LANSING, MI – As we keep being told there’s nothing to worry about with mail-in votes… some people are questioning that claim.
Democratic Secretary of State for Michigan, Jocelyn Benson, reportedly ‘accidently’ put the wrong running mate’s name on the ballot being mailed out to military members overseas.
Benson, who has endorsed Democratic Presidential Candidate Joe Biden, listed Jeremy Cohen as the running mate for President Trump. Cohen is listed as the running mate for Libertarian ticket with Jo Jorgensen.
Michigan: over 400 ballots were mailed to U.S. Military overseas with the wrong name for VPOTUS! Were they planning on disqualifying these votes for the TRUMP-PENCE ticket?#DefendYourBallot pic.twitter.com/ZyTkGSiiJE
— Mike Roman (@mikeroman) September 15, 2020
Vice President Mike Pence’s name has been taken out of the ballots all together and Jorgensen’s running mate space has been left blank.
Hundreds of the incorrect ballots were downloaded from the secretary’s website to be sent overseas to military members stationed there. They were supposed to be sent there as part of the MOVE (Military and Overseas Empowerment) Act. It is unknown how many of these erroneous ballots were actually sent.
According to Benson’s office, correct ballots will be sent to military members who may have been sent incorrect ones. However, if they vote and mail in the wrong one, Benson spokeswoman Tracy Wimmer said:
“If a voter does happen to return the incorrect ballot instead of the correct ballot, it will still count. The clerk will be instructed to duplicate a vote for Trump onto a ballot for Trump/Pence.”
The City Clerk, Joel Hondorp, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the second largest city in the state, advised that his office did not send out any of the incorrect ballots on September 16th. He believed the problem was a small technical error.
The Clerk for Brighton Township, Joe Riker, said that only two of the ballots his office sent out were incorrect. The office was able to correct the problem immediately and contact those people who would receive the wrong ballot. Riker said:
“There hasn’t been too much guidance from the state of Michigan.”
He does not believe that this will cause too much of an issue on election day because the situation was discovered and fixed. Riker said:
“This just threw a wrench in the gearbox.”
Warren City Clerk Sonja Buffa noted that her office had printed out only three of the incorrect ballots. However, she did not believe they would be an issue as those ballots had not been sent overseas prior to catching the error. She said:
“Because the ballot weren’t mailed, they could be easily reprinted without having to notify the voter of the mistake.”
Ironically, Benson was one of the people whom stood up during the Democratic National Convention and spoke in favor of voting by mail. During the convention, she said:
“And let’s be clear: there is absolutely zero difference between voting by mail and voting absentee. Millions of Americans have been voting absentee for decades. Donald Trump, his family, his staff – they all vote by mail.
“In fact, in states like Colorado, Utah, and Oregon voters have been voting by mail for years. Republicans and Democrats agree: it is safe.”
Whether or not voting by mail is safe or not is up for debate. There are several instances of rampant voter fraud being reported and investigated throughout the United States.
LET has reported several times in the last couple months on problems with it all throughout the country which certainly shows that both mail in voting and ballot harvesting are ripe with potential fraud and issues. In a recent report out of Michigan, there seem to be at least more concerns regarding voting by mail.
Recently, Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson’s office released information regarding the rejection of several thousand absentee ballots. Out of the 10,600 absentee ballots that were rejected on August 4th, 6,400 were refused because they had arrived after election day.
2,225 ballots were also not counted because there were no signatures present on the envelope. Another 1,111 were discounted because the voter had moved after their vote was cast. And, amazingly, 846 were refused because the voter was deceased.
In the meantime, the Biden campaign is apparently ready for a fight, and that does not mean an election day battle at the polls.
The former Vice President and current Democratic presidential contender has been quietly lawyering up in alleged anticipation of what could be a legal battle leading up to November and potentially after election day, if the votes come in anywhere near the recount range.
A campaign spokesperson reportedly told Fox News on Monday that they have spent the past several months creating the largest election protection program in presidential campaign history “involving integrated legal, communications and political strategies” for what could be an unprecedented election.”
