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Be Careful What you Wish for

A friend of nearly 40 years sent me a link to an article, and asked what I thought. The writer, Rich Lowry, editor of the National Review and a Politico Magazine contributor, raised some intriguing points about voting by mail. 

I almost never use my article to analyze another writer’s article, but I’m making an exception here. What I liked most about the article is that it provided a segue into something I have been reluctant to talk or write about.

The premise for Lowry’s article is that the Democrats are banking too much on a massive vote by mail strategy. He notes that only about one-hundredth of one percent (.001%) of in-person votes are rejected, whereas rejection rates of one percent (1%) are common with mail-in votes, and many states exceeded that during their primaries this year. According to NPR, studies show “that voters of color and young voters are more likely than others to have their ballots not count.”

Lowry raises the possibility of millions of votes cast by mail not being counted. An estimated 500,000 mail-in ballots were rejected in recently held presidential primaries.

Democrats have been telling voters to vote by mail and not risk getting a COVID infection. Lowry says there are at least three ways that mail-in voting could backfire. If Trump’s ahead on election night, and the daily margin narrows, he and his base will start claiming that the election is being stolen. After one or two weeks of counting mail-in ballots, confidence in the results will be totally undermined. Then, it becomes a race against the deadlines. What if election officials stop counting when time is up, and the number of uncounted ballots is larger than the margin of victory for either candidate? What if they keep counting until all ballots are counted, deadlines be damned? You could have two winners after all votes have been counted  – whoever was ahead on the deadline date, and whoever wins beyond the deadline. Imagine this scenario playing out in a major battleground state. We could see the Supreme Court decide the election of two of our last three presidents. 

Here’s my fear. If Trump is ahead when all in-person votes have been counted, and his margin begins to diminish as the count of mail-in ballots progresses, he might incite his heavily armed white supremacist mobs to take to the streets in cities with Democratic mayors in battleground states. 

Republican governors and members of Congress will start calling on Trump to do something to protect the “integrity” of the electoral process and “save” democracy. "Something" is code for "send in the troops", which means confiscate the mailed-in ballots. The ballots could be damaged or destroyed, and Trump will be certified the official winner, and he's in for four more years. It could happen.

Dr. Juan Andrade, Jr. 
President
United States Hispanic Leadership Institute, Inc.

About USHLI

USHLI is an award-winning Chicago-based national non-profit, non-partisan, tax-exempt organization. Since 1982, USHLI has registered 2.3 million new voters; published 425 reports on Latino demographics and the Almanac of Latino Politics; sponsored 38 national conferences, each attended by leaders from 40 states; trained over 1.1 million present and future leaders; and awarded over $1.3 million in scholarships and internships.
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