Absentee Ballots On Demand: Lethal to the Democratic Process (2009 Edition)
The use of absentee ballots on demand - that is without conditions such as absence from home or disability - has been introduced in over 20 countries and 29 US states since 1992 supposedly to address declining turnout. Their main result however has been increasing fraud while turnout has continued falling. This is unsurprising: in 1975 the French National Assembly voted unanimously to ban unconditional use of absentee ballots because such practices are too prone to fraud. The Right generally suspect these practices are now being used by the Left for antidemocratic purposes. In June 2008 Alabama State Secretary Beth Chapman stated 'absentee ballots are the heart and soul of electoral fraud.' In July 2008 the US Republican Party National Committee website posted details of ongoing voter fraud prosecutions: absentee ballot fraud was directly present in most of the 27 states shown. Moreover, once account is taken of the indirect role absentee ballots play in electoral malpractice it can be seen they are involved in most fraud cases. Vote buying requires their use so buyers can see the ballots are ticked in the right places. The use of absentee ballots on demand effectively removes the safeguard against fraud, bribery and intimidation which votes being witnessed as cast in secret at a polling station creates. Before the right to a secret ballot was properly protected by this practice employers and landlords could intimidate or bribe employees and tenants into voting under their scrutiny.
Republican suspicions of democrat electoral fraud continued through the 2008 Presidential campaign. John McCain suggested Barack Obama was personally implicated in electoral fraud upon a massive scale. The democrat US Senate 'supermajority' gained in 2009 followed six months of court battles in Minnesota concerning suspect absentee ballots ruled unacceptable by local election authorities but later selectively reinstated through legal channels which have acquired a notorious reputation for 'judicial activism' in favour of democrat interests.
Electoral fraud in the UK is now also widespread: since the authorisation of postal (i.e. absentee) ballots on demand in 2001 there have been over 50 electoral fraud convictions and dozens have been jailed or are awaiting sentence. Jurors in these trials have been threatened, including by use of arson. In the 2008 Slough case the presiding Judge, Mr Richard Mawrey QC, stated postal voting on demand made "wholesale electoral fraud both easy and profitable" and accused politicians of failing to act after repeated scandals. He concluded unlimited postal voting is "lethal to the democratic process... There is no reason to suppose this is an isolated incident. Roll-stuffing [packing the electoral roll with fictitious voters] is childishly simple to commit and very difficult to detect. To ignore the probability that it is widespread... is a policy that even an ostrich would despise." Similarly critical views have been expressed by Scotland Yard. The use of postal votes has increased over twenty fold since 2001. Fraud may now be massive: in 2007 tens of thousands of postal votes were 'lost' in Scotland alone. Newspaper exit polls indicate Labour gained five times more votes by post than the Conservatives. Given such facts, the Tories - which, with the Liberal Democrats, failed to oppose the introduction of these practices - stated on their website: 'Questions must be asked why Labour Ministers are sitting on their hands, and whether they are failing to clamp down on postal fraud for partisan reasons.'
In 2006 the Campaign to Defend the Right to a Secret Ballot (CDRSB), formed in 2002 to oppose postal ballot fraud, organised a conference on electoral standards at the UN in New York. The conference report examines whether these reforms were introduced not only to address falling voter turnout, but also for factional reasons arising from conflict between Left radicalism and conservatism. The CDRSB proposes alternative means to increase political participation which can also help manage this conflict in the resolution at the end of this pamphlet. A UK survey showed over two thirds of respondents agreed with this resolution. At diplomatic levels the CDRSB has focussed on relations between the chief conservative defender of the free world - the American Republican movement - and the primary state of radical change on a world historical scale: Russia. There is now significant American Republican willingness to develop this conflict resolution initiative provided matters are dealt with upon a roundly honest foundation. The Russian government responded positively in 2007 and there is an ongoing possibility of further cooperation in the implementation of this project. The CDRSB historical analysis and conflict resolution proposals are as follows.