Pinal County Election Debacle Shows Election Officials Have Much to Learn Before November

Pinal County Election Debacle Shows Election Officials Have Much to Learn Before November

Pinal County, Arizona, election officials have a lot to learn before November. 

In July, nearly 63,000 incorrect ballots were sent out to voters missing local municipal races due to “human error.” 

On Tuesday, about 25 percent of the county’s 95 precincts ran out of ballots or reported they were running low, with local anecdotal reports suggesting many of the shortages affected Republican ballots. Per Gina Swoboda, Executive Director at the Voter Reference Foundation, one polling location ran out of ballots within half an hour. Blame it on human error, again, as elections officials significantly undercounted the number of voters coming to the polls. 

“What happened on Tuesday was historic Republican turnout in a primary, but you still shouldn’t have run out of ballots within a couple of hours,” Swoboda said. 

According to Swoboda, Pinal County election officials should’ve known more Republicans would be coming to the polls on Election Day because Republicans were not sending in their mail ballots for early voting, meaning they were intending to vote in person. 

“It was clear to anyone paying the slightest bit of attention to what’s happening in Arizona is that Republicans were going to vote in person on Election Day,” Swoboda said. 

Pinal County’s ballot estimates were based on turnout from previous election cycles and were completely surpassed on Tuesday, with surges of GOP voters coming to the polls in person. 

“The best practice is to have the number of ballots for the number of registered voters plus 10 percent,” Swoboda said — a strategy election officials failed to implement. 

Due to the ballot shortages, voters experienced long lines and wait times. Some were turned away and told to come back after more ballots were printed. According to County Attorney Kent Volkmer, “up to 750 people were affected” by the delays. Volkmer doesn’t know how many people left polling locations without casting votes. 

“Without a doubt, voters were disenfranchised in Pinal County,” Swoboda said. “If you’re going to promote vote by mail, then election administrators must watch early ballot returns.” 

Another complication Tuesday was that the county had access to only two ballot-on-demand printers that printed only one ballot every three minutes, in the city of Coolidge. This led to further delays as different polling locations in need of ballots were 45 minutes away. Even after couriers brought newly printed ballots to different polling locations, some reported that they were sent the wrong ballots for their precinct.

In the aftermath of such a botched primary, Pinal County Elections Director David Frisk was fired Thursday. He was replaced by Pinal County Recorder Virginia Ross. The Pinal County Board of Supervisors chairman told AZ Central “We are looking at restructuring the way we do our Elections Department.”

While Pinal County had the most trouble on Tuesday, Pima County also dealt with ballot shortages as one polling location ran out of paper ballots. Pima County Communications Director Mark Evans blamed it on a worldwide paper shortage, while also admitting some officials underestimated the number of voters coming to the polls. In Maricopa County, election officials faced controversy over voters’ pens smearing ballots. However, officials insisted no one’s vote was lost as officials ran the ballots through the tabulation machines multiple times for them to process. 

Arizona isn’t the only state in the country dealing with serious election woes, made worse by vote-by-mail. In Broward County, Florida, more than a thousand voters have reportedly received the wrong ballots.

Victoria Marshall is a staff writer at The Federalist. 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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French Go to the Polls After Nervous Macron Makes Last-Ditch Bid to Court Young Voters

French Go to the Polls After Nervous Macron Makes Last-Ditch Bid to Court Young Voters

Polling stations have opened for the second and final round of the French presidential election after Emmanuel Macron made a last-ditch effort to court young voters in a bid to save his presidency.

France’s presidential election has entered its final stage, with polling stations opening Sunday morning to allow voters to choose between globalist incumbent Emmanual Macron and national populist challenger Marine Le Pen.

Polling in the race has been continually tight, with Macron seemingly nervous about the prospect of an upset defeat and making a desperate last-ditch attempt at courting France’s youth vote seemingly in the hopes of securing reelection.

The sudden publicity blitz — which reportedly saw Macron talk about his love of one rap artist as well as the potential of decentralised blockchain technology — is likely the result of the fact that some polls found that Macron is to lose the election by a considerable margin among France’s youth, with it being much older voters that are likely to see the incumbent keep power.

POLITICO reports that the French president has snubbed mainstream outlets over the last number of days in the hopes of talking to more youth-orientated publications, such as rap publication Booska-P.

In the interview with the rap news outlet, Macron made commitments on the topic of “Islamophobia” in France, as well as on dealing with sexist violence in the country.

However, it remains unclear what effect, if any at all, such an interview will have on the President’s polling data, considering the interview had only been viewed a paltry 1,627 times at the time of publication — a far cry from the millions the President is looking to win over.

According to a report by Euronews, polling stations opened on Sunday morning, and will allow French voters to decide on the future of their country up until 7 p.m. local time, or 8 p.m. local time in some urban locations.

The broadcaster also noted that there is no absentee or mail-in voting in this election, with vote by mail in particular being banned in the country since 1975 over fears that the voting method could be used to rig elections.

