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    by Madeline Hubbard   Veterans and voters represented by the Thomas More Society, a conservative non-profit public interest law firm, filed a lawsuit against the Wisconsin Election Commission for allegedly mishandling military absentee ballots. The group on Friday asked the Waukesha County Circuit Court to order state election officials to “sequester,” or set aside, all military absentee or mail-in ballots before the election. The law firm said the goal of its request is to verify that the ballots are authentic. The group filed the case after Wisconsin GOP state Rep. Janel Brandtjen reportedly received three military absentee ballots at her home. “None of the individuals to whom these ballots were addressed reside, or have resided, at her address,” said firm attorney Erick Kaardal. “This situation is particularly egregious as it demonstrates how easily the military absentee mail-in vote can be manipulated due to the commission’s lack of compliance with Wisconsin election law.” – – – Madeleine Hubbard joined Just the News as a fast file reporter after working as an editor at Breitbart News. Hubbard previously served as the special assistant to...
    A Milwaukee elections official has been fired after allegedly requesting military ballots for fake voters. Kimberly Zapata, the deputy director of the Milwaukee Election Commission, was terminated from the role after using bogus names to request the ballots and sent them to Republican state Rep. Janel Brandtjen, announced Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson announced on Thursday. MIDTERMS 2022 LIVE: UPDATES FROM THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL AHEAD OF CRUCIAL ELECTION "I will not accept, I will not tolerate, and I certainly will not defend any misrepresentation by a city official involved in elections. It does not matter that this might have been an effort to expose a vulnerability that state law created. It does not matter that this alleged crime did not take place at work. It does not matter that City of Milwaukee ballots were not part of this. Nor does it matter that there was no attempt to vote illegally or tamper with election results," Johnson said in a lengthy Twitter thread Thursday. Brandtjen announced earlier this week that she found the ballots delivered to her...
    "It does not matter that this might have been an effort to expose a vulnerability that state law created," Johnson said. "It does not matter that this alleged crime did not take place at work. It does not matter that City of Milwaukee ballots were not part of this. Nor does it matter that there was no attempt to vote illegally or tamper with election results." "This has every appearance of being an egregious, blatant violation of trust, and this matter is now in the hands of law enforcement," Johnson continued. Johnson noted that the city believes Zapata requested the ballot to prove that there is a loophole in the current election process. Zapata requested the ballots from a public-facing website not an internal employee database. Claire Woodall-Vogg, executive director of the City of Milwaukee Election Commission, stated that Zapata was forthcoming about her actions and that there was no indication that other violations were committed. "Military voters are not required to register to vote," said Woodall-Vogg. "They are exempt from providing photo ID and any other...
    An elections official in Wisconsin has been fired — and criminal charges are likely — after she was accused of fraudulently requesting absentee ballots to send to an election-denying state lawmaker. Kimberly Zapata, the deputy director of the Milwaukee Election Commission, was fired, Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson announced in a surprise press conference Thursday, according to a report by MSNBC. MSNBC correspondent Shaquille Brewster told anchor Chris Jansing that the district attorney’s office was saying this was now a criminal matter and charges were likely in the coming days. Zapata has claimed her actions were an “attempt to expose the vulnerability in the state’s election law,” Brewster said, and she allegedly requested military absentee ballots using the state website on her own time, and had them mailed to a Republican state legislator who has promoted baseless claims of fraud in the 2020 election. Zapata’s personal political affiliation has not been confirmed. Mayor Johnson fired Zapata and revoked her access to the office and state computer systems as soon as her actions were discovered, Brewster reported, and emphasized that the investigation so...
    Getty Kimberly Zapata was fired. Kimberly Zapata was the deputy director of the Milwaukee Elections Commission who was fired by the city’s mayor after being accused of requesting “fictitious military ballots” and sending them to a Wisconsin legislator. The accusations against Zapate were revealed by Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson in a November 3, 2022, press conference. He appeared alongside Milwaukee Election Commission Executive Director Claire Woodall-Vogg. The news came as a hotly contested midterm election is less than a week away. Wisconsin has tight races for governor, attorney general, and U.S. Senate, as Republican Sen. Ron Johnson is battling to retain his seat. Here’s what you need to know:1. Johnson Accused Zapata of Sending Fake Military Ballots to a Republican Lawmaker Read More From Heavy Get Coached Into the Best Shape of Your Life According to Johnson, Zapara is accused of requesting fake military ballots on a state website and sending them to a major critic of Wisconsin’s election process, Republican state lawmaker Janel Brandtjen. “The City of Milwaukee has removed the deputy director of our Elections Commission,”...
