Chinedu V. Okobi is San Mateo County’s George Floyd.
This is a question for San Mateo County Sheriff Carlos G. Bolanos, all Elected Officials, Candidates and Reporters. This is also a question for the Residents of San Mateo County.
On October 3, 2018 1:00PM Millbrae, California, Chinedu V. Okobi was walking south on the sidewalk of El Camino Real. a few minutes later he was dead, he was killed by SIX San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office Employees.
Community Service Officer (CSO) Joseph Gonzales
Sergeant David Weidner
Deputy Joshua Wang
Deputy Alyssa Lorenzatti
Deputy Bryan Watt
Deputy John DeMartini
March 1, 2019 Five months after the Homicide San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe released this video to the Public. Remember the Government had all of this material for 5 months.
What I’m asking for is the time in this Video where there is evidence that ANY of the SIX San Mateo County Employees provided ANY Life Saving Measures to Chinedu V. Okobi after he was sat up. Also same question for Checking his Pulse, Evidence that any of the SIX actually checked his pulse.
There are captions and talk about it, but no Video evidence it ever happened.
Sunday, October 3rd at 2:00 pm, Chinedu Okobi Remembrance Rally led by the San Mateo NAACP, Unitarian Universalists of San Mateo, Island United Church, Justice For Chinedu, the families of victims who died at the hands of law enforcement, community leaders and members.
Location: 400 County Center Building, Redwood City, California.
San Mateo County Residents don’t know very much about Chinedu V. Okobi’s Homicide, and that is exactly what the Government wants. When I say government I’m also including the Media/Newspapers.
Chinedu Valentine Okobi, is San Mateo County’s George Floyd, the difference is the world saw George Floyd Murdered because of a very brave 17 year old girl who videoed it and placed it on the internet before Law Enforcement, Elected Officials could get there hands on it. That is what happened in San Mateo County.
First lets start at the Top with Sheriff Carlos G. Bolanos, He is a LIAR, that is NO SECRET.
Sheriff Carlos G. Bolanos Omits Community Service Officer (CSO) Joseph Gonzales name. He was Very Involved.
Chinedu Valentine Okobi, was a 36 year old Father, Son, Brother, Moorehouse College Graduate, who was simply walking on the sidewalk on a sunny afternoon in Millbrae, when SMC Sheriff Deputy Wang got attracted to him.
I will be joining this group of very good humans tomorrow. I remember when I first met them at a Board of Supervisor Meeting, I thought to myself, These are my People.
Yesterday July 20, 2020, 21 months after Six San Mateo County Sheriff Employees Killed 36 year old Chinedu V. Okobi on El Camino Real in Millbrae/San Bruno The Supervisors discussed in Closed Session the progress of the two Civil Lawsuits that the relatives have brought against San Mateo County and a long list of Employees who were involved in the Misinformation aka Lying to the Residents of SMC about what actually occurred on October 3, 2018.
This happens every time Law Enforcement in San Mateo County kills a man or woman. The San Mateo County Media, San Mateo County Counsel, and San Mateo County Supervisors join in the character assassination of the DECEASED.
In Chinedu’s case everyone knows by now that the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office has No Plan in place on how to make a Pedestrian Stop. Thats right Chinedu Okobi was simply walking down the sidewalk while Black when Sheriff Deputy Joshua Wang spotted him while he was traveling northbound in his patrol car. He activated his lights which activated his dashboard video camera which shows him making a U-turn.
Within 8 minutes Chinedu was Tased 7 times, struck with extended baton, Dogpiled by SIX SMC Employees and sprayed with O.C. spray in the face at close range while being handcuffed where he died. From that moment on San Mateo County started to promote the false story of “He was breathing and had a pulse when the Sheriff’s Office Employees turn him over to the AMR people.”
Nothing could be further from the Truth.
There is NO EVIDENCE that any of the Six Employees checked Chinedu Okobi’s pulse or provided ANY Life Saving measures after he was handcuffed and approximately 9:30 minutes passed before ARM people touched him.
How much Taxpayer Money has SMC Supervisors approved for this legal action? How much have they spent to date?
