North Idaho Slow Growth

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    Absentee Ballot Problems Go Postal

    This article investigates the U.S. Postal Service and the problems with mail-in ballots.   It is nearly impossible to prove fraud, but we can make a strong case that USPS should not be trusted, and its role in elections should be minimized.


    Wide discrepancies in voter preferences between in-person and mail-in ballots are frequent, and they often decide elections. For example, in 2020 Trump won the “in-person” vote in all fifty states but was defeated because of an incredibly high percentage of mail-in ballots that favored Biden.  

    Likewise, in the recent Hayden Mayoral election, Luke Sommer won “in-person” voting by a substantial margin of 1445 to 1036,  or 58% of ballots cast.   In fact, as the diagram below shows, Sommer won all eight precincts in election day voting.   But he still lost the election by 37 votes due to an overwhelming advantage for his opponent in absentee ballots.  

    Sommer received only 247 of 893, or 27.6% of absentee ballots cast.   That is a huge and highly improbable 30% difference in voter sentiment.  How can such a discrepancy be explained?

    Absentee Ballot Chain of Custody

    As the entire country knows by now, the loss of an important election due to a highly improbable bias in mail-in ballots is hard to accept.  But fraud can be difficult to prove, and even when it has been proven, it is nearly impossible to overturn an election.    

    In the case of the 2020 Presidential election many different forms of fraud have been identified.   The bias in mail-in ballots was certainly suspicious, but there were also cases of electronic tabulator fraud,  voter roll fraud,  recounting of ballots, and other flagrant forms of cheating.   

    In the case of the Hayden election, however, there were election observers at polling places throughout the day, and election officials have been very transparent, and there is no reason to doubt the election-day results.   It is only the mail-in ballots that appears suspicious by comparison.

    But given that there is no independent visibility into Postal Service procedures for handling ballots,  how could anyone prove fraud?   No one can because there is no verifiably secure chain of custody within the U.S. Postal System.   Each ballot is handled by numerous people in numerous locations on its journey through the postal system.   Therefore, it is difficult to prove fraud, but it is also impossible to prove that absentee ballots have not been tampered with.   

    Mail in ballots are inherently insecure, and there is no way to fix the problem, other than to limit their use. 

    To demonstrate this, let's follow along with a typical Kootenai County absentee ballot on its journey from the voter to the elections office.

    First of all, since there is no USPS sorting facility in North Idaho, all mail collected from local PO boxes is bagged and transferred to a fully automated sorting facility in Spokane.  All mail is handled by machines using optical scanners and programmable sorters.   When election mail is detected it can be sorted by precinct, separated, or redirected to any location in the facility.

    Once sorted mail in ballots are sent to a location where they are bagged and eventually transported to the Coeur d'Alene distribution center.  From there they are assigned to postal trucks and delivered to the KC Administration building.  From there they are delivered by courier to the Elections Office where signatures are checked, and the ballots are stored in a secured location.

    On their odyssey to the elections office Absentee ballots are held in at least five different locations, transported on at least four trucks, and sorted by a machine that can easily redirect them on even more complicated routes.    And all long the route there are electronic checkpoints, but nowhere along the route is there any independent observability.   

    So the question comes down to this:  How Trustworthy is the US Postal Service?

    Black Chambers and Secret Offices

    In the modern age, most people think of the US Postal Service as a bumbling government bureaucracy, rather than a spy hub.  But anyone who has studied the history of spy craft knows that in previous ages, Post Offices were notorious centers of government-sponsored espionage.    Furthermore, sophisticated techniques of opening sealed letters in such a way that they could be read and resealed undetected have existed for hundreds of years

    The practice of spying on mail sent through government Post Offices was so common in past ages that the term Cabinet noir (Black Chamber) was coined to describe such activity.   “A cabinet noir was established by King Henry IV of France in 1590 as part of the Poste aux Lettres. Its mission was to open, read and reseal letters, and great expertise was developed in the restoration of broken seals. . . . .

    And France was by no means alone.  The London Post was the base of several notorious British spy masters, and even Benjamin Franklin, long time Postmaster of colonial America, was caught in a spy scandal.   

    We are pointing this out because anyone who thinks that US Postal Inspection agents are not capable of opening and resealing parcels sent through the Postal system is uninformed.   USPIS agents are, in fact, authorized to do so under certain circumstances and their are inspection rooms set up in Postal facilities for this explicit purpose. 

    The point is that Post Offices have long been centers of government intrigue, and sophisticated methods of opening mail undetected are age old.  And in spite of its bumbling facade, the internal logistics of the USPS are top notch, its parcel processing technology is thoroughly automated, and the adhesive strips used to secure modern mail are far easier to tamper with than the embossed seals of ancient times.    