    The Pennsylvania secretary of state officially ordered a statewide recount in the Republican Senate primary race between David McCormick and Dr. Mehmet Oz on Wednesday. State law requires a recount when results are within a 0.5 percent margin. This recount was triggered because even as thousands of Republican mail-in and provisional ballots potentially remain outstanding, the results will still come within that designated margin. McCormick trailed Oz by 902 votes out of more than 1.3 million cast as of Wednesday, according to Secretary of State Leigh Chapman’s notice about the recount. The Pennsylvania State Department said Wednesday that about 10,000 ballots were outstanding and that 6,000 of those were mail-in or absentee ballots and 4,000 were provisional ballots, according to Politico. The department noted it did not have a breakdown by party of the ballots, meaning many of the 10,000 ballots left could be Democrat primary ballots as Democrats historically outnumber Republicans in mail-in voting. The state accepted military and overseas ballots through Tuesday at 5:00 p.m., and said that of the 6,000 mail-in and absentee ballots left, an estimated 3,000 of...
    by J.D. Davidson   Two days after unanimously approving a plan to change the timing of military overseas voting to keep the state’s May 3 primary on track, the Ohio Senate approved a new plan passed by the Ohio House. The Senate passed, 26-2, amendments late Wednesday to Substitute Senate Bill 11, which designated congenital heart defect awareness month but now also eliminates 16 days of military overseas voting, allows for expedited mailing of military overseas ballots, allows those ballots to be received 20 days after the primary and gives $200,000 to county boards of elections. “Our brave men and women serving overseas deserve better than to be used as pawns in a political standoff,” Secretary of State Frank LaRose said. “I understand the disagreements over redistricting, but we should have the honor and decency to set those differences aside to give our military voters all the support they need in casting a ballot. Some legislators chose to put politics over patriots today, and they should be ashamed.” In an hour-long debate, Senate Democrats claimed House Republicans used a...
    by J.D. Davidson   The U.S. Department of Defense’s refusal to allow Ohio a waiver could jeopardize military voting in the state’s upcoming May 3 primary, state Democrats said. Secretary of State Frank LaRose, however, has sent proposed legislation to the General Assembly he believes would sidestep any issues as the state continues to wait on Ohio Supreme Court approval of state and congressional district maps. LaRose wants lawmakers to pass emergency legislation that gives him the authority to facilitate the expedited delivery and receipt of military ballots and add 10 days to the deadline those ballots can be returned to county boards of elections. “Regardless of where we stand individually or collectively on litigation over Ohio’s political districts, we should do everything in our power to ensure that our brave men and women serving overseas are not caught up in those disagreements and disenfranchised from having their voices heard in this upcoming election,” LaRose wrote Monday in a letter to House and Senate leadership. The Senate added LaRose’s plan as an amendment to a bill Tuesday that would...
    Details of documents in the possession of former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows show that there was a blueprint for members of the National Guard and U.S. Marshals to take control of the U.S. election system following former President Donald Trump's defeat. After Meadows decided to abruptly withdraw his cooperation with the House Jan. 6 Select Committee on Tuesday, Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-MS) revealed that Meadows had provided the committee with an email containing a 38-page PowerPoint slideshow titled "Election Fraud, Foreign Interference & Options for 6 JAN." Author Karen Piper reviewed portions of the slideshow and concluded that it was "nuts." "It's the craziest thing I've ever seen," Piper wrote on Twitter. She also described the document as "insane." One slide explains how National Guard in each state would be federalized to count only "legitimate" paper ballots. Meanwhile, U.S. Marshals would be tasked with providing a "protective perimeter around the locations." "A Trusted Lead Counter will be appointed with authority from the POTUS to direct the actions of select...
    (CNN)The fate of a South Florida congressional district will likely be decided Friday by a handful of overseas and military ballots after a manual recount left the race too close to call. Businesswoman Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick appears to hold a single-digit lead over Broward County Commissioner Dale Holness in the Democratic primary to replace the late US Rep. Alcee Hastings. The winner is heavily favored to win the January special election in the solidly blue district. Canvassing boards in Palm Beach and Broward counties will meet Friday afternoon to manually count ballots that arrived by mail after Election Day from active military voters and Floridians who live overseas. Florida law allows a 10-day window after the election for these ballots to arrive as long as they are postmarked on or before Election Day. As of Friday morning, there were 16 ballots to count in Broward County. Palm Beach County did not have any to count, but ballots can arrive as late as 5 p.m. Friday.Broward election officials will also determine whether to count three ballots that were previously rejected over signature...
    Submit your letter to the editor via this form. Read more Letters to the Editor.   Walnut Creek condemns anti-Asian violence The increase in violent crimes toward the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities, especially toward the elderly, is reprehensible. These events are antithetical to Walnut Creek’s beliefs. Every member of our community deserves to live, learn and work in a world free of racism, discrimination, and violence. Together, we bear a responsibility to lift our next generations ever higher. Walnut Creek joins cities across the country in lowering our flags to half-staff through March 22 in solidarity with the victims of the senseless acts of violence perpetrated on March 16 in Atlanta. We condemn all forms of racism and scapegoating of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. We hold hope as people from different cultures and communities rise together to condemn hate. A community of belonging does not happen at the expense of others. Kevin Wilk Mayor, Walnut Creek Cherise Khaund President, Mount Diablo Unified School District Board Heidi Hernandez Gatty President, Walnut Creek School District Board  Here are...
    HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — No criminal charges will be filed against a former temporary elections worker authorities have said mistakenly discarded nine military ballots ahead of the November presidential election, a federal prosecutor announced Friday. Officials have previously blamed the decision to toss out the ballots on an unidentified and improperly trained contract worker who had been handling mail-in ballots for the county for two days. The ballots were later retrieved from the trash and were counted with other mailed ballots after the Nov. 3 election. “After a thorough investigation conducted by the FBI and prosecutors from my office, we have determined that there is insufficient evidence to prove criminal intent on the part of the person who discarded the ballots,” Acting U.S. Attorney Bruce Brandler, a career prosecutor, said in a news release. “Therefore, no criminal charges will be filed and the matter is closed,” he said. President Donald Trump repeatedly brought up the nine ballots as he pressed groundless claims of election fraud, including two mentions during the first presidential debate. Brandler’s predecessor, Dave Freed, a Trump nominee...