San Mateo County can use your help, Please Investigate Tim Singer, Errol Chang, Yanira Serrano Garcia, Chinedu V. Okobi, Sandra Lee Harmon and Roger Allen Homicide cases just to name a few.
Note: I’m not suggesting Tim Singer was killed by Police, but the Investigation into his Homicide was done by San Mateo County Sheriff Office, It was not investigated as a Hate crime and look to the 2 Death Certificates cause of death.
“One of the most important tasks ahead for public safety and our society is building and maintaining trust between our communities and law enforcement,” Bonta said.
Article in todays LATIMES
Bonta forms special teams Attorney general opens field offices to investigate fatal police shootings across state. By Patrick McGreevy SACRAMENTO — The state Department of Justice has opened field offices throughout California to investigate police shootings that kill unarmed civilians and has told law enforcement agencies that they must notify the state whenever such incidents occur, Atty. Gen. Rob Bonta said Wednesday. The actions, including the opening of investigative offices in Los Angeles and Riverside, were in response to a new law that took effect July 1 requiring Bonta’s office to independently probe all fatal police shootings of unarmed civilians to determine whether criminal charges should be filed against officers. Bonta said he expected the two new teams, one for Northern California and one for Southern California, would investigate 40 to 50 fatal police shootings each year based on historic trends. “One of the most important tasks ahead for public safety and our society is building and maintaining trust between our communities and law enforcement,” Bonta said. “Impartial, fair investigations and independent reviews of officer-involved shootings are one essential component for achieving that trust.” The attorney general said 27 special agents and six supervisory agents would make up the California Police Shooting Investigation Teams. The Northern California office is in Sacramento. Assemblyman Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento), author of the new law, said he was concerned that the state Department of Justice had denied requests from some community leaders to undertake independent investigations of several high-profile police shootings. The state DOJ has traditionally deferred to county prosecutors, who have handled such cases after investigations by the law enforcement agencies involved. “Police shouldn’t police themselves, and the current system is fraught with conflicts of interest,” McCarty said during debate on the bill. He noted he had first proposed such legislation in 2015 and since then more than 800 people had been shot and killed by police in California. The measure, Assembly Bill 1506, was opposed by some law enforcement groups, including the California State Sheriffs’ Assn., which said it could result in duplicate state and local investigations and that the state DOJ lacked the resources and was not equipped to take on the new responsibilities. The measure “bypasses local investigatory processes, including established agreements to have outside agencies investigate officer-involved uses of force,” the association said in its opposition letter to lawmakers last year. On Wednesday, Cory Salzillo, the association’s legislative director, said in a statement: “The sheriffs continue to work closely with the attorney general and Department of Justice on the implementation of procedures for the authority described in AB 1506.” Under the law, the DOJ must investigate the fatal police shootings and submit a written report that states the facts of the case, its analysis, provides a conclusion on each issue raised by the shooting and recommends whether policies of the law enforcement agency should be changed. If the DOJ determines criminal charges are warranted, it would prosecute the officers. Bonta said his office would also continue to conduct “pattern and practice” investigations of law enforcement agencies if there appear to be problems beyond one incident. Those kinds of investigations, aimed at determining whether reforms should be pursued, are ongoing involving the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and the Vallejo Police Department. On Wednesday, Bonta formally launched the new investigative teams and released the guidelines and protocols his office would use in investigating fatal police shootings, saying his agency will make public its investigative findings, including explanations when a decision is made not to seek a criminal prosecution. Bonta said investigators would be deployed throughout the state with an emphasis on areas where there had historically been the most police shootings. The field offices will allow investigators to get to the scenes of shootings quickly, he said. The shooting investigation teams “will work in coordination with local responding agencies throughout the investigation of the officer-involved shooting, and members … will serve as concurrent, independent special agent investigators of these critical incidents,” the DOJ said in a statement. Once an investigation is completed, the case will be turned over to the DOJ’s Special Prosecutions Section within the Criminal Law Division for review. Administrative or civil investigations remain the responsibility of the law enforcement agency that employs the involved officers. Bonta was a state assemblyman before Gov. Gavin Newsom appointed him attorney general in March to fill a vacancy left by Xavier Becerra’s departure to become U.S. Health and Human Services secretary in the Biden administration. As a lawmaker, Bonta was a co-author of the legislation he is now implementing. He said during a news conference Wednesday that the investigations would not be easy but that he expected local law enforcement would cooperate. “I’m honestly not expecting a lot of pushback or tension or obstacles,” Bonta said. “We will be prepared for any that do arise.” Representatives of the LAPD did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the new state investigation teams. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department will “enthusiastically work collaboratively” with the DOJ in investigating fatal shootings of unarmed civilians, said Capt. John Satterfield, adding that the “goal is to assist the DOJ in completing a comprehensive, fair and impartial joint investigation.” The state budget approved for the fiscal year that began July 1 includes $13 million to staff the investigation teams. The DOJ said before Bonta’s appointment that it would need $26 million to properly investigate the 40 deadly police shootings that the state averaged each year. He said Californians deserved an independent and transparent process for determining whether police officers acted properly when shooting unarmed civilians. He also said the issue was personal for him. “I’ve heard firsthand the hurt and the pain that too many families and communities feel in the moments after these incidents,” Bonta said. “I have witnessed the lack of trust that these investigations will be treated fairly by our criminal justice system.”
