Catharine Baker, the Harmer campaign attorney that oversaw GOP candidate David Harmer’s ballot-integrity operation, wrote in Free Republic today that, “Harmer lost this election primarily because of VBM and provisional ballots cast at the polls on Election Day.” Baker cites serious issues at specific polling places, as well as in the recount procedures at registrars’ offices in four different counties.
Staff approved VBM and provisional ballots for which no registration signature was on file for comparison.
On election day, Baker says, “At several polling locations, poll workers consistently failed to check that the VBMs had the proper, legally required voter signatures before placing those ballots in the ballot boxes. Poll workers at several polling stations also consistently failed to ensure that individuals delivering multiple VBMs had signed the required certification identifying themselves and attesting that they met the legal requirements for delivering another person’s ballot.”
During post election counting, Harmer observers in Alameda, for instance, were not allowed to challenge seriously mismatched, incomplete registration cards.
Some VBMs that did not have the signature of the voter on them were counted nonetheless if they had the signature of another voter registered at the same street address. This also happened in Santa Clara County. Registrar supervisors in Alameda County deny such ballots were approved by staff, but our observers repeatedly witnessed otherwise.
In my view, David Harmer lost this election primarily because of VBM and provisional ballots cast at the polls on Election Day, and the problems we observed with these ballots are serious. Signatures are required by law on VBMs to ensure that the voter whose VBM is cast is the one who completed that ballot and that the person who turns in another voter’s VBM is authorized to do so. If poll workers do not ensure that the required signatures are on the VBMs delivered at the polls, we voters lose an important line of defense against voter fraud.
Furthermore, if private citizens, be they campaign volunteers or just concerned individuals, are unable to question or challenge government determinations about ballot verification during the canvass, we the voters lose yet another line of defense against voter fraud and improperly counted votes.