Wednesday, October 24, 2012

To Stamp or Not to Stamp, That is the Question

Maryland Community News Online reports there may a case for voter suppression involving postage stamps.

According to a write-up by Bill and Rochelle Banta, it is not clear whether or not postage is required on the Maryland absentee voter envelope.

They write...

 "The envelope of the official ballot reads, 'postage may be required,' The official instructions do not say if postage is required in the U.S., but that embassy voters or servicemen overseas do not need postage at all. We reasoned that we don’t need a stamp because we’ll mail our ballots in the U.S. To be sure, we called the Montgomery County Board of Elections and spoke to the person who answered, and then to her supervisor.

"They told us that postage is indeed required, but they were uncertain how many first class stamps were required.

"We should go to the post office to have the package weighed. 'It might need three stamps,' the supervisor said, 'if the voter put in the instructions in along with the ballot.' The ballots returned to us all have two stamps.

"This looks like a calculated example of voter suppression, intended to disqualify absentee voters. The instructions should make it clear that postage is required and how much that postage should be for each voting district. "

For more on absentee ballot postage, click here.

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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM