German Journalist in DC Says He Received 3 Ballots in Mail, One for Dead Person

German Journalist in DC Says He Received 3 Ballots in Mail, One for Dead Person
A woman wearing gloves drops off a mail-in ballot at a drop box in Hackensack, N.J., on July 7, 2020. (Seth Wenig/AP Photo)
Petr Svab

A German journalist living in Washington who isn’t eligible to vote in the United States recently received three ballots for the Nov. 3 election in his mail.

Stefan Niemann, who is a U.S. correspondent for ARD, the German state-funded broadcaster, posted on Twitter a picture of a mail-in ballot for the upcoming election.

“The chaos that [President Donald] Trump lamented with the delivery of mail voting papers is here,” a translation of Niemann’s Oct. 10 tweet says.

“I am not allowed to vote here. But three ballots came to my Washington address: for the previous tenant who moved five years ago, the landlady living in Puerto Rico, and her deceased husband.”

The tweet gained traction as Richard Grenell, former acting director of national intelligence and a former ambassador to Germany, shared it on his Twitter feed the next day.

“German journalist living in the US (with no US voting rights) received multiple ballots in the mail,” he said. “This is outrageous.”
In another tweet, Niemann apparently responded to a comment.
“Yes, U.S. voters must first register and put a signature on file. What I’m saying is: the voter rolls are not up to date, also because registration systems are full of holes. Of course, there should be a comparison at the end so that everyone only votes once.”

Mail Voting Issues

News of mail voting issues have piled up in recent months as a record number of Americans are expected to vote remotely, because of concerns about the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus and related lockdown measures that make in-person voting more difficult.

Beatrice Cardenas, who unsuccessfully ran for the Republican nomination in California’s 27th Congressional District, said in an Oct. 9 tweet that she received two ballots in the mail, each listing her name slightly differently.

“Ok, I was afraid of this. I got TWO ballots. One just has ‘Ms’ in the name. I’m obviously going to be honest & vote once but who’s to say this discrepancy isn’t going to be abused?” she said, posting pictures of the ballots.
“I don’t want to fan the flames & accuse the LA RR/CC of fraud. They can’t handle the volume.” She was referring to the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk, the agency that manages birth, death, marriage, real estate, and business name records.
Her tweet came in response to Grenell, who posted on Oct. 9 two pictures of ballots he said were addressed to deceased people.

“I am calling for an investigation into [California Governor] @GavinNewsom’s election interference. This is a scandal. It’s being ignored by the media. It’s happening everyday!” he said.

“Here are two ballots mailed to two people who have been dead for more than 10 years!”

Just as with Washington D.C., California decided to automatically mail ballots to all registered voters this year. It is different from standard absentee voting, where a voter must request the mail-in ballot, thus confirming one’s address and identity.

While some states, such as Washington and Oregon, have performed all-mail elections for years, other states are doing so for the first time, with only a few months of preparation.

Democrats have been promoting mail voting as a convenience and safety precaution, while Republicans have cautioned against it, raising concerns of fraud and mismanagement.

While Democrat and Republican groups both have filed lawsuits this year over vote-by-mail rules across the country, most of the more than 100 lawsuits are backed by Democrats.

Petr Svab is a reporter covering New York. Previously, he covered national topics including politics, economy, education, and law enforcement.
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