Photo ID is also required to vote in the election.

Around 48.8 million people have the opportunity to vote in the election, while French citizens living abroad will also be enabled to vote in the election via the country’s consulates and embassies.

Preliminary results regarding the election are expected to emerge on Sunday evening, though a final official result may take a little bit longer due to the majority of votes being paper ballots which will need to be counted by hand.

Polling for the race still predicts that Emmanuel Macron is most likely to be the victor by the time the dust settles, the incumbent being expected to finish somewhere between six to ten points ahead of his populist challenger — but even this would be a much worse performance than in 2017, when Macron defeated Le Pen with some 66 per cent of the vote.

Follow Peter Caddle on Twitter: @Peter_Caddle
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Pennsylvania Court Strikes Down Mail-In Voting Law As Unconstitutional

Pennsylvania Court Strikes Down Mail-In Voting Law As Unconstitutional

On Friday, a Pennsylvania court declared the state’s statute authorizing no-excuse mail-in voting was unconstitutional. Within hours, Pennsylvania officials filed a notice of appeal with the state Supreme Court, putting on hold the lower court decision and thereby leaving in place the vote-by-mail option until the state’s high court rules.

With Pennsylvania Supreme Court justices elected on a partisan ticket and Democrats currently holding a 5-2 majority on the state’s high court, Democrats are predicting the no-excuse mail-in voting law will be upheld. That forecast seems accurate given the hyper-partisan approach to legal analysis seen since the 2020 election. It’s unfortunate because yesterday’s opinion in McLinko v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania reached the proper conclusion as a matter of constitutional analysis and controlling precedent.

The McLinko case consisted of two lawsuits consolidated by the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court. Both cases challenged the constitutionality of no-excuse mail-in voting. Doug McLinko, a member of the Bradford County Board of Elections, was the plaintiff in one case, and Timothy Bonner and 13 additional members of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives were the plaintiffs in the second case.

At issue in the consolidated case was Act 77, which, as the court explained in Friday’s opinion, “created the opportunity for all Pennsylvania electors to vote by mail without having to demonstrate a valid reason for absence from their polling place on Election Day.” The plaintiffs argued that provision violates Article VII, Section 1 of the Pennsylvania Constitution.

Article VII, Section 1 of the Pennsylvania Constitution provides (emphasis added):

Every citizen 21 years of age, possessing the following qualifications, shall be entitled to vote at all elections subject, however, to such laws requiring and regulating the registration of electors as the General Assembly may enact.

1. He or she shall have been a citizen of the United States at least one month.

2. He or she shall have resided in the State 90 days immediately preceding the election.

3. He or she shall have resided in the election district where he or she shall offer to vote at least 60 days immediately preceding the election, 10 except that if qualified to vote in an election district prior to removal of residence, he or she may, if a resident of Pennsylvania, vote in the election district from which he or she removed his or her residence within 60 days preceding the election.

The key language in Section 1, the plaintiffs argued, and the court held, was “shall offer to vote,” which the Pennsylvania Supreme Court had previously interpreted in Chase v. Miller, a case from 1862. At issue in Chase was whether 420 votes received from Pennsylvania soldiers fighting in the Civil War, who had cast their ballots by mail, were valid.

While Pennsylvania’s legislature had authorized absentee ballots for military members, the state Supreme Court held the Military Absentee Act of 1839 violated the state’s constitution because “offer his vote” required in-person voting, explaining:

To ‘offer to vote’ by ballot, is to present oneself, with proper qualifications, at the time and place appointed, and to make manual delivery of the ballot to the officers appointed by law to receive it. The ballot cannot be sent by mail or express, nor can it be cast outside of all Pennsylvania election districts and certified into the county where the voter has his domicile.

We cannot be persuaded that the constitution ever contemplated any such mode of voting, and we have abundant reason for thinking that to permit it would break down all the safeguards of honest suffrage. The constitution meant, rather, that the voter, in propria persona, should offer his vote in an appropriate election district, in order that his neighbours might be at hand to establish his right to vote if it were challenged, or to challenge if it were doubtful.

In other words, “to offer his vote,” required a qualified elector to “present oneself. . . at the time and place appointed” and to make “manual delivery of the ballot.” The fuller discussion in Chase, however, provides a helpful reminder of the long-understood danger of absentee voting: “a break down” of “the safeguards of honest suffrage.”

Pennsylvania’s constitution was later amended to permit electors in military service to vote by absentee ballot. Then in 1923, the state legislature again attempted to expand absentee voting to allow non-military citizens, “who by reason of his duties, business, or occupation [are] unavoidably absent from his lawfully designated election district, and outside of the county of which he is an elector,” to cast an absentee ballot in the presence of an election official.

Another election dispute, however, resulted in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in 1924 In re Contested Election of Fifth Ward of Lancaster City, declaring the 1923 Absentee Voting Act unconstitutional. The Lancaster decision again concluded that the “offer to vote” language of the Pennsylvania state constitution requires in-person voting. Because at that time the constitution only authorized absentee voting for individuals absent by reason of active military service, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court held the 1923 Absentee Voting Act unconstitutional.

