The 2020 presidential election is just about two months away and according to reports, an estimated 75 percent of Americans will be able to vote by mail. That is more than double the number of ballots that were returned four years ago.
Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson insists the state will have a “normal election” this fall and won’t expand mail-in voting amid the COVID-19 pandemic. https://t.co/vQOkZmvYLd via @brandonjsmith5
— WFYI News (@WFYINews) August 27, 2020
Democrats continue to push and push for mail-in voting, claiming that their concerns lie within the COVID-19 pandemic and keeping Americans “safe” from contracting and spreading the virus.
According to reports, signature matching, which is the process where county election boards verify the authenticity of the ballot by matching the signature to that of the voter, are facing major legal challenges from various voting rights groups.
For example, in Indiana, the board matches the signature on a provided affidavit printed on the outside of the return envelope. As it stands, if a board determines that the signatures don’t match, the ballot is simply rejected, and boards are not required to notify the voter of the rejected ballot.
In addition, there is no procedure for contesting the decision.
Judge rejects push by @IndianaVbm that voters concerned about COVID-19 exposure at Indiana polling stations should be granted no-excuse mail-in voting for this fall's general election, same stance taken by Gov Holcomb and other state GOP leadershttps://t.co/xifJc5IjOt
— Tom Davies (@TomDaviesIND) August 21, 2020
According to records, across the country there were countless instances of boards rejecting ballots due to discrepancies based on signatures. For the 2020 primaries, over 550,000 ballots alone were rejected for mismatched signatures as well as other various reasons.
“Election laws should protect people’s right to vote and the integrity of our election system. Indiana’s signature matching law failed to do either and wrongly disenfranchised Hoosiers,” Julia Vaughn @CommonCause_IN tells @TomDaviesIND @AP https://t.co/bUj97cv64k #Election2020
— David Vance (@DavidVanceDC) August 21, 2020
The signature matching practice is now facing legal challenges in states like Indiana. In fact, at the end of August, a federal judge determined signature matching to be unconstitutional.
The judge deemed it unconstitutional because the boards were not required to notify the voter and they never provided an option to address the suspected error.
“This victory helps ensure no Hoosier voting by mail will be disenfranchised by Indiana’s flawed signature matching law," Julia Vaughn @CommonCauseIN tells @EDePompei https://t.co/rBbsif7bre via @usatoday #VotingRights #Election2020 #COVID19
— David Vance (@DavidVanceDC) August 21, 2020
U.S. District Court Judge Sarah Evans Barker’s ruling in Indiana now means that state election officials can no longer reject a ballot that contains a mismatched signature without giving proper notice to the voter, and without providing means to contest the decision.
— 93 WIBC Indianapolis (@93wibc) August 21, 2020
In Ohio, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and ACLU of Ohio are looking to challenge the signature matching in their state. These groups are now asking courts to end the signature matching process as it currently operates.
Fox 19 reported that the ALCU of Ohio filed a motion in Cincinnati federal court for a preliminary injunction against Secretary of State Frank LaRose. They called Ohio’s system “flawed”, particularly in light of the unprecedented numbers of voters statewide likely to vote by mail this coming November.
Essentially, the motion asks the court two things:
“To ensure voters have sufficient notice of purportedly mismatched signatures and the opportunity to fix those mismatches when boards of elections mistakenly reject their ballots and ballot applications on the basis of signature mismatches.”
In addition, the motion asks that if election officials do perceive a signature mismatch, they must:
“Provide adequate time for a voter to remedy the mismatch before the date by which the Ohio boards of elections must complete the canvass of returns.
“Contact voters by telephone and email in sufficient time to correct rejected absentee ballots and absentee ballot applications.”
1⃣ Despite these changes, the USPS retains capacity to handle the surge in mail-in voting expected this fall. If possible, request your ballot as soon as possible, and vote early.
You can learn more about voting by mail in your state here. https://t.co/aCepSUQA6W
— ACLU (@ACLU) August 31, 2020
Levenson also referred to the coronavirus pandemic, claiming that it will result in unprecedented numbers of Ohio residents voting by mail.
