I have only been in the election world for just over four years, but during that time I have heard just about every voting allegory in the book. Most of the time it comes down to simple ignorance of the process due to misinformation being given by a particular club, group, or party. However, now it is time to put these fables to rest.
In this post, I hope to debunk some of the more recent voting myths. Some are outrageous, yet some can seem fairly reasonable on the surface.
All votes are counted on election night.
Truth: While most votes are counted on election night, there are still provisional and failsafe ballots left to be verified. For a General election, this is done at the Provisional Ballot Hearing the Friday following the election.
Absentee ballots are only counted if it is a close race.
Truth: ALL absentee ballots that are properly returned and properly voted WILL BE COUNTED. Absentee votes are usually the first votes to be counted on election night.
North Carolina has "early voting," meaning anyone can vote early for any reason.
Truth: North Carolina has "absentee voting." You must meet one of 17 reasons for voting absentee.
If you show up to the polls wearing a t-shirt supporting your candidate, you won't be allowed to vote.
Truth: It is true that the display of campaign material is not allowed within 200 feet of any entrance to a polling place on Election Day. This law applies to posters, pamphlets, brochures, signs, buttons, hats, t-shirts, etc. Voters with campaign material will not be turned away, but will be asked to remove the material, cover the material, or otherwise cause the material not to be seen before being allowed to vote.
My vote isn't secure, or the voting machines can be hacked.
Truth:The iVotronic touch screen machines have been proven over years of usage and thousands of elections. All tests which supposedly "prove" these machines are hackable are done in an closed and controlled environment by very intelligent computer scientists with an unlimited amount of time and resources at their disposal. There is absolutely no way in a real world scenario to manipulate a voting machine without going unnoticed.
There are numerous checks and balances in the election process. There is rigorous and comprehensive testing performed on the hardware and software of the voting system and on each and every voting unit before the election as well as testing after the election. While the computers on which votes are recorded and tabulated are important, the election officials administering the elections are equally important.
Illegally changing votes would require a conspiracy of unscrupulous voters or election insiders, or a combination of the two. The electoral process is designed in such a way that no single individual, or even a small group of individuals, can tamper with the election results. It is also important to note that such a conspiracy would not necessarily require any "security relevant flaws" in the software code to accomplish its aims. Fraud of this degree would have the potential to undermine any voting system.
Have you heard anything about voting that you would like an answer to? Post a comment below and let's disprove some more myths!