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article imageOp-Ed: The big mail vote fraud that can’t happen, explained

By Paul Wallis     Aug 29, 2020 in Politics
Washington - For a guy who regularly accuses everyone of conspiracies, Trump has gone one step further – Predicting a mail vote conspiracy that can’t happen even in theory unless both parties are incredibly corrupt.
Mail voting in the United States is as controversial as it can get. Apparently Republicans don’t vote by mail, not even Pony Express. There’s also the problem that in the middle of a pandemic, some people voting by mail might miss out on the chance to get the virus, or get shot by vigilantes, or something. It’s all very worrying. America’s attempts to turn itself into a second version of 1990s Sudan might be seriously set back, too.
Voting by mail is very simple. Just go to your state election office and see what you can do. Mail voting, also called “absentee” voting, is one of your options.
Voting by mail is also pretty straightforward when it comes to counting votes:
• All votes are counted.
• Invalid votes are discarded. (Unless it’s a write-in vote)
• Both parties check votes for irregularities.
• Both parties can challenge invalid votes.
…So mail vote fraud would be pointless at best.
Possible issues caused by huge numbers of mail votes
Any mail vote problems are likely to be based on much more mundane issues. In New York, a system which wasn’t designed to manage large volumes of mail votes didn’t do too well. The printers couldn’t keep up with the demand for ballots, for one thing. Other states have seen massive increases in mail voting, with various issues, too.
…So is Trump saying that all these votes are invalid? Every state has its own electoral counting rules. Some states have specified vote counting schedules. Some don’t.
Exactly how would “fra ud” happen?
There are only so many ways you can commit voter “fraud”:
1. Vote for the person you don’t want to vote for.
2. Pretend to be someone else. (You probably should. If you can’t even accept the right of other people to vote differently. being you can’t amount to much, can it?)
3. Send in fake votes/voters and assume that the electoral officers, the political scrutineers, and nobody else will notice and that you won’t get quite rightly arrested for a serious Federal offense.
Of those, option 3 seems to be the big bad scary thing for Trump. There are a few problems, though.
1. This isn’t the Tammany Hall era. That was people voting in person multiple times and nobody doing anything about it. Despite various allegations by Giuliani, voter fraud is a major offense, and prosecutable. If Giuliani’s allegations were correct, who was prosecuted, or why weren’t they? He was running New York at the time.
2. Any kind of voting irregularity can be spotted, and usually is, unless scrutineers aren’t doing their jobs.
3. A fake vote is invalid and has to be counted as such. That’s it. It’s not even a vote which can achieve anything.
…So is Trump saying his own people won’t do their jobs with mail votes? That the electoral offices won’t do theirs? This is so far a non-existent conspiracy against which there are many safeguards if it does happen.
Meanwhile, the GOP is sending out How to Vote Absentee information to dead people? How does that stack up, if the big election message is “fraud”? Some of the GOP reps are serial mail voters. Is that “fraud”?
Looks to me that mail vote fraud is Trump’s ready-made excuse for losing. For a guy who likes reading how he “talks like a Mob boss” (if Mob bosses came with sprinkles, presumably) and as much applause as he can find, it’s an odd way to run an election.
It’s not an odd way to lose an election, though. Blame the voters. Works every time.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
More about usa mail voting, absentee voting usa, mail voting fraud, Rudy giuliani, US Secretary of State
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