Re: Why Trump Followers Think Mail-in Ballots Cause Fraud
I wonder if this misunderstanding is why so many Trumpists are so sure mail-in ballots are insecure.
The real problem that Trumpists and Republicans have so much opposition to mail-in ballots is because it circumvents almost all their mechanisms for suppressing the vote and for committing election fraud; eg:
It renders ineffective their voter ID laws -- which make nearly absolute zero sense in preventing the kind of voter fraud that they claim, whereas their actual purpose is to keep that citizen from voting -- , since the voter is able to cast their ballot and the voter's identity and eligibility is validated upon receipt.
Indeed, mail-in gives the state more time to validate the voters' signatures which they don't have with single-day polls. And if there's any problem with a ballot (eg, signature mismatch), then the voter has a chance to correct the problem. And all voters can check to see whether their ballot had been processed and accepted, thus providing immensely more transparency to the election process, which is the last thing that someone committing election fraud and election rigging (*sneeze* Republicans!) would want.
Mail-in renders ineffective almost all the other Republican voting-access-blocking suppression measures. By being able to mail your ballot in, you are not affected by being restricted to only certain hours (7AM-8PM) on a workday, you are not placed in the position of having to choose between a paycheck or voting (ie, losing pay because you took the time off to vote), you are not affected by having far fewer polling places in your predominantly non-white and/or Democrat neighborhoods (while the white Republican districts have more than they could need), you are not affected by Republican "rat-f**king" tricks (learned that term in All the President's Men (1976)) (eg, your polling place is moved miles away (eg, a Hispanic district had to literally get out of Dodge City to a polling place out of town and a mile away from any public transportation (I may be conflating a few instances), web sites and voter literature gives the wrong location and directions to the polling place, last minute moving or closing of polling sites), purging voter registration polls immediately before the election (eg, Kemp stealing the 2018 GA Gov. election, won by a margin of 54,723 after he had, as Sec.State who runs the election, made over 300,000 voters ineligible to vote and delayed 53,000 voter registrations without adequately notifying the applicants) ).
An example of Republican rat-f**king was in the 2020 election where the California GOP set up fake ballot drop-off boxes. Of course they figured that most of those ballots would be for Biden since the MAGAts had been conditioned to fear mail-in/drop-off voting, so their intent in setting up those fake boxes was to eliminate those ballots for Biden. But then they put a lot of those fake boxes in front of gun shops, so I guess that would make the CA GOP the party that couldn't shoot straight. And for some reason, setting up fake ballot drop boxes was not against state law (we'll probably see a referendum on that in the next election). A prophylactic against such rat-f**king is to only use drop boxes listed in your official voter literature (what with Trump's lackey, DeJoy, rat-f**king the US Postal Service, I didn't trust to mail mine in and so I dropped mine off at the box in front of the county registrar office).
Already touched on above, mail-in voting gives the systems and voters time to resolve problems not afforded by single-day in-person voting -- problems which Republicans exploit fully in their rat-f**king efforts. Republicans will use such tricks as purging the registrar rolls for whatever reason (eg, person hadn't voted in the last election, there's some minor difference between the signature and the name on the birth certificate (eg, a boyhood friend, Edward, went by "Ted", my sister has always spelled her middle name slightly differently than on her birth certificate, which is now causing her problems 78 years later)) and not informing that person until they show up to vote and can't -- in some states, voters being struck off the rolls are notified, but only on their property tax bill, so only property owners (and not renters) are ever notified. In that single day of voting, victims of that trick have no time in which to resolve the problem so that they can vote. Sure, you can fill out a provisional ballot that would be counted once your particular problem is solved, but (to my knowledge, never having had to go this route) you never hear the results, resolution of the problem (if even ever attempted) might only come (if ever) after the candidate takes office, and basically your provisional ballot just ends up going down a memory hole.
Republican rat-f**kers absolutely depend on the victims not being able to resolve the problems (most of which are directly caused by the rat-f**kers) in the extremely short time and by the extremely limited means afforded them.
Mail-in voting resolves almost all of those problems. I'm speaking from my experience with mail-in voting in California, Orange County (in case it various from county to county). If you do not receive your ballot, then that will clue you in that there might be a problem. At any time, even before ballots go out, you can go on-line to check on your registration and make corrections. For example, one evening before either the 2016 or the 2018 election my friend and I were discussing voter suppression and on a lark we went on-line to check our own voter registration status. Mine was correct, but hers had an old address so she corrected it. Others I know have made a habit of going on-line after having voted in order to check the status of their ballot; I did the same in our recent recall election. If there's any problem with your ballot, then you have both time and procedures to correct that problem -- never having had a problem, I don't know whether you get notified of a problem.
