Donald Trump gaslighted the left when he suggested the upcoming elections may be “rigged.” The usual comic trove of Democrats posing as academics, journalists, and civil rights groups pounced on Trump. It’s a revived “Southern strategy” that tars “Democrats as cheaters,” wailed Rutgers professor Lorraine Minnite.
Whether Trump was correct or not depends on the meaning of “rigged.” If “rigged” means a group of Democrats sit in central command and control the output of voting machines from outer space, then no, the election isn’t rigged.
But what Democrats are really doing is far more dangerous, far more diffuse, and far harder to fix than a conspiracy to control voting machines.
The integrity of our elections is suffering from a coordinated, multi-million dollar attack on multiple fronts. It’s far more complicated than one centralized high-powered conspiracy to “rig” the election. A more sophisticated understanding of what is happening is essential to combat the real threat to our elections.
Here are five ways that the integrity of elections are under attack:
- Big money organizations fight against election integrity
Large brick-and-mortar organizations with multi-million dollar endowments are fighting to undermine the integrity of American elections. These organizations, such as Project Vote, Demos, the ACLU, Advancement Project, and the League of Women Voters have vast financial resources. They have used these resources in key states such as Ohio, Florida, Virginia, North Carolina, Wisconsin, and elsewhere to attack election integrity measures. They bring attacks against Voter ID laws, but they also bring more important efforts, such as attacks against citizenship verification.
I’d wager that more votes are cast in American elections by ineligible aliens than by those impersonating voters.
Citizenship verification is essential. Naturally, groups like the NAACP and ACLU do absolutely nothing about alien voting, except whatever they can to ensure that barriers to illegal voting are struck down in court.
I am involved in litigation across the country to help election integrity. In one lawsuit in a swing state, we discovered that non-citizens were voting illegally in presidential elections. This is both a federal and state felony. When we asked the election supervisor for records showing referral to law enforcement officials, none existed — because no referral was ever made. Never mind that dozens and dozens of aliens were participating in the election process in just one county. Imagine how many participate statewide. Yet nothing was done to prosecute the illegal voting — so word spreads through the community that illegal voting is a hobby that goes unpunished.
These same big money organizations send swarms of lawyers to the smallest court hearings, so many that sometimes there isn’t enough room for them in the courtroom.
A comic scene unfolded in another case I was involved in — an attack on the Election Assistance Commission by a swarm of leftist groups. The federal agency issued rules allowing states to use a federal voter registration form that incorporated state citizenship verification requirements.
For this, the left pounced.
In a hearing before United States District Judge Richard Leon, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach and I were seated at defense counsel table because we were defending the federal agency. You read that right: We had to do so because the Justice Department lawyers sharing the table with us refused to do their job and defend a federal agency. They didn’t defend the agency because they ideologically disagreed with the actions of the agency.
On the other side of the room was a circus. About sixteen lawyers had arrived for the attacking plaintiffs. Some came from New York, some came from elsewhere. They were all there to stop citizenship verification, but there weren’t enough seats. Judge Leon noticed the circus, too. As Hans von Spakovsky has written:
The courtroom was so full that Judge Leon was obviously surprised by the size of the audience when he walked into the courtroom, calling it a “traveling roadshow.” In fact, the plaintiffs showed up with over a dozen lawyers. There were so many lawyers (even though only one lawyer was there to argue for the plaintiffs) that, before the hearing started, the clerk asked them to move from the plaintiffs’ table to the gallery.
Noncitizen voting helps the left win elections. Most of the groups in this traveling roadshow are 501(c)(3) charities.
I doubt very much that Lois Lerner’s Exempt Organizations Unit at the IRS has sent them a letter asking for their social media passwords or the text of prayers recited at meetings.
- A focus on process brings policy results
Republicans focus on policy. Democrats focus on process. Democrats and the left know if they alter the rules, they can win the elections. Better still, if they alter the rules and brand it a civil rights matter, they disguise their partisan goals with something that sounds better.
What do I mean by process?
Years ago, we all voted on Election Day. That made it harder for the machine to motivate the unmotivated on one single day. Now? The election is spread out over weeks of early voting.
We used to register to vote in advance. Now, instant registration is another process that helps the demographic that has difficulty planning ahead. It means you can register and vote at the same time, making it harder to verify eligibility.
In Ohio, you could register to vote and vote weeks in advance at the same time. When Ohio discovered that California and New York residents such as Amy Little and Yolanda Hippensteele were registering and voting simultaneously for Obama in 2008, Ohio changed the law to eliminate this “Golden Week.” Naturally, the Big Money Organizations (See #1, above) sued.
Bush-appointed federal judge Michael Watson ruled that such a change violates the Voting Rights Act and struck down the election integrity measure.
