President Trump is breaking the “go along-get along” establishment Republican mold yet again. This time he is focused on the risk of voter fraud.
Voter fraud is a grave threat to our Republic. It undermines citizens’ confidence in the electoral process and undermines popular sovereignty, the foundation of our constitutional democracy.
President Donald Trump has done a great service by getting out ahead of this issue. By shining a spotlight on election integrity now, he is helping to ensure that We the People have a chance to enjoy the benefit of a free and fair election this November.
Waiting until after November 3 to raise concerns about electoral integrity would be to fall into the trap of “Civics for Suckers!”
Historically, Republicans waited to raise the issue of voter fraud and election integrity only after an election. That is, only after the damage has been done and the results announced by the media.
Complaining about an election outcome, after the fact, can easily be characterized as “sour grapes” — especially by an unfriendly leftist media.
Think about Norm Coleman’s “loss” to Al Franken in 2008 in 2020 battleground state Minnesota. On the morning after the election in November 2008, Coleman had a 725 vote lead. Lawsuits followed and Franken was eventually declared the winner. A subsequent study found that 1,099 felons had illegally voted. Senator Franken then gave Democrats the 60th vote they needed to pass Obamacare.
In a recent Washington Post op-ed, attorney Ben Ginsburg said there is no evidence of widespread voter fraud. This misses the point. Voter fraud does not need to be widespread to tip a presidential or senate election.
Remember the “hanging chads” in Miami-Dade County? That single county could have decided a presidential election. Voter fraud in a single district, or perhaps even in a single precinct, in a swing state such as Pennsylvania is all it might take to defeat the president from winning a second term.
Evidence of voter fraud in recent elections is undeniable.
One federal study found approximately 2,200 individuals in Florida voted twice in the 2016 presidential election: once in Florida and once in another state. This number is more than three times greater than President George W. Bush’s margin of victory in Florida in 2000.
In the 2018 election, a review of Palm Beach County voter rolls found 2,200 dead people on them with 139 voting from the grave.
In Florida, a dead poodle received a voter registration application.
In 2018, a North Carolina congressional election had to be redone because a candidate’s worker unlawfully harvested hundreds of ballots.
Several months ago in Patterson, New Jersey, a city of 145,000 people, the city council elections were invalidated because they were so rife with voter fraud that it was impossible to declare a winner.
A Heritage Foundation report found 949 criminal convictions for voter fraud across the country.
Concern for election fraud in 2020 is heightened because many Democrats believe that they are on a moral crusade and must defeat Trump by “any means necessary.” Think I’m kidding? A former aide to President Obama said she hoped President Trump died from Covid, while 40 percent of Democrats polled were happy that Trump contracted the Coronavirus.
As President Trump said in the debate last week, presidential election ballots have already been found in creek beds and in wastebaskets.
Ballots are being sent indiscriminately to outdated voter lists. People are receiving multiple ballots. In Nevada, where all mail voting is happening for the very first time, over 230,000 ballots were sent to wrong addresses in their June primary.
Democrats would have you believe that all of this talk of voter fraud is a Republican fantasy. But it’s the Democrats who are working to weaken ballot integrity measures. They argue that even the modest requirement of producing positive identification to vote is somehow “voter suppression.”
In the debate, President Trump smartly called attention to voter fraud when he said: “I’m urging my supporters to go into the polls and watch very carefully. Because that’s what has to happen.”
This clearly touched a nerve. Biden-Harris’s media allies panicked. Rolling Stone blared Trump is calling “for mobs of his supporters to sow chaos at voting places.” The New York Times screamed, “Trump and his allies give license to election discord.”
By calling attention to potential voter fraud, President Trump is trying to preserve to sanctity of the election process. If people think they are being closely watched, they are much less likely to violate the law – you’re not going to speed if you think there’s a policeman around the corner.
In 2016, Donald Trump won a decisive Electoral College victory by just 107,000 votes in three swing states—just .08 percent of the total number of ballots cast. This year, there are many competitive Senate races, which will most likely be decided by a smaller overall number of votes than the presidential election. These, too, are vulnerable to fraud.
President Trump got it right. The dangers of voter fraud are very real and the time to try to prevent it is now. The fate of our nation hangs in the balance.
Mark W. Smith, a constitutional attorney and a senior fellow of law and public policy at the King’s College in New York City, is the author of First They Came for the Gun Owners: The Campaign to Disarm You and Take Your Freedoms.