The New York Times also reported on the heavily staffed “legal war room.” The newspaper said the team of attorneys already includes two former solicitors general and hundreds of general counsel lawyers.
Dana Remus, who has served as general counsel on Vice President Biden’s 2020 campaign, and Bob Bauer, former White House counsel during the Obama administration, are said to be leading the new operation.
The major legal operation has been billed by the campaign as the “largest election program in presidential campaign history.”
It is presently a preemptive move as battles are already raging over everything from how people will vote to how ballots will be counted and the ongoing questions about the validity of the vote by mail system.
As quoted by The New York Times, Senior Biden officials said that the heavy staffing of attorneys is “necessary to guard the integrity of a fall election already clouded by President Trump’s baseless accusations of widespread fraud.”
Democrats have been interjecting skepticism into the voting process for months, and the Democratic contenders for the White House have signaled that they will not take any risks in the case of a close race.
As far back as June, Breitbart reported that Vice President Biden floated the idea that President Donald Trump would attempt to “steal” the election.
He told donors during a video conference that his campaign was already on the legal offensive.
Former Vice President Biden said then:
“We put together 600 lawyers and a group of people throughout the country who are going into every single state to try to figure out whether chicanery is likely to take place.”
It appears that the largest controversy could come down to the vote by mail system.
In mid-August, Law Enforcement Today reported on a New York Times analysis that predicted an estimated 80 million mail ballots would be delivered to election offices this fall. That is more than double the number of ballots that were returned four years ago.
As many as 75% of Americans, the most in U.S. history, are eligible to vote by mail in the upcoming November presidential election.
It is in line with what Democrats want. The party has fought to ease restrictions on mail in voting, citing the pandemic.
Many Democrats favor the process while many Republicans oppose it.
President Trump has also voiced his support for the system, when used legally. He has also loudly voiced concerns that that will often not be the case during this fall’s election.
His critique of the process, has largely not criticized absentee voting itself but questioned the security of the process and so-called “ballot harvesting.”
Democrats often call the same practice “community ballot collection”
Both refer to the process of gathering ballots from a person who is not a family member, or from a group of non-family members, and turning them in.
President Trump has tweeted about the controversial practice of ballot harvesting in the past. In April, he posted:
“Get rid of ballot harvesting. It is rampant with fraud. The USA must have voter I.D., the only way to get an honest count!”
GET RID OF BALLOT HARVESTING, IT IS RAMPANT WITH FRAUD. THE USA MUST HAVE VOTER I.D., THE ONLY WAY TO GET AN HONEST COUNT!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 14, 2020
In July, he seemed to echo the message that Biden’s recent lawyering up is also sending Americans.
The President said then:
“You’re sending out hundreds of millions of universal mail-in ballots. Hundreds of millions. Where are they going? Who are they being sent to? It’s common sense. I want an election and a result much more than you. I think we’re doing very well. I don’t want to see a rigged election.”
More than 1,600 mail-in ballots discovered in ‘mislabeled’ bin – two months after New Jersey primary
SUSSEX COUNTY, NJ – With numerous media outlets and personalities trying to quell peoples’ concerns over possible caveats with mail-in ballots, reports of over 1,600 ballots discovered months after a primary election in New Jersey is likely not going to help alleviate concerns.
Over 1,600 primary ballots hailing from New Jersey's Sussex County were discovered in a "mislabeled" bin last week. https://t.co/pqSdsvvD2D
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) September 16, 2020
Apparently, officials from the Board of Elections recently discovered 1,666 ballots that were found in what was described as a “mislabeled bin” that was within a “secure area’ at the board office.”
These ballots stemmed from Sussex County in relation to the July 7th primary, according to Board of Elections Administrator Marge McCabe.
The ballots, which were found on September 10th, were said to have not been able to alter the outcome of any of the elections that transpired during the primary after being recently accounted for.
Yet, even after discovering these ballots nearly two months after the July 7th primary, the board claims to feel “confident” that all the votes have been since been counted:
“The Board of Elections is confident that all ballots received have been processed and the security of all the ballots has remained in place.”
