As you undoubtedly have heard on television, the internet, and social media, the right to vote is fundamental to the American system.
But as we near Election Day, it’s important to remember that the right to vote means little if our officials can’t maintain election integrity. Fraudulent votes undermine our electoral system and take rightful votes away from others.
Nearly as bad, a dysfunctional or broken election system easily can throw an election into chaos. Just look at what happened in Florida in 2000.
This issue is being magnified in 2020 because a presidential election will coincide with a global pandemic and states are experimenting with widespread mail-in voting, which they haven’t used before.
How are socialists deluding a whole generation? Learn more now >>
I highlighted one potential issue in a piece I wrote in September. Here’s what I wrote at the time:
The Alameda County Registrar of Voters notified me by mail at my parents’ address in Oakland that I would receive a ballot when the state sends them out Oct. 5. This is following Gov. Gavin Newsom’s executive order that all California voters receive a mail-in ballot before the Nov. 3 election.
The problem is, I should not be considered a California voter.
Since I left California in 2011, I have registered to vote in two other places. I’ve officially changed my address. And my parents notified election workers at their local voting location after I left the state, but to no avail.
The only reason I was even aware of the situation is that my parents still live at the same address.
Newsom dismissed me on Twitter, saying that it was false I’d received a ballot from California. He never addressed the primary problem, which is ballots being sent to the wrong place or to people who are not California voters.
Just as the initial notice promised, the official California ballot arrived at my parents’ home.
And here’s my ballot right on schedule. I haven’t lived in CA in a decade & notified the state I no longer live there. I could have voted twice. It would be nice if the governor was a little more concerned with his state’s electoral security, but I guess that’s too much to ask. https://t.co/yztwaKzhLj pic.twitter.com/rfQALa7EGb
— Jarrett Stepman (@JarrettStepman) October 9, 2020
It seems that what happened to me isn’t too uncommon. Many Americans around the country have been receiving ballots for other people, or people who have died.
My official ballot arrived!
Along with ballots for four people who no longer live here (three of whom haven’t lived here in over SIX years)! pic.twitter.com/cO0MAC2HpC
— Richie🎥McG🍿 (@RichieMcGinniss) September 30, 2020
I am the son of John and Gertrude Thompson. Both passed away over ten years ago and got ballots for the upcoming election. I gave Richard Grenell permission to post these pictures and ask for an investigation as to why they were mailed ballots for the 2020 election. pic.twitter.com/HcsIzvPk7k
— Tom Thompson (@tthompson90277) October 8, 2020
— J Michael Waller (@JMichaelWaller) October 6, 2020
German journalist (public broadcasting) in D.C. says while he isn't eligible to vote in the U.S., he has received 3 mail-in ballots to his Washington address: 1 for previous tenant who moved out 5 years ago, 1 for landlord living in Puerto Rico, 1 for landlord's deceased husband. https://t.co/KYMks5PmBx
— Andreas Backhaus (@AndreasShrugged) October 11, 2020
Many politicians, media, and tech companies seem to be in a hurry to dismiss these problems.
Issues with mail-in ballots aren’t new or limited simply to ballots being sent to the wrong address.
For instance, the Public Interest Legal Foundation, an election integrity group, found that “32 million mail ballots effectively disappeared, went to the wrong house, or were rejected since 2012.”
Hans von Spakovsky, a senior legal fellow at The Heritage Foundation, wrote:
Taking into account the 2012, 2014, 2016, and 2018 federal general elections, 28.3 million mail ballots disappeared after officials gave them to the U.S. Postal Service. There are numerous problems to point fingers at and many explanations as to what happened to these ballots, but the bottom line is simple: Tens of millions of ballots were lost in the mail voting system on a scale not seen at polling places.
And we’ve seen other problems pop up this year.
National Public Radio reported that over 550,000 absentee ballots were rejected during the presidential primaries, far outstripping the numbers in 2016.
NPR noted that officials reject absentee ballots mostly because “required signatures are missing or don’t match the one on record.”
Election integrity is a serious matter.
Widespread fraud and electoral irregularities sent the 1876 presidential election into utter chaos and nearly plunged the United States into a second civil war.
Regardless of what happens Nov. 3 or in any other elections, our system relies on the American people’s faith in free and fair elections.
Americans should be concerned about the possibility of willful malice—or more commonly, mistakes and human error—in our elections. In these contentious times, electoral integrity should be a priority for state officials rather than an issue to be flippantly dismissed.
But given the many challenges in the mail-in voting system, the best way to ensure that your vote is counted is to show up and vote in person.
As Heritage Foundation President Kay Coles James says in a public service announcement:
In this year of chaos and disruptions to the electoral system, ensuring the integrity of our elections has never been more important, and the need for clear voices presenting the unvarnished facts has never been greater. Fortunately, every American can contribute to making sure this year’s elections advance the good of the nation and respect in our democratic process—voting in person.
Jarrett Stepman is a contributor to The Daily Signal and co-host of The Right Side of History podcast. Send an email to Jarrett. He is also the author of the new book, “The War on History: The Conspiracy to Rewrite America’s Past.” Twitter: @JarrettStepman.
A Note for our Readers:
Democratic Socialists say, “America should be more like socialist countries such as Sweden and Denmark.” And millions of young people believe them…
For years, “Democratic Socialists” have been growing a crop of followers that include students and young professionals. America’s future will be in their hands.
How are socialists deluding a whole generation? One of their most effective arguments is that “democratic socialism” is working in Scandinavian countries like Sweden and Norway. They claim these countries are “proof” that socialism will work for America. But they’re wrong. And it’s easy to explain why.
Our friends at The Heritage Foundation just published a new guide that provides three irrefutable facts that debunks these myths. For a limited time, they’re offering it to readers of The Daily Signal for free.
Get your free copy of “Why Democratic Socialists Can’t Legitimately Claim Sweden and Denmark as Success Stories” today and equip yourself with the facts you need to debunk these myths once and for all.
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