WASHINGTON – Committee on House Administration Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) today hosted a virtual election administration roundtable with officials from New York. Davis, along with his New York colleagues, U.S. Reps. Tom Reed (NY-23), Elise Stefanik (NY-21), Lee Zeldin (NY-01), and Chris Jacobs (NY-27), discussed election administration issues with New York Board of Elections Co-Executive Director Todd D. Valentine, U.S. Election Assistance Commissioner Don Palmer, and local county election officials in New York.
This is the fourth virtual roundtable in a series titled “Administering Safe Elections During a Pandemic” where Davis hears from local election officials on the challenges they are facing and works to bring resources to help them as they prepare to administer the 2020 election. Davis hosted virtual roundtables with election officials in Illinois, Georgia, and Wisconsin last month.
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“Today’s virtual roundtable highlighted, very clearly, the issue with mailing live ballots to every registered voter as Democrats have proposed in the Heroes Act,” said Davis. “We heard from a local election official in Suffolk County where an absentee ballot application was received for someone who had passed away months ago. Luckily that was caught and it wasn’t a live ballot. This continues to be a major concern, especially when states like California have been sued for failing to update their voter rolls but are mailing live ballots to every registered voter. My bill, the EASE Act, not only will help local officials prepare for safe in-person voting, but would also help states clean their voter rolls to prevent possible fraud. I hope House Democrats will consider passing this bill when Congress returns next week.”
New York Oversight Letter
In July, Davis sent a letter to the New York City Board of Elections concerning issues during the 2020 primary. The letter seeks more information about the city’s failure to adequately prepare for an increase in absentee ballots leaving a reported 29,000 ballots unsent three days prior to the election, underprepared poll workers leading to long lines at polling locations, and the change in polling locations happening just hours before polls opened. The committee has yet to receive a response.
Democrats’ Bill Mandates Vote-By-Mail
The Heroes Act includes an “emergency vote-by-mail” provision that requires, in the case of an emergency or disaster, including COVID-19, state or local election officials to transmit absentee ballots and balloting materials by mail with a self-sealing envelope and prepaid return postage to every registered voter at least 2 weeks before the election.
Davis and several House Republicans have introduced the Emergency Assistance for Safe Elections (EASE) Act to help states ensure those who want to vote in person can do so safely and make mail-in voting more secure by cleaning their voter rolls. The EASE Act provides the assistance state and local election administrators have been asking Congress for while putting commonsense restrictions on what the funding can go towards. Davis is encouraging this bill to be included as part of the negotiations for the next coronavirus relief package.
Live ballots being mailed to every registered voter increases opportunity for fraud. The New York Post recently wrote about a whistleblower, a Democratic operative, who spoke about knowledge of mail-in balloting fraud in multiple states and how easy it is to tamper with this process. CLICK HERE for the article.
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