Last month, first-term GOP Rep. Steve Watkins of Kansas was charged with voter fraud.
Authorities said Watkins had registered to vote in a district where he no longer lived, CBS News reported.
“While this address is still located in his congressional district, it was located in a city council district that had an election determined by just 13 votes in November 2019,” the report said.
Twitter had a great time with this whole thing. Ahahahaha, see? Republicans were so concerned about voter fraud and look — when someone gets caught for voter fraud, it was one of their own!
You mean like R- Steve Watkins?
— David Clayborn (@UHClayborn33) August 23, 2020
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Everyone had such a great time laughing about a Republican being caught for voter fraud without realizing that it was, um, evidence that voter fraud, at some scale, exists.
But enough about voter fraud, because that’s not what we’re here to talk about. Instead, we’re here to talk about the U.S. Postal Service and sorting machines.
As you’re likely aware, the Postal Service is under increasing scrutiny because of the possibility that it might be called upon to handle national mail-in voting. The latest controversy involves sorting machines, whether they were being decommissioned — and now that they’re not being decommissioned, whether they’re being put back online fast enough.
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In Texas, Democrat Rep. Joaquin Castro went to tour a San Antonio Postal Service facility and said that things “looked orderly.”
The problem is that bags of mail apparently had been shipped out of the facility in order to make things look better, according to the San Antonio Express News.
Castro originally said things looked good after a Tuesday tour and a talk with post office plant manager Dennis Stasa.
“They were told by Washington to remove those six machines,” the congressman said outside the post office. “[Stasa] said they have been able to carry out their work. But as I told him, even my own mom had an issue getting medicine on time that she’s usually able to get in a few days. And others have shared similar stories.”
However, an employee with the post office said that the backlogged mail had been hidden from the congressman.
“This mail has been sitting there for weeks and weeks out,” Carlos Barrios, the plant’s clerk craft director, told the Express News.
“So rather than show Castro when he comes in and he sees the cluster there, it’s best to not even have it there. So they moved it and they transported the majority of that to the north dock, where they were put on a trailer so they can be sent to Austin.”
Barrios said the plant employees “played” the congressman “for a fool.”
Castro was outraged.
“If this conduct is true, it’s outrageous that USPS management would attempt to deceive the people of San Antonio about the condition of postal operations,” Castro said in a statement.
“I expect an explanation from USPS leadership and an immediate reversal of these delays: Deliver the people’s mail now.”
Bexar County District Attorney Joe Gonzales also spoke out about the issue, saying, “If Bexar County residents cannot rely on the USPS to deliver things like medication or pay bills on time, how can they be certain their ballots will be received, let alone counted?”
Now, again, what’s your reaction? It probably has something to do with the fact that the USPS is decommissioning mail sorters at a time when they’re most needed. But here’s the thing: It also means they’re totally unprepared to handle the additional mail no matter what.
Assume, for instance, that all the mail sorters are up and running but the Postal Service still can’t deal with the volume of mail that universal mail-in balloting creates. Well, apparently, that mail can just … go away
We’ve already seen issues with relatively low-stakes primaries. We’re now going to assume that, in the midst of one of the most hotly contested presidential elections in our lifetime, that there’s no risk this happens during the election, even with sorters running full-steam ahead.
This is a disaster in the making.
Yes, voting in person is going to be problematic, too. However, what’s clear is that whatever the case may be, we’re not ready. We’re mere weeks away from what’s likely to be the most important election in recent years — and we’re not ready.
Remember, Republicans can be fooled just as easily as Democrats — and they can commit voter fraud just as easily.
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