by Jay DeLancey and Jeff Davidson
The suppression of citizens’ voting rights is unmistakable, widespread, and constant, and both voter suppression and voter fraud are real and of enormous magnitude, as we saw in 2020 and 2022. Nowhere is this more evident than with absentee ballots. Who, in any voting precinct, literally visits the homes of voters who filed absentee ballots to ensure that they are out of town?
Even among those who have a legitimate quest to vote by absentee ballot, who can assure that their vote is counted properly and tallied accurately? The absentee ballot initiative started as a viable effort to increase the ability of qualified citizens to vote, but has now become into a primary tool of manipulation.
Our system begs for transparency at all points along the election process. Who can vote, who did vote, how did they vote, and what was the tally? The more we can see, the fairer the elections are likely to be. The less we can see, the greater the likelihood that fraud will occur. Centralized absentee ballot collection is exactly the opposite of local voting in a precinct where there’s a decent chance that those with whom you register or those alongside with whom who vote are your neighbors.
Local Rule Matters
The local voting precinct is better positioned to spot perpetrators of voter fraud. Local poll workers on the scene are better able to assess if you are not the person you claim to be. They will tell you to leave, but that’s all they can do and all the law allows.
They can’t retain someone and hold them until authorities arrive, even in the case of blatant voter impersonation. Why? Because in the 1960s, to safeguard the voting capability of those who had been disenfranchised, laws were passed to reduce the incidence of intimidation, accusation, and retention.
Those times have long passed, and now we need ways of ensuring that qualified voters’ civil rights are upheld. Every time an unqualified voter is allowed to cast a vote, it demeans and diminishes the rights of all citizens. As such, voter fraud is the civil rights crisis of our time.
Voter Fraud? Never!
If you hear from anyone or from any group that voter fraud does not exist, or that it’s minimal and inconsequential, rest assured most of these proponents believe they are in the right. As long as you vote for their candidate, they’re content to ignore the possibility, let alone the magnitude, of voter fraud that actually occurs, year after year, election after election, across the U.S. They know they are “right,” so why forsake their ironclad view that voter integrity groups are secretly voter suppression groups?
We’re continually asked, how do you know that voter fraud exists? We have case histories, anecdotes, cross tabulated data, eyewitness testimony, and much more. Voter fraud is real and rampant. Yet, we will routinely encounter some academic, usually from some law school, saying, “The science is settled on this. Voter fraud is a myth.”
Professors will make proclamations from on high declaring that few people ever engage in voter fraud. Such professors are people of influence, they teach students, write papers, give lectures, attend symposiums, and spew authoritative misinformation. Cognizant or not, the damage that they do to society is ongoing and significant.
Against the Tide
“The science was settled” in the early 1500s, that the sun rotated around the earth. Copernicus and other brave souls risked death to proclaim that earth was not the center of the universe as we knew it, or even our solar system.
We swim against the tide of what was launched in the 1960s but today has morphed into a mortal threat to democracy. The challenge we all face is to guarantee transparency in elections so that everyone can see the results and, more importantly, accept the results when their candidate does not win.
Jay Delancey is founder and president of the North Carolina Voter Integrity Project