I was talking to a liberal friend who asked me if I saw the Laura Ingraham interview of President Trump. She was upset that Trump had raised the specter of voter fraud in the interview. Her concern was that that kind of rhetoric will cause people to doubt the legitimacy of the election. And in the present state of continuous civil unrest, such doubts could easily spark a much larger conflagration.
I agree with my friend’s concerns. There is no excuse for being unable to carry off a legitimate and fair election with all the technology we have today. If there is any problem with the election, it really would be a reflection of the gross incompetence and malfeasance of our elected officials.
Now my liberal friend was misinformed about one piece of information. She seemed to believe that these doubts were being spread only by President Trump. Actually Hillary Clinton is guilty too. In an interview, she stated that under no circumstances should Joe Biden concede the election. What does that imply?
The truth is that concerns about election integrity have been raised both by Democrats and Republicans, and it’s not just cynical and unfounded conspiracy theories designed to make voters reject the election results. A major area of concern has been mail-in voting.
While it is true that mail-in voting has been around for decades, it was originally intended only for those who were physically prevented from getting to their polling place. This is the standard “absentee ballot,” and you needed to have a good reason before you could obtain one. This meant that the mail-in vote count was relatively small and thus manageable. But in the face of the coronavirus “pandemic,” Democrats have been calling for universal mail-in voting to check the spread of the disease. That changes things considerably. Will the post office be able to handle the large volume of ballots? Will an election with a large percentage of mail-in ballots be reliable?
State Primaries Were the Canary in the Coal Mine
Concerns about large-scale mail-in voting are real. And the primaries showed us that. Read this article from The New York Times:
This story from PBS reports that 100,000 mail-in ballots from last March’s California primary never got counted. The moral of the story is obvious.
Mail-in Ballots Are Susceptible to Fraud
In addition to the difficult logistics presented by large-scale mail-in voting, there is the added risk of fraud. According to the Fox News report below, vote count manipulation and fraud have been associated with mail-in ballots for years:
And a Michael Bloomberg data analytics firm is predicting that Trump will win the electoral college on election night, but lose the election after mail-in ballots are counted. In this interview with Brexit celebrity Nigel Farage, Mr. Farage worries about Democrats tampering with the mail-in ballots:
On the day, he’ll [Trump] win the vote. My worry . . . is this early mail-in voting. I’ve seen postal voting, the British equivalent of this, abused wholesale in the United Kingdom to the advantage of the left. The worst scenario of all is on the morning of the fourth of November, Trump looks like the winner, and then over the course of the next ten days, all these mail-in votes are counted and the result gets reversed.
Democrats Worry About Mail-in Ballots Too
And Democrats have expressed their own concerns. There is a giant conspiracy theory that President Trump is going to interfere with the U.S. mail in order to tamper with the mail-in ballots. Supposedly, this grand scheme includes Trump stealing mail boxes. ???
An Obvious Solution
With all of the logistical difficulties associated with large-scale mail-in voting, and with all of the expressed concerns about fraud potential, it seems that the solution is obvious. It is what Republicans have advocated for for a long time: in-person voting with mandatory voter ID. It’s the surest way to safeguard the electoral process, but Democrats argue that mandatory voter ID is racist. Some racial minorities, however, see racism, instead, in the patronizing low expectations that Democrats have for persons of color:
The Racism of “Low Expectations”
What most people understand is that, with all the rioting and violence these past months, the nation cannot afford the prospect of a contested election. Our country has been conducting reliable elections for centuries now. We should not forgive our leaders if they botch it this time around.