Tag Archives: Mail-in Ballot

Judge Halts Trump Campaign’s Mail-In Voting Lawsuit Against Pennsylvania

ISABEL VAN BRUGEN 
August 24, 2020

A federal judge in Pennsylvania on Aug. 23 ordered a stay on a lawsuit filed by President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign, the national Republican Party, and four Pennsylvania Republican members of Congress against the state’s decision to expand mail-in voting ahead of the Nov. 3 election.

The federal lawsuit (pdf) filed June 29 in Pittsburgh sues Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar and 67 county election boards. It claims that as voters jumped to make use of the greatly broadened eligibility for mail-in ballots during the June 2 primary, practices and procedures by elections officials ran afoul of state law and the state and federal constitutions.

U.S. District Judge J. Nicholas Ranjan halted the case until Oct. 5, telling Trump’s campaign that its claims must wait, at least until October, for state courts in the presidential battleground to clear up crucial fights, including over collecting and counting mail-in ballots. Ranjan was appointed by Trump in July 2019.

“To be free and fair, elections must be transparent and verifiable,” the lawsuit reads. “Yet, Defendants have inexplicably chosen a path that jeopardizes election security and will lead—and has already led—to the disenfranchisement of voters, questions about the accuracy of election results, and ultimately chaos heading into the upcoming Nov. 3, 2020 General Election.”

“Free and fair elections are essential to the right of Americans to choose through their vote whom they elect to represent them. Upending our entire election process and undermining ballot security through unmonitored by-mail voting is the single greatest threat to free and fair elections.”

The issues are a “direct result” of the state’s “hazardous hurried, and illegal implementation of unmonitored mail-in voting,” the federal lawsuit claims.

A law was passed in the state last year to expand mail-in ballot options to anyone who wanted to vote by mail, even if they did not have a valid reason that would prevent them from voting in person.

The lawsuit claims the new system gives “fraudsters an easy opportunity to engage in ballot harvesting, manipulate or destroy ballots, manufacture duplicitous votes, and sow chaos.”

It seeks to outlaw drop boxes or other collection sites that some counties used in the June 2 primary to help gather a record-smashing number of mail-in ballots. Trump’s campaign also wants to stop counties from counting ballots that lack secrecy envelopes, and it also wants to throw out a state law that restricts poll watchers to county residents.

Ranjan ruled Sunday that the case must be halted until October to see whether state courts decide, or at least narrow, the issues raised by Trump’s campaign, the Republican National Committee (RNC) and four Pennsylvania Republican Congress members Glenn Thompson, Mike Kelly, John Joyce, and Guy Reschenthaler.

“After carefully considering the arguments raised by the parties, the Court finds that the appropriate course is abstention, at least for the time being. In other words, the Court will apply the brakes to this lawsuit, and allow the Pennsylvania state courts to weigh in and interpret the state statutes that undergird Plaintiffs’ federal- constitutional claims,” Ranjan wrote, CNN reported.

After Oct. 5, parties can ask Ranjan to resume claims in the case.

“The President’s fight against the problems of Pennsylvania’s radical new vote-by-mail system has been running on parallel tracks in state and federal court for some time,” Justin Clark, Trump’s deputy campaign manager said in a statement in response to Ranjan’s ruling.

“The judge’s stay today is simply a recognition that the multitude of issues surrounding Pennsylvania’s dangerous voting system—including ballot harvesting and double voting—touch both federal and state constitutional issues,” he continued.

“The federal court is simply going to reserve its judgment on this in the hopes that the state court will resolve these serious issues and guarantee that every Pennsylvanian has their vote counted—once.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

New York, New Jersey Mail-in Voting Problems May Foreshadow Difficulties in Upcoming Presidential Vote

MATTHEW VADUM
July 14, 2020

The unique problems posed by voting-by-mail are being blamed for election fraud in New Jersey and for a now-three-week delay in counting ballots for New York City’s primary elections, with many races yet to be decided.

