[Editor:  Thanks to Bartlett Bunker for this article.  The author is unknown to us.]

Arizona Ballot Harvesters Can Benefit From Cheap Stationary

For political operatives it is an exciting time as they harvest the ballots cast in the Arizona Presidential Preference Election to be held on March 22. For bad actors, who harvest with the intent to manipulate the results, the quality of this year’s ballots could make the culling of undesirable votes a snap.

A snap of a flashlight switch that is.

While proponents of mail-in voting claim that the ballots are “secure and “private,” it appears they are anything but. According to residents across the state, the contents inside the flimsy envelopes in which ballots are returned to county recorders can clearly be seen by holding a source of light underneath them.

Dishonest harvesters can then decide what ballots get delivered to the recorders, and what ballots make it into the rubbish – in a snap.

As a result of the compelling testimony from southern Arizona community leader, Sergio Arellano, about the abuses of ballot harvesters before the House Elections Committee, awareness of the subject has grown. So red flags were quickly raised late last week when Arizonans received their Presidential Preference Election (PPE) ballots.

While nothing can be done now to prevent abuses in the PPE, the discovery of the security lapse bolsters arguments for HB2023 which will make ballot harvesting a class six felony.

“The importance of enacting into law HB2023 cannot be overemphasized,” says legislative expert Jose Borrajero. “If we are going to have an orderly society based on the rule of law, we must preserve the sanctity of the secret ballot. The two main arguments against HB2023 are purely bogus. One such argument is that certain individuals need assistance with their ballots, or else they would be disenfranchised. But they have plenty of assistance in the form of early ballots which may be voted and simply handed to their mailman. How can anyone be disenfranchised when all they need to do is make sure that their ballot makes it to their front door? The other bogus argument against HB2023 is that it is not needed because there is no voter fraud happening in AZ. But whether there is widespread voter fraud is not even the main issue here. The mere act of handing a ballot to a stranger, who is part of an organization with an agenda, should be a source of great concern to everyone. We know that envelopes can be steamed open and resealed, but we also know that it is not even necessary for someone to do that, if they have mischief on their minds. All they have to do is hold the ballots to a light source, see how they were voted, and discard those that do not agree with the philosophy of the organization. Unfortunately, those folks who are likely to surrender their ballots to these organizations do not likely know that they can to (sic) track those ballots to see if they in fact reached the election officials.”

HB2023 is currently winding its way through the Arizona Senate. The bill passed in the House along party lines with only Republican Rep. Heather Carter crossing over to join Democrats. In Arizona, as is the case across the country, ballot harvesting has been a practice mostly employed by labor unions for Democrat candidates and trade-boosting bond measures.

However for the residents in areas like southern Arizona in which the Democrat machine has stopped serving the people and now only serves the corrupt Grijalva dynasty, Democrats are quietly opposing the harvesting practices. They saw first-hand how the trusted mayor of South Tucson, Paul Diaz, was stripped of his office thanks to ballot harvesting during a recent recall pushed by the machine.

While that machine steals their ballots, it has also stolen their hope of ever running opponents to the machine. Thus, incumbents rarely face challengers in primaries.

One only needs to look at the PPE for the Democratic Party to see the fruitlessness. Few believe that Bernie Sanders has had (sic) enjoyed a fair fight on the national level. Defying all probability, the die throw by establishment operatives keep rolling for Hillary. Because it is the Democrats who employ harvesting, one has to wonder just how many Bernie ballots will end up in Arizona trash bins.

Not only has that lack of faith eliminated healthy competition and blocked new blood, it has greatly reduced voter participation. This despite the fact that proponents promised that mail-in ballots would increase turnout. Still, those who still vote need to know their votes will be counted. As Borrajero concludes, “Preserving the chain of custody of ballots is or should be a matter of great priority, and HB2023 will go a long way toward accomplishing that.”

[Editor's note: This is serious problem.  In 2013, members of AFA discussed this issue with sitting Senator Michele Reagan who then ran SB1003 to stop this practice.  Unfortunately, the body politic took a simple clean bill and created a monster that never got anywhere.  This last summer, team members again took this issue to now Secy. of State Michele Reagan and that election department took up this issue and has worked with the legislature to get this bill written and passed.  We are pleased to see the wisdom of the legislature (with the exception of Rep. Carter) to understand the sanctity of the secret ballot and the right to vote.  You might also be interested to know that this topic came to Secy of State Ken Bennett, who casually declared there is no voter fraud in Arizona.  Bennett is now running for Congress in CD1.  You can help get this passed in the Senate by contacting your senator and telling them you want them to pass this bill.]

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Well-written by someone who knows the landscape intimately.

Bunker forgot to list the link and author.  Here it is: 




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