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Todd Has a Problem With Mail-in-Voting: Disqualifying Ballots Could Help Trump

Todd Has a Problem With Mail-in-Voting: Disqualifying Ballots Could Help Trump

While the liberal media (NBC included) has repeatedly told us there were no problems with mail-in-voting (not to be confused with absentee voting), NBC political director Chuck Todd found something to gripe about during Sunday’s Meet the Press. According to him, the real problem with mail-in-voting was state election officials disqualifying ballots, which could help Trump take key states in the rustbelt and win reelection. But Todd’s dubious argument actually accused Democrats of disenfranchisement.

For his Data Download segment, Todd directed viewers to the “razor-thin margins” of 2016 in key states like Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania and how disqualification numbers from their 2020 primaries could shake out in November:

By now, you know the states by heart: Wisconsin [22,748], Michigan [10,704], and Pennsylvania [44,292]. President Trump won all three by razor-thin margins, taking the White House by their combined 77,000 total votes. All three allow no-excuse mail-in voting now. Michigan and Pennsylvania are doing it for the very first time.

Giving the rundown for why the ballots were disqualified, Todd diminished issues concerning voter responsibility such as getting their ballot in the mail on time. He also had an issue with ballots getting disqualified for certification issues, which included such simple tasks as the voter signing their ballot (Click “expand”):

So, let’s start with Wisconsin. More than 23,000 [23,196] mail-in votes were canceled in the state’s primary earlier this year, and there were lots of reasons, many of them were different. Some voters missed the deadline or had mail issues, but most were rejected because of certification issues like a problem with a witness signature.

Fewer ballots were rejected in Michigan’s spring primary, 10,694 the biggest culprit there, most arrived too late to be counted, followed by signature problems and mail issues. And finally in Pennsylvania, close to 27,000 [26,838] ballots were thrown out this year. Just as in Michigan, the biggest issue there was the return deadline followed by mail issues like the ballot label being misplaced or damaged.

He then suggested that Pennsylvania, a state with a Democratic governor (Tom Wolf) and a Democratic secretary of state (Kathy Boockvar), was targeting Democratic voters for disenfranchisement.

“It also matters whose ballots get thrown out,” Todd declared “Pennsylvania tracts that as well. In that state, many of the rejected ballots came from Philadelphia and suburban Montgomery County that’s right next door. Crucial Democratic counties.”

With this analysis, the premise behind this segment became clear: he was setting the groundwork for the Biden campaign to claim the election was stolen via disqualified mail-in-ballots.

“Remember, the number of rejected ballots remains relatively small. But if 2020 looks anything like 2016, especially in Pennsylvania, those rejected ballots could make a huge difference,” he warned viewers. This author will leave it up to you to do the math and see why singling out Pennsylvania (out of the three) like that was unintelligent.

During the panel discussion a few minutes later, Todd brought up the issue of disqualified ballots to former Bill Clinton speechwriter and Brennan Center president, Michael Waldman. And in his question to Waldman, Todd accused Pennsylvania (with their Democratic leaders) of intentionally targeting minority voters for disenfranchisement:

If you look at the state of Pennsylvania, it’s pretty clear that it looks like that the votes of people that live in Philadelphia, and you can check the census and decide if that’s going to end up impacting more voters of color, but it sure looks like more voters of color saw their ballots thrown out.

So, let me ask you the question this way, Michael Waldman, what is the best way to guarantee that your vote counts?

Given Todd’s own data, the fact was most ballots were disqualified because of issues dealing with the voter’s responsibility: signing the ballot correctly and getting it in the mail on time. That’s all they had to do, those simple things to have their vote counted. But Todd was making it out to be a plot to steal the election.

Todd’s ground work for the Biden campaign was made possible because of lucrative sponsorships from Uber and Verizon. Their contact information is linked so you can tell them about what they’re funding. And Todd has previous asked people send questions to #OpenQuestions on Twitter.

The transcript is below, click “expand” to read:

NBC’s Meet the Press
September 6, 2020
11:12:05 a.m. Eastern

CHUCK TODD: Welcome back. It is Data Download time. Several different analysis including from The Washington Post and NPR that found roughly half a million mail-in ballots were rejected from states that held their primary elections during the pandemic. So, we decided to dive into three of the states that had the closest margins in 2016 and look at how many ballots were thrown out, whose they were, and why they got tossed.

By now, you know the states by heart: Wisconsin [22,748], Michigan [10,704], and Pennsylvania [44,292]. President Trump won all three by razor-thin margins, taking the White House by their combined 77,000 total votes. All three allow no-excuse mail-in voting now. Michigan and Pennsylvania are doing it for the very first time.

So, let’s start with Wisconsin. More than 23,000 [23,196] mail-in votes were canceled in the state’s primary earlier this year, and there were lots of reasons many of them were different. Some voters missed the deadline or had mail issues, but most were rejected because of certification issues like a problem with a witness signature.

Fewer ballots were rejected in Michigan’s spring primary, 10,694 the biggest culprit there, most arrived too late to be counted, followed by signature problems and mail issues. And finally in Pennsylvania, close to 27,000 [26,838] ballots were thrown out this year. Just as in Michigan, the biggest issue there was the return deadline followed by mail issues like the ballot label being misplaced or damaged.

It also matters whose ballots get thrown out. Pennsylvania tracts that as well. In that state, many of the rejected ballots came from Philadelphia and suburban Montgomery County that’s right next door. Crucial Democratic counties. Remember, the number of rejected ballots remains relatively small. But if 2020 looks anything like 2016, especially in Pennsylvania, those rejected ballots could make a huge difference.

When we come back, what changes are needed to reform? Our panel is next.

(…)

11:22:02 a.m. Eastern

TODD: Michael Waldman, one of the things that we also featured in our Data Download has to do with spoiled ballots and how — if you look at the state of Pennsylvania, it’s pretty clear that it looks like that the votes of people that live in Philadelphia, and you can check the census and decide if that’s going to end up impacting more voters of color, but it sure looks like more voters of color saw their ballots thrown out.

So, let me ask you the question this way, Michael Waldman, what is the best way to guarantee that your vote counts?

MICHAEL WALDMAN: Well, the best way for anybody to guarantee that their vote counts is, this year it’s an unusual year, vote early. Whether you vote-by-mail early, whether you vote in-person early, whether you use drop boxes, which is actually how most people who vote-by-mail vote and that is something we as citizens can do. States need money, Congress passed some, but it’s all bollocked up in the negotiations over the stimulus. More money will help the states count ballots better the private sector can step in.

But I do think you’ve hit on something else, which is all of us need to understand that every vote should count, whether it’s voted by mail or voted in-person every vote should count. And this idea that there is something wrong with vote-by-mail in the middle of a pandemic, that’s not a charge, that’s a lie and that is — it’s extraordinary to have the President of the United States going out of his way to try to undermine faith in American democracy in the middle of a crisis like this.

So, you know, we all need to be patient and understand, as you’ve said, it’s not going to be election night we’re not going to have the announcement at 11:00 on the east coast probably the way we have other years but that doesn’t mean there’s a problem, it just means people are carefully counting the votes.

(…)

Published at Sun, 06 Sep 2020 13:43:00 +0000