COVID-19 pandemic election laws shouldn’t become the new normal
ANALYSIS / OPINION:
State election laws, hastily revised ahead of the November 2020 presidential election to make it easier for people to vote during the coronavirus, have led to systemic mistrust of the integrity of our electoral system, and it is the reason why many Republican-controlled states have decided to adopt new electoral laws, strengthening the system.
It’s also why Democrats were so keen to nationalize our federal election when they took office – many state laws passed in 2020, most of which were meant to be temporary – wreaked havoc on the system. , thus facilitating cheating. Democrats would like to codify these rules, making a pandemic year the benchmark for all future elections. Republicans must work at the state level to prevent this from happening.
Take, for example, Georgia, where an independent inquiry continues to be conducted into the vote count in Fulton County, where forensic analysts inspect mail-in ballots for forgeries or other signs of fraud. .
In March 2020, Georgian Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger gave in to Democratic demands and signed a consent decree – without ever consulting state legislative bodies – that made it more difficult to reject the postal ballots . Instead of allowing a single election official to determine whether a ballot was valid or not, three election officials had to decide whether the ballot should be rejected by majority rule, resulting in a lower rejection rate .
In 2016, the rejection rate of postal ballots in Georgia was 6.4%. In 2018, it was 3.1%. In 2020, it fell to 0.3%, while processing five times the volume of ballots, due to prolonged postal efforts. Former President Donald J. Trump lost Georgia by around 12,000 votes. Changing that one rule – in March 2020 – may have cost him the state.
Additionally, due to the coronavirus and fears that people will not show up for the in-person vote, Georgia has decided to use drop boxes for the very first time. Counties were to have a clear chain of custody on these ballots, which were to be delivered to electoral districts on the day of collection to be signed and filed with election officials.
Yet in many counties in Georgia this has not happened. No one seems to know who was collecting it, and some ballots that were collected from the drop boxes were not delivered to the compound for four or five days. Each of Georgia’s 159 counties had their own contractors and vendors monitoring these drop boxes – which were available for use around the clock – making it difficult for the state to know which voters were using them and who was collecting the ballots. to vote.
Fulton County is the fourth county in Georgia to be investigated for failing to complete mail-in ballot transfer forms whenever election officials collected ballots from mailboxes. filing, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported last week. The whole process was botched, leading skeptics to believe the ballot harvest, where Democratic agents collect voters’ ballots to sign them fraudulently, then put them back in a drop box, and / or the stuffing of ballot papers was rife.
To prove it, however, Georgia would have to examine every camera in every drop box, to see exactly who was casting those ballots, when they were delivered to the compound, and then be able to trace them back to the elector. It’s a Herculean task – making fraud easier to avoid.
This year, in the face of brutal Democratic opposition, Georgia has sought to strengthen its electoral security. Wisely, the state’s Republicans limited the number of drop boxes to be used in future elections and reduced the length of time voters would have access to them, so they could have a better chain of custody. It also moved from verifying the signature on mail ballots to an identification requirement, such as putting a driver’s license number on a ballot, so that it would be less subjective for election workers to know which ballots were legitimate and which were not.
The new law is hardly a “Jim Crow” relic, as Democrats claim. It is purely designed to make voting easier and cheating more difficult. Restoring confidence in the electoral process, after a year of pandemic and changed electoral laws, wreaked havoc on the system. All states, governed by Republican legislative bodies, should adopt similar measures.
• Kelly Sadler is commentary editor at the Washington Times.