These difficulties may foreshadow larger problems to come in the November presidential elections.

The processing backlog in the Big Apple wouldn’t necessarily be a big concern normally, but with voters worried about contracting the CCP virus from casting ballots in-person, voting-by-mail was reportedly unusually heavy in the city’s electoral contests.

Officials can’t keep up.

“In Manhattan in 2016, there were approximately 7,000 presidential primary absentee voters,” ABC News quoted Sarah Steiner, who used to chair the New York City Bar’s Election Law Committee. “And you had Hillary [Clinton] and Bernie [Sanders]. That was a competitive [Democratic Party] primary.”

But in 2020, absentee primary votes in Manhattan increased to more than 121,000.

And in New Jersey, Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal, a Democrat, charged four men with voter fraud in connection with a municipal election in Paterson, the state’s third-largest city, RealClearPolitics reported. Citing concerns about the ongoing pandemic, the election was conducted entirely by mail-in balloting.

In the election for city council, 16,747 vote-by-mail ballots were received by officials, although only 13,557 votes were counted. Upwards of 3,190 votes, or 19 percent of all ballots cast, were disqualified. The local NAACP chapter wants the entire election redone.

Problems

Experts say voting-by-mail is fraught with problems. That method of voting gives wrongdoers greater opportunities for fraud, compared to in-person balloting, they say.

Christian Adams, president of the Indianapolis-based Public Interest Legal Foundation and a former U.S. Department of Justice civil rights attorney, is wary of mass voting-by-mail.

“Mail ballots are uniquely subject to fraud and undue influence,” Adams previously told The Epoch Times. “Elections should occur in public with election observers from each side watching the process.

“Elections should not be conducted behind closed doors.”

The bipartisan Commission on Federal Election Reform, chaired by former President Jimmy Carter and former Secretary of State James A. Baker III, found in 2005 that “absentee ballots remain the largest source of potential voter fraud” and that “vote-buying schemes are far more difficult to detect when citizens vote by mail.”

In fact, it was concern about vote-buying, a practice that “had been pervasive,” that “helped drive the move to the secret ballot, which U.S. states adopted between 1888 and 1950,” John R. Lott Jr. wrote in The Wall Street Journal.

“Secret ballots made it harder for vote buyers to monitor which candidates sellers actually voted for.”

Unreliable

University of South Alabama Dean Dr. Alec Yasinsac authored a 2012 research paper, “Did Your Mailed Ballot Count: The Unrecognized Unreliability of Voting by Mail.”

“While voting fraud is the most commonly cited problem with vote-by-mail, it is only one aspect of the issues plaguing the integrity of elections nationwide,” Alabama Today reported.

“Yasinsac’s research breaks down some of the most frequent problems. Among them, common procedural errors such as those that contributed to an estimated 4.2% percent of invalid ballots in the Minnesota 2008 elections. Yasinsac describes these as, ‘Common errors include failure to sign, signing in the wrong place, and improper packaging (e.g., husband and wife bundling two absentee ballots in the same envelope).’”

Mail-in voting programs also consistently experience ballots arriving late to elections offices because of postal processing delays, as well as election fraud, lost ballots, and under- or over-counted ballots because of mishandling by election officials, according to the paper.

Yasinsac, a computer science professor, writes in his paper that voting-by-mail, or VBM, “is inherently unreliable.”

“Worse yet, it disenfranchises discernable constituencies that can influence electoral results, causing other than the voter’s choice to determine winners.”

He states it is “fundamentally more difficult to ensure the validity of VBM ballots (one person-one vote) than for those cast in person, both because it is more difficult to strongly authenticate the voter (Voter Authentication) and to bind a ballot to the identified voter (Ballot Attribution).”

Voter privacy can also suffer during the VBM process.

