The 2020 presidential election was incredibly close in several battleground states that had introduced universal mail-in balloting, purported to result from the COVID pandemic. Incredibly close, as in not credibly close.
Now, California has predictably extended the practice into the recall election for Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom, set for September 14.
The state has mailed ballots to every registered voter, intended to be mailed back in when completed. Aside from the obvious possibilities for counterfeit ballots, fraudsters are likely creating a lucrative black market for legitimate blank ballots that have been stolen.
It was reported this week that law enforcement authorities are investigating an unusual crime in Torrance, a city in Los Angeles County. In a car parked at a convenience shop, police discovered 300 unread mail-in recall ballots, a gun, cocaine, and other stolen mail.
On August 16, police responded to a man’s report of sleeping in his car in a 7-Eleven parking lot. According to Torrance Police Department Sgt. Mark Ponegalek, the stolen votes were both inside a box and sprinkled throughout the backseat of the automobile.
The suspect turned out to be a convicted felon, and the drugs found in the car included methamphetamine and Xanax. Also found inside the vehicle were multiple credit cards and driver’s licenses in the names of numerous people.
The mail-in ballots were unopened and had not been tampered with. They were addressed to people in Lawndale and Compton, which are also located in Los Angeles County. Torrance Police said they are working with the L.A. County election office and the U.S. Postal Inspector on the case.
The L.A. County registrar’s office said: “nothing to indicate this was focused on the election.” Replacement ballots are expected to be issued to the persons whose ballots were stolen.
The incident points out the inherent weakness in universal mail-in balloting. The persons who did not receive a ballot because it was stolen have no way of knowing that a ballot was mailed to them. Unless they check with election officials to see if a ballot was submitted in their name by someone else, they will not know a vote was cast.
Meanwhile, Democrats across the country are pressing to make universal mail-in balloting, online voting, and a variety of other highly low-security practices permanent throughout the nation.