(Liberty Bell) – One of the greatest fears Americans have going to the polls next month isn’t the coronavirus. It’s whether or not their ballots are going to be kept safe and secure so their voices are heard and not tampered with. This is a legitimate concern, especially in light of several high-profile cases of voter fraud that have been in the news.
Like one involving a Pennsylvania transgender election judge named Everett “Erika” Bickford, who has now been charged with two election code violations, including a charge of prying into the ballots.
This, ladies and gentlemen, is why we don’t want to have mail-in ballots be the primary way we all vote this time around. It’s super easy to bust into ballots and then toss them aside.
Via Gateway Pundit:
The Morning Call reports the following:
Lehigh County District Attorney Jim Martin on Monday announced charges against an elections judge in Allentown’s 3rd Ward who was accused of tampering with ballots during the Democratic primary race for state representative between Enid Santiago and Peter Schweyer.
Everett “Erika” Bickford was charged with two election code violations: insertion and alteration of entries in documents, and prying into ballots, both misdemeanors.
Allentown, in Lehigh County in Pennsylvania is the focus of the song from Billy Joel in 1982, “Allentown“. The song was about the unemployed steel workers in the area. It looks like the city has changed over time.
The Morning Call continues:
During an interview with detectives, Bickford said she did not alter any ballots or change the voter’s choices, but admitted darkening some bubbles they chose, Martin said in a news release. She estimated that she darkened voters’ bubbles about 30 times, Martin said. Bickford also said she “trimmed” ballots’ jagged edges so the machine would accept them.
Bickford was not charged with altering or changing votes to favor either Schweyer or Santiago, who were vying for the Democratic nomination for the Pennsylvania General Assembly’s 22nd District.
The reason we need to defend the integrity of our voting system so passionately is because this is the system that enables us all to have a say in how we are governed. We pick leaders who have agendas that match with our values and they enact laws and policies — or remove laws that violate those values — and that helps shape the direction of our country and culture.
When someone like Bickford prevents our voices from being heard, they are forcing their will on us, and that goes against everything this nation stands for.
Here’s a little more about the risks of mail-in voting from The Heritage Foundation:
Article I, Section 4 of the Constitution gives Congress the authority to set the “Times, Places and Manner” of congressional elections. Similarly, Article II, Section 1 gives Congress the authority to set the date on which we vote for the slates of presidential electors through the Electoral College.
The date for both congressional and presidential elections has been set by law as the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November since 1845.
Congress could delay the November election if it passed an amendment to federal law and the president signed it. But the likelihood of that happening is virtually nil, and this was made clear by bipartisan criticism of the president’s morning tweet from House and Senate members.
Congress has never delayed a federal election, even during the Civil War and World War II. Doing so would be a mistake, and it’s clear that isn’t going to happen.
Despite the coronavirus pandemic, experience shows that we can vote safely in-person as long as election officials implement the safety protocols recommended by health experts in polling places—the same protocols we are all using when we go to the grocery store or pharmacy.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released such guidelines June 22. I voted safely in-person in my town council election recently in Virginia with those types of health precautions in place.
Even during the coronavirus pandemic that has so disrupted our lives, it would be a mistake to go to an all-mail election. Concerns that Trump has raised about mail-in voting are based on documented problems we have seen with such voting.
Mail-in ballots are the ballots most vulnerable to being altered, stolen, or forged. Just look at the current investigation going on in Paterson, New Jersey, over a recent municipal election conducted entirely by mail.
Four Paterson residents have already been charged with criminal election fraud, including a councilman and councilman-elect. Evidence is surfacing of everything from voters reporting that they never received their absentee ballots (even though they are recorded as having voted) to accusations that one of the campaigns may have submitted fraudulent ballots.
Mail-in ballots also have a higher rejection rate than votes cast in person. In the Paterson case, election officials apparently rejected 1 in 5 ballots for everything from signatures on the ballots not matching the signatures of voters on file, to ballots not complying with the technical rules that apply to absentee ballots.
New York, which has taken more than a month to count the ballots from its June 23 primary election, is also reporting a similar rejection rate. This should be considered unacceptable by anyone believing in fair and accurate elections.
These kinds of technical problems—when a voter doesn’t provide all of the information required with an absentee ballot—occur because there is no election official in people’s homes to answer their questions. At polling places, by contrast, election officials can try to remedy any problems a voter encounters.
Then there is the problem of mail-in ballots being miscarried or not delivered by the U.S. Postal Service. States with recent primaries, including Wisconsin and Maryland, have reported voters not receiving their ballots or not getting them in time to be voted and returned.
Believe it or not, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There are a lot more problems with mail-in voting that the piece from THF covers in-depth. It should be obvious this is a bad idea.
Please be sure to vote in-person in November if it’s possible.