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Originally, mail-in ballots were reserved for “military members away from home and other individuals who were legitimately unable to vote in person on Election Day because of disability or travel,” the populist conservative think tank recounts in an August study, “The Case Against Mass-Mail In Ballots.

However, since 2000, when Oregon became the first state to start using no-excuse absentee ballots, 29 other states and Washington, D.C. also adopted the practice. 

“More states adopted these measures during the 2020 Election Cycle, and now only Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Indiana require an excuse to request a mail-in ballot,” according to the AFPI.

“Shockingly,” the report adds, “there is now a widespread effort to make no-excuse absentee ballot measures permanent across all elections.”

Typically, absentee ballot rules require voters to request ballots and provide identification before they are sent out, AFPI explained. Then, after the clerk’s office verifies a voter’s identity, the voter will receive a ballot that can either be mailed in or returned in person at a designated polling location.

But with universal mail-in voting, all registered voters are sent absentee ballots regardless of whether they requested them.

Eight states — California, Colorado, Hawaii, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Vermont, and Washington — have made universal mail-in voting permanent.

When mass mail-in voting was implemented in many states during the COVID-19 pandemic last year, drop boxes were installed for voters to drop off their mail-in ballots, “oftentimes with no security or chain of custody to show their security,” the report said.

“This removed any obstacles from ballots being illegally trafficked,” the study found, linking to a Vision Times story on the lack of “chain of custody documents for thousands of mail absentee ballots deposited in drop boxes and transferred to counting locations” in Georgia.

At times, “the security of these ballots was so negligent that ballot drop boxes were sometimes vandalized and torched,” the report said, citing an NBC 10 Boston news article on a ballot drop box being set on fire.

The 2020 election also provoked widespread complaints that the distribution of drop boxes was politically biased and unequal.

“In Democrat Delaware County, Pennsylvania, one drop box was placed every four square miles and for every 4,000 voters,” reported The Amistad Project. In contrast, the election integrity watchdog found, “In the 59 counties carried by Trump in 2016, there was one drop box for every 1,100 square miles and every 72,000 voters.”

Compounding the weaknesses of mass mail-in voting is the problem of inaccurate and outdated voter rolls, which, according to the AFPI, led in at least one situation to thousands of people receiving ballots from two states, as well as to some instances in which votes were cast in deceased people’s names.

Citing the need for standards “to instill greater security in the process” of mail-in voting, the AFPI report offers a series of recommendations, including:

  • procedures that would guarantee “legal ballots are secured and counted quickly,” ensuring only legal ballots are cast, and matching mailed ballots “to their envelopes after being opened to secure future authentication procedures and audits.”
  • the adoption of ballot-tracking applications so ballots don’t get lost in the mail, and allowing ballot applications to be sent only via First Class mail, “which allows state elections officials to use their Address Correction Services to match registrations with more updated address lists, thus providing additional security measures in ensuring only legally registered voters receive a ballot.”
  • sending mail-in ballots only to voters who request them and have their identities verified.

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Election

Arizona lawmakers approve bill vetting voters for citizenship before they can vote

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Arizona lawmakers approved new voter restrictions that supporters said ensure only U.S. citizens can cast ballots but opponents said will wipe countless voters off the state’s rolls.

A unanimous Republican caucus approved House Bill 2492 on Wednesday in the Senate, sending the legislation to Gov. Doug Ducey for consideration.

While Arizona is one of the few states that already require proof of citizenship before registering to vote, residents can bypass that by registering for a federal-only ballot under the National Voter Registration Act and can vote on federal contests.

HB 2492 would require counties to check those individuals for citizenship against multiple databases. Counties must reject any federal applications if they find the individual is not a U.S. citizen. Any official knowingly ignoring the requirement could be charged with a Class 6 felony.

Democrats accused Republicans of seeking to purge the voter rolls as revenge for the 2020 general election, where President Joe Biden narrowly defeated former President Donald Trump.

“This is absurd, illogical and discriminatory,” Sen. Sally Ann Gonzales, D-Tucson, said.

Constitutional analysts told GOP lawmakers in another hearing the bill presents some issues that could face a legal challenge. Opponents were quick to note that in debate.

“We are voting on a bill that is unconstitutional and has a tremendous impact on the voters of the state of Arizona,” Sen. Martín Quezada, D-Phoenix, said. “There are many provisions in this bill that are offensive, and that will have a negative impact on some communities more than others.”

Republicans said their legislation simply ensures U.S. citizens are the only ones voting in U.S. elections.

“The issue is making sure the citizens of this country are voting,” Sen. Warren Petersen, R-Gilbert, said. “If you’re not a citizen of this country, you’re not allowed to vote. We have over 35,000 people registered to vote where we are not certain whether they’re citizens or not.”

The bill passed along partisan lines. Democrats gathered in Phoenix on Thursday to pressure Ducey to veto the legislation.

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Congress

US Senators Question Motives of AT&T For Refusing To Renew OAN Contract…Cite AT&T Board Chairman’s Ties To Dominion Voting Machines

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Two U.S. Senators, Ted Cruz and Mike Lee, have written an official letter to AT&T inquiring into its politically-motivated decision to cut One America News Network (OANN) from DirectTV. Cruz and Lee both press the AT&T Board of Directors for answers regarding the “personal financial” influences that may have swayed the company’s decision.

The decision to not renew its contract with OANN was announced by DirecTV in mid-January. DirecTV, which is primarily run by AT&T, has a contract with OANN that is set to expire in early April.

In response to this major decision, President Trump spoke out at an Arizona rally, saying, “This is horrible. This is a great network. These are great people. I watch it all the time and you really get the truth. And they want to cancel them now because of politics – for purely political reasons. It’s a disgrace what’s going on.”

“I don’t think that people are gonna stand for it,” added Trump.”Maybe what we should do is not use AT&T.”

On Tuesday, Senators Mike Lee and Ted Cruz submitted a letter to the members of the AT&T Board of Directors, expressing “grave concern for the future of journalism and political discourse in America.”

They then listed six specific facts/concerns regarding the issue:

  1. One American News Network (“OAN”) is being sued for alleged defamation by Dominion Voting Systems.
  2. Dominion Voting Systems is owned by Staple Street Capital.
  3. William Kennard is on the executive board of Staple Street Capital
  4. William Kennard is also the Chairman of AT&T’s board of directors
  5. AT&T owns 70% of DirecTV, and controls two seats on DirecTV’s board of directors
  6. DirecTV has decided not to renew its contract with OANN.

The main concern pointed out by Lee and Cruz is that William Kennard, the Chairman of AT&T’s board of directors and executive board member of Staple Street Capital, is pushing to end its contract with OANN to benefit his personal financial interests.

The Senators then request a response to the following question within 10 business days: “Did any employee or agent of AT&T at any time convey or suggest to any employee or agent of DirecTV an instruction or request not to renew OANN?”

Read the full letter below:

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Election

VoterGA Reveals Georgia Ballot Harvesting Scheme – Raffensperger Facilitated Ballot Harvesting

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