Most reporters covering the White House have a severe illness --- not COVID-19, but Trump Derangement Syndrome, or TDS. The main symptom of TDS, at least as it manifests itself at Trump’s press briefings, is the inability to resist the urge to correct him with fake information, typically DNC talking points.
On Wednesday, during President Trump’s press briefing, it happened again. Someone tried to correct the President as he was answering a question on mail-in balloting. The reporter chimed in, “There is no evidence of widespread voter fraud.” The President, knowing a Democrat talking point when he hears one, called her out on that, saying, “Oh, really? Well, then, you’re reading a different newspaper than me.” Gotta love it.
Let’s try THE NEW YORK TIMES. Thanks to Dan Bongino for calling attention to this piece from the NYT from just a month before the 2012 election –- significantly, long before Trump called attention to the problem –- called “Error and Fraud at Issue as Absentee Voting Rises.” Note that this article was talking mostly about absentee voting, which still has more controls than widespread mail-in voting.
Using a primary election as an example, this piece illustrated how easy it is to make a ballot NOT COUNT, just by comparing signatures and deciding the “r’s” don’t match. Lather, rinse, repeat, for as many times as you need votes.
At the time this article was written in late 2012, the use of absentee ballots and other forms of mail-in balloting had tripled since 1980 and accounted for almost 20 percent of all voting.
According to the NYT story, statistics showed that votes cast by mail were less likely to be counted, more likely to be compromised and more likely to be contested than those cast in a voting booth. Twice more mail-in votes were rejected than in-person votes.
There’s something called the “margin of litigation” that allows election lawyers to challenge results with the possibility of changing the outcome. We’ve seen that if election results fall within that margin, there absolutely will be a challenge. If you recall the Florida results after the Bush-Gore election, you know what a ridiculous mess it turned into, with election judges trying to second-guess and accept or reject ballots on the basis of how their chads were hanging. Anyone who thinks wishful thinking and subjective analysis didn’t enter into that judgment is living in a fantasy world. That counts as fraud in my book.
Keep in mind, this was in THE NEW YORK TIMES: “Voting by mail is now common enough and problematic enough that election experts say there have been multiple elections in which no one can say with confidence which candidate was the deserved winner.”
The NYT even cited as an example the 2008 election that made Al Franken a U.S. Senator from Minnesota. (Recall that his win was what ended up giving Obamacare the Senate vote. Elections mean things.) Franken won by a mere 312 votes after 12,000 absentee ballots (about 4 percent of those) had been rejected.
In general, Republicans are more likely than Democrats to vote absentee; ironically, this might help explain the NYT’s willingness to criticize it. (To be fair, it might also have something to do with the push by Republicans in the past for absentee voting.) But widespread voting-by-mail has much less oversight than the process that is normally gone through to vote absentee. Some states are just wildly sending out mail-in ballots. Again this is from THE NEW YORK TIMES: “There is general consensus that voting by mail, whatever its impact, is more easily abused than other forms.”
Absentee voting was not meant to be the main way to vote. It’s for people who know they’re going to be away or otherwise unable to come in and vote on Election Day. In a normal election year, early in-person voting accommodates many of those people, and absentee voting takes care of the rest. I don’t think most people have thought seriously about what it would be like if virtually EVERYONE voted by mail. I agree with Bongino that it would be “an apocalyptic disaster.” (I haven’t even mentioned that the American Postal Workers Union has endorsed Biden. That in itself justifies a lack of confidence in the mail-in process.)
Even with the number of people who would normally vote absentee, the idea that “every vote counts” is naive. The only way we can counteract this problem is with a LANDSLIDE victory for President Trump and Republicans down the line.
I've previously linked to the Heritage Foundation’s Election Fraud Database of proven examples of voter fraud from across the country, and in case you didn’t see it or would like to review it in this context, here it is again.
Voter fraud is hard to prove –- better to head it off than try to do something about it afterwards. Though this accounting is not all-inclusive and is limited to proven, not just suspected, cases, it gives an idea of the scope of the problem. In their words, “preventing, deterring and prosecuting election fraud is essential to protecting the integrity of our voting process. Reforms intended to ensure such integrity do not disenfranchise voters and, in fact, protect their right to vote.”
Bongino also had a story from the NEW YORK POST from just two days ago (August 4), with the headline “25 percent of ballots in Brooklyn June primaries invalid.” They’re trying to deal with the mess; here’s an updated story from later that day.
Election Day has always been a day for Americans to celebrate. There’s a certain ritual involved in going to the polls THAT DAY and exercising our right. Even early voting diminishes that a little, I think, and it also encourages people to vote without knowing as much about the candidates as they might if they had waited. Then there's absentee voting, an alternative when one simply cannot go to the polls. (This year, that would include the elderly and others at high risk.) But large-scale mail-in voting is an unnecessary invitation to fraud and must not happen.
Think of the generations of Americans who have risked their lives –- given their lives –- to preserve our precious freedom and our right to vote. In light of that, the VERY LEAST that freedom-loving Americans can do is put on a doggone mask, go to the polls, keep the proper distance, and VOTE, for crying out loud. They’ll have hand sanitizer there, promise.