Smaller Government: Election Integrity
How election integrity could be strengthened
The left and right have stark contrasts in realities of what happened on the night of the 2020 election. Since then, it appears they have doubled down on their positions. The left voter base is convinced that any rebuke or skepticism of the 2020 results is due to the right being brainwashed by Trump, while the right has become more doubtful of the credibility of the final results. This has led to red states (Republican controlled) to legislate bills into law to tighten election security, with the establishment left-wing accusing them of racism and threatening voter rights. At one point, the Democrat-controlled Congress attempted to pass an “expansion” of voter rights in response to red states passing election integrity laws. Which of these two realities holds weight? There are also debates about how campaigns are run: what’s the deal with Super PACs, and how can the American people combat against them? There are times when the answers are clear, while sometimes it’s more complicated, despite common resentment.
Voting Rights or Election Integrity?
The left-wing voter base is convinced the election was not stolen. Thus, when they see red states pass measures to further minimize corruption, it’s viewed as not just unnecessary, but of malevolent intent, too. A corporation, Major League Baseball, decided to move their All-Star Game out of Atlanta because Georgia passed a law requiring their residents to present a photo ID when registering to vote, requesting a ballot, and voting at the ballot box. What happened in the 2020 election that has right-leaning voters disregarding the allegations against them?
People have to remember that this was the year COVID altered everything. People’s livelihoods were shut down to “slow the spread,” and thus the question of how people were going to vote became a debate. There were many changes that occurred last-minute, bypassing state legislators in some instances. The Republican National Committee did a report of the 2020 election, citing serious confirmed procedural flaws. Take this with a grain of salt, but this gives insight into the Republican voter mind:
“Democrats, including some public officials, used the pandemic as a pretense to achieve long-sought policy goals such as expanded mail voting and the elimination of key safeguards, specifically for absentee voting, such as witness and ID requirements. One of the worst examples is the automatic mailing of ballots to voters who did not request them, including in states such as New Jersey and Nevada that had no tradition of heavy absentee voting and were unprepared to scale up their processes. Another example was how state courts ignored laws enacted by their legislatures such as ballot delivery deadlines. Utilizing emergency powers and the courts, the Democrats attempted, with some success, to tear down these key safeguards that give Americans confidence in our elections.”
“This included lowering review standards for counting ballots and insufficient ballot duplication procedures. This easing of standards combined with a lack of observer access to the processing and counting of absentee ballots could not have coincided at a worse time.”
“The Committee understands the need for social distancing, but officials were often far too aggressive in restricting access of poll watchers and observers.”
“Chief among these are ongoing failures of states to clean up their voter rolls and security vulnerabilities in election voting systems and infrastructure. There continue to be ongoing problems with a lack of public access to important election records and data.”
There were many testimonies of people who received absentee ballots despite not being a registered voter, not being a resident of the state anymore, or not requesting the ballot. Nevada had 1,500 votes counted despite those individuals being recorded as dead. Arizona’s election audit confirmed 17,000 duplicate votes; Georgia also had major issues with duplicate votes. Michigan had roughly 66,000 unregistered ballots counted; and Texas, a state Trump won, had 11,000 votes counted from unregistered citizens. Wisconsin had manipulation of voter registration, creating a whopping 93% turnout on election day, despite the average percentage being around the high 60s/low 70s. This is confirmed data, despite the Clinton-funded fact checkers’ rebuttals and media denial. States like Michigan and Pennsylvania had Republican Poll Watchers booted out after a period of time; Detroit went as far as to put up visual blockades as poll watchers demanded to return inside. All of this was done in the name of protecting “democracy” and “voter rights.”
These confirmed reports would disturb any sane human. However, the media and establishment have convinced the other half of the population that this is just a conspiracy—that the true intentions of these election integrity laws are to suppress the minority vote. And as mentioned in the beginning, Democrats at the federal level attempted to federalize the election process altogether to expand voter rights. These are their provisions for what they deem voter rights:
Prohibit states from requiring an excuse to vote absentee.
Require states to mail absentee-ballot applications to all voters.
Require states to allow voters to apply for an absentee ballot online.
Prohibit states from requiring absentee ballots to be notarized or have witness signatures.
Count all absentee ballots postmarked by Election Day and received within 10 days.
Require states to offer 15 consecutive days of early voting.
Require “to the greatest extent practicable” that polling places to keep waits under 30 minutes.
Require states that mandate voter IDs to also accept sworn statements signed by the voter.
Require states to allow people to register to vote on Election Day.
Require states to allow people to register to vote online.
Require states to offer automatic voter registration at the department of motor vehicles and other government agencies.
Tightly restrict states’ ability to purge voters from the rolls.
Make Election Day a national holiday.
Make it illegal to intentionally deceive voters or mislead them into not voting.
Restore the right to vote to people who have been convicted of a felony but are no longer in prison (including those on parole and probation).
Implement public funding for congressional campaigns by matching every dollar a candidate raises from small donors with $6 from the government.
There are other provisions in there, but you get the point. This disregarded the constitutional process of allowing the states to determine how their residents are going to vote. Additionally, these measures are the same kind that led to the most dangerous levels of voter irregularities America has ever seen. Essentially, if this were to pass, it would eradicate not only the integrity of the electoral process, but also the public’s confidence in the results. It’s attempting to fix something that isn’t broken. That said, if changes were to take place, they would need to go through the constitutional amendment process, because the nature of these changes severely strips the power of the state and gives it to the federal government. This is not to suggest that the federal government doesn’t have a role in protecting the rights of individuals to vote; however, the Constitution strongly favors the power of the states to legislate their voting procedures. Should there be an amendment to possibly strengthen the federal government’s role, the check and balance needed from the federal government would be to ensure that the states don’t abuse the trust of their people. These are some proposals to protect the people’s legal votes:
Every state shall practice “Use It Or Lose It” procedures for federal elections to ensure the voter registration presents an accurate reflection of the state population. States have discretion on the application of this requirement.
