Holes, folds, and trolls. The pitfalls of the Gavin Newsom Recall Mail-In Ballot

By Chris Bailey Citizens Journal

09 September 2021, California

As the ability to vote in person is a few days away, what about the assertions by some in the Electorate the mail-in ballot is compromised as an election document?

Holes. In some California counties, there are holes punched in the return envelope which line up with the yes/no question on the ballot. YES to recall Governor

Newsom, and NO to not recall the Governor. In the example shown to a TV audience in Sacramento, the explanation is they are to assist persons with visual impairment to sign their ballot. The Ventura County mail-in ballot has one hole near the bottom of the envelope, and is consistent with another reason quoted by Donna Johnston, President of the California Association of Clerks and Elections. One reason is that they help identify that the ballot has been extracted from the envelope for counties that use processing equipment“. The “visual impaired” claim deserves more scrutiny. “They’re placed so that a visually-impaired voter will know where to sign,” Johnston said. This references holes which mark the beginning and end sides of the signature block on the mail-in ballot envelope.

But wouldn’t the visually-impaired voter be best served by allowing a witness to authenticate their signature, instead of making the signature block smaller with the two holes? The Ventura County mail-in ballot seems to answer that question. No holes in the signature block, and a witness option below the signature

block information.

Is Ventura County in violation of CA voting law, or are there no visually impaired voters in Ventura County? According to Miranda Nobriga of the Ventura County Elections Office, each county can take different paths to comply with the same State rules. Ventura County took a different route with a witness verification should a voter be unable to legibly sign their name, for any reason. That begs the question, how is the witness verified? Ms. Nobriga answered that question as best she could in Question 4 below. Which California counties specifically have these holes in positions that could reveal a choice? The Secretary of State’s office hasn’t responded as of the time of publication. 

Folds Donna Johnston suggests that VOTERS should ensure their sealed vote is protected from prying eyes by folding their ballot in such a way to block their yes/no vote on the recall from view in a sealed envelope. Let that sink in for a minute. The California Association of Clerks and Elections, who are responsible to protect the vote once it is cast, want individual voters to correct a ballot envelope mistake that somehow escaped the ballot review process before they were printed.

Important mail-in ballot info. Ms. Nobriga did have other information that is great to know. 

Each vote choice on ballot is stand alone. The Yes/No choice on one side is separate from the voter’s choice for replacing the Governor. You can vote to recall, and NOT vote for anyone on the back of the ballot, and the vote still counts. And…vice versa.

ONLY 2 person teams gather ballots from Dropbox locations. Only election staff have access to the Dropbox, and the USPS have NO access to the ballots. The chain of custody doesn’t leave the Election staff. If you are concerned about your vote being “lost” in the mail, don’t mail it. Use a Dropbox, or hand deliver your ballot to any location noted in your ballot information. Dropbox locations are listed in your ballot package. A USPS mail box is NOT a Dropbox. You CAN mail your ballot, but the chain-of-custody is broken. That’s on you!

Trolls to the Left and Right Gavin Newsom is NOT eligible as a write-in. There are 7 approved write-in candidates, according to the Secretary of the State of California see the list. Your only vote to retain Newsom as your Governor is a No vote on the recall. You CAN vote for any candidate on the back, regardless of your recall decision. If you want to get your ballot spoiled, vote for more than one potential candidate, or vote for a candidate and write in someone who is a legitimate write-in candidate, or write-in your own choice who isn’t legitimate. A sure fire guarantee to eliminate your vote. If you make a mistake and need to correct your vote, clearly correct your mistake per Question 6 below. 

My questions of the Election Department of Ventura County regarding mail-in ballots. Answers from Election Division are in italics.

  1. Is there a government website where all CA counties have THEIR recall ballot displayed.? Referred to the California Secretary of State, and a search of their phone number takes you to a phone voicemail concerning candidate election forms, not a Secretary of State operator. 
  1. If a voter selects to recall/retain Governor Newsom, but doesn’t choose a candidate among the 46 candidates + 7 write-ins running to replace Gavin Newsom, is the ballot counted? Yes, each question on the ballot stands alone.
  1. If the ballot envelope is signed within the red box, but no other information is provided(printed name, address) does the ballot need to be verified before it can be counted, and what is the verification process? A verified signature is processed. The ballot name and address will need to be determined to be eligible. 
  1. As the ballot instructions do not specify a witness must be a registered voter, how are witness signatures verified in the case a voter needs a witness for their ballot, if they are unable to sign? The witness signature is NOT verified. The designated witness must be over the age of 18, per the Election Code, but there is no verification of compliance with the Election Code.
  1. As the ballot and envelope are separated once the signature on the envelope is verified, how is the signed envelope and the unsigned executed ballot married throughout a recount, should that occur? (Could not find a bar code pairing, etc) All ballots are secret. Once opened, the ballot and envelope are never connected. The ballot and envelopes are kept separately should they need to be reviewed, but there is no mechanism to verify a voter’s selection after the envelope and ballot are separated. Ballots are NOT opened until the voter identification is verified. 
  1. Should the candidate selection be incorrectly marked with multiple choices, or invalid choices, is the entire ballot thrown out, or is the yes/ no selection vote still counted? On either ballot choice, any vote over the approved choices is deemed an overvote, and will not be counted. Each question on the ballot stands alone, so an approved choice on the recall question will be counted, even if the other question is overvoted. If a voter makes a mistake, they are to correct their mistake clearly, so Election staff can adjudicate the ballot to insure the intent of the voter is honored.

