Ross: When voting this week remember the oath that you take
Jul 29, 2022, 6:30 AM | Updated: Oct 20, 2022, 3:18 pm
(Photo by Karen Ducey/Getty Images)
This is voting weekend – the last weekend before your ballots are due for the Washington State Primary.
And so, this is a good time to remember that when you vote, you take an oath.
It’s printed on the back of the envelope. And you must sign that oath – either with your signature, or a mark witnessed by two people – for your ballot to count.
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Here’s what the oath says: that you solemnly swear or affirm that you are: a United States Citizen; a Washington resident; at least 18 years old by the day of the general election; that you are voting only once; that you are not disqualified from voting due to a court order or a criminal record; and that you are aware it is illegal to forge a signature or cast another person’s ballot.
It’s an oath taken under the penalty of perjury, which means that if you lie, you can go to jail for five years.
What I like about this oath is that it states the necessary minimum conditions for a fair election, because if everybody abides by that oath, fraud … is impossible.
But what I don’t like about the oath is that it doesn’t go far enough. Because it should also say: “I solemnly swear that I will accept the certified results of this election, absent proof of fraud in a court of law.”
And heck, as long as I’m at it, let’s add this clause: “I do solemnly swear that I have read and familiarized myself with the contents of the voter’s pamphlet pertaining to the races in which I have cast votes, and have not simply voted randomly.”
And maybe one more thing… since lately we have a problem with prominent Americans not keeping their oaths – a clause that reads, “I do solemnly swear that since an oath only means something if one believes in divine punishment for violating oaths, that I hereby accept all the divine punishment I may have coming.
That should cover it.
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