“Proof of fraud”

By November 13, 2018 Uncategorized No Comments

“Election officials wouldn’t let me see the ballots. Then they destroyed them, in violation of the law.”

“Are you saying there was fraud?”

“Election officials refused to report the number of votes by the legal deadline. When more votes showed up a day later, we could not find out where they came from.”

“Are you saying there was fraud?”

You cite concrete information on specific, provable violations of the law. But the follow up question is a diversion, refocusing attention. It is accusatory, a challenge to prove something which may be unprovable (if records are destroyed) or at least, need time to investigate.

So let’s get some clarity on this. You don’t have to answer that question. “Election fraud” is a generic term. Laws, however, are specific. You either followed the law or you didn’t.

In the U.S., the law requires federal ballots to be retained for 22 months. Florida Sunshine Law requires that ballots be produced for inspection at the request of any person.

In 2016 Tim Canova ran for U.S. Representative in the Democratic Primary against Debbie Wasserman Schultz. After the election he asked to examine the ballots under Florida Sunshine Law. Broward County did not allow him to see the ballots, stalling month after month until he took them to court. That is a violation of the law. What happened to Canova was obstruction.

When Canova sued to see the ballots, Broward County destroyed them. That is a violation of the law. It is ballot tampering.

“Are you saying there was fraud?”

I’m saying there was obstruction and there was ballot tampering and that Broward County violated the law. A felony. And when it went to court, a judge agreed.

Canova brought his concerns to Governor Rick Scott, the only official in Florida who could replace an elected Supervisor of Elections. Scott chose not to replace her.

In the 2018 general election Broward County did not report the number of ballots cast within 30 minutes of poll closing, as required by law. Also, in some races the numbers reported were false. For example, “0+0+0+0=26”

If the sum of the parts does not add up to the total, at least some of the numbers are false. Conjuring up a number of ballots after the fact breaks chain of custody, because the timeliness of reporting the numbers is part of safeguarding authenticity of the ballots themselves.

“Are you saying there was fraud?”

What we know is that in Broward County, reporting wasn’t timely and that at least some of the numbers are false, and that Broward County violated the law.

“But was there intent to commit fraud?”

Ascertaining whether the law was violated does not require mind reading. It was violated or it was not.

When evidence is destroyed that is called spoliation of evidence. Because spoliation can make the truth unknowable, courts may issue a directive that the missing evidence can be considered in a light most detrimental to the party that destroyed it.

When numbers don’t add up to their own self, we call them impossible numbers. In such cases, exactly which numbers were true or false may be unknowable, especially if chain of evidence was breached. When you break the chain of custody you can recount ballots ’till the cows come home, but when you don’t know if the ballots are the real ones, recounting won’t cure uncertainty.

There are ways to get closer to the truth, at least in the 2018 election, if truth is what we want.

In Florida, any person can seek records under the Sunshine Law. If, for example, the mysteriously appearing ballots are attributed to vote-by-mail ballots dumped on elections personnel at the very last minute by the Post Office (Was that it? Why can’t I find that information?) — well then, someone signs for that shipment. A public records inspection should reveal how many pallets were delivered, who signed for it, and when.

Do we think someone might have pushed in a bunch of forged ballots? Blank ballots come with invoices. How many ballots were ordered, and when?

Is it possible someone sneaked around during the night messing with vote tabulators or ballots? Surveillance tape is a public record, and in my experience it’s a real box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get. Who is asking for that?

As a citizen, under Florida Sunshine Law, you can ask for these documents. Try it. I think you’ll find the whole process both informative and diagnostic.

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