Diary

Voting by Mail; What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

While every state has had an absentee ballot system, for those who could not come to polling places on election day, those systems were all pretty small. The vast majority of voters showed up at their precinct polling places, on election day, to cast their ballots.

Then came the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Democrats immediately pushed voting by mail, in large part because they believed it would help voter turnout in ways which would benefit the Democrats.

As we have previously noted, the American Postal Workers Union’s National Executive Board voted to endorse Joe Biden. Subsequent to our article, the National Association of Letter Carriers, yet another postal workers’ union, endorsed Mr Biden. Nothing quite like having the ballots of the American people handled by letter carriers whose unions have endorsed one side.

Since then, two Pittsburgh-area mailmen were charged with throwing away some mail rather than delivering it, and though none of the recovered mail included mail-in ballots, one request for such a ballot was found in the trash.

And in the Garden State:

Postal Employee Arrested for Dumping Mail, Including Election Ballots Sent to West Orange Residents

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

NEWARK, N.J. – A U.S. Postal Service (USPS) mail carrier from Hudson County was arrested today for discarding mail, including 99 general election ballots sent from the County Board of Elections and intended to be delivered to West Orange residents, from his assigned routes in Orange and West Orange, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Nicholas Beauchene, 26, of Kearny, New Jersey, is charged by complaint with one count of delay, secretion, or detention of mail and one count of obstruction of mail. He is scheduled to appear this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Cathy L. Waldor in Newark federal court.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

Approximately 1,875 pieces of mail – including 627 pieces of first class, 873 pieces of standard class, two pieces of certified mail, 99 general election ballots destined for residents in West Orange, and 276 campaign flyers from local candidates for West Orange Town Council and Board of Education – were recovered from dumpsters in North Arlington and West Orange on Oct. 2, 2020, and Oct. 5, 2020. The mail had been scheduled to be delivered on Sept. 28, Oct. 1, and Oct. 2, 2020, to addresses on certain postal routes in Orange and West Orange. On the delivery dates for which mail was recovered, Beauchene was the only mail carrier assigned to deliver mail to the addresses on the recovered mail.

The recovered mail was placed back into the mail stream for delivery to its intended recipients. Copies of the recovered mail were made and retained as evidence.

The delay of mail charge is punishable by a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The obstruction of mail charge is punishable by a maximum penalty of six months in prison and a $5,000 fine.

Mailmen in Virginia Beach, Virginia and Richmond, Texas have been charged with throwing away mail.

Are we to assume that every postal worker who has dumped rather than delivered mail has been caught? Must we believe that all of the dumped mail has been recovered and properly delivered? If so, it would be the first time in history that every employee crime has been detected and every bit of stolen or destroyed material recovered.

So now we come back to the Keystone State, where Governor Tom Wolf, a Democrat, has been in charge for the last 4¾ years. From The Philadelphia Inquirer:

Pennsylvania has rejected 372,000 mail ballot applications, bewildering voters and straining elections staff

by Jonathan Lai and Ryan McCarthy and Derek Willis, ProPublica | October 16, 2020 | 5:00 AM EDT

Pennsylvania has rejected 372,000 requests for mail ballots, straining election offices and bewildering voters in one of the most hotly contested battlegrounds in the presidential election.

More than 90% of those applications, or about 336,000, were denied as duplicates, primarily because people who had requested mail ballots for the state’s June 2 primary did not realize they had checked a box to be sent ballots for the general election, too. Voters have also been baffled by unclear or inaccurate information on the state’s ballot-tracking website, and by a wave of mail ballot applications from political parties and get-out-the-vote groups. County offices across the state have been forced to hire temporary staff and work seven days a week to cope with the confusion.

“The volume of calls we have been getting has been overwhelming,” said Marybeth Kuznik, elections director in Armstrong County, northeast of Pittsburgh. It’s been preventing her office from working on anything else: “It has been almost like a denial of service attack at times because it seemed that sometimes all I could get done was answer the phone!”

Though it may deter some people from voting, the mass rejection of ballot applications is unlikely to have a big effect on turnout. Voters who submitted duplicate applications should eventually receive a ballot. Those who don’t can still vote at the polls on Election Day.

Overall, one out of every five requests for mail ballots is being rejected in Pennsylvania. An estimated 208,000 Pennsylvania voters sent in the spurned requests, some submitting them multiple times. Although the state’s email rejecting the requests describes them as duplicates, it doesn’t explain why, prompting some people to reapply. ProPublica and The Inquirer identified hundreds of voters who submitted three or more duplicate applications; one voter appears to have submitted 11 duplicates.

There’s more at the original.

It’s safe to assume that Pennsylvania’s Democratic Governor wants voting by mail to work, but even under his ‘leadership,’ the system has been in utter chaos. One out of every five requests is being rejected? How many voters will become non-voters over this? Hundreds of potential voters were identified as submitting three or more duplicate requests? Were they all due to initial rejections, or are some of these attempts at fraud? Workers overwhelmed? Yeah, that leads to mistakes being made.

Pennsylvania was in no way prepared for this, and the results have been obvious. That a newspaper heavily biased toward the Democrats printed the story is a further indication of just how bad the situation is.

At some point, the question has to be asked: can we really trust the results of the 2020 elections after all of these foul ups? No matter who loses, these things will add up to lawsuit fodder.
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