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“Sharpiegate” (Debunked?)

Wednesday we looked at how Americans are permitted to vote state-by-state. We saw mail-in voting isn’t a new phenomenon; rather, it started with absentee ballot laws in the late 1800s and morphed into “no-excuse” voting by mail in California by 1980.

Turning our attention to voter fraud, a reader says: “It is sad people are willing to let such blatant corruption go without a battle. Never in history has there been so much fraud in such a widespread, in-your-face manner.

“We need to manually recount every legitimate vote. There were so many counterfeit votes and machines that it’s mind-bending. How about the people who are voting from the grave? That seems to be a prevalent trend throughout the country.

“If we do not fix this now, there is no reason to vote in the future.”

Per election 2020, some Americans (we’re not scolding our contributor) have short memories. Recounting votes is nothing new, and in some cases, mandatory.

According to Ballotpedia: “Recounts typically occur in the event of a close margin of victory, following accusations of election fraud, or due to the possibility of administrative errors.

“Recounts can either occur automatically or be requested by a candidate or voters.”

Twenty-seven states have provisions for automatic recounts, and 43 states have provisions for candidates to request a recount.

Now read on for some historical examples of voter fraud…

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Your Rundown for Friday, Nov. 13, 2020…

VBM and Fraud

An unparalleled number of Americans voted by mail in 2020 because of the pandemic. For example, according to data at The Guardian, about 19.5 million voters in 9 battleground states (Georgia, Wisconsin, Michigan, Iowa, Florida, Ohio, North Carolina, Minnesota and Pennsylvania) chose the mail-in option.

But does voting by mail (VBM) increase voter fraud?

According to MIT Election Data: “[VBM] concerns relate both to ballots being intercepted and ballots being requested without the voter’s permission.”

Two brazen examples of voter fraud occurred in Georgia and Miami in 1997 when all manner of fraud — everything from cash for votes to convicted felons voting — went down during a Democratic primary and a mayoral race. (It’s important to note, in-person voting was just as fraudulent as the mail-in process.)

More recently in 2019, “a political campaign manager within North Carolina’s ninth Congressional district defrauded voters by collecting unfilled ballots and then filled in the rest of it to favor the campaign’s candidate, leading to a new election,” MIT Election Data reports.

Then there’s 2020 when “viral tweets alleged that dead people were casting votes in the key state of Michigan,” BBC says. “Michigan authorities have hit back, calling the rumours ‘misinformation’ — and noting that votes from dead people are rejected.”

As for “Sharpiegate” in Arizona, in-person voters were given Sharpies to fill in their ballots, and social media blew up with claims the ballot-counting machines are not able to read the permanent markers. (Not true, Arizona election officials say.)

“As with all forms of voter fraud,” MIT concludes, “documented instances of fraud related to VBM are rare.

“However, even many scholars who argue that fraud is generally rare agree that fraud with VBM voting seems to be more frequent than with in-person voting.”

Market Rundown for Friday, Nov. 13, 2020

S&P 500 futures are up 20 points to 3,552.

Oil has  slid 1.3% to $40.60 for a barrel of WTI.

Gold is up $20.30 to $1,893.60 per ounce.

Bitcoin is down $172.46 to $16,216.04.

Send your comments and questions to,

Take care, and have a good weekend.

For the Rundown,

Aaron Gentzler

Aaron Gentzler

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Aaron Gentzler

Aaron Gentzler is the publisher of Seven Figure Publishing. He is also the editor of The Rundown and has been with Agora Financial / Seven Figure Publishing since 2005. He's been covering technology and markets for over a decade.

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