Tags: AFL-CIO | Letter Carriers | NACL

Who Is Handling Our Ballots?

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Monday, 27 Oct 2014 09:31 AM Current | Bio | Archive

What if our elections were unionized, with ballots handled out of the sight of poll-watchers by members of an AFL-CIO union that is a major Democratic Party campaign contributor?

Such unionization of voting is already the law in three states — Oregon, Washington State,  and, beginning with this November's election, Colorado, where a close race might determine whether Republicans or Democrats control the U.S. Senate.

In another 27 states that allow no-excuse absentee voting by mail, union members handle up to 25 percent of all ballots cast.

These 27 states include eight this year — Alaska, Montana, South Dakota, Kansas, Minnesota, Iowa, Georgia and North Carolina — where who wins could decide Senate control.

Beginning with an Oregon ballot initiative in 1998, three states now vote only via mail-in ballots. Their ballots will be handled by members of the National Association of Letter Carriers — NALC — the AFL-CIO union representing 214,000, roughly 93 percent, of America's active non-rural letter carriers. The 104,000 members of the National Rural Letter Carriers Association, another of four major U.S. Postal Service labor unions, will handle the rest.

I believe that almost all of America's letter carriers are dedicated, honest professionals — faithfully delivering our mail through rain, sleet, and gloom of night, without regard to the race, religion or politics of the sender.

We used to believe that all Internal Revenue Service agents were tough but honest, doing their jobs without partisan political favoritism. We were shocked to learn that IRS officials recently gave tax breaks to left-leaning auxiliaries of the Democratic Party while deliberately denying such breaks to hundreds of conservative groups.

Sadly, the enlargement of government by partisan ideologues is politicizing and polarizing more of our lives.

We should consider guarding against any manipulation of postal voting.

If only 1 percent of active NALC members nationwide cheated to help Democrats win, that could mean 2,140 letter carriers — each of whom handles the ballots of perhaps 1,000 voters — could potentially manipulate 2,140,000 votes — enough to tip very close elections.

In the 2000 election in Florida, Republican George W. Bush won the state and presidency by 537 votes, a margin that a handful of dishonest letter carriers could have reversed by selectively destroying mail-in ballots.

The party registration of residents on a letter carrier's route is public record. Political party operatives could also tell activists which neighborhoods vote mostly Republican. Zealous Democratic letter carriers could thus theoretically deliver a larger proportion of Democratic ballots.

The NALC's more than $2 million in 2014 political contributions have gone almost entirely to Democrats. According to OpenSecrets.org, those getting fat five-figure NALC contributions include Democratic Senate candidates Bruce Braley in Iowa, Alison Grimes in Kentucky, and New Hampshire incumbent Jeanne Shaheen, as well as the Democratic Parties in key Senate battleground states: New Hampshire, Alaska, Montana, South Dakota and Minnesota.

Voting by mail is purportedly cheaper and more convenient than having citizens trek to polling places to cast ballots. Elections only via mail, however, deny us the reverence-inspiring patriotic ritual of voting together.

Voting via mail also stretches Election Day into election week, or month. Challengers must spread their peak advertising over many days, which gives incumbents even more advantage.

Millions vote weeks before campaigns fully unfold.

Registering and voting by mail makes Chicago-style ghost-voter fraud easier, because voters need not show their face at the polls. People can sell their votes by giving the buyer a signed absentee ballot to mark and mail. A company or union boss might make employees fill out and sign their no-longer-secret ballots while he watches.

Government caretakers can fill out ballots of the mentally impaired.

The private handling of ballots by unionized letter carriers then adds the risk that your vote never gets delivered. At least this final corruption might be deterred if election clerks e-mail or telephone those whose requested absentee ballots are not received.

Any pattern of missing ballots might suggest which letter carriers failed to deliver absentee ballots, and this might help get such vote robbers fired and jailed.

Lowell Ponte is co-author, with Craig R. Smith, of "The Great Withdrawal"; "Crashing the Dollar: How to Survive a Global Currency Collapse"; "The Great Debasement: The 100-Year Dying of the Dollar and How to Get America's Money Back"; "The Inflation Deception: Six Ways Government Tricks Us . . . And Seven Ways to Stop It"; and "Re-Making Money: Ways to Restore America's Optimistic Golden Age." Read more reports from Lowell Ponte — Click Here Now.
 










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LowellPonte
I believe that almost all of America's letter carriers are dedicated, honest professionals — faithfully delivering our mail through rain, sleet, and gloom of night, without regard to the race, religion or politics of the sender.
AFL-CIO, Letter Carriers, NACL
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2014-31-27
Monday, 27 Oct 2014 09:31 AM
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