Palm Beach County Confirms Video Showing Ballot Envelopes Displaying Party Affiliation

In this July 7, 2020, file photo a woman wearing gloves drops off a mail-in ballot at a drop box in Hackensack, N.J. The November election is coming with a big price tag as America faces the coronavirus pandemic. The demand for mail-in ballots is surging, election workers are in …
AP Photo/Seth Wenig

The Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections confirmed that the ballot return envelopes in a viral video that appear to identify party affiliation of the voter are valid. Although, it claims different envelopes — which do not identify the party of the voter — are used in the general election.

A video posted by a woman named Tina Brown went viral this week, featuring Brown examining two ballot return envelopes — one which belonged to her Democrat brother and the other which belonged to her, a Republican. The envelopes, she observed, actually revealed their party affiliations. A “D” appeared within a series of numbers near the bar code of her brother’s return envelope, and an “R” appeared in the series of numbers on hers.


This is another reason I WILL VOTE IN PERSON!!!

Posted by Tina Higdon Brown on Monday, August 17, 2020

“I just want to warn all the people who want to vote by mail — you know how they give you these sleeves inside, you know, and they tell you, ‘Oh don’t worry. Your vote is going to be, you know, protected. Nobody’s going to know anything. Blah Blah blah.’ Well guess what? That’s bullshit,” she said.

“Look at my brother’s, who’s a Democrat. It says 4212D. That’s Democrat. Then you go here because we’re the same address anyway — 4212R,” she continued, pointing to her envelope.

She added:

OK. So your vote is supposed to be protected. Nobody’s supposed to know what you’re voting for but yet they put ‘R’ right here and ‘D’ right there. So a postal person could see this if they’re a Democrat and say, “Oh that’s an R. Let’s toss it. Let’s just chuck it, and we’ll keep this one.”

While the Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections confirmed the ballot return envelopes and their open party identification, it said the labels would not be there for general election ballot envelopes.

“Concerns have been raised by certain voters that having the party on the envelope leads to a possibility of postal employees tampering with or not delivering mail of voters of a particular party,” Palm Beach County’s Supervisor of Elections said in a statement following the video going viral:

It would be a federal crime for any post office employee to tamper with this process. We have received no such reports of anything like this happening Florida is a “Closed Primary” state, meaning voters can only vote for members of their party in a partisan race in the primary election. Because of this, voters are mailed ballots according to their party affiliation. For the General Election in November, voters can vote for candidates of any party, so there is only one ballot style in each precinct. Accordingly, there will be no indication on the ballot envelope as to the party of the voter.

Despite the statement, little has been done to address the concern of voters worried about the potential of voter fraud in the primary elections, given the nature of the primary return envelopes.

Critics have continued to sound the alarm on the danger of universal vote-by-mail, including President Trump.

“Again, absentee is great. It works. Like in Florida, they’ll do absentee. It really works,” Trump said. “But universal mail-in ballots is going to be a great embarrassment to our country.”


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