Out-of-precinct voting, mandatory voter registration, felon voting, dirty voter rolls, underage registration, and simple refusal to enforce election integrity laws are process priorities of the left.
You don’t need someone sitting in a smoke-filled command bunker to rig an election. There are more subtle and more effective ways to affect elections.
- Big Law
The well-funded organizations fighting to block election-integrity laws are helped by some of the nation’s largest law firms — for free!
These law firms use the inflated fees their corporate clients pay to subsidize helping left-wing groups attack election integrity laws. A glance at the pleadings in the North Carolina Voter ID lawsuit gives you a sense of the aid. The opponents of Voter ID in North Carolina enjoyed free help from ten lawyers at Kirkland and Ellis: Thomas Yannucci, Daniel T. Donovan, Susan M. Davies, K. Winn Allen, Uzoma Nkwonta, Kim Knudson, Anne Dechter, Bridget O’Connor, Jodi Wu, and Kim Rancor.
The attack on Voter ID isn’t the only instance where large law firms donate their free time to leftist organizations with multi-million dollar endowments. Nearly any time there is an attack on election integrity, Big Law helps.
And don’t think that state governments have the money and expertise to defend themselves. Some states, like North Carolina and South Carolina, did excellent jobs defending their laws. But consider what one federal judge said last week when striking down Voter ID in North Dakota. He even put it in boldface in his opinion:
It is important to note that with respect to the Plaintiffs’ request for injunctive relief, none of the affidavits, declarations, survey, studies, or data submitted by the Plaintiffs in support of their motion have been challenged or refuted by the State of North Dakota. (Italics mine; Bold, judge’s)
On the next page of the opinion where the judge discusses the flimsy evidence offered by the plaintiffs in North Dakota, the judge again notes in boldface at the end of his recitation:
The Defendant neither disputes nor challenges these findings.
North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem (R) did not give a statement regarding the ruling.
- Failure to maintain rolls
Millions of voter registrations are wrong or out of date. Hundreds of counties, including many in swing states, have more registrants than eligible people alive. That doesn’t mean millions of votes are being cast illegally — but corrupted rolls provide the perfect environment for election corruption. It’s what allowed Democratic Congressional nominee Wendy Rosen to vote twice for President Obama in both Maryland and Florida.
The guiltiest culprit for corrupted rolls is the Obama Justice Department. It refuses to do anything about the failure to keep rolls clean. Their failure to act is both deliberate and ideologically driven.
Any time I give a speech on campus about this disgraceful inaction, someone brings up “prosecutorial discretion” in defense of the Obama administration. They claim that limited resources drive the decision to not enforce federal law requiring voter rolls to be clean.
That’s balderdash. The attorneys at the Public Interest Legal Foundation who are bringing litigation to enforce the law instead of the DOJ are carrying a heavier caseload than the dozens of lawyers at the DOJ Voting Section. Without active list maintenance keeping rolls clean, criminal elements can flourish. Inaction and ambivalence toward the obligation to enforce the law can affect an election just like an active attempt to rig an election can.
If Trump becomes president, sweeping away the lawlessness inside the Justice Department that turned the federal government into silent partners with election gangsters like Wendy Rosen should be a top priority. It’s no accident that vote fraudsters across the country, including Melowese Richardson and others, get a free ride from this DOJ and never face criminal prosecution.
- Academics and media lying about election integrity
The final way our electoral system is endangered is through the pack of lies pushed by academics and the media. If you pay attention to legacy media, voter fraud doesn’t exist — only racists want election integrity, and Jim Crow is back.
When it comes to covering election integrity, some of the media are lazy, the rest are activists with by-lines.
Here’s some narrative they’ve invented: Voter ID is a “solution in search of a problem”; voter fraud “isn’t widespread”; and election integrity laws “disproportionally affect communities of color.” There you have it: attack the motives of election-integrity advocates and claim there’s not a problem. They never tell you what “widespread” means, so you’ll never satisfy their artificial threshold.
Partnering with activists in the media are academics. You’ve already been introduced to Lorraine Minnite in this column. From their perches at government-funded universities, they spend their time pumping out a narrative smokescreen for criminal behavior in American elections. They write books that are lucky to sell 2,000 copies, telling us that Jim Crow is back or that voter fraud is the stuff of unicorns and leprechauns. They probably sell far fewer units if you don’t count sales to their own students.
Are they helping criminals? Well, not directly, and of course they’d be highly offended at such a charge. But help it does. Wendy Rosen and Melowese Richardson couldn’t do what they do best if it wasn’t for academics and the media telling us it’s no big deal.
Is the November election rigged? Certainly not in the way you might have thought it was. The election is afflicted with something far more dangerous than a single plot to flip the outcome. The affliction is diffuse, decentralized, and funded by millions of dollars.