    Shortly after the November election, a lawyer went on Fox News Channel and stunned an anchor by disregarding that the 2020 election had been statistically called by the network for Joe Biden. Two months later, that same lawyer, Cleta Mitchell, was revealed by the Washington Post to have been on a phone call in which President Donald Trump threatened criminal liability against Georgia’s Secretary of State unless the state official could “find” enough votes for Trump to win the Peach State. (Even if that happened, it would not reverse the election outcome.) Sandra Smith, off-air, reacts to her colleague Trace Gallagher indulging a nutjob who denies the outcome of the election even after Fox News had called it for Joe Biden: pic.twitter.com/gZ4nrnVHab — Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) November 9, 2020 During the phone call between Trump and the Georgia Secretary of State, Chief of Staff Mark Meadows described “attorneys that represent the president, Kurt and Alex” as also being on the line along with several Georgia officials. Meadows then said “Cleta Mitchell” was also part of the call, whom...
    The old mantra that every vote counts may ring truer nowhere than in the state of Georgia, where overseas and military ballots could end up determining control of the U.S. Senate and the fate of Democratic President-elect Joe Biden's agenda. Given that neither of Georgia’s Republican senators captured a majority of more than 50% of ballots on Election Day earlier this month, the races in which voters will determine if Republicans Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue will continue serving have been extended through early January runoffs. “If Biden becomes president, there won't be much he can do without control of the Senate and such a close House on top of that,” Carsten Pfau, an economist and political strategist, told Fox News. The integrity of the election may prove just as important as the outcome following President Trump's as-yet unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud that have nonetheless been accepted by wide swaths of his Republican base. "All eyes will be set on the Georgia runoff concerning clean elections," Pfau said. Many of Trump's complaints have been centered on mail-in ballots that skewed Democratic and weren't counted until after in-person...
    A list produced by the Trump campaign purporting to detail just over 3,000 instances of alleged voter fraud in Nevada contains hundreds of addresses used by active-duty military members and their families. The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday that the list of 3,062 alleged instances of people voting in Nevada while living elsewhere included hundreds of active-duty military members who apparently live in Nevada but are stationed elsewhere in the U.S. or overseas. Active-duty members of the armed services frequently vote absentee while stationed away from home. “Our voter registration is in Nevada, our cars are registered in Nevada, our licenses are in Nevada,” one woman whose husband is stationed in California told the Journal after finding their address on the list. “We just don’t live there because the military has told us to move somewhere else.” "To see my integrity challenged, along with other members of the military to be challenged in this way, it is a shock. And to be potentially disenfranchised because of these actions, that's not OK," the woman, Amy Rose, added to Military.com in a...
    Assholes The Trump campaign released a 234-page stack of affidavits from poll watchers in Detroit alleging  supposed intimidation. This Twitter thread highlights many of the absurd claims, such as complaining that independent poll watchers were too liberal, or this one complaining about “a very large man in ‘Count the Vote’ gear,” or this one about people being mean to him. But one stood out to me, because it says so much about the sorry state of the Republican Party and the conservative movement today. Let’s take a look.  xOne Republican poll watcher found it suspicious that members of the military would vote for Joe Biden. pic.twitter.com/xnFqBluLRS— Brad Heath (@bradheath) November 11, 2020 A Republican poll watcher found it suspicious that Joe Biden would get military votes. As the affidavit states, “I did find it odd that, throughout the day/night, I saw a few dozen military ballots be counted. Although I cannot provide specific numbers or names, I can estimate that at least 80% of the military ballots I saw were straight ticket democrat or simply had Joe Biden’s name filled in on...
    But at least he's giving them free admission to national parks? Military families from Nevada casting valid absentee ballots have been blindsided by the revelation that Trump officials have accused them of "criminal voter fraud" in the 2020 election. On Nov. 5, the Nevada Republican Party filed a criminal complaint with Attorney General Bill Barr and the Department of Justice alleging that 3,062 voters outside of Nevada "improperly cast" absentee ballots in the election. "Thousands of individuals have been identified who appear to have violated the law by casting ballots after they moved from NV," Republicans claimed in the letter.
    Votes cast by thousands of military personnel in Georgia could shift how the presidential election shakes out in the Peach State. Despite multiple news outlets on Saturday announcing that Democratic candidate Joe Biden may become the next president of the United States, vote-counting continued in Georgia, one of the few battleground states that accepts service members' ballots after Election Day. "We anticipate military ballots could play a decisive role in this election, given that these ballots are some of the latest to arrive and be counted," Jack Noland, a researcher at the nonpartisan group Count Every Hero, an initiative of anti-corruption advocacy group RepresentUs, told the Washington Post. Ballots in other battleground states such as Nevada and Pennsylvania are also still being counted. North Carolina accepts ballots from military and overseas citizens through Thursday, while Pennsylvania and Nevada accepts them through Tuesday. County Every Hero, which is part of the Military Vote Coalition, has urged restraint in declaring winners until all military votes are counted. Timothy Boxer, an Augusta, Georgia, transplant who now lives in Atlanta, told...
