As the 2020 election approaches, the type of mandatory national mail-in election that has been promoted by leftist operatives looks less feasible, less reliable and less necessary. But some states are pushing ahead with their risky mail-in plans regardless.
COVID-19 infection rates have dropped 80% from their high point months ago when leftists first tried to mandate a national mail-in election as part of the stimulus package. Dr. Anthony Fauci said earlier this month that “there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be able to vote in person,” assuming people wear masks and obey social distancing rules. Voting would be no more dangerous for most people than going to a supermarket. And we have seen people without a hint of irony protest in person against voting in person, undercutting their message simply by showing up.
Nevertheless, an estimated 96 million ballots will be sent through the mail this year, the largest number in history. This will present tremendous opportunities for fraud, through unregulated ballot harvesting, forgery, intimidation and threats, as well as collecting then discarding ballots from opposition strongholds.
Many of these ballots will not be requested by voters but mailed out automatically to everyone on the voter rolls, as is happening in California. Judicial Watch has already exposed the problems with out-of-date lists and phantom voters, with 1.6 million ineligible voters on the lists in Los Angeles County alone. We also discovered two million extra names in Pennsylvania and North Carolina, competitive states where the election results will be critical. Meanwhile a Norwalk, CA, man was arrested and for voting three times as his dead mother, in addition to casting his own vote. His effort seems quaint when stacked against the storm surge of illegal ballots that could be cast in 2020.
Patterson, NJ, has become the poster-city for the problem of election fraud. Last May, the mail-in municipal elections in the Garden State’s third largest city were so tainted by fraud that a judge ordered a do-over election in November. Can you imagine similar circumstances across cities and states nationwide, with a patchwork of judicial decisions affecting the outcome of the race? Consider the consequences of stymieing the meeting of the electoral college, delaying the results of the vote and potentially handing power to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. Harvard Law Professor Laurence Tribe has already floated this fantasy outcome, so it’s not beyond progressive ambitions. Meanwhile, the Trump campaign is suing New Jersey over Governor Philip Murphy’s edict that all 6.3 million 2020 ballots be mailed in, because it worked so well in Patterson.
We have already seen the extent of problems that can arise through using mail-in ballots even absent corruption and ill intent. During the 2020 primary season, over 500,000 ballots were rejected across 23 states, and nearly a quarter of these in key battleground states. The rejections were due to “missed delivery deadlines, inadvertent mistakes and uneven enforcement of the rules,” as well as voter error. Given the potential for narrow margins in battleground states, this level of rejection is a direct threat to the integrity of the election. And having a free, fair and legitimate election outcome is vital when one party is wargaming scenarios that could lead to secession and civil war over a disputed count. This is the 2020 version of the Democrats’ anti-Trump “insurance policy,” though when they are threatening to split off the left coast of the country, one is tempted to ask, why wait until November?
Mail-in voter fraud was a problem in the original Civil War as well. The Washington Post ran an interesting feature article on a plot to rig the mail-in ballots of Union servicemen during the 1864 election. The plotters set up a virtual assembly line to put forged names and signatures on otherwise official New York ballots, seeking to swing the vote away from President Lincoln and to his challenger, George McClellan. Crates of phony ballots were sent back to New York, ostensibly from soldiers, though they did not know ballots were being cast in their name, and some of them were deceased. But as one of the conspirators quipped, “Dead or alive, they all had cast a good vote.” However, poll checker Oliver Wood infiltrated and then reported the fraud scheme. The perpetrators were rounded up and tried, and the ringleaders got life in prison for attempting to corrupt the election. Sounds like a useful precedent.
Chris Farrell is director of investigations and research for Judicial Watch, a nonprofit government watchdog. He is a former military intelligence officer.