Every state shall impose a proper vetting system of identification, with a minimum requirement of a photo identification card.
Every state shall practice in-person voting, making limited exceptions for mail-in ballots, to include citizens who are handicapped, military personnel, and first responders.
Every state shall be prohibited from practicing election day voter registration.
Every state is prohibited from accepting new ballots after the national election day.
American citizens must take the initiative to register to vote.
Only American citizens are eligible to register to vote.
All subjects not covered in this amendment are subject to Article 10.
It is my belief that the only reasonable expansion of the federal government’s role in the election process is to minimize corruption, but only through the constitutional amendment process. State legislators can decide on every other matter, such as early voting, vetting systems, voting machines, online registration, etc. If the state wanted to, they could declare election day a holiday, if it’s within their people’s interest. None of these subjects increase the chance for election manipulation and canceling out the legal vote to gain a political advantage in the final count. California is arguably the most corrupt state in its election process, and unless the federal government intervenes, the state is a lost cause. That cannot happen under the current limitations placed in the Constitution. Since the beginning of our nation’s foundation, voter rights were at the forefront for reform; now, if America wants to avoid reaching third-world status, election integrity should be the main concentration of the 21st century.
The campaign has been a controversy in regards to how expensive it can get, in conjunction with where that money comes from. The complexity of the subject is derived from how limitations to contributions for campaigns clash with freedom of speech. If there are going to be changes, they must be done within the framework of the Constitution. Then again, what can be done?
There are certain legal aspects to comprehend about campaigning. Candidates always strive to gain the voters’ donations to fund their quest to earn a spot in office, and voters have the right to donate—however, did you know there are limitations? Individuals can only donate up to $2,900 for a candidate running for federal office. American citizens can donate up to $10,000 to State, District, or Local Political Party Committees; if you want to donate to a National Political Party Committee, that limit increases to $30,000. This doesn’t mean that states don’t have the power, as the Supreme Court ruled in 2014 that states also have the right to decide whether they will limit contributions for their local elections, practically making the $10,000 limit worthless. Thus, we have some states that have no cap for what an individual can donate to their preferred candidate in state elections. States also can impose bans on corporations from contributing to state elections; but when it comes to federal elections, because of the Tillman Act, corporations are banned from donating *directly* to campaigns. The thought is that these corporations or wealthy individuals would have too much influence on a candidate if they had no limit, and would essentially be bribing them. However, this is where Political Action Committees (PACs) come into play, and where most of the controversy lies.
What is a PAC? They are an organized group of politically active individuals with the sole purpose of raising and spending money to elect and defeat candidates. They have limits on how much money they can contribute to a candidate committee. The most notable PAC, and the most controversial, is the Super PAC. Super PACs don’t have a limit on the amount of funds they can contribute towards campaigning for or against candidates indirectly. This is the loophole corporations use to donate to candidates of their choice, yet the controversy doesn’t end there—while Super PACs aren’t allowed to contribute money towards political campaigns, political candidates and their teams can use their campaign money to contribute to these Super PACs on their behalf. Where does the money come from? Good question, and that’s also another dilemma that arises: the lack of transparency. Super PACs don’t abide by the same rules in regards to disclosing information on their donors. The rules are vague, only requiring them to disclose their donor’s name to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) on a semiannual basis, allowing them to push off the disclosure until after an election. They must submit a pre-election report 20 days before a primary they will be involved in, but between that report and the election, the Super PAC can wait until the next quarter ends before disclosing its finances. Is the bureaucracy making your head spin?
The Supreme Court ruling in 2010 has made it impossible to limit the contributions, citing the First Amendment. Otherwise, an argument should be made to create a flat contribution limit for all PACs, to include Super PACs. This can be the case for other PACs, but there needs to be another approach for these Super PACs. The case could be made to prohibit political candidates from any association with them; however, the issue of the First Amendment arises again. And it’s not technically bribery, since they aren’t accepting the money from Super PACs. The best course of action, I’d argue, is to remove the cap for individual citizens and PACs in an attempt to level the playing field. Why are only select privileged groups allowed to donate without limits? This appears to be another example of the failures by the government to regulate morality. Additionally, there could be a law that forces political candidates to disclose all of their donor contributions for the public to consume on a weekly basis once they make their candidacy known. These political candidates would not be able to accept money from anonymous sources, either, further minimizing corruption. It would be the American people’s responsibility to research their candidates and their influences. This shrinkage of government may be uncomfortable, but this gives the power back to individual citizens to better hold these politicians accountable, possibly strengthening election integrity.
Election integrity is needed to ensure confidence in the American people that their vote matters. There were more than just the voter irregularities in 2020—the ethics of campaigning also became an issue. Is it possible that these Super PACs were involved with the fraud that took place in 2020? Possibly; do your own research. That said, by adding safeguards to ensure the votes are being counted legally, it can offset those concerns. It’s our responsibility as private citizens to educate ourselves on the electoral process, learn about our local politics, do research on the ones who are supposed to be serving our best interests, and hold them accountable. Americans need to take advantage of the publicly available information to learn about their leaders, at least as long as Big Tech allows; but the information somehow always gets out. Freedom isn’t free, but fought. Preserving our republic will require work. “Ask not what your country can do for you—ask what can you do for your country?”
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