The For the People Act Is Not For The People At All
We hear it all the time. It has become a sort of "mantra of democracy." In fact, you heard it repeatedly from those in support of H.R. 1. It goes something like this:
"One person, one vote."
Unfortunately, that is where the agreement ends between those on the left and those on the right. Which now brings H.R. 1 to the forefront of a fight to redefine American voting and politics in general. Yet, lost in all of this cacophony is a simple truth, if you cannot ensure that each person only gets one vote, or that their vote is not invalidated by allowing someone to vote who should not, then you have already broken this mantra.
What I find incredibly sad is that this should be a subject upon which we all agree. Yet it is not, and the why is what infuriates me.
I would be all for a national voting integrity bill that updated voting machines, ensured a closed circuit tamper proof network, required an electronic sign in with ID verification that displays across ALL networks in all states, and ensures that all votes are 100% auditable. I would think anyone would be for these things, yet, they are not, and it perplexes me.
H.R. 1 extended mail in voting, a voting type that is banned completely in most modern Democratic countries for its inherent vulnerability to fraud, extended early voting, and increased access to same day voter registration as well as third party voter registration.
In other words, this proposal left the door wide open for so many different types of fraud that no one could ever be certain again that the most recent election was valid and authentic. Even if no fraud occurred, the results would be so difficult to audit, as we are now seeing, that instead of a one week audit of a regimented and simplistic report, we have months spent on differentiating various ballots.
All of this is due to one thing and one thing alone, the specter of fraud which was brought about by all of the irregularities that occurred in the last election.
So, it is time for a little Truth in Advertising. I do not even believe that paper ballots should be accepted, and if they must be, then they should be scantron style forms that take all of the human influence factors out of the mix. The less hands that handle the ballots the better, yet the more eyes that watch every step of the process and transportation thereof the better.
Yes, eyes good, hands bad. It is such an elementary thought that a first year Poli-Sci student should be able to write you a five page paper on it off the top of their head. Unless, of course, they had a reason to want to make the election results as muddy as possible...
So what would someone gain from doing so? Well first, you could have any result and have it be virtually unquestionable. Not because there are not questions, but because there is no way to truthfully and accurately answer those questions in a timely enough fashion to make a difference to the result.
Second, by muddying the results someone could essentially make a mandate out of anything. because we cannot ever know for sure how many people TRULY voted which way, one could claim a political mandate by using any semi-reasonable permutation of the numbers and no one can tell them that they are wrong. After all, you cannot audit it in a timely enough fashion to do so.
Yet all of this is before we even enter into the horribly dark forest of actual voter fraud and changing the outcome of an election. Those results range from mild annoyance at the city level to full scale violent revolts at the national one. It is something we should not even risk dallying with.
Yes, that is right, we should avoid every appearance of fraud in any and all forms simply BECAUSE the consequences are so high. Everything should be so completely transparent that anyone with a high school diploma should be able to walk in, see the reports, look at the ballots, and come to the conclusion on their own that everything was on the up and up. That is how you keep faith in the democratic process, not by saying, "trust us."
**NEWSFLASH** - Government Officials, no one trusts you, no matter how many times you say, "trust us."
Yet this act also has another assault on voting integrity. By increasing access to dropped ballots and mail in voting, what they are doing is opening the door to ballot harvesters who are essentially hired political fixers who are able to carry out their political bias with almost impunity.
I do not want conservative ballot harvesters and I do not want liberal ballot harvesters.
If someone does not want to vote, it should not be the job of a professional, or even a volunteer, to take a ballot to them and then drive it to a drop off point.
Here is the thing, can you verify that another harvester did not already get them? What if a conservative ballot harvester got there and convinced them to vote for Trump and then a liberal ballot harvester got there and convinced them to vote for Biden? That's one person, but two votes, and what if they are both conservative or liberal and the person votes twice? Does that not harm the numbers? How would the harvester know that they had already voted? They are relying on the honesty of the person and given the confusion and mental health issues in our country as well as the vulnerability of the older population, this can be a plentiful and ripe field for fraudulent behavior, even inadvertently.
Yet it gets better. I recently had an argument with a friend of mine who said that the ballot harvesting was necessary to get the homeless to vote because they cannot get to the polls and many of them do not have an ID to vote.
Ok, I will try to be nice here, but with over thirty years of experience in social services, the homeless people who are competent enough to vote are also the ones who carry ID and who can register to vote. All they have to do is be living in a shelter which counts as a permanent address (I know, because I filled out the residency affidavits for our new shelter residents every election).
A homeless camp can contain a dozen to a hundred people, and if a ballot harvester just shows up with water bottles and ballots, they can get everyone there to fill out a ballot, and with no coordination, how do we know that next week someone else will not be at the same spot? Do you think they will turn down free water, or anything else for that matter, when all they are being asked to do is fill out a paper that they could not care less about?
Yet my friend attempted to argue that by not doing so, we are disenfranchising them and keeping them from voting.
No, we are not. We are maintaining the integrity of our voting system, and if those persons do not care enough to vote, then that is something that we should not be forcing or coercing them to do.
Then, you also have ballot harvesting happening in camps of illegal immigrants. Since they are not being checked against a registered signature and ID signature, we have no way to catch them and remove them. Every single one of them who votes nullifies a legal vote no matter which side they vote for.
Oh, and lest we forget, H.R. 1 even more greatly restricts the ability of a state, county, or city to remove people from its voting rolls. Why is that important? Well in the case of dead people, it should be apparent, but what about those who have moved? One way that cities clean up voter rolls is by removing anyone who had a change of address filed with the post office more than a year ago who did not file a second change moving back into the city. Ditto a county. This means that the voter cannot vote in their new municipality and also then go back and vote in their previous one.
Do you not think they will do it? They firebombed cities and took over entire sections of those same cities. If you think voting in two districts in beneath them, then you do not understand their fervor.
So, you remove dead people, which should not be a problem anymore since we now have instantaneous reporting of death AND cause of death leading to furnished death certificate. The reason this was an issue in the past was improper reporting sometimes led to people being removed who were not, in fact, dead.
You also remove people who moved out of the voting area. I honestly do not see what is wrong with this. If you did not file the paperwork upon returning to the city to register again, that is no one's fault but your own. To claim that you should be able to walk in to a polling site, simply state your name, and be handed a ballot to vote is preposterous on an unimaginable level.
One person, one vote, is a worthless saying unless we are willing to actually ensure that it is true.
The requirements are not all that stringent:
- Be legally eligible to vote.
- Be mentally competent to vote.
- Register to vote in your county of residence and be prepared to prove identity and address.
- Show up on a voting day (early or not) and cast your ballot.
Honestly, in exchange for the right to choose our leadership without armed revolt, this is an incredibly small price to pay.
Voting is a responsibility as well as a right. If you do not take care of the responsibility part, you do not get to participate in the right part. It is no different than a driver's license or other state sanctioned responsibility.
Except in one way, it is far, FAR more important to get it right.