More mail ballot issues, this time in Vermont:
Errors by two political campaigns resulted in hundreds of voting law violations during the general election and have raised questions about how to close a possible voter fraud loophole in Vermont.
The Deborah Bucknam for Attorney General campaign and the Vermont Democratic Party submitted hundreds of absentee ballot request forms for voters before the Nov. 8 election. However, voters didn’t know about the requests and never gave permission.
That violates Vermont election law, according to Will Senning, director of elections at the Secretary of State’s office. “The law requires you to have the authorization of the (voter),” Senning told Vermont Watchdog. “(These cases) would be in violation of that law.”
Williston clerk Deborah Beckett said that illegal absentee mail ballot requests are a statewide problem, but that city and town clerks have no way to verify them.
“Once a ballot leaves the office, you don’t know that it reaches the right person. We rely on the integrity of the individual submitting the absentee request.”
More mail ballot fraud alleged, this time in Texas:
Election officials and West Dallas residents say someone may have fraudulently mailed ballots for dozens of elderly — and possibly deceased — voters.
Celina Barajas, an election clerk at the Eladio R. Martinez Learning Center polling place at 4500 Bernal Drive, said at least 15 elderly voters showed up Tuesday morning to vote but were told they couldn’t because they had submitted mail-in ballots.
Barajas’ 96-year-old grandfather had a similar experience Nov. 2, when he tried to vote early. She went with him to cast his ballot, but officials said he already had voted… Alice Garcia, a 65-year-old woman who has lived in West Dallas since 1974, said she was told she needed to revoke a mail-in ballot, which she had never requested…
An election judge at another polling location said that more than 20 elderly voters had similar experiences.
More mail ballot voter fraud alleged, this time in North Carolina:
According to an election protest filed with the Bladen County Board of Elections,
The voters of Bladen County, North Carolina, appear to be the victims of a massive scheme to run an absentee ballot mill involving hundreds of ballots, perpetrated by and through the Bladen County Improvement Association PAC. Upon in-person visual review of mail-in absentee ballots by a forensic handwriting expert, it appears that literally hundreds of fraudulent ballots were cast.
A review of mail-in absentee ballots by the Bladen County Board of Elections found an “overwhelming number” of write-in votes for Democrat candidate Franklin Graham were in “overtly similar” handwriting – enough to prompt an investigation by the State Board of Elections. “Dozens of ballots appear to have been mostly straight ticket votes for Democrats in all other offices.”
The Bladen County Improvement Association PAC’s “single largest funder is the North Carolina Democratic Party.” Several other statewide Democrat candidates, listed in the protest, also contributed to the PAC.
Everyone agrees that voting by mail is the method most susceptible to fraud.
The process of mail-in voting is wrought with potential for fraud and abuse. No election worker actually witnesses a voter filling out their ballot; they arrive at election collection centers as over a million faceless envelopes, with signatures and other fake-able “verification” measures.
Mail-in voting is also fraught with potential for voter intimidation.
Yet the left keeps pushing to expand rather than limit the use of mail ballots.
The right to cast a vote is accompanied by a right not to have your lawful ballot canceled out or diluted by an illegal, fraudulent, or corrupted ballot.
While there must always be absentee procedures for people who are not able to vote on Election Day, that should be the exception, not the rule. And the law should start the process as late as possible so that voters can learn through as much of the campaign as possible before casting their ballot.
Along with laws requiring voter ID and proof of citizenship (because foreigners can get drivers licenses in every state, and even illegal aliens can get them in some states), these measures can provide much-needed reforms to ensure that every citizen’s lawful vote is cast and counted.
‘I wanted to vote and I never got my ballot, and I waited and waited and waited.’
Broward County, Florida’s Democrat Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes is facing more complaints about how her office handled, or mishandled, mail ballots:
Fuming Broward voters — Republicans and Democrats alike — are complaining that they were shut out of the high-stakes presidential election. They say their mail-in ballots never arrived…
Broward County had the highest percentage statewide — nearly 28 percent — of vote-by-mail ballots that were not returned to county supervisor of elections offices before the polls closed Tuesday, according to data from the Florida Division of Elections… Those numbers, however, do not account for the numerous registered voters who say they submitted requests, met the deadlines, did their due diligence and still never received a ballot.
During early voting, Snipes’ office was accused by the Republican Party of Florida of mishandling tens of thousands of mail ballots. Also this election cycle, Snipes has misprinted ballots, distributed inaccurate voter registration cards, and been sued for failing to maintain accurate voter rolls.
Yet the voters of deep-blue Broward continue to re-elect Snipes – at least, those voters who receive ballots.
“They’ve been doing this for years.”
That’s the official explanation for the mail ballot mishandling that the Republican Party of Florida accused Broward County’s elections office of in a dispute that has now been settled. The Miami Herald reports:
At issue: whether Broward Supervisor of Elections Brenda C. Snipes had broken the law by opening scores of mail-in ballots in private, and without the supervision of a canvassing board appointed to oversee and certify elections.
