EIN: National Vote-By-Mail / USPS Working Group Meeting Notes
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4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. ET
Welcome | Ned Jones
Opening, USPS meeting basics for new attendees.
Once a month class, Thursday, local election task force training: how to join/setup
Chat usage, use the chat for any questions or things you may have interest in.
I had asked if anyone was able to get in contact with local election officials, but the other thing I was interested in, was anyone able to do some open source investigation to the same effect?
Political mail is from 3rd parties and is sent directly to the voter. If someone has the barcode, they can access the ballot and redirect it to another address. Within the election system, there is no chain of custody, so the question is how do they keep track of it? Now we can be in the office when they process the ballots, but we are not able to be observers when they deal with voting by mail.
I’d love to have some of this information for next meeting,
What is the process for a voter to apply for vote by mail
Are third parties able to solicit ballots or otherwise the vote by mail process?
How does the USPS process undeliverable ballots?
How are voters removed from the permanent vote by mail ballot list?
What are the key dates for vote by mail in your state?
The report page, which is in processing, is here for you to be able to report your findings of how things are in your state concerning the vote by mail process.
But now, its time to open it up for QnA and comments.
One of the questions you brought up was identifying the party of the voter, we have to do that in the State of Texas to know which ballot they receive
Ned Jones: Yes, that statement was more concerning who has that information of party affiliation, not so much to discern the ballot received.
What is EIN’s rationale on why Mail in ballot isn’t a safe way to vote?
Ned Jones: It is the most easily corruptible and insecure way to vote. As a matter of fact, in most states you can scarcely know for sure who the voter even truly is.
We are putting in specific language to draft legislation, so there are no more memo’s deciding how we interpret the law, we all need to things uniformly across the state.
Doug Brown: Do you need me to continue research in my locality?
Ned Jones: We will need all the local information we can gather.
Registrars in two counties were endited, the question running around is “What did they do”?
Ned Jones: Yes, that has been being processed, but as you said they have not been telling us what happened, it is likely due to CRT
I have been researching how homeless people vote, and as I found out, in the State of TN, all they need is an intersection address to vote.
Ned Jones: When someone is registered at an intersection, it is taking advantage of the system. And that has much to do with the interception of ballots.
In GA code it is permissible for homeless people to put their address as a location they frequent, so it is easy to say this is a cautious issue for the aspect of rights and privacy.
I’m thinking this might be a great question to ask the postal service, is how they deliver to an intersection
We have a ruling not to put party affiliation readily available, but they have my name and the name is just as easily determinable as to my affiliation by use of the public voter roll.
So Desantis is not amenable to changing the voting machines, etc. But there is a means we can circumvent the state by the citizens putting forward legislation i.e. a ballot initiative to change some of these insecurities.
Look for these notes this week, so we can have it for our next meeting.
Additionally, be sure to use the report page.
Bruce Johnson: Bruce Johnson FL not part of a coalition group.
Lynda Chapman: Is sound ok? Very low volume via phone.
Bruce Johnson FL: I'm hearing well.
William Haines | Virginia Institute: Ma'am the sound is fine on our end, it may be your connection.
Carla - Florida: Carla Sandstrom of Florida, not part of coalition group
Janice Dysinger Oregon: Do you have a list of these classes and links?
Cheryl Gilmartin: Who do you contact for voter rolls
Judith Picker- New Mexico: How do we get links to the zoom meetings you just mentioned?
Cheryl Gilmartin: In Illinois the party affiliation is indicated on envelope in primary
Ken Moore TX: In the primary we have to ask what party's primary the voter wants to vote in. -TX
Paul Brown - Rhode Island: Where can the information you sent out can be found.
Ken Moore TX: I miss the last meeting.
Bonnie Chappell - GA DeKalb County: From PC, volume is good
Marshall Yates: Voter Rolls Working Group Link https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZwkcuCgpjoiGdYzQkLWANm6094kcQ6PljUI
Janice Dysinger Oregon: Volume is fine on zoom
Caryn Young l Michigan: I’m hearing well
Andrea Bayer: I can hear well
Jan Quilty, Lee County, NC: I did not get the email with this week's invitation and the notes. firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.
