Awaiting the count

The Right Stuff

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As I sit here writing this, America is awaiting the naming of our next president. It seems clear, at this point, that the president will be Joe Biden, yet questions remain. What might they be about?

Well, in the first place, several states removed poll watchers from the counting rooms. It is practically in the DNA of the professional staff of election committees that one does not try to sneak around observers in the office. It is just a natural reaction that when folks are told they cannot witness the count that is going on, they assume some funny business must be taking place. If not, why not allow witnesses?

Second - there have been widespread reports of suspicious activity regarding late-mailed ballots. The Trump administration tried to get the Supreme Court to address this issue just a short time ago, but the court tied 4-4 as to whether or not to hear a lower court decision regarding late-mailed ballots being allowed to count in the state of Pennsylvania. The whole idea of allowing votes to be collected after election day is that totals announced that night let those with bad intentions know exactly how many votes are needed to change the outcome of the election. And it was for this reason that the Trump administration had originally sued to stop the practice of allowing late-mailed ballots to count in the process. When you think about it, voters have several days to mail their ballots back into the state to be sure their votes are counted. I can see no reason why additional time would be needed. If the argument is that the mail delivery is slow, voters usually have several weeks in which to mail their ballots. Those voters furthest from the address to mail their ballots should simply take that into account and get their ballots mailed earlier. The Supreme Court has upheld reasonable rules for voters that make it the voter’s responsibility to get their votes turned in, in a timely manner. Just like registration laws and deadlines, voters are expected to act in a responsible way to adhere to all the rules and regulations required to be sure their vote is counted. If the voter lives far from the address he needs to send his vote to, it seems perfectly reasonable that he should mail his ballot early rather than to delay the entire election results waiting around for a few late-mailing voters!

Third -  there has been, in some states, a suspicion that the software being used to run the machines is playing games with the vote. Of all accusations, this would seem to be the one that could possibly lead to voter fraud that is almost impossible to catch.

Fourth -  there were reports of ballots amounting to 20,000 votes for Joe Biden coming in all at once, in mail-in ballot dumps occurring late at night. Again, it is highly unlikely that you could have such a huge number of ballots selecting a single candidate for a political race.

Fifth -  some states, including Nevada, allowed what is called “vote harvesting.” This occurs when groups go through a community offering to take their ballot and deliver it to the polling place for the voters. This practice, as I am sure you can imagine, allows for the possibility of major fraud. That a state would ever allow such a practice calls into question their intentions.

I spent several years working in the White County Election Office, and I can tell you categorically that we have people with some of the highest ethical and moral standards in place in White County. The kinds of fraud we are talking about don’t typically occur in small counties across a state where everyone pretty much knows everyone and the vote counts are so low that it would be very difficult to alter enough votes to make a difference in a statewide race.  These kinds of voter fraud occur in the big city where people do not typically know one another by sight and where vote totals are huge and therefore available to manipulate. There were reports that a precinct would call the downtown election office and say, “We have several thousand votes for Biden on the way down!” Obviously, they should have been calling to report several thousand ballots coming in to be counted and not that they had several thousand ballots they knew would favor one candidate or the other.

The bottom line in all this is that we need to let the process go forward. There have been public officials declaring that unless there is positive proof of voter fraud available, President Trump should concede the race, and the nation can get about the business of transition. But seldom does one have hard evidence of fraud without an investigation occurring. So, as reasonable people, we need to let the investigations start and take as long as necessary to establish our election was fairly run and the result was the will of the voters.

Once that is truly established, then President Trump should concede the race with good grace, and we can get about the process of transition. Already, we hear reports of those in Washington D.C. declaring Trump will not allow Joe Biden to take his place in the White House. Such reports are ridiculous and without merit. No one, least of all big mouthed reporters, can say they know what President Trump has in mind, other than making sure the election was fairly run, and the result was the will of the people. Regardless of who wins this election, we need to make illegal some of these methods of collecting votes such as vote harvesting for federal offices. If states want to taint the results of their local elections, that is between them and their citizens. But federal offices should not be subject to such acts.

Finally, no matter how you slice it, we, as Republicans, have let our president down. After all the hard work he has done for us, was it too much for him to expect us to have his back? I fear the results of this election will say, yes, we just couldn’t be bothered to support our candidate with winning margins, even though we were warned we needed large margins to account for fraud and abuse. And that may be the lasting legacy of this election. Why should a successful businessman ever run again, knowing he will not be supported for a second term, even if he wins a first one?  What is it they say...we get the government we deserve?  

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