Mail-in Voting and the Future of American Democracy
It’s been twenty years since the Bush-Gore election recount debacle in Florida with its chads, butterfly ballots, lawsuits, delay, and uncertainty. Since 2000, the World Trade Center has been replaced with a gleaming new tower, babies have been born and grown into adulthood, smartphones have been invented and become something on the order of essential bodily appendages, and despite all that the supposedly greatest democracy of all time still has backwards easily-corrupted election systems. After twenty years, this lingering situation is either a colossal failure of government or it is deliberate. And since elections are conducted by the states, the guilty party in all this is… the states.
The current stink in our banana republic electoral systems is mail-in voting. In 2007, Rep. Susan Davis introduced the Universal Right to Vote by Mail Act to Congress where it languishes. Even so, at National Conference of State Legislatures we learn that as of March this year, 26 states already have some form of mail-in voting, with five of those states conducting all their elections by mail. On August 1 in the New York Post, Michael Goodwin outlined some of the logistical nightmares of mail-in voting. Also worth checking out is this short video of the leonine Liz Wheeler: 5 Problems with Universal Mail-In Voting.
President Trump has expressed considerable skepticism about voting by mail, and he’s right to do so. The central issue with mail-in ballots is perhaps the same as with our other types of ballots: they work off corrupted voter registries. And keep in mind, these registries were created and are maintained by the states.
One big problem with all voter registration systems is that the states aren’t verifying that only eligible citizens can vote. The states tell us that they’re vetting voters for citizenship. But that’s not true, as many of the states automatically register voters at their departments of motor vehicles when drivers, including illegal aliens, get their licenses. By April of 2020, 19 states, including some of the most populous, had automatic voter registration, according to Ballotpedia (their map is helpful.) What’s disturbing is that several of the states that have automatic registration also have mail-in voting.
Here’s the bottom line: to vote for a federal official, one must be a U.S. citizen. But the states don’t verify for citizenship when they register voters, and this is especially the case in the states using automatic registration. If the states make any effort to ensure that they’re registering a citizen, it’s the token effort of asking for the last four digits of a registrant’s SSN. Imagine filing your income taxes with only the last four digits of your SSN. But even if the states were collecting the full SSN, it wouldn’t mean anything unless the states were also verifying its legitimacy, which they could do with E-verify.
The states that use automatic voter registration -- or that allow noncitizens to vote in non-federal elections -- are maintaining voter registries which should not be used in the election of federal officials.
Voter registration is another of the many fiefdoms in state governments. You might say voter registration is a racket, or, if that offends, then think of it as a business. However, since they’re mailing out so many of them, one might wonder if the states are even keying off of their registries when they mail out mail-in ballots.
On August 10 we read in the Minneapolis Star Tribune of some 28 million missing mail-in ballots that “went poof between 2012 and 2018.” Pres. Trump has said that absentee ballots (a type of mail-in ballot) are safe. But the article reminds us that while serving on the bipartisan Commission on Federal Election Reform, Pres. Carter concluded: “Absentee ballots remain the largest source of potential voter fraud.” But that was before universal mail-in ballots.
Even if a state’s voter registry were entirely correct, election integrity can still be undermined on the backend with discovered ballots, i.e. fraudulent ballots created by partisan poll workers. My favorite examples of this occurred in two Blue States: the 2004 election of Christine Gregoire in Washington and the 2008 election of Al Franken in Minnesota. Both elections appear to have been stolen by means of backroom ballots conveniently “discovered” by Democrats whose candidate lost in the initial vote count and in subsequent recounts.
The way that the Blue States are doing mail-in ballots potentiates and turbocharges fraud, especially the backend fraud of ballots discovered in backrooms and car trunks. Regardless of whether a state’s ballots are in-person, mail-in (including absentee), provisional, or some combination, without backend vetting of the ballots, elections can be stolen with discovered ballots, ballot harvesting, and whatever creative new swindle the Dems can dream up.
Even though mail-in voting could be improved, the better system is still in-person voting. You see, mail-in voting is a type of remote voting. As a type of remote voting, mail-in voting is fertile ground for several types of fraud, including “coerced voting” whereby your spouse can vote for you or your boss can watch you vote and then mail in your ballot for you. Mail-in voting also allows for scammers to intercept mail-in ballots and fill them out for the rightful voter. (Remote voting is the reason I’ve altered my ideas about Internet voting. I still support using the Internet for elections, but only at polling stations.)
The states may have saved us from having to divine the intended meaning of dimpled, pregnant, and hanging chads, but some states seem to have figured out how to continue getting the vote counts they prefer. The failure of the states to create reliable election systems is only partly due to incompetence. What the Blue States are really trying to do is to retain the ability to control vote counts. Mail-in voting is the new way to stuff ballot boxes.
So what’s to be done in this, the most important election of our lives? Well, states that have automatic voter registration or which allow illegal aliens to vote in their local elections must prove that only citizens voted in their elections for federal office. Because of the backwardness of their election systems, the states will need to vet the validity of the ballots “by hand.” And incidentally, comparing signatures isn’t good enough; these states must prove that each ballot was cast by a citizen.
The Blue States’ failure to set up proper election systems doesn’t mean that they get to choose the next president. I don’t care if they can’t get the vetting done by January 20, 2021; they’ve had twenty years to get this right. They obviously didn’t want to get it right. Sleepy Joe has retained the services of some 600 lawyers to contest this election. Sounds like chaos, or maybe even Florida 2000. Let the games begin. I mean the lawsuits.
The way that elections are conducted in the Blue States shows just how little the so-called “Democratic Party” thinks of democracy, not to mention citizenship. Perhaps Democrats think that democracy is only real if Democrats are elected. In any case, in presidential elections Democrats are not only nullifying the votes of citizens in their own state, they’re nullifying the votes of citizens in other states. Allowing ineligibles to vote is effective disenfranchisement.
I’m a state’s rights-10th Amendment kind of guy. But many of the problems we see in our elections for federal officials were created by… the states.