Brian Geehan: I'm on a laptop and volume is okay
Marshall Yates: Ranked Choice Voting Working Group https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZ0sdu-rpjwsE9LOdpS-YhqIbplMfbDRkdup
Michael Hoffman- Iredell co North Carolina: Volume is OK on zoom PC
Jane Bilello. NC. NCEIT Coalition: National Working Groups Meetings https://www.ashevilleteaparty.org/post/announcing-the-creation-of-national-working-groups-for-election-integrity
Bob Quilty NC: Did not get the Sunday email email@example.com Robert Quilty
Marshall Yates: National Legislative Working Group https://virginiainstitute-org.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZEkcuuprD0sHNYMYEkRvCP2cdbwB7WdH76U
Marshall Yates: Voting Technology Working Group https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZ0lf-iopzIiGdSpa3hUZoSlHTHNypjlYw71
Bob Cambridge - Virginia: Center for Renewing Americahttps://americarenewing.com/
Judith Picker- New Mexico: Thank you Marshall. Could you please reiterate the dates and times for the zooms you posted?
Dan Eastman: Milwaukee codes the return envelopes with a code that tells those who know the code whether the voter is Republican or Democrat. It would be easy to pull out return envelopes with the certain code and throw them in the trash. The voter would not know his/her ballot was intercepted and destroyed unless he/she called the clerk or checked on line to see if the ballot had actually made it back to the clerk
Dan Eastman to Everyone: s office.
Willard Helander Illinios: Yes mail ballot requests by 3rd party is allowed in IL
Nancy Cornish RI: Could you send the outline for today with those questions to the new people for today? Thanks.
Nancy Hayes - Illinois: First day - vbm ballots mailed out 1/19/23 in Illinois (10 ILCS 5/19-4)
Caryn Young l Michigan: In Michigan, most people were put on the auto-mailing list for AV ballot applications in 2020. If on that list, you must request that your local clerk remove you.
Marshall Yates: He’s copy of the Cleta’s Citizens Guide
Doug Brown, NC: I researched VBM on my county's website. would my county's VBM rules be the same for the State. NC?
Alan Anderson Illinois unfortunately: Are these meetings recorded?
Alan Chovel - Miami, FL: Can someone share his outline? I’m meeting with my SOE tomorrow and would love to have his questions
Michael Hoffman- NC NCEIT Iredell: Is the website whoiscountingus.org ?
Theresa Johanson: IL statute requires mass Permanent VBM applications to be sent out. Soon. Live ballots go out Feb 23rd.
Cheryl Gilmartin: Can you send a copy of IL that you received. I also worked on IL vbm & don’t want to duplicate
Bonnie Chappell - GA DeKalb County: https://whoscounting.us/citizens-research-project/
Herschel Johnson | NC: How do we get the list of USPS ambassadors and coordinators?
Willard Helander Illinios: To Doug Brown in NC--Many counties have different procedures while following state law. I know NC is more "top down" in control of elections so the process may be more uniform, but each county has ability create their own envelopes, forms, etc that substantially comply with state law.
Nancy Hayes - Illinois: Cheryl - I will send you what I sent in from IL.
Theresa Johanson: Both parties are now joining in. IL is trying to pass VBM application signature to be allowed for live ballot VBM signature verification. Help!
Jane Bilello. NC. NCEIT Coalition: In NC, we are all supposed to be following the state law.
Nancy Hayes - Illinois: Loretta, Willard - yes! Good to see you!
Theresa Johanson: Replying to "Loretta, Willard - y…"
Theresa Johanson: Reacted to "Loretta, Willard - y…" with ❤️
Nancy Hayes - Illinois: Cheryl - the information was entered online - whoscounting.us
Doug Brown, NC: website is https://whoscounting.us/
Loretta Savee - Illinois: Replying to "Loretta, Willard - y..." Hi Theresa!
Nancy Hayes - Illinois: Thank you, Doug Brown!
Cheryl Gilmartin: Replying to "Cheryl - the informa…" Oh thanks I thought he said it wasn’t functional.
Andrea Bayer: The League of Women Voters has been working hard for years to register every homeless voter.
Nancy Hayes - Illinois: Cook County - ILLINOIS
Willard Helander Illinios: Homeless voting is covered in NVRA and began the address that is not residential where mail is received and location can indeed be a park but the mail to address controls the record and the ballot coding is where they "stay." Formally, the address was a friend or relative, but not so much any more.
Willard Helander Illinios: Sorry-- not formally but formerly - prior to NVRA.
Janice Dysinger Oregon: In Oregon we have 1385 people registered at a homeless shelter where their are no beds. We also have a rule that does not allow to remove the voter because they never vote.
Janice Dysinger Oregon: In Oregon No ID is required
Nancy Hayes - Illinois: www.chicagohomeless.org street-based, living in shelters, or doubled-up in homes of others - (protected 2013 Illinois Bill of Rights for the Homeless Act)
Melanie Thomas - NM: NATIONALHOMELESS.ORG - one organization that is working with homeless voting.
