Voter Fraud Pales In Comparison To Voter Purges

I’m more concerned about voter rolls than mail-in ballots.

I’ve seen the rhetoric flying off the walls about voter fraud from a president who voted by mail in the last election. I’ve seen conservatives on Twitter posting news of voter fraud carried out by Democrats. I’ve replied to them with a few stirring examples of voter fraud carried out by Republicans. There are examples of voter fraud from both sides that can be recounted.

But as an article published by the Brennan Center For Justice notes, voter fraud relative to the total number of votes is infinitesimally small. To phrase it another way, the odds against voter fraud actually succeeding, is astronomically small.

I find President Trump to be at odds with the deep Red State of Utah as well. For all of his vitriol against mail-in ballots, I take some comfort in knowing that my entire state is going to run the election by mail-in ballot in November. Yes, there will be some polling places, but they are a fallback, not the primary method of voting. The state of Utah will employ many of the security measures mentioned in that Brennan Center for Justice article. Modern technology with database audits and physical security measures will ensure that my vote is counted.

So I really don’t see what the trouble with mail-in ballots is. I could only guess that Trump is very concerned with a high turnout. He’s said so himself, in so many words, that he wouldn’t want everyone to vote.

But this year, turnouts are hitting historic highs in many states. I’m seeing progressives like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez win primaries in New York with mail-in ballots. I’m seeing election results delayed a bit due to the mountains of mail-in ballots that are waiting to be counted. I’m beginning to believe that voting by mail is the safest way to vote.

Voting by mail allows us one more way to avoid the risk of infection with COVID. Voting by mail also allows us to bypass insecure voting machines and provides a paper trail that is more easily assessed by audit. Audits help to minimize voter fraud. Audits look for signatures, barcodes, and they use other tools used to verify that my vote is really my vote.

I notice also that progressives tend to fare better in elections when the vote is conducted by mail. Bernie Sanders won by a landslide with American citizens living overseas and voting by mail. He has not done so well in elections conducted with electronic voting machines. I have noticed that Trump and his allies are silent on this point.

We all want fair elections. I want a fair election. But I think that when it comes to fair elections, the hyperventilation over voter fraud is misplaced. If we really want to ensure that our elections are fair, we need to look at how the voter rolls are managed.

In 2016, I saw many stories of lifelong Democrats who wanted to vote for Bernie Sanders, only to find that they’re not on the list when they went to the polls. More than 100,000 voters were purged in New York alone back then. Investigative journalist Greg Palast has been following the voter purges over the years, and he has found that most of the purging has come at the expense of people of color.

Greg Palast is author of the NY Times bestsellers “Armed Madhouse” and “The Best Democracy Money Can Buy”. I became a fan in 2016 when I read his articles documenting the disturbing divergence between election results and exit poll results. In an interview with Lee Camp to promote his upcoming book, “How Trump Stole 2020”, Palast had this to say about what Trump has been doing to ensure he will win in November:

Now you have to understand, what do you care about this guy Mr. KKK? Mr. Kobach, he is Trump’s Vote Thief-in-Chief. Trump put him in charge of the so-called Voter Fraud Commission. Now, here’s the thing, people joke about this thing, think it’s all bullshit. Well, guess what? 1.1 million voters were removed named Rodriguez and Garcia and David Kim. They’re going after the Asian American voters now too. So this is the story of the book.

Wow. 1.1 million voters were removed from the voter rolls for having the same name in two different states? Palast has been doing a great public service by documenting the great purges of voters across America on behalf of the wealthy and the powerful. And don’t for a minute think that it’s just Republicans doing this. Democrats have been at it, too. They wouldn’t want Bernie Sanders to get a fair vote:

There’s a chapter called “The Silence of the Democratic Lambs” and you have to ask the question… For example, why didn’t Hillary Clinton scream about the 75,355 voters in in Detroit, African Americans and students basically, whose votes were not counted? Jill Stein of the Green Party paid for a so-called recount, but basically it was counting those votes that never got counted cause of broken machines. But Donald Trump went to court and said Jill Stein can’t have these ballots read, which would have given the state of Michigan to Hillary Clinton. He said ’cause she wasn’t the one who was shafted, it was Hillary Clinton [who had standing]. Hillary Clinton’s lawyers were in the courtroom, so the judge said, well, what does Secretary Clinton say? Do you want these ballots counted? And their lawyers said, we are just here to observe, which is of course was Hillary Clinton’s campaign theme.

Huh. How about that? Republicans didn’t want the votes to be read and counted, just like in Florida in 2000.

For all of my life, I’ve been told of the sanctity of the right to vote. I’ve been told to do my civic duty to vote. I’ve been told that democracy is the American Way. I’ve been told that our representatives have been elected fair and square, and now I see that there are factions in both major parties who would prefer to disenfranchise certain people from voting.

Verify your voter registration. Don’t wait until November. Check it as soon as you can to ensure that you’re registered with the party you want to be affiliated with. Check it again a few more times before the election. Most states allow you to verify your voter registration with the Secretary of State in your state. I check my voter registration from time to time to see that I’m still registered.

They say that the cost of freedom is eternal vigilance. Let’s be vigilant about our voter registration and verify it before the election.

Write on.

Husband, father, worker, philosopher, and observer. Plumbing the depths of consciousness to find the spring of happiness. Write on.

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