“However laudable the purpose of the [1923 Absentee Voting Act], it cannot be sustained,” the Pennsylvania Supreme Court explained, adding: “If it is deemed necessary that such legislation be placed upon our statute books, then an amendment to the Constitution must be adopted permitting this to be done.”

In Friday’s decision in McLinko v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the three-judge majority opinion found Chase and Lancaster City controlling and struck down Act 77’s authorization of no-cause mail-in voting. In holding Act 77 unconstitutional, the McLinko court rejected the acting secretary of state’s argument that Article VII, Section 4 of the Pennsylvania Constitution granted the state legislature authority to allow mail-in voting for any reason. That constitutional provision provides: “All elections by the citizens shall be by ballot or by such other method as may be prescribed by law: Provided, That secrecy in voting be preserved.”

The court rejected Pennsylvania’s argument, noting that when Lancaster City was decided, the Pennsylvania high court had quoted the entire text of Article VII, Section 4, and yet held that the “offer to vote” language required in-person voting unless the constitution expressly authorized absentee voting. Friday’s decision explained that Section 4 merely authorized the state to allow mechanical voting, as opposed to voting by ballot. (Two judges dissented from the McLinko decision, reasoning that mail-in voting is not a subset of absentee voting but a new method of voting the legislature may be approved under Section 4.)

Pennsylvania’s acting secretary of state’s argument that Section 4 of the state constitution authorizes the legislature to permit no-fault mail-in voting defies logic. As the McLinko court explained, if Section 4 gave the legislature that power, then there was no need for the state’s constitution to be amended in 1997, to add as a permissible basis for absentee voting, “observance of a religious holiday or Election Day duties.”

While concluding it was bound by Chase and Lancaster City, the majority in Friday’s decision in McLinko added that “no-excuse mail-in voting makes the exercise of the franchise more convenient” and that, “if presented to the people, a constitutional amendment to end the Article VII, Section 1 requirement of in-person voting is likely to be adopted.” “But a constitutional amendment must be presented to the people and adopted into our fundamental law,” the court in McLinko concluded, “before legislation authorizing no-excuse mail-in voting can ‘be placed upon our statute books.’”

The majority’s detailed analysis in McLinko was correct, both as a matter of constitutional interpretation and precedent. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court, however, will not be bound by its decisions in Chase and Lancaster City, even though the principal of stare decisis should caution the justices against overturning that precedent.

That prudential principle is especially relevant here, where the “offer to vote” language “has been part of the Pennsylvania Constitution since 1838 and has been consistently understood, since at least 1862, to require the elector to appear in person, at a ‘proper polling place’ and on Election Day to cast his vote.”

A decision by the Democratic-controlled Pennsylvania Supreme Court abiding by that precedent and reminding its citizens that the constitution controls notwithstanding the passions of the day would also go a long way toward healing a divided populace.

Further, striking Act 77 now, when no votes have been cast and no citizens would be disenfranchised, would do no harm to Pennsylvanians. That was the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s justification in Kelly v. Commonwealth, for refusing to consider the constitutionality of Act 77 as part of a challenge to the results of the November of 2020 based on the equitable doctrine of “laches.”

“At the time this action was filed on November 21, 2020, millions of Pennsylvania voters had already expressed their will in both the June 2020 Primary Election and the November 2020 General Election,” the state Supreme Court explained in Kelly v. Commonwealth and striking the state statute at that point, “would result in the disenfranchisement of millions of Pennsylvania voter.”

There is no such danger, now, however. So, will the constitution control or will the partisan interests of the Democratic-majority of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court supplant the rule of law? Sadly, that latter danger is everpresent.

Margot Cleveland is a senior contributor to The Federalist. She is also a contributor to National Review Online, the Washington Examiner, Aleteia, and, and has been published in the Wall Street Journal and USA Today. Cleveland is a lawyer and a graduate of the Notre Dame Law School, where she earned the Hoynes Prize—the law school’s highest honor. She later served for nearly 25 years as a permanent law clerk for a federal appellate judge on the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Cleveland is a former full-time university faculty member and now teaches as an adjunct from time to time. As a stay-at-home homeschooling mom of a young son with cystic fibrosis, Cleveland frequently writes on cultural issues related to parenting and special-needs children. Cleveland is on Twitter at @ProfMJCleveland. The views expressed here are those of Cleveland in her private capacity.


Why The Wall Street Journal Is Wrong About The 2020 Election

A Wall Street Journal editorial appeared on Tuesday entitled, “The Best Summary of the 2020 Election: Rules were bent, GOP voters defected, and real fraud hasn’t turned up.” This conveys the position of many establishment conservatives concerning the 2020 election: There were some slight “problems” with the election that were overshadowed by normal political phenomena such as controversies about Donald Trump and GOP voters switching sides.

