A close race, a recount, a court challenge and legislative action, resulted in the 1st Essex District State Rep. Lenny Mirra winning his reelection by 100 votes then losing by one vote. Mirra appeared on the Paying Attention! Podcast last week (iTunes, iHeartRadio, YouTube, PodBean) to give us the exclusive on how the entire apparatus of the Massachusetts Democrat Party got involved in his race and flipped a house seat from Republican to Democrat.
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HEADS YOU WIN, TAILS I LOSE
“On election night we won by 100 votes,” Lenny Mirra explained at the Studio 21 podcast Cafe in Salem NH.
“I wouldn’t say it’s voter fraud, but it’s human error and political maneuvering more than anything else.”
“So, we won this election by 100 votes, and it was really close, this was out of more than 24,000 votes cast.”
“We felt pretty good about this election. But, under the current rules we have, we had to wait for all the mail-in ballots to come in. And weeks after the election they were still coming in. As long as you have it postmarked by Election-Day it counts, even if it comes in a week or two later it still counts.”
“Now, this is a problem for a few reasons; it’s very easy to pre-date or postdate an empty envelope in an office somewhere with a postal stamp meter. And we raised those objections but no one wants to hear it.”
BALLOTS WITH NO CHAIN OF CUSTODY
“There was a chain of custody issue in Ipswich where a lot of mail-in ballots were put in a box that… It’s supposed to be only in a box that the town clerk has a key to. But these ended up in a box that everyone had a key to, It’s the box you put your water bill or excise tax bill into. So, half the people in city hall had access to it.”
“But, that really wasn’t the big problem. The big problem was that these ballots started coming in a week after the election. In the other towns the mail in ballots ran pretty much the same, except for Ipswich.”
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“They had more mail-in ballots in Ipswich than all the other towns combined, about 110 of them. I went to the opening of these ballots and almost all of them went to my appointment. So, my hundred vote lead went down to 10. I thought, how do you do that?”
MAIL-IN BALLOTS ARE NOT SECURE
“What they do is, they send an absentee ballot application to every single person on the voting list in the state, and we know that those lists are highly inaccurate, people move, people die, whatever. But we just send these applications out to everyone on the list anyway. When I moved from West Newbury to Georgetown, I live alone, and I got three ballots; mine, plus the two people who used to live there before me. If the people in town hall didn’t know me, I could have voted three times.”
“The process is; they (election workers) are supposed to look at the mail-in applications to make sure that you signed your application, and then they will send you a ballot in the mail. Then, when you fill out your ballot, you sign the envelope and mail it back in.”
“The Town Clerk then opens the ballot, and is supposed to look at the signature on the envelope to make sure it matches the signature on the application.”
How’d that go?
“So, I said I wanted to see just the late arriving ballots from Ipswich, maybe about 110 of them, In over a dozen of them the signatures weren’t even close. They did not match at all.”
“But they said it was too late because once you open the ballots they get lumped in with all the others, you can’t separate those.”
MYSTERY BALLOTS APPEAR OUT OF THIN AIR
“It gets worse.”
“My one hundred vote lead went down to 10 votes. Then, my opponent asked for a recount. Now, in my lifetime I’ve never seen a recount flip more than one or two votes – but this one went South really fast.”
“The first thing they do is they run all the ballots through the machine to make sure that you get the same number of ballots during the recount that you had during the election.”
“But guess what? In Ipswich they found, somehow, 14 extra ballots. Nobody can figure out where these came from. Were they late? Were they overseas ballots? Were they mail in ballots? There was no chain of custody for these ballots.”
How did they get away with this?
“They get away with this because the Democrats have way better lawyers than Republicans do. In the recounts for all the other communities except for Ipswich the election came out almost exactly the same, but they had flipped one vote, so my lead went from 10 to 9.
