By Thomas R. Eddlem
There’s always at least some ballot fraud in an election, and while we’ve had very little evidence of any widespread ballot fraud in the US in recent years, there are some troubling trends in balloting and in media reaction to ballot vigilance that make ballot fraud much more likely going forward.
Shutting down the speech of those crying voter fraud (even if those claims are specious), or demanding candidates unquestioningly accept the results of elections before those elections have taken place, is an invitation to commit fraud without consequences for those committing the fraud.
Also, looser voting laws can make fraud easier.
The most secure ballot against fraud is a paper ballot on the day of the election, hand-counted, with opposition party observers in attendance. The next best is the old-style mechanical voting booths, also with observers from all parties at the polling place.
On the other hand, any voting system that’s electronic can be manipulated. Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying.
Moreover, any early voting process can be intercepted, because there won’t be the constant opposition party observers watching the balloting process which we have on Election Day balloting. History is full of examples of ballot boxes being stuffed with fake ballots, even sometimes on election day, and not just in banana republic dictatorships. Early voting only makes that incrementally easier.
Mail-in ballots can also be stuffed with fakes. Some of our Libertarian Party members have received more than one mail-in ballot this year from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, despite not even requesting a mail-in ballot.
One might counter that the military has been using absentee ballots for decades without major incidents. And it’s true that the military has been using mail-in ballots for decades. And there are sometimes practical reasons to use something other than paper/mechanical voting machine ballots on election day. The infirm sometimes can’t physically get to the voting booths on election day.
But there should be a good reason for deviating from the most secure method of balloting, paper and mechanical balloting on election day under observers, and America is plunging head-first into practices where ballot fraud will become much easier in the future.
It shouldn’t be that way. Voting rules need to be tightened up. The “it can’t happen here like it happens in Venezuela” will not hold out indefinitely when trillions of dollars are on the line with every election.
One might ask, in the post-COVID era: If someone had designed a program to commit voter fraud and get away with it, would the last three years be any different?