The term “vote fraud” or “voter fraud” manages to enter our collective lexicons every presidential election, but I think it is safe to say that the term is more prevalent in the wake of the 2020 presidential election than in any election before it.
I won’t bore my readers by repeating and belaboring the myriad of baseless accusations of widespread voter fraud being alleged by the losing side of the 2020 presidential election. This is, after all, the RATIONAL Ram, so I will take the rational approach to debunking the notion that widespread vote fraud took place in this election. I will outline why the charges of vote fraud actually reveal an ongoing agenda to suppress the voting rights of ordinary Americans.
Please note that I will not mention specific names and will only mention political parties tangentially in this post, because this really isn’t about those specific names or political parties, it is about preserving a system that we saw at work in our pluralistic democracy in this election that should endure and not be torn down because a vocal and petulant entity didn’t benefit from making voting easier (the bold being the central point of this post).
Firstly, it is not a left-wing or liberal myth that voter fraud is quite rare in this country. I might add that according to a Harvard study, conducted and documented after the 2012 presidential election, that there is a difference between “voter fraud” and “election fraud”, the former being driven by individual voters and the latter not, in fact, “little or no voter fraud, of any stripe, has occurred in recent U.S. elections” (Harvard/Morse, et al, 2012).
(Source of Harvard article: S000305541900087X 1..14 (harvard.edu))
Secondly, to be fair to those who might believe that the aforementioned “election fraud” is a more apt and accurate description of what is alleged to have taken place in the 2020 presidential election, election fraud is quite capable of being implemented in a systematic and widespread manner. A scholarly article published by the Brookings Institute, asks the question(s) “What about forms of election manipulation that do not pertain directly to the act of voting, such as intimidating potential political candidates or changing the electoral system to benefit one party over another? Is election fraud in a very close election more damaging than election fraud in an election with an overwhelming winner” (Brookings Institute/Alvarez, et al 2007)?
Of course, this article goes on to recommend that U.S. elections “should be made more transparent to observation by impartial and nonpartisan observers” and that “states should adopt laws that allow for neutral organizations to observe voting in order to signal that the elections are being conducted in a free and fair manner; an additional benefit of such observation is that scholars and interested students of elections will gain access to information about the mechanics of voting operations at polling places and thus study the efficacy of election administration practices that relate to election fraud prevention” (Brookings Institute/Alvarez, et al 2007).
Elections in the U.S. are conducted and managed at the state level with levels that go all the way down the county level (the counties answer to and report to the state). Elections laws vary from state to state, but in this election, while there were not “neutral observers” that this writer is aware of, there were observers from both parties observing the electoral process within each state, with Republican and Democratic secretaries of states overseeing each state-level election (e.g. Georgia’s secretary of state is a Republican, California’s secretary of state is a Democrat, etc.). Charge of election fraud are only coming from one side, and not from any secretary of state in any state from either political party. One would think that if there were widespread election fraud, at least one secretary of state (the person charged with ensuring elections are conducted within the laws of the state and properly certified) would either come forward with evidence of electoral malfeasance or be charged with being a party to electoral malfeasance. Neither of those things have happened. Likely because no election fraud happened.
(Source of Brookings article: 00B-0139-2 Intro (brookings.edu))
The bottom line here is that one side benefitted from needed changes in election laws around the country to make voting easier and more convenient to the average U.S. citizen, while the other side did not, and wants the country to think that the system is unfair and broken.
What is unfair and broken about our electoral system is that that it took a global pandemic to make options like mail-in ballots, drop boxes, motor voting, and early voting more widely available to the electorate. The fact that the U.S. holds elections in the middle of the work week and that Election Day is NOT a federal holiday naturally suppresses the vote of those citizens who are members of the working class. That there are long lines at polling places where such options are not available should enrage citizens. It should not be surprising that “turnout” in the 2020 election is likely the highest it is ever been in history. Giving people the option to vote by mail didn’t undermine our electoral process, it enhanced it.
The next time you hear a politician or a political pundit object to practices that make voting easier, ask yourself why they are advocating that position. The next time you hear a politician or political pundit suggest that making voting easier leads to fraud, ask yourself if that politician or pundit is looking out for your interests, or their own.
When a person is fired or forced to resign for saying that this is the most secure election in U.S. history or conducts an investigation that fails to uncover widespread fraud, it should be easy to see who is trying to fool who.
-The Rational Ram