Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘mail-in ballots’

Erie Times E-Edition Article-Mail-in ballot suspense

Posted by M. C. on April 11, 2021

The sad thing is this is the easy part. Wait until May!

Candidate list in Erie clerk race may be wrong

A.J. Rao Erie Times-News USA TODAY NETWORK

Around 20,000 mail-in ballots are scheduled to go out for the May 18 primary in Erie County. But depending on the timing and outcome of pending litigation, they all could be replaced.

Here’s the dilemma: The Erie County Board of Elections on Tuesday unanimously certified a primary ballot, knowing that candidates facing legal challenges to their eligibility could be either dropped or added pending a court decision.

See BALLOT, Page 4A

Continued from Page 1A

The candidates in question are each running for Erie County clerk of records.

Former state Sen. Anthony “Buzz” Andrezeski was left off the certified ballot but could be added following a decision by state Commonwealth Court. The same goes for Chad Hershey, a Republican seeking the same job. Erie County Councilman Ed DiMattio Jr. remained on the ballot but could be dropped pending the outcome of a Commonwealth Court ruling.

Erie County Councilwoman Mary Rennie, of Erie, who chairs the Election Board, said the primary ballot will be revised upon the court’s decisions.

But time is of the essence.

The board is already sending out mail-in ballots to the military and would like to send out mail-in ballots to the general public by the week of April 19.

If the court makes a late decision, the board might have to create and send out a second “corrected” mail-in ballot, a scenario that could cost time, money and possibly lead to voter confusion.

“That is our concern,” said Doug Smith, Erie County clerk. “For that reason, we’re looking to wait as long as possible before sending out mail-in ballots. But I don’t see how we could go much later (than April 19).”

Smith said roughly 20,000 mail-in ballots will be sent out for the May 18 primary. But with each ballot costing about $1 apiece plus postage, a second round could cost the county an additional $20,000-plus.

Rennie pushed back on the scenario, voicing hope that the court will make its decisions in a timely manner and prevent multiple versions of the ballot from being sent out.

Board officials anticipate a decision by Commonwealth Court by April 16 or April 23, however that is uncertain.

“We have until May 4 to start mailing out ballots,” Rennie said.

Should a late decision occur, she said the board “will have to look at contingencies.”

Voting to certify the primary ballot were Rennie and board member Ellen Schauerman.

For longtime Erie politician Andrezeski, the Election Board’s vote was “illogical, backwards thinking,” and a brazen attempt to violate a court order that placed him and Hershey on the ballot.

“They don’t want to obey the law,” he said.

Andrezeski and Hershey, both Millcreek Township residents, have been in a protracted legal battle with the board over their eligibility; namely, their failure to collect the required 250 signatures on their nominating petitions.

Andrezeski, 78, and Hershey, 43, blamed the pandemic for the shortfall and took their case to court, where they received a favorable ruling from Erie County Judge Daniel Brabender on March 22 — a decision that he upheld a week later.

The Elections Board has since filed an appeal with Commonwealth Court and is awaiting a final decision.

“I have a court order placing Chad Hershey and I on the ballot,” Andrezeski said. “The board doesn’t have an order taking us off the ballot. In my legal opinion, this is wrong.” DiMattio, a Republican, had been on the ballot in the clerk of records race but was later removed by Brabender for filing the wrong financial-disclosure form. DiMattio recently filed an appeal with Commonwealth Court.

The Elections Board agreed to leave DiMattio on the ballot pending the outcome of his appeal since he met all other nomination requirements.

The winner of the clerk of records race will take over the $82,866-a-year job. Ken Gamble, who has been in office since 2015, is not running for reelection and has endorsed Aubrea Hagerty-Haynes, a deputy in the clerk of records office.

Karla Jeffery, a senior criminal records clerk for the county, is also running for the office.

Andrezeski accused the Elections Board of “playing favorites.”

“They’re protecting one of their own, a favorite at the courthouse,” he said. “I look forward to a positive resolution and democracy winning.”

A.J. Rao can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @ETNRao.


Be seeing you

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In Mail-In Impeachment Vote, Senate Convicts Trump 8275 To 3

Posted by M. C. on February 12, 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C.—In a historic move, the U.S. Senate decided to switch to voting by mail for Trump’s second impeachment trial. After all the votes were counted by an intern in a back room with no cameras, the Senate ruled to convict President Trump of incitement to violence by a vote of 8275 to 3.