Those Who Matter are holding a public meeting to hear your comments about the 4 Unnamed Daly City Police Officers who were Involved in the killing of Roger Allen a 44 year old Black man sitting in the passenger seat of a truck with a flat tire on April 7, 2021. The official statement from Daly City Elected Officials and Staff is that the FOUR Police Officers somehow arrived at the disabled vehicle and offered assistance. The result is at least one of them shot and killed Roger Allen while he was inside the vehicle. There was a female passenger sitting in the back of the truck when the shots were fired into the vehicle. The real question for the Elected Officials and Staff is what caused FOUR Daly City Police Officers to be at that truck on April 7, 2021 in the first place.
You will remember it was the Daly City Swat TEAM that got tired of waiting at Errol Chang’s family home in Pacifica. After being on the scene for a short amount of time, the order came in to finish it. Errol who was the only person inside the small home was not a threat to anybody, the house was completely surrounded, the public was safe. Errol was killed by the DCPD Swat Team minutes later. Who gave the order?
Redwood City Police and San Mateo County Sheriff Swat Teams had a very different result when they surrounded James (Jim) McGee’s home for 17.5 hours. Nobody got a scratch the difference he was a “Those Who Matter” individual a former Redwood City Police Officer.
Yesterday the Showboater found a reporter to make the obvious statement about Body Worn Cameras.
“Make no mistake about it, every city in San Mateo County should have body cameras,” said David Canepa, who represents Daly City and other areas as president of the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors. “It’s in the best interest of the community to have the video and it’s in the best interest of the police officers.”
Body Worn Camera Videos can be edited within minutes just ask San Mateo County District Attorney Inspector Jordan Boyd. When I say edited here are just a few examples, Blurred, Captions and Deleting 2 seconds like what happened on the Chinedu V. Okobi video that was finally released to the Public 5 Months after he was killed by 6 San Mateo County Sheriff Employees. The video starts by listing the Involved Deputies it OMMITS CSO Joseph Gonzales you will see him join at 6:47 mark also note 7:02 he is at Chinedu’s head and next time you see him is 7:05 he is down by legs, what happened during those missing 3 seconds. Why was that cut out?
The real question is why did Those Who Matter Omit his name from being Involved.
Ask Showboater David Canepa President of the Board of Supervisors if he ever watched the Video. I asked all of the County Supervisors that question. Supervisor Dave Pine answered he had 3 times, He was the only one.
This next Video is Highly Edited, Captioned and promotes the False story that Sandra Harmon Fired first, there was a Shootout. There is no mention that the Deputy Fired first, Fired at an unarmed woman with her hands up above her head. No Mention she was shot at 14 times, 3 of which were fatal shots in her BACK. No mention the 3 Shell Casings were moved at the Crime scene. and the Best Part is the Deputy did not turn on his Body Worn Camera. Sheriff Carlos G. Bolanos, District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe, Inspector Jordan Boyd responsible for the Editing and Captions of the Video. San Mateo County Counsel Attorney David Silberman is responsible for obstructing the public right to get to the truth. The AXON LOG RECORDS would verify the BWC of Deputy Dominguez was turned off during the Homicide. Why is David Silberman taking that position?
