By Eva Fu
Two Republican poll watchers left the counting center in Nevada’s Clark County in frustration, after what they say were deliberate efforts to obstruct them from viewing the ballot handling.
The issues they alleged include a computer containing voter data that briefly went missing, duplication of ballots with apparent lack of supervision, and close monitoring by poll workers, they told The Epoch Times.
Liu Fenglan, a practicing lawyer from Los Angeles who also goes by the name Juli, worked at the Clark County Election Center during the early voting period from Oct. 24 to Oct. 31 and again from Nov. 7 to Nov. 9 to observe the vote counting. Liu said she was scheduled to work Nov. 10 but headed back to California after she didn’t hear back from the election department when inquiring about when she could start her shift.
Liu also said she and other poll watchers were under constant watch from election officials, adding that someone would follow them to the restroom to make sure they wouldn’t walk to unauthorized places.
“They placed us in a small corner so that we can’t see anything,” she told NTD, The Epoch Times’ sister media. Liu said poll watchers had to “crowd together shoulder to shoulder” in a group of three in a small room to observe workers remove ballots from the privacy envelopes. When workers tabulate the votes, the poll watchers could only observe the poll workers on a chair placed at a distance outside the room, separated by a glass door.
“They are basically using the pandemic as an excuse to prevent us from seeing these,” Liu said.
During the bathroom breaks, she said she walked slowly to be able observe the workers and witnessed suspicious activities that she “least wanted to see,” she said.
Handling of Blank Ballot Forms
When issues such as water damage caused ballots to become unreadable by machine, the workers would duplicate the ballots on an empty ballot paper. The procedure involves one person reading the voter choice and the other filling out the form, and the former would do a final check, Liu said.
But at least three times, the workers appeared to be not adhering to the rules but “casually filling out the ballots at will.” On one occasion, the worker seemed to pay no attention to the original ballot; in another, there was only one worker, who pressed the ballot under her arm; in the third, one of the workers was reading books, Liu said.
Liu also described a room that contains blank ballots. Workers are not allowed to bring any pen in the room and must leave the room after they get the forms they need, but in multiple instances, the workers stayed there for several minutes in a stretch with the door shut, according to Liu. One man stayed for around six minutes and bent down to fill out a ballot form in the room, she said. The man closed the door after realizing that Liu was looking at him. Shortly after, another woman walked in to retrieve a ballot form, and Liu saw the same man still working on the form.
In the center of the counting room was a computer that stores data of all the voters from Clark County. The county currently has 1.26 million active voters, its official website shows.
On Nov. 7, Liu found that a chair had been placed in front of the table where the computer was, which blocked the view of poll observers. After requesting the objects to be cleared, she saw that the computer was no longer there.
“Why is the computer missing and for how long? Who kept it and is the place secure? How many people could access the computer?” Liu asked IT personnel there, but no one could answer her questions, she said. The computer was put back after persistent questioning from poll watchers on site.
“I just found it very odd,” Liu said. “What concerned me was if the computer was not cared for properly, the 1.2 million voters’ data could be altered.”
While Liu and another poll watcher were not allowed to bring their phones or a small bag, poll workers had used their phones at the facility, and they sometimes even put the ballots right next to their personal handbag, Liu said.
‘Keep Them 50 Feet Away’
Poll watcher Susan Proffitt walked out of the counting center on Nov. 8 after her repeated requests to remove physical obstacles from sight went unheard.
A stack of paper towels and personal items such as backpacks and bags had been “strategically placed” at the viewing window, with “a big chair with a big bulky coat” on the other side, making it impossible for her to see what was going on, she said.
Pointing to her own handicapped condition, she asked a poll worker to clear the items out of the way, but the woman refused, saying “they have nowhere else to put these,” she recalled. Proffitt met with a supervisor and eventually Joe Gloria, the Clark County registrar of voters, who said he had “no problem with” her requests but took no further action. She eventually decided it was “a waste of my time” to be there and packed up. As she passed by Gloria’s office, she overheard Gloria’s voice through the open door. “Obviously we do not want them to see everything. Keep them 50 feet away,” Proffitt said.
“I never thought in my lifetime I would see anything like that happening here,” she said.
Two voters, who both cast their ballots during early in person-voting in October, later found their vote changed into a provisional ballot, they told The Epoch Times. Tiffany Cianci, who has been a registered voter since she was 18, said three people in her family—including herself—had their votes stolen by impersonators. All were Republican voters.
The county is still verifying some 60,000 unofficial ballots on Friday, Gloria told reporters in a press briefing. He said that there were 1,502 uncured votes that could not be counted as voters did not fix their signatures in time.
The county clerk and the Clark County Registrar of Voters’ office didn’t immediately respond to The Epoch Times’ requests for comment.
Linda Jiang contributed to this report.
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