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Credit: Daniel Zender/ NBC News
Credit: Daniel Zender/ NBC News

The debate over voting by mail in America in November generally is defined by the interests of the two major political parties. Democrats insist that such voting enfranchises large numbers of citizens who would not otherwise be able to vote and is also secure. The Republicans argue that a large volume of voting by mail will guarantee that the election results will not be known for some time after the election and also that casting a ballot without being physically present increases the possibility of fraud.

Beyond that, the recent use of largescale mail-in voting in New York State suggest that there can be considerable delays in the mechanics of actually counting the ballots, while many ballots were also completely invalidated for various reasons, but some states like Oregon and Utah have been successfully using mail-in for years. So essentially the argument is a political one. The Democrats are expecting that most voters who postal vote will vote for them while the Republicans would like to repress that type of voting precisely for the same reason, i.e. that it would likely benefit Joe Biden and other Democratic candidates. There will certainly be both detected and undetected fraud in the voting, but the questions are “How much?” and “Will it affect any results?” If the fraud is not significant many would argue that it is a price that should be paid to improve voter turnout.

Elections are run at the state and county level in the United States, not nationally. A recent review of procedures to register and vote in my home state of Virginia determined that one can both register and vote without any human contact at all. The registration process can be accomplished by filling out an online form, which is linked here. Note particularly the following: the form requires one to check the box indicating U.S. citizenship. It then asks for name and address as well as social security number, date of birth and whether one has a criminal record or is otherwise disqualified to vote. You then have to sign and date the document and mail it off. Within ten days, you should receive a voter’s registration card for Virginia which you can present if you vote in person, though even that is not required.

It is important to consider no documents have to be presented to support the application, which means that all the information can be false. You can even opt out of providing a social security number by indicating that you have never been issued one, even though the form indicates that you must have one to be registered, and you can also submit a temporary address by claiming you are “homeless.” Even date of birth information is useless as the form does not ask where you were born, which is how birth records are filed by state and local governments. Ultimately, it is only the social security number that validates the document and that is what also appears on the Voter’s ID Card, but even that can be false or completely fabricated, as many illegal immigrant workers in the U.S. have discovered.

In a state like Virginia, the actual mail-in ballot requires your signature and that of a witness, who can be anyone. That is also true in six other states. Thirty-one states require your own signature while only three states require that the document be notarized, a good safeguard since it requires the voter to actually produce some documentation. Seven states require your additional signature on the ballot envelope and two states require that a photocopy of the voter ID accompany the ballot. In other words, the safeguards in the system vary from state to state but in most cases, fraud would be relatively easy.

Possible fraud in the voting not to mention delays in post office delivery of the mail-in ballots, have, not surprisingly, political consequences that are beginning to surface in discussions of what might actually happen the night of the election. If the civil disturbances that have been occurring over the past three months continue and the Republicans are successful in hammering on the law-and-order theme, it is likely that the results of the presidential vote will be much tighter than some current polls seem to suggest.

So, what happens on the day after? Well, the elections in 2000 and 2016 suggest that there might be problems. In 2000, George W. Bush defeated Al Gore even though the latter had more votes nationally. There was considerable fear that violence might result, but the issue was resolved by a recount in Florida followed by a Supreme Court ruling and Bush’s legitimacy, though questioned, was conceded. In 2016, of course, Hillary Clinton had 3 million more votes than Donald Trump but his large majority in the Electoral College meant that the result was largely unchallenged, though it was soon to be attributed to “Russian help.”

This year might be different due to the simmering anger over coronavirus measures as well as the racial turmoil. That might not matter much but for the fact that President Donald Trump has opened the door to discussion of possible fraud in the election and has also suggested that the result might not be legitimate. He has particularly focused on mail-in voting and it has been conjectured that he might be deliberately taking steps to hinder post office ability to deliver the ballots on time. The viral badinage appears to be working for the GOP as a recent opinion poll suggests that only 45% of prospective voters are confident of the integrity of election results.