    Is the US Postal Service currently involved in Espionage?   Well this recently released audit by the USPS Inspector General, indicating that US Postal Inspectors have been using advanced surveillance tools to spy on Americans, would indicate that they are still actively engaged with Federal Intelligence agencies.        

    USPS—A Private Corporation

    We have established that there are disturbing irregularities in Absentee ballots, and that Postal agents have been routinely opening, inspecting and resealing mail, as long as Post Offices have existed.    Now we need to try to learn more about the institution of the US Postal Service.     A little history may provide some insights.

    In 1792 George Washington established the first U.S. Post Office and it was made a cabinet position in 1872.   Then, in 1970 congress created an independent federally-chartered corporation, the United States Postal Service, that was intended to take over the duties of the U.S. Post Office and to operate without taxpayer subsidies.  

    The USPS has a unique, and complicated structure, even compared to other Independent Federal agencies.   It is governed by an 11 member Board of Governors and is regulated by the very peculiar Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC).  The USPS even has its own law enforcement agency, the US Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), and it's own Office of Inspector General.     

    The first thing to understand is that USPS is a “quasi-federal” agency, meaning that is a private corporation under federal control.    Its employees are not government employees, even though they follow some federal rules and receive some federal benefits.  For example, the Postmaster General is not limited to federal pay scales so he earns more than the U.S. President.  But the USPS Inspector General qualifies for Federal SES benefits, the holy grail of Washington's ultra-swampy Federal Employee overclass.   

    So USPS has the best of both worlds:  the cozy, protected status of a federal agency, and also the autonomy and limited oversight of a private corporation.    

    Another way the USPS falsely appears to be a Federal agency, while maintaining its independence, is the way it handles FOIA requests.   According to statute, the USPS must comply with FOIA laws so it maintains a USPS FOIA information website.   But when you read the fine print, it turns out that there are many exemptions that limit what USPS is required to disclose:  

    "FOIA requires the Postal Service to make USPS records available to the publicsubject to certain exemptions, exclusions, and other laws allowing the Postal Service to withhold certain types of records and information. It is the policy of the Postal Service to make its official records available to the public to the maximum extent consistent with the public interest.”   

    In other words, USPS agency officials decide for themselves what should be disclosed. It is remarkable that the USPS was privatized, and provided with exemptions to FOIA disclosure in 1970, only three years after the Freedom of Information Act was passed.  And given previous US Post Office ties to intelligence agencies, that is probably not a coincidence.

    In short, USPS has many of the trappings of a Federal agency, but there is no transparency, and no way to observe what is really happening regarding Absentee ballots.  

    The US Postal Inspection Service

    Now that we understand the sketchy history, and quasi-federal status of the US Postal Service, let’s look into what it has to say about Election Security on the website of the US Postal Inspection Service, the law enforcement/surveillance arm of USPS.

    According to its Election Security page, "USPIS works tirelessly to ensure public trust in the mail, . . .monitors election mail as it moves through the postal network" and its agents have  "unique access to all USPS facilities." 

    Furthermore:  "USPIS partners with other federal, state, and local government agencies. Daily coordination happens between USPIS and these agencies so each has timely information, and all agencies’ resources, tools and techniques can be applied to ensure the integrity of America’s elections."

    But given that Postal Inspectors have been accused of spying, and that USPS’s partners are the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, and the Department of Justice,—all institutions which are entirely politicized and blatantly disregard the constitution,—this is not reassuring

    We are also informed that USPS electronic security is monitored by CISA, a federal agencies dedicated to protecting "critical infrastructure" from cyber attacks or election interference.   Such oversight is necessary because the USPS sorting system is automated, using optical scanners and SMART mail barcodes that can track the whereabouts of individual ballots. 

    But the problem with tracking software is that it can just as easily be used to enable fraud as to prevent it, and CISA is the same agency that failed to protect the 2020 Election from massive voter machine manipulation in 2020.  So Cyber-security is smoke and mirrors.   

    Electronic monitoring can provide an illusion of security, but tracking SMART mail through the system proves nothing if the system administrators and security officials in charge of election security are the ones subverting it.   

    There appear to be serious, glaring problems with mail-in ballots and USPS's "security procedures" fail to address.   The enormous discrepancies in absentee ballot distributions, always favoring "establishment" candidates, are persistent and system wide, and there is no good explanation for them.   

    We have no real visibility as to what is going on in the Post Office as regards mail-in ballot security, and the only statistic that actually matters is the fantastic disparity between verified, secured, in-person voting patterns, and mail-in ballots. 

    And as long as these remain, we must assume the USPS cannot be trusted with mail in ballots.  

    The Folly of Mail in Voting

    The Incredible discrepancies between in-person and mail-in voting, always proceed in one direction.  They never favor conservatives.  They never favor challengers to the "Establishment".   They always favors Big Money, Big Government, Big Club candidates.   

