Any kind of voting looks suspect, if there aren’t enough people on your side to vote you in. Trump is a dangerous, wounded beast right now – he’s liable to say and do anything to keep his base on side and suppress any other votes he possibly can.
Trump has made endless false claims about voter fraud, and even suggested holding off the election “till it’s safe” – till it’s safe for him, that is. As the health and economy of the country have tanked on his watch (and in part resulting from his flagrant idiocy), he is less and less likely to win reelection – which is quite a rebuke for incumbents. He can’t handle the idea that this fate could befall him, despite the widespread, thoroughgoing, cross-cultural, cross-party, fervent efforts to ensure it does. (I’m so ready for the befalling!)
So he and his lovestruck mouthpiece Hannity – after talking about mail vote fraud for months – now even say in-person voting is suspect. Trump promises to send police to polling places.
That’s the only tool they have – they are not experts on who’s allowed to vote, they don’t have the voter rolls, their ONLY tool is profiling. Who? Hispanics, Blacks, anyone not a white male.
Voting against Trump? Your vote is at risk
Voting While Black. Voting While Hispanic. Voting while poor, or non-binary, or voting by a person with a disability. (Remember Trump’s reprehensible parody of a reporter who had a disability during the 2016 campaign? I still don’t understand how his campaign did not END in that instant.) Anyway, the list of at-risk voting continues: Voting while elderly. Voting while in a covid risk category. Voting from overseas. Voting by absentee ballot, voting by universal mail-in ballot, voting after you’ve automatically received a form from your state to register to vote. Voting in person. Voting while sane will be the next target.
The conservative Heritage Institute has amassed a database of around 1,200 cases of voter fraud. Oh my gosh, 1,200! That’s a lot of voter fraud, right? Trouble is, this 1,200 is the grand total across FOUR DECADES! That averages to about 30 per year, and includes really small-potatoes stuff. But even if all 1,200 were concentrated in one year in one jurisdiction, they would not have swung one state in a single presidential election.
On mail-in voting, there are checks on signatures and bar codes that prevent double-voting, much less fraud on a scale big enough to swing the election. (Another source on the gross exaggeration of vote fraud)
Here’s an analogy:
What do election boards do?
Votes have always been rejected for being late, for being provisional and the election’s board can’t be sure it’s legit, for being mis-marked (remember the infamous chads?) Fraud has been prosecuted – see the Heritage report for details – so Trump’s repeated and unsubstantiated assertions that MASS fraud would go undetected is demonstrably false. Our elections boards are not mindlessly tallying votes without checks and balances.
In fact, more mail-in ballots are rejected than in-person ones (for omitted signatures, missing a deadline, or not having a postmark, among other things. And we don’t yet know the effect of Trump’s attempts to seed the US Post Office with his buddy). Given the likelihood of chaos and a potential “red mirage” with the increase in mail ballots, combined with underfunded state elections boards, we’ve got to do all we can to get our votes in and counted.
So, if you can:
- Vote in person – early or on the day
- Call voters (VICTORY 2020, BADASS BABES FOR BIDEN/HARRIS)
- Turn in your ballot in person
- Track your ballot’s status on your state elections board website
- Help neighbors or relatives get their votes in or get to the polling stations
- Volunteer at the polls (POLL WORKER VOLUNTEERS)
- Join League of Women Voters (my mom was a big participant!)
- Join Fair Fight (Stacy Abrams!!! Love her! Woulda been a helluva VEEP.)
- Check out the Brennan Center, which fights voter suppression
- Check out other sources (Wikipedia, Time magazine, ACLU, Isabel Wilkerson’s explosive new book, Caste, Demand The Vote, Facebook’s Zuckerberg – no paragon of the left – putting up $300m on this issue) to see how voter suppression’s history has affected our democracy. It has been flagrantly, fiercely and cruelly used primarily against Black people to minimize their voices. The last twenty years have seen a terrible resurgence of these techniques.
You believe in democracy, or you wouldn’t be reading my blog. I hope this gives you some ideas on how to get involved!
And why is Trump so worried about mail voting fraud but so blissfully unconcerned about Russia’s attempt to use social media to influence the elections? And why has he pressured the Census Bureau to speed up both the decennial count (with its importance for apportioning representation across the country) as well as the Bureau’s own checks and balances? If Trump had Americans’ interests at heart, it would have shown up by now. He just wants to win and he doesn’t care what it costs.