PERRY: For want of a mail ballot, Dems will lose the election

Those state residents that both parties want so badly — and who can’t remember a time before the Internet and cell phones — barely know what postage stamps are

I’ll get right to it. The Democrats handed the Colorado election this year to the Republicans.

No, it has nothing to do with Mark Udall voting the Democratic agenda the same as Cory Gardner toes the GOP line, which is absolutely true and hardly news. It had nothing to do with Hickenlooper’s intelligent and judicious decision to set aside Nathan Dunlap’s death sentence. It had nothing to do with Andrew Romanoff’s work with former GOP Gov. Bill Owens on Referendum C, which actually saved Colorado roads and schools and never raised anyone’s taxes.

No, Colorado Democrats will lose big this year because of — stamps.

ballot boxIf you’ve read this far, you probably care enough to vote at least sometimes. And that’s where trouble began for Democrats. Sadly, more people who can vote, don’t these days. Two years ago, Democrats at the Legislature came up with a great idea: Since a lot of people don’t vote because it’s a hassle, why not make it as easy as we can, so more people do?
Of course, you have to know that wealthier, older people bother to vote more than poorer, less-white, younger people. Go figure. And, the older, whiter and richer you are, the more likely it is you vote Republican. Go figure.

So you can see why state Republicans wanted no part in making it easier for poorer, browner, younger folks to vote. And you can also see how Democrats thought this was the best idea to win elections since Todd Akin. So with just about every Republican at the Capitol kicking and screaming, Democrats changed election law so that, for the first time in Colorado, every registered voter gets a mail-in ballot. Even better, people can register to vote right up to the time the polls close at regional voter centers on Election Day.

What could go wrong? As of Tuesday, it looks like about 10 percent more Republicans across the state are returning ballots than are Democrats.

How could that be? There are about the same number of registered Democrats in the state as Republicans.

So now that you’ve read this far, I’m guessing you’re what my daughter would call, “old.” Old is anyone born before 1990. And you have probably already mailed back your ballot. But those state residents that both parties want so badly — and who can’t remember a time before the Internet and cell phones — barely know what postage stamps are.

Oh really? Exaggerating am I? My nearly 20-year-old daughter told me she thinks she mailed something having to do with college or insurance a year or so ago. She’s like all the smartass kids in the newsroom and pays for everything online. One reporter thinks he might have a couple of stamps at home he used for wedding thank-you notes a few years ago, but he’s not sure. Nobody here knew how much it cost to mail anything.

The U.S. Postal Service is going broke, in part, because few under my advanced age of 55 mails or receives squat. And anyone under 30? No way, dude. They look for iTunes cards in the mail from Gramma at Christmas. That’s it.

You can’t blame them. It’s not cheap. After a lot of research and wrong answers, we discovered that a “stamp” these days costs $0.49, and most ballots require two stamps to send them back. That’s a buck. One quipster here pointed out that he thought it was pretty amazing you could physically get something across the country, delivered from your house to theirs, for only 50 cents — if for some reason you would ever want to do that. But for me, a buck is a lot to cancel out the vote of my conservative pal, Ron. For those less motivated? They might as well be required to send it by owl, which they’re much more familiar with.

So pretty much the entire hopes and dreams of blue candidates like Udall, Hickenlooper and Romanoff depend on the young and the poor getting a ballot from their mail-box, wherever that is, filling it out, and then putting postage stamps on it, and mailing it back.

Oops.

Of course anyone can actually drop their ballot off at a voting center or a list of places that practically take it from your car window. But we’re talking kids here. Ain’t gonna happen. If you could leave them at Starbucks or Chipotle, Dems might have a chance.

But if the only thing keeping Colorado from turning as red as Wyoming is my daughter’s generation mailing in their ballots, it’s all over. The check-mark isn’t in the mail.

Reach editor Dave Perry at 303-750-7555 or dperry@aurorasentinel.com.

  • Frank2525

    This time, Dave, I hope you have it right. I had accepted the NCAAP, and ACLU in their story to the judges that Minorities were too stupid, poor, or transportation challenged, to get a Photo ID. Then I found that minorities had actually increased voting after Georgia and Alabama had initiated photo ID. That left me wondering how I could have been so wrong. Then question arose, then what will change the voting picture. Your solution never occurred to me. But then again, I know young people do not know history, geography, or mathematics as we were taught in 1930s and 40s. No child left behind, Ebonics, and be sure all children are told how wonderful they are, and now Common Core comes, following New Math some time ago. Now I see where a teacher is teaching with no paper or pencils, using digital tablets only in classroom. Going to be interesting to see how that works out. However, being older, owning some property, with lessened assets following last few years, I attended Candidates Forum at Heather-Garden on 14 Oct 14 between 7-9 PM. Met the candidates and even talked to some of them, after they made their pitch. Came home to find my ballot on chair, where son had taken it from mail box that evening, and within 10 minutes, I opened it, and voted it. Next morning at noon, I dropped my ballot and son’s ballot in locked ballot box at Heather Garden, with my wife having dropped hers earlier that morning. Has been interesting receiving all the phone calls and emails from across country, trying to tell me who to vote for. Of course I don’t take those calls (robo, out of area, unknown, false numbers, false sending cities, but Comcast collects and I can look at the list on my computer. You may be onto something, since many of those relate to Liberal, progressive, or whatever, since the phone (Comcast) also print them in text, which creates some humor for me. So Dave, you and I will be interested on 4th to see results. Hope you are onto something. (NOTE: Sec. of State can probably now purge our voting rolls, to save money, and ensure more honest elections). Courts have approved that in some neighboring states, and with all registered voters getting a ballot, we will see how much postage is wasted in sending, and getting returned ballots, not to mention cost of printing and handling all of those. Similar to election 2 years ago when so many were returned, NOT DELIVERABLE OR UNKNOWN.

