Preparing for 2020 in Our So-called ‘Democracy’
Democrats have rather different concerns about the integrity of our elections than do Republicans. The perennial concern of Democrats is “voter suppression.” The Dems allege that their folks are not being allowed to vote. Recently, the loudest voice on voter suppression may well be former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams. On February 19, The Hill reported on Abrams and quoted from her televised response to President Trump’s State of the Union address:
Let’s be clear: Voter suppression is real. From making it harder to register and stay on the rolls to moving and closing polling places to rejecting lawful ballots, we can no longer ignore these threats to democracy.
Yes, “let’s be clear”: Whenever election officials have doubt about the eligibility of a voter, that voter can request a provisional ballot, regardless of whether he’s on the registry or not. But that fact doesn’t deter Democrats from squawking about voter suppression. Complaints about voter suppression shouldn’t be taken seriously when voters haven’t demanded provisional ballots.
The Hill informs us that Ms. Abrams “has made voter suppression her signature political issue since losing the race for governor.” But with the provisional ballot, voter suppression is really a non-problem. In October, the National Conference of State Legislatures reported:
Provisional ballots ensure that voters are not excluded from the voting process due to an administrative error. They provide a fail-safe mechanism for voters who arrive at the polls on Election Day and whose eligibility to vote is uncertain.
Unfortunately, Stacey Abrams seems to be a sore loser. In her belated concession speech, she said “Let’s be clear, this is not a speech of concession” (video excerpt). Let’s be clear, Abrams’ breed of politics is divisive and even toxic. Let’s hope the Dems can find better (and sunnier) candidates. To learn more about her position on voter suppression, avail yourself of the conversation she had in February at the Brookings Institution with a writer from The New Yorker.
Election integrity encompasses much more than just voter suppression. For instance, California has “automatically” enrolled illegal aliens on their voter registries at the DMV. California also turbocharged its ballot harvesting rules just in time for the 2018 midterms. In January, Monica Showalter reported:
California's famed ballot-harvesters, who flipped places such as Orange County blue by "helping" fill out, turn in, and continue to turn in ballots from otherwise uncommitted voters until they got the result they wanted, aren't actually U.S. citizens. […] This pretty well amounts to foreign nationals voting, without any fear of prosecution. That changes the nature of the election and, in fact, the U.S. republic itself.
In March, RealClearPolitics ran “On Ballot Harvesting, GOP May Have to Push Back” by Susan CrabTree, who wrote (italics added): “The ballot-harvesting practice has faced new scrutiny in recent months after Republican candidates in California saw their Election Day leads disintegrate as later-arriving Democratic votes were counted in the weeks following the 2018 midterms.”
With the ongoing invasion by Central American caravans, the problem of illegals being on voter rolls can only get worse. But Stacey Abrams thinks that illegals should be allowed to vote. Maybe it’s appropriate that we have banana republic election systems since we’re being invaded by banana republics.
For Democrats, voter suppression is like their Russia collusion story: they can’t let go of it and move on. But what’s interesting about their Russia allegations is that it has forced the Democrats to change their talking points. In addition to endlessly carping about voter suppression, the Dems are now talking about foreigners interfering in our elections. That just happens to be a concern of Republicans.
Government has assured America that Russia “meddled” in the 2016 elections. Though they expect us to believe in this Russian meddling narrative, the Dems want us to disbelieve in the possibility that Russians might have changed vote counts. They remind us that elections are conducted by the states, and each state has its own election systems, so changing vote counts would be quite difficult. But if changing vote counts by foreign actors would be a daunting task, then it might also be fairly daunting to be certain that it didn’t happen. We’re told that vote counts are accurate, but what proof is ever adduced, brought forward?
So here’s the big question: If one had to prove that the vote counts in a federal election were correct and legitimate, how would one do that, what would it entail?
Well, given the state of America’s banana-republic election systems, I’m here to tell you that no crack team of experts could demonstrate what the legitimate vote counts are in any of our federal elections. To do so would require that the experts know who cast each ballot, and then they would need to ascertain that voter’s eligibility. Basically, they’d have to reregister all the voters.
One reason that no one can prove what the legitimate vote count is in an American election is because there is no linkage between the ballots and the voters who cast them. But even if the ballots did have linkage to the voters, our crack team would still need to verify that each voter is an eligible American citizen, and not a Russian, Mexican, Honduran, Salvadoran, or some other foreign national.
The safeguards the states use to ensure election integrity are on the “front end.” These include voter registration, showing ID, signing in at the polls, etc. Such devices are meant to keep ineligibles out of elections. But once a ballot has been cast, it’s over. With the current systems, once the polls are closed there’s no way to find fraudulent ballots. To secure her elections, America also needs safeguards for vetting the voters after the polls close, that is, on the “back end.”
Back-end safeguards would allow us to detect fraudulent ballots, correct vote counts, and prosecute fraudsters. The way to do this is to require voters to use their social security numbers to vote and then attach those numbers to the ballots. That would allow us to look up the SSNs on the SSA’s database to see if the voter’s SSN is that of a citizen. (See here and here.)
We especially need a “back end” to vet provisional ballots, as well as late-arriving absentee ballots and “harvested” ballots. We also need back-end security to deal with frauds such as ballot box stuffing that are committed not by voters, but by partisan poll workers. Those who do not understand the necessity of being able to vet voters and the vote on the back end just don’t understand data security. Except, of course, for classified data in Obama’s State Department, are there any other categories of sensitive data in America that are treated with the negligence and the disregard that government treats the vote?
If you are an American citizen, your vote can be nullified by the vote of an illegal alien. It’s appalling that Democrats expect citizens to just mildly accept this. It’s also appalling that 2020 will mark the 20th anniversary of the 2000 election brouhaha in Florida and we still haven’t fixed our pathetic election systems. And we call this a “democracy.”
Jon N. Hall of ULTRACON OPINION is a programmer from Kansas City.