“Voter Fraud Exists:” stories from the Polls
Voter fraud is happening.
It had been a few years since I’d been in the field monitoring a polling place on election day. But this past Tuesday, starting at 7 a.m., I was in Gardner watching a ward for now Sen.-elect Peter Durant.
It was important to be in Gardner, because that is the hometown of Durant’s opponent, another incumbent state rep. In Gardner, the Democrats had the home-field advantage.
After a long day of monitoring (polls are open for 13 hours, until 8 p.m.), I strongly believe that every Republican should be encouraged to take election day off from work to pitch in to ensure election integrity, because voter fraud is happening.
Most of it is not malicious, but rather just plain incompetence of voters and polling staff.
The first battle I had on Tuesday was over a voter whose ID did not match the voter list. The precinct warden was going to let that person put their ballot through the machine even though his real identity could not be confirmed. I brought this to the attention of the warden who told me that the Gardner city clerk told her it was ok.
I responded that the Secretary of State’s Office did not agree. Thankfully, the secretary of state’s office called the city clerk, who then called the warden at the precinct.
Of course, I was then castigated by the warden for talking on my phone and for taking pictures. I promised not to talk on the phone again, but I would not stop taking pictures.
The next problem was someone voting twice.
There were two elections on Tuesday in Gardner—the special election to fill the state senate vacancy and the city elections. So voters in Gardner were given two ballots. An older man voted and left the polls. However, a few minutes later a white piece of paper was found on the floor by the ballot box.
One of the poll workers declared that it was the older gent’s ballot and called him back. That’s right; she just happened to have his cell-phone number handy. The warden grabbed the white paper and declared it spoiled. The old-timer was then given another ballot. I was not allowed to see which of his two ballots was spoiled or which of the two ballots – municipal or state — was given to him as a replacement.
When he went to put his vote into the machine again, he exclaimed, “I am getting to vote twice today!” At that point, poll workers hushed him, pointing out that there was an election observer there! Once again I had words with the warden, especially when she would not give me the name of the voter. That information is private, according to her.
As the day progressed, poll workers were discussing our Democrat opponent with voters, as well as with a number of inactive voters who drifted in. My favorite moments were when the warden told inactive voters that they needed ID to vote, because we have a poll observer today.
Then the mail-in ballots were delivered. Those envelopes floated everywhere during the day. Watching the processing of these ballots was especially important, because ballots were to be disqualified if there were two in an envelope—one for the city election with an orange label and one for the special state election with a yellow label.
Well, two envelopes had to be tossed for double balloting. The warden actually followed the lawful procedure on this one without getting a call from the secretary of state.
But hours later, two mail-in ballots (yellow) for the state election showed up in the warden’s hand at the check-in table. She appeared to be trying to put them in as votes.
When I asked where those ballots came from, she bit my head off. How dare I! But then she reluctantly put them in a folder not to be counted.
Most of the issues involved plain incompetence, but I was glad to catch as many problems as I could. When Peter Durant first ran for state representative, his first election came down to four votes!
I thought that this election was going to be much closer, with both Gardner and Worcester having city elections on the same day, which increases turnout for the Democrats. (It has been done in the past – holding special legislative elections on days when a Democrat city is having its regular municipal election, while the Republican-leaning towns are only having the one special election on the ballot. Can you guess where turnout is highest?)
This year, though, it wasn’t a problem. Peter soundly defeated his opponent! It was the first GOP takeaway of a Democrat seat since at least 2018.
My overall point is that we need more poll watchers on election day. I hope that everyone will consider helping out next November nationwide.
Let’s keep everyone honest!