News & Politics

More Proof a Mail-In Ballot Election Will Be a Disaster

Michael P. Farrell

Whoever invented the “mail-in ballot” should have their head examined.

The proof is pouring in as primaries are conducted across the country mostly by mail ballot. The evidence conclusively shows that any massive, large-scale effort to conduct the 2020 Election by relying upon the United States Postal Service would be a nightmarish disaster.

Can we really trust the post office to process 130 million ballots? Can we trust registrars, county clerks, and local election officials not to totally screw it up?

This is what is meant by “screwing up.”

NPR:

An NPR analysis has found that in the primary elections held so far this year, at least 65,000 absentee or mail-in ballots have been rejected because they arrived past the deadline, often through no fault of the voter.

While the numbers are relatively small — around 1% in most states — they could prove crucial in a close election, especially one in which many more voters are expected to cast absentee and mail-in ballots to avoid going to the polls during a pandemic.

In any large-scale human endeavor, there is the certainty that whatever can go wrong, will go wrong. Murphy’s Law takes into account incompetence, laziness, sleepiness, people in bad moods, people new on the job or who’ve never done this before, people newly in love or recently losing their lover — the list of potential weak points in the chain that is supposed to deliver your precious vote to the person who counts it is unending. And it starts with you.

Those who use mail-in voting for the first time — especially young, Black and Latino voters — are more likely to have their ballots rejected because of errors, said Charles Stewart, a political scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who studies election administration.

”That’s the sort of thing that makes me wary about what’s going to happen in November when we get an even larger influx of people who haven’t voted, or haven’t voted by mail in the past,” he says.

Is America smart enough to vote by mail? Maybe not so much in California.

Fox2:

The California secretary of state’s election data obtained by the AP showed 102,428 mail-in ballots were disqualified in the state’s 58 counties, about 1.5% of the nearly 7 million mail-in ballots returned. That percentage is the highest in a primary since 2014, and the overall number is the highest in a statewide election since 2010.

Two years ago, the national average of rejected mail ballots in the general election was about 1.4% and in the 2016 presidential election year it was 1%, according to a U.S. Election Assistance Commission study.

At least with in-person voting, there are precinct workers who can help a voter figure out their ballot and how to mark it correctly. This is common practice with older Americans who aren’t used to the machines or are unfamiliar with the layout of a ballot. Unless you can get some kind of virtual assistance from home, that’s not going to happen with mail-in ballots.

The chances of a candidate being hosed because of mail-in ballot SNAFUs are very high. Fox2:

The data didn’t break down the uncounted ballots by party registration. While the overall number was large in March, if it’s the same in November it’s unlikely to affect the presidential race — Trump lost to Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016 by 4.3 million votes.

But there are expected to be at least several tightly contested U.S. House races where a relatively few votes could tip the balance. In 2018, Democrat TJ Cox upset Republican David Valadao by less than 1,000 votes in a Central Valley district. They have a rematch in November.

Local races sometimes are decided by a handful of votes.

The problems are only going to be magnified in a general election. Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton by less than 15,000 votes in 5 states. He lost two by less than 20,000 votes. How can Americans accept the outcome of an election so fraught with counting problems?

It appears that we’re on a collision course with history. Democrats are warning that Trump won’t accept the results of an election in which he loses. Are we to believe that Democrats will accept an election where Biden is defeated and all of these counting problems are present?

You know the first people in court after an election lost by Biden will be Democrats. And if Trump loses, Republicans won’t be sitting still, either.

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