Well, here we go again. Despite Democrats’ insistence that electoral fraud either does not happen or is not a significant issue, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger revealed on Sept. 8 that he would pursue felony charges against voters in his state who voted twice in Georgia’s June primary. The problem is not just intentional fraud, though, as this Georgia case highlights; it is the confusion caused by having parallel systems of voting and the absence of reliable methods of ensuring that only those eligible to vote cast a ballot – and that they are able to do so only once.
…should be an enormous red flag…
Cheating Is Not the Only Problem
A report in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution explains that 150,000 Georgia voters who requested absentee ballots also went in person to polling stations on June 9. It is important to note that this was not a case of 150,000 Georgians attempting to illegally sway the primary elections. One thousand individuals who showed up on polling day had completed and returned absentee ballots. They were still allowed to vote a second time, which should be an enormous red flag to anyone sincerely interested in preserving the integrity of elections.
The remainder of the 150,000 in question had requested absentee ballots. At this point, it is known – or perhaps assumed – that they did not receive those ballots, and so they decided to vote in person.
Not only is Raffensperger dealing with 1,000 cases of intentional electoral fraud but also a couple of other significant problems. In the first place, people who had already completed and returned primary ballots were permitted to vote – again – instead of being turned away. In the second place, some 140,000 Georgians never received the ballots they requested or did not receive them in time to return them and have their votes recorded.
A Problem Too Small to Cause Concern?
As the secretary of state points out, absentee voting in Georgia has increased to around 50% in this election season, compared to about 5% in previous cycles. When only 5% of voters are using absentee or mail-in ballots, it is easy to argue that elections cannot be stolen, even if those absentee voters cast additional in-person votes. When half the state’s voters are using this obviously mismanaged system, though, the potential problems become exponentially greater.
Raffensperger concedes that double-voting did not change the results of any primary races. Still, does that fact – assuming it is verifiable – mean that Americans should not be concerned about the integrity of election results? Let us use the analogy of foreign powers interfering in U.S. elections: In 2016, none of Russia’s active measures changed the outcome of the election. This statement has not been refuted by the Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, or any U.S. intelligence agency. Should Americans not be alarmed that foreign adversaries attempt to meddle in America’s political system? According to Democrats – and many Republicans – Americans should be extremely concerned about this interference.
Every Vote Should Count — Once
So it is with not only deliberate electoral fraud but also the potential for voting irregularities caused by an inability to ascertain who has voted and who has not – and who has voted both by mail and in person. The fact that these problems supposedly have not led to distorted election results is not a good enough reason to dismiss them as not significant.
Whether we are talking about people who are deliberately “gaming the system,” as Raffensperger puts it, or voters who do not receive the ballots they requested by mail, we are looking at a massive failure to protect our elections.
Democrats love to talk about ensuring that every vote counts. They are absolutely right to do so. If this were truly a concern of theirs, they would insist on creating electoral systems that require all individuals able to do so to present themselves in person at a polling station, provide documented evidence that they are eligible to vote, and complete one ballot. Anything else makes a mockery of the democratic process so many politicians pretend to hold so dear.
Read more from Graham J. Noble.