What might be coming, from one perspective, is suggested by a Trump tweet from the November 2018 election in Florida, in which he declared “The Florida Election should be called in favor of Rick Scott and Ron DeSantis in that large numbers of new ballots showed up out of nowhere, and many ballots are missing or forged. An honest vote count is no longer possible-ballots massively infected. Must go with Election Night!”

More recently, on July 30th, Trump tweeted “With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history. It will be a great embarrassment to the USA. Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???” The president has also claimed repeatedly that the Democrats are trying to “steal the election.”

House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi has predictably made matters worse by asserting that “…sadly, the domestic enemies to our voting system and honoring our Constitution are right at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue with their allies in the Congress of the United States… They’re doing everything they can [to] suppress the vote with [their] actions: scare people, intimidate by saying law enforcement will be there, diminish the role of the postal system in all of this. It’s really, actually shameful.” She called them “Enemies of the state,” a version of Hillary Clinton’s famous faux pas in declaring that Trump supporters in 2016 were “deplorables.”

Pelosi also has called for cancellation of the planned presidential debates between Trump and Biden, saying she does not want to legitimize any conversation with the president. She has also added fuel to the fire by claiming that Trump is “…welcom[ing], in fact, Russian intervention, letting Putin decide who will be President instead of the American people.” So, the stage is set for some very significant grievances to play out from either side. It is being suggested that Donald Trump might try to delay the election, which he does not have the power to do, or let it take place in expectation that he will have the lead in conventionally cast votes when the polls close and will be able to declare both victory and that the election is over without any further counting because of fraud on the mail-in ballots. If, on the other hand, Trump loses, the argument could be broadened, with the president calling the all of the voting invalid because of widespread mail-in fraud.

As more Americans than ever are frustrated and angry over the political system while also being ideologically divided into various camps characterized by hard core support of positions that are impossible to reconcile, the situation could explode. And, one must point out, more Americans are armed than ever before while they continue to buy weapons at a record rate. Throw into the mix a police force that is demoralized and evidently increasingly incapable of dealing with civil unrest and November 3rd’s election could well unleash forces that could make the rioting and violence that is sweeping across America currently look insignificant.

(Republished from American Herald Tribune by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: 2020 Election, Donald Trump, Joe Biden, Vote Fraud 
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  1. jsinton says:

    But that’s the whole point. Dem states forcing mail in voting is a win win for the Dems. Such has been the take-no-prisoners politics of the Trump era. First it was the Muellergate scam, then the impeachment grift, followed up by planned demic and pseudo race war. The effect is to get Orange Man at any cost, and mail in voting should be enough to render any election completely invalid. America and American will be damned. That’s why I’ll vote Trump even though I detest the man. It’s an issue of fair play.

    • Agree: Digital Samizdat, American Citizen 2.0, follyofwar, 36 ulster
  2. Mail-ins should be postmarked October 15. That was the rule when I was in the military. After that, no dice because you can’t have ballots being mailed ON election day, no one discusses how the hell THAT is supposed to work out. Screw mail-in ballots anyway. You used to vote absentee if you were military, Dept. of State overseas, various sorts of CIA spooks, like that. Because Democrats are too fat and lazy to turn out to vote in person, because Democrats are looking to fraud for an edge, we have mail-in. That’s all it is.

    • Replies: @ThreeCranes
  3. bj0311 says:

    sadly, the domestic enemies to our voting system and honoring our Constitution are right at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

    The pyschological projection coming from the DNC is amazing in that no one calls them out on it.
    So If creepy Joe and Camel Toe win does that mean Russia put them in office?

    letting Putin decide who will be President instead of the American people.

    I hate both parties but the DNC has the most avowedly anti-social platform of the two. If you have the privilege of voting then you should get off your fat kiester, go to the polling station, produce valid ID and vote–period. But in the end it is stupid argument anyway since voting in America is pointless.

  4. Anonymous[106] • Disclaimer says:

    What are we arguing here? The mail-in voting should only apply to people who are literally prevented from visiting their own country during the election or those who couldn’t have – literally, again – leave their house even for a single toilet paper purchase in the past 6 months. This is a Clown-World argument.