“Well beyond the commonly heard practice of voting for an ill spouse or parent, VBM is inherently susceptible to violations of even this minimal privacy interpretation, since each VBM ballot must be bound to the identity of the voter in order to ensure one person-one vote,” Yasinsac writes.

“Elections officials institute procedures to protect voter privacy, but the inherent vulnerability still exists for every VBM ballot.”

Advocating for Voting by Mail

But politicians, especially Democrats, are now pushing hard to make universal voting by mail the norm throughout the country. They claim it’s needed to prevent exposing voters to the COVID-19 virus, as could happen when casting ballots in person.

Democrats determined to make mail-in balloting the sole means of voting for all Americans in November’s election are attacking electoral integrity laws across the United States in the courts, in an attempt to overturn restrictions on voting-by-mail.

Democrats and other voting-by-mail advocates claim that in the era of the CCP virus, voters shouldn’t have to risk their physical well-being to vote and argue that mail-in voting preserves the health of both the electoral process and the electorate. Democrats are suing in at least 13 states to overturn restrictions on mail-in voting—and more lawsuits are promised.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told MSNBC on May 20 that voting-by-mail will now be called “voting at home.” Voting in person is “a health issue” in the era of the pandemic, she said.

Republicans say widespread mail-in voting is a terrible idea.

President Donald Trump tweeted on the subject April 8:

“Republicans should fight very hard when it comes to state wide mail-in voting. Democrats are clamoring for it. Tremendous potential for voter fraud, and for whatever reason, doesn’t work out well for Republicans.”

States Adopting Mail-in Ballots

Elections systems across the country offer vote-by-mail as an option or mandate it.

Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Utah, and Washington carry out their elections wholly by mail. Officials send ballots by post to all eligible voters. In California, some counties are allowed to run all-mail elections. As of 2020, more than 50 percent of the state’s voting population live in counties that do it this way. On May 8, California Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, signed an executive order, which has come under legal challenge, to require each county’s election officials to send vote-by-mail ballots for the November election to all registered voters.

Certain states allow some elections to be carried out by mail, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). They are Alaska, Arizona, Florida, Kansas, Maryland, Missouri, Montana, New Mexico, and Wyoming.

At least 17 states allow specific kinds of elections to be done wholly by mail. In these cases, all registered voters are mailed ballots. In such cases, the voter marks the ballot, inserts it into a “secrecy envelope,” signs an affidavit on the outside portion of the mailing envelope, and sends off the package through the mail or drops it off in person.

Five states—Idaho, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, and New Mexico—allow jurisdictions or units within a jurisdiction to be designated as all-mail based on population figures.

California, Nebraska, and North Dakota allow counties to decide if an election should be carried out entirely by mail.

Those in favor of voting-by-mail say voters like the convenience because it allows them to review their ballots at home, rather than under pressure with many people waiting in line behind them, according to an NCSL fact sheet. The process also saves money because the governments administering the election don’t need the same level of staffing that in-person balloting requires. They add that some studies say it increases voter turnout.

Critics counter that voting-by-mail imposes costly burdens on those administering it. It increases postage expenses if the jurisdiction pays for return postage. It increases voter errors that are less likely to happen with in-person voting and drags out the reporting of election results. It also increases opportunities for voters to be coerced, deprives citizens of the shared civic experience of voting with neighbors, and disenfranchises voters who lack street addresses and have difficulty receiving mail.

SOURCE: https://www.theepochtimes.com/mail-in-voting-problems-in-new-york-new-jersey-may-foreshadow-difficulties-in-upcoming-presidential-vote_3424517.html

Supreme Court Denies Fast-Track Request by Texas Democrats to Expand Mail-In Voting Ahead of July Primary

KATABELLA ROBERTS
July 3, 2020

The U.S. Supreme Court on July 2 denied a request by Texas Democrats to fast-track (pdf) a review of the party’s efforts to expand mail-in voting amid the coronavirus pandemic and ahead of the July primary.