The Wall Street Journal begins with the expected anti-Trump admonishment: “At his first big political rally of 2022, President Trump was again focused on 2020. ‘We had a rigged election, and the proof is all over the place,’ [Trump] said. “But Mr. Trump was apparently too busy over Christmas to read a 136-page report by a conservative group in Wisconsin, whose review shows ‘no evidence of widespread voter fraud.’”

This is a lengthy report into allegations of literal “voter fraud” by the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty (WILL), for which they find little corroboration. But there is another side of the argument regarding the legitimacy of the 2020 election that The Wall Street Journal has relentlessly ignored.

The hypothesis is that a deeply corrupted corporate media, Big Tech censorship, legally questionable intervention by the courts, and infiltration of key election offices by lavishly funded Democratic activists resulted in “heavy-handed election interference of a kind we have never seen before” that decisively “rigged” the 2020 election in favor of Joe Biden.

The WSJ editorial board would know this if they had read this, this, this, this, this, this, or our work on the role of Big Tech money in Wisconsin’s 2020 election. All of these studies present indisputable evidence of a “rigged election” in Wisconsin and in other key swing states, where the highly partisan distribution of big Center for Tech and Civic Life money, and obvious election interference by CTCL-funded election offices, was more than sufficient to flip those states toward Biden.

Stop Chasing Red Herrings

The WSJ then opines “the stolen-election theory doesn’t hold up [according to the WILL Report]. President Biden won Wisconsin by 20,682 votes, and mass fraud would likely have resulted in some discernible anomaly.” But this is a perfect example of the “red herring” fallacy. The problem is not “mass voter fraud,” but a very “discernible anomaly” involving a highly coordinated and privately funded “shadow campaign” for Biden that took place within the formal structure of the election system.

By injecting more than $419 million of Mark Zuckerberg’s money, laundered through the CTCL and the Center for Election Innovation and Research (CEIR), the professional left presided over a targeted, historically unprecedented takeover of government election offices by demonstrably ideological activists and nonprofit organizations in key areas of these swing states. Nothing like this has happened in at least the last 150 years of American elections.

Treating CTCL spending as if it were just another example of one campaign outspending another, or the insidious role of “dark money” in the 2020 election, misses the point entirely. Big CTCL and CEIR money had nothing to do with traditional campaign finance, media buys, lobbying, or Citizens United v. FEC-related campaign finance issues.

It had to do with financing the infiltration of election offices at the city and county level by Democrat activists and using those offices as a platform to implement preferred administrative practices, voting methods, ballot harvesting efforts, and data sharing agreements, as well as to launch intensive multi-media outreach campaigns and surgically targeted, door-to-door get-out-the-vote efforts in areas heavy with Democratic voters.

In Wisconsin and other swing states, big CTCL money introduced structural bias in favor of Biden into the entire 2020 election. This involved favoring certain voters and voting practices over others and disfavoring other classes of voters and voting practices, giving CTCL’s preferred voting methods—especially no-ID absentee ballots—and “New American Majority” voters and voting methods an outsized effect on the final election results. CTCL targeted heavily Democratic jurisdictions for heavy spending, and provided little or no funding to election offices in more Republican-leaning cities and counties.

What’s Wrong With WILL’s Analysis

The WSJ then goes on to cite WILL’s deeply flawed estimate of CTCL’s effects on Wisconsin’s election results in an earlier, self-published study. The editors note: “A nonprofit tied to Mark Zuckerberg gave $10 million to help Wisconsin elections, mostly in five cities, a skewed distribution that WILL finds ‘troubling.’ A statistical analysis suggests it [may have] lifted Mr. Biden’s turnout by 8,000.”

The fundamental problem with WILL’s quantitative analysis is that it is entirely based on the assumption that any “anomalies” in Wisconsin were randomly distributed. They therefore derive their estimates by treating all counties in Wisconsin as if they were all equally affected by CTCL spending, when we know a priori that any such anomalies were limited to a very small set of Wisconsin’s counties, and were the result of deliberate selection of election offices to be heavily funded by the data analysts who determined where big CTCL money would go.

WILL’s estimate of the impact of CTCL activity on Wisconsin’s vote total is therefore based on an inappropriate methodology. It gives rise to the astonishing claim that “In those cities [that received CTCL funding], President Biden received approximately 41 more votes on average.”

But this is absurd on the face of it when excess Biden votes (over Hillary Clinton in 2016) in Brown, Dane, and Milwaukee counties alone were more than 83,000, only about 13,000 of which (at most) can be attributed to population growth or general statewide increases in voter turnout. Are we expected to believe that the effect of CTCL’s $4.79 million spending on Biden’s vote totals in Madison and Milwaukee was “41 votes on average (which would amount to 82 votes in total),” when between Dane (Madison) and Milwaukee counties Biden beat Trump by 364,372 votes? Obviously not.

