There is a huge hew and cry going up from the Left. It is critical of President Trump. This time the concern he raises is about elections conducted by mail. Thank you to Hans Spakovsky and the Heritage Foundation for their work.
The presidential comment went like this; we need absentee ballots for those unable to get to the polls. Those groups include senior citizens, military and others. But, the president is correct to worry about elections entirely by mail. Here’s why.
Absentee ballots are the tools of choice of election fraudsters. They are cast outside the supervision of election officials. This makes it easier to steal, forge, or alter them. It also makes intimidation of voters invisible because no one will be there to see it.
Going entirely to mail-in elections unwisely endangers the security and integrity of the election process. Think about it. What happens if officials automatically mail absentee ballots to all registered voters? How many move or die annually? How often are the voter rolls receiving a scrubbing clean?
Is there evidence upon which to base the concern?
Has there been any case brought which have found more people on the rolls than there are eligible voters in the jurisdiction? How can we know the person on the checklist is the person filling out the ballot without a signed, authenticated request from each voter?
Voter registration rolls are notoriously inaccurate and out of date. They contain the names of voters who die, move, or otherwise have become ineligible. That is what the design of the current process defends against. What happens when thousands of ballots arrive in the mail for individuals no longer residing at a registered address? The risk of those ballots being stolen and voted is high.
Leftists in our state, in this nation and internationally, are pushing that very process. The Pelosi coronavirus bill which she tried to pass forces states to mail absentee ballots to all voters on the checklist. It was he attempt to further federalize elections. The Democrats just want to put stacks of ballots out rather than allowing states to require a signed, absentee ballot request form. It is an attempt to eliminate authentication by election officials before a ballot is sent to the voter.
Judicial Watch… California… North Carolina
The problem, the opportunity for fraud this could cause is illustrated by Judicial Watch’s settlement. Los Angeles and the state of California did not maintain the accuracy of their voter registration rolls. The state and LA agreed to remove 1.5 million individuals from the checklist. They were remaining on registration rolls even though they no longer were eligible to vote. What happens if 1.5 million ballots were simply mailed out to all of those individuals at addresses where they no longer live?
Ballots are a valuable commodity. How many would have been voted anyway by fraudsters? Why do you thing vote harvesters have been collecting absentee ballots in neighborhoods throughout Los Angeles? And look at what happened in North Carolina in 2018. In the 9th Congressional District race, the result was overturned by the state election board. Why? Because of illegal vote harvesting including altering and forging absentee ballots.
The Oregon experience
All-mail jurisdictions such as Oregon brag about the supposed “security” of their systems. In point of fact, their security consists of a rapid, superficial signature comparison. Melody Rose, an assistant professor of political science at Portland State University spoke with the Los Angeles Times. She said, “I don’t have much faith in that process. I can forge my husband’s signature perfectly.”
Rose conducted a survey of one county, Washington County, outside Portland. Five percent of registered voters admitted other people marked their ballots. Two-point four percent said someone else signed their ballots. Rose suspects the actual number was higher. She observes most people would not want to admit to being party to a crime. What this means is tens of thousands of mail-in ballots are being cast in Oregon by individuals other than the registered voter.
Trump was also right when he said we need voter ID laws. They are a basic security measure in voting. Those who say there is no election fraud in the U.S. we need to be concerned about. Well, they are wrong and the president is right.
The U.S. Supreme Court said in 2008 in it upheld Indiana’s voter ID law: flagrant examples of such fraud … have been documented throughout this Nation’s history by respected historians and journalists [including] Indiana’s own experience with fraudulent voting in the 2003 Democratic primary for East Chicago Mayor … demonstrate that not only is the risk of voter fraud real, but that it could affect the outcome of a close election.
The Heritage Foundation’s Election Fraud Database documents almost 1,300 proven instances of fraud. This includes numerous cases of absentee ballot fraud. That fraud often targets the most vulnerable voters, including the elderly and the poor. The most recent batch of cases adds to the database emphasizing that the president’s concern over election integrity is valid.
For example, Richard Davis was convicted of a felony in California. His offense, registering his four dogs to vote as Democrats over a four-year period. Davis said his goal was to draw attention to the flawed voter registration system in his state. He did notify the local district attorney’s office of what he was doing. He disregarded several warnings to stop those false registrations. But Davis continues by registering his dead father too. The gentleman faces charges and actually pled guilty to voter registration fraud.
He never submitted a fraudulent vote. He could have done so easily using absentee ballots. If he hadn’t told officials what he was doing it would have worked. His “signature” for his dogs would have been a match on all of the forms. Presto an extra 5 votes cast by Mr. Davis.
Then there’s Gustavo Araujo Lerma. Mr. Lerma is an illegal alien from Mexico. He voted multiple times in elections in Sacramento, California, under a false identity.
Norman Hall of L.A. was part of a scheme with eight other individuals involving the homeless on Skid Row. The Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office said they were able to solicit hundreds of false and/or to forge signatures. They were on state ballot petitions and voter registration forms.
The scam works by offering homeless people $1 and/or cigarettes for their participation. The ballot petitions include calling for reducing jail time, changing the authority of the sheriff’s office, and increasing taxes on millionaires and other business owners.
Jentry and Bradley Jasperson forged the signatures of voters for a referendum initiative. They were each paid $5 per signature.
In another case Frank Rabia, a City Council candidate in Hoboken, New Jersey, bribed voters. He offers $50 payments for mail-in ballots to support his candidacy. Heritage’s Election Fraud Database has more than 60 instances of vote-buying. Attempting to buy votes or signatures undermines our electoral system.
Purchasing votes is much easier with absentee or mail-in ballots. The purchaser can see the voter’s absentee ballot in the voter’s home. The buyer ensures getting the result they pay for. A purchaser can’t do that when a voter goes into the privacy of a voting booth.
In Espanola, New Mexico Laura Seeds and Dyon Herrera falsified absentee ballots. They did so in favor of Seeds’ husband, a Democratic candidate for City Council. This is the same state where a lawsuit is seeking to require election officials to automatically mail absentee ballots to all voters on the checklist in the upcoming election.
The Public Interest Legal Foundation points out in an amicus brief. It found more than 3,000 individuals with multiple registrations in New Mexico. Almost 1,700 registrants are dead. About 1,500 voters are 100 years old or above. Sixty-four of them are over 120 years old. Almost 200 individuals have registrations at commercial rather than residential addresses. All of these voters would receive ballots automatically if the lawsuit were successful.
Wrapping it up
These cases demonstrate election fraud does occur. When it does it compromises the integrity of our electoral process. Not even the coronavirus can stop the upcoming presidential election. The 2020 primaries are essentially over.
Soon the general election will be upon us. States should be doing everything they can to help everyone who is eligible to vote to do so. That does not mean casting aside the safeguards in place to prevent elections from being stolen or compromised. We must remain vigilant against administrative errors and fraud.