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Posts tagged ‘MIDTERMS 2022’

After Approving Mass Mail-In Balloting, California Loses 10 Million Ballots In November Midterms


BY: VICTORIA MARSHALL | JANUARY 18, 2023

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2023/01/18/after-approving-mass-mail-in-balloting-california-loses-10-million-ballots-in-november-midterms/

mail in ballot

The 2022 midterms were the first major elections to occur in California after the Golden State approved all-mail voting in September 2021. Under the new system, all registered voters in the state are automatically mailed a ballot for each election cycle (Californians can still opt to vote in person if they wish). But during California’s first foray into mass mail-in balloting for the 2022 midterms, 226,250 mail ballots were rejected and more than 10 million remain unaccounted for, according to a new report by the Public Interest Legal Foundation.

Per the report, the most common reason for rejection of mail ballots in the 2022 cycle was late arrival (48 percent of rejects). Under California law, mail ballots must be postmarked no later than Election Day and arrive at the tabulation center within seven days. For the state’s 2022 general elections, more than 57,000 ballots arrived after Nov. 15 (the seven-day mark). Largely as a result of the switch to mail-in balloting, more than 57,000 Californians were disenfranchised. Such voter disenfranchisement is sure to continue as long as the state keeps its vote-by-mail system. 

“Mail ballots disenfranchise,” PILF President J. Christian Adams said in a statement. “There are many reasons mail ballots fail ultimately to count. No one casting a ballot at home can correct an error before it’s too late. California’s vote-by-mail demonstration should serve as a warning to state legislators elsewhere.”

Another concerning figure coming from California’s midterm election cycle is that 10 million ballots still remain unaccounted for, after processing all polling place votes and rejected ballots. The assumption by election officials is that the majority of these ballots were ignored or thrown out by recipients. But such an information gap increases the risk of fraud. As the report notes, “The public cannot know how many ballots were disregarded, delivered to wrong mailboxes, or even withheld from the proper recipient by someone at the same address.”

Unaccounted mail-in ballots are a serious liability for states with all-mail voting. According to data from the federal Election Assistance Commission, 28.3 million mail-in ballots are still missing from elections conducted between 2012 and 2018. While there is no way of knowing whether these missing mail-in ballots were used fraudulently, they still pose a risk to election integrity.

Take ballot harvesting — the practice of third-party organizers collecting ballots from voters and returning them to election offices — for example. States that approve all-mail voting greatly incentivize ballot harvesting, since Democrat doorknockers can coax potential voters to fill out their ballots and hand them over to their newfound Democrat friends on the spot, rather than having to convince voters to do the legwork themselves. Partisan activists may take advantage of such a lax system. And they already do.

All-mail voting also creates more opportunities for chaos, which in turn undermines voters’ confidence. Under a traditional system where voters cast ballots in person, poll workers must account for all election materials and have a log of the number of ballots cast. When problems occur, such as ballots disappearing, the issue is resolved quickly due to the data trail. Not so with all-mail elections.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, multiple states switched to mail-in balloting under the guise of protecting public health. These voting systems were put in place with hardly any safeguards or scrutiny of the risks posed by all-mail elections. Currently, there are eight states — California, Colorado, Hawaii, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Vermont, and Washington — that primarily conduct their elections by mail.


Victoria Marshall is a staff writer at The Federalist. Her writing has been featured in the New York Post, National Review, and Townhall. She graduated from Hillsdale College in May 2021 with a major in politics and a minor in journalism. Follow her on Twitter @vemrshll.

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With 25,000 Mysterious Votes and Missing Documents, Maricopa’s 2022 Election Process Marked by Chaos and Uncertainty


BY: VICTORIA MARSHALL | JANUARY 18, 2023

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2023/01/18/with-25000-mysterious-votes-and-missing-documents-maricopas-2022-election-process-marked-by-chaos-and-uncertainty/

ballot drop box
Arizona law requires the county recorder to show the origins of and chain-of-custody documents for every drop box ballot obtained.

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While the GOP and conservative media have largely moved on from Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake and the systemic failures that occurred in Maricopa County on Nov. 8, court testimony and eyewitness reports from the Lake trial include allegations that Arizona’s largest county violated state law by failing to implement chain-of-custody documentation for Election Day ballots, resulting in a mysterious 25,000 extra votes added to Maricopa County’s official tally within a 24-hour periodmore than the margin of victory between Lake and gubernatorial victor Katie Hobbs.

It was about 10:00 on election night when Maricopa County’s ballot tabulation vendor, Runbeck Election Services, received its first truckload of Election Day drop box ballots. While Runbeck received seven truckloads total (the last was completed about 5 a.m. the following morning), Runbeck staff thought it odd the deliveries did not come earlier throughout the day. But that wasn’t the only glitch. There were no chain-of-custody forms delivered with the ballots, a stark departure from typical procedure.