“Our holy democracy has spoken,” said Senator Chuck Schumer. “Do not ask any questions or you are a blasphemer against the sacred sacredness of our vote. Everyone can go home now!”

A couple of troublemaking Senators attempted to overthrow the Constitution by bringing up the point that there are only 100 Senators, making it impossible to arrive at a tally of 8275 to 3, but they were quickly removed from the Senate Chambers and condemned for “attempting to suppress the votes of people of color.”

The Senate then moved on to other business, passing universal healthcare by a margin of 320,000 to 4. 

Bee seeing you

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Political insider explains voter fraud with mail-in ballots

Posted by M. C. on September 27, 2020

By Jon Levine

A top Democratic operative says voter fraud, especially with mail-in ballots, is no myth. And he knows this because he’s been doing it, on a grand scale, for decades.

Mail-in ballots have become the latest flashpoint in the 2020 elections. While President Trump and the GOP warn of widespread manipulation of the absentee vote that will swell with COVID polling restrictions, many Democrats and their media allies have dismissed such concerns as unfounded.

But the political insider, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he fears prosecution, said fraud is more the rule than the exception. His dirty work has taken him through the weeds of municipal and federal elections in Paterson, Atlantic City, Camden, Newark, Hoboken and Hudson County and his fingerprints can be found in local legislative, mayoral and congressional races across the Garden State. Some of the biggest names and highest office holders in New Jersey have benefited from his tricks, according to campaign records The Post reviewed.

“An election that is swayed by 500 votes, 1,000 votes — it can make a difference,” the tipster said. “It could be enough to flip states.”

The whisteblower — whose identity, rap sheet and long history working as a consultant to various campaigns were confirmed by The Post — says he not only changed ballots himself over the years, but led teams of fraudsters and mentored at least 20 operatives in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania — a critical 2020 swing state.


“There is no race in New Jersey — from city council to United States Senate — that we haven’t worked on,” the tipster said. “I worked on a fire commissioner’s race in Burlington County. The smaller the race, the easier it is to do.”

A Bernie Sanders die-hard with no horse in the presidential race, he said he felt compelled to come forward in the hope that states would act now to fix the glaring security problems present in mail-in ballots.

“This is a real thing,” he said. “And there is going to be a f–king war coming November 3rd over this stuff … If they knew how the sausage was made, they could fix it.”

Mail-in voting can be complicated — tough enough that 84,000 New Yorkers had their mailed votes thrown out in the June 23 Democratic presidential primary for incorrectly filling them out.

But for political pros, they’re a piece of cake. In New Jersey, for example, it begins with a blank mail-in ballot delivered to a registered voter in a large envelope. Inside the packet is a return envelope, a “certificate of mail in voter” which the voter must sign, and the ballot itself.

That’s when the election-rigger springs into action.

Phony ballots 

The ballot has no specific security features — like a stamp or a watermark — so the insider said he would just make his own ballots.

“I just put [the ballot] through the copy machine and it comes out the same way,” the insider said.

But the return envelopes are “more secure than the ballot. You could never recreate the envelope,” he said. So they had to be collected from real voters.


He would have his operatives fan out, going house to house, convincing voters to let them mail completed ballots on their behalf as a public service. The fraudster and his minions would then take the sealed envelopes home and hold them over boiling water.

“You have to steam it to loosen the glue,” said the insider.

He then would remove the real ballot, place the counterfeit ballot inside the signed certificate, and reseal the envelope.

“Five minutes per ballot tops,” said the insider.

The insider said he took care not to stuff the fake ballots into just a few public mailboxes, but sprinkle them around town. That way he avoided the attention that foiled a sloppy voter-fraud operation in a Paterson, NJ, city council race this year, where 900 ballots were found in just three mailboxes.

“If they had spread them in all different mailboxes, nothing would have happened,” the insider said.

Inside jobs

The tipster said sometimes postal employees are in on the scam.

“You have a postman who is a rabid anti-Trump guy and he’s working in Bedminster or some Republican stronghold … He can take those [filled-out] ballots, and knowing 95% are going to a Republican, he can just throw those in the garbage.” Read the rest of this entry »

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