    ATLANTA -- Former Vice President Joe Biden's lead over President Trump in Georgia grew Saturday morning by 7,200 votes, according to the Secretary of State's office. The new bump follows the overnight count of provisional ballots in left-leaning Fulton County. There are still about 12,770 provisional ballots left to be counted statewide, in addition to about 8,400 military votes. In Gwinnett County, 535 absentee by mail ballots will be counted Saturday along with 3 military or overseas ballots. Biden's lead in the Peach State is still a fraction of 1% and means a recall looks likely. On Friday, Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel and former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue held a parking-lot rally for about 100 pro-Trump supporters at the state's GOP headquarters in Atlanta. McDaniel threatened legal action over irregularities in counting ballots. She said a team of lawyers had been dispatched to the state and that voters would hear about the issues in vote counting and tabulation soon. She also blamed the "mainstream media" for rushing to hand Biden a win. "Democrats...
    Roger Sollenberger November 7, 2020 4:12AM (UTC) With Democratic nominee Joe Biden on the brink of an electoral victory, President Donald Trump on Friday afternoon floated another in a series of unfounded conspiracy theories aimed to undermine public confidence in the results of the election.  "Where are the missing military ballots in Georgia?" Trump tweeted. "What happened to them?" : Earlier that morning, Biden had overtaken the president's early lead as ballot counts trickled in from a number of the historically conservative Democratic counties in the state. Around the time of the tweet, Biden's lead hovered at around 1,500 votes — a margin Trump's tweet baselessly implied would vanish if only an unspecified number of "missing" military ballots would suddenly be uncovered. Georgia has not reported any missing absentee ballots from military and U.S. citizens overseas. While it is true that about 8,900 of those ballots which had been sent out had not yet been returned and counted, Georgia elections officials said, there is no evidence they have are "missing." About 18,000 military and overseas ballots in Georgia had been counted by Friday afternoon, according to CNN. The 8,900 ballots that remain outstanding have until the end of the business day to arrive —...
    WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has held himself up as a champion of U.S. troops without rival. Now, with his presidency on the line, he’s casting suspicion on a tool of participatory democracy — the mail-in ballot — that has allowed U.S. military personnel to vote while serving far from home since the War of 1812. The president has shouted from Twitter to “STOP THE COUNT” and leveled unsubstantiated charges that “surprise ballot dumps” after election night are helping rival Democrat Joe Biden “steal” the election. All the while, Trump insists that military voters’ mail-in ballots must be counted. He even suggested on Friday — without presenting evidence — that some troops’ mail-in ballots have gone “missing.” In his dizzying effort to sow doubt about the integrity of the vote, Trump has been all over the map on mail-in voting. The broadsides have unsettled many veterans and former military brass who saw voting by mail as a tether to their civic duty when serving abroad. “Officials at all levels including in the Congress need to say to the president...
    By Aamer Madhani and Julie Watson | Associated Press WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump has held himself up as a champion of U.S. troops without rival. Now, with his presidency on the line, he’s casting suspicion on a tool of participatory democracy — the mail-in ballot — that has allowed U.S. military personnel to vote while serving far from home since the War of 1812. The president has shouted from Twitter to “STOP THE COUNT” and leveled unsubstantiated charges that “surprise ballot dumps” after election night are helping rival Democrat Joe Biden “steal” the election. All the while, Trump insists that military voters’ mail-in ballots must be counted. He even suggested on Friday — without presenting evidence — that some troops’ mail-in ballots have gone “missing.” In his dizzying effort to sow doubt about the integrity of the vote, Trump has been all over the map on mail-in voting. The broadsides have unsettled many veterans and former military brass who saw voting by mail as a tether to their civic duty when serving abroad. “Officials at all levels including...
    The Note: A referendum election arrives, with no clean answers promised Watch Birthday Boy Justin Sylvester Get a Sexy Stripper Surprise on Daily Pop Military ballots: Trump calls for ballot counting scenario where votes legally cast by military would be thrown out As President Donald Trump baselessly claimed that all votes received after Election Day are illegal, he attacked the absentee ballots of military members and their spouses that, by law, must be counted. © Staff/AFP/Getty Images This picture taken 26 December 2011 shows the Pentagon building in Washington, DC. The Pentagon, which is the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense (DOD), is the world's largest office building by floor area, with about 6,500,000 sq ft (600,000 m2), of which 3,700,000 sq ft (340,000 m2) are used as offices. Approximately 23,000 military and civilian employees and about 3,000 non-defense support personnel work in the Pentagon. (Photo credit should read STAFF/AFP via Getty Images) In doing so, the President has endorsed a scenario where thousands of members of the military -- actively defending their country -- would...
    WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump has held himself up as a champion of U.S. troops without rival. Now, with his presidency on the line, he’s casting suspicion on a tool of participatory democracy — the mail-in ballot — that has allowed U.S. military personnel to vote while serving far from home since the War of 1812. The president has shouted from Twitter to “STOP THE COUNT” and leveled unsubstantiated charges that "surprise ballot dumps" after election night are helping rival Democrat Joe Biden “steal” the election. All the while, Trump insists that military voters' mail-in ballots must be counted. He even suggested on Friday — without presenting evidence — that some troops' mail-in ballots have gone “missing.” In his dizzying effort to sow doubt about the integrity of the vote, Trump has been all over the map on mail-in voting. The broadsides have unsettled many veterans and former military brass who saw voting by mail as a tether to their civic duty when serving abroad. “Officials at all levels including in the Congress need to say to the president...