FLIPPING VOTES AND CHANGING THE RULES
“We still felt pretty good about the fact that we were going to win this. But, the Democrat lawyer found a way to flip five votes in a switch from me to my opponent. And they changed the rules based on who the ballots were for. So, for example, when there was a scribble in my opponent’s oval on the ballot and it was contested, the Democrat lawyer said no, no, you have to give that to the Democrat Kristene Casner.”
“But, then there were two ballots that had the same thing, where they had scribbled on my oval on the ballot. They found a way to convince the Board of Registrars to not count those for me.”
“And it was just minutes later, after they had just used the exact opposite argument for my Democrat opponent, and now suddenly they didn’t want that standard to apply to me.”
“And that’s shenanigans if you ask me, because those two ballots were initially called by the Board of Registrars for me and those people at the table are the trained election workers, they are the experts and they called them for Mirra. But this lawyer for the Democrat Party somehow convinced the board of registrars, at least two of the three (who were Democrats) to flip those votes from Mirra, to blank votes.”
“So, those got put aside.”
“At the same time in Rowley, they went through the whole recount and it didn’t change much until the very end when some lady by the name of Trudy Reed, was somehow deputized into running that recount, I don’t know how or why because she’s from North Andover. But she and the Democrat lawyers convinced the board of registrars to un-spoil five ballots.”
“What that means is that in the old days, if you didn’t sign your mail in ballot or absentee ballot, it didn’t count. If you didn’t put the date on it, it didn’t count. If it came in late, it didn’t count. But, now we have this new system where they can take ballots that don’t count for those reasons, they call up the voter – supposedly – and ask them to come down and either sign the ballot or date it correctly, whatever it was that was wrong. Then suddenly that vote counts. So, at the end of the day I end up losing by one vote.”
SO, WHAT DID THE COURTS SAY?
“We were down by one vote, so we filed in Essex County Superior Court and ended up in front of Judge Drechsler. Now, just an indication of how so-few people understand election law – we went in with this complaint saying these ballots were ruled inappropriately, and he scolded us! He said we came in with a complaint and we didn’t have any evidence.”
“He said, “where are these ballots?”
“And we had to inform him, a judge, that we’re not allowed to have these ballots. The law says that only the clerks can handle the ballots. And he said, ‘well, you can at least give me a copy of the ballots.’ And we had to inform him again, the law prohibits us from even making copies of the ballots. We can’t even take a picture of the ballots with our phone. So, the judge didn’t even know that. He was kind of angry and he ordered the Town Clerks to give him those ballots, he said ‘I want them in my court tomorrow morning so I can inspect them.’”
“They had to have a police escort for these ballots so nobody would mess with them. They deliver them all the way to court, and once again, this attorney for the Democrats convinced that judge that he couldn’t open the ballots because it was not his jurisdiction. So, my lawyers said ‘wait a minute’ we just talked to the Attorney General and they said it is your jurisdiction.
The Democrats said, ‘no, it’s the jurisdiction of the House of Representatives, it’s their soul jurisdiction and the judge caved. Then the SJC, the State’s Supreme Judicial Court said the same thing. They said it is the sole jurisdiction of the House of Representatives according to our state constitution.
We said OK we don’t like this but we accept it – it’s in the Constitution.
DEMOCRATS IN THE LEGISLATURE VOTE FOR THEMSELVES
House Speaker Mariano, said ‘we’re not going to seat anyone in this race.’ He put together a special house committee, and those three people, two Democrats and one Republican are going to determine who the actual winner of this race is.
After 2 1/2 weeks they finally came out with a report saying, ‘no, we’re not going to look at these contested ballots.’ Somehow, the lawyer for the Democrats had convinced two judges and then this committee to not open these ballots. They acted like it was life or death if anybody ever opened and looked at those ballots.
So, Brad Jones (minority leader) submitted a bill last week H-53 that said we need a committee to just look at these ballots, even if they did it after giving my opponent this race. I’d be OK with that. I just want to fix the system, so we can see the flaws and correct them. It went to a vote before the full house and they voted straight on party lines.