Janice Dysinger Oregon: They pick up their ballot at the elections office or the homeless shelter.
Karen Marshall - Texas: I am very interested to know what kind of communications overseas military who vote by mail receive from groups or nonprofits, how they get their contact information and send them election information.
Bob Cambridge - Virginia: Click the Reactions button to get the option to raise your hand
Nancy Hayes - Illinois: fvap.gov - uniformed and overseas citizens absentee voting act (UOCAVA)
Theresa Johanson: IL is trying to develop online voting!
Willard Helander Illinios: There are software tools and databases developed for permanent non resident US citizens. This was demonstrated at national election official meeting prior to 2000 elections and the vendor explained it was developed and tested by the Democratic party in a primary.
Barbara W. Palmer -- TX: How they see it. https://campaignlegal.org/story/states-have-let-down-voters-now-theyre-attacking-work-nonpartisan-charitable-groups-help-them
Nancy Hayes - Illinois:www.informeddelivery.usps.com
Karen Marshall - Texas: I was my county's EVBB Alternate Judge, for "Military City, USA," and the incoming ballots showed such an overwhelming trend that it is obvious they are reached somehow.
Barbara W. Palmer -- TX: This organization works with you all at EIN. I requested the resources. Be glad to share when I get them. publicinterestlegal.org/election-accountability-resources/
Barbara W. Palmer -- TX: Thanks to you, Ned.
Nancy Hayes - Illinois: Thank you, NED!!!!
Sharon Hawthorne: Thank you. See ya soon
Theresa Johanson: Would like to not duplicate IL data. What is left to research or what do you have? Tjohanson@telstar-online.net
Magan Brillon: Thank you!
Welcome | Ned Jones
Welcome everyone. What we want to do is discuss the policies and statutes in your states. Next meeting we are going to talk about the outbound mailing process. The meeting after that we will talk about the return process. How will voters send their completed ballot back to the post office? We are also going to involve the USPS. The next meeting we will also discuss the processing of vote by mail ballots in your state. We are also going to have a meeting on data analysis. In 2023, there are only 2 or 3 states that are going to have a statewide election. There may be two governor races in some states, New Jersey has an election every year. We like to be better prepared for the 2024 election so that we may know how the postal service works. It’s the largest precinct in our election system. The postal service handles more ballots than any precinct in the country. Last year we formed a working group, and it’s frustrating as there is a huge lack of transparency with the USPS. We will be asking everyone on this call to learn as much as they can about the vote-by-mail system in your state. There may be a series of questions that need to be answered. Here are some of the things you can do as you prepare for this work; you can review the statutes in your state that are vote-by-mail. There are also manuals in most states. We have a commissioner of elections. Whoever creates those policy manuals is something to review. Different policies that are usually sent out as memos are sometimes contradictory to the statute. Another way to get information that is vote by mail is to show up to election commission meetings. They make a lot of decisions about our elections. You can typically provide public comment about the issues they are discussing. The other thing you can do is review their minutes. They’re required to publish their minutes in some form. What’s really interesting to do is to look at some prior meetings. They are usually once a month and you can go all the way to even 2020 where some of the boards came up with policies. One of the things that happened in 2020 is that the left had numerous court cases. There is a lot of information that’s available through open source. You can also file for FOIA requests. Information in an election office is public information except for the voters SSN and DOB. Everything else you should be able to get from public officials.
Wayne Twiddy: If we are trying to get a FOIA request from a post office, that’s a federal office.
Ned Jones: To send a FOIA request is simple. The process is typically stalled and time consuming. It’s a website page that you put in the information you are looking for. FOIA to election officials has been troubling. We are actually going to have a presentation from CPI that will show us how to do a FOIA request.
Wayne Twiddy: That would be very helpful.
Ned Jones: It’s also valuable to develop a relationship with your local election official. It will also give you a person to contact. We are taking notes of all of these meetings and we will send them out after the meetings so that you can review them or share them. You will have someone right in your location that you can get information from. I’ll briefly let you know what my experience was last year. We had an election mail coordinator in Richmond and I communicated with her for about a month so I went to the regional director and ended up on a zoom call along with other people. It started a relationship that I can develop in 2023 to get more info from them. We don’t always get the information we are after but we let these people know that we are involved and monitoring them. The procedure to make a FOIA request is a simple procedure. I will send the link to where you can do so.
Lynda Chapman: FOIA requests are a work of art. You have to be very precise. Do you have any examples of FOIA requests that have been successful?
Ned Jones: Yes, the individual who will give a presentation in two weeks will be able to address that.
