Need another reason to worry about mail-in voting in the November election?
New Jersey just turned up more than 1,600 of them.
Election officials in Sussex County, on the northern end of the Garden State, found 1,666 “mislabeled” ballots last week from the state’s July 7 primary, according to the New Jersey Herald.
And while they were finally counted Saturday and didn’t change the results of any contests, incidents like this do little to bolster confidence that the coming presidential election is going to be anything close to cut and dried.
According to the Herald, the mistake may have been “the result of a unique election process caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, with a majority of county residents voting by mail and the Board of Elections temporarily relocating to count the votes.”
Well, while the process itself might have been “unique” to Sussex County, there’s nothing unique about the problems local boards of election are going to be facing when millions of voters cast their ballots in November to decide who will lead the country for the next four years.
If 1,600 votes can be “mislabeled” out of what the Herald reported as 28,062 mail-in ballots cast in Sussex County, imagine what could happen with tens of millions of mail-in votes in counties across the country.
Sorry, that’s simply not good enough for the United States of America. In person voting with a paper trail needs to be required.
— ?Champanic ? Attack ? (@ChampanicAttack) September 15, 2020
It’s worth pointing out that Sussex County is one of six counties in the state where Republicans outnumber Democrats, according to NJ.com, and went for then-candidate Donald Trump by 30 points in 2016.
It’s also worth noting that the problem was not due to the United States Post Office, since the ballots were all delivered but apparently “mislabeled” by the Board of Elections.
In a case in Massachusetts that sounds similar, 3,000 mail-in ballots from the Democratic primary in the 4th Congressional District weren’t delivered from the town clerk’s office to the polls to be counted until two days after the Sept. 1 primary, according to WCVB-TV in Boston.
But at a time when the country is on edge over the reliability of mail-in voting – and the New York Post just published a story in which an anonymous Democratic operative described how easy it is to use mail-in ballots to fix elections (including in New Jersey) — the story of Sussex County’s late-counted ballots counts as cause for alarm.
And that’s certainly how it was received by many on social media.
Heads should roll?
— Grandmother Courage (@smartblonds) September 15, 2020
Vote in person
— AL ?? (@TDS__is__Real) September 15, 2020
Is this supposed to be encouraging?
— Jmac (@Joeblo67064874) September 15, 2020
Haha totally setting this up for the election. “It happens all the time” ??
— FreeHongKong (@SrBelkin) September 15, 2020
That last tweet is the most disquieting.
No rational person with even a pretense of honesty can deny that mail-in voting opens up the door to a host of problems that perfectly safe voting in person at the polls prevents.
As Attorney General William Barr described it in a speech last week, mail-in voting brings possibilities of voter coercion, voter fraud, votes for sale and pretty much every other blight that comes with the effective end of the secret ballot.
But stories like more than 1,600 “mislabeled” mail-in votes raise the real possibility that thousands or millions of votes will be “found” after the Nov. 3 election, particularly if President Donald Trump appears to win a victory of votes cast in person.
As Fox News reported last week, Democrats have dominated requests for absentee or mail-in ballots this year.
As a Newsweek story noted on Sept. 1, that raises the possibility of a “red mirage,” (an ugly term if ever there was one) where Trump appears to have won a landslide victory at the polls on Nov. 3, only to lose when mail-in ballots are counted. If a liberal propaganda sheet like Newsweek is talking about it, Democrats everywhere are thinking about how to make it happen.
Sussex County, New Jersey, has a preponderance of Republican voters — but what’s likely to happen in counties in swing states where Democrats have all kinds of chances to engage in mischief? If thousands of votes are needed to turn an election, thousands of votes just might be “found” because “this happens all the time.” (Look for areas with a history of voting “irregularities,” like Florida’s notorious Broward County, to be the best bets for big problems.)
Such a blatant rigging of a national election would have been unthinkable in the United States for the past half-century (though Kennedy’s win in Illinois and Texas in 1960 still sounds suspicious).
But in the United States in the year 2020, when Democrats have proven themselves perfectly capable of using a deadly pandemic for their own political ends, nothing, unfortunately, can be ruled out.
Anyone who needed another reason to worry about mail-in voting just got 1,600 more of them.
And they likely won’t be the last — not by a long shot.
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