    By AAMER MADHANI and JULIE WATSON, Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has held himself up as a champion of U.S. troops without rival. Now, with his presidency on the line, he’s casting suspicion on a tool of participatory democracy — the mail-in ballot — that has allowed U.S. military personnel to vote while serving far from home since the War of 1812. The president has shouted from Twitter to “STOP THE COUNT” and leveled unsubstantiated charges that "surprise ballot dumps" after election night are helping rival Democrat Joe Biden “steal” the election. All the while, Trump insists that military voters' mail-in ballots must be counted. He even suggested on Friday — without presenting evidence — that some troops' mail-in ballots have gone “missing.” In his dizzying effort to sow doubt about the integrity of the vote, Trump has been all over the map on mail-in voting. The broadsides have unsettled many veterans and former military brass who saw voting by mail as a tether to their civic duty when serving abroad. “Officials at all levels including in...
    Washington (CNN)As President Donald Trump baselessly claimed that all votes received after Election Day are illegal, he attacked the absentee ballots of military members and their spouses that, by law, must be counted.In doing so, the President has endorsed a scenario where thousands of members of the military -- actively defending their country -- would be disenfranchised by having their legal votes thrown out."If you count the illegal votes, they can try to steal the election from us," Trump said Thursday night from the podium in the Brady Briefing Room at the White House. "If you count the votes that came in late — we're looking at them very strongly. But a lot of votes came in late." CNN's Brianna Keilar explores the military-civilian divide and the challenges facing service members and their families in a nation that has been at war since just after 9/11. In every election, a lot of votes come in late -- legally -- from Americans who are overseas or located outside their state of residence, including significant numbers of absentee voters who are...
    Washington (CNN)With former Vice President Joe Biden edging closer to a potential victory on Friday, President Donald Trump continued his efforts to cast doubt over the results of the election. Around 12:30 pm ET on Friday, the President suggested something nefarious was happening in Georgia, where Biden was ahead by approximately 1,500 votes as of Friday at noon. The implication of Trump's tweet is that "missing" military ballots might have been a contributing factor to Biden's lead in the state. "Where are the missing military ballots in Georgia? What happened to them?," Trump tweeted. Facts First: It's false to suggest there are missing military ballots. While there are military ballots that have been issued but not yet counted, there is zero evidence that they are somehow "missing." Or that anything out of the ordinary has happened with them. It's likely they're in the process of being delivered back to Georgia from overseas, as is the normal procedure. According to Gabriel Sterling, the Voting System Implementation Manager for the Georgia secretary of state, roughly 18,000 military ballots had already been...
    WASHINGTON (AP) — As the vote counting continues to determine the next United States president, attention is turning to the role that military and overseas absentee ballots will play in the final result. In razor-close states, it could be a significant one. The country has a long history of making sure active duty military personnel can vote regardless of where they are stationed. President Abraham Lincoln issued an order during the Civil War allowing troops to return home to cast a ballot if they could not vote absentee. States set up remote voting at military encampments, and some allowed troops to designate a proxy who could vote on their behalf, the Congressional Research Service reports. In 1942, Congress passed the first law that guaranteed the right to vote in federal elections to members of the Armed Forces who were away during wartime. Fast forward to 2009, when Congress passed a bill requiring states to set up a system to transmit absentee ballots to military and civilian voters who were overseas during federal elections. WHY ARE MILITARY BALLOTS STILL COMING IN?...
    Absentee ballots from service members are still arriving in crucial battleground states, leaving open a race that days from now could still hang in the balance. While President Trump has insisted that mail-in ballots should not be counted after Election Day, they may provide his last hope in a vote count that is rapidly moving in his opponent's favor. His campaign has launched a slew of legal challenges in key states, is waging a fight against "clubhouse governors," and is crowdsourcing citizen complaints of fraud or abuse that it believes could tilt the election in the president's favor. Friday is the final day by which Georgia may process absentee and mail-in ballots, but other key states with close races will have through 5 p.m. on Nov. 12, at the latest. Georgia had 8,307 service members and family members stationed overseas and registered to vote in 2018, voters who in 2016 cast 5,203 votes, according to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission. In Fulton County, Georgia, which contains Atlanta, an official said Thursday that all absentee mail ballots...
    Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) gave an update the state of vote-counting in the Peach State and said there will be a recount. Former Vice President Joe Biden currently leads President Donald Trump by about 1,100 votes. What's going on in Georgia? Raffensperger held a news conference Friday morning to give an update on the tallying of votes in the state, saying that the results have been and will remain extremely close. As a result, he said, there will be a recount. According to Raffensperger, there are still 8,890 military ballots outstanding that will be counted if they are returned by the close of business Friday and were postmarked Nov. 4. Out of 5 million votes cast, the margin will be only a few thousand, he predicted. The secretary said the state said the race is still too close to call. "With a margin that small, there will be a recount in Georgia," he said, adding, "The stakes are high, and emotions are high on all sides. We will not let...