    If you exited your domicile and bought a bag of potatoes in the past 6 months, you need to show up for the count.

    • Agree: Realist
  5. They will still be arguing over and counting votes in a number of states on December 14, when electors are expected to cast their votes and deliver the formal tally to the House of Representatives. There will likely be enough contested outcomes in battleground states, i.e. the ones that really matter, that the House will have to choose. Lest you think that assures a Dem win, the vote is by state delegation, with each state getting one vote, and that is still likely to tilt things in favour of The Orange Man.

    So yes, mail-in voting might actually usher in a Trump victory, and he should simply keep his mouth shut, or merely register a few feeble expressions of concern, while it plays out so that it is he who appears to be the reasonable one.

    Following that, 2021 will give us all the hysteria of 2017, with more weaponry and even less keeping of the peace by law enforcement. Think of civil war, not so much like the one most Americans think of between states, rather one along the lines of Beirut.

    • Agree: Digital Samizdat
    • Replies: @American Citizen 2.0
  6. The real issues are voter ID and computers.
    What difference does it make whether you know Election Day or a week after Election Day how the voting went? People don’t take office until January.
    India has photo voter ID, that requires some real work to get, conducts its elections over 2 days, and takes about a week to hand count and re-count, with party scrutineers being able to challenge ballots. Their electorate is 3 times the size of the US, and while there have been some voting irregularities, no one has ever claimed the vote was rigged.
    Other countries have advanced polls on several days in the weeks leading up to Election Day. Again, it’s a hand counted ballot that can be challenged at the time of counting. Some countries set up these polls in hospitals or nursing homes to allow better access for the infirm.
    There are many ways to allow better access to voting without using mail in ballots, but they require verifiable paper ballots for everybody, and that the ballots be hand counted at the polling station with scrutineers, not transported or counted by computer.

    • Replies: @T. Weed
  7. I wonder if they’ll time dropping the charges against Chauvin for late October, speaking of violence that will dwarf any seen so far.

  8. Weird. “OMG, mail-in voting means that the election result may take a couple of weeks!” Ok, yeah. So?

  9. T. Weed says:
    @Curmudgeon

    Yes, Curmudgeon. We should get rid of machines, which, it has been proved, can be easily hacked, and get back to the ballot box, where, when the polls close, both parties count the votes so there is no cheating. Yes, some people, housebound, prisoners, won’t make it to the polling place, too bad, but that’s a tiny minority that won’t swing the election either way. Let people show up at the precinct, cast their paper ballot, and go home satisfied that their vote is counted.

    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
    , @Hibernian
  10. Realist says:

    If this country is going to insist that we have a democracy/republic…that voting means something, in a Deep State controlled country,…then they should at least restrict mail-in voting to those that really can not get to a polling place, strictly require accurate ID and require that all registered voters have an IQ of at least 100.

    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
  11. “If voting made a difference, they wouldn’t let us do it.” Mark Twain

    • Replies: @Begemot
  12. @T. Weed

    Wholeheartedly agree except for old infirm citizens — with proof submitted by two medical doctors signed on penalty of perjury, they should be allowed to exercise their right to vote by mail.

    As for prisoners, at least those with felony convictions should not be voting while in prison or afterwards anyway. Don’t see a problem with mail voting by prisoners who are serving time only for a misdemeanor conviction, subject to analysis of the likely potential for fraud.

    • Replies: @Curmudgeon
  13. @Realist

    Of course you are correct that we need a strictly enforced ID requirement for voting.

    I would add that state driver licenses should not be accepted as the required ID.
    Nothing less than a US Passport should suffice, and they should be made available for free.

    The primary reasons are:

    (1) non-citizens are eligible for driver licenses (and legal permanent residents should be);

    (2) some disloyal jurisdictions, such as Mexifornia, openly give driver licenses to illegal aliens;

    (3) even if a State requires people registering to vote to swear that they are US Citizens, the government typically does NOTHING to verify this. This is more of a problem than ever with people foolishly being allowed to register by mail and online. The alleged US citizen never has to present himself to a human being who verifies his proof of citizenship and looks at him and his ID directly.