According to Runbeck employee Denise Marie, prior to Nov. 8, drop box ballots were “delivered in red bins with a chain of custody form” from the Maricopa County Tabulation and Election Center (MCTEC), which listed how many ballots were delivered.

But on election night, “instead of receiving the ballots in red bins, the ballots from the drop boxes had been placed in mail trays and loaded onto mail cages. MCTEC did not include the Maricopa County Delivery Receipt forms with any of the Election Day drop box ballot deliveries. There were no chain of custody forms with the ballots and no count of the number of ballots that were delivered,” Marie wrote in a sworn affidavit.

Maricopa County Co-Director of Elections Reynaldo Valenzuela even testified that while the county’s election workers count drop box ballots and record the counts on documents as required by law prior to Election Day, they did not count the ballots retrieved from drop boxes on Election Day itself. During the Lake trial, Valenzuela was asked whether Maricopa County election officials know the precise number of drop box ballots on Election Day, and he told the court, “On Election Day, no, because we’re not doing drop box courier process at that time. It’s a different process for Election Day.”

According to Lake attorney Kurt Olsen, this is in direct violation of Arizona state statute, which requires the county recorder to maintain records that log the chain of custody for ballots “during early voting through the completion of provisional voting tabulation.”

Per Arizona’s Election Procedures Manual, when ballots are taken from drop boxes, they must either be counted at the local vote center or be placed in secure ballot transport containers to be taken back to the county for tabulation. When the county recorder or elections official opens the container, he or she must count the number of ballots inside and note it on a retrieval form.

Because Maricopa County tabulators received more Election Day drop box ballots than they had ever received before, as County Recorder Stephen Richer testified, they removed the ballots from the ballot transport containers without counting or recording the number on a retrieval form for each drop box, as witnessed by Republican poll watcher Leslie White. This is a violation of the chain-of-custody requirements the county recorder is tasked with implementing.

The ballots were then put in mail trays and loaded onto mail cages, which were then put on trucks and delivered to Runbeck to be scanned and counted, according to supply-chain auditor and Lake trial witness Heather Honey. And notably, according to Marie’s sworn affidavit, this loading of ballots into the trucks also occurred without any documentation or record of the number of ballots on each.

Since Maricopa County failed to create its own chain-of-custody documents for the Election Day drop box ballots, Runbeck made its own (called “MC Inbound Receipt of Delivery Forms“), which logged the seven truckloads of drop box ballots on election night. On the delivery forms, Runbeck estimated the total number of Election Day drop box ballots to be 263,379 by multiplying the maximum number of ballots a mail tray can hold by the number of trays received, as Honey explained to The Federalist.

Runbeck CEO Jeff Ellington gave his staff a similar estimate of the number of ballots received via an email on Nov. 9, saying, “we started getting mail packets dropped off from Maricopa around 10pm last night and received mail packets about every hour through sunrise this morning. Likely between 250 and 275K packets were dropped off at the polls yesterday.”

At a press conference that evening, Richer affirmed Runbeck’s estimate by saying the county had received an unprecedented 275,000 drop-off ballots on Election Day. That same day, Maricopa County reported the total number of ballots cast in the 2022 general election to the Arizona Department of State: 1,136,849 ballots, with 407,664 ballots left to count — 1,544,513 ballots total.

However, on that same day, around 5:30 p.m., Maricopa County asked Runbeck to calculate the total number of Election Day drop-off ballots received, according to Marie, who was tasked with running the tabulation herself. Marie found that Runbeck’s records showed 298,942 drop box ballots had been received and scanned on Election Day.

As a result of such a discrepancy between the estimate and the official tally, Maricopa County sent a new vote tally to the Arizona secretary of state’s office on Nov. 10 (earlier that day, Richer had sent an email to the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors admitting he could not reconcile the differences between the county’s numbers and the secretary of state’s listing, demonstrating that even the supposed expert official in charge of the counting process couldn’t figure out where the extra ballots came from). Instead of the original 1,544,513 total ballots reported for the 2022 general election in Maricopa County, the secretary of state’s website now listed 1,569,603, a more than 25,000-vote discrepancy with no explanation. That same day, Maricopa County gave another press conference, stating it had received 292,000 Election Day drop box ballots without batting an eye.

What This Means

Arizona law requires the county recorder to show the origins and chain-of-custody documents for every drop box ballot obtained. According to Runbeck employee Denise Marie and Maricopa County Co-Director of Elections Reynaldo Valenzuela, Maricopa County violated state law by failing to create any chain-of-custody documentation for the drop box ballots received on Election Day. Because of this failure, no records exist to dispute or reconcile the discrepancy between the number of ballots Runbeck first reported (263,379) and its final tally (298,942), a more than 35,000-vote change. As Olsen remarked in his closing argument for the Lake trail, “If you don’t have a count from MCTEC when those ballots are being transported to Runbeck, how do you know whether that count is secure?”

