Should Your Vote Still Count If You Are Dead?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by ucfgrad93, Jul 24, 2008.

  1. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6


    Aug 17, 2007
    Interesting article I came across.

    I agree with South Dakota, if you are not alive on Election Day, your vote should be thrown out.

    What do you think?
  2. miloblithe macrumors 68020


    Nov 14, 2003
    Washington, DC
    I'd say it shouldn't count, but probably the better question is what is more accurate and easy to administer. The more important thing is that whatever the rule is, it's followed.
  3. Daveman Deluxe macrumors 68000

    Daveman Deluxe

    Jun 17, 2003
    Corvallis, Oregon
    I think that once your ballot is submitted, it should count regardless of what happens to you between submission and election day.

    I live in Oregon, where ALL elections happen by mail. The way I see it, once your ballot goes in the mailbox, it's just the same as if your ballot went into the slot at a polling place. "Election day" in Oregon is really a deadline--it's the same as if we had polling stations open every day from the day we receive our ballots to the day they have to be turned in. So my election day may be a week before the "election day".
  4. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    I agree. Just because you don't live to see the result doesn't mean you shouldn't be allowed to help choose the future.
  5. KingYaba macrumors 68040


    Aug 7, 2005
    Up the irons
    Ballot boxes around here are electronic. Do your stuff with the touchscreen and then it stamps a credit card sized card. Hand it in and it's counted later in the evening. What if I'm killed in a car accident on my drive home from voting? Is my vote still counted? Never thought of this before. I say count it.
  6. 0007776 Suspended


    Jul 11, 2006
    I think they should be counted, otherwise it seems like it would open up a lot of room for mistakes and accidentally throwing out the wrong ballots.
  7. sushi Moderator emeritus


    Jul 19, 2002
    I would agree for all days before election day.

    The question for me is if you die on election day, should your vote count. I would say yes. For example, if you went to the polling location, placed your vote, then had a heart attack as you departed your vote would count.

    So I would say if you died on election day, and you mailed in your vote, your vote would still count.
  8. LethalWolfe macrumors G3


    Jan 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    If you are alive and you voted I see no reason why your vote should not count. How is mailing in your vote and getting run over by a bus before your vote is processed any different than getting hit by a bus right after you leave your polling location but before your vote is processed?


    EDIT: Unless there is substantial evidence of voter fraud being committed by mail in ballots of living people who die before election day I see no reason to unduly restrict a person's constitutional right to vote.
  9. pseudobrit macrumors 68040


    Jul 23, 2002
    Jobs' Spare Liver Jar
    I think any system that finds new reasons to discard ballots is going to open itself to new ways of having legitimate votes thrown out – by accident or worse.

    Also, it adds more expense to the process that doesn't significantly address a major problem.
  10. Cleverboy macrumors 65816


    May 25, 2007
    Pocket Universe, nth Dimensional Complex Manifold
    Interesting. So, a serial killer, could presumeably do serious damage by randomly sending in ballots and eliminating people. :eek: Dead men tell no tales.

    ~ CB
  11. atszyman macrumors 68020


    Sep 16, 2003
    The Dallas 'burbs
    How many people do you think he could get away with killing before he was caught? 10? 15? 20?

    If the state is close enough that that could even make a dent in the results I'd be more concerned about other more productive types of fraud than trying to impersonate a registered voter.

    Impersonating a registered voter is the least productive and most dangerous kind of voter fraud since you have to know that the person has not already voted, and you can probably only net a few dozen votes at best. Ballot box stuffing and other types of fraud are much more productive and less risky. Which is why all of the voter ID laws are completely worthless. They address a problem that doesn't exist and is completely non-productive to the point of it not being worth the risk assumed by the perpetrators.

    That being said, if you are alive when you send your vote in, or do early voting your vote should get counted. You fulfilled your end of the deal when you cast your legitimate ballot, and most likely you thought you'd still be alive on election day.