These two counties alone were responsible for more than 15 times Biden’s margin of victory in Wisconsin, which means Trump won the vote in non-CTCL funded counties by well more than 300,000 votes.

Without CTCL involvement in Wisconsin in 2020, Wisconsin would be a solidly red state. We estimate that CTCL’s investment in seven Wisconsin counties resulted in 65,222 votes for Biden that would not have occurred in CTCL’s absence. That’s more than three times as big as the final 20,800-vote margin between Biden and Trump in 2002. That CTCL-funded election interference so obviously flipped Wisconsin for Biden in 2020 is not merely “troubling,” as WILL alleges. It is outrageous.

The merger of public election offices with partisan private funding that we witnessed in 2020 involved an unprecedented type of election interference that poses an acute threat to the perceived legitimacy of elections. It should be one of the primary focuses of election reform efforts moving forward.

Credible claims supported by growing mountains of evidence of a “rigged election” have largely been ignored by the corporate media in favor of the occasional report that seeks to exonerate an election system that radically failed in November 2020. The 2020 election was not even remotely “fair,” and mainstream conservatives should not be afraid to say so.

William Doyle, Ph.D., is principal researcher at Caesar Rodney Election Research Institute in Irving, Texas. He specializes in economic history and the private funding of American elections. Previously, he was associate professor and chair in the Department of Economics at the University of Dallas. He can be contacted at


Racine County Sheriff Calls For Felony Charges Against Wisconsin Election Commissioners

Racine County Sheriff Calls For Felony Charges Against Wisconsin Election Commissioners

On Wednesday afternoon, the Racine County Sheriff’s Office issued a press release announcing it had forwarded to the county district attorney recommended charges for election fraud against five members of the Wisconsin Election Commission, including two felony counts. The announcement followed last week’s 75-minute press conference by Sheriff Christopher Schmaling and lead investigator Sgt. Michael Luell.

During that press conference, Luell provided a methodical review of the Wisconsin Election Code and his investigation into a complaint lodged by “Judy,” whose mother “Shirley” was a resident of the Ridgewood Care Facility.

After her mother died on October 9, 2020, Judy discovered a vote in the November 2020 presidential election had been cast in her mother’s name. In an affidavit originally filed with the Wisconsin Election Commission, Judy stated that she believed the residential care facility had taken “advantage” of her mother’s “diminished mental capacity and filled out ballot(s) in her name.”

While their investigation focused on Ridgewood Care Facility, during the press conference, Schmaling and Luell made clear that the fundamental violation of election law occurred when the Wisconsin Election Commission, or WEC, directed municipalities not to “use the Special Voting Deputy process to service residents in care facilities,” and instead to “transmit absentee ballots to those voters by mail.”

As Luell detailed in the October 28 press conference, Section 6.875 of the Wisconsin election code provides the “exclusive means” of absentee voting in residential care facilities, and that statute requires the local municipality to dispatch two special voting deputies, or “SVDs,” to a facility. The election code further requires the SVDs to personally deliver a ballot to residents of the facility, and then witness the voting process. And only a relative or an SVD may assist the voter in the process, and once voting is complete, the SVD must seal the ballot envelope and deliver it to the clerk.

By directing municipalities not to use SVD, as required by state law, Luell explained, the WEC appeared to violate Section 12.13(2)(b)(7) of the Wisconsin Election Code, entitled “Election Fraud.” That section expressly provides that it is a crime if, “in the course of the person’s official duties or on account of the person’s official position,” the official “intentionally violates or intentionally causes any other person to violate any provision” of the election code, “for which no other penalty is expressly prescribed.”

Also noted were several other relevant criminal provisions, including the crime of receiving a ballot from, or giving a ballot to, a person other than the election officer in charge, or receiving a complete ballot from a voter unless qualified to do so. Here, Luell explained how ballots were handled by low-level employees, kept unsealed in drawers, and otherwise maintained in violation of state law.

Whether to charge these crimes is a matter for prosecutors to decide, the sheriff and his lead investigator explained. However, given that Racine County is just “one of 72 counties,” and “Ridgewood is one of 11 facilities within our county,” they encouraged the state attorney general to launch his own investigation.

Late Wednesday, in a media release, Schmaling explained that, because of the failure of Attorney General Josh Kaul to initiate a statewide investigation into the WEC’s directive to voting clerks not to use the Special Voting Deputy process required by Section 6.875, his office had “forwarded charging recommendations to the Racine County District Attorney’s Office.”

The sheriff then explained he had recommended charges for Commissioners Margaret Bostelmann, Julie Glancey, Ann Jacobs, Dean Knudson, and Mark Thomsen. Jacobs, Thomsen, and Glancey are Democrats, while Bostelmann and Knudson are Republicans. The only member of the WEC not referred to the prosecutor’s office was Robert Spindell, Jr., a Republican appointed to the Committee by the Wisconsin Senate Majority Leader, Scott L. Fitzgerald.

