In my last elections piece, I obliterated some very ugly, but completely made-up narratives. In this piece, I’m not planning to drift back into that seedy back-alley full of all the things that might be wrong (if only we had some proof). Instead, let’s talk about the biggest problems facing our election systems across the country. This is not my list. It comes from national election integrity groups like Save our States, America First Policy Institute for Election Integrity, Conservative Partnership Institute, Election Integrity Network, American Constitutional Rights Union, and others. I recently spent an afternoon in a room with top-level people in these organizations and others (like Judicial Watch) listening to what they perceive to be the real threats we should focus on.
Here’s the short-list of their main concerns. It’s all about ballot drop boxes, lack of voter id, same-day voter registration, universal unsolicitd mail-in ballots, and ranked-choice voting. One-hundred precent (100%) of the problem that keeps the most studied minds on this issue up at night is stuff we do not do in Louisiana. Did you happen to notice the most glaring item that’s not on that list? Not a single time during my three-days at this conservative conference did I hear anyone worried about voting machines. Now, before you get all huffy on me, we need to completely understand a few concepts.
Let’s be real for a minute
“I was at the [White House] when Trump walked out at about 2 am and declared the election was stolen. Certainly it was suspicious, but a lot of analysis has been done over the last two years and it appears that Democrats found technical AND legal ways to bloat their voting numbers. COVID gave them the excuse to memorialize mail-in ballots in a huge way, in states that are Democrat-leaning.
“While it may not be ethical to have massive mail-in votes and even voter harvesting, it isn’t necessarily illegal. My position is we can either continue to urge our voters to vote only on Election Day (knowing many of them will not get around to it), or we can change the laws, or recalibrate how Republicans run elections, especially in these problematic states.
“The easiest thing to do is stay in the conspiratorial lane so we can sooth each other’s pain but continue giving power to the incompetent Democrats. Note that in Trump’s [recent speeches he has] said nothing about his 2020 election or even the 2022 election being stolen.” That’s because it’s not a winning message. “Preaching that when Republicans lose races, it is merely through cheating is a non-starter and will set us back a decade.”
Stop disenfranchising your own voters
“You may recall that lawyer posing as a Trump supporter from Georgia declared before the two senate runoff elections in 2022 that the 2020 race was rigged and Republicans should not vote. Well, they didn’t vote and we lost 2 senate seats and the senate. How was that helpful to Republicans or Trump? That won’t win elections, which is all that counts.
“I think the cold water dumped on us [for] failing to perform as expected in 2022 informs us as to what has truly happened. I suspected this after detailed audits, especially in Arizona, failed to uncover widespread illegal behavior. It was confirmed among many of us now that it happened again in 2022.
“That’s why they can elect terrible candidates because they have figured out how to control low information voters’ votes. COVID gave them the ability to justify wide spread mail-in and drop off votes. We can and must compete in those states that make this legal. Crying ‘stolen elections’ will continue to lose elections for us.”
What’s really broken?
Here’s an excerpt from a recent article in the Hill (who are no friends of ours, by the way).
As the Democrats blanketed American college campuses, knocked on dormitory doors, sent Democratic candidates and organizations to meet with students, saturated TikTok and other social media platforms with their campaign mantras, taught “Mail-in Voting for Dummies” classes, and actually gave these college-age voters the respect they deserve, where were those leading the GOP? McConnell, McCarthy, McDaniel and others seemed to be missing in action.
“Dems are using modernized laws and technology to outperform us when it comes to the mechanics of voter turnout. Republicans believe winning the debate wins at the ballot box. Dems believe losing the debate doesn’t matter, only winning the vote no matter how. They don’t have to cheat to win, just control the voting operation. Screaming ‘they stole the election’ instead of going to work to catch up only sets us back.
“I am disappointed in the 2022 performance, but I am terrified at what it means. Republicans remain in a sad state of denial. Republicans are obsessed with holding office and holding any majority. Democrats are obsessed with changing our culture and laws and willing to risk losing majorities. They can make it up with superior turnout operations. It no longer matters that Democrat voters are lazy and don’t come out to vote. Operators can simply bring the ballot to them and drop it off at the mailbox or deposit box.”
How do we fix it?
“If we stick with the Kari Lake narrative, we will be stuck in denial for another 2 years. If the law allows you to take a ballot to a voter, have them complete it and drop it in the mail, it’s not fraud. As long as we stick with [the fraud narrative], we will continue to lose elections. We need to build our own voter turnout operations. There is no reason why we can’t use the very same laws/methods to turn out our voters as they do. Rather than complain about mail-in ballots and drop off boxes, either change the law or use them as well.”
None of this is to say that voting machines or bloated voter rolls aren’t a concern. However, they are proving to be a huge distraction from an even bigger series of problems. Thankfully, Louisiana’s history of leadership in election integrity has kept many of these issues outside of our borders.