The Michigan Department of Attorney General Dana Nessel said that ballots received after polls close on Nov. 3 aren’t counted, following a Project Veritas report that carried allegations of back-dating ballots.
“Under Michigan law, ballots have to arrive at the clerk’s office by when the polls close on Nov. 3 regardless of when it’s stamped. What matters is when it is delivered to the clerk’s office, not the postmarked date,” Ryan Jarvi, the Michigan AG press secretary told The Epoch Times in an emailed statement.
“If someone today stamped a letter with Nov. 2 and dropped it off at the clerk’s office, it wouldn’t be counted,” he said.
Investigative journalism nonprofit Project Veritas reported on Nov. 4 that a Michigan man who claims to be employed as a postal worker with the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) alleged that he was instructed by his superiors to back-date late ballots received after Election Day.
The postal worker, whose identity was kept anonymous, told Project Veritas’s James O’Keefe that he works in the state’s Traverse City Barlow branch.
BREAKING: Michigan @USPS Whistleblower Details Directive From Superiors: Back-Date Late Mail-In-Ballots As Received November 3rd, 2020 So They Are Accepted
— James O’Keefe (@JamesOKeefeIII) November 5, 2020
The USPS told The Epoch Times in an emailed statement that it is aware of the video, and that it has been referred to the USPS and the Office of Inspector General.
The Epoch Times could not independently verify the claims in the video.
Election law in the battleground state of Michigan requires that ballots be received by the election clerk before the close of polls—8 p.m. on Election Day.
The unnamed self-proclaimed postal worker alleged in the interview with Project Veritas that on Nov. 4, he and his colleagues were issued a directive by his direct supervisor, Jonathan Clarke, at the Barlow branch to collect any ballots they found in mailboxes, collection boxes, and any outgoing mail, and separate them at the end of the day so that they could be hand stamped with the previous day’s date—Nov. 3, Election Day.
“So I’ve, and this is anecdotal, [a] carrier down in another office said they watched the postmaster doing it,” the USPS whistleblower said. “If it were just a typical day, it would be clerks doing it up at the distribution center.”
Michigan, which has 16 Electoral College votes, is a crucial swing state with about 7.7 million registered voters, 1.3 million of whom are on the permanent absentee ballot list. Earlier this year, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson announced that all state residents would receive absentee ballot applications; she said last month that 2.7 million people had requested absentee ballots.
President Donald Trump won Michigan in 2016 by a margin of just 10,704 votes—0.3 percent—over Hillary Clinton.
States across the country expanded access to mail-in voting in an effort to reduce the spread of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus. It has led to growing concerns that inadequate postal service could extend vote counting for days or weeks after Election Day.
Trump has criticized widespread mail-in ballot initiatives, calling them corrupt. He told Axios that mail-in voting could significantly delay election results.
Trump and other Republicans have said mail-in voting could lead to ballot harvesting, allowing for people who have moved to fraudulently vote, as well as ballots being lost in the mail.
However, Democrats say mail-in voting is secure as long as the USPS is adequately funded.
The Trump campaign on Wednesday filed lawsuits to halt vote counting in Michigan and Pennsylvania until Republican observers are granted access to the facilities counting and processing ballots. A judge in Michigan denied that request.
“We were getting ready to win this election,” Trump said. “Frankly, we did win this election. So our goal now is to ensure the integrity, for the good of this nation.”
Zachary Stieber and Masooma Haq contributed to this report.