I have always voted in person at my local voting precinct in Lompoc, except during the pandemic when I mistakenly thought it would have long lines. It did not. Both times, we had mail-in ballots sent to all registered voters in the county, some 235,000. In addition, two booklets were sent to all including a sample ballot and a booklet with resumes of candidates.

On June 7, I visited my usual voter poll precinct to vote in person after four years. I asked if they needed my new DMV Real ID card, and they said no. They asked me to sign my name on a computer screen like you do at restaurants and CVS, so I did, and it came out a big scribble. No one could tell just who I was. I received my ballot, filled it out, and placed it in a box that was wired closed. My ballot was handled in a piece of brown butcher paper. I was told the ballots would be counted in Lompoc, then shipped with police escort to the County Elections Department in Goleta.

Having taken part in many election campaigns, my experience with registered voter lists is that they are out of date by about 25 to 35 percent. It’s a big waste in costs of mail-in ballots. Instead of sending three pieces of data, a cost savings would be had by eliminating the mail in ballots or the other two booklets and send just one of something.

Mail-in ballots are slow to read. Each envelope has to be checked to see if the signatures match one on file. So the mail in system is slower and more expensive than the venerable precinct system. Faster results are possible also. At the precinct poll, you sign next to your name in the old system, and your ballot is ready to be counted when you drop it in the box.

The voting system has been watered down. We need reliable voter identity

You must ID yourself and show that you are the one voting.
You must appear at the precinct to vote unless you have requested an absent ballot before vote day.
You must sign your name on the voter log book, not on a wobbly computer screen so your signature can be verified if necessary.
All vote ballot forms should be placed in sleeves until deposited in the vote box.
All ballot boxes at every precinct must be shipped by police escort to the County Elections Department before being opened.
There must be voting only on vote day, between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m.
There are no remote “Drop Boxes” needed with this secure system of voting.
Only one mailing of a sample ballot booklet.
Require update of registration files every two years.

Reliable voting is what voting is all about. Let’s do everything we can to make is so, now again. Only 30 percent voted in this last election. Is this why?


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