Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Ignore Calls to "Vote By Mail." The Case For Voting In Person

I am tired of seeing this graphic on my Facebook page. I find it weird that many public officials and organizations consistently push "vote by mail" but also fret that many votes will not be counted because of errors by the postal service (1-3 percent of ballots are lost in the mail) but especially by the voters themselves. Seems a lot of people are incapable of following directions written at a 6th-grade level, or lower.

I have a suggestion. If you want to make sure that your vote counts, securely as possible, vote in person. This is not rocket science.

Need a ride to your polling station? No problem. Scores of organizations and political parties will be glad to help you. Heck, if you live in zip code 19073, you can Facebook messenger me, no matter your party affiliation and voting preference, and I'll be honored to drive you to the polling station. Seriously. Unlike a Democratic friend told my wife recently - "don't vote" - I want everyone to be able to exercise their civic duty.

It's a fact that 37,000 mail-in ballots were rejected in our Commonwealth's primary election on June 2nd, which took several weeks to count due to overwhelmed county election offices. Trump won Pennsylvania in 2016 by 44,000 votes. More than 500,000 absentee ballots were rejected nationally in primary elections this year. I have personally experienced my ballot being rejected on one past occasion because it arrived "too late." I've also applied for an absentee ballot that never arrived. Not this election.

A majority of the Pennsylvania State Supreme Court - each of whom is a popularly elected partisan - gave Democrats almost everything they wanted, from extended deadlines for the receipt of mail-in ballots (3 days after the election - some states provided even more time), allowing that signatures need not be included for verification purposes, and even requiring the counting of mail ballots days after the election but not postmarked. Since many Pennsylvania counties are now providing pre-paid return postage, the US Postal Service typically doesn't postmark those, according to Republicans on the House Judiciary and Homeland Security Committees. What could possibly go wrong?

There's one thing that Pennsylvania's Supreme Court didn't give Democrats - the ability to count "naked ballots." Those are ballots that are not placed in a security envelope that is then placed in the mailing envelope sent to county election officials. That, of course, is designed to protect your "secret" ballot. But the Commonwealth's law is so clear, even the court could not allow those to be counted. Of course, Democrats are upset and promise post-election chaos.

As good and prepared as the USPS may be, do not trust voting by mail unless you must, due to travel, or medical reasons. How about scores of "drop boxes" being installed, often subsidized by nonprofit organizations? At least federal law protects USPS mailboxes. Who regulates and monitors these privately-subsidized drop boxes? How will they enforce laws against "ballot harvesting" (collecting and depositing mail-in ballots on behalf of many people) at such boxes?

Some so-called election experts and the media claim, reflexively, that voter fraud is not "widespread." That's because they're not looking. Ballot fraud is hard to catch and harder to prosecute. But it does happen. The Heritage Foundation has chronicled over 1,200 cases of voter fraud in recent years across the United States. And they call that a "sampling."

And for the record, primary elections in WI and MA, among other states, demonstrate that there is no evidence of COVID spread from voting in person.

If you do not vote, there is a chance your vote could be cast by others. It happens. Why do you think hundreds of people who've been dead since 2004 are still voting in places like New York, Philadelphia, and Chicago? The opportunities to cheat are enormous. In all, there are nearly 350,000 deceased persons still on voter rolls in 42 states and thousands of them have voted, according to this new study.

Even though one of our sons is registered in Colorado, he's still showing up (and receiving mail) as registered in PA (PA's fault for failing to follow Sec. 8 of the 1993 National Voter Registration Act). I could literally show up and vote for him if I wanted to cheat. For the record, I will NOT do that.

It reminds me of something the late, great Governor of New Jersey, Brendan Byrne, once said. "When I die, I want to be buried in Hudson County, so I can remain active in politics." This is not a new phenomenon.

Vote in person, no matter your party or preference. Please.

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