  When you have public counting of paper ballots by representatives from all parties, the likeliehood of error is strongly reduced.

    There have been problems galore in many past elections.  Maybe they were all "errors," who's to know?  There was a recent case in KY in which votes were individually changed on electronic voting machines by election officials.  Now that may be on a par with tampering with individual paper ballots, I don't know.  Point is, it is harder to discover e-tampering.

    I personally want the most transparent, error-free tamper-proof elections possible and electronic voting and counting are anything but.