By Michelle M. Mortensen
In less than 90 days Nevada will vote by mail in the 2020 election. Democrats argue mail-in voting is safe and effective. Republicans say mail-in voting is ripe for fraud. So, what’s the truth? Let’s start with the history of mail-in voting.
It goes all the way back to the Civil War. It was created as a solution to allow soldiers to vote from the battlefield. By the late 1800s, absentee ballots could be used by anyone who couldn’t get to the polls on election day due to illness or travel. By the 1980s, absentee ballots were common and could be used by anyone, for any reason.
In the last 20 years, five states (Washington, Oregon, Utah, Hawaii and Colorado) adopted mail-in voting exclusively. Many mail-in voting advocates claim these five states prove the effectiveness of the process and often cite Colorado as having had the second highest turnout rate in the nation during the 2018 cycle. However, for every success story there is also a story pointing to the failures of mail-in voting.
Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill claims 83 percent of election fraud cases in Alabama are attributed to mail-in voting. In a recent CNN interview, he explained that two elections in Alabama have been overturned because of mail-in voter fraud and at least six people have been convicted of the crime in just five years.
Maryland held a mail-in primary this June, in response to COVID-19, and it was such a nightmare the Governor has ordered in-person voting to be used for the general election. New York City’s June 23rd vote by mail primary debacle is still unresolved. Winners have yet to be decided in key races and thousands of ballots weren’t counted due to missing postmarks or postmarks after the primary.
With those three very recent examples of mail-in voting failures and fraud it seems odd The New York Times would publish an article claiming voter fraud is a farce created by President Trump. Even more curious is how just eight years ago, The New York Times was convinced mail-in voting led to fraud.
The Times wrote the following in 2012: “Votes cast by mail are less likely to be counted, more likely to be compromised & more likely to be contested than those cast in a voting booth.” The Times article goes on to say, “Voting by mail is now common enough and problematic enough that election experts say there have been multiple elections in which no one can say with confidence which candidate was the deserved winner.”
Funny how President Trump has made the same argument The Times made (that a winner would not be confidently or clearly decided if we resort to all mail-in elections) yet when he makes it, the paper calls him a liar.
The Times 2012 article also lays out a compelling argument that mail-in ballots are often not counted. They use the 2008 presidential elections as their proof noting that 35.5 million absentee ballots were requested yet only 27.9 million were counted. They then refer to an MIT study that calculated 3.9 million people never got their absentee ballots, 2.9 million ballots simply weren’t turned in, and 800,000 were rejected. The article claims the failure rate of mail-in voting is a whopping 21 percent.
This begs the question: which New York Times article is correct? The one that says mail-in voting is ripe for fraud or the one that claims fraud is a fictitious partisan claim perpetrated by the president? Both articles use studies to bolster their claims, with one caveat.
The studies showing mail-in voting as successful focus on states like Washington where it has been practiced and perfected over time. However, in Nevada, Democrats forced the Silver State to vote by mail in less than 90 days from the election. Democrats claim the decision was necessary in the era of COVID-19 so people could vote safely; however, it wasn’t necessary at all! Nevadans always had the option to vote by mail through absentee ballots.
The Nevada Democrats’ attacks on election integrity didn’t end there. They also legalized ballot harvesting. Ballot harvesting allows anyone to turn in numerous ballots without question. Fraudsters and con artists can now collect ballots for cash and manipulate election results. This type of fraud has happened in Texas, North Carolina and California, but is now totally legal here.
While there is no question mail-in voting and ballot harvesting can lead to fraud, it is curious that Democrats (the ones pushing for mail-in voting) are simultaneously creating doubt in the system.
Hillary Clinton recently tweeted she feared Republicans would sabotage the postal service to ensure a Trump victory. Elizabeth Warren tweeted the Postmaster General is sabotaging mail delivery to disenfranchise voters.
Both tweets beautifully lay out the strategy Democrats have in place to discredit the election results if Joe Biden loses November 3rd. His loss would not be because he’s a flawed candidate, but because Trump got the postal service to cheat for him. They’ve made that ludicrous claim because the Postmaster General, Louis De Joy, is a Republican.
However, a person’s political leanings should in no way be used to insinuate their likelihood of committing crimes. Furthermore, De Joy was not appointed to this position by the President and does not answer to the President. De Joy was unanimously appointed in June by a bipartisan board of Governors. Democrats have no facts whatsoever proving Postmaster General De Joy would do anything to manipulate the postal service for the GOP’s gain.
Democrats have also made claims that the postal service can’t handle mail-in voting even though they deliver more than 470 million pieces of mail a day. If turnout is anywhere near what it was in 2016, we will see 138 million people vote, but not everyone will vote by mail, so the added mail load will truly be minimal given what the postal service handles every day.
Democrats have also alluded to the fact that the USPS’s financial troubles will create delivery and receipt issues; however, the USPS says its financial situation has no effect on their ability to deliver mail. In fact, their system is designed to handle increases in volume and deliver mail in a timely manner regardless of budget shortfalls.
The last and final lie Democrats are spreading is that no one trusts the USPS; however, a recent survey found the USPS was the most trusted brand in the nation and trusted even more than Amazon.
Every democrat talking point is pure fiction but that doesn’t mean it isn’t effective. Roughly one-third of Americans (33 percent) have little to no confidence that the votes in November’s presidential election will be counted accurately. Nearly half (45 percent) of respondents — and 63 percent of Democrats — state they are very concerned about the prospects of a foreign government tampering with voting systems or election results.
So why are the Democrats baseless talking points winning people over? Because Republicans are doing a horrible job of fighting back.
When Attorney General Bill Barr was grilled about mail voter fraud at a recent congressional hearing, he stated he believed there was an increased likelihood for fraud but didn’t cite one example to back his claims like the dozens I’ve laid out here.
Unfortunately, too many Republicans do a horrible job of communicating and countering false narratives, and it is costing us elections. Republicans running for Senate, Congress, State Senate and State Assembly have the most to lose in 2020 with mail voting. Their races will likely not be decided in a timely manner and the results will be contested and subjected to legal battles. Even worse, with democrats successfully spreading their false narrative as truth, we could see a blue wave coast-to-coast.
The Congressional Squad of young, progressive minority women in Congress garner a lot of airtime perpetuating the democratic talking points (lies). They dominate social media too, manipulating younger voters. But what are Republicans doing? We have very few young, diverse spokespeople and politicians countering the lies with facts.
So how do we fight back? Spread the truth laid out here in this article. We may not be able to change the law before the election, but the truth will shine a light on which party is manipulating the electorate. Finally, encourage your family, friends and neighbors to vote. Offer to turn in a ballot for someone if they say they don’t have time. Ballot harvesting is legal now and if you don’t think the
Democrats have plans to collect ballots, you simply aren’t paying attention.
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Michelle Mortensen is an 8-time Emmy winning TV journalist who has been featured on ABC, CBS, CNN, Fox, MSNBC & NBC. She is a two-time Republican candidate for public office, a small business owner, consumer advocate and political commentator. She is the Founder and Chairman of Building A Better Nevada and sits on the board of WIN Nevada. She holds two degrees from Southern Methodist University and is a licensed minister. A wife and mother, Michelle is featured on various news and talk radio programs. Follow her at www.michellemortensen.com, and Facebook.com/michellemmortense
By Michelle M. Mortensen