  • Fed up

    Could be correct. Or there are those who ca t figue out the security envelope or how to sign there name. Post office will deliver regarless though, thats what they do

  • Kevin

    Not to worry Dave, the remnants of the likes of ACORN (whatever name they go by today) and the other liberal organisations will still manage to steal ballots from the mailboxes or trash can where they can then send in to vote for their favorite liberal idiot. So all is fair in love, war and politics! Hahaha!

  • Steve Ruddick

    Dave is right! When the State Legislature passed this all mail ballot both sides of the aisle were dominated by older thinking and older generation legislators. Very few legislators are young enough to understand the younger voting generation. Republican legislators wrongly distrusted even their older voters and did not realize that older voters would use mail and stamps and it would increase older voter turnout. Democratic legislators were thinking like the older generation too and did not understand that mail and stamps are your father’s way of communicating and voting. I was a popular “centrist” Democratic legislator from Aurora over 20 years ago. It was a time when I worked with and was endorsed and supported by Republicans as well as Democrats, so I must be an older voter. This year I did not have stamps around the house to use. Instead I dropped off my family’s ballots at a local election drop box. However, last year when I asked my daughters about using an all mail ballot I could tell from their reaction as active young voters that this was not for their generation. I also teach college and my younger students also responded the same way. They do not understand why voting cannot be online and secured for them to vote and not just for older voters who still mail instead of email or physically walk it in. There is no reason other than that legislators on both sides of the aisle are just older and older thinking. You do not have to be young to understand the young, but when our elected officials do not think about how to include all the voters and how each generation participates and communicates, they only get partial support in return.

  • Olderandwiser

    I disagree. A mail-in ballot is more than a ballot-it’s a reminder to vote. It may or not be mailed in but likely dropped off on a collection center (listed on your ballot instructions). Secure Online Voting would be nice but most young people know it’s still hackable.

    For years, I voted in person, until I saw how easy it is to vote at home and drop off the ballot. As for the 10% more republicans returning ballots, there’s a whole bunch of Dems that thought Udall and Hickenlooper weren’t liberal enough until they saw “there is no federal personhood bill” Gardner (Cory, we can google) or “IUDs are abortifacient” Beauprez.

  • F1Phantom

    This article is an excellent example of why this country is going to heck. I just cannot understand why someone with a different political opinion is the enemy, and why Republicans are branded by Democrats as idols that need educating. Our opinions are different but not inferior. You state your interpretation of Republican beliefs that have no basis in fact. As a Republican I want everyone entitle to vote to do so, I do not want one person who is not entitled to vote to do so. Olderandwiser has a point well taken regarding online voting and we just have to wait until technology catches up for secure electronic ballots. Your statements about old, white, rich vs young, not white, poor are despicable, and add nothing constructive to the discussion.

    Hickenlooper, Udall, et al have not even tried to represent those who do not agree with them politically and the chasm in Colorado has widened. Hickenlooper, and the democrats crammed one sided legislation down the throats of those that don’t have his same political views. He is a student of Bloomberg. He did at the state level that was done on the federal level with the Affordable Care Act. You are claiming benevolent high ground for Democrats that they do not occupy.

  • Joe Hardhat

    The old adage, vote early and vote often, is made easier with an all mail-in ballot election. Voter rolls are not purged often enough to prevent voter fraud, especially in high turn-over rental communities that are mostly Democrat strong holds.

  • DG

    I am not even sure what to make of this Opinion piece. The conclusion I came to was that if an individual just had voting made easier for them, yet they still are too lazy to drop off the ballot or mail the ballot in, then I don’t want them voting anyway. Someone that lazy and uninformed isn’t researching the candidates or issues and probably shouldn’t vote. This country needs more informed citizens. I believe Thomas Jefferson said something to the effect of “whenever the people are well informed, they can be trusted with their own government”

  • Attm Motob

    The primary beneficiary will be Dems. Not because it is easier, but because it enables fraud on a massive scale. Coupled with the “I am thinking about moving here” instant voter registration on voting day, I can not see a dem loss.

    • Juline An

      My roommate’s mother-in-law makes $69 /hour on the internet . She has been unemployed for 6 months but last month her pay was $20041 just working on the internet for a few hours. browse around this site …………http://➡.ws/googlwork

  • Aldo Elmnight

    “But we’re talking kids here. Ain’t gonna happen.”
    I am sure their years of progressive Marxist government education has prepared them to walk read a ballot, draw some straight lines and place it in a mailbox.

  • Frank2525

    Dave Is wrong on this, just as he is on so much of other stuff happening around him. With 152,092 ballots sent out in Arapahoe County, article today show that 62,082 had been returned by Republicans, 50,738 by Democrats, and 38,859 by unaffiliated. That left only 1,413 ballots unaccounted for this morning. Now with Democrats allowing same day registration, and voting at the few polling places, I expect there will be many buses unload a lot of folks at last hour or so, asking for provisional ballots, though they may have already voted at other sites, as was done in 2012.
    But I suspect that after that fiasco, Aurora police will be a bit more alert, and take notice of those buses and individuals. And hopefully someone will be at sites with a digital camera to get photos of those unloading, so they can be tied to the late applications. WE really need a good way to purge our rolls of the dead people, and those voting in 2,3,4 different localities, states, etc. Supreme Court just came out with decisions that there was voting fraud in 2012, and article was on net this week of indictments, and names listed. Hooray.