Seldom does a day go by now without some sordid tale of November 3rd mail-in or absentee ballots being found in a dumpster, in a ditch, or piled up beside the mass mail receptacle for a large apartment complex. We also hear horror stories — like the one from New York during a primary election this cycle — of mailed ballots being rejected by the tens of thousands for various reasons: voter signatures not matching, parts of the ballot completed incorrectly or left blank, and even some postmarked after election day or not postmarked at all.
These do not even consider the raunchy cases of mass ballot-harvesting that have already been proven, the ballots completed and turned in by the dead or by other than those whose ballots are presented. And then there are the mass coordinated ballot thefts, like the one just discovered in Harris County, Texas (Houston) that could include as many as 700,000 fraudulent ballots before finalization.
Despite what Democrats tell us, voter fraud is real, is historical, and is widespread. And voter fraud has existed throughout our nation’s history.
Voter Fraud is Real?
Donald Trump was making modern political history even before his COVID-inspired stay at Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. By suggesting voter results could be fraudulent — and therefore invalid — the incumbent President was bombarding the historical election framework that, for more than 200 years, has eased the transition from one administration to another in the United States. There is no doubt Mr. Trump’s cries of voter fraud have been epic in number, constant, and LOUD!
Democrats and others on the Left have been just as insistent (and just as loud) in response to the President. They in unity proclaim that “there is no proof of any voter fraud! Even President Obama said that voter fraud in the American election system is impossible!” Yet, more than 300 voter fraud cases during the Obama eight-years have been investigated, documented, and prosecutions of the guilty took place.
So much for that Obama Administration “scandal-free” claim that Obama quietly stopped proclaiming in the past few months. I wonder why?
There has been nothing like Trump’s 2020 incessant shouts of voter fraud in living memory — other than Trump’s allegations of voter fraud after his 2016 win. But the United States certainly does have a history of messy politics — electoral fraud was as American as apple pie throughout the 19th and into the early 20th century. Since then it has been much less corrupt than it was before the 1920s. Ballot stuffing, repeat voting, Election Day violence, and the intimidation of entire populations were all familiar measures used in the bad old days, especially when racial issues were in dispute.
Take the election of 1876. The outgoing Republican president, Ulysses S. Grant, was surrounded by dirty politicians and bribe-takers. White Southerners were on fire with resentment for a decade over the fact that their ex-slaves that were freed by the Civil War results were allowed to vote. Some of them had even become politicians! Federal army forces stationed in the South protected these racially mixed groups against white terrorists like the Ku Klux Klan.
The Republican presidential candidate of 1876, Rutherford B. Hayes was a Union hero of the Civil War and was the governor of Ohio. His Democratic opponent Samuel Tilden had been a pro-Union Democrat in the 1860s and was now governor of New York. Both candidates had a reputation for honesty and for favoring good-government reforms. Nevertheless, they got caught up in what has been remembered ever since as the Corrupt Bargain of ’77.
Shortly after the election, the Electoral College declared that Tilden was just one vote short of the 185 he needed for victory. Hayes had only 165. Tilden also had a clear majority of the popular vote. However, in three Southern states — Florida, South Carolina, and Louisiana — both parties claimed victory and both asserted their right to the crucial 20 Electoral College votes that had not yet been included in the totals.
A commission made up of congressmen, senators, and Supreme Court justices tried to break the deadlock. It had one more Republican member than Democrat, which enabled it (voting on straight party lines) to give all the contested votes to Hayes. That made him the winner by just one: 185 to 184. Not until March 1, 1877, was the result finally announced, five months after Election Day. Are we looking at what might happen in 2020?
The white Southern Democrats might have lost the White House but they amped-up their power at home, restoring white-only rule, intimidating black voters, and legislating in favor of racial segregation. They called themselves “the Redeemers,” and claimed to be rescuing their states from barbarism, while actually creating a society built on exclusion, intimidation, and lynching. For a few years, black lives had mattered, but now they were sacrificed to the needs of party politics. Not until the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s, nearly a century later, did it become possible once more for African Americans to vote and to run for electoral office in the South.
President Hayes enjoyed just one term as president, during which running water and the first telephone was installed in the White House. His wife, Lucy, was a non-drinker, and the couple served no alcohol at official functions. One disappointed visitor to a presidential reception wrote later: “The water flowed like champagne.”
A group of northern Democrats, still sore at being cheated, created the “Potter committee,” named after its chairman Clarkson Nott Potter, to investigate election corruption in 1876. Telegrams were to the 1870s what emails are to the 2020s and the committee read hundreds of them, sent by party operatives during the 1876 campaign, usually in code. Unfortunately, the decoded telegrams disclosed widespread bribery of election officials — mostly by the Democrats — making it difficult for them to claim that they occupied the moral high ground.
Elections in the 1870s were very different from those of today. The turnout in 1876 was a whopping 80 percent and it was preceded by months of campaign parades, big public dinners, and speeches that often lasted well over an hour. Candidates had to speak with enough power, without microphones, that audiences in their thousands could hear them.
When it was time to vote, the ritual was as public as the campaigning. Voters who identified with a particular party would step forward holding brightly-colored tickets, showing their party affiliation, and place them in the ballot box in front of hundreds of onlookers. In those days, men who had bribed voters could be certain that they were getting value for money. Not until the 1890s would the secret ballot come along, dismaying many of those who witnessed earlier elections. The drama diminished in addition to the massive number of types of voter fraud.
Our Representative Republic depends on an honest count of the votes. Losers should certainly leave gracefully, while winners must promise that they will observe the rules when their terms end. Fraudulent elections, by contrast, endanger the nation itself, and, as the events of 1876 show, they can have horrible consequences that last decades into the future.
I’d certainly like to be grandiose and generous to President Trump and say that his chief concern in 2020 voter fraud is solely to assure our children and grandchildren that America’s historically ethical election system is pure and without scourge. Therefore it will continue into the future.
But I think President Trump wants to be “President” Trump for four more years!
That’s just my opinion. But, after all, shouldn’t election results be based solely on the final count of every vote cast in any election? Isn’t it appropriate for any American — not just President Trump — to demand that our government assure us all that every legal vote will be cast and that every vote cast will be legal?
Hey: there is no way for me to know the content of President Trump’s heart. Nancy Pelosi nor Chuck Schumer can possibly know its content either. But, in this case, the reason for the President’s howls about voter fraud seems to more and more each day be cries against real illegalities that are revealed regularly!
I hate to rub mud in the eys of any Trump-haters, but isn’t he as President supposed to make certain that all three branches of government are busy making certain the Peoples’ business is carried out within the exact parameters written in the U.S. Constitution?
“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
Even if a portion (or even in entirety) Mr. Trump is howling about voter fraud is to protect his serving a second term in office, isn’t he supposed to go after any voter fraud anyway?
And, God knows, there’s a bunch of it going on!