California Republicans are raising concerns about potential ballot fraud in the recall election of Gov. Gavin Newsom after the Secretary of State’s Office sent out mail ballots to 20 million voters.
The ballots were mailed after the state legislature passed a measure for them to be sent to every registered voter regardless if they asked for one.
“Legislators are as desperate as Newsom to stop the recall,” Assemblyman Kevin Kiley, R-Rocklin, said. “The one thing they respond to is the fear of losing their jobs. They know that when the governor loses his job, it will be a whole new ball game.”
Within weeks of the ballots being mailed out in mid-August, many Californians expressed concerns.
Former national security advisor and California resident Richard Grenell asked on Twitter if the ballots were sent out as a way to cheat. In his post is a video of a resident showing how holes in the envelope enable anyone handling the sealed ballots to see if the voter chose “yes” on the recall question. Grenell questioned whether that was intended to allow certain ballots to be thrown out.
The San Francisco Chronicle “fact checked” Grenell, saying, “No, California recall ballot was not designed to help Gavin Newsom and cheat Larry Elder,” Newsom’s Republican challenger leading in the polls.
New York Times best-selling author and podcast host Adam Carolla posted a video of what appears to be two women stealing ballots out of a mailbox. He writes, “two women with a post office master key are caught on camera stealing what appears to be California recall election ballots at an apartment complex in Valley Village. Are they just targeting ballots or stealing all mail. What are your thoughts?”
The Republican challenger to U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., small businessman Omar Navarro, raised concerns that many supporting the recall haven’t gotten their ballots. He said, “Many Patriots in California that signed the recall Gavin Newsom effort have not received a ballot by mail and those who did not sign the recall have received a ballot.”
While the governor’s office quickly replied to The Center Square saying it couldn’t comment, a spokesperson referred questions to Newsom’s campaign and the Secretary of State’s Office. The campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but the Secretary of State’s Office did.
Secretary of State spokesperson Jenna Dresner told The Center Square in an email that regarding the “cases of mail stealing, we take any and all allegations of election crimes seriously. We are aware of the cases you highlighted and have referred it to the appropriate federal and local law enforcement authorities to investigate its validity and prosecute as needed.”
The Los Angeles County Registrar of Voters Office also responded to questions Californians have raised about holes punched in the mail ballot envelopes they’ve received.
It said, “The design of the ballot return envelope is not new and has been used for several election cycles – and the design is a recommended accessibility practice by civic design consultants. The intent and purpose of the holes are two-fold, to assist with accessibility for low vision voters to locate where to sign the envelope and to ensure no ballots were missed and left in envelopes once our office has received and processed them.
“Voters have control of how they place their ballot in the envelope and have multiple options for returning their ballots (mail, Ballot Drop Box, or at a Vote Center) to ensure secure and appropriate handling. Additionally, voters can track the status of their returned ballot through Ballot Trax – a free tracking application operated by the Secretary of State that will notify the voter when our office received the ballot and that it will be counted.”
Grenell said in response, “The California media have collectively dismissed concerns about the LA County ballots. The fact is there are holes in the envelope that when the ballot is folded a certain way can expose those who voted to Recall Gavin. This is fact.
“The fact that it’s ‘only LA County’ is a ridiculous pushback. LA County is the largest in the state. It’s also a ridiculous argument to say, ‘we always have these holes in the envelopes.’ Why do the holes only expose the YES votes?”
Local authorities are also investigating 300 unopened mail-in-ballots for the recall election found in a car parked outside of a convenience store in Torrance, California, along with a loaded gun and narcotics. Torrance Police Department Sgt. Mark Ponegalek told local media that a suspect had been taken into custody and released on his own recognizance.
The LA County Registrar’s Office confirmed the ballots were mailed to voters for the Newsom recall election, and that they were resending them, adding, “There’s nothing to indicate this was focused on the election.”
Concerns about mail fraud were previously raised after the 2020 election by the Election Integrity Project California (EIPCa). It published a list of questionable mail ballots sent out during the 2020 general election to deceased Californians and those no longer living in California. It also learned that 13 California counties have more registered voters than eligible citizens.
This article was originally posted on Concerns mount over voter fraud in Newsom recall election