“We are asking the court to require the Secretary of State to provide adequate notice and opportunity to cure supposed ‘mismatches’ so that large numbers of legitimate Ohio voters are not deprived of their constitutional right to vote.”
All of these changes happening in various states are alarming the Republicans. Republican National Committee spokeswoman Mandi Merritt said:
“Overhauling the way Americans vote less than 80 days out will only spread chaos and confusion.”
According to reports, the ACLU has targeted signature matching practices in the past, claiming that they disproportionately impact voters already on the margins. Many of these populations include people with disabilities, trans and gender-nonconforming people, women, people for whom English is a second language, and military personnel.
ACLU Voting Rights Project’s Lila Carpenter said in a November 2018 blog:
“People who are transgender may have a different signature and used a different name than when they initially registered to vote.”
“Absentee ballots are intended to make voting more accessible for qualified voters, not to disenfranchise marginalized populations.”
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Here is another article from Law Enforcement Today about mail-in voting and the concerns around it:
DALLAS, TX- A priority for Democrats, especially the more progressive ones, has been to transform how Americans vote for elective office. With the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, they have been stepping up efforts to implement mail-in ballots across the country.
Buried in the recently passed $3 trillion “HEROES” bill was a provision to do just that. However, the Texas Supreme Court isn’t having it. Meanwhile, George Soros appears to be trying to fundamentally change elections in the entire country.
The New York Post reported that the Texas Supreme Court on Friday blocked a plan to use mail-in ballots in Texas for the November presidential election, at least temporarily.
Late Friday, the court issued a stay that overruled an appeals court decision which had “temporarily lifted mail-in voting restrictions,” the Post said. The appellate decision upheld a lower court’s order that would have allowed more people to qualify to vote by mail.
The lower court ruled to allow mail-in votes for residents who expressed concern about contracting the coronavirus at polling places, the Dallas Morning News said.
The fight against allowing mail-in voting was led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who petitioned the Supreme Court for the stay. The order puts a halt to the distribution of mail-in ballots at least until Paxton’s appeal of the lower court ruling that allowed them in the first place is heard later this coming week. The Texas Tribune said that the Supreme Court did not weigh in on the merits of the case.
“I am pleased that today the Texas Supreme Court confirmed that my office may continue to prosecute voter fraud and issue guidance on mail-in ballots” while the appeal plays out, Paxton said in a statement.
The appeal is expected to be heard on Wednesday. Previously, two lower courts had upheld the mail-in ballot proposal.
Texas law currently allows residents over age 65 to vote by mail, as well as anyone else who has a disability, military service members and residents who will be out of town during an election.
Democratic leaders in the state were particularly upset by the development and the fact that state officials were, in their words, trying to “force voters potentially into harm’s way.”
“I’m shocked, frankly, that the state of Texas even today, in these circumstances where so many people are suffering, that they’re fighting tooth and nail to try to make grandmothers [who are] 64 years old go and vote in person,” said Chad Dunn, a Democratic party attorney.
“Couldn’t be more surprised.”
In trying to justify mail-in balloting, supporters are trying to make the argument that the risk of catching the coronavirus should be a disability under the law.
“This effort by Paxton and the rest of the Republican Party to make people choose between exercising their right to vote and exercising their right to live is just an affront to everything that this democracy stands for,” said state Democratic chairman Gilberto Hinojosa.
“This is a dark day for our democracy,” Hinojosa said. “The Republican Texas Supreme Court is wrong to force the people of Texas to choose between their health and their right to vote. They would have Texans die, just so they can hold on to power.”
Paxton had previously said that local election officials must follow his reading of existing eligibility requirements. Paxton said that the fear of contracting the virus while voting in person does not meet the state’s legal definition of disability.
Under the Texas election code, a disability is defined as “a sickness of physical condition” that prevents a voter from appearing in person without the risk of “injuring the voter’s health.”