“Those Who Matter” San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe is the source for that term. I remember when I first it, I thought to myself, Steve knows something that most San Mateo County Residents don’t. he was right.
It’s Time for San Mateo County especially Daly City to get on the same page as America is changing. The minimum is to identify the officers involved. The next minimum is to have the Attorney General take over the investigation from Those Who Matter. That will never happen with Daly City’s current Elected Officials and Staff.
It’s been 18 days since Roger Allen a Black man was killed by Daly City Police Officers while sitting in the passenger seat of a disabled truck (flat tire) that nobody called the police for.
At this time in America’s History you would expect at least one of Daly City Elected Officials to make a public comment on this Homicide by DCPD Officers and THAT ONE would be Glenn Sylvester a 33 year Police Officer who has trained Police Officers. Did he ever train Officers to reach inside a vehicle to wrestle a gun from a subject’s hands?
To say the facts are limited is an Understatement. The only thing we do know is that Roger Allen R.I.P is dead and Daly City Police Chief Patrick Hensley refuses to identify the 4 Involved officers. Roger Allen died less than 8 miles from where Chinedu V. Okobi was killed by 6 San Mateo County Sheriff Employees, A Sergeant, 4 Deputies and a CSO who sprayed O.C. spray into Okobi’s face at close range after he was tased 7 times struck with extended baton, body slammed to the ground from behind and dog-piled by the group where he was handcuffed and stopped breathing. Not one of the Sheriff Employees checked his pulse or provided life saving measures for the next 9 minutes. They wanted to make sure he was dead before the AMR staff got to him. Mission accomplished.
In San Mateo County Nobody is above the Law except “Those Who Matter.”
I would suggest that Councilman Glenn Sylvester rethink why he is on the Daly City Council.
I don’t recall him ever saying one word about Chinedu Okobi’s Homicide. Chinedu Okobi was killed for “Walking While Black in Millbrae.” No running in and out of traffic, No immediately assaulting the deputy as Sheriff Bolanos claimed. just a large Black man walking on a sidewalk in San Mateo County.
Roger Allen was killed in Daly City for “Sitting in the passenger seat While Black.”
Councilman Glenn Sylvester consider saying “I resign” that would be a step in the right direction.
I have Never thought it was a good idea to have Law Enforcement people become Politicians or County Managers.
Mark D, Melville Candidate for San Mateo County Sheriff 2022 Got it Right commenting on the fact that all Daly City Elected and Staff refuse to name the 4 Police Officers Involved in Roger Allen’s Homicide. Why?
“There is no reason for the PD to withhold the names of all personnel involved in said incident.”
Roger Allen was shot and killed in Daly City on April 7, 2021, Four Unidentified Daly City Police Officers were involved.
Daly City Police Chief Patrick Hensley has chosen to Not Identify his 4 Police Officers. Why?
Daly City Manager Shawanna Maltbie supports her Police Chief in Not Identifying the Involved Officers. Why?
Daly City Assistant Manager Stephen Stolte, supports his Police Chief in Not Identifying the Involved Officers. Why?
Day City Mayor Juslyn Manalo supports her Police Chief in Not Identifying the Involved Officers. Why?
Daly City Vice Mayor Glenn R. Sylvester supports his Police Chief in Not Identifying the Involved Officers. Why?
Daly City Council Member Raymond A. Buenaventura supports his Police Chief in Not Identifying the Involved Officers. Why?
Daly City Council Member Pamela DiGiovanni supports her Police Chief in Not Identifying the Involved Officers. Why?
Daly City Council Member Rod Daus-Magbual supports his Police Chief in Not Identifying the Involved Officers. Why?
It’s been 16 days since the Homicide of Roger Allen, America is demanding change in Policing, Colin Kaepernick risked his career to stop Police Officers from killing Black and Brown people and abusing their authority. Yesterday Columbus Ohio Police released Body Worn Camera Video and the Identity of the Involved Officer within HOURS of a shooting death of a 16 year old Black girl.
Why are Daly City’s entire Elected and hired Staff on a different page then the rest of America? They can’t be racists can they? No of course not they signed and supported the Black Lives Resolution less then a year ago. If they are not racists what could it possibly be?
