Voting by Mail Is 2008's Big Winner

Voters like to go at own pace, but some worry about fraud, lost ballots
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 27, 2008 12:03 PM CDT
US Army Cpl. Sean Morton, 25, from Boston, drops a completed absentee ballot after casting his vote in the presidential election at Forward Operating Base Marez in Mosul, Iraq.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Nearly half of California's ballots this year will be cast by mail, marking an upward trend that isn't restricted to the Golden State, the Los Angeles Times reports. Washington and Oregon are almost completely mail-in only, and voter-rights organizations across the country hail the convenience of sending in votes. But critics have some big worries.

Mail-in systems may be more subject to voter fraud, and each year untold numbers of ballots are never counted because they arrive after Election Day—or not at all. While some advocates of traditional voting just miss the conviviality of the neighborhood polling place, others worry that family or friends could coerce those filling out ballots at the kitchen table.