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Detroit Vote Counter Claims Harassment After Refusing to Backdate Ballots

Detroit Vote Counter Claims Harassment After Refusing to Backdate Ballots
(Kirby Lee via AP)

By    |   Thursday, 03 December 2020 06:29 PM

A Detroit ballot processor testified before a Michigan legislative hearing on Thursday that she was intimidated and harassed by supervisors after she refused to backdate absentee ballots and accept others that violated state law on Election Night.

Jessy Jacob, a 34-year Detroit city worker, told a hearing of the state’s Senate Oversight Committee that she was instructed by election officials on the morning of Nov. 4 to enter ballots as received by Nov. 2 knowing they had been received after the 9 p.m. deadline on Nov. 3, Election Day. Her refusal drew reprisals, she said.

''They treated me like a criminal, humiliated me, harassed me,'' Jacob said in her witness statement sitting beside Rudy Giuliani and Jenna Ellis, campaign lawyers for President Donald Trump. ''It was so bad.''

The Trump campaign has filed lawsuits contesting election results in several states and is lobbying state legislatures to invoke their authority to select electors to the Electoral College.

At one point, Jacob said she was told by a representative from the Michigan Department of State’s Bureau of Elections, ''I don’t need you here. I don’t need any of your help. Get out of here.

''I couldn’t do anything, because when I am entering the ballot, I couldn’t lie about the date,'' Jacob said.

Jacob said that she was processing opened absentee ballots, some of which had no postage stamp and no signature match. Other issues included that some absentee ballots were issued on Nov. 3. The state manual for ballot processors says ballots are invalid if they are issued after 4 p.m. on Nov. 2.

''So it was issued on Nov. 3, Election Day,'' she said. ''It was issued, received, everything, on Nov. 3. Then I checked whether that voter is newly registered. No, he was not registered on Nov. 3. He was registered sometime in 2010 — 10 years ago. You are not supposed to issue absentee ballots on election day to already registered voters.''

But when she took her concerns to supervisors, she learned no one else at the facility where she was working was following the process to accept legal ballots.

While expressing her concerns, she was told by Chris Thomas, a contractor for the Detroit City Clerk’s Office and overseeing operations: ''She’s right, but why should we punish voters for a processor’s mistake?''

''I never expected this kind of treatment,'' Jacob said. ''It was really, really bad. I had to go through this, so inhumane.''

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A Detroit ballot processor testified before a Michigan legislative hearing on Thursday that she was intimidated and harassed by supervisors after she refused to backdate absentee ballots and accept others that violated state law on Election Night. Jessy Jacob, a 34-year...
detroit, election, processor, harassment
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2020-29-03
Thursday, 03 December 2020 06:29 PM
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