Election Commission monitoring absentee ballots

Board aware of historical propensity for shenanigans

By Ralph Hardin ralphhardin@gmail.com

In an effort to curtail any mischief in the polling process, the Crittenden County Election Commission has pledged to closely monitor the absentee ballot process for the 2016 Preferential Primary and Nonpartisan Judicial Elections on March 1. Absentee and Early Voting are already underway. “It’s no secret that Crittenden County has a history of absentee ballot abuse,” said Election Commission Chair Dixie Carlson. “This commission is committed to actively monitoring the process.” Absentee ballot applications are available through the County Clerk’s office in Marion. There is a process for the administration of absentee ballots. After receiving the completed application, the County Clerk will mail the absentee ballot to the voter. An exception to the mailing process can occur if the voter names a designated bearer to receive and deliver the ballot. However, no person may be a designated bearer for more than two voters. “Absentee voting was designed to allow the voter that is going to be absent on the day of the election, and/or cannot physically come to the poll, the ability to vote. The popularity of early voting has greatly reduced the need for absentee voting,” remarked Carlson. “We do not want to discourage legitimate absentee voting.” The Commission has repeatedly stated in recent meetings that any irregularities with absentee voting will be turned over to the Prosecuting Attorney’s office for investigation. “There are patterns with absentee ballot abuse and we can recognize those patterns,” Carlson said. “If we see something questionable, we will alert the prosecutor for investigation. “

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