HILL: Remote Voting Is An Existential Threat To Our Republic

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Harlan Hill Contributor
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Editor’s note: We endeavor to bring you the top voices on current events representing a range of perspectives. Below is a column arguing that remote voting is too susceptible to voter fraud to be a safe alternative to in-person voting. You can find a counterpoint here, where Charles Kolb argues that remote voting is a viable alternative to in-person voting in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

President Trump is right to denounce the dangerous idea of remote voting — which would only make it easier for Democrats to rig our elections.

Consistent with their undisguised desire to exploit the coronavirus pandemic for political gain, Democrats are enthusiastically supporting the idea of universal mail-in voting in this year’s presidential election. The president sees right through the ruse, and is warning Republicans to resist a scheme designed to put them at a disadvantage this November. 

“Republicans should fight very hard when it comes to statewide mail-in voting,” he tweeted. “Democrats are clamoring for it. Tremendous potential for voter fraud, and for whatever reason, doesn’t work out well for Republicans.”

Predictably, this prompted a flurry of attacks from the liberal media, many of whom acted deeply offended that President Trump would even dare to suggest that anyone might take advantage of weaknesses in the voting process to cast fraudulent ballots.

NBC News, for instance, wrote that “Trump pushes false claims about mail-in vote fraud,” insisting that the Democrats are only promoting the idea as a way “to ensure a safe election.” The New York Times published a similarly opinionated “news” report assuring readers that so-called “experts” are confident that mail-voting “can be conducted safely, despite Republican claims of corruption.” CNN, meanwhile, made a fuss over the fact that the president voted with an absentee ballot in Florida, ignoring the obvious differences between allowing absentee voting for those with legitimate excuses and universal mail-in balloting. 

We’ve come to expect this sort of reaction from the liberal press. The media only care about election fraud and interference when it advances their preferred narrative — they were happy to cover the story of a Republican candidate charged with using mail-in ballots to commit voter fraud last year, for instance, but now contend that there’s no danger in implementing the same vulnerable system nationwide. In reality, however, there are plenty of legitimate concerns about remote voting based on actual, demonstrated instances of fraud. 

In 2015, at least nine people in Texas were charged with “vote harvesting” involving manipulation of mail-in ballots. In New York, authorities uncovered an extensive voter-fraud scheme that led to felony convictions of several Democrat officials, including an operative who stole and fraudulently submitted absentee ballots. Remarkably, a voter in Pennsylvania managed to receive seven separate ballots after registering to vote seven times. The Heritage Foundation alone has documented more than 1,000 cases of voter fraud from around the country, including instances involving mail-in voting. 

Of course, those are only the cases in which people got caught — there is no way to truly know how many political operatives have gotten away with carrying out similar election fraud schemes in the past. Moreover, a vast majority of voters still cast their ballots on a voting machine at a polling place — and that’s what our electoral system is designed to handle. The sheer volume of mail-in ballots required for nationwide remote voting would undoubtedly overwhelm the resources available for safeguarding against fraud, creating far greater opportunity for malfeasance than currently exists. 

It’s tempting to view technology as a potential solution, but experience cautions against this approach, too — while voting through an app on your phone or computer might seem appealing at first, the risks of implementing such a system are astronomical. When the Democrats tried to implement a new phone app for tallying votes in the Iowa caucuses this year, it was such a spectacular failure that the official results weren’t known until after several other states had already finished their own primaries. 

President Trump is completely right to be suspicious of the Democrats’ enthusiasm for remote voting. The only conceivable reason for Democrats to support a system that is so vulnerable to fraud and abuse is that they intend to exploit those weaknesses for their own advantage — just as they’ve tried to exploit the coronavirus pandemic for political gain from the very beginning.

Harlan Hill is a political advisor, media commentator, and an advisory board member of the Donald J. Trump for President, Inc.