Americans Must Have Honest Elections | Opinion

The focus on counting votes for Donald Trump in the presidential election misses the deeper and more frightening part of the current election mess.

It is not primarily President Trump whose rights have been trampled and whose liberty is being threatened. It is the American people's.

Our constitutional system requires the rule of law to survive.

When the Founding Fathers wrote that all people are "endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness," they understood that the rule of law was at the heart of protecting those rights.

Equality before the law must begin with equality at the ballot box.

This belief in the importance of voting is what inspired the suffragette movement for women to vote and the Civil Rights movement for African Americans to vote in the 19th and 20th centuries.

The intensity of the presidential election is shining a spotlight on potential election cheating on a scale which threatens the survival of our freedoms.

Whatever happens to President Trump's reelection efforts, we have an absolute obligation to dig into every allegation of corruption to safeguard every American, not just Trump.

Systemic corruption and vote theft was a major issue in the 19th century. Both Roosevelts—Theodore and Franklin—began their careers as reformers taking on the New York political machine. A major characteristic of the reform movement after 1900 was its focus on election corruption. Lincoln Steffens's great work, The Shame of the Cities, outlined step by step how sick the system had become.

A wave of election law and civil service reform dramatically reduced the power of machine politicians. While some pockets of corruption remained (Philadelphia apparently was never reformed, for example), the overall system was reasonably honest.

In 2000, the Florida system's inadequacies drew national attention and Gov. Jeb Bush drove through a set of reforms which gave Florida one of the most honest and accurate voting systems in the country. As John McLaughlin notes, the state "changed the election laws to make it more secure, transparent and traceable. You need to produce voter ID to vote in person. Absentees are verified. Every voter can check to make sure their vote has been counted."

Meanwhile, in the last decade, the Democrats have worked to make elections easier to steal. Andrea Widburg wrote in The American Thinker that Democrats "have steadily chipped away at other election legitimacy gatekeepers, such as identification checks and signature matches." This made elections in Democrat-run states vulnerable to fraud, Widburg wrote.

Georgia recount
Gwinnett County election workers handle ballots as part of the recount for the 2020 presidential election at the Beauty P. Baldwin Voter Registrations and Elections Building on November 16, 2020 in Lawrenceville, Georgia.Megan Varner/Getty

Consider the states of Nevada and Georgia. First, consider what former Nevada attorney general Adam Laxalt, quoting The Las Vegas Sun, had to say about the Nevada election:

"Judge Wilson acknowledged the Legislature, which is majority Democratic, reshaped state election law last summer to offer mail balloting to every active registered voter due to the coronavirus pandemic. The law allows challenges of in-person votes, but not of mailed-in ballots."...

We cannot challenge mail-in ballots. "Wayne Thorley, who served until Oct. 19 as Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske's top elections administrator, testified that there is currently no legal mechanism for observers to challenge mail-in ballots."...

In Las Vegas we have countless examples of loose ballots and bad rolls. We have an avalanche of misdelivered ballots, ballots in the trash, on top of mailboxes, loose in apartment buildings, on the ground. Remember Clark County [won't] allow observation or challenging of signatures.

Laxalt even tweeted that one address had received 19 ballots—only one of which was correct. Further, he asserted there are more than 600,000 ballots in Nevada which no Republican has been allowed to see.

As for Georgia, Widburg wrote,

The Georgia recount may be as corrupt as the election itself. On Friday morning, Georgia began to recount the votes it received on November 3. However, within a short time, reports came in that the recount process was being conducted with as little respect for transparency as the original vote count. Without that transparency, this recount is a waste of taxpayer time and money.

Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger seems intimidated by Stacy Abrams and her multimillion-dollar election project and its high-powered Washington lawyers.

According to Widburg, another "type of fraud involves counting. Data-crunchers have produced powerful evidence that electronic voting machines in contested states were set to switch votes from Trump to Biden.... There's strong evidence that the same pro-Biden code that showed up in Michigan also affected votes in Georgia."

Widburg asserts that vote counters also refused to verify signatures on mailed-in ballots.

"The refusal to check signatures or otherwise try to validate mail-in ballots has created hugely anomalous rejection rates," Widburg said. "Not content with removing these fraud controls, Raffensperger also ordered the counties to finish the process by 3 P.M. on Saturday. Georgia received roughly 5 million votes. It's ludicrous to believe they can properly be recounted in one and a half days."

David Shafer, the state Republican party chairman, said the rejection rate for absentee ballots in 2018 was 3.5 percent but the rejection rate in 2020, at least according to data from the secretary of state's website, was 0.3 percent. So absentee balloting jumped from 223,576 to 1,316,847 but the error rate dropped by 90 percent.

Shafer continues: "The Democrats claim the decline was because of training efforts by leftwing groups and new procedures for 'curing' rejected absentee ballots. Although that may account for some of the decline, I am suspicious that the massive increase in ballots...simply overwhelmed the verification system."

Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin also have examples of ballots needing reexamination.

The American people deserve a system which is open, transparent and reliable. They need to know that every legal vote will be counted and every effort at cheating will be stopped.

The American people deserve to have this counting process continued until it is clear every questionable ballot has been reviewed.

To read, hear, and watch more of Newt's commentary, visit Gingrich360.com.

The views expressed in this article are the writer's own.