Log In

Reset Password

Expanded Absentee Voting Increases Abuse Opportunities



Text Size

To the Editor:

I disagree with the recent editorial (The Newtown Bee, November 13, 2020, “No Excuse Is A Good Excuse”) which claims “there is no good reason” not to support no-excuse absentee voting. I support safe absentee voting, but before it is expanded, we need to address Connecticut’s long history of absentee ballot fraud, with arrests as recently as last year.

When 2020’s expanded absentee voting passed the state Senate, Sen. Dennis Bradley (D-Bridgeport) dissented “after he criticized a culture of absentee ballot shenanigans in his hometown, particularly remembering an election he lost when 60 votes were recorded from an empty lot.” (CT Post, 7/28/20)

Last year Senator Marilyn Moore accused incumbent Bridgeport Mayor and ex-con Joe Ganim of misusing absentee ballots to steal the Democrat mayoral primary. Multiple witnesses testified that they never requested an absentee ballot, but the judge somehow concluded Sen Moore failed to prove her claims. The CT Democrat establishment rallied around Ganim as he was awarded the nomination, with many of the advocates for no-excuse absentee voting endorsing him. A year later and Joe Ganim has already been embroiled in another corruption scandal. Would Bridgeport have been better off under Marilyn Moore’s leadership?

While absentee fraud seems more difficult to prove than arson, with legal ballot harvesting breaking any chain of custody, there have been recent arrests in Connecticut. Locally I won my first election in 2013 by only seven votes, and was just four votes behind the next council member. Last year results were even closer, with a seat decided by just one vote. These races show you cannot dismiss any instances of fraud as insignificant.

I support everyone’s right to vote and encourage them to do so. I believe we should be as accommodating as we can be, as long as we can assure election security and maintain the confidence of the electorate. Voters need to believe elections are fair and the instances above undermine and disenfranchise voters and candidates. Members of both parties have criticized elections in recent years, and we should all strive to investigate irregularities and put safeguards in place to assuage voter concerns. Anyone calling for unity would be wise to ensure no one feels cheated. Until that is done expanding absentee voting creates more opportunities for the sort of abuses seen across our state and concern is warranted.

My opinions are my own as an individual and not on behalf of the Legislative Council of which I am a member.

Best Regards,

Ryan Knapp

11 Jeremiah Road, Sandy Hook November 18, 2020

Comments are open. Be civil.
  1. bw.reloconsult@snet.net says:

    Ryan this is a typical argument that extrapolates a few issues into an argument that the system is faulty and thus we must keep an old fashioned system of voting. And we all know this is a from the top Republican effort to reduce not increase the number of people voting.
    I would prefer an argument that says we should make it as easy as possible to vote and to make sure its safe and secure. Remembering that in person voting has many of the same issue you are offering as reason not to expand votes by mail. “Remember Mayor Daily from Chicago familiar quote(Joke) “Vote for me and vote often.” So the mail in system does not have to be perfect , or even need to be more perfect than the current in person system. We should strive for a system that maximizes voter participation, makes it easy to register, expand the number of days you can vote, ideally automatically send out absentee ballots, In short the opposite of what I hear you saying under your breath. You are on the wrong side of this argument, and time and history will prove that.

    1. ryan knapp says:

      Firstly, it is very easy to register and vote in Connecticut and America and I am glad to see people exercise that right.
      I am not against absentee voting, but feel it should be safe and secure. It is not with ballot harvesting because it introduces an unaccountable third party between the voter and election officials, with little to no way to prove wrong doing with short of an unsolicited confession. Both of the instances above were targeted against people of color, and serve only to further disenfranchise both voters and candidates in those communities. Nothing dissuades and suppresses voters more than feeling the system is rigged and their vote does not matter. Restoring confidence in elections by bolstering election integrity should be a bipartisan goal.

  2. ll says:

    We do not need more days or more ways to vote. American citizens need to stop being lazy and go vote in person on Election Day. If someone truly have a legal, legitimate excuse for not being able to vote in person then by all means they should request an absentee ballot.

    @bw.reloconsult: Every voting system should strive for perfection. I was bombarded with a multitude of ways to register to vote this season; it really can’t get any easier for those who actually want to do it and unfortunately, for those who want to abuse the system.

  3. bw.reloconsult@snet.net says:

    Many people seem to like the options of how to vote, why not support them and strive towards even a higher percentage of registered votes casting their ballot. No reason to have to travel to the voting locations, this is 2020, not 1975. Since you only vote once why would you care if we have a longer voting time than one day, hey how about a national Voter day. Lets do all we can to encourage voting.

Leave a Reply