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Guest Nancy

Ballots, nominations

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One of the main purposes of using ballot voting is to ensure each member's vote is kept secret.  If you aren't supposed to know whose ballot belongs to who then how do you know that the person's ballot who it's supposed to belong to isn't actually them?  ;)

In other words, how is it so obvious?

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The voter may very well have disguised his identity by deliberately writing in an "obvious[ly]" different way.

Just for a historical note, the rules governing papal elections have long required the electors to hide their identity by "faking" their handwriting.

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2 hours ago, Guest Nancy said:

How to handle write in ballots that have obvious wrong persons handwriting 

If you know to whom the ballot is supposed to belong, there's something wrong with your procedures.  The point of a ballot is to preserve the secrecy of the vote.

Is this an in-person vote or a mail-in vote?  There are procedures for either that will ensure the proper level of secrecy, and prevent improper voting.

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16 hours ago, Guest Nancy said:

How to handle write in ballots that have obvious wrong persons handwriting 

If it is indeed known that the ballot was cast by a person who is not eligible to vote, or was cast by someone voting twice, or the like (which I assume is what is meant by “wrong persons”), that ballot would not be credited toward any candidate and would not be counted in the total of ballots cast. I am extremely skeptical, however, that this can be determined merely through handwriting analysis.

16 hours ago, Chris Harrison said:

One of the main purposes of using ballot voting is to ensure each member's vote is kept secret.  If you aren't supposed to know whose ballot belongs to who then how do you know that the person's ballot who it's supposed to belong to isn't actually them?  ;)

Perhaps the tellers are experts on the handwriting of every member of the society. :)

Or as Mr. Geiger suggests, this could be a signed ballot.

4 hours ago, Benjamin Geiger said:

Signed ballots are a thing, no? Treated like a roll call vote?

They are, and if this is indeed a signed ballot, that would make the original post marginally more believable.

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Guest Zev

The tellers should indicate in their report the results of the count and also note any dubious ballots and let the assembly decide what to do with them.

Quote

ASSEMBLY'S PREROGATIVE IN JUDGING VOTING PROCEDURES. The assembly itself is the judge of all questions arising that are incidental to the voting or the counting of the votes. In an election by ballot, for example, the tellers should refer to the assembly for decision all questions on which there is any uncertainty (see p. 416, ll. 12-19).

RONR 11th edition, page 409.

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1 hour ago, Benjamin Geiger said:

I interpreted the original question as: "How do we handle situations where the handwriting on the ballot is obviously not the person whose signature appears on the ballot [potentially raising questions of forgery]?"

I remain skeptical that it is really “obvious,” from handwriting analysis alone (especially by persons who are presumably not handwriting experts), that the ballot was submitted by a person other than the person whose signature is on the ballot. I concede, however, that this is certainly more plausible for a signed ballot (as opposed to a secret ballot), since in this case the handwriting on the ballot need only be compared to the handwriting of one person.

If it is indeed a signed ballot, however, any such concerns can be easily rectified by contacting the person whose signature appears on the ballot and confirming whether that person did, in fact, cast the ballot in question.

In the event it is in fact determined that a member of the society is attempting to cast multiple signed ballots by forging the signatures of other members (which seems especially foolish in a signed ballot, since such fraud would be much easier to detect), then this is very serious and the society should review Ch. XX of RONR for disciplinary procedures.

Edited by Josh Martin

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Guest Zev
2 hours ago, Josh Martin said:

...that the ballot was submitted by a person other than the person whose signature is on the ballot.

The vague possibility also exists that this is a signed ballot in which the person signing it could not be present and gave a blank ballot with his signature and gave it to someone else that would be at the meeting, hereby giving that person two votes and accounts for the apparent discrepancy between the signature and the handwritten vote.

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2 hours ago, Guest Zev said:

The vague possibility also exists that this is a signed ballot in which the person signing it could not be present and gave a blank ballot with his signature and gave it to someone else that would be at the meeting, hereby giving that person two votes and accounts for the apparent discrepancy between the signature and the handwritten vote.

That would be an improper use of a signed ballot as a de facto proxy.  Put a bookmark in Chapter XX.

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Since we all seem to be guessing what this is about, maybe it's actually a mail-in ballot that is not supposed to be secret.

It's not obvious to me that it would be against the rules to have someone else fill in a mail-in ballot for the member.

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Even in the case of a secret ballot, I am of the opinion that no rule in RONR prohibits someone else to fill in the ballot of a voter (e.g., a disabled voter), whether or not the voter has executed a power of attorney.

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I agree that it would be correct for a voter to have assistance in filling out the ballot, expressing the wishes of the voter, and preferably in the presence of the voter.  It would surely not be correct for a voter to give his blank ballot to someone else to use.

I seem to recall that in New Jersey, absentee ballots for public elections had a place for a notation on the intermediate envelope stating the identity of someone other than the voter who had assisted in its preparation, and another on the outer envelope identifying anyone authorized by the voter to hand-carry the ballot to the County Clerk, if that was to be the method used.

(These rules apparently vary from the ballot harvesting custom in the North Carolina 9th Congressional District.) 😀

Edited by Gary Novosielski

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