    Moreover, as another commenter pointed out, a non-citizen (or felon) might be required to provide his birthdate in order to register to vote, but what good is that if they are not also required to provide PLACE of birth?

    Mass mail-in voting in our system is undeniably tailor-made for mass fraud. I haven’t yet seen anyone try in good faith to rebut the points above, just get emotional and cry racism and voter suppression.

    I’m voting third party, but honesty impels me to say that if Trump loses following mass mail-in voting, we will never know who was truly the victor. That is a recipe for instability, distrust, and violence, as intended.

    • Replies: @Realist
  14. Realist says:
    @RadicalCenter

    I think the most important point of the requirements I listed was the IQ requirement.

    • Agree: Adam Smith
    • Replies: @T. Weed
    , @RadicalCenter
  15. Begemot says:
    @HarvardSqEddy

    Add to your quote this, attributed to Stalin:

    Those who vote decide nothing. Those who count the votes decide everything.

    • Agree: bruce county
  16. American Citizen 2.0 says:
    @The Alarmist

    I think historians will be talking about this election for as long as there is a United States. We need some kind of decisive statement of the “public will” at some point, a clear statement of what Americans really want from the government so that someone can lead with moral authority and a mandate from the voters. What we have had for decades is one or another person squeaks by with a couple of hundred more votes here and there and then proceeds to completely wreck civilization by shipping jobs overseas or flooding the US with immigrants or throwing millions of people in jail or starting wars that last forever or whatever else they can get away with. So now everyone is left feeling like the whole charade is rigged. Every time.

    Hopefully Trump can just crush the Democrats everywhere and every state votes 90% against the Democrats so that we all know who is in charge of the country finally.

  17. T. Weed says:
    @Realist

    That will disqualify about half of Boobus Americanus. H. L. Mencken predicted that Americans would eventually become so dumb that they’d elect a downright moron for president. Wasn’t it set up originally that only property owners could vote?

    • Replies: @Realist
  18. Ko says:

    Gore won Florida but he was too much of a pussy to fight. The same with John “I’ll fight until every vote is counted” Kerry. What a total pussy he is.

  19. @Jim Christian

    Amazing how simple the truth really is.

    • Agree: 36 ulster
  20. polistra says:

    If elections had any meaning, the mode of election would be worth talking about. Elections are utterly empty exercises, so it doesn’t matter how we “conduct” them.

    • Agree: Realist
  21. Realist says:
    @T. Weed

    H. L. Mencken predicted that Americans would eventually become so dumb that they’d elect a downright moron for president.

    Mencken was right…but that happened decades ago.

    Wasn’t it set up originally that only property owners could vote?

    Yes that was the original intent, but only men…a crude IQ test.

    • Replies: @36 ulster
  22. Hibernian says:
    @T. Weed

    Go to entirely mechanical voting machines. they can be sealed until the voting starts and immediately after it ends. Nothing is foolproof, but they’r more honest than electronics or paper ballots. With early voting only minimal absentee balloting should be allowed, with strict safeguards.

    • Replies: @Curmudgeon
  23. Lee says:

    Gore won Florida but he was too much of a pussy to fight.

    What is often forgotten about this election is that Al Bore didn’t even carry his home state of TN.

    If he had done so and picked up another low EC count state such as Utah, he wouldn’t have had to care about what happened in FL.

    I recall that every time that they recounted the hanging chad ballots, the Bush vote count increased.

  24. This coming election, it won’t be possible to find enough workers to sufficiently staff many polling places. Many volunteers are retired senior citizens, who’ll be afraid to work this year due to fear of coronavirus. Thus, many polling places may have to be combined into larger ones, which, if everyone voted in person, would make for some very long lines and frazzled nerves, leading to possible violence.

    The US should have gone to 2-day weekend voting a long time ago, as is done in many countries. It would not only double the time to vote, but also allow many who have weekday jobs to volunteer. Having voting one work day only (Tuesday) seems designed to suppress the vote.

