The author fully realizes that voting by absentee ballot is a necessity for many voters, such as those who may be serving in the armed forces, those away from their home county because of college or demands of an occupation, those who have health conditions limiting their ability to go to the polls, those who are poll workers, etc. Voting by absentee ballot is often the only way such people can exercise their right to vote.
This year is the first fall general election since Michigan voters expanded the right to vote absentee without having an 'excuse' in the 2018 election cycle. Voters still needed to request such a ballot according to this initiated law, but in May, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson used federal CARES Act funds to send absentee ballot applications to the 7.7 million voters registered in Michigan without any request and costing the state $4.5 million conservatively. Hundreds of thousands of dead and long-gone-to-another-address voters on poorly kept voter rolls received these applications which could easily lead to voter fraud and potentially disenfranchise the legal votes.
Many of those concerned about the coronavirus, including the elderly, those with medical conditions, and those fearful of contracting Covid-19, have opted to apply and vote absentee, by sending their ballots through the mail to their local clerk. If you are concerned with making sure your vote counts, you may wish to reconsider-- if you're a Republican.
Why might party preference make your vote less likely to count in a mail-in vote? The reasons become fairly clear on analysis. First off, one should note what happens when you vote in person. You are asked to show an ID (you can still vote without one if you fill a form out), you sign in, receive and cast your ballot, and cast it into the ballot box computer and is counted. Now what happens when you send a ballot in the mail?
In general, four middlemen who have full control of your ballot are introduced into the equation before your votes gets counted when you use the mail. Each of these four people are likely to know how you will be voting, and could get rid of your ballot without others knowing.
The first person to handle your ballot would be the letter carrier that services your home. This person handles all those missives you receive from the NRA, Judicial Watch, and the Christian Science Monitor. Likewise they see those Trump and John James signs on your lawn and can make the connection of who you are likely to vote for.
The second person involved is the local postal clerk who sorts your mail and knows as much or more as the letter carrier about your political viewpoints through what mailing lists you're on. Provided they receive your ballot from your letter carrier, it's easy enough for them to put your ballot in their File 13. If not, they pass it along to the letter carrier that services the local city or county clerk.
This letter carrier may be less knowledgeable about your political leanings, yet your address is on the outside of the envelope and they may assume your political preference by the political bend of the neighborhood.
The fourth person involved is your city or county clerk who probably has the most knowledge of who you would be voting for because they know what party you register with and vote for in the primaries. Every day they receive ballots in the day's mail, there are no election inspectors or workers around, so they could easily make a ballot disappear if they had an inclination. Many clerks (especially for counties) are members of a political party.
So why is the process a lot more dangerous for Republican voters? It's simply because the first three middlemen are likely members of a public service union (NALC) dedicated to electing Joe Biden and in getting Donald Trump out of office. Biden has also been strongly endorsed by the APWU, the other postal union, both unions citing that a Trump presidency could lead to a dismantling of the USPS, while a Biden presidency would lead to more funding of the agency.
The first three people handling your ballot are likely to listen to their unions and consider the election a potential referendum on the viability of the USPS, where Trump may kill their job, while Biden will retain it and boost their pay. Three people fearful about losing their jobs will be able to play God with your ballot, and if they think you back Trump and his Republican allies, they may listen to their union rather than respect the duties of their job.
This is why we see a lot of mishandling of mail-in ballots by the postal service, and one can infer that most of the mishandling has not been caught. Lost mail-in votes may not even be intentional. A recent study indicates that in the 2016 U.S. general election, 4 percent of all mail-in ballots were not counted for a variety of reasons outside of mishandling — about 1.4 million votes.
The recent news relates: PA military ballots (all for Trump) “discarded” by the local election office
WV postal carrier pleads guilty to altering mail-in requests for absentee voter ballots.
The Heritage Foundation collected over a thousand incidences of election fraud, many dealing with mail-in/absentee voting, postal worker issues and other clerical issues.
Fraud, disenfranchisement, and ballot harvesting happen. If you want your ballot to count, and are Republican, take out the middlemen if you can and vote in person.
Right on the money X. Excellent analysis. I have known people who have had their ballots lost several times and this is with absentee ballots. Those individuals displayed yard signs of conservative candidates during each election. The potential from fraud is huge.
I have been voting absentee for close to 20 years. This year was no different except the pre-ballot form was mailed . I filled it out and went down to city hall. Presented the form to the clerk , she asked for my identification, matched that with the form. She then proceeded to explain in detail about the absentee voting procedure , proper inclosing of the ballot ,signing , mailing or dropping the ballot back off . The only thing that I didn't like was a open drop box and signage to put your ballot in just inside of the first doors. When I did return my ballot my intension was to personally hand it to the clerk as I did. There was no drop box at that time . People complained ? maybe , I thought it was a bad idea at the time and still do. Unsecure ballot box where anyone leaving the building could just grab a handful is not the way to do business.
I saw out in Los Angeles one of the ballot boxes was set on fire which of course has likely ruined all the ballots in the box. If this happens somewhere else that isn't a predominately liberal city like Los Angeles, it could cause big issues with the process
Niiice! Thanks, Willy.
Thanks FS and X. I couldn't find any decent photos of the debate so I had to make my own up by combining images.
Joe Biden was in three states today: Semi-conscious, Confused and Depressed, without leaving his basement!
After visiting those three states he better put a lid on it a couple days.
Come on man