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Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Absentee Ballot Information

College Progressive at FLA Politics has written a post detailing all the contact information relevant to requesting absentee ballots. You can get that information here.

DECs should really be pushing vote by mail, as was detailed in my postmortem on the SD3 Special Election. Its very hard for our candidates to win when they begin Election Day with a several thousand vote deficit.

Obviously, the key thing to do here is to take this valuable information CP has researched and put them into materials that can be passed out to members and activists in the field. This valuable information also should be put on most party literature.

Update: kansasr has a wonderful form that he used during the 2006 Elections. Check out his comment over at FLA Politics. They had a nice system going, and I think its something that could be easily duplicated elsewhere.

"Voting by mail" must be stressed at every possible moment.


Jennifer said...

Yes, exactly! What we need is a plan to a) identify those we want to target b) distribute the information and c) explain the benefits of voting by mail.

kansasr said...

And by providing daily updates that can be downloaded, the Division of Elections makes absentee ballots requests so manageable that it's an almost must. They can tell you if the voter's request has been received, if the ballot has been sent out and if the ballot has been returned. As you get closer to election day, you can easily identify those target voters who still have a ballot sitting on their kitchen table.

You have to be a registered candidate or committee to access the data, but the FDP through it's online VAN made this information available as well, so the VAN becomes even a more useful tool for DEC's, candidates, etc.

Susan S said...

Question for kansasr:
Was this form a foldover? One of my friends told me the other day that she would never send in a form that had her personal information visible.

Eddie Schwieterman said...

Thanks for posting this, Ray.

Jennifer said...

I took a quick look at 3-4 SOE sites to see what information that require with their Absentee Ballot requests and there's some variation with some SOE's requiring more information that others. I like kansasr's form, but if we want to create something similiar we'll need to take into account the requirements of each county.

Eddie Schwieterman said...


That's what I was thinking. We need separate forms for all 67 counties, which is okay since we should be the mailing address on the form, too. That way no additional work is needed for those distributing the forms (and thus more forms will be distributed.

We should start with the most populous counties and move to the less populated ones.

kansasr said...

Susan S - when the forms were collected at a site, they were printed there and signed by the voter. For my candidate, these are sent in a sealed #10 envelope.

Jennifer/Eddie - when we were doing this last year we must have collected requests for at least a dozen different counties. Didn't have a trouble with any of them, I hope, in part, because we made sure that they contained all of the pieces of information that are required by statute for requested an absentee ballot.

kansasr said...

One other update...

I sent a request to the FDP today to consider adding a capability like this to their VAN.

Imagine being able to pull up a voter record, print an absentee request from and have the VAN updated to indicate a request was made.

It would provide another great use for the VAN.

They seemed pretty receptive to the idea. I'll keep you posted.