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County clerk issues warning about GOP VBM mailers

Thursday, Jul 30, 2020

* So, in a political environment like this

President Donald Trump is for the first time floating a “delay” to the Nov. 3 presidential election, as he makes unsubstantiated allegations that increased mail-in voting will result in fraud.

Whew.

* Knowing all this, some local Republicans just made things worse

Rock Island County Clerk Karen Kinney is asking voters to disregard absentee ballot request forms arriving with a return address of Peoria, saying she has received hundreds of calls to her office from concerned voters. […]

“While this is technically legal, these outside groups do not meet the high standards of protecting the process that I do,” Kinney said. […]

Rock Island County Republican Party Chairman Drue Mielke said Wednesday his office participated in sending out the ballot request applications from Peoria and that voters can trust the process. […]

Mielke said the Rock Island County Republican Party partnered with the Whiteside and Peoria County Republican parties to send ballot applications to all registered voters in the three counties as a way to pool resources and increase voter participation. He said once the applications are filled out and returned to Peoria, all Rock Island County applications will be forwarded to Kinney’s office.

So… they send ballot applications to voters in Rock Island and Whiteside counties with a Peoria return address and they think this is OK in this environment?

If I was a tinfoil hatter, I’d think they were deliberately trying to bolster the president’s arguments. But I’m guessing they’re not that bright.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

35 Comments »
  1. - Norseman - Thursday, Jul 30, 20 @ 9:46 am:

    === “While this is technically legal, these outside groups do not meet the high standards of protecting the process … ===

    Time for the GA to address this “technical” issue.


  2. - Dotnonymous - Thursday, Jul 30, 20 @ 9:47 am:

    My tin foil hat turned out to be quite comfortable.


  3. - Moe Berg - Thursday, Jul 30, 20 @ 9:47 am:

    And, we should trust that a someone who votes in Democratic primaries will have their absentee ballot request returned after it passes through a Republican Party office?


  4. - Anon62704 - Thursday, Jul 30, 20 @ 9:49 am:

    =But I’m guessing they’re not that bright.=

    They deserve more credit than you’re giving them.

    https://www.wqad.com/article/news/local/drone/8-in-the-air/investigation-continues-into-1500-absentee-ballot-applications-piled-up-in-p-o-box/526-ebf2fc91-5136-4ac8-9aa9-bcca8d8ecc8e


  5. - Cheryl44 - Thursday, Jul 30, 20 @ 9:52 am:

    That’s pretty blatant attempted voter fraud. No arrests yet?


  6. - The Old Man - Thursday, Jul 30, 20 @ 9:52 am:

    This is a common practice, many times in years before, both R and D have used the state party apparatus and mailing codes to send absentee applications which were then sent o to local county clerks or election authorities. Hardly an article news worthy of a lead column in CAPFAX


  7. - revvedup - Thursday, Jul 30, 20 @ 9:56 am:

    To The Old Man at 9:52 am: It’s newsworthy because the Republicans should not be relaying official registrations like that; they should have put the Clerk’s Office address. And in current Illinois political climate, it smacks of misconduct opportunities to “lose” absentee ballot applications, etc.


  8. - Hamlet's Ghost - Thursday, Jul 30, 20 @ 10:00 am:

    Think about the Trump tweet for a minute - we need to postpone the election because of COVID but the schools must open fully


  9. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jul 30, 20 @ 10:03 am:

    === Think about the Trump tweet for a minute - we need to postpone the election because of COVID but the schools must open fully===

    You’re on it.

    For me, no hyperbole. Nope. Third World despots are afraid of elections when the polls and “mood“ show defeat.

    The United States is the global beacon of democracy. This is not how beacons shine for others.

    Schools open, money over lives, but no voting as statutorily or constitutionally require… that’s not our Republic.


  10. - Not a Billionaire - Thursday, Jul 30, 20 @ 10:04 am:

    That guy is always on QC tv pushing some Trump nonsense or another so I would not be surprised if it’s deliberate.


  11. - @misterjayem - Thursday, Jul 30, 20 @ 10:05 am:

    “This is a common practice *** Hardly an article news worthy of a lead column in CAPFAX”

    Sure.