No explanation was provided for why Spindell was omitted from the referral. Spindell had originally voted along with his five fellow commissioners to “suspend” the use of SVP in the spring of 2020, before the primary election. But then in September, Spindell reversed course, questioning where the WEC’s authority to override the legislative mandate came from. He then pushed the WEC to reinstate the use of SVP before the November 3, 2020 election.

Given that the Sheriff Office’s investigation and criminal referral concerned only the November 3, 2020 election, the omission of Spindell’s name from the list provided to the district attorney’s office makes sense.

Spindell’s name was also conspicuously absent from the two-page letter the WEC released late in the evening the day of the October 28, 2021 press conference. All of the commissioners, except Spindell, had signed that letter, with Spindell telling the press, there was “a lot in that statement I did not agree with.”

And as for whether the WEC violated the law? “That’s not up to me to determine whether the commission did or not,” Spindell said, I just don’t know.”

For now, Racine County District Attorney Patricia Hanson will need to decide whether to initiate criminal charges, and if so, on what basis. The Sheriff’s Office had recommended three misdemeanor and two felony charges, as follows:

Misconduct in Public Office in violation of Wis. State 946.12(2) (Felony)

Election Fraud –Election Official Assisting with Violations in violation of Wis. Stat. 12.13(2)(b)7 (Felony).

Party to the Crime of Election Fraud-Receive Ballot Non-Election Official in violation of Wis. Stat. 12.13(3)(n) (Misdemeanor)

Party to the Crime of Election Fraud—Illegal Ballot Receipt in violation of Wis. Stat. 12.13(3)(p)

Party to the Crime of Election Fraud—Solicit Assistance in violation of Wis. Stat. 12.13(3)(s) (Misdemeanor).

While the Racine County Sheriff Office’s press conference had explained the basis for the various election fraud charges, the recommended charge under Section 946.12(2) is new. That section, entitled “Misconduct in Public Office,” provides:

Any public officer or public employee who does any of the following is guilty of a Class I felony: (2) In the officer’s or employee’s capacity as such officer or employee, does an act which the officer or employee knows is in excess of the officer’s or employee’s lawful authority or which the officer or employee knows the officer or employee is forbidden by law to do in the officer’s or employee’s official capacity.

The various clips and quotes included in the summary of the Racine County Sheriff Office’s investigation provide pretty strong evidence that the WEC members knew they were exceeding their lawful authority and thus violated Section 946.12(2) of the criminal code, as well as the election code provisions specified.

To date, however, no one cared. Will District Attorney Patricia Hanson?


Arizona 2020 Vote Audit Finds Potentially Election-Shifting Numbers Of Illegal Ballots

Arizona 2020 Vote Audit Finds Potentially Election-Shifting Numbers Of Illegal Ballots

On Friday, the Arizona State Senate released the final reports on the results of the Maricopa County Forensic Election Audit. While the reports made several significant findings supporting former President Trump’s complaints about the 2020 election, the corporate media ignored those aspects of the audit to focus instead only on the results of the hand recount.

As broadly reported, the audit established “there were no substantial differences between the hand count of the ballots provided and the official canvass results for the County.” Maricopa County, which represents Arizona’s most populous county thanks to its county seat of Phoenix, had provided Biden a 45,000-vote advantage in the state, propelling Biden to a victory by 10,457 votes. So the media presented the recount as confirming Biden’s victory in the state.

Left unmentioned, however, were the numerous findings of problems with the election and, most significantly, evidence indicating tens of thousands of ballots were illegally cast or counted. A report entitled “Compliance with Election Laws and Procedures,” issued by Senate Audit Liaison Ken Bennett, highlighted several issues, of which two were particularly significant because of the number of votes involved.

First, Bennett excerpted the Arizona statutory provisions governing early ballots. Those provisions require early ballots to be accompanied by a signed affidavit in which the voter declares he is registered in the appropriate county and has not already voted. The statute further mandates that a voter “make and sign the affidavit,” and directs the early election board to check the voter’s affidavit.

Significantly, “if the affidavit is insufficient, the vote shall not be allowed.” The secretary of state’s Election Procedures Manual reinforces this point, stating: “If the early ballot affidavit is not signed, the County Recorder shall not count the ballot.”

In his report, Bennett noted that “while the Audit scope of work did not include comparing signatures with voter registration records for each voter, it did identify a number of missing signatures on ballot envelop affidavits, which to the extent the ballots in such envelopes were tallied, would violate the above statutes and procedures.”

Although Bennett did not elaborate on the issues related to affidavit signatures or the numbers of affected ballots, in a 99-page report, Massachusetts Institute of Technology engineer Dr. Shiva Ayyadurai detailed numerous anomalies.

First, Ayyadurai analyzed the early voting ballot return envelopes, on which voters were required to sign an affidavit within a signature block. That review revealed more than 17,000 duplicate images of the return envelopes. When the duplicates were eliminated from the review, Ayyadurai’s company, EchoMail, concluded that Maricopa County had recorded more than 6,545 early voting return envelopes than EchoMail determined existed. EchoMail also concluded that another approximately 500 of the envelopes’ affidavits were left blank.