The judge in the lower court said that he agreed with state Democratic and civic organizations, which argued that the lack of immunity to the virus makes voters eligible under the existing disability definition.
Meanwhile, according to Breitbart News, a group that is affiliated with billionaire socialist George Soros is stating that vote by mail “must become the default option for the vast majority of Americans” during the pandemic.
The Center for American Progress (CAP) has also been pushing vote by mail.
Soros’ Open Society Foundations funds the CAP and is one of a number of Soros-funded groups that are saying that the virus shows that the U.S. election system should use mail-in voting.
Some Republicans fear that mail-in voting would help the Democratic party, hurting Republicans by leading to voter fraud, primarily because mail-in voting is difficult to authenticate.
In a recent column by Danielle Root, who serves on the Democracy and Government Reform team at CAP, she appeared to complain that “in-person voting still remains the most popular method of casting ballots in most states,” while noting that mail-in voting “is used broadly in a handful of places.”
“States officials must not delay in implementing vital policies such as vote by mail and extended early voting for upcoming elections—nor must Congress delay providing additional funding in the amount of $4 billion as recommended by noted experts for states to make all necessary upgrades to election procedures and infrastructure in time for upcoming elections.”
Root also noted that it was still important to provide in-person voting for a segment of the population to protect against what she described in a previous column as possible voter disenfranchisement.
Still, she argued that “although vote by mail must become the default option for the vast majority of Americans during this health crisis,” the vote by mail system is “not an ideal or accessible option for many others.”
When speaking of those who could be negatively impacted, she spoke to voters who relied on same-day registration, people living on tribal lands who do not have access to reliable mailing systems and African American voters who “traditionally rely on in-person voting.”
CAP recently put out a wish list for the next round of “stimulus” legislation, and the Democrats appear to have listened. CAP recommended $4 billion for funding directed toward mail-in ballot initiatives, and the Democrats obeyed, including $3.6 billion for mail-in voting in the so-called “HEROES” bill, the most recent $3 trillion behemoth.
Besides mail-in voting, they are also pushing for both online and same-day voter registration, and the implementation of at least 14 days of early voting.
Another Soros group, the Brennan Center for Justice, released a similar $4 billion funding plan for the purpose of “voting reform during the coronavirus pandemic.”
Once again, Democrats listened. They have cited the Brennan Center’s coronavirus plan as being behind many of their legislative proposals, while the mainstream media has been appearing to push the same proposals.
Aside from CAP and the Brennan Center, there is a group called Stand Up America, which launched a nationwide program to urge Congress to fund the voting changes. Breitbart notes that this particular group’s activities resulted in more than 19,000 calls to congressional offices in one day.
That group is funded by the Sixteen Thirty Fund, managed by a group called Arabella Advisors, which is a for-profit consultancy that is funded by far-left donors. Democracy Alliance, also funded by Soros, recommended that donors invest millions of dollars into the Sixteen Thirty Fund.
Then, there is the American Civil Liberties Union. The ACLU usually collaborates with the Brennan Center, and they have been actively pushing mail-in voting. Through his Open Societies Foundations, Soros has pumped over $50 million to the ACLU, while the Brennan Center has been the recipient of nearly $7.5 million between 2000 to 2010.
Other organizations pushing the transformation of America’s voter system are Open Society Foundations funded Common Cause and Public Citizen. Other involved groups, according to Breitbart are the interestingly named National Association of Non-Partisan Reformers, National Vote at Home Institute, and the Center for Secure and Modern Elections.
While the Center for Secure and Modern Elections, as part of the left-leaning New Venture Fund, doesn’t list its donors, the National Vote at Home Institute partners with the League of Women Voters, also funded by Soros, as well as Common Cause.
An op-ed in the Washington Post, written by election experts, noted that people who vote by mail are “significantly more likely to make mistakes” than voters who did so in person. While people who vote in person can also make mistakes, the experts noted that they could “more easily ask for help in correcting their ballots.”
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