    Thousands of military ballots have yet to be counted in Georgia, which some say could give a boost to President Trump’s numbers in the state, even as Democratic nominee Joe Biden pulls slightly ahead in the race to claim the state’s 16 electoral votes. Biden early Friday was leading in the state with 2,449,371 votes, or 49.39% of the ballots cast, while the president had 2,448,454 votes, or 49.37% of the ballots cast. But there are thousands of military, overseas and provisional ballots that will soon be added to the vote tally. BIDEN TAKES SLIGHT LEAD IN GEORGIA, AS MORE BALLOTS ARE COUNTED Military and overseas ballots have a later deadline than other absentee ballots and were required in Georgia to be postmarked by Nov. 3. Those ballots will be counted, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, if they are received at the county election offices by Friday, Nov. 6, at 5 p.m. ET. VideoBy today’s deadline, Georgia could receive anywhere from zero to 8,899 military and overseas ballots. Those ballots could make a difference, according to Count Every Hero, an advocacy group with members including...
    Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden has pulled ahead in the key battleground state of Georgia, according to Decision Desk HQ. President Donald Trump’s lead over the 77-year-old challenger had been gradually eroding as the final few thousand ballots were tallied overnight in the southern state. Now, according to Decision Desk HQ, the former vice president has pulled ahead, leading President Trump by just 917 votes. GA Presidential Election Results – Biden takes the Lead Biden (D): 49.39.% ( 2,449,371 votes)Trump (R): 49.37% ( 2,448,454 votes) Biden Margin: (+917)Estimated: > 99% votes in More results here: https://t.co/xlHf7GZUxJ — Decision Desk HQ (@DecisionDeskHQ) November 6, 2020 At the time of publication the president had 2,448,454 votes in his column, to 2,449,371 for Biden. Less than one per cent of ballots remain to be counted. However, with the race so tight, Florida Republican Matt Gaetz has suggested military ballots, which can be accepted up to November 6th, could still prove decisive. Some 12,432 military and overseas absentee ballots were counted in the state in 2016, according to the Army Times, 5,203 of them being...
    Military mail-in ballots are still arriving in battleground states such as Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Nevada, even as President Trump and his campaign protest the counting of votes after Election Day.  Trump has argued that ballots received afterward should not be counted and filed lawsuits to stop the tally in states where he says observers haven't been given "meaningful access" to ensure the process is fair. WHEN WILL WE KNOW WHO WON THE ELECTION? In states where the margins between Trump and Democratic opponent Joe Biden are particularly tight, hundreds of thousands of absentee ballots still rolling in are crucial to determining the next president of the United States. Some states allow ballots that are postmarked by Nov. 3 to be tallied even if they arrive later. Biden has captured 264 Electoral College votes so far, according to Fox News, and needs only one more state to surpass the 270 threshold for a win. Military mail-in ballots are predicted to surge past levels in 2016, when the U.S. Election Assistance Commission says more than 252,000 active-duty service members cast absentee votes, according to Military.com. As of Oct....
    Members of the U.S. military community have endured an extra layer of challenges as they have long relied on the mail-in system to exercise their civic duty while deployed abroad.  Absentee voting has come under scrutiny during this presidential election amid the protracted coronavirus pandemic, and for some of those who serve in the armed forces, voting this year has brought mixed experiences. "It was scary this year, given the current situation, because I had no idea if my ballot was tampered with before I turned it in. And there is no way for me to prevent that or even check it," one Missouri-native U.S. soldier, stationed in Afghanistan who spoke on condition of anonymity due to media restrictions, told Fox News on Monday. "There is a Democrat and Republican team that sorts them out; the idea is that someone on your team won't mess with your ballot. I don't trust it; still, there is no other way for me." That sentiment runs wide. Another deployed service member sending his ballot to Ohio lamented late Monday from Afghanistan that his tracking...
    Actor Mark Hamill narrated an ad released by The Lincoln Project that hits President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden leads Trump in survey of Texas voters from left-leaning pollster On The Trail: Making sense of Super Poll Sunday Trump rebukes FBI for investigating supporters accused of harassing Biden bus MORE over military absentee ballots that come in after Nov. 3. The “Star Wars” star lent his voice to the ad, entitled “Absentee,” in which he details the history of absentee voting and then labels the president’s calls for only ballots that come in by Election Day to be counted as “tyranny.” In the ad, Hamill describes how absentee voting began during the Civil War with Union soldiers and said, “Now more than 150 years later, tyranny is looking for a new foothold” through Trump. “If he gets his way, many who cast absentee ballots will not have their vote counted,” Hamill said. “This will deny thousands of troops serving overseas of their most sacred right, stripping the men and women in our military the very freedoms they’ve served and sacrificed to defend.”...
    Will his vote be counted? Lost in all the Republican efforts to suppress the vote by attacking absentee and mail-in voting is one of the biggest blocs of absentee voters there is: the military. We know Donald Trump already thinks they're suckers and losers, but is the Republican Party setting itself up to disenfranchise those troops they've supposedly been so avidly supporting all these years? Will they be happy to see their late-arriving ballots to be tossed? Fully 20% of the absentee ballots cast in Florida in 2016 were military ballots, and advocates there and around the country are raising the alarm that the pandemic, the chaos caused by Louis DeJoy's sabotage at the U.S. Postal Service, and the political fighting over absentee ballots could disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of military voters. “We’ve seen in the past, obviously Florida is the key example, that it can come down to a single state and not very many votes,” Jack Noland, a researcher for Count Every Hero, a nonpartisan military voting advocacy group, told McClatchy. “It is not out of the realm of...