Nor do there appear to be chain-of-custody documents, a violation of Arizona law, showing how Maricopa County was able to add more than 25,000 ballots to its final tally. That addition is more than Hobbs’ margin of victory, which was about 17,000 votes.

“On November 9th, the reported count is 25,000 ballots less, which is beyond the margin here, than on November 10th,” Olsen said. “So the day after the election, they put out what the count is and then magically 25,000 ballots appear on November 10th, and well, hey, that’s the race.”

While part of the argument Lake’s attorneys used in their lawsuit seeking to challenge Arizona’s gubernatorial election was that Maricopa County violated its own Election Procedural Manual by failing to implement chain-of-custody documentation, Arizona Superior Court Judge Peter Thompson rejected the claim due to the county’s assertion that such chain-of-custody documents exist, even though it failed to produce them. At the time of the trial, Maricopa County hadn’t fulfilled a public records request for the documents.

But while such documents do exist for drop box ballots counted prior to Election Day, no such chain-of-custody paperwork exists for the Election Day drop box ballots themselves, Honey reiterated to The Federalist. The judge did not consider this alleged violation of state law and ruled against Lake’s challenge, saying she failed to present clear and convincing evidence of widespread misconduct.

Arizona has an impossibly high bar for overturning elections on the grounds of misconduct, as the judge himself noted. Lake not only had to allege misconduct but intentional misconduct, such to affect the outcome of the election. Lake has since filed two appeals — one with an appeals court, the other with the Arizona Supreme Court. The appeals court agreed to expedite her case.

When asked about its alleged failure to implement chain-of-custody documentation for the Nov. 8 election, Communications Manager for the Maricopa County Elections Department Matthew Roberts told The Federalist: “There are robust tracking and security procedures in place to document and ensure proper chain-of-custody of early ballots on Election Day. These policies and procedures were followed on Election Day, as well as throughout the early voting period. At no point during the process were chain of custody policies broken or procedures not followed and documented.”

The Maricopa County Elections Department did not respond to The Federalist’s request for documentation of the chain-of-custody process for the Election Day drop box ballots.


Victoria Marshall is a staff writer at The Federalist. Her writing has been featured in the New York Post, National Review, and Townhall. She graduated from Hillsdale College in May 2021 with a major in politics and a minor in journalism. Follow her on Twitter @vemrshll.

Harvesting Low-Effort Votes Is Working Great for Democrats, So They’re Going for More


BY: VICTORIA MARSHALL | DECEMBER 28, 2022

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/12/28/harvesting-low-effort-votes-is-working-great-for-democrats-so-theyre-going-for-more/

Election 2020
While some congressional Republicans might think the post-2020 election integrity fight is over, that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

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The dust of the 2022 midterm contests has barely settled and Democrats — invigorated by the Red Wave that evaporated under extended lax voting policies — are out to make sweeping changes to our nation’s election laws once again.

Think back to 2020, when Democratic governors and unsuspecting Republican lawmakers made unprecedented changes to state election policies in the name of Covid that included mandating universal mail-in balloting and a month of early voting. Some states have kept these changes permanently. But Democrats are not satisfied, and why should they be? With their gubernatorial power retained (they kept all but one of the governor’s offices) and newfound control of state legislatures in both Michigan and Minnesota, Democrats are keen to ram through a whole gamut of unprecedented and unconstitutional changes. It’s working, so they’re going to keep doing it.

As The New York Times reported, Democrats’ list of policy proposals for 2023 includes expanding automatic voter registration systems, preregistering teenagers to vote, granting the franchise to felons, and criminalizing what the left thinks is election “misinformation.” Of course, all these policy prescriptions have little to do with “voting rights,” but Democrats package them as such, and slander their opponents as — you guessed it — racists. 

Make no mistake about what these proposals are meant to accomplish. Take automatic voter registration. The New York Times notes that such a system — already adopted by 20 states — “adds anyone whose information is on file with a government agency — such as a department of motor vehicles or a social services bureau — to [a state’s] voter rolls unless they opt out.”

During the 2020 election, Michigan’s Democratic Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson sent out automatic voter registration forms to all eligible Michigan residents. As a result of the mailer, 114,000 people were automatically added to Michigan’s voter rolls. Many were duplicate and otherwise inaccurate registrations. By padding state voter rolls with new unlikely voters, Democrats can target unsuspecting blocs of voters, harvest their ballots, and put their candidates over the top. Various leftist 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations are solely dedicated to this.

