Tag Archives: absentee ballots

Michigan official, once honored by state democrats, charged with altering ballots

From Yahoo: Sherikia Hawkins was charged Monday with six felony counts for allegedly altering absentee ballots during the November 2018 election in her capacity as city clerk for the Detroit suburb of Southfield, Mich.

Hawkins, a 38-year-old registered Democrat, stands accused of altering 193 absentee ballots. She was arraigned Monday in Southfield on charges including falsifying returns or records, forgery of a public record, misconduct in office, and multiple counts of using a computer to commit a crime. She was released on $15,000 bond.

The alleged misconduct was discovered after the Oakland County Clerk’s Office noticed that 193 voter files had been changed to reflect that the voters failed to include a valid signature or return date, when all of the implicated voters had in fact included both items. The county clerk’s office later discovered the original voter files in the trash at the election-division office. The Michigan State Police then launched an investigation that resulted in Hawkins’s arrest.

In a statement announcing the charges, Michigan attorney general Dana Nessel and secretary of state Jocelyn Benson, both of whom are Democrats, stressed that Hawkins’s behavior was anomalous and did not affect any election outcomes.

“Voting is fundamental to the very essence of our democracy,” Nessel said during a Monday news conference. “It is incumbent upon state governments to safeguard the electoral process and ensure that every voter’s right to cast a ballot is protected.”

Hawkins, who makes $101,500 per year, has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of her trial.

The Michigan Democratic party honored Hawkins this year with the prestigious Dingell/Levin award at its annual Legacy Dinner in Detroit, and she was included in the Michigan Chronicle‘s “40 under 40” list in 2017.

Hawkins, who has overseen a total of 16 elections in Oakland County, began working in government in 2010 as deputy city clerk for the city of Pontiac, according to her LinkedIn profile. She was serving as the Pontiac city clerk when Democrat Gary Peters won a very tight congressional race against Republican Rocky Raczkowski in the state’s ninth congressional district in November 2010, the same election cycle that Republicans overwhelmingly reclaimed the House majority. Peters, who has since been elected to the Senate, bested Raczkowski by just 6,405 votes out of a total 245,055 cast.

Read the whole story here.

h/t Twitchy


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Generation Snowflake: College students don’t know where to buy a postage stamp

Today’s younger generations are clueless about many, many things.

Many do not know how to change a flat tire, check the air pressure of tires nor the condition of tire threads. With the advent of Uber and Lyft, many don’t even want to own a car.

Many don’t know how to change a blown fuse, read a map or a compass, cook a “real” meal without a microwave, chop wood or stop bleeding with a tourniquet.

Due to having their heads buried in their smart phones, they even struggle with face-to-face communication.

Now it appears they can’t figure out how to send in an absentee ballot because they don’t know where to purchase a stamp.

From a WTOP report:

“A Fairfax County focus group this summer found many college students who have gotten an absentee ballot simply fail to send it back because a U.S. Postal Service stamp seems to be a foreign concept to them.

“One thing that came up, which I had heard from my own kids but I thought they were just nerdy, was that the students will go through the process of applying for a mail-in absentee ballot, they will fill out the ballot, and then, they don’t know where to get stamps,” Lisa Connors with the Fairfax County Office of Public Affairs said.

“That seems to be like a hump that they can’t get across.”

The focus group included college interns from across numerous county departments.

“They all agreed that they knew lots of people who did not send in their ballots because it was too much of a hassle or they didn’t know where to get a stamp,” Connors said.

“Across the board, they were all nodding and had a very spirited conversation about ‘Oh yeah, I know so many people who didn’t send theirs in because they didn’t have a stamp.’”

Read the whole story here.

Maybe someone should develop an app to teach kids some basic life skills.


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Monkeying Around With Military Ballots

First, the state of New York missed the deadline to send out absentee ballots to its 320,000 military servicemen and women and overseas voters, in violation of federal law.
The 2009 MOVE Act requires each state to send out its military and overseas ballots 45 days prior to elections. New York City alone has about 50,000 servicemen and women and overseas voters.
Even after the Department of Justice gave New York a waiver of an additional 15 days (until October 1) to send out all its ballots, the state still managed to miss the extended deadline.
Then news came that over 35 counties in Illinois also missed the deadline to mail military ballots to our soldiers overseas. But in Obama’s hometown, Chicago, county election officials made sure that inmates at the Cook County Jail will not miss the election. The Chicago Board of Elections hand delivered ballots to the jail. They didn’t even wait for the inmates to apply – they brought the applications with the ballots! Over 2,600 inmates have cast ballots so far, while an estimated 2,600 soldiers will likely not receive a ballot for the Nov 2 election.

H/t beloved fellows Tina & Steve.

Call me cynical, but I can’t help but wonder if the tardiness of New York and Illinois has something to do with our military’s party identification and voter turnout.
According to an article in the Los Angeles Times, Jan. 5, 2007, U.S. military officers tend to be Republicans. In 1976, while 25% of civilians characterized themselves as Republicans, 33% of military officers were Republicans — a military-civilian “gap” of only 8%. By 1996, the military-civilian gap on party affiliation had grown to 33%: while 34% of civilians self-identified as Republicans, so did a whopping 70% of military officers. Although the percentage of Republicans among military officers began to decline to 60% in 2004 and to 46% in 2006 (due to the unpopularity of the Iraq War), the military was still more Republican than the civilian population. According to Gallup, only 24% of civilian Americans identified themselves as Republicans in 2006.
Our servicemen and women also have a higher voter turnout rate.
According to Voting and the American Military,” in the Civil Military Relations Journal of March 9, 2010, although the military turnout rate historically was significantly lower than that of the civilian population, in recent years military voting has exceeded that of the general population by more than 15%.
In 1976, voter turnout by military personnel was less than 40%, some 15% lower than the civilian turnout rate. That began to change in 1984, when the military turnout rate of 55% for the first time exceeded the national voter turnout rate. By 1992, the military voter turnout rate was 67%. In 2000, it was 69% (vs. 54.2% among civilians). In 2004, the military percentage increased to 79%, while the turnout rate among civilians that year was 60.1%.

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