    Donald Trump is again attacking U.S. servicemembers. Donald Trump's latest attack on voting could undermine the right of many active-duty military members to have their votes counted in the 2020 elections. On Tuesday, Trump again demanded that the election be decided on November 3, rather than waiting for all ballots to be received and counted. He falsely suggested that it is illegal to count any ballots received in the days following the election. "It would be very, very proper and very nice if a winner were declared on November 3," he told reporters. "Instead of counting ballots for two weeks, which is totally inappropriate, and I don't believe that's by our laws. I don't believe that."
    Members of the military have already downloaded nearly 650,000 federal postcard applications to vote in the Nov. 3 election, and traffic on a voting information website is double that of the 2016 election, voting assistance officials told the Washington Examiner Thursday. “The current traffic to FVAP.gov for the 2020 calendar year is approximately twice the level of 2016,” Federal Voting Assistance Program Director David Beirne told the Washington Examiner. Beirne could not say definitively if the increase was related to higher interest in this year’s election or a more robust information awareness campaign. Innovations including online events for service members and their families and “Voting Ambassadors" to help answer questions have been used for the first time this year. An Aug. 31 Military Times/Syracuse University poll of 1,018 active-duty troops revealed that Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden edged out President Trump among members of the military, 41.3% to 37.4%. Beirne declined to predict which way votes would go, but he said that coronavirus-related mail disruptions will not affect ballot delivery. “Overseas military mail continues to move regardless of international postal...
    NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams is addressing problems with absentee ballots after nearly 100,000 ballots were sent out with the wrong information. Images started circulating on social media on Monday night of absentee ballots mailed to voters with the correct information, but the oath, or privacy envelope, inside addressed to a completely different person. “A vendor used by the Board of Elections called Phoenix Graphics made an error on the Brooklyn ballot, both envelopes, meaning that many went to wrong names. If they were signed and sent in to people with mismatching names, they would be invalidated,” Williams explained. “New absentee ballot packages will be mailed this week and will be received very early next week.” MORE: NYC Board Of Elections Looking Into Absentee Ballot Errors Williams says the vendor will cover the cost to pay for those replacement ballots. Attention Brooklyn Voters: If you received a ballot envelope addressed to the wrong person, the BOENYC will be sending you a corrected one. Do not return your ballot. Wait to receive your corrected ballot...
    It appears that an election worker’s decision to throw out nine military ballots in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, amounted to a mistake and not “intentional fraud,” the state’s top elections official said Wednesday. Workers in the elections office in Luzerne County are getting training on handling mailed-in military and overseas ballots, Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar said during an online news conference. “The investigation is still going on, but from the initial reports we’ve been given, this was a bad error,” said Boockvar, a member of Democratic Gov. Tom Wolfs administration. “This was not intentional fraud. So training, training, training.” President Donald Trump has repeatedly brought up the nine ballots as what he calls evidence of election fraud in the past week, including two mentions during Tuesday nights presidential debate. The president first mentioned the ballots during a radio show appearance Thursday, hours before the Trump-nominated U.S. attorney in Harrisburg, Dave Freed, put out a news release about the investigation. Jonathan Marks, the Pennsylvania deputy secretary for elections, said that in some cases, military and overseas ballots arrived in Luzerne County inside...
    A Pennsylvania worker who discarded nine mail-in ballots made a “bad error,” according to Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar, who indicated a lack of training may have been the problem. “The investigation is still going on, but from the initial reports we’ve been given, this was a bad error,” Boockvar, a Democrat, said during a news conference on Wednesday. “This was not intentional fraud. So training, training, training.” Boockvar was referring to an incident in Luzerne County in which nine military ballots were improperly discarded. Seven of the ballots were outside the envelope and were votes for Trump, which has caused the president to raise security concerns about the mail-in voting process. EARLY VOTING OFF TO SHAKY START IN PHILADELPHIA: REPORT Two of the ballots were resealed and it is unclear which candidate they were for. The Department of Justice initiated an investigation into the incident. An inquiry found that a contractor incorrectly discarded them. PHILADELPHIA ELECTION OFFICIAL URGES GOP STATE LEGISLATURE TO OUTLAW SECRECY ENVELOPES FOR MAIL-IN BALLOTS Meanwhile, the Trump campaign has taken up other voting-related issues within the key swing state. Satellite...
    HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — It appears that an election worker’s decision to throw out nine military ballots in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, amounted to a mistake and not “intentional fraud,” the state’s top elections official said Wednesday. Workers in the elections office in Luzerne County are getting training on handling mailed-in military and overseas ballots, Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar said during an online news conference. “The investigation is still going on, but from the initial reports we’ve been given, this was a bad error,” said Boockvar, a member of Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration. “This was not intentional fraud. So training, training, training.” President Donald Trump has repeatedly brought up the nine ballots as what he calls evidence of election fraud in the past week, including two mentions during Tuesday night’s presidential debate. The president first mentioned the ballots during a radio show appearance Thursday, hours before the Trump-nominated U.S. attorney in Harrisburg, Dave Freed, put out a news release about the investigation. Jonathan Marks, the Pennsylvania deputy secretary for elections, said that in some cases, military and overseas...
