Shocking Mail In Ballot Blunder
Albert Lea, Minnesota – Matt Benda, Republican candidate for Congress in Minnesota’s First Congressional District Special Primary Election, today discovered an unpublicized mail in ballot blunder that has the potential to disenfranchise as many as 200 Freeborn County voters. The mistake has been attributed by Freeborn County Auditor-Treasurer Pat Martinson to an unnamed “mail ballot outsourcing company” and was discovered by Benda late Friday afternoon, just four days before the May 24 election.
“Because of my work on election integrity, a supporter from Carlston Township contacted me with news that his Township Supervisor had called to inform him that due to a delay in delivery of mail in ballots, he should travel to the county courthouse to vote in person. As a candidate in Tuesday’s election, I was not made aware of this mistake until I personally called the county Auditor-Treasurer, who admitted that township officials were attempting to contact voters in Carlston Township to inform them of the mistake,” said Benda.
“While I commend township officials for their efforts, how many Carlston Township voters will not be contacted for various reasons? How many votes will not be cast? How many people will lose the right to vote in this critical election? This mail in ballot blunder confirms my position that we must make election integrity a top issue as there are too many vulnerabilities in our current system. Furthermore, mail in balloting and drop boxes should be prohibited,” stated Benda.
Carlston Township, in west central Freeborn County, has a population of 287 according to the 2020 census. In the 2020 election, data from the Minnesota Secretary of State indicates there were 200 registered voters. The township is heavily Republican, with nearly 69 percent of its residents voting for Donald Trump.
“Sadly, I’m not surprised at this news. It raises legitimate and troubling questions about how many other mistakes have been made by this mail ballot outsourcing company, and how many other voters across the First District may be disenfranchised. It is exactly why I have demanded election system transparency through public data requests to multiple county election officials to test their systems for vulnerabilities. I will now add Freeborn County to that list,” stated Benda.
“I urge voters in mail in ballot precincts who have not received ballots to contact our campaign. We will fight to ensure your right to vote is preserved and that your vote is properly counted. As your congressman, I’ll continue my relentless pursuit for election integrity. The future of our democratic republic, indeed, the future of our country, demands it,” Benda concluded.