At first, it seems the use of a mail-in ballot is cut and dried, but under closer inspection, there are far more details in the process than simply counting ballots. The weakest link seems to be ballots that require a witness signature to be valid.

Next up, voting in person..

Chris Bailey is a reporter-at-large of citizensjournal.us, a business owner, military veteran and longtime resident of Camarillo

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The nuts don’t fall far from the tree.


What is wrong with CA people using the same corrupt Dominion machine. Aren’t you falling in the same hole and expecting different results?


Losers sobbed.
Republicans bawl.
Conservatives feel like they’ve been robbed.
Too bad you lost the recall.

Mike Smith

Duck goes quack.

Cow goes moo.

Democrats cheat.

This should be obvious; it’s been this way for all of living memory!


Great analysis mike! Glad you can add depth and rigor to the discussion.

Michael A...

The Plandemic is a huge favor for Dems wanting to cheat. Let me list the ways: a. print your own ballots
b. ballot harvesting
c. universal mail in balloting
d. Dominion machines connected to internet
e. corrupt Registrar of Voters in counties with easy to hide and manipulate illegal voters.

Hey people, it will be a modern miracle if this Recall happens. Despite what ‘the people’ may want, the Dem machine is too strong and too corrupt to let it happen. Good luck to us, you suckers.

Last edited 11 days ago by Michael A...
Mike Smith

“Hey people, it will be a modern miracle if this Recall happens.”

Let’s say Newsom is recalled (as he should be!)

The unions will still have the most political muscle… The Democrat Party will still have a veto-proof assembly majority… And there will still be a dire need to align the California Constitution with the U.S. Constitution.

People think Larry Elder will be a panacea. Not so. Especially in a state where collective bargaining bully boys have more legislative pull than voters and registered lobbyists. BUT Elder would be the start of a long recovery.



My guy loses it’s voter fraud. This us getting olds.


Sore losers tout election fraud.


Please state the Election Law you’re referring to and a thorough line-by-line legal analysis, both pro and con, to support your legal OPINION. Otherwise you’re just another political hack behind a keyboard.

I am a free-thinking, rugged individualist. I refuse to be a sheep like you are asking readers to be. I don’t know you or who is PAYING you for your propaganda piece. Your OPINIONS mean absolutely nothing to me.

By just stating your OPINION of what the law says you’re contributing to the “just believe me” BS the MSM wants to force down our throats.

Be a Patriot and not another Sheep, Dude. And if you’re NOT a paid troll then do your frigging job and be a journalist not a shill.


Give me a break. You yourself say “it’s about how Election Law and Code in CA isn’t really about getting a fair election”

You also claim you’re unqualified to do an real legal analysis cuz your not a lawyer. What a surprise! Now you say it’s not about Election Law, it’s about the (sic) Mail-In ballot.

You should try harder to put your opinions together coherently so you don’t continue to get pantsed in the comments.

C E Voigtsberger

It is a very simple position that Chris Bailey states. First of all, I don’t know how many thousands of ballots were cast in Ventura County but to think that untrained folk must analyze the signatures on that many ballots in such a short period of time is a roaring, roll on the floor joke. To add to the hilarity, some unvetted third party can “vouch” for the authenticity of the ballot.

Give me a break, okay? Sanctity of the ballot? Authenticity of the signature of the purported voter? You jest, right?

To qualify as an expert witness in court in the area of signature analysis, one must demonstrate to the judge that he has the education, and experience to render an opinion as to the authenticity of writings. Yet in one of the most important components of our republic we have people with who knows how many minutes of training must compare two signatures and declare that they are written by one and the same person and continue to perform that skilled analysis over many thousands of signatures. The whole charade is worse than TSA doing their dog and pony show at the airports. Every time there has been a reported test of their screening capabilities they have failed miserably. And here we have even a worse example of smoke and mirrors in one of the most important aspects of our government, the vote and the authenticity of the voter, eliminating multiple votes by the same person and worse yet, some untrained clerk deciding whose ballot is really the ballot of the person described and whose ballot is faulty.

The criticism has nothing to do with partisan politics. Clean politics should be the desire of every citizen of this country. The vote and subsequent election, like Caesar’s wife should be above reproach.

George Pattone

Just like last November’s election, the Dominion systems have numerous security exploit options built into them, placing the onus on ethical election processes and procedures…

Given Democrats’ numerous ethical lapses and maniacal TDS, it’s crucial to VOTE IN PERSON, and probably late in the cycle on Election Day and late in the day, to close the time window for aggregation algorithm updates and requiring similar overnight shenanigans which we’re now aware of…


If you didn’t say anything about Trump’s abuse of power and corruption, then you can sit down.