    MINEOLA, Long Island (WABC) -- Major issues found with mail-in ballots sent to some voters in New York City have extended to those received in Nassau County.The erroneous ballots could pose a big problem with Election Day around the corner, and state officials are blaming a pair of errors by Phoenix Graphics, the commercial printing company that handled the ballots."We at Phoenix Graphics have learned that we experienced mechanical-inserting issues when producing 2020 General Election Absentee ballots for Kings County and Nassau County," company president Sal DeBiase said in a statement. "We estimate this has affected less than 1 percent of the mailings, of what was the first of many absentee-ballot orders for these counties. Future mailings will not be affected. Phoenix Graphics is in the process of reprinting and mailing all materials to correct the project and will be covering all expenses related to production and postage. We have prided ourselves on accuracy and quality in our 40-year history of printing ballots. We are truly sorry for the inconvenience that has occurred. We are actively making necessary production adjustments...
    PARK SLOPE, Brooklyn (WABC) -- Major issues found with mail-in ballots sent to some voters in New York City could pose a big problem with Election Day around the corner, and state officials on Tuesday blamed a pair of errors.After the city Board of Elections mailed out 100,000 absentee ballots to voters in Brooklyn, some recipients reported that the name and address printed on their official ballot envelope was wrong or that they received a ballot that appeared to a "military absentee" when they were not a member of the armed forces."Obviously we saw the same news as everyone else last night on social media, and to say we are troubled by this is the understatement of the year," said Melissa DeRosa, secretary to Governor Andrew Cuomo. "It looks like it is confined to 100,000 people in Brooklyn. There could be spillover in other zip codes."She noted that there were two simultaneous issues causing confusion among voters, saying the first was that some absentee ballots were missing a slash in between "military" and "absentee," leading some voters to think they...
    Queens, New York City, voters have received mail-in ballots marked for military use even though recipients never served in the armed forces, according to a Monday report. Per the New York Post: In recent days, several borough residents — including two Post journalists — have received forms reading “Official Absentee Military Ballot,” creating concern about whether their votes would be properly tallied. […] Beyond Sunnyside, non-service members also reported receiving the ballots in neighborhoods including Richmond Hill, Forest Hills and Astoria. Van Bramer, a Democrat, said the issue only adds to the worries in an already topsy-turvy election cycle that has seen an inordinate number of voters look to mail-in voting with the coronavirus pandemic raging on. […] Van Bramer said he was informed by the city BOE that the issue stemmed from a typographical error, wherein a dash meant to separate the words “absentee” and “military” was dropped. “There’s just mass confusion about these ballots and what people are supposed to do with them,” Van Bramer told the Post. “People were already not trusting this process and they were already not trusting the Board of...
    Voters across Queens have received mail-in ballots for the 2020 presidential election marked for military use despite never having served in the armed forces — raising the specter that if mailed in those votes could be challenged in court post-election. In recent days, several borough residents — including two Post journalists — have received forms reading “official absentee military ballot,” creating concern about whether their votes would be properly tallied. “I believe that’s just the tip of the iceberg,” said City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, referring to the roughly dozen constituents in his Sunnyside district who have reached out to him about receiving the ballots. “It appears that everyone has gotten this particular ballot.” Beyond Sunnyside, non-service members also reported receiving the ballots in neighborhoods including Richmond Hill, Forest Hills and Astoria. Van Bramer, a Democrat, said that the issue only adds to the worries in an already topsy-turvy election cycle that has seen an inordinate number of voters look to mail-in voting with the coronavirus pandemic raging on. “There’s just mass confusion about these ballots and what people are...
    Officials in Luzerne County, Pa., claimed Friday that an investigation into nine discarded mail-in ballots showed the ballot security system in place for the November election "works." “The system of checks and balances set forth in Pennsylvania elections works,” Luzerne County Manager C. David Pedri said in a statement. “An error was made, a public servant discovered it and reported it to law enforcement at the local, state and federal level who took over to ensure the integrity of the system in place.” The investigations blamed an independent contractor hired to assist with the increased demand for mail-in ballots for the mistake. The nine ballots, from members of the military, were initially reported by the U.S. Attorney's Office to all have been cast for President Trump. A subsequent release said seven were for Trump, but two were resealed in envelopes for submission and their preference was not known. DOJ ORDERS PENNSYLVANIA COUNTY TO CHANGE BALLOT PRACTICES AFTER 'TROUBLING' FINDINGSDistrict Attorney Stefanie Salavantis told a local publication that the investigation is ongoing, but that she did not believe it would affect the Nov. 3 general election. “We are confident that it...
            by Thomas Catenacci  Nine military mail-in ballots cast for President Donald Trump were discarded at a local Pennsylvania board of elections office, a federal investigation concluded. The FBI and Pennsylvania State Police began an investigation Monday at the request of Luzerne County District Attorney Stefanie Salavantis, U.S. Attorney David Freed said in a statement. Salavantis requested federal assistance following reports of issues with a small number of ballots at the Luzerne County Board of Elections. “Investigators have recovered nine ballots at this time,” Freed said in a statement Thursday. “All nine ballots were cast for presidential candidate Donald Trump.” The inquiry is ongoing, Freed added. “It is the vital duty of government to ensure that every properly cast vote is counted,” he said. The investigation into the mail-in mishap comes as the November election, which will see a significant uptick in mail voting, approaches. A record 76% of Americans will be able to vote by mail in the general election, The New York Times reported.  Postmaster General Louis DeJoy faced scrutiny in August for the United States Postal Service’s implementation of...
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