Snipes — whose office has dealt with a series of mishaps and complications this election cycle — received a letter Wednesday afternoon from Republican state party chairman Blaise Ingoglia alleging the elections department had illegally processed and opened scores of the more than 153,000 ballots that have been cast by mail so far in Broward.
Ingoglia said Snipes had erred by failing to convene Broward’s canvassing board while opening “tens of thousands” of absentee ballots, and by denying the public potential opportunities to contest problematic ballots…
“The canvassing board has never opened the ballots,” Snipes said. “We have procedures we follow that are approved in our security manual sent to state. We don’t feel like we are doing anything illegal — this is the process we have always used.”
Still, within hours of receiving Ingoglia’s letter, sources said Snipes’ office had brokered a two-step compromise.
▪ Starting Thursday morning, board member Judge John D. Fry will be at the supervisor’s office in person to oversee canvassing of mail-in ballots.
▪ Both the state Republican and Democratic parties will also be allowed to have a representative on-hand at at all times as ballots are canvassed.
The Republican Party of Florida is accusing Broward County election officials of opening tens of thousands of mail ballots prior to them being legally cleared for counting.
Chairman Blaise Ingoglia told Shapiro that “Florida law prescribes that when the supervisor of elections takes in all these ballots, they have to be approved by the canvassing board.”
Therefore, the officials have no legal authority to open the ballot envelopes.
In a warning letter to Broward County Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes, Ingoglia said
“Given the media reports of your office’s many failures this election cycle, including your omission of a congressional race and proposed constitutional amendment from some ballots, printing ballots with the word “no” on the “yes” line, and distribution of inaccurate voter identification cards, the Republican Party of Florida is prepared to take all necessary legal actions to ensure that Broward County conducts its elections in compliance with the law.”
Snipes was also sued earlier this year for failing to maintain accurate voter rolls.
A “massive” voter fraud investigation is underway in Tarrant County, Texas as law enforcement officers from the Texas Attorney General’s Office are reportedly on the ground interviewing witnesses to a mail-ballot vote-harvesting scheme alleged to involve as many as 20,000 ballots.
Last month, Texas Scorecard reported that Tarrant County Elections administrator Frank Phillips disclosed the AG’s office had launched a criminal investigation into voting abnormalities inside Tarrant County… sources in Tarrant County have told Texas Scorecard they believe individuals who allegedly abused the mail-in ballot process may have affected the results of multiple races over several election cycles…
The alleged crimes include improperly serving as a witness for multiple voters, forgery and tampering with a governmental record, unlawful possession of a carrier envelope, and improper assistance.
As is usual with ongoing AG investigations, specific details have not yet been made public.
Two rulings, one problem: Even voter fraud deniers acknowledge that absentee mail ballots are the most susceptible to fraud – in fact, it’s a standard rationale of the anti-voter ID crowd. But as states liberalize absentee voting rules and more voters utilize mail ballots, the Left fights any effort to balance that expanded ballot access with added ballot security procedures.
In Ohio, those added ballot security procedures included requiring voters to provide their correct name, birthdate, and other information used to verify identity and eligibility – a requirement that one of two federal judges deemed too onerous:
Under two laws passed in 2014, voters are required to accurately provide their names, addresses, birthdates, signatures and forms of ID when casting absentee or provisional ballots, otherwise they risk their votes not being counted…
In a June 7 decision, U.S. District [Judge] Algenon Marbley said the voting rules cause ballots from qualified voters to be rejected because of “mere technical mistakes,” in violation of their equal-protection rights… On May 24, U.S. District Judge Michael Watson came to the opposite conclusion and let the rules stand. Watson said the burden on voters was minimal and plaintiffs’ equal-protection claims failed, as did their attempt to show any discriminatory burden on African American voters.
Absentee mail ballots are more susceptible to voter error as well as fraud. For the increasing number of voters who choose the convenience of voting by mail over in-person voting, correctly filling in one’s own name, address, and birthdate seems a reasonable trade-off. But as “common sense and judicial rulings do not always coincide,” it remains to be seen how appeals on these ballot issues and the state’s “Golden Week” will be decided.
Once again, we see that people are willing to risk felony charges to sway the outcome of an election:
The Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office says they are investigating absentee ballots sent to people in Loxahatchee Groves who say they didn’t request them.
One voter who received an unsolicited mail ballot, followed by a visit to his home by a candidate’s mother, questions how someone was able to fraudulently request an absentee ballot in his name: “They had to log into an official government website, they had to use my name, address, date of birth, and my voter identification number. I don’t even know my voter ID number.”
The online Absentee Ballot Request Form on the Palm Beach County elections website clearly states “You may only request absentee ballots for yourself and your immediate family;” Florida statute makes “perpetrating or attempting to perpetrate or aid in the perpetration of any fraud in connection with any vote cast, to be cast, or attempted to be cast” a third-degree felony.