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Should a taxing agency be counting votes?


Last updated 9/27/2019 at 5:13pm

Recently I received an informational ballot from the North County Fire District about their special district election. It raised so many questions I thought it must be a joke; however, on a further analysis, I saw they were serious.

They are really asking you to send your ballot to them, the taxing agency, with your name and address and they will count your vote. There is no mention of any type of oversight committee for the counting of votes.

You would think that the San Diego county counsel would have mentioned that in his analysis. But we all know how honest governmental agencies are these days, don’t we?

The voting method most special elections use is as follows.

A larger envelope is sent to legal voters with the following information enclosed: information on what they are voting on; who they, the voters, are; the unsigned ballot; a plain ballot envelope and a return envelope to the agency.

The voter votes on the ballot with their wishes and places only the unsigned ballot in the ballot envelope. The ballot envelope and voter information goes into the return envelope to the agency. The agency keeps the returned envelopes unopened until the final voting date.

On that date, with an oversight committee present, the returned envelopes are opened and evaluated as to legal voters. They usually require 50% plus one return of ballots sent, to have a valid election.

When it is determined that it is a valid election, with an oversight committee present, the ballots are opened. Obviously there should be the same number of ballots as valid voters. Please let’s not stuff the ballot boxes. The ballots, with the oversight committee present, are counted and for a taxation to occur there requires a 67% of the votes to say yes.

I realize that it is a cumbersome and expensive process, but it removes any question of an honest election. I am surprised that the county or the agency attorney does not require a similar election method.

You will notice I purposely did not bring up any other issues; the reason for the taxation; method of who is a valid voter or how voters are determined, persons or numbers of parcels owned by a voter.

Rene Cousteau


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