by WorldTribune Staff, May 21, 2020
Saying that vote-by-mail plans are subject to “massive fraud,” President Donald Trump on Wednesday vowed to withhold federal funds to Michigan and Nevada if they expand vote-by-mail in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
“Mail-in ballots are very dangerous. There is tremendous fraud involved and tremendous illegality,” the president said. “You’ll be finding out very soon if it’s necessary. I don’t think it’s going to be necessary because mail-in ballots are a very dangerous thing. They’re subject to massive fraud.”
Citing public health risks brought on by COVID-19, Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, a Democrat, announced that all 7.7 million registered voters in the battleground state will receive an application to vote by mail in the August primary and the November general election.
In Nevada, Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske, a Republican, announced in March that the state’s June 9 primary would be conducted entirely by mail.
“State of Nevada ‘thinks’ that they can send out illegal vote by mail ballots, creating a great Voter Fraud scenario for the State and the U.S. They can’t! If they do, ‘I think’ I can hold up funds to the State. Sorry, but you must not cheat in elections,” Trump tweeted.
The Republican National Committee (RNC) called on Nevada’s attorney general to investigate a suspected “backroom deal” on voting by mail between national Democratic Party leaders and Democratic commissioners of Clark County, where thousands of ballots reportedly have been sent to inactive voters, The Washington Times reported on May 20.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Trump was alerting administration officials in charge of budgeting decisions “about his concerns with trillions of dollars going to the states, and his noted concerns about a lot of fraud that is potentially at play when you have mass mail-in voting.”
McEnany cited a report in 2005 by the bipartisan Commission on Federal Election Reform, headed by former President Jimmy Carter and former Secretary of State James A. Baker III, that said, “Absentee ballots remain the largest source of potential voter fraud.”
Sherikia Hawkins, a Democratic city clerk in Southfield, Michigan, was charged this week with multiple felonies related to discrepancies in absentee ballots for the 2018 elections. The charges included forging public documents and misconduct in office.
The RNC accused Democrats of “seizing on the coronavirus pandemic in an attempt to push through their long-sought partisan election agenda.”
“The Democrat National Committee and other liberal groups have sued the Nevada secretary of state to willfully ignore and violate Nevada election law by suspending prosecution of ballot harvesters, sending ballots to all inactive voters, suspending verification procedures for absentee ballots such as signature matching, and demanding more than one in-person voting center, despite the state’s all-mail order for the June 9 primary,” the RNC said. “This is particularly troubling as media reports have confirmed that an excess of ballots sent to inactive voters are now littering Las Vegas’s streets, piling up in trash cans and apartment complexes, leaving Nevada’s elections open and vulnerable to fraud.”
Meanwhile, a Philadelphia elections judge pleaded guilty on Thursday to stuffing ballot boxes in favor of Democratic candidates in elections in 2014, 2015 and 2016, while collecting thousands of dollars in cash to make the changes, The Washington Times reported.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Philadelphia won Thursday’s guilty plea from Domenick J. DeMuro, who served as a judge of elections, responsible for overseeing a polling place during voting.
Prosecutors said DeMuro, who was also a Democratic Party ward chairman, stuffed the ballot box in elections for judicial candidates as well as federal, state and local offices.
“DeMuro fraudulently stuffed the ballot box by literally standing in a voting booth and voting over and over, as fast as he could, while he thought the coast was clear,” said U.S. Attorney William M. McSwain. “Voting is the cornerstone of our democracy. If even one vote is fraudulently rung up, the integrity of that election is compromised.”