LANSING, MI – Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer is facing criticism from within her state after having vetoed a bill that was passed by the state’s House and Senate which was to serve as a means to deter possible voter fraud.
So, what was the governor’s excuse for the veto?
Well, she felt like the law would “confuse” voters.
Whitmer vetoes bill targeting voter fraud, cites confusion – https://t.co/getSHAe45g
— True the Vote (@TrueTheVote) October 17, 2020
The bill that had passed the state House in a 77-26 vote and the state Senate in a 32-6 vote was aiming to make it a felony to intentionally try to apply for several absentee ballots or to fill out an application for other people without their consent.
Yet when this bill landed in front of Governor Whitmer, she used her veto power to make the bill no-more.
In a letter written by Governor Whitmer regarding her rationale for doing such, she wrote:
“Today I am returning to you Enrolled Senate Bill 977 and Enrolled House Bill 5881 without my approval.”
Governor Whitmer started off the letter by prefacing just how bad voter fraud is, writing the “integrity of our elections is critical to the democratic process,” and that Michigan has “no tolerance for fraudulent conduct that undermines public confidence.”
She then points to three laws on the books in Michigan pertaining to voter fraud, where she then uses to outline later in her response to justify her denial of passing the law:
“Under Michigan law, it is a felony to impersonate another person at an election or to attempt to vote under the name of another person. MCL 168.932a(a). It is also a felony to attempt to vote more than once. MCL 168.932a(e). Moreover, a voter cannot obtain a second absentee ballot without spoiling the first. MCL 168.765b. The law is crystal clear.”
According to Governor Whitmer, the introduction of SB 977 which would’ve outlawed the likes of foul play with absentee ballot applications would be both redundant and confusing:
“These bills, however, would muddy the waters, and would likely confuse voters about what conduct is actually criminal. Under SB 977, it would be a felony to submit absent voter applications with the intent to obtain multiple ballots.
As discussed above, it is impossible to obtain a second absentee ballot under the same name, and it is already a felony to attempt to vote more than once in the same election.”
SHOCK: Embattled Democrat Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer vetoed legislation that would have made it a felony to attempt to apply for multiple absentee ballots. https://t.co/w4eUnezyiC
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) October 18, 2020
But not only did Governor Whitmer suggest that the introduction of this sort of legislation would be pointless and confusing – she also alleged that it might criminalize instances where someone accidentally violated the suggested law:
“Still, voters may submit multiple applications for any number of reasons, including harmless error and fault of memory. Any suggestion that the filing of a second absentee ballot application is criminal behavior creates needless confusion and fearmongering around the absentee voting process.”
Aside from using the term “fearmongering” to describe suggested penalties for trying to file for multiple absentee ballots, Governor Whitmer also noted that “all voters have the right to vote without fear of intimidation or violence,” implying that this sort of legislation would scare people away from voting.
One of the bill’s sponsors, Republican Rep. Ann Bollin, was not thrilled with the manner in which Governor Whitmer characterized the bill. In her summary of the bill, Rep. Bollin that there was noting present within the bill that could be construed as a means to intimidate people voting legally:
“This legislation would have created a felony penalty for someone who fills out an application for another person in an attempt to commit fraud. That’s not voter intimidation – it’s voter protection.”
However, the “vote” is in so to speak – and Governor Whitmer’s word on this is about as final as it gets regarding the presented legislation.
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Back in September, there happened to have been some funny-business related to double-voting caught months after a June primary in Georgia.
Here’s our previous report on that debacle.
GEORGIA – During the June primaries this year in Georgia, reportedly 1,000 voters had cast ballots twice during that period.
And according to the spokesperson for the Georgia Secretary of State, 58% of those ballots cast were Democratic.
Georgia Secretary of State: 58% of Double Voters in June Primary Were Democrats https://t.co/017GN7CW2e
— Patricia Dickson (@Patrici15767099) September 8, 2020
The incident seems to be linked to voters sending in absentee ballots and then coming to the physical polling locations on election day and casting a second vote, according to the Georgia Secretary of State. The department’s spokesperson stated the following on the assessment thus far:
“While the investigation is still ongoing, initial results show that of the partisan ballots at issue, approximately 58% were Democratic ballots.”
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger stated the following about the investigation into these alleged double-voters:
“A double-voter knows exactly what they’re doing, diluting the votes of each and every voter that follows the law. Those that make the choice to game the system are breaking the law. And as secretary of state, I will not tolerate it.”
Georgia Secretary of State Says 1,000 People Double-Voted in Recent Primaryhttps://t.co/6bQXvesR9W
— Dan Bongino (@dbongino) September 8, 2020
Licensed attorney, ACLU of Georgia senior manager for Voting Access Project and state director of All Voting is Local Aklima Khondoker, claims that these alleged “double-voters” were just trying to make sure “their vote was counted”:
“They only did what they thought was right to make sure their vote was counted… Voters are not criminal.”
While “voters are not criminal”, attempting to intentionally vote twice is a felony. And the offense could land someone in prison for 10 years if convicted.
Apparently, the system in which to check if someone had returned an absentee ballot when arriving on election day at polling locations wasn’t working as intended. Todd Faircloth, a Fulton County poll worker, explained the difficulty of being able to determine who had mailed in a ballot or not on election day:
“During the primary election, we could not reach anyone for hours on election day. We had no choice but to have the voter sign an affidavit and let them vote.”
While some county officials were able to halt some people from attempting to vote twice o June 9th, obviously some people had managed to slip through the cracks that day.
The news of this transpiring in June showcases the validity of President Trump’s comments made earlier in September about potentially sending in a mail-in ballot and then attempting to head to a polling location to cast a vote in person:
“If the system is as good as they say it is, then obviously they won’t be able to vote.”
How can someone take advice in June that was delivered in September? I believe this proved Trump's concerns right when he said last week "If the system is as good as they say it is, then obviously they won't be able to vote."
And 58% were Dem ballots too.
— Greg Hoyt (@GregHoytLET) September 9, 2020
It seems that the system of massive mail-in ballots in concurrence with physical polling locations does indeed have exploitable caveats – which makes the president’s remarks earlier this month all the more clever considering this incident happened 4 months prior to his remarks.
Because what this incident and President Trump’s recent remarks have forced news outlets to do is cover concerns over voting fraud even when news media outlets claimed that the president was being an alarmist.
To understand the stark contrast between mail-in voting in past elections in Georgia versus the amount of cast ballots via the mail, previous elections in the state only hosted about 5% of mail-in ballots. However, the June primary election in the state this time around had about 50% of votes cast by mail.
Furthermore, 150,000 people in said primary showed up on election day after having requested mail-in ballots previously.
While many of those requested ballots were reportedly never arrived or people simply opted to vote in person, there were some of that 150,000 people that were halted in person from voting after poll workers realized they’d already casted mail-in ballots.
This is also merely a single state’s primary where this fraud was exposed. One can only imagine the potential ramifications when tallying votes nationally for the November election.
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