Suffering yet another empty argument about suffrage
Well, the issue of voter fraud has come around again. Happens every election year, like clockwork. This time the issue is absentee ballots. Due to the current pandemic, liberal leaders have suggested that everyone should automatically be registered to vote absentee. Conservative leaders have rejected this idea as an open door to voter fraud.
The strange part is, both parties seem to agree on one point. Both seem to believe that the Republican Party cannot possibly win the election if this suggestion should take root. Of course, they do not agree on the actual why of it. Instead they've both fallen back on the tired arguments of fraud vs. disenfranchisement.
As I stated, conservative leaders have stated that this would lead to voter fraud. It would allow an individual to vote multiple times. And obviously they are concerned that it will be liberals who take advantage of this, thus inflating the votes for the DNC's nominees.
Liberal leaders have rejected that idea as a thin veil attempting to cover attempted voter suppression. They have stated again that voter fraud is a myth. Personally, I find that position quite ironic since they've just spent the last four years complaining about election tampering in the 2016 presidential election. They wasted thirty-two million dollars (chump change for the government, I'm sure) on an investigation that turned up no evidence of collusion, mainly because they were upset that Russia had aired their dirty laundry. They proposed multiple bills to secure elections. I mean, it seems odd to suggest that Russians will interfere with an election, but no Americans would, don't you think?
But, I digress. The real questions are these: does registering every voter for absentee voting open the door to voting fraud, and does failing to do so disenfranchise people?
We'll take that second question first. The question seems to make two assumptions:
1) that if people cannot vote by mail, they will not be able to vote and, 2) that they cannot register themselves for absentee voting. The only way I could see not auto-registering every voter for mail in ballots as abolishing suffrage is if both of these assumptions are accurate.
While I certainly understand the desire to not get sick (and not die for those in the high risk groups) is it really necessary to vote from home? Since the SARS-COV2 virus is transmitted through moisture in breath wouldn't requiring everyone to wear a mask be sufficient? They did so for several DNC primaries. South Korea did the same.
Secondly, why is it that people who don't want to take that risk can't register absentee themselves? Absentee voting is already available in all fifty states. True, some require a 'good' reason, but I'd say this pandemic certainly could qualify. Couldn't we simply waive that requirement for this voting season? Has anyone been denied the right to vote absentee because they were afraid of contracting SARS-COV-2?
Considering the options, refusing to auto-register all voters for mail in ballots does not seem to be in any way removing current suffrage to me. And consider this: conservative leaders are not suggesting that only registered Democrats should have to sign up for absentee ballots. They seem to think everyone who wants one should be responsible for such.
Which brings up the next question: will it actually harm the integrity of our voting system? I mean, it certainly seems like a good idea to sign up every registered voter for absentee ballots. It would save everyone the trouble of driving to a polling place, or registering themselves. So what harm could it do?
At first I had no answer to that question. And its not like conservative leaders were trying to explain it; they just kept insisting that it was. So I did a little digging. And what I discovered was . . . worrying.
In a perfect world this would not be an issue. Hell, in a perfect world, we could all vote via cell phone or home computer. But, in that increasingly hypothetical perfect world, when someone died they'd be removed from voter rolls. Sadly, this seems far from the case for much of the country. A short Google search shows that investigations into voter roll integrity have found irregularities in Detroit, New Mexico, Allegheny County Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and California. Most of these cases are in dispute as of this writing, but California has already settled its suit by agreeing to remove 1.5 million inactive registrations. 1.5 million from one city. Of a country of roughly 320 million people. (Not counting illegal aliens of course)
Why is that a problem, you ask? Let me ask you this: what happens if all of these dead voters get mailed ballots? Does anyone really believe that some people somewhere won't take advantage of that opportunity? Remember, there is no name spot on the ballot. Nothing stops a person getting a deceased voter's ballot from casting it except their own integrity.
And then there are all the disaffected persons out there, those that won't vote because they think its a waste of time, because they hate both parties, because they are honest enough to admit they haven't tried to understand the issues at point themselves. Suddenly they've got this piece of paper they were handed that they care not one cent for. But that doesn't mean others don't. Sounds like an opportunity, doesn't it?
So, yes, there is certainly the potential for abuse within the idea of automatic registration for absentee ballots. Based upon the precedent set by California, a significant risk. But don't worry, you can still vote absentee. Just go to your county's website and register.
What I find most interesting about this latest dust up of a very old issue is what the two positions say about the constituents of the DNC. For the conservatives it obviously suggests that said constituents would sell their right to vote for a hot meal, or be willing to cheat to win the election.
But what it says about how liberal leaders see their own constituents is even more revealing. Obviously they aren't suggesting that their constituents would cheat. Instead they seem to be intimating that their constituents are too lazy to fill out a form online, or drive to a polling place. That the only way they can count on them voting is if the ballot is mailed to them, whether they want it or not.
Personally, I just have to ask: if these people are that lazy, what are the odds they've actually tried to understand a single issue that separates the two parties? Should they really be helping to decide the future of our country at all?