Surely, Jim Hurst must be joking about what he wrote in the News Press Voices section in the article entitled “Reasons for voting at the polls” (Nov. 22). Of course, his facts are wrong and his opinion is confused, to say the least.
No reputable elections official, no courts, no investigative agency has found even an iota of evidence that there was fraud or criminality in the conduct of the 2020 election. The president and Mr. Hurst seem unable to accept the reality of an election process where President Trump received about 9 million fewer votes than the winner and he earned fewer than 270 Electoral College votes, which confirms his loss.
In my life in New York, I spent time representing an election bureau and as private counsel have dealt with issues of ballot access, challenged voters, and post-election litigation. In all that time, I have never encountered an actual instance of fraud in the voting process.
Even where people lived in Florida and New York, and they could have attempted to vote in each state, it never occurred. Of course, there were minor irregularities, but nothing that could even approach the level of fraud.
I know it is terrible to lose an election. Getting rejected by the voters does not boost one’s ego. But the Trump campaign presupposes fraud would be a part of the election process. He said that in 2016 and now again in 2020.
Fabricating conspiracies may create doubt about an election result. It will not determine an election.
President Trump’s conspiracies have not been proven. They involve allegations, without any evidence, of vote dumping, vote changing, vote manipulation during the counting period.
The Trump campaign claims that suddenly a substantial lead turned into a substantial loss. Of course, it did. The voting machine votes were counted first. It was expected that election day votes would favor the President.
The mail-in ballots were counted after the machine voting process ended. It takes time to count the votes, and the process includes verifying compliance and signatures. There were a huge number of mail-in votes. There was no dumping. No vote changing, no vote manipulation.
Just the maniacal rantings of a sad man unable to accept the decision of the people.
In almost every court where President Trump filed a lawsuit challenging the election results, the common question to his lawyers by the courts was “prove it.”
President Trump’s lawyers either said they did not allege fraud, withdrew the cases, or the courts threw the cases out. So Mr. Hurst should not get his dander up. Accept reality.
But Mr. Hurst does not stop there. He said mail-in ballots pose a threat to the country. He said voters who vote by mail-in ballots have “no clue who or who they are really voting for.” Well obviously, Mr. Hurst could not know what each voter knows when he or she votes.
He demeans voters who vote by mail as lacking the “required energy to get up off the couch to go to a polling place.” Again, how does he know? Maybe they had the energy but wanted to vote without having to stand in the cold, heat, rain or snow during a deadly pandemic.
Mail-in ballots are sent to registered voters by mail in official envelopes. These ballots are not dumped on the side of the road for anyone to pick up and use.
Mr. Hurst says mail-in voters are influenced by Facebook, Twitter and the media. I assume that would mean those who voted for Joe Biden were badly influenced. He then demeans American education. He goes down the litany of liberal evils, ignoring the bolder wishes of the Republicans and President Trump to actually tamper with or destroy ballots legally cast. Mr. Hurst attributes to politicians the ability to manipulate the vote landslides for “candidates who detest the traditional American values and personal responsibility.”
Now, how silly can one man be.
The only man who apparently hates America is Donald Trump, who has manipulated the system designed to protect the country. He probably believes that Chinese and Venezuelan operatives came in the dead of night to individually mark fake ballots in favor of Biden. Mr. Hurst ignores the fact that several states are almost exclusively mail-in voting states with no significant fraudulent activity.
Citizenship and age are the only qualifications for voting. It has been that way since the founding of the republic.
Race was eliminated as a disqualification from voting after the Civil War. Women were given the right to vote in 1920, earlier in some states.
There is no requirement that a voter graduate from high school or hold a college degree. There is no special group of voters who are given the exclusive right to vote and all others too dumb, uneducated, or lazy to vote. Republicans have refined voter suppression to a fine art by means of requiring hard-to-get ID cards, limiting ballot drop offs, reducing polling locations, or otherwise making voting uncomfortable, difficult or deadly.
What mail-in voting prevents is racist suppression of the vote while increasing voting generally. It detaches the ability to challenge a vote on the basis of skin color of the voter. And it seems that the Republican attempt to eliminate votes from Milwaukee, Detroit and Philadelphia had black voters in its sights.
It is difficult for me to believe that Mr. Hurst’s cure for the problem is to end mail-in balloting. Mr. Hurst’s argument is the Republican argument of voter suppression rather than the easier the vote is the safer Democracy is.