1,666 uncounted Sussex County ballots from July primary just found in 'mislabeled' bin https://t.co/MnHQJBU06X
— Tom Fitton (@TomFitton) September 16, 2020
But with primary results like that of the race between Ed Ramm Jr. and Township Committee incumbent David Hansen gunning for the Republican nomination being a 20 vote difference (with Hansen leading by those 20 votes) – the possibility of missing ballots can certainly create pause.
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Concerns over the enormous shift to mail-in ballots in the era of the pandemic has been riddled with troubling scenarios.
Looking at Glendale, California, an incident involving mail seemingly dumped and discarded has created wavering trust in the U.S. Postal Service.
Here’s our previous report on that story.
GLENDALE, CA – A strange occurrence transpired recently in Glendale, California where piles of mail were seemingly dumped in two separate locations.
Massive bags of mail mysteriously dumped in Southern California — and one dump was caught on camera https://t.co/FKf926HhiP
— Michone Moore (@MichoneMoore) September 9, 2020
While the USPS is saying that they weren’t the culprits, video evidence was captured of at least one of the sites of the dumping where a rental truck was carrying said mail.
With the ongoing national conversation regarding the reliability of the USPS being able to handle mail-in ballots for the upcoming national election, this incident from September 3rd is not doing anything good for the mail carrier’s image.
Piles of mail were dumped in two separate locations in Glendale, California — and the postal union says that its members were not involved. https://t.co/08OcEIUlmF
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) September 9, 2020
Glendale Police Department Sgt. Christian Hauptmann says that the first of the two mail discarding incidents was said to have been reported at approximately 7:00 a.m. within the 1000 block of Allen Avenue.
Just about two hours after that reported incident, police were notified of the second dumping of mail within the 1600 block of Glenoaks Boulevard.
Surveillance video had captured the second incident, which the mail was dumped in a rear alley outside of the 7Q Spa Laser & Aesthetics.
In the video, you can see someone in a large Budget rental truck back into an area, open the sliding back door of the moving truck and start tossing several bags of U.S. mail on the ground and driving off.
One of the owners of the spa, Lilia Serobian, spoke about the incident with a local news crew:
“It happened early in the morning, 5:40, and it was a Budget rental — big truck — that backed up to the parking lot. And they’re like, slowly, one by one, they’re dropping the packages.”
While it is unclear if both discovered piles of mail were dumped by the same truck, the two locations were approximately one mile apart.
Reportedly, Postal Service investigators are currently looking into the matter and actively trying to determine which local post office these pieces of mail may have come from.
Not to mention, they’re also trying to ascertain who it was that rented the truck used in the scandal.
Omar Gonzalez, the Western Regional Coordinator for the American Postal Workers Union, commented on the investigation as well. Gonzalez explained that based upon the bags seen in the surveillance video, it appears that the mail dumped appeared to be bulk mail shipments.
Gonzalez further noted that they reached out to upper management in Glendale regarding the fiasco:
“We talked to the Glendale supervisor and the Glendale manager and asked from where the contractors would have received the bags. That’s when they responded, telling us the Union should not speak about it.”
What’s currently uncertain is whether the mail was intended to be transferred to the Glendale post office or if it was departing from Glendale and scheduled for delivery to the intended recipients.
However, what is certain is that if the mail was intended to be brought to Glendale’s post office for sorting, then it is supposed to be in a USPS truck and taken to a processing center.
"If it's outgoing, we don't know how it got into the Budget truck," Gonzalez said.
— HypocrisySucks (@hypocrisy_sucks) September 9, 2020
But even if it was outgoing mail, Gonzalez still doesn’t know how it managed to get inside of that rental truck:
“If it’s outgoing, we don’t know how it got into the Budget truck.”
Nonetheless, the mail bags have been recovered and will be delivered – albeit with likely delays if there were intended promissory delivery dates, according to Gonzalez. Local police are also assisting with the investigation as well to determine what happened.
Matters like this case, when it pertains to stealing or tampering with mail, falls under 18 U.S. Code § 1708 – which is a federal offense. If someone is convicted under said statute, they could face up to five years in federal prison and suffer fines as well.
This is an ongoing investigation.
Please follow Law Enforcement Today to receive updates as this case further develops.
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