    What can be done to eliminate these disparities, and therefore restore trust in America's electoral system?   The obvious solution, from the "establishment" viewpoint, is to get rid of in-person voting altogether.   No in-person voting, means no obvious disparity between in-person and mail-in votes

    The Covid crisis provided an unprecedented opportunity to normalize all-mail in voting, and it succeeded wonderfully.  Since 2020, more states than ever are moving towards loosening restrictions mail-in ballots and away from any meaningful election security

    Even before 2020 four Western States (OR, WA, UT, CO), had already converted to all mail-in ballots, and the chart below showing gubernatorial races over time, shows that in every case, there has been a significant increase in voter activity that invariably favors Democrat or Establishment candidates.   

    The progression to all mail elections generally follows a certain pattern.  The first step is to remove restrictions on absentee ballots, as legislators in Idaho have already done.   The next step is to make all-mail elections "optional" for counties, and this is often done first with small, rural, conservative counties that no one worries much about.   Then, once county clerks realize that mail in voting actually saves money, they jump on the bandwagon, and once a large of counties adopts absentee voting, then it is mandated statewide.    

    Since 2020, four more (CA, NV, HI, VT) have transitioned to all-mail in voting, and many more have loosened restrictions on absentee ballots.    This is a dangerous trend because once a state "goes postal" any hope of overthrowing big-money, establishment candidates goes out the window.

    That of course, is the plan.   

    There are at least three ways that all mail-in elections favor democratic, big-money candidates (or RINOs in R states).

    The first and most obvious is that mail-in ballots enable many different types of voter fraud.   It is much easier to register fraudulent voters or to assume control of illicitly obtained ballots when  the whole process is done by mail, and no one needs to present ID in person at a polling station. 

    Another benefit to removing in-person election day voting, is that there is no so benchmark of secured ballots, to compare to mail-in ballots, so that it is impossible to recognize probable fraud.    

    But perhaps the most insidious problem with all mail-in voting is that it shortens the election cycle in a way that favors incumbents and deep-pocket, big donor candidates.   Mail in voting increases the importance of political marketing mail, so candidate literature must be printed and ready to mail before the ballots go out, and this is much easier for deep pockets than for challengers with limited resources. 

    Election day voting gives challengers the entire election cycle to make their case, and allows them to use far less expensive marketing methods, such as social media, public events, and doorbelling to get the word out.     

    Not just all-mail in elections, but any election with a large contingent of mail-in ballots is an election that favors big money interests.   That is why Democrats, RINOs, and deep pocket donors always favor mail-in voting, and while conservative patriots oppose it. 

    The Postal Service and the Deep State

    People who trust the FBI, CIA, DOJ, and who believe that the 2020 Election was legitimate, and that January 6th was really an insurrection against the government by dangerously violent Trump supporters, can probably trust the USPS and mail-in voting.

    The rest of us should be extremely wary.   The USPS is a private corporation that is not transparent and is not accountable to the American people.   And there are many signs that it is and always has been in part of the Deep State, in bed with Big Business, Big Government, and Big Intelligence.  

    For example,  in 2013 USPS made a very favorable deal with Amazon to provide Sunday delivery service,  at a considerable loss to Postal rate payers.    And this was the same years that Bezos, while Amazon was still losing money on its core business, bailed out the Washington Post, so the whole thing smells like an inside-the-beltway Boondoggle.    

    And the inside deal with Amazon was not an isolated occurrance.  Only a few years earlier,  USPS entered into an exclusive contract with a real estate firm own by Richard Blum, Diane Feinstein's husband.   The firm then proceeded to sell 56  valuable Post Office properties at bargain basement prices to Blum's buddies, and took a 6% commission for making the arrangements.    

    During the Clinton Administration there was a scandal involving Congressman Dan Rostenkowski who was accused of money laundering using the House Post Office.   But there was so much cover-up surrounding the scandal, that we were not told the full story, and there was likely something much worse going on.  

    The problem is, these are all instances of institutional corruption, and deals made at the highest executive levels.  The executive leadership of the US Postal Service appears to have complicated connections to Washington Insiders, and there are strange and inscrutable things going on. 

    For example, between 2014 and 2016, the entire board of governors of the USPS resigned or expired, leaving only the Postmaster General in command.  What the heck was going on there?   And we haven't even begun looking at the extremely strange Postal Regulatory Commission,  whose Federal Statutes Regulations indicate that it has highly confidential, and unexplained dealings with the State department and foreign governments. 

    The US Postal Service is a private, sketchy, and untransparent agency, that appears to be under the control of the "Deep State."   It should not be trusted with our elections, or with the fate of our country.

    Idaho should do everything possible to restrict the use Absentee or mail in ballots and to ease in-person voting.   And where Absentee ballots must be used, for limited purposes, they should be distributed shortly before election day, and returned using pre-paid Federal Express 1-day service







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