- - Monday, September 28, 2020

Presidential elections are typically nerve-wracking affairs, and the usual advice for nail-biters is to trust the system. But maybe not this time. Considering the depths of deceit plumbed by Donald Trump’s adversaries who have attempted unsuccessfully to upend his presidency, there is reason to suspect underhanded efforts are afoot to thwart his re-election. Law-abiding voters should keep a sharp eye on the electoral process to ensure that both the Republican president — and his Democratic opponent Joe Biden receive every legitimate ballot, and not one more.

Assurances that elections are safe and vote fraud is rare were shaken twice last week. First, four Texans, including a Democratic county commissioner, were arrested and charged with running a ballot-harvesting scheme in which absentee ballots were mailed to ineligible individuals. The commissioner received nearly three-quarters of the absentee votes and won his primary by just five. Then, the Justice Department opened an investigation in Pennsylvania, where ballots cast during the 2016 presidential election were found in the trash.

These alleged election violations followed an Aug. 29 New York Post article titled, “Confessions of a voter fraudster: I was a master at fixing mail-in ballots.” In an anonymous interview, a “top Democratic operative” explained how for years he directed teams of fellow fraudsters in altering mail-in ballots in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

But the most striking example of voter fraud may be one delivered this week after a sting operation by James O’Keefe, founder and president of Project Veritas. Mr. O’Keefe leveled accusations of ballot harvesting — with extensive video to prove it — against Rep. Ilhan Omar’s campaign in Minnesota. Authorities are investigating.

 



Democrats often dismiss ballot tampering as a myth, but an election fraud database operated by The Heritage Foundation counts 1,298 proven cases of voter fraud, resulting in 1,121 criminal convictions.

Sadly, a partisan gulf has opened in America’s views about the issue of voter fraud. Republicans are four times more likely than Democrats to see problems arising from mail-in balloting, according to a recent Pew Research Center survey. Some 80 million voters are expected to vote by mail this fall, owing to coronavirus fears.

Among Republicans and voters leaning in the party’s direction, 43% say voter fraud in the U.S. presidential elections is a major problem, and 31% consider it a minor problem. Five percent expressed no concern. In contrast, only 11% of Democrats and those leaning Democratic describe fraud as a major issue, with another 23% calling it a minor concern. A predominating 47% voiced no apprehension over the issue.

The deep divide is not hard to fathom. Republicans watched for three years as the political opposition attempted to wreck the Trump presidency. With 2016 race loser Hillary Clinton urging Mr. Biden “to not concede under any circumstances,” there is ample reason for Americans to remain vigilant against attempts to use mail-in and absentee voting as new schemes for dislodging Mr. Trump from the White House.

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