    In fact, Republicans were engaging in this practice as recently as 2018, e.g. https://www.npr.org/2019/07/30/746800630/north-carolina-gop-operative-faces-new-felony-charges-that-allege-ballot-fraud

    – MrJM


  12. - 1st Ward - Thursday, Jul 30, 20 @ 10:11 am:

    He doesn’t have the authority. Regardless, vote by mail is going to be a mess since the infrastructure is not prepared and the amount of rules on filling out the ballot that people don’t know about. NY primary has been a disaster. Oh yea, the post-office hasn’t been reliable recently.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/17/nyregion/election-absentee-ballots-primary.html

    https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2020/07/new-york-election-failure-mail-in-voting/614446/

    https://chicago.cbslocal.com/2020/07/08/after-cbs-2-report-more-chicagoans-say-they-havent-been-getting-mail-union-president-says-chicago-post-office-is-failing/


  13. - Bigtwich - Thursday, Jul 30, 20 @ 10:11 am:

    I am ok with delaying the election. The Constitution states when the terms of the President and Vice President end. No Representatives would e elected so no House, no Speaker. The Senate is a continuing body. 23 Republicans are up for election, 12 Democrats. Those seats would be vacant. Thee continuing Senators, with a Democratic Majority, would elect a President Pro Tempore of the Senate who would be the top person in the line of Presidential Succession.


  14. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jul 30, 20 @ 10:13 am:

    === I am ok with delaying the election. The Constitution states when the terms of the President and Vice President end. No Representatives would e elected so no House, no Speaker. The Senate is a continuing body. 23 Republicans are up for election, 12 Democrats. Those seats would be vacant. Thee continuing Senators, with a Democratic Majority, would elect a President Pro Tempore of the Senate who would be the top person in the line of Presidential Succession.===

    It’s too early for imbibing or “partaking”

    :)


  15. - essentially working - Thursday, Jul 30, 20 @ 10:14 am:

    Obviously vote by mail is an open invitation for shenanigans; in person voting is the only way it can be done. Everyone can wear goggles, masks and gloves. Just to make sure, we should require ID to make absolutely sure the Russians don’t interfere with the vote tallies.


  16. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jul 30, 20 @ 10:18 am:

    === Obviously vote by mail is an open invitation for shenanigans; in person voting is the only way it can be done.===

    The…

    Civil War, World War I, World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War, Gulf War… disagree.


  17. - CubsFan16 - Thursday, Jul 30, 20 @ 10:21 am:

    So the Democratic County Clerk is telling Republican voters not to trust a GOP VBM mailer? I know folks that received a VBM application from a “Vote Yes to Fair Tax” group, should those applications not be trusted either, Ms. Kinney?


  18. - Hamlet's Ghost - Thursday, Jul 30, 20 @ 10:23 am:

    We received a VBM application from a “Vote Yes to Fair Tax” group with a postage paid envelope properly addressed to the County Clerk’s office.


  19. - cermak_rd - Thursday, Jul 30, 20 @ 10:23 am:

    If vote by mail is so susceptible to shenanigans, why has it been permitted by deployed troops or people in IL that are not going to be able to vote in person in the past? I believe IL has eliminated the cause requirement for VBM and really wouldn’t pandemic have been a cause anyway?


  20. - Hamlet's Ghost - Thursday, Jul 30, 20 @ 10:25 am:

    If “Vote Yes to Fair Tax” sends out envelopes not properly addressed to the appropriate County Clerk, they deserve to be dragged.


  21. - Annonin' - Thursday, Jul 30, 20 @ 10:29 am:

    GOPies”GOP REMOTE VOTE” got sent to Tazewell Coo. voters too with the Peoria PO Box. Didn’t “single mom” try this a few cycles back? Then the PO box was in Rock Island.


  22. - Nobody - Thursday, Jul 30, 20 @ 10:49 am:

    There’s absentee voting and then there’s the mail in voting farce. I’m sure Rich won’t post this, but it makes me feel better. I’ve worked elections in numerous cities, including Chicago. If there’s ever a way to throw an election, It is mail in voting.


  23. - Teacher Lady - Thursday, Jul 30, 20 @ 11:16 am:

    ==There’s absentee voting and then there’s the mail in voting farce==

    Absentee voting IS mail in voting.
    They are one and the same.
    There’s a fiction that’s being put out there that absentee voting is righteous, but mail in voting is evil.
    It is absolutely not true whatsoever (banned punctuation X 10)


  24. - @misterjayem - Thursday, Jul 30, 20 @ 11:20 am:

    “I’m sure Rich won’t post this, but it makes me feel better.”

