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Councilors say letter carrier threw ballots away

City Councilors Michael Flaherty and Ed Flynn said a temporary letter carrier threw out an unknown number of ballots in South Boston, NECN reports.

Flaherty, who lives in South Boston, and Flynn, who also represents it, are outraged, both at the act and at what they say is the Postal Service's failure to report it to the city elections department. People can use a state Web site to see if their ballots have been delivered; if not, they can cast a provisional ballot at their regular polling place.

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Comments

Was there enough postage on them?

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At least for the final, mail-in ballots came with pre-paid envelopes.

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Letter carriers cannot throw away first class mail. Desertion of mails is a federal charge regardless of postage affixed.

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You want to follow all federal laws to the letter or just this one?

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Your pun did not deliver.

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I mean, this involves the mail, which usually involves the Postal Inspectors, and they love following federal laws. It's pretty much their whole "thing."

Poor trolling, even for you, NotfromBoston. Sub-Magoo level.

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ensuring proper postage before delivery is not the job of the letter carrier.

Besides that, some laws are different than other laws. There is a federal law that criminalizes a postal employee destroying or tampering with the mail they are tasked to deliver. There are other laws that Congress has created that empower the Postal Service to do such things as set postal rates. A law that creates a criminal offense is not equal to a law that creates an operational process, they just are not comparable.

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Your shelf life has expired.

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This is Federal Govt. Jurisdiction. Good luck to Flynn and Flaherty to get all those voters to count.

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The 2nd best would be an online voting system.

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...you may *think* you want online voting, but it would be an absolute nightmare.

Not because it would be impossible to get right, but because the kind of process *required* to get it right is not the kind of process we would use in this country. Probably in most countries, for that matter.

(We would just contract it out to the lowest bidder who is also a strong lobbyist and who would produce a closed-source system full of both intentional and unintentional backdoors. The correct process would involve an open source software/hardware project funded by the government but guided by experts in cryptography, UX, and other subjects, resulting in every voter receiving a hardware token.)

Also because any online voting system is inevitable subject to coercion, although I'm not actually sure how much of a problem that would be in practice.

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Can this hardware token be made of paper? To make things more secure, we could use a new paper token for every election.

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rice paper fibers in them . . .

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ballots were not delivered and a number of them were filled out and thrown out by a postal worker just days before Election Day. “We learned about it from constituents calling us, saying that they requested a mail-in ballot and they never received it,"

This is confusing. Why did the letter carrier fill out blank ballots before discarding them? How did they even find out they were filled out, assuming they went straight into the trash never to be seen again?

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This is confusing. Why did the letter carrier fill out blank ballots before discarding them? How did they even find out they were filled out, assuming they went straight into the trash never to be seen again?

They've identified the carrier, so he/she probably told them exactly what transpired. As to why they were filled out before being discarded - he/she probably intended to send them in at first but thought better of it.

Kudos to the election department noticing that the addresses of the missing ballots followed a pattern and involving the USPS to identify the culprit.

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