Donald Trump claims he won the election and Democrats cheated by illegally converting Trump votes to votes for Joe Biden. That declaration on its own is apparently all the proof his indoctrinated followers need to convince them beyond a shadow of doubt the election process was flawed.
I have yet to have Trump supporters explain exactly what specific evidence they have been personally made aware of to support the claim of massive fraud that would have erased the substantial margin of victory amassed by Biden.
Having worked numerous fraud cases as an FBI special agent, I know federal prosecutors wouldn’t touch any case I presented to them unless I furnished specific evidence that would hold up in court.
Reading a recent article by an avid Trump supporter provides an example of the unproven generalities making the rounds throughout Trump’s base. It charged that changes and methods of administering the election had been made that were definitely on shaky ground. That required a thorough investigation to root out the suspected fraud.
No compelling evidence was offered to support any illicit changes and methods. Specifically, what proof of the reality of any shaky ground. The writer didn’t provide, and mostly likely wasn’t aware of, any concrete confirmation to support his unproven claim of illegality.
You would think the brainwashed followers would start to open their minds to the possibility there was no fraud. That based on the dozens of the suits filed in federal court, all the way to the Supreme Court, promptly dismissed and often accompanied by severe chastisements noting a lack of standing and any supportable evidence. But no. The faithful would rather trust Trump’s outrage than the judgment of all the courts in the land.
Even though there is no doubt Trump will be run out of the White House on a rail, the damage to one of the primary tenets of our democracy has received a severe blow that may haunt America for years to come or even longer. There remain tens of millions of duped followers who will now remain convinced the way we elect our presidents is based on fraud and deceit.
One possible way to limit damage in the future might be to ditch the Electoral College and chose a winner by popular vote. That wouldn’t necessarily eliminate claims of false ballots, but it might help eliminate all the ways now available to attempt to torpedo the convoluted electoral process. Obviously, any political attempt to coerce the millions of regular voters to change their choice would be an impossibility.
Those still favoring the Electoral College rationalize the votes of citizens in smaller states would be marginalized by those in larger. My response is to question why the vote of someone living in the ghetto of a large state should be less impactful than for someone living in the wide-open spaces of smaller one. I’ve have yet to get a credible response to justify such an obvious inequity.
Other needed changes in how America votes are required; the last kind of improvements the Republicans want to see enacted. That’s because the number of potential democratic voters, especially including minorities, is continually on the rise; such that red states are now predicted to turn blue in the not-too-distant future. Suppressing the vote of the opposition has therefore become a primary Republican strategy.
Making it harder for minorities to vote has become the norm. Limiting the location of polling sites and distancing them in locations not easily accessible have flourished. Laws and rules intended to make it more difficult for minorities to qualify to vote have been insidiously implemented.
Gerrymandering involves redrawing the boundaries of a district to favor the candidate of the party in control. Republican controlled states have been the primary perpetrators of engaging in this unfair tactic of electing state and federal legislators.
With minority communities less able to leave work and stand in line for hours to cast votes, a secure and sensible alternative is to cast write-in ballots. Republican efforts in the recent election to eliminate this way of voting exemplify their fear of a surging wave of democratic influence.
Raymond A. Hult, Bountiful, is a retired FBI special agent who dealt with fraudulent schemes and phony representations.