As Election Night 2018 drew to a close, it looked as if the enthusiastically predicted “blue wave” of a sweeping Democratic victory had not come to pass. True, the party had picked up about 24 seats in the House, enough to make Nancy Pelosi speaker again—pretty much in accordance with political tradition that says the out party generally gains seats in the House in the next off-year election.
Still, the GOP had held onto its Senate majority, and three of the Democrats’ brightest young stars—Beto O’Rourke, Stacey Abrams, and Andrew Gillum—all were defeated. All in all, not bad, and hardly the confidently media-forecast tsunami.
And then came the late votes: absentee ballots, “provisional” ballots, and a cornucopia of “ballot harvesting.” In a remarkable coincidence, the Democrats picked up 17 more House seats nationwide in races that saw new donkey votes materialize literally at the last minute and beyond.
In formerly conservative Orange County, California, the GOP was skunked as every seat went to a Democrat. Republicans could only watch helplessly while apparently solid leads melted away as sacks of votes were dumped off at precincts or trickled in days later with handy Nov. 6 postmarks. In all, seven GOP seats in the state flipped.
The blue wave had come about—by gaming the system.
The Tammany Party
It wasn’t the first time Democrats have benefited from such astounding good fortune. In the close 2004 Washington state gubernatorial race, Republican Dino Rossi was declared the winner on election night, then won an automated recount. It wasn’t until a second recount, which was done by hand, that the Democrat “won,” after which they stopped counting.
And why not? A tranche of 723 uncounted ballots were miraculously discovered during the second recount; and thus Christine Gregoire, the Democrat, “won” by 129 votes.
Similarly, in Connecticut in 2010, Democrat Dannel Malloy defeated Tom Foley in part thanks to shenanigans in the rust-bucket city of Bridgeport, which got a court order on election night keeping the polls there open two hours longer than usual so that a newly printed bunch of ballots could be made available in selected precincts. Foley was clinging to an 8,000-vote lead statewide until that point—after which he lost.
The pattern is clear: In close races, the Democrats follow the totals very closely, until they know exactly how many votes they have to fabricate or manufacture, et voila! Who needs cemeteries when the likes of Connecticut Superior Court Judge Marshall K. Berger Jr. can decree extra time to benefit the Democrats?
In fact, at least since the middle of the 19th century, the Tammany Party has been rigging elections, intimidating voters at the polls, having their partisans vote multiple times, and conjuring marked ballots out of thin air. (For chapter and verse regarding Democrat electoral chicanery around the turn of the last century in New York, read “Plunkitt of Tammany Hall” by William L. Riordon.)
Changing the Bedrock Notion of Elections
One reason this works is the simple fact that elections are now weeks-long events. Early voting, absentee voting, “provisional” voting—which occurs when a voter’s eligibility is in question—and other exceptional exercises of the franchise have destroyed the bedrock notion that elections are held on a single day, between designated hours, in person, and at polling places determined by law.
The reasons for this notion are obvious. Prevention of fraud is one, of course, and to that end, many but not all localities require proof of residence and identity—the mysteriously controversial “voter ID.”
Another is that elections are meant to be snapshots of the national mood on a given time and place. Extending voting hours for days or even weeks and months makes a mockery of the process; we might just as well have a rolling daily plebiscite to see who will be president today, then vote for somebody else tomorrow.
As the Republicans discovered, the worst new wrinkle has been California’s quiet amending of its election code in 2016, which now permits a voter too sick or lazy to stand in line or even go to the polls to mark his ballot in his own home and either mail it back, drop it off in person at his local precinct or a designated drop-off location. And …
“However, a vote by mail voter who is unable to return the ballot may designate any person to return the ballot to the elections official from whom it came or to the precinct board at a polling place within the jurisdiction.” (Italics mine.)
In the hands of legions of Democrat operatives, it isn’t just “harvesting”—it’s outright solicitation, with canvassers going door to door offering to “pick up” ballots and even “helping” voters fill them out.
All of these changes to what used to be a straightforward procedure are couched in the language of rights, of course, making it easier for people to vote. But why should voting be easy? If voting is as solemn an activity as the Democrats say it is, why shouldn’t it be a special occasion, conducted in the privacy of the ballot box between fixed hours on a designated day?
Further, shouldn’t honest elections be in everybody’s interest? Shouldn’t something as “sacred” and important as the vote be as secure and legitimate as possible? And yet the push to expand voting rights—to