Could it be as simple as “Those Who Matter.”
I spoke to the Supervisors of San Mateo County April 20, 2021 asking them to make a Public Statement calling for the release of the names of the 4 Involved Daly City Police Officers. Supervisors David Canepa and Warren Slocum sponsored the County’s Black Lives Matter Resolution below. You will notice the Supervisors don’t mention Chinedu V. Okobi who I say is San Mateo County’s George Floyd Homicide by six Sheriff Employees. Why?
I would have expected the “Showboater” Supervisor David Canepa to have made a PUBLIC Statement on this obvious topic 16 days ago, he has remained silent.
· At a Special Meeting this Wed., July 22, 5pm, the Daly City Council will consider potential adoption of a Resolution in support of the Black Lives Matter movement and to reaffirm the City’s commitment to racial equity. Register to join the zoom meeting at http://bit.ly/specialmeetingjuly22…
Black Lives Matter Resolution
Posted by kchaiken on Jun 24th 2020
There are moments in history that we look back on as breaking points for social change. I believe that, at this moment, we are facing one of these breaking points. Our nation is in collective anguish at the murder of George Floyd and the countless other Black persons who have been the victims of police violence.
San Mateo County is not exempt from this anguish nor are we exempt from responsibility, but we have the power right now to make a change. We have heard from our community and from protestors across the nation that enough is enough. We need to take concrete steps to address this injustice. That is why I proposed and voted in favor of the San Mateo County Black Lives Matter Resolution.
Although this resolution does not yet outline any specifics, it is a commitment that will serve as the foundation for a whole new set of anti-racist policies and a re-evaluation of our current policies to root out injustice, biases, and systemic racism. These policies will not just serve to benefit members of our Black community, but all people of color, and by extension our entire County.
This resolution is also a key component of our overall work to promote equity in San Mateo County. I want to make it abundantly clear that the County of San Mateo cares deeply about creating an equitable and just community for all.But, it is not possible to have equity for all, until Black Lives Matter.
Hay momentos en la historia que consideramos puntos de quiebre para el cambio social. Creo que, en este momento, nos enfrentamos a uno de estos puntos de quiebre. Nuestra nación está en angustia colectiva por el asesinato de George Floyd y las innumerables personas Afroamericanas que han sido víctimas de la violencia policial.
El Condado de San Mateo no está exento de esta angustia ni estamos exentos de la responsabilidad, pero tenemos el poder en este momento para hacer un cambio. Hemos escuchado de nuestra comunidad y de manifestantes en todo el país que ya es suficiente. Necesitamos tomar medidas concretas para abordar esta injusticia. Es por eso por lo que propuse y voté a favor de la Resolución de Asuntos de Vidas Negras del Condado de San Mateo.
Aunque esta resolución aún no describe un plan detallado, es un compromiso que servirá como base para un conjunto completamente nuevo de políticas antirracistas y una reevaluación de nuestras políticas actuales para erradicar la injusticia, los prejuicios y el racismo sistémico. Estas políticas no solo servirán para beneficiar a los miembros de nuestra comunidad Afroamericana, sino a todas las personas de color y, por extensión, a todo nuestro condado.
Esta resolución también es un componente clave de nuestro trabajo general para promover la equidad en el Condado de San Mateo. Quiero dejar en claro que el Condado de San Mateo se preocupa profundamente por crear una comunidad equitativa y justa para todos. Pero, no es posible tener equidad para todos, hasta que “Black Lives Matter”.
THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS COUNTY OF SAN MATEO, STATE OF CALIFORNIA
RESOLUTION SUPPORTING THE BLACK LIVES MATTER MOVEMENT, AND REAFFIRMING THE COUNTY OF SAN MATEO’S COMMITMENT TO RACIAL EQUITY
WHEREAS, as America contends with the consequences of 400 years of systemic violence and abuse towards Black people and Black communities; and
WHEREAS, the Board of Supervisors acknowledges that Black Lives Matter; and
WHEREAS, the Board of Supervisors is committed to the health, safety and equitable treatment of County residents, and strive to bolster the overall wellbeing of the County by fostering the rights of people of color who have been historically disadvantaged by structural racism; and
WHEREAS, the Board of Supervisors acknowledges that over the course of the past few weeks, we have been again reminded that police brutality and general disregard for Blackpeople’s lives is prevalent within the United States as evidenced by the horrific video depicting the murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer and Rayshard Brooks by an Atlanta police officer; and
WHEREAS, the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor are only the most recent evidence of a long and ongoing history of racial violence against Black people and Black communities; and
WHEREAS, racial inequity remains prevalent in San Mateo County; and
WHEREAS, the Board of Supervisors stands in solidarity with the hundreds of County residents who have exercised their right to protest against racism, inequality, and police brutality in the last few weeks; and
WHEREAS, the Board of Supervisors stands in solidarity with the Black community and all communities of color, and
WHEREAS, we hold ourselves, our institutions and our government to the highest possible standards of equity and justice;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Board of Supervisors of the County of San Mateo, State of California, hereby declares its support of the Black Lives Matter movement and will work to continue to address the root causes of racial inequity in our community by using an anti-racist, racial equity focused lens to assess current and future policies and programs.
It’s been 14 days since the Homicide of Roger Allen who was shot and killed in a disabled parked truck on a residential street in your City of Daly City. You have refused to name the four Daly City Police Officers who were on the scene. You have refused to tell your Police Chief Patrick Hensley to provide the names of the Officers involved, Why?
This is not Transparency.
Yesterday x Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin was found Guilty of all three charges including murder of George Floyd.
Your behavior proves that San Mateo County is NOT Minneapolis. Think about the Black Lives Matter Resolution you signed.
October 3, 2018 San Mateo County’s own George Floyd was Chinedu V. Okobi he was killed by SIX San Mateo County Sheriff Employees on El Camino Real in Millbrae. Within hours Sheriff Carlos G. Bolanos issued a partial list of those involved, he left out one of the most important person the CSO who sprayed O.C. in Chinedu okobi’s face after he had been tased 7 times, struck with extended baton and dog piled by the group.
It says Below is a list of names of San Mateo County Sheriff Office personnel who were involved in the critical incident. That is not true. CSO Joseph Gonzales is not named.
Yesterday in Columbus Ohio, a 16 year old girl was shot and killed by a Police Officer responding to 2 911 calls. The Interim Police Chief has already released the name of the Officer who shot and killed the teenager, He has also released the Body Worn Camera Videos. Congratulations to Columbus Ohio.
It’s been 14 days Daly City Elected Officials.
Release the names of the 4 Daly City Police Officers involved in the Homicide of Roger Allen today.
Kevin Mullin did not attend or make a public comment at any of the many meetings the Board of Supervisors made available to the public to discuss, Excessive Use of Tasers, Excessive Use of Force, Failure to provide Medical Aid after killing Chinedu Okobi. He did not attend any of the many Concerned Citizens gatherings at the killing site in Millbrae/San Bruno.
Chinedu V. Okobi and George Floyd were both killed by Law Enforcement. Both of the Deaths were ruled a Homicide by the local Coroner. The Four Officers responsible for George Floyd’s Homicide were fired and Criminally Charged. The Six San Mateo County Sheriff Employees who are responsible for Chinedu Okobi’s Homicide are all working and None of them have been criminally charged with anything.
Here is Kevin’s PR piece on voting. You will notice he can’t even mention George Floyd’s Name. “most recently the murder of an unarmed black man by law enforcement.” That could be Hundreds of young Black/Brown Men around America.
I can say this as a Private Victim’s Advocate in San Mateo County for the last 22 years Kevin Mullin is the norm for Elected Officials in SMC.
I know of only one San Mateo County Elected Official that Publicly Questioned, was Chinedu V. Okobi Murdered. That should have been the Obvious question every single elected official should want the answer to.
Sabrina Brennan was that Elected Official. She attended meetings and gatherings.
