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While concerns about election fraud are usually motivated by purposeful attempts to cheat the election process, i.e., voter fraud, sometimes they emerge because of incompetence.
Take what happened in Maryland, where this week election officials discovered a batch of 20 ballots for an upcoming June 9th primary election in Charleston County.
There was just one problem: Charleston County is in South Carolina!
Luckily, the problem was spotted in time and the ballots were forwarded to their correction destination:
SeaChange CEO Wendi Breuer called Thurs. to say a tray of Charleston ballots were accidentally picked up and included in Maryland shipment. The ballots were spotted soon after they arrived & were mailed to SC from Baltimore. No voter failed to get their absentee ballot, she said. https://t.co/tU9aX36qCk
— Andy Shain (@AndyShain) May 21, 2020
The ballots were printed by the Minnesota-based printer SeaChange, and according to an investigation by The Post and Courier, the printer has a consistent track record for screwing up, particularly as it relates to South Carolina.
“Some Greenville County voters received the wrong absentee ballots this year when the Democratic presidential primary and a special election for sheriff were held 10 days apart,” the paper reported Wednesday.
“Some Charleston County voters received ballots that were folded in a way that could make them tougher to read by scanning machines.”
With only days remaining until the June 9th primary, South Carolina election officials are rightly concerned, especially since they’ve already issued 20 percent more absentee ballots this year than were issued in the 2018 race two years ago.
“We’re not getting a warm and fuzzy feeling that they can handle this. We are actively seeking sustainable solutions,” S.C. Election Commission spokesman Chris Whitmire said to the paper.
They’re not alone. Over in Maryland, which also contracts with SeaChange, there have been problems as well.
This week officials with the Maryland Board of Elections were forced to add two in-person voting centers to Baltimore for an upcoming June 2nd primary because of late ballots from SeaChange.
“Minnesota-based SeaChange assured election officials that Baltimore’s ballots were in the mail as of May 8. State officials did not learn otherwise until last weekend, said Nikki Charlson, the state’s deputy elections administrator,” The Boston Globe reported.
While some ballots have reportedly finally begun to arrive, many haven’t.
This afternoon, I delivered a letter to the MD Board of Elections calling for an emergency open meeting to clarify the whereabouts of Baltimore’s ballots for the #June2 Primary. When people marched and died for this right, it is everyone’s responsibility to take this seriously. pic.twitter.com/n77bHyWJYc
— Brandon M. Scott (@CouncilPresBMS) May 18, 2020
We’ve been told they could arrive as late as Saturday for Baltimore City voters. If you want to check the status of your ballot, call the local Board of Elections (410) 396-5550
— Brandon M. Scott (@CouncilPresBMS) May 21, 2020
Something similar occurred during South Carolina’s presidential primary elections in February, when SeaChange reportedly never sent one county any ballots at all.
Over in Texas, meanwhile, voters were treated to duplicate ballots for their own primary elections back in March. The culprit? SeaChange, of course.
“Nearly 500 Bastrop County voters who requested ballots by mail for the March primaries each received three ballots by error, and the county elections office had received duplicate ballots from at least 14 voters as of Tuesday,” the Waxahachie Daily Light reported at the time.
“Two of those voters submitted three ballots, Elections Administrator Kristin Miles said, though she cautioned that the county’s election software flagged the 16 duplicate ballots submitted to her office.”
FYI, 16 ballots are enough to swing a local election …
Back in South Carolina, officials are reportedly so fed up with SeaChange they’re considering dumping it:
So here’s a crazy tidbit: Maryland election officials found a bunch of ballots from South Carolina mixed in with their shipments to Baltimore. They use the same vendor. I just talked to an elections official in SC, and he says they’re ready to dump the company.
— Emily Opilo (@emilyopilo) May 20, 2020
SeaChange’s demonstrated incompetence is of paramount importance given as congressional Democrats are pushing to implement a nationwide mail-in voting scheme for the 2020 general election. Were such a scheme implemented, who would print the ballots? And would they even be able to handle the volume? Some suspect not.
“With many states expected to expand mail-in voting for November, experts warn that existing ballot printing services could quickly become overwhelmed,” NPR reported earlier this month.
“One of the biggest such vendors in the country is Runbeck Election Services. The company’s 90,000-square-foot facility in Phoenix, Ariz., is already bustling, and things are expected to get a lot busier soon.”
Here’s the thing: Even Runbeck Election Services has had its share of mishaps.
“Georgia election officials said Tuesday they will correct absentee ballot instructions that erroneously told voters to insert ballots into envelopes that no longer exist. … The problem occurred because of a miscommunication between the state and its ballot mailing company, Arizona-based Runbeck Election Services,” The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported just weeks ago.
Yet Democrats believe the country is ready for nationwide mail-in voting? Republicans such as President Donald Trump disagree, though to hear the mainstream press tell it, their concerns are rooted in conspiracy theories.
Newsflash: The demonstrated incompetence of ballot-printing companies isn’t a conspiracy theory — it’s a fact.
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