“Resistance isn’t enough. If we want change, we have to get out the vote.”
– DaShanne Stokes
Fair elections are the foundation of democracy, and the FBI is committed to protecting the right to vote. Our government only works when legal votes are counted and states follow federal statutes. When lections are corrupt, our democracy is threatened. Our states run elections, but the FBI plays a key role in protecting your rights. Preventing violations of your constitutional rights dates back to the First Amendment. Election crimes are taken seriously and are always prosecuted.
U.S. election laws are part of Article 1 of the Constitution. This gave states the authority to oversee federal elections. Constitutional amendments and federal laws to protect voting rights have also been passed. The 1964 Voting Rights Act outlawed disenfranchisement of voting rights. Violation of voting rights is a federal crime. What was rare in the past, voting mail fraud is on the rise. It came to light during the 2000 Florida election when a number of military ballots were not counted.
The vote-counting crisis in the presidential election in Florida in 2000 forced policymakers in all 50 states to re-examine their election laws and procedures. While state policies and an extent of reforms adopted by states varied, they were done to comply with strict federal law. A law that was closely scrutinized was the counting of mail-in ballots, primarily military ballots that had been misplaced or delayed off by those offshore.
”Every vote counts! Just ask me, I know from experience.”
– Al Gore
There is no question the COVID-19 pandemic presents an unprecedented challenge to elections in 2020. Congress asked the Brennan Center, a nonpartisan law and policy institute, to come up with plans to ensure everyone voted this year. Their main concern was the unprecedented number of mail-in ballots. The Brennan Center offered a detailed plan that required $4 billion in resources at a time state budgets are depleted. They concluded if we don’t follow the plan, our democracy will fall.
These adjurations were not mandatory, so states followed some and improvised others. And that is the problem. Before we had three years of vicious attacks on the President by the press, socialists, and violent protesters assaulting innocent citizens and advocating radical socialist revolt, there was little concern for mail-in voting fraud. But that is considered a certified threat this election.
The National Vote at Home Institute says issues like Florida in 2000 will play out in many states this month due to voting by mail. In Florida in 2010, 23% of voters cast absentee ballots. The use of mail-in ballots in other states has more than tripled since 1980. Florida election supervisor Ion Sancho, said, “The more people you force to vote by mail, the more invalid ballots you’ll have.”
Ballots are rejected because they arrive without a signature on the outside of the envelope. A poll worker looks at the signature inside. It’s then debated what is done with ballots if signatures on the envelope don’t match those on file. The decision is totally left up to those who count these ballots.
“It’s not the people who vote that count; it’s the people who count the votes.”
– Joseph Stalin
Past mail-in voting issues have been a result of common errors and less prevalent than fraud at polling places. But this election is about liberty.
Recently in Wisconsin, absentee ballots were found in a Greenville ditch. It is under investigation as fraud. In Pennsylvania, nine military ballots were discovered in the trash. According to the DOJ, seven were cast for Donald Trump. In New Jersey, a mail carrier was caught putting hundreds of ballots into a Dumpster. They were sent to their precincts and the carrier was charged with fraud.
Minnesota absentee ballots have been rejected for numerous reasons. And this is happening all around the U.S. Senior signatures, those from sloppy writers or the infirmed, may not match those on file. Envelopes and forms may not be completely filled out. People move and addresses may not match. The mail may be late. Witnesses may not be registered voters or ballots are being lost.
“Absentee ballots are a real problem. This is the biggest flaw in our democracy.”
– Jimmy Carter
In Florida, absentee-ballot scandals arrive like clockwork each election. In this year’s primary, a Hialeah woman was charged with forging elderly voters’ signatures, a felony, for possessing 31 absentee ballots. Florida statistics show election officials reject almost 2% of ballots cast by mail, double the rate for in-person voting. Election experts say this will be a major concern in all states.
MTI political scientist Charles Stewart found in the last presidential election that 35.5 million voters requested absentee ballots, but only 27.9 million were counted? Officials rejected 800,000 ballots. Loyola Law professor Justin Levitt told the Senate Judiciary Committee last year: “You will, drive more voters into a system where fraud and coercion have been highly documented concerns.”
Since Republicans vote absentee more than Democrats, they have the greatest concerns. In the 2008 Florida election, 47% of absentee voters were Republicans and 36% were Democrats. They agree voting by mail is more easily abused than other forms. In 2005, the Commission on Federal Election Reform concluded, “Absentee ballots remain the largest source of potential voter fraud.”
When Obama said, “Elections have consequences,” he proved how devastating it is to vote for the wrong people. With this election, one of the most critical in U.S. history, a choice of maintaining our republic or adopting socialism, with almost nothing done to improve mail-in voting, voters have a lot to worry about. Correcting the flaws in absentee voting is foundational to maintain our republican democracy.
“Democracy is not just the right to vote, it is the right to live in dignity.”
– Naomi Klein
Recent violations by a few Postal carriers have raised alarms among voters whether they can trust their ballots will be counted if they mail them. Ten states sent out ballots, and 10 sent out forms to obtain them. Fourteen states allow voters to request ballots online? Those with prudent governors do not do either. They tell voters to take responsibility for their ballots, either by mail, or in person.
This election season has been filled with violent civil unrest and threats against those opposing socialism. It resembles those in banana republics and third world countries. In a Constitutional republic with the longest-living Constitution in the world, we live by a higher standard. Don’t read liberal media polls. Vote for liberty, democracy, law and order and for America. Above all, if you feel there is a possibility your vote will not be counted, vote in person or bring your ballot to the polls Election Day. Your vote will be a choice for maintaining our democratic republican government or giving it away.
Please don’t let anyone make that important choice for you!
“If you have embraced a creed which appears to be free from the ordinary dirtiness of politics, a creed from which you yourself cannot expect to draw any material advantage, surely it proves that you are in the right.”
– George Orwell
The Center Square – William Haupt III
William Haupt III is a retired professional journalist, author, and citizen legislator in California for over 40 years. He got his start working to approve California Proposition 13.