    Fear of catching corona at the polls by having a flu-ridden person cough on you while you’re waiting in line, could be a “super spreader.” Many may come to the conclusion that voting in person this year is not worth dying for, even though the chances of catching covid and dying are slim. Thus, they could vote absentee, which is more secure than just voting by mail. But, with so many restrictions, is it possible for county election bureaus to handle so many absentee votes? It appears that there are no good solutions for this most divisive of elections.

  25. @RadicalCenter

    Infirm does not equate to mentally incompetent. People with chronic or long term illnesses, if hospitalized, are infirm. Most people in nursing homes are clear minded, but frail, therefore, infirm.

    I agree, mental competency should be monitored more carefully. It would be the best tactic to eliminate large numbers of the voting population.

    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
  26. @Hibernian

    There are countries that hand count paper ballots where the ballots are counted at the polling station. A representative of each candidate is allowed to attend, and watch the process from the time the polls close, through the hand counting of the ballots. They are allowed to examine the ballots, and challenge if there are not in compliance. Many countries allow observers at the polls, with verified voters lists. If there is a question about the validity of the voter, it is double enveloped. The outside with the person`s name, the inside blank. Those ballots are put in the ballot box, but reviewed before the count. If the ballot is to be counted, the first envelope is opened and discarded, the second envelope is put in the ballot box. The second envelope is opened and the ballot added to the pile before counting. Once the count is determined, the scrutineers are entitled to count the ballots themselves.
    Yes, it is cumbersome, but with so many people in the room observing, it is open, easily verifiable and virtually impossible to rig.

  27. Nothing is foolproof, but they’r more honest than electronics or paper ballots.

    Honest? Really! You think they’re interested in honest?

  28. JVC says:

    Paterson NJ had a recent mail in vote. 4 people charged with mail fraud,and voter irregularities
    2 were candidates. Court overturned the election results. That’s just one little county election, imagine that expanded nation wide

    • Agree: RadicalCenter
  29. @Curmudgeon

    Won’t there be some people laid up in nursing homes who cannot go out and vote at a polling place?

  30. @Realist

    You are surely right, Realist, but it’s not, well, realistic. We have SOME chance of enacting a strict passport ID requirement nationally and in many States (other than Cali and New York), but NO chance of enacting an IQ requirement.

    Likewise, many Republican federal judges would uphold a strict passport ID requirement, but there is little chance of them upholding an IQ requirement.

    Perhaps we also need a federal statute providing that lower federal courts (US Courts of Appeal and US District Courts) have no jurisdiction over challenges to election ID and identity-verification requirements. Such jurisdiction-stripping provisions are now common for habeas corpus petitions brought by aliens.

    Congress can take jurisdiction away from the fed courts on an issue-by-issue basis because the Constitution does not require that there even be ANY federal courts other than the US Supreme Court.

    Any Congress or State legislature that is closely divided over enacting a strict Passport-only ID requirement, a fortiori won’t enact a more “extreme” provision keeping judges from “reviewing” such a requirement. (In fact, there will be democrat and Republican congressmen in non-far-left / nonAfrican districts who will be quite happy to vote for a strict passport-ID requirement, then tout it in their campaign ads, knowing that some fed judge will strike it down for them.)

    A fairly developed and administered IQ test screening out only very-low-IQ voters would be fine. But we would eliminate MILLIONS of fraudulent votes just with a strict requirement that a person

    (1) produce a US Citizen Passport in person to register,
    (2) vote in person unless deployed abroad with the military, and
    (3) produce a US Citizen Passport again at the polling place.

    The fraudulent votes would be from noncitizens, felons, people voting in the name of dead people, and duplicate voters (people voting at more than one polling place in a jurisdiction or in more than one State).

    • Replies: @Realist
  31. Realist says:
    @RadicalCenter

    You are surely right, Realist, but it’s not, well, realistic.

    It may not be realistic…but that is because intelligent people do not insist on it. In a democracy it would be the most effective way to ensure a useful government. But since we live in an oligarchy it makes no difference who votes…or who they vote for.

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