"My Ballot is none of your business."
The first county in the USA to do away with the secret ballot is San Juan County, Washington.
This is a true story. A construction worker who lives in a small cabin in the woods discovered that his ballot -- not the envelope for the absentee, but the ballot itself -- was being tracked.
This began a three-year odyssey which has led to litigation, local news coverage, and the successful fight to block removal of the secret ballot in million-voter King County. More: See Washblog, "King County Trims Reckless Plan": http://www.washblog.com/story/2007/9/18/19326/6168
The following video -- just two ordinary guys telling the story of how they discovered the theft of their political privacy, is a riveting example of American citizenship:
I normally won't spend time watching videos, but the above clip had me so riveted that I watched the whole thing. Then I watched it again. It is a must see and a cautionary tale for anyone who thinks absentee voting is cool.
WHAT TO DO ABOUT THIS:
If you receive an absentee ballot, check it for unique identifying marks. Voted ballots should contain NO unique identifier. Compare your ballot with the ballot for any other members of your household. Examine bar codes and serial numbers. Two people living in the same residence should have two IDENTICAL blank ballots. If any bar code, number, set of dashes, or other mark is unique to each ballot:
1) Make a copy of the ballot. On the copy, write PHOTOCOPY so that the ballot cannot be used. On the copy, draw an arrow to the unique identifier.
2) Scan to PDF and e-mail it to Black Box Voting. Or mail it.
Note that ballots in different districts may contain different bar codes, which are used to help the voting machine determine which district the ballot is counted in. Two ballots from the same household, and usually from neighbors, will generally be in the same district and should be identical.
In most states, unique tracking mechanisms on the ballot are illegal and may even violate the state constitution.