Wayne Twiddy: I don’t really care about the political mail but the election mail.
Ned Jones: We are concerned about both. There are organizations that send out pre-prepared applications to the voter list. They get a list of voters that are no longer at their address. We are concerned with political mail and specifically how undeliverables are addressed. There are a host of vulnerabilities with election mailing. Those are some of the tools that you can use to get this information. The next meeting when we come together, we will be talking about the application process. If some of you can have some of that research done in the next two weeks would be great. We want these meetings to be interactive so everyone is sharing what they are learning in their county and state. If you have come up with areas of concern. Tonight we wanted to give you an idea of what we wanted to accomplish with this working group.
Ned Jones: The goal is to learn as much as we can about the vote by mail system in your particular state. We have learned from a couple of whistleblowers in some states. If you know a postal worker or happen to be one, if you hear anything in the postal system and want to come forward with information, that would be helpful.
Jon Lareau: If you find somebody else who has data, you can recreate to determine whether it checks out. You want to make sure you go through it and really understand it. The devil is in the details and you want to be careful.
Nancy Smith: Can you give us an idea of what the end goal of the work group is? Is it to have legislative changes or to have information that we can use to pursue litigation or what?
Ned Jones: We want to have a foundation of information in 2024. There might also be congressional hearings in the House. Some of the information we develop may become important there. It’s valuable information to have. All of the above in answer to your question.
Jane Bilello: I have heard that there is going to be an election integrity caucus in the House. They are aware of what is going on across the country. I know in NC we have collected observer reports and we are lobbying our lawmakers to make changes. Especially when it comes to absentee ballots. Speaker Moore was in a meeting and recognized the election integrity team here. The whole idea is to collect as much evidence that you can.
Ned Jones: If there is a working group, this may be valuable information as well.
Wayne Twiddy: I found a couple of informative documents on the postal service website. One of the things I wanted to mention is the postal documents. Your local post office is supposed to be certified to work with election ballots. I want to do a FOIA request to determine whether my local post offices were certified for that.
Ned Jones: You can start by asking your local coordinator. Those are the kind of questions that we will definitely be asking them. One of the left wing non-profit organizations is called Ballot Scouts. They are a very left-wing non-partisan organization. They are a statewide organization that is contracted to find mail ballots. It’s important to be aware of such organizations.
Marc Gitliz: RunBack mailed out our ballots in CO. Could you tell us a little about RunBack?
Ned Jones: If you were following Maricopa County AZ, they assemble a packet and vote out mail ballots in Maricopa County and the completed ballots go to RunBack. They scan the envelopes back to the county. RunBeck prints, assembles, and mails ballots to voters. They are a major player in mail-in voting.
One of the many problems we have in Colorado with vote by mail concerns our ballot envelopes. Anybody seeing/scanning the envelope can determine the political affiliation of the voter. Democrat voters have a D in their number printed on the outside of the envelope. Republican voters have an R in their number on the outside of the envelope. It is true for Unaffiliated also. This makes ballot harvesting and election fraud very easy.
Amy - is that only during primaries or is that also during a General Election?
Sorry I’m late
In Ohio, anytime actual ballots are handled, a balance of party, Dem and Rep, are required. I wonder if there is any such requirement at USPS when ballots are being handled
Ann, that is for the Primary elections in Colorado.
I think you are referencing candidate mail.
Tag 57 – May be used for all Political Mail, including Political Campaign Mail and Political Message Mail. Political Campaign Mail for use by registered Political Candidates, Campaign Committees, and Political Party Committees. Political Message Mail is for use by Political Action Committees (PACs), Super-PACs, and other organizations engaged in issue advocacy or voter mobilization.
Just a suggestion from Jo/Michigan…go to your local and surrounding post offices…establish a relationship. Information and responses from PO employees are more easily gathered when you merely interact with them.
Laura Williams Illinois:
Can you end out an email outlining specifically what you want us to provide?
Tag 191 – Domestic and International Ballots, is a green container tag used by election officials to identify trays and sacks of ballot mail destined for either domestic or international addresses. Tag 191 should not be used for sample ballots or other types of Election Mail.
Election Mail is any item mailed to or from authorized election officials that enables citizens to participate in the voting process including:
Voter Registration Cards
Polling place notifications.
Do we need to document how often our states compares voter rolls with the NCOA - National Change of Address? Melanie Thomas
Western NC has been met with rejection and hostility from many of the Post Offices here. Should we be reaching out to our US Congressman? We have already reached out to Congressman Patrict McHenry.
Is there anyone from Arizona who could provide a recap of what happened in the last election?