Ayyadurai also highlighted several implausible statistics, such as that while there was a 52.6 percent increase from 2016 to 2020 in the number of early voting ballots, Maricopa County reported a decrease in signature mismatches of 59.7 percent. “This inverse relationship requires explanation,” the report noted, and then recommended a full audit of the signatures.

Bennett’s report on election law compliance highlighted several additional issues, but of particular note, in light of the audit report, was his reference to Arizona’s statutory requirements for individuals to be considered eligible voters, as delineated in Articles 1, 1.1, and 2 of the Arizona election code.

“The Audit identified numerous questions regarding possible ineligible voters,” Bennett noted, while adding that because “these determinations were made from comparisons between the County’s final voted information and private data sources,” the cooperation of Maricopa County and further investigation would be necessary to “determine whether ineligible persons actually were allowed to vote in the 2020 election.”

The referenced articles of the election code discuss voter registration requirements and the requirement for individuals to be registered to vote at their address of residence, although individuals moving within 29 days of the election remain properly registered to vote in the county in which they previously resided. However, students, members of the military, and others temporarily living at another address remain properly registered at their permanent home address.

Also of significance is the Arizona secretary of state’s Election Procedures Manual, which according to the audit provides that “ballot-by-mail must be mailed to voters by first-class, nonforwardable mail.”

These statutory provisions and procedures prove significant because the audit revealed that 15,035 mail-in votes in Maricopa County were from voters who had moved prior to the registration deadline, another 6,591 mail-in-votes came from voters who had moved out of Arizona prior to the registration deadline, and 1,718 mail-in votes came from voters who moved within Arizona but out of Maricopa prior to the registration deadline.

One of three scenarios seems possible here: First, the mail-in ballot was delivered to the old address and then provided to the named voter, who had only temporarily relocated. Such votes would be legal and entirely proper.

Second, the mail-in ballot was delivered to the old address and then provided to the named voter, who had permanently moved, but failed to timely update his registration record yet signed an affidavit attesting to a false address of residence. Such votes would be illegal.

Or third, the mail-in ballot was delivered to the old address, and then someone other than the named voter cast the vote. Such votes would be both illegal and fraudulent.

Neither Maricopa County nor the state of Arizona knows how many of these 23,000-plus votes fall within each of these three scenarios. And that’s a problem.

As I wrote when similar problems, albeit with more conclusive evidence, were unearthed in Georgia, “Elections are too tight and the populace too divided for ‘close enough for government work’ to cut it anymore. The American voting system must be reformed to ensure security, transparency, replicability, and election officials’ uniform compliance with state election law.”

Sixteen years ago, both Democrats and Republicans would have agreed on these goals, as the bipartisan Commission on Federal Election Reform’s report “Building Confidence in U.S. Elections” confirms. That commission, co-chaired by Democrat Jimmy Carter and Republican James Baker III, spoke of “the administration of elections as a continuing challenge, which requires the highest priority of our citizens and our government.”

Unfortunately, rather than acknowledge the problems the Maricopa County audit revealed and rise to the challenge of ensuring they are not repeated, while also investigating areas of potential fraud and illegal voting, Democrats and some Republicans pretend the hand recount’s confirmation of the official vote tally ends the matter.

The corrupt press likewise pushes this narrative: The audit confirms Trump lost, and that is all there is to the matter.

But this isn’t about Trump, just as the 2005 report on building confidence in American elections wasn’t about Al Gore. This is about election integrity and our democracy because, as the commission wrote not even 20 years ago:

The vigor of American democracy rests on the vote of each citizen. Only when citizens can freely and privately exercise their right to vote and have their vote recorded correctly can they hold their leaders accountable. Democracy is endangered when people believe that their votes do not matter or are not counted correctly.

The Arizona audit ended nothing including, sadly, the view held by half of our country that their votes do not matter and are not counted correctly—and that many politicians and members of the press don’t care.


Biden’s Home State of Delaware Has Stricter Voting Laws than Texas

President Joe Biden has lashed out at Republicans in Texas for their efforts to increase election integrity in the state, calling the proposed legislation an “assault on democracy.” But the voting laws in his home state of Delaware, where he served as a Senator for 30 years, has much stricter voting laws.

Biden said in a statement to the Texas Tribune:

Today, Texas legislators put forth a bill that joins Georgia and Florida in advancing a state law that attacks the sacred right to vote. It’s part of an assault on democracy that we’ve seen far too often this year — and often disproportionately targeting black and brown Americans.

A comparison of Texas Senate Bill 7 and Delaware voting laws reveals that Delaware voting laws are not just stricter but much narrower.

In Texas, according to the Texas Tribune, early voting is actually increased under the legislation:

The legislation requires more counties to offer at least 12 hours of early voting each weekday of the last week of early voting, but sets a new window of 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. for voting.

