Next meeting will be Wednesday, January 3rd at 4PM Eastern. WE have to get into the post office. We are being stopped by the post masters in our NC counties. We are going to have to lobby our US Congressmen regarding citizen access. The way we put eyes on polling locations, we need to do the same with the post office. Ned Jones from Election Integrity Network is invaluable to us for training. We need to also know the right questions to ask and what we need to look for. The last meeting notes will give you that insight. Please join the next meeting on January 3rd. Thanks. Jane Bilello Jane@NCEIT.org
USPS National Working Group Easy to Vote, Hard to Cheat
Zoom Meeting Details
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○ Meeting ID: 815-1315-2496
○ Passcode: 267806
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● Thursday (weekly)
● 7:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. ET
Current Agenda -
● Welcome & Introduction: Ned Jones, EIN
○ Participants number:
○ We started this meeting in September because the largest precinct in the nation has no oversight.
○ Last meeting before the election. Next week;s time slot will be the Town Hall with Cleta Mitchell
○ We want this group to be a permanent group. It will not end after the election.
○ Fraud by employees of the postal system. There have been cases of employees stealing identities, and opening election mail already. We need to get eyes on it.
○ There are many online sites where they male you think you are registering to vote but the site is fake and just gathers your information.
○ We want voting to be only in-person on election day. But we need to monitor all the avenues of voting now.
○ We wanted a meeting with postal officials and to get tours of the distribution centers. All over the country we have been told tours are not allowed. Some in the group have been able to talk to officials. I did finally get a zoom meeting with 4 election officials via zoom (they were not upper management but it is still helpful). The area director, in charge of all of the atlantic states munis GA and FL, we had others on the call that were in charge of VA, and another that was over a distribution center (where the mail gets postmarked). The call did start off pleasant. Asked about tours and lack of access, and was told that local citizen partner groups are allowed but due to covid they do not allow tours at this time.
■ In FL a congress member was denied the same tour.
■ Encouraged to join the local citizens partner group since they do get tours and meet regularly.
■ Asked about undeliverables and was told that all undeliverable mail was returned to the election office by policy. Ned did mention that other things were happening around the country and was told to let that director know when/where that happens since it is contrary to the policy.
■ Asked about the tracking of ballots. Was told that the last scan is at the building before the mail is handed to the letter carrier. So “ballot received” means the letter carrier had it last. When asked about the possibility of the carriers messing with it she referred to the postal police (that they are now defunding and reducing the size of).
■ Asked about the program of intercepting and redirecting mail if given access to the barcodes. She said that only applies to packages not letters. Ned read their code to her and it does say that letters are included. Was then given a bs answer. But the whole goal was letting them know that people are paying attention, the answers would be nice but are secondary goals.
■ Asked about setting up a working group to meet with postal officials to talk about issues they see on their side too. She seemed ol with the idea and wanted to discuss it with her manager.
■ Ned did let them know that we just want to have the same access to this precinct that we do in the others. It was an overall good experience.
■ Start with your local coordinator, area manager, and so on. It would be very helpful if they begin to get these questions in multiple areas/states so they know that the observation interest is widespread.
○ Someone observed mail-in ballots coming in with out of state return addresses and FL stamps. The same group told him that the mail goes to the nearest processing center, which may be in a neighboring state. If the ballot has an out of state return address, it may be because they have a house in another state.
■ Others have been told ballots being mailed from one state to another are stamped at the distribution center of the “to” state which is contrary to what the group Ned talked to said. They should be stamped at the facility nearest the “from” location.
○ 3rd Parties in Elections?
○ Tracking companies in their areas? Ballot Scout, etc.
○ Michael: NC claims they print all of their own ballots but thought they may use a 3rd party. While poll watching, I found Print Elect as a printer. They claim they can track their ballots.
○ Ned: Every state uses a printer. But tracking is a new feature these companies are going to be using.
○ Chery: about undeliverables, someone found that the clerk did not pay for return postage so there is a cache of ballots at the distribution center. How do we get these ballots?
○ Ned: by statute it should have gone back “postage due”. Who said it was not paid for?
○ Cheryl: (IL) a postal worker.
○ Ned: check with the election office and get them to verify.
○ George: How is the ballot tracked with the barcode?
○ Ned: A 65 digit barcode has all of the information included. It's a sequential unique number for that voter.
○ Mary: (FL) voter cards that were returned as undeliverable. We scanned them so we could track them. Has anyone tried to challenge these? There is a statute that says once a ballot has come back undeliverable the official MAY reclair them ineligible to vote.
○ Ned: many are aware of the problem and there are groups that are working on that. There has not been any effective response so far though. I am glad you have the information already though. That should be a reason to challenge them.
○ Mary: We have that information from 4 counties now.
○ I will send out the report with all of the information .
○ Would like to change to once a month after the election maybe. VA has elections every year so we can reevaluate after the new year. So i will announce a date for the one in November and one in December.