Do You Trust the Integrity of Our Elections? If Not, Here Are the Steps We Must Take
There may have been cheating in the 2022 midterm election, in the view of 57 percent of people recently surveyed by Rasmussen.
In that same survey of 1,000 likely voters, 30 percent indicated that cheating was likely. That’s where I fit in: the 30 percent group.
To restore faith in our elections, we need to take some simple but controversial steps:
A national standard
Many people, especially Republicans, oppose the idea of a national standard because they see this it a “states rights” issue. On the other hand, most Democrats are eager to have a national standard— but their idea of a standard is more like a plan for election organized crime.
How long would it take for the United States to become a fascist nation if we were to adopt some of the ideas that were recently offered in the “For the People Act,” the “John Lewis Voting Rights Act,” and/or the “Freedom to Vote Act”? Democrats have proposed...
- complete legalization of ballot harvesting so that a ballot could be submitted, on your behalf, by paid operatives.
- automatic voter registration for all adults (with no verification of citizenship).
- universal ability to vote by mail, for any reason.
- no voter ID requirement in states that choose not to have one. States that already have an ID requirement would be forced to weaken it by accepting a broad array of documents, including copies of utility bills or sworn statements (in lieu of ID).
- voting by convicted felons, unless they happen to be in prison on the day of the election.
- a ban on post-election independent audits, such as the Arizona Senate audit of Maricopa County’s 2020 election. Only “official” audits would be allowed.
The proposals (above) are truly scary, and this may be the reason for GOP opposition to any national standard. However, a country-wide standard is essential. We can no longer allow some states to cheat by allowing non-citizens to votes, or by allowing political operatives to cast votes on behalf of unsuspecting residents. That is why we need a national baseline of a few essential voting requirements, such as these:
- A ban on ballot harvesting, with a few limited exceptions for spouses or for people with disabilities
- A hard ID requirement— preferably with photos
- Mandatory citizenship verification when a person registers for the first time
- A uniform national Election Day cutoff for voting
At the state level there are several other actions that could improve the integrity of our elections:
- There should be a ban on the use of private funding for the administration of elections (no more “Zuckerbucks”).
- Registration lists must be updated continuously, and people should be removed when they stop voting in elections. When multiple people register at the same address, extra verification is required. (There have been instances of hundreds of people voting from a single parking lot, commercial building, etc.)
- Mail voting should be allowed, but only for people with legitimate reasons, such as travel or disability.
- Drop boxes should be legal, but only if they are in secure areas, monitored with video, and fairly distributed to all areas of the state.
- Partisan observers are an important part of election integrity and security. When ballots and ballot envelopes are processed, Republican and Democrat representatives should be given close access so they can monitor the processes. Their comments and objections should be recorded so that follow-up action can be taken.
- There should be severe penalties imposed when observers are harassed, as was the case in Detroit and other locations. (See Debunked? pages 152-54.)
- Immediately after each federal election, independent auditors should commence limited procedures (not just counting) to ensure the integrity of close elections. Testing should be performed on a sample basis, to keep costs low. Specific items tested should be selected on a “surprise” basis.
- All voters should be able to determine, via the internet, that their votes were tabulated. Documents that are not confidential should be posted online.
- States should have law enforcement dedicated to investigating election complaints. Florida provides a model.
What if the state administration does not believe in election integrity?
Many states have administrations that do not want tighter election standards. In fact, some want to liberalize voting rules. An example is Nevada, which virtually gutted election controls a couple of months before the 2020 election:
- In Nevada there is automatic mailing of ballots (not just ballot applications) to everyone, on the basis of voter registration lists that are obviously out of date. Hundreds, if not thousands, of ballots were found “...in post office trays, outside apartment complexes, and on community bulletin boards in and around Las Vegas.”
- Ballot harvesting has been legalized in Nevada, without restrictions. Drug addicts, homeless people, and political operatives can anonymously harvest ballots in unlimited quantities.
- Drop boxes are legal, and have no monitoring or special security arrangements.
And, of course, Nevada also has no ID requirement, aside from weakly-enforced signature standards. How weak? A reporter for the Las Vegas Review Journal conducted an informal test using his own handwriting to transmit ballots for 9 of his friends. Eight of the nine bogus signatures were accepted. (The weak drop box requirements are found in Nev. Rev. Stat § 293.8861.)
Achieving election integrity in states like Nevada (or California, Oregon, Washington State, Colorado, etc.) will be exceedingly difficult, but some actions may be possible:
- Recruit a huge number of very tough-minded attorneys and other observers to monitor unguarded drop boxes, ballot processing, and recounts. Record video when possible. Be prepared to clash with left-wing agitators.
- Immediately after each election, request important records, such a chain of custody documents and qualified voter files. It may be necessary to use Right-to-Know laws.
- If the election is in doubt, and ballot harvesting is the suspected reason, immediately commence door-to-door voter canvassing. Remember, harvesting may be legal in some states, but stealing ballots or tricking voters is not. A professional organization with impeccable credentials should organize the effort. A representative sample of voters should be asked whether or not they voted and the means by which they voted. If the results differ significantly from voter records, ballot theft or trickery are the likely reasons. A canvass report by a professional organization, such as a large CPA firm, could be strong evidence for a lawsuit.
- Offer rewards for information regarding election fraud, including harvesting operations.
Last but not least, make sure that you vote, in every election, and only support candidates who have the courage to speak out for and support election integrity.
Joe Fried is an Ohio-based CPA who has performed and reviewed hundreds of certified financial audits. He is the author of the new book, Debunked? An auditor reviews the 2020 election— and the lessons learned (Republic Book Publishers, 2022). It provides a comprehensive overview of irregularities that affected the 2020 election.
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