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5 Nov, 2020 04:14

USPS ‘whistleblower’ claims he was ordered to backdate late mail-in ballots in Michigan (UPD: they would’ve been rejected anyway)

USPS ‘whistleblower’ claims he was ordered to backdate late mail-in ballots in Michigan (UPD: they would’ve been rejected anyway)

An anonymous tipster with the Postal Service in Michigan has alleged his supervisor ordered mail carriers to backdate ballots mailed too late to be counted, Project Veritas revealed - and the service is reportedly investigating.

Editorial note:This article has been updated to elaborate on Michigan election law as well as guidelines from the local office of the secretary of state. The rules outline that, in order for a mail-in vote to be counted, it should be received by the city clerk or his assistant before the close of the polls on election day at the latest, rendering the Project Veritas investigation moot.

The self-professed mail carrier - whose voice and identity have been disguised by the conservative muckraking operation - claimed he and his colleagues were “issued a directive” to “collect any ballots we find in mailboxes,” collection boxes, and “outgoing mail in general” on Wednesday and “separate them at the end of the day so that they could hand stamp them with the previous day’s date” in an interview with Project Veritas posted on Wednesday night.

The ballots retrieved from general mail circulation were then put in “express bags” to be sent “wherever they needed to go” after being stamped, the tipster alleged. It should be noted, however, that under Michigan law, ballots sent via mail “must reach the clerk or an authorized assistant of the clerk before the close of the polls on election day.” The closing time for polling stations in the state was 8pm EST and ballots received thereafter should have not been counted as per the law. Furthermore, according to the office of Michigan’s secretary of state, ballots received after the polls closed are not counted “regardless of the postmark” they have.

The tipster claimed he worked for the Barlow branch of the Traverse City post office and that he had also spoken with a carrier at another branch who “watched the postmaster [stamping ballots with the previous day’s date].” Normally, “it would be clerks that would do it up at the distribution center,” he added.

Project Veritas founder James O’Keeffe allegedly called the tipster’s supervisor, Jonathon Clarke - the man who supposedly told employees to separate out the ballots - to inquire about the order, only to be hung up on. However, it’s not clear the other party was actually Clarke.

O’Keeffe later claimed a “Special Agent within the Office of Inspector General for the USPS” had contacted his organization after seeing his interview with the whistleblower and was “assessing whether an investigation is appropriate.” While the carrier told PV he had had whistleblower policies “backfire” on him in the past, he said the directive was “sketchy” and “scream[ed] corruption.

Knowing the post office’s leaning politically, it didn’t seem quite right,” he told O’Keeffe.

President Donald Trump’s campaign filed a lawsuit against Michigan over alleged electoral malfeasance on Wednesday, charging Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson was allowing absentee ballots to be counted without a team of bipartisan observers. The campaign has filed several lawsuits as the vote count has piled up in apparent favor of Democrat Joe Biden. Georgia was ordered to separate late-arriving mail-in votes on Wednesday night after a Republican poll-watcher claimed to have seen 53 late-marked votes mixed in with legitimate ballots.

Also on rt.com ‘Ballots could be from Mars, as far as we’re concerned’: Giuliani alleges mail-in voter fraud in Pennsylvania & Wisconsin

Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr. was among the president’s supporters who quickly picked up the story, retweeting it while asking why the Department of Justice wasn’t looking into the issue. President Trump has been denouncing mail-in voting as fraudulent for months.

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