It marks another loss for Texas Democrats in their ongoing battle with state Attorney General Ken Paxton, a Republican, who has argued that only a physical illness or disability that prevents voters from going to the polls should qualify an individual to vote by mail.

Election law established by the Texas legislature generally requires in-person voting, and allows mail balloting only for certain limited groups, including those who are 65 or older, have a disability or illness that renders them unable to vote in-person, those who will be out of the county on election day, and those who are confined in jail but otherwise eligible.

The Texas election code defines disability as a “sickness or physical condition” that prevents a voter from appearing in person without the risk of “needing personal assistance or injuring the voter’s health.”

Texas Democrats and voting rights groups have argued that voters who are susceptible to contracting the new coronavirus should be able to vote by mail amid the pandemic and have been seeking to expand the definition of “disabled” to include those who fear coronavirus exposure during in-person voting.

mail in voting
Election workers sort vote-by-mail ballots for the presidential primary at King County Elections in Renton, Wash., on March 10, 2020. (Jason Redmond/AFP via Getty Images)

In May, the Supreme Court ruled that a that “a voter’s lack of immunity to COVID-19” is not a physical disability that qualifies people to vote by mail. The decision by the Supreme Court this week means the state’s current regulations for the upcoming July 14 primary runoff election will remain in place.

The ruling comes just a week after the Supreme Court also declined to immediately reinstate a federal judge’s order that would immediately expand voting by mail to all Texas voters during the coronavirus pandemic.

A spokesperson for the Texas Democratic Party, Abhi Rahman, said the party will “continue to fight tooth and nail for everybody’s right to vote,” and that “all Texans should have clarity on how they can cast their ballot in the November elections.”

While the Supreme Court may still decide to hear the case, this is unlikely to happen before fall.

Virus Outbreak Nebraska Primary 2020
Disinfecting wipes stand at the ready at the Lancaster County Election Committee offices in Lincoln, Neb., on April 14, 2020. (Nati Harnik/AP Photo)

“We still expect the case to be heard in mid-August,” Rahman said. “Texas Democrats will never stop fighting for the right for everybody to vote. Every Texan should be able to vote safely and without the fear of contracting a deadly disease.”

A number of other states will allow all voters to mail in their ballots during the pandemic in an effort to prevent large crowds from gathering at polling places.

Paxton has remained steadfast that expanding access to vote-by-mail could lead to voter fraud, and in a statement issued on June 26, he applauded the Supreme Court for “following the law and refusing to order mail-in balloting that the Texas Legislature has forbidden.”

“Universal mail-in ballots, which are notoriously vulnerable to fraud, would only lead to greater election fraud and disenfranchise lawful voters,” he said, adding that “State election officials have many options available to safely and securely hold elections without risking widespread fraud.”

President Donald Trump has also previously said mail-in voting is particularly susceptible to fraud.

PROOF OF MAIL-IN-VOTER FRAUD: New Jersey Republicans Receive Mail-In Ballots With ONLY DEMOCRAT CHOICES

 Jim Hoft,
June 22nd, 2020

Readers may recall a recent report we published that shed light on hundreds, possibly thousands, of Oregon voters who mysteriously had their party changed, most from Republican to Non Affiliated, without their permission, consent or knowledge, effectively denying them the right to vote in their party’s primary and disqualifying them from being Precinct Committee Persons.

The ballots were mailed to their home by state officials.

Oregon Changes Hundreds of Republican Ballots To “Non Partisan” But Blames Voter Error for Denying GOP Voters the Right To Participate In Primary

The Democrat state leaders in Oregon denied they were at fault and asked Facebook to delete all mentions of the story.  This was despite OVER 2,000 Oregon voters speaking out on the violation.

Despite hundreds of people coming forward with similar stories about how they received a non affiliated ballot, and despite many screenshots from the Facebook group mentioned in our article, Facebook’s infamous far left “fact checkers” later deemed the story as “misinformation” at the request of the Oregon state government.

