Barr Is Right to Flag Mail-In Voting as Risky

Recently, American Greatness very graciously brought my campaign for Congress to national attention.

Last week I was the apparent winner in the primary election for the Republican nomination for United States Congress for the 19th District of New York—the region of the Catskills and the Hudson River valley below Albany. It is a beautiful area of small towns and farms, as all-American as apple pie and baseball. I live near the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.

I won the votes that were cast in person, either on Election Day itself or through in-person early voting at election board offices. My margin of victory with those votes was about 5 percent. It is unusual for absentee ballots to reverse an outcome with such a margin. What is happening now because of mail-in voting is much more than unusual. It’s preposterous.

The rest of my narrative for the public is in a letter I have just sent to Attorney General William Barr. I am sending a copy of the letter to President Trump. I’m raising concerns not so much for my sake but for the integrity of American elections. I have a feeling that I am “Patient Zero” of the virus of deadly electoral fraud that will sweep the nation if widespread mail-in voting becomes the norm.


Dear Mr. Attorney General:

This is for your urgent attention and that of the Department of Justice concerning suspected major violations of federal election laws.

As a candidate for the Republican nomination for the United States House of Representatives from the 19th District of New York, I noted with appreciation your June 25 interview on National Public Radio concerning the high risk of counterfeiting and other forms of election fraud when mail-in ballots are widely or predominantly used.

In the June 23 primary election, I was the apparent winner by a margin of about 5 percent of the votes cast on election day and through in-person early voting. I received approximately 5,500 votes to my lone opponent’s approximately 5,000 votes.

The government of the State of New York, meanwhile, had mailed out tens of thousands of mail-in ballots throughout my district. Counting of mail-in ballots began on July 1, and the process has been controversial and chaotic. The interim vote counts that my election monitors and vote challengers have reported to me from the various counties in the district are so lopsided in favor of my opponent, so drastically at odds with the margins by which I won in several counties during the in-person voting, that is difficult for any reasonable person to accept them as credible. At this moment I am behind by several thousands of votes.

Citizens of New York are expected to believe that mail-in votes were as numerous as early voting and election day voting. Citizens are expected to believe that my opponent, who essentially ran no campaign, honestly received 70 percent of the mail-in votes—even in counties I had won by large margins in the in-person voting process. To say that this magnitude of reversal of election-day results through mail-in vote counting is not normal is an understatement. Any student of American elections can tell you that it is unheard of. The 19th district mail-in vote count demands that Americans believe in the suspension of the laws of political gravity.

Another circumstance that is important is that my opponent, a young lawyer with no political experience, raised and spent no more than about $14,000 in the campaign. My opponent was almost completely absent from campaign events. Indeed, he was called up for JAG duty in the military reserves during the campaign and this made him even more absent from the district. His reservist duty, of course, is an honorable thing, but I mention it to indicate the extent to which he was almost completely invisible and unknown in the district during the campaign.

I, too, am a first-time candidate, but I raised more than $200,000 and spent about $45,000 while waging an energetic, professionally staffed campaign filled with personal appearances in every locality in the district.

I was bullied mercilessly by old-line party bosses. They tried to smear me as a foreigner. In fact, I am a natural-born American citizen, the daughter of Christian immigrants from Jordan—legal immigrants—to our great country. The bosses pressured me not to run and threatened to destroy my candidacy after I insisted on running and ran a strong, well-financed campaign. Sadly, that is how politics often works in my Republican Party as well as in the other party.

Mr. Attorney General, I want you and the American people to know I am not writing as a sore loser. Winner and loser have not yet been declared. The election results have not been fully reported nor certified. But I reasonably perceive that the 19th district election is in the process of being stolen because of mail-in voting—stolen not so much from me, but from the American people.

I ask you respectfully to investigate the 19th District Republican primary election to the fullest extent, to ensure that criminal and civil laws are enforced vigorously, that criminality is punished, and that America and the world can have confidence in the integrity of our federal election processes.

Sincerely yours,

Ola Hawatmeh

About Ola Hawatmeh

Ola Hawatmeh is a business owner, designer, philanthropist and conservative activist. She is is running for Congress in New York's 19th congressional district.

Photo: Steven White/Getty Images

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