237 Late Absentee Ballots in Enfield. Don’t Panic – Investigate

Hartford Courant Report:  U.S. Postal Service investigating why 237 absentee ballots showed up weeks late for Aug. 11 primary in Enfield <read>

The U.S. Postal Service and the State Elections Enforcement Commission are investigating why 237 absentee ballots for the Aug. 11 primary showed up more than two weeks late at Enfield Town Hall…

The ballots showed up in batches more than two weeks after the Aug. 11 primary and were postmarked at the Enfield post office before being delivered on the same day. An initial batch of 65 ballots were suddenly delivered to Enfield’s town hall two weeks after the election, and then 49 arrived two days later, officials said.

“They were postmarked by a stamp by a person at the post office — not by a machine that they run through 1/4 u201a” Rosenberg said. “This is obviously a stamp.”

There were no legislative primaries in Enfield this year but the late-arriving ballots may have been a factor in the GOP primary for the 2nd Congressional District that includes Enfield. In that contest, Justin Anderson defeated Thomas Gilmer by 78 votes, according to results on the secretary of the state’s website.

This obviously may have potential implications for the November election,  may be a crime by postal officials or others, maybe not. Don’t panic yet. Some high level possibilities:

  • It could be an innocent error or a series of errors that need to be prevented.
  • It could be a deliberate attempt at election fraud by someone or some group.
  • It could be a deliberate attempt to discredit mail-in voting.
  • AND it could have changed the result of a primary for U.S. Congress.

There is much that might be determined by the two investigations. Some questions that can likely be answered:

  • Who hand stamped the ballots? Why were they not run through normal processes? Where were they found? How did they come to be processed/stored together? Where might that lead?
  • Open the envelopes, leaving all materials together. Count the ballots. If legally submitted in time, would they have changed the result?
  • Are they from a single voting district? Likely mailed from a single mail box, or collected by a single mail carrier?
  • How many are D? How many R? Do the party affiliations closely approximate the D and R submissions for Enfield or the district(s) involved? (If a normal distribution then is less likely to have changed the result.)
  • Submit both the applications and inner envelopes to professional handwriting analysis. Do signatures match? Do they match those on file? Do they show that most of the ballots or applications were signed by one or a few individuals?
  • When were the applications submitted? E. G. were they submitted on the same day?
  • Contact all the voters involved. Did they submit their applications and ballots? When? Where? Did they have any help? In general, does their recall of who they voted for correspond to their ballots?

All that should give a pretty good idea if there was skulduggery or error. If skulduggery may well find the culprit and motivation.

For All Voters:

  • If at all possible, deposit your applications and ballots in the drop-boxes rather than the mail.
  • If you don’t receive your ballot by late October (Oct 20th?) call your Town Clerk or vote in-person.
  • Voting in-person is safer for your vote, with your ballot 2% to about 5% more likely to be counted (without fraud).
  • Yet in the age of COVID, voting by mail is safer for your health, choose carefully.
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