    And here I thought your feelings were the reason why Rich created and maintains this blog…

    – MrJM


  25. - Anon221 - Thursday, Jul 30, 20 @ 11:27 am:

    I was going to promote the VBM info from the Vote Yes for Fairness folks to some friends. But, if you go to the website they promote, it may turn some people away. There’s also this bit on that VMB flyer from that group that doesn’t help trust for some people- “Notice: Someone from our team will follow up to discuss your ballot application experience.”

    I know this is naïve, but in this climate, if you truly want people to vote by mail then send them to the main source for getting started online instead of “middleman” websites.

    https://elections.il.gov/electionoperations/VotingByMail.aspx


  26. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jul 30, 20 @ 11:28 am:

    === I’ve worked elections in numerous cities, including Chicago. If there’s ever a way to throw an election, It is mail in voting.===

    Cite the election thrown.

    If ya need to go “Kennedy-Nixon” maybe you need to sit out a few plays, join us in the 21st century after.


  27. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jul 30, 20 @ 12:19 pm:

    The Las Vegas Sun, and many other places, as this cites “The Hill”…

    === The truth is that mail-in balloting has been used for years to allow voting by military personnel and other absentee voters, and as of yet there’s been no evidence of rampant fraud involved in it. In a recent guest column for The Hill, the directors of the National Vote at Home Institute and the MIT Election Data and Science Lab provided numbers that summed up the situation in stark detail: Of the more than 250 million ballots cast by mail over the past 20 years, there have been 142 criminal convictions for fraud related to those ballots. That’s a fraud rate of 0.00006%.===

    We all need to be keenly aware of things that are hinky, like this idea of this post Rich has, yeah, at the *minimum* it’s hinky… but the integrity of our system, the proper and honest procedural way to VBM… our system is undermineded more by those wanting to stop “free voting” than the tools to safely vote through the processes including VBM.

    Link.

    shorturl.at/qwIKQ


  28. - Huh? - Thursday, Jul 30, 20 @ 12:38 pm:

    Have recent these types of mailers in the past. Have always tossed them into the recycle bin.

    This year went to county clerk website and downloaded the ballot application. Filled it out and am now waiting for 8/5 to put in mail.

    Anything coming from the republican’ts will be viewed with a jaundiced eye. Especially, a VBM application.


  29. - Huh? - Thursday, Jul 30, 20 @ 1:00 pm:

    Just got one in mail today from a bunch calling themselves “vote yes for fairness” and a Chicago return address.

    Inside was a county application for vote by mail ballot and a prepaid stamped envelope addressed to the county clerk.

    One important difference between the one downloaded from county website and what was received in mail, the one from “vote yes for fairness” was missing a warning label that first day that county will accept the application for VBM is 8/5/2020.

    Will use their envelope but rest will be recycled.


  30. - JoanP - Thursday, Jul 30, 20 @ 1:04 pm:

    I got a VBM mailer from the “Vote Yes for Fairness” group.

    I also got a VBM application from the Chicago Board of Elections.

    Should I decide to vote by mail, guess which one I’m using.


  31. - Huh? - Thursday, Jul 30, 20 @ 1:23 pm:

    I’m planning to ask for absentee ballot to have option of VBM or in person. If early voting isn’t too busy, may vote in person. If it gets nuts, can mail ballot.


  32. - yinn - Thursday, Jul 30, 20 @ 1:48 pm:

    ==I’m planning to ask for absentee ballot to have option of VBM or in person.==

    Just in case anyone reading this doesn’t know: It’s fine to change your mind and vote in person, but take the mail-in ballot with you to the polling place because you’ll have to surrender it first.


  33. - Bruce (no not him) - Thursday, Jul 30, 20 @ 2:43 pm:

    This is illinois. Vote both in person and by mail.


  34. - thoughts matter - Thursday, Jul 30, 20 @ 2:51 pm:

    We live in Sangamon county and my spouse got one of the GOP mail to Peoria VBM forms. I found it very suspect due to the Peoria address and the fact that the GOP has been trying to throw all kinds of red flags about VBM. Pick a lane.

    I didn’t get one since I crossed over in the last primary. I think I have an official one from the county in my mailbox today. Based on the USPS ‘what’s in your mail’ email.


  35. - Former Downstater - Thursday, Jul 30, 20 @ 3:03 pm:

    The RI County Republican Party has bumbled along for decades so nothing surprises me when they do poorly.


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