Every Republican voted for H- 53 to look at these ballots. And only one Democrat, Russell Holmes from Boston – who deserves a profile in courage award – because he’s the only Democrat to stand up to leadership and voted with us to say, “yes we need to look at these ballots. Just look at them and look at the signatures.”
COVERING UP THE COVER UP
“Now, those signatures and those ballots will be sealed for 22 months and then destroyed.”
“Which means the public will never see those contested ballots. We will never know who actually won this race.”
“We argued that if I was a Democrat and this was the other way around they would be making the exact opposite argument, and we can prove it because they’ve already done that. If my Democrat opponent was down by one vote, does anybody really believe that that committee of Democrats would’ve voted the same way? There’s just no way. They would’ve opened everything and inspected everything.”
“And I’ve already conceded. I don’t want to be one of these stolen election people – although I’m probably the only person on earth that has a legitimate claim to it. I’m just saying, I’ve conceded. Let her have the seat. But, for the sake of our elections and for the sake of the integrity of our elections, we should look at these ballots. Let’s just fix the flaws in our system so the public knows what happened.”
“But they don’t want to fix the flaws in the system.”
“The problem is, we are a one-party state and they don’t even need my seat. They have a super-majority. What they want is ultimate one-party rule, absolutely. And I’m a RINO [Republican in Name Only], and I’m proud of it. I readily admit it. But I don’t have a D next to my name.”
ONE PARTY RULE
“As long as the voters put up with it, this is what’s going to keep happening. The voters have to, at some point, say ‘enough is enough’. You look at California and you look at New York, people are leaving there by the millions. There’s a reason why people are leaving. The same thing is going to happen in Massachusetts, and you’re already starting to see it now.”
“I want laws put in place to make sure different branches of government are providing checks and balances – and it goes from the executive branch, to the Secretary of State‘s Office – who runs the election. But, if you have an issue you’re supposed to go to the courts and sue. That’s the judicial branch, and then failing that, it’s supposed to come back to the legislature to the House or the Senate, but it’s totally corrupted now from top to bottom.”
“Once again, it’s all one party. So, this lawyer for the Democrats is arguing before the Democrats, and how are they going to rule?
They’re going to rule for the Democrats.
SITUATIONAL ETHICS AND STANDARDS
“We have this situational ethics in democrat politics today and it’s destroying every part of our system. Let me give you an example. What’s the procedure in Massachusetts if a US senator leaves office. Who replaces them? Do we have an election or does the governor pick a replacement?
Well, of course it depends on your party affiliation. When Romney was the governor, Kerry left to become Secretary of State and the Democrats said ‘Oh, no, we can’t have the governor appoint a replacement we need an election.’ Then a few years later, Deval Patrick is the governor, and we had to replace a senator and the Democrats said ‘no, no, we have to have the governor pick the replacement.’ It’s so blatant; it’s ridiculous, they don’t even try to hide it, they have no shame.
More than anything else I blame the media. The media is made up entirely of one party. Every newspaper has writers that are all Democrats. They are not writing news they are cheerleading for the Democrats. Yours is the only one. The Valley Patriot is the only newspaper in the state that represents both parties fairly. That gives us a chance to hear all sides to a story and make up our own mind. Can you name any other paper that does that? Because I can’t.
But, I want to be clear. I don’t want people to think that my election was stolen, or that there was massive fraud. I don’t want anyone to think that the machines were hacked, or altered at all. In fact the machines were spot on; they were deadly accurate. According to the machines I won. But it was these recounts where human error and manipulation comes in to play, and that’s where the election changed.”
“All I was asking for is some transparency even if they do it now. I’ve conceded the election, so let my opponent have the seat, I don’t care. But, let’s at least look at those ballots, open them up and do the right thing. And they won’t do it. They’re going to bury that evidence to make sure no one ever sees it. And that’s absolutely unreasonable.” ◊