Well it happened again…  And only to Republican voters!

Western Journal reported:

Many Republican voters in one New Jersey community got a surprise when they opened their mail ballots for a July 7 primary.

Their choices were all Democrats.

Between 500 and 700 Republicans received the wrong ballots out of about 2,400 enrolled Republicans in Bernardsville, NJ.com reported.

“The slate of candidates was all Democrat from Joe Biden down to dogcatcher, but on the upper right it clearly stated it was a Republican ballot and it had my name and correct information on the return envelope,” Karen Gardner, the chairwoman of the Bernardsville Republican Municipal Committee, said.

And this is not the only mail-in ballot irregularities reported out of New Jersey.

In May Democrat-run Paterson, New Jersey’s city council elections this month was marred by massive irregularities including about 3,200 ballots not counted out of nearly 17,000 cast, prompting the local NAACP to call for a redo of the election, according to a report by WNBC-TV in New Jersey.

Voter Fraud Alert: Oregon Changes Hundreds Of Republican Ballots To “Non Partisan” Denying GOP Voters the Right To Participate In Primary

by Brock Simmons,
May 18th, 2020

Disturbing news is coming out of Oregon, as hundreds of people are reporting that their voter registration was switched from Republican to non affiliated without their knowledge or permission.

Oregon is entirely vote-by-mail, and ballots were sent out in the last week of April, and due this Tuesday at 8:00 PM. Many were shocked to open their ballot to find that they were no longer with the party they thought they were with, and they received non partisan ballots. As Oregon is a closed primary state, this effectively denies these people the right to vote in the party’s primary that they thought they were registered as.

This is only reportedly happening to folks who were registered as Republican.

The non affiliated ballots allow the voter to vote for local non partisan races, judge seats, and ballot measures, but they do not get to vote in any of the Republican primary races, which includes two hotly contested Congressional races, along with several state legislature seats, and the Secretary Of State race.

The deadline to update your voter registration in Oregon was April 27th, so it’s too late for any of these people to get the right ballot. Some are reporting that they didn’t even get options for local non partisan races or ballot measures on their ballot, only judge seats. Others are reporting that they straight up received the wrong party ballot. Some are saying they’ve switched their registration back to republican, but then they check again and it’s been re-switched back to non affiliated.

A facebook group called My Party Was Changed Oregon has been started, and hundreds have congregated there to share their stories. Here are a few screencaps of what people are experiencing (personal identifiers have been redacted):

State representative Mike Nearman has been following this and went on the radio with Lars Larson today:

The confusion seems to have something to do with the new-ish Motor Voter law, which automatically registers people to vote who visit the DMV. By default, they are registered as non affiliated unless they either opt out or specify that they want to be part of a party. Except many of the people in this group say they haven’t done anything at the DMV in quite some time, and received Republican ballots in the last election.

Nonetheless, the DMV seems to be the scapegoat in all of this.

Furthermore, as Representative Nearman explains, the elections office is supposed to mail you a little card if there’s been a change in your registration.

A select few of these people were able to contact their county elections office in time, and were able to procure a Republican ballot after going down to the office and explaining the situation. Knowing how crooked and backwards Oregon is, I wouldn’t be surprised if these people end up getting charged with some kind of crime because wacked out democrat attorney general Ellen Rosenblum and Secretary of State Bev Clarno will claim that those folks are somehow illegally voting in the republican primary that they originally wanted to vote in.

If this is happening to you, join the Facebook group and share your story, as this could result in some sort of legal action against the state.

If you believe your civil rights are being violated, you can file complaints with the FBI’s civil rights division and with the federal Department of Justice’s civil rights division.

Here are a bunch more screen captures from that Facebook group, as people tell their stories (click to enlarge):

SOURCE: https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2020/05/huge-scandal-oregon-changes-hundreds-republican-ballots-non-partisan-denying-gop-voters-right-participate-primary/