By Kevin Mullin
Chinedu Valentine Okobi
America is confronting an unprecedented “trifecta” that is dominating our daily headlines: A COVID-19 pandemic, a deep recession and most recently the murder of an unarmed black man by law enforcement, illustrative of systemic racism and injustice that has spawned a season of multiracial protests and calls for needed social change. Yet, while the nation is reeling from these crises, duplicitous messaging is being deployed by the occupant of the Oval Office to actively undermine the results of this November’s election: that voting by mail can’t be trusted, that widespread voter fraud exists, and that mail balloting is designed specifically to elect his opponent: FALSE.
Since 2000, more than 250 million votes have been cast via mailed ballots, in all 50 states, according to the Vote at Home Institute with only a handful of fraudulent votes cast. Election law expert and U.C. Irvine professor Richard L. Hasen notes, it is still more likely for an American to be struck by lightning than to commit mail-voting fraud. In addition, there is no evidence to suggest that voting by mail benefits any particular political party.
San Mateo County has shown that voting-by-mail works. My legislation to make San Mateo County an all-mail ballot pilot county demonstrated that the participating electorate more closely resembles the public at large in terms of its diversity and representation, with young people, and voters of color in particular more likely to cast ballots. Thanks to my colleague, Assemblyman Marc Berman’s legislation recently signed into law, this November’s election in California will be an all-mailed-ballot election. Every voter automatically will receive a ballot, postage paid, with community-level “vote centers” as back-up. Voting by mail is the most efficient and effective way to conduct an inclusive and participatory election.
So-called “red and blue” states alike have employed voting-by-mail, but the way states have approached elections administration varies greatly. Elections are fundamentally state and locally administered, and recent examples of mismanagement during primary elections in Wisconsin and Georgia remind us of the challenges facing election administrators across the country. This is a highly charged political atmosphere with huge stakes on the line.
There is a growing recognition that the pandemic must force changes in how elections work, and better ensure more participation moving forward. Attempts to help fund elections with federal dollars have fallen woefully short of what is needed to ensure free and fair elections across America. Since the Bush-Gore contested election in 2000, the efficacy of voting mechanisms and machinery have taken center stage. More recently, we are seeing a coordinated misinformation campaign to attack the integrity of, and undermine the public’s faith in, our elections. False narratives abound, and voter suppression, which disproportionally disenfranchises communities of color, is real and we all suffer the consequences as a result.
While voting-by-mail works, it is not perfect. Signature-matching issues have led to ballots not being counted, a concern that is actively being addressed in California. One other legitimate drawback to voting at home is the time it takes local elections’ officials to count waves of mail ballots and certify the election. The current administration is preemptively trying to undermine faith in the eventual vote count and may try to exploit delays in vote tabulation to question the legitimacy of results, triggering a constitutional crisis. While the long wait for vote-by-mail results is not ideal, it’s in the interest of every vote being counted, which is fundamental to our democracy.
During this tense time when we need leaders who can calm, heal, and build faith, the president has used this period to further divide people and incite violence, all while callously attacking the basic underpinnings of our democracy, like faith in and respect for the work of journalists — essentially a broadside on the First Amendment. The work of journalists and the social media platforms themselves have never been more important in fact checking false claims and advertisements with false information.
Vote as if democracy itself, and its pillars like a free press, the rule of law, and free and fair elections, including the right of every citizen to vote, is on the ballot. Because it is.
Kevin Mullin, D-South San Francisco, is speaker pro tempore of the California Assembly and represents San Mateo County’s 22nd Assembly District.
I asked San Mateo County Citizen Advocate Brent Turner for comment on Kevin Mullin Opinion Piece.
The VOTE BY MAIL act is innocuous to the degree that it reiterates voting by mail procedures. We have used absentee ballots for many years. What is NOT innocuous is the removal of polling places from communities of color. Though Mindy Romero and other experts have declined to state it clearly, the added travel distance to some of these community residents results in a veritable “poll tax ” and leads to further disenfranchisement, . Subjective signature disqualification also creates opportunity for disenfranchisement and was predicted by election experts
The bill originally emanated from the ” Colorado Model ” of elections and was promulgated by Colorado based vendor DOMINION The act is notorious not for what it mandates but what it ignores. The fact there is ZERO mention of the software used to tabulate the votes creates a severe point of misdirection to the layperson voter. This is unfortunate as the authors of the bill positioned it as a security measure when this is not the case. The authors were briefed extensively but chose to omit the work of the open source software security experts.