Although better than some, the Clearwater County response to our first “experiment” with Mail-Only Balloting was quite anemic. Another testament to the old adage that “people get the government they deserve.”
But doesn’t it seem a little strange that when required to jump through additional hoops to obtain an absentee ballot (since no polling places due to the flu scare) that a citizen would not vote from the comfort of their own home and drop it in the mail? That sure seems to be the bizarre case here in Clearwater County.
A comparison of similar sized counties, with contested races, finds a small percentage (2 to 5%) of Republicans that didn’t return their issued ballots. But in 6C almost fifteen percent of Republican voters never had their ballots counted for one reason or another. Whether disqualified for a signature (there’s no procedure in Idaho to contest an absentee ballot rejection), or received by the voter too late to return to the courthouse (as happened to many) there were certainly unusual circumstances during our polling process.
And as a qualifier, I am a losing candidate in a closely contested race who many will say is searching for excuses for his own underperformance. But it sure seems odd to me that Clearwater County Republicans can be far more obtuse than their neighbors. I think this whole mail-ballot process was botched from the start.