The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Why Vote-By-Mail Is The End Of The Republic

Posted on | November 13, 2022 | No Comments

by Smitty

Hypothetically speaking (not purely, I had anecdotal awareness of at least one occurrence a few election cycles ago), one can use ballots sent to addresses in multiple states to vote more than once in an election.

Who would know?

So, what is to prevent some wiseguy from registering in every state that automatically pushes ballots to addresses, unless removal is explicitly requested by the voter? (I supported one such case last Tuesday as an election officer here in the Old Dominion).

As far as  I can tell this is Moral Hazard writ large. If there is no substantial means of detecting such fraud, and the Demsheviks can’t be arsed to enforce laws on non-conservative perpetrators anyway, then we can be relatively confident that ballot boxes will be stuffed, stuffed, and stuffed.

But it’s worse than that.

Part of what makes democracy work is the secret ballot. When the voter goes to a polling place, that voter is afforded a private place to mark and cast the ballot without interference. If we need to be all-in for Bernie to maintain domestic tranquility, fine. But when it’s just us and the ballot, we should be at liberty to vote any way that our conscience dictates.

It is quite possible, even likely, that people are marking their vote-by-mail ballots without coercion. Except that we cannot guarantee that. At a polling place, if the voter requests assistance (Virginia, anyway) requires an explicit voter assistance form just to keep everything tidy, so that the appearance of unwanted kibitzing is minimized.

Beside personal security, there  is ballot security. It astounds me that getting ballots printed so that they can be physically marked and scanned on the spot is a challenge. In ten years of supporting elections, I have  had one time that a rover had to be called in to clean the scanner portion when it got a bit dusty. We had a second scanner, so no one was inconvenienced.

But all of the ballots are packaged and tamper-sealed and there just aren’t any physical security questions. We closed the precinct and reported results in 1:15 (one hour, 15 minutes).

What the WHAT, Arizona?

Having supported elections for a decade, one is sympathetic to the need to minimize the level of effort for everyone, from voters, to the itinerant election staffers like myself, to the regular county election folks. Legal voters are paying customers. Let them participate.

However, “Election Season” is disgusting.

A credible election:

  1. Requires voters to put on their Big People Pants and be registered in the state of primary residence. Only.
  2. Ensures voters cast their ballots securely, in private. Maybe the county visits nursing homes?
  3. Doesn’t spray ballots at random addresses like Ed McMahon getting his Publisher’s Clearing House on. (Did I date myself there? Vulgar Hunter Biden metaphor is left as an exercise for the reader.)
  4. Maintains a credible chain of custody for the ballots. Note that counting them all on Election Day really cuts down on risk.

Same day registration is insane

On the one hand, the Demsheviks have same-day registration in place, and then stand out beyond the exclusion zone limit and pass out sample ballots. Perfectly legal. Smart, too. For them. Before too many more election cycles, all of those homeless encampments in the blue cities will suddenly get all mobile, show up in swing districts long enough to obtain an address, get their same-day registration on, vote a sample ballot, and then migrate.

The same cadre might, with enough early voting opportunity, be able to (optionally) wash, rinse, and repeat the performance a few times per election.

Legally!

Oh no, no, no, Smitty is just a paranoid and bigoted member of the Binary, Intersectional, Tyrannical, Cis-Hetero, Slave-Lord Anti-Woke Patriarchy (BITCHSLAP). Who would do such a thing? That would be like starting a land war in Asia, funneling taxpayer dollars to a foreign government, which, while under attack, somehow has time to collaborate with a crypto currency exchange whose main brain is a huge Democrat Party donor. Just crazy talk.

Bonus denunciation of Ranked Choice Voting (RCV)

As if bulk-mailed ballots and same-day registration were not stupid enough, this RCV idea has really got to go. It may be OK for your HOA, where you actually know everyone and such a device could save time.

But, as Jonah Goldberg noted, “Complexity is a subsidy”. The same people who decry “disparate impact” are keen on inflicting it upon voters. Runoffs have the virtue of slowing down the process and allowing voters a second thought WITHOUT any loss of election integrity. You can judge this idea by a glance at its proponents: insiders.

Summary

Our election system needs reform with an eye toward integrity and a side glance at simplicity. Other than deployed military, the use-cases for ballots in the mail are weak. Prioritize participation in the election. Move Veterans Day to Election Day and make it a twofer–they are not unrelated.  Americans have not perished supporting this Constitution to have a bunch of godless Commies destroy our elections.

If the GOP is not making election reform a priority, there is probably a reason, and that reason is not a good one.

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