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Monday, Oct. 19, 2020

Troubled Waters

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Mail-in voting rife with potential for not being counted

So far, nine states and the District of Columbia plan to hold universal mail-in elections in which ballots are automatically mailed to all registered voters without needing first to request one. This presents a host of election fraud issues, insofar as mail-in ballots make voter identity suspect and are often uncheckable. Forgery is virtually impossible to identify. Detecting ballots received in the names of the dead or fictitious is extremely hard, especially if your state’s voter rolls are not accurate – and most states’ are not.

California, for example, has more voter registrations than people who live in the state. And just this year, Washington state election officials threw out almost 50,000 votes due to irregularities in the mail-in ballots that were filled out.

Then last year, in North Carolina, there was an illegal mail-in ballot scheme in a congressional race involving ballot harvesting, tampering with absentee ballots and a leak of early voting results. There was simply no way to know who actually won that race, so the entire election, including the primary, had to be re-done.

It’s estimated that 22% of mail-in votes go astray and never get counted. So, if mail-in voting ever reaches 80% across the country, for example, then 25 million ballots will be lost. These ballots will be overwhelmingly those of young and minority voters, which are overwhelmingly Democrat, by the way. But let’s come back to that point.

Voter turnout this year is expected to be 145 million, up from 133 million in 2016. But why, all of a sudden, is there an expected increase in voting in 2020?

Some might argue that it’s because more voters believe it “really matters” who wins the presidency this year. According to a Pew Research Center poll released this past August, a record 83% of voters — including 85% of Democrats, 86% of Republicans — say that it really matters.

Compare that to elections before the 2000 election between George W. Bush and Al Gore. At that time, only 50% of the voters thought that it mattered who won, versus 44% who believed that things would be pretty much the same, whoever won.

But suppose the predictions of historic voter turnout in 2020 turn out to be correct. What if it’s because such predictions have already factored in the millions of ballots that are being mailed automatically to inactive voters, many of whom have likely moved, died or never were eligible to vote in the first place? States rely on the parishes or counties to purge voter rolls, but millions of ineligible voters are still on the books today.

And before anyone says, even with millions of ineligible voters on the rolls, that universal mail-in voting makes it easier for the poor or the immigrant and minority groups to vote because there are no “voter identification” requirements at the polls, just hold up there and consider this:

Black voters in 2012 voted at a higher rate than whites for the first time in American history, according to a Census Bureau report. In 2008, 5.8 million more minorities voted, compared to the 2004 presidential elections.

And the Census Bureau just released a report in May on voter turnout in 2018 that shows black voter turnout grew by 27% and Hispanic increased by 50%. It seems like, according to the numbers, minorities aren’t experiencing nearly the obstacles to voting that the media repeatedly tell us.

Overall, voter turnout is rising, as well. Voter turnout for the 2018 mid-term elections surpassed 50% for the first time since 1982 – and that’s without any push from so many “blue” states to move to universal, mass mail-in ballots.

What’s ironic is that, while Democrats “champion” voting rights, including former President Obama, who supports making voting mandatory for everyone (by law), it’s the Democrats who are disenfranchising the minority vote by pushing for universal mail-in ballots.

In fact, NPR recently found that nearly a half-million mail-in ballots were rejected in 2020 primaries, and their analysis indicates that “voters of color and young voters are more likely than others to have their ballots not count.”

So, whatever voting demographic you may fit within, the bottom line is that voter fraud affects us all. It drives honest citizens out of the democratic process, and we all become disenfranchised – whatever our color, gender or socioeconomic status.

If confidence in the integrity of our electoral processes is essential to the functioning of our participatory democracy, then why are so many willing to diminish it and risk losing it altogether?

Louis R. Avallone is a Shreveport businessman, attorney and author of “Bright Spots, Big Country, What Makes America Great.” He is also a former aide to U.S. Representative Jim McCrery and editor of The Caddo Republican. His columns have appeared regularly in 318 Forum since 2007. Follow him on Facebook, on Twitter @louisravallone or by e-mail at louisavallone@mac.com, and on American Ground Radio at 101.7FM and 710 AM, weeknights from 6 - 7 p.m., and streaming live on keelnews.com.

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