As I’ve previously reported regarding Democratic attempts to court high school-age kids, multiple left-wing organizations are targeting young people to effectively propagandize them into future Democratic Party voters. As two-thirds of Gen Z voters backed Democrats this past midterm election cycle, Democrats are hoping to capitalize on this emerging voting bloc while also setting their sights on even younger kids. While leftist organizations have tried to couch their outreach efforts as bipartisan, Democrat politicians admit they’re going after younger voters to benefit the left.

“[Targeting young people] is something the left’s been pushing for quite a while — along with enfranchising noncitizens and automatic restoration of felon voting rights,” executive director of the Honest Elections Project Jason Snead told me earlier this month. “They’re always looking for new people to bring into the election system and calculating the targeted groups who will be more likely to vote Democratic.”

Along with making the state a key player in their efforts to pad voter rolls in their favor, Democrats are also intent on criminalizing any information that could hurt their electoral prospects. Known Democratic Party hack and Michigan Secretary of State Joycelyn Benson told the New York Times that she wants new rules and penalties for individuals peddling “misinformation” in election mailers or language on proposed ballot amendments. 

The greatest threats to our democracy right now continue to be the intentional spread of misinformation and the threats and harassment of election officials that emerge from those efforts,” Benson said.

With Democrats’ history of using Big Tech to label the New York Post’s verified story on Hunter Biden as misinformation and its subsequent censorship during the 2020 election, as well as myriad true scientific claims that countered the bureaucracy’s Covid narrative, it’s clear Benson and fellow Democrats’ desire to censor “misinformation” is code for cracking down on any information Democrats don’t like.

What’s To Be Done

Republicans must be wary of Democratic efforts to fortify elections in 2023 and beyond. While some congressional Republicans might think the post-2020 election integrity fight is over, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Democrats have a massive ground game advantage over Republicans already, and if they pass these policy proposals — under the insufferable label of “voting rights” — in key swing states, that advantage will only grow to an insurmountable one. Republicans must realize election integrity is not a seasonal push nor a battle isolated to 2020. Rather, they must be on offense for years to come. 


Victoria Marshall is a staff writer at The Federalist. Her writing has been featured in the New York Post, National Review, and Townhall. She graduated from Hillsdale College in May 2021 with a major in politics and a minor in journalism. Follow her on Twitter @vemrshll.

Poll Worker Fired For Selecting Straight Democrat Ticket On Voter’s Ballot, Calling Republicans ‘Racist’


BY: VICTORIA MARSHALL | NOVEMBER 07, 2022

Read more at https://thefederalist.com/2022/11/07/poll-worker-fired-for-selecting-straight-democrat-ticket-on-voters-ballot-calling-republicans-racist/

polling location

A Democrat poll worker in Indiana has reportedly been fired after allegations surfaced that he had pressured voters into voting against Republican candidates and selected the “straight Democrat ticket” option when helping an individual fill out their ballot.

James Zheng, a poll worker in Carmel, Indiana, is allegedly being investigated by the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office for incidents of “electioneering and election interference.”

On Thursday, as a group of pro-parental rights education activists stood outside the Carmel polling place, Zheng allegedly told two black voters that they should not vote for the pro-parent, Republican candidates because the activists outside were “racist.” After the voters submitted their ballots, they alerted the activists to what Zheng had told them. The activists then complained to election officials.

Later, a second incident was reported. According to Hamilton County election administrator Beth Sheller, when Zheng was assisting a voter with an electronic ballot, he pressed the straight Democrat ticket option when explaining to the voter how to use the voting machine. The voter was “then confused about how to change the selection” and asked another poll worker for help. That poll worker resolved the issue and alerted the polling location’s election inspector about the incident.

Zheng had been removed from his post as of Friday.

Hamilton County GOP chairman Mario Massillamany told Fox News that Zheng’s conduct raises questions as to how many voters had been confused after he had attempted a similar maneuver but did not alert election officials.

“This should serve as a cautionary reminder that those desperate to hold onto power or gain power will do anything – including breaking the law – to thwart the efforts of parents and taxpayers to replace our school boards with officials who more accurately reflect the values of our community,” he said.

The incidents come after Democrats and their allies in the corporate media launched a nonstop propaganda campaign claiming GOP poll workers represent an existential threat to democracy (despite the fact that actual threats of violence and intimidation are extremely rare). Yet when a Democrat poll worker engages in election interference, Democrats are silent.

As Republicans are expected to make massive gains on Tuesday, expect Democrats to pull out all stops including using their minions (like Zheng) to influence voters, buying votesinterfering in the administrative process, and questioning election results. (According to the corporate media narrative, after all, it’s only acceptable to question elections if they favor GOP candidates.)


Victoria Marshall is a staff writer at The Federalist. Her writing has been featured in the New York Post, National Review, and Townhall. She graduated from Hillsdale College in May 2021 with a major in politics and a minor in journalism. Follow her on Twitter @vemrshll.

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