California Gov. Gavin Newsom is one top Democrat to insist that mass mail-in voting is an inerrant and seamless process. His protestations backfired, however, when one former California voter produced photographic evidence proving mail-in voting is ripe for abuse.
After a tweet exposing California’s election circus from author and podcast host Jarrett Stepman garnered some attention, Newsom couldn’t help but jump into the ring. “Just to we’re all clear — this is FALSE,” the California governor tweeted emphatically. “Ballots don’t get mailed in CA until next month,” Newsom said, linking to a state ballot-tracking website “for those interested in facts.”
Just so we’re all clear — this is FALSE.
Ballots don’t get mailed in CA until next month.
— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) September 5, 2020
Newsom didn’t get the last word. Stepman on Thursday tweeted a picture of the ballot that arrived in the mail to his parents’ California address, where he hasn’t lived in nearly a decade. This occurred despite the fact that Stepman is a registered voter in Washington, D.C., and that he has contacted his former state to inform officials he no longer lives in California.
And here’s my ballot right on schedule. I haven’t lived in CA in a decade & notified the state I no longer live there. I could have voted twice. It would be nice if the governor was a little more concerned with his state’s electoral security, but I guess that’s too much to ask. https://t.co/yztwaKzhLj pic.twitter.com/rfQALa7EGb
— Jarrett Stepman (@JarrettStepman) October 9, 2020
“And here’s my ballot right on schedule,” Stepman tweeted. “I haven’t lived in CA in a decade & notified the state I no longer live there. I could have voted twice. It would be nice if the governor was a little more concerned with his state’s electoral security, but I guess that’s too much to ask.”
“When I left eight years ago, California sent an absentee ballot to my parents’ house,” Stepman told The Federalist. “When my father went down to the polling location to vote, he told them I’d moved away. I also changed my address with the post office and have registered to vote in Virginia and now D.C. When I registered in Virginia, I checked the box saying I’d been registered in a previous state and said it was California. There is no reason for California to think I should be a registered voter there.”
Rather than comment on the matter, Newson’s office directed The Federalist to the secretary of state’s office, which also did not respond to a request for comment.
Newsom’s attempted own backfired, but the blunder with Stepman’s ballot is far from an isolated instance, nor is it a problem unique to the Golden State. The attempts at mail-in voting in states that haven’t practiced doing so for years have already proved to be riddled with errors.
these official ballots arrived at my old 3-bedroom house in DC. we got 7 ballots total and only 1 was for someone who currently resides at the house pic.twitter.com/QK7FBPYIu0
— Lauryn (@Laurynnboo) October 1, 2020
“My official ballot arrived!” tweeted Daily Caller chief video director and D.C. resident Richie McGinniss. “Along with ballots for four people who no longer live here (three of whom haven’t lived here in over SIX years)!”
“[T]hese official ballots arrived at my old 3-bedroom house in DC,” replied a Caller colleague. “[W]e got 7 ballots total and only 1 was for someone who currently resides at the house.”
Breaking: nearly 60,000 mail in ballots for voters in Westmoreland county were supposed to be mailed out on Tuesday but election officials discovered today they were never sent. Contractor responsible for mailing them says they will go out tomorrow. Details tonight at 11 #wpxi
— Rick Earle (@WPXIRickEarle) October 9, 2020
— NBC DFW (@NBCDFW) October 9, 2020
— J Michael Waller (@JMichaelWaller) October 6, 2020
A postal employee in New Jersey is accused of dumping more than 1,800 pieces of mail, including 99 ballots for the upcoming election, federal prosecutors said. https://t.co/wAqZW6zKm9 pic.twitter.com/y9Q76q9vp6
— NBC10 Philadelphia (@NBCPhiladelphia) October 7, 2020
Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La., and Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, sent a letter to Attorney General William Barr on Oct. 1, requesting that the Department of Justice investigate and prosecute alleged crimes related to mail-in voting.
The two congressmen cited a report from Fairfax County, Virginia, which said election officials believe as many as 1,000 voters might have received two ballots. Johnson and Jordan noted that Fairfax County went for Democrat Hillary Clinton by almost 36 points over Donald Trump in 2016. The representatives also noted a recent incident in Pennsylvania, in which absentee ballots from military personnel and Americans living abroad were allegedly discarded, almost all of which were later revealed to be cast for Trump.
“At minimum, these incidents, all of which have come to light within the past week, seriously undermine the public’s faith in this year’s election,” Johnson and Jordan wrote. “At worst, they hint at a coordinated and subversive effort to capitalize on the current pandemic to improperly and perhaps illegally sway the results of the election.”
Barr has voiced his concern with mass mail-in voting, noting that its real problem lies with the fact that its potential for error and abuse undermines the legitimacy of our election process, causing Americans to lose confidence in its fairness.
“We’re a very closely divided country here, and people have to have confidence in the legitimacy of the government,” Barr said in an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer in September. “People trying to change the rules to this methodology, which as a matter of logic is very open to fraud and coercion, is reckless and dangerous, and people are playing with fire.”