The procedures of a mail-in election allow time for authenticating ballots and resolving any problems that may arise, thus ensuring a fair election in which every voter can vote and every valid vote will be counted. That goes completely against the goals of Republican rat-f**kers.
Mail-in voting also ensures timely results without sacrificing accuracy and even allowing auditing to take place as part of the ballot processing. This eliminates the post-election drama we always have had as states often take days to get their election results. In contrast, on Election Day as individual counties in various states were being analyzed (think Stephan "Khakis" Kornacki) there was no such overage for the results in the Western Seaboard (California, Oregon, Washington, all with well-established mail-in voting) as their election results were already known well-enough to call those states the moment the polls closed at 8PM PST. And the reason for that was because they had all had time before Election Day to process and tally the ballots already turned in.
In contrast to doing it right, states such as Pennsylvania having to put together a mail-in/early voting system quickly in response to the pandemic found themselves hobbled by Republicans insisting that none of those mail-in or early ballots be processed and counted until after the closing of the polls on Election Day. So all the ballots they received before Election Day had to be stored somewhere until they would be trucked in to the processing centers at the end of Election Day (sound familiar?). It does take time to process ballots and by delaying the processing of those early ballots that delayed the results, which states who knew what they were doing avoided by processing their early ballots as they came in.
The Cardinal Rule of engaging in any conspiracy with Donald Trump is to avoid telling him what the plan is, because he will blab the whole thing to the world -- he cannot keep a secret, which is why we know that we don't have alien bodies at Area 51). Trump described their entire plan (albeit not in this much detail):
Assume that Democrats and non-whites who tend to vote for Democrats will tend to use early voting, whereas Republicans will tend to vote in person on Election Day. Therefore, the plan would involve finding ways to eliminate the early votes in favor of Election Day votes along with motivating Republican voters to prefer in-person Election Day voting. This would be accomplished by discrediting mail-in voting as being insecure and/or rife with fraud.
Ironically, there are populations of Republican voters who traditionally use mail-in voting; eg, the elderly and military members serving overseas. Thus the Trumpian efforts to discredit mail-in voting ironically ends up disenfranchising some Republican voters.
Construct a false narrative, AKA "The Big Lie", in order to discredit the results of an election that you end up losing. The false narrative, including the reasoning behind it, reads thus (here, "we" means the Trumpists hatching the plot):
quote:Assuming that mostly Republicans will vote on Election Day, if we can have those votes counted first then the election results posted at the end of Election Day before everybody goes to bed will favor the Republicans, a "Red Wave". Then, since we have delayed the counting of early ballots (predominantly cast by Democrats) until after the results of Election Day in-person voting have been reported, what we can expect to see is an apparent Republican majority vote but then the next day as the early ballots are counted then we would lose ground and possibly end with a Democrat victory. In addition, the time lost for processing and counting the early ballots now has to be made up for after Election Day, delaying the final results possibly for days during which time we can either try to stop the count or else put on a big show complaining about fraud augmented by our asking where all these "extra" ballots came from. On top of all that and supporting our false claims of fake ballots, the ballots from the early voting had to be stored in a secure location until they could be processed, a facility that most election processing facilities would not have, so they'd have to be stored off-site and then trucked in to be processed. Trucked in at least a few hours after the polls closed at 8PM, very likely "in the middle of the night". Optics that we could exploit to bolster our false complaints of "suspicious activity."
That is exactly how it went down. Starting several days before Election Day, Trump was describing that narrative (that they would "win" on Election Day, but then that win would be stolen from them through mysterious ballots that suddenly and inexplicably appear in the middle of the night), conditioning Trumpists to see what the Republicans want them to see. That also conditioned them to be receptive to Trump's cries of "Stop the voting!" (the voting had stopped; now the ballots needed to be processed and counted) So Trump changed his cries to "Stop the counting!" (no, all legal ballots must be counted no matter how long it takes)
In addition, other efforts to rat-f**k mail-in voting included putting Rat-F**ker General DeJoy in charge of the US Postal Service where he immediately set about dismantling it in order to both keep it from delivering the mail-in ballots in time and to destroy the public's trust in the USPS.
So the problem that mail-in ballots pose for Trumpists/Republicans is that the system is far too secure and effective for them to be able to rig or defraud. Which is why they have to lie about it as they seek to destroy it.