As I have said many times before absentee ballots are the easiest way to commit fraud and it’s rare that anyone is caught in the act. I have also said that even a moderate amount of cheating can turn an election around.
In Aberdeen, Miss., such a case has occurred culminating in the arrest of notary public Dallas Jones who admitted that she did not do her duty on the absentee ballots.
She claimed that she just automatically stamped everything that came her way. Nicholas Holliday was declared the winner by 37 votes over Robert Devaull who challenged the results in court.
The problem for Dallas is that upon examining the absentee ballots it was discovered that sixty-six of eighty-four absentee ballots cast in the June runoff were no9t valid and should not have been counted.
The judge has ordered a new election to determine the winner.
Judge Jeff Weill not only calls for a new election but also finds evidence of fraud and criminal activity, in how the ballots were handled. It is the duty of the notary public to check the ballots for irregularities before notarizing them.
Evidently, the invalid absentee ballots were for Holliday, otherwise a revote would be unnecessary. Dallas has been arrested for voter fraud. No court date has been set yet for the trial.
Judge Weill found many irregularities with absentee ballots. He issued a bench warrant for notary Dallas Jones, who notarized absentee ballots. During a hearing, Jones admitted violating notary duties.
“When you have an absentee ballot, there’s an envelope, you vote, fold the ballot, put it in an envelope, lick the flap, sign across the flap, then notary signs your election certificate, she testified that she didn’t sign in front of anybody, didn’t see anybody sign it, she just notarized it, just stamped them,” said Lydia Quarles, attorney for Robert Devaull.
In fact, Jones testified that she was called to the home of then Alderwoman Lady Garth in June to correct her father’s absentee ballot paperwork. While there, Jones testified she notarized “about 30 something ballots.”
The judge also found that 83 regular ballots were counted without being initialed by election workers.