    If we're going to throw out what would be completely legitimate votes due to the death of the voter, why not throw out the vote of anyone who dies before inauguration day? They're not here to see the presidency, so why should their opinion be counted? I think every legitimate vote should be counted and as long as you were alive at the time your vote was cast it is valid regardless of whether it was on or before the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November.
  12. stevento macrumors 6502


    Dec 10, 2006
    Los Angeles
    no i think if you were alive to cast it, it should count. if you vote early then kick the bucket in between then and election day your vote should count, i believe.
  13. Desertrat macrumors newbie

    Jul 4, 2003
    Terlingua, Texas
    Another vote for having that vote count.

    After all, look how many politicos get elected by virtue of votes from those who were already dead at the time they voted.

    For that matter, (said the cynic) look how many votes are cast by those who might be considered brain-dead although upright and breathing...

  14. Don't panic macrumors 603

    Don't panic

    Jan 30, 2004
    having a drink at Milliways
    agree on that last bit.
    honestly i think it is quite straightforward:

    If a vote was legally cast, it counts.
    End of story.

    besides, there is still the presumption of secrecy in our votes, so i'm not sure how you discard the 'correct' vote, without violating that bit. i would be curious how they deal with it in dakota. do they verify every mail-in vote, before they decide whether to accept it? what if someone is on vacation?

    In anycase, if you discard those (valid) votes, shouldn't you also discard those of people who died after election day, but before inauguration? isn't it the same?
  15. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

    Feb 14, 2004
    OBJECTIVE reality
    Even more to the would you check something like that?

    I mean, is there gonna be some list between the hospitals/funeral homes and the Board of Elections, that's compared between the opening of the polls on election day and the close later that evening? That's even too ridiculous for words.

    For something that takes more time, like mail-in voting, I agree with those who say "count it". Even here I can't see the point in trying to set "dead"lines for your vote to count or not count. Such a thing would be rife for fraud or confusion. What if you mail in a ballot, have an accident between then and election day and are brain-dead in the hospital but on life support? Are you "dead" or not?

    See what I mean? It'd be tough to implement and fraught with pitfalls. It's a solution in search of a problem.
  16. atszyman macrumors 68020


    Sep 16, 2003
    The Dallas 'burbs
    Why stop at inauguration day? why not keep recounting votes throughout the term as people die since your opinion does not matter at that point. We could conceivably switch presidents midterm. Think of how an administration might view FEMA differently. Of course depending on the state I don't see CA or NY getting a lot of aid from the GOP, but Katrina might have been handled completely differently, or conversely had the Dems won.
  17. Mr_Ed macrumors 6502

    Mar 10, 2004
    North and east of Mickeyland
    This was basically my first thought when I started reading this thread.

    "Sure. Let's set up an even bigger bureaucracy than we already have to handle elections."

    Instead of a bunch of idiots examining ballots trying to decide if a chad is "pregnant" or "hanging", we'll have someone trying to argue that some poor slob was "mostly dead" or "brain dead" by midnight on election day and his vote should not count :cool:

    Once the ballot is cast through whatever officially accepted methods are available, it should stand. End of story.
  18. TEG macrumors 604


    Jan 21, 2002
    Langley, Washington
    They should count. A person legally allowed to vote, voted. Regardless of what happens between the time the ballot is metered and the "election day" shouldn't matter. My county is slowly turning to the Oregon election style of mandatory mail-in balloting, and this question keeps being brought up by the hippies who live there, who don't want the ballots of the recently dead to count (mainly because of the very large older/conservative population they keep trying to suppress).

  19. maestro55 macrumors 68030


    Nov 13, 2005
    Goat Farm in Meridian, TX
    I think the votes should still count. Unless they want to change early voting laws and take it away, if you vote in early voting your vote should count regardless of if you are dead or not on the day that they actually count the votes.
  20. spork183 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 30, 2006
    As long as your vote makes it in and you were alive when you cast it, your wishes should be honored (unless you're in Florida, then someone will do their best to decide what you REALLY meant to vote for...).:eek:

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