Submitted by Frank Corah
It is vitally important in this contentious Presidential election that the American people, regardless of their political persuasion, trust the election process. I volunteered as an election observer in San Diego with the Election Integrity Project-California, a non partisan group that observes polling and ballot processing locations to insure election law is being properly followed. Observers are distinct from election watchers who represent political parties or candidates. At the Registrar of Voters (ROV) offices, I observed signature verification, signature validation, and envelop scanning and processing. At Coronado and National City polling stations, I observed polling workers helping voters and then following detailed checklists to close their polls and securely deliver their ballots to a ROV collection site. My opinion is that, after a few kinks were ironed out at the ROV, everything was done transparently, efficiently, and fairly.
From what I have seen in the media, that cannot be said of the processing in several swing states where watchers and observers were not allowed legally required access, even to the point of blocking off windows. Further, a national news outlet reported that ballot processing was suspended during the night in several states, raising questions as to the security of their processing areas. Election workers are regular, honest people and closing the stations smacks of getting rid of witnesses.
These allegations raise the issue of ballot accountability. There are 3 types of ballots to consider. Traditional in person ballots are strictly accountable with reconciliation done at the polling site at the end of each day where ballots given out must equal those received. Absentee ballots are also very accountable because each ballot is sent to a voter who has requested the ballot and generally the signature on the ballot must match the signature on file at the ROV. Absentee ballots are usually returned because the voter has requested them. The mail ballots sent out by most states in response to the COVID crisis to every name on the Secretary of State’s list have much less accountability. A woman I spoke with said she had received 4 ballots. Many are simply ignored, sent to the wrong address, or worse. These ballots are often gathered by paid ballot harvesters who can legally collect ballots in many states and turn them in. Signature verification standards in many states including PA, NC, and MN are weak or non-existent. Mail ballots and harvesting are a prescription for fraud, and once a ballot has been separated from its envelope it is virtually impossible to have any accountability.
If there is evidence of alleged voter fraud, we need to examine the evidence openly and fairly to insure that election laws are being followed. Fortunately, we have a court system that is designed to be impartial and to uphold the law. We need to be patient and seek the truth so that in the end we can trust the results.