Now the Secretary of State's office has weighed in; spokesman Jeff Ortega (formerly the statehouse bureau reporter for Dix Newspapers; his column was a regular feature in local suburban newspapers printed by the Record Courier as well as the Wooster daily) tells the Akron Beacon Journal the local board of elections can't count the 200+ ballots delivered days late after the 9/11 primary.
No real surprise; the state law is pretty clear on this. What was striking was USPS's Dave Van Allen's comment to the Beacon's Rick Armon, that the postal customers themselves bear some responsibility for waiting until the last minute to drop something so important in the mail.
Uh, Dave, that's what we do. Before e-filing remember the lines outside the Main Post Office on Wolf Ledges every April 15th at 11:50 p.m.? Let's take a shot at the dumb voters now for trusting the post office to do what it says it'll do, which is: deliver the mail on time.
I'm not one to scream for government intervention but this one cries out for the folks at the Statehouse to take another hard look at voting in this day and age. Ohio moved forward when they finally scrapped the antiquated "must swear you are out of town" absentee rules and allowed for early voting; it was a no-brainer, allowed citizens to cast ballots at more convenient times and even helped lighten the load for heavy-interest 2004.
The next giant leap is e-voting. You can order risque underwear, dirty movies, booze, diet pills and music (sex, drugs, and rock & roll for those of you keeping count) over the net but actually participating in democracy can't be done? If you are paranoid enough about web hacking how about simply allowing absentee ballots to be counted based on postmark filing up to the final official canvas, say seven days following the election? It would honk off us media and other political types who want final results five minutes after the polls close but what's more important, satisfying the urge for a quick decision or a decision done right?