According to the Ballotpedia, there is no early voting in Delaware.

In Texas, voters who are 65 or older are automatically eligible to vote by mail. The voting legislation would prohibit mailing unrequested voting registration materials using public funds, but people in both parties can do so but at their own expense.

The Tribune reported:

SB 7 also makes it a state jail felony for local officials to proactively send mail-in ballot applications to voters who did not request them. This is another response to Harris County, where officials attempted to send applications to all 2.4 million registered voters last year. Other Texas counties sent applications to voters 65 and older without much scrutiny. Although those voters automatically qualify to vote by mail, mailing unrequested applications to them in the future would also be banned.

Counties would also be prohibited from using public funds “to facilitate” the unsolicited distribution of ballot applications by third parties, which would keep them from also providing applications to local groups helping to get out the vote. Political parties would still be free to send unsolicited applications on their own dime — a practice regularly employed by both Republicans and Democrats.

In Delaware, you can register to vote by mail, but voting by mail was only put in place in the state for the 2020 election because of the coronavirus pandemic.

In Texas, if the bill becomes law, poll watchers would have more access to election activities, including being close enough to hear and see what is taking place with the exception of being where a voter is casting a ballot. 

According to the Delaware Online website, there are strict poll watching laws in Delaware:

The Delaware Department of Elections will turn away citizens attempting to enter voting locations Tuesday to serve as “poll watchers.”

The state allows people credentialed by party officials to serve at polling places as “challengers,” but there’s no room — legally or otherwise — for average citizens who believe it’s their duty to ensure the sanctity of the voting process.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued a statement on the future of the legislation after Democrats walk out ahead of a vote on it.

At the beginning of the legislative session, I declared Election Integrity and Bail Reform to be must-pass emergency items. It is deeply disappointing and concerning for Texans that neither reached my desk. Ensuring the integrity of our elections and reforming a broken bail system remain emergencies in Texas, which is why these items, along with other priority items, will be added to the special session agenda.

“I expect legislators to have worked out their differences prior to arriving back at the Capitol so that they can hit the ground running to pass legislation related to these emergency items and other priority legislation,” Abbott said. “During the special session, we will continue to advance policies that put the people of Texas first.”

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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis Signs Election Integrity Bill into Law

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis Signs Election Integrity Bill into Law

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed an election integrity bill, SB 90, on Thursday, which implements a number of safeguards to protect elections in the Sunshine State, including limits on ballot box drop boxes, enhancements on voter ID requirements, and additional restrictions on voting by mail and ballot harvesting.

The Republican governor signed the bill into law during an exclusive broadcast on Fox & Friends.

“Me signing this bill here says, ‘Florida, your vote counts. Your vote is going to cast with integrity and transparency, and this is a great place for democracy,’” DeSantis said:

The bill itself prohibits the mass mailing of ballots — a point of national contention in the 2020 presidential election — while banning ballot harvesting, strengthening voter identification, and preventing “private money from administering elections in our state,” per a summary from the governor’s office:

While Florida already requires identification to vote, Senate Bill 90 will require additional identification information when changing any voter registration information, or requesting a vote by mail ballot, preventing fraud and securing the voter rolls.

The proposal strikes a reasonable balance for families and those in elder care facilities while simultaneously banning ballot harvesting by political operatives. Under this law, a person may not handle more than two ballots other than those of immediate family members. There is an exemption for ballots collected during supervised voting at assisted living facilities and nursing homes to make sure no undue burden is caused for Florida’s most vulnerable.

The proposal bans the mass mailing of ballots, ensuring that vote-by-mail ballots are only sent to the individuals that requested them, and only if requested for each election cycle they intend to vote by mail. The bill also increases election transparency, allowing each political party and candidate guaranteed access to observe signature matching reviews by the canvassing board, and allows for appointed watchers on their behalf.

“Florida took action this legislative session to increase transparency and strengthen the security of our elections,” DeSantis said in a statement. “Floridians can rest assured that our state will remain a leader in ballot integrity.”

Elections, he continued, should be “free and fair,” adding the changes will “ensure this continues to be the case in the Sunshine State.”

Senate President Wilton Simpson (R) recognized Florida as a “model for the nation” in the last election and explained SB 90 effectively codifies provisions of DeSantis’s executive order “that were largely credited as a reason Florida’s 2020 general election went so smoothly, and why results were available much quicker in Florida than in many other states.”

SB 90 originally passed in the Senate 23-17 and the House 77-40. Election integrity advocates, including Heritage Action, have already praised the measure.

 “These measures, which Heritage Action advocated for and partnered with thousands of grassroots activists to support, will help ensure it is easy to vote and hard to cheat in Florida,” Executive Director Jessica Anderson said.

Democrats panicked following the legislature’s passage of the bill, with state Rep. Omari Hardy, a Democrat, referring to the measure as the “revival of Jim Crow in this state.”

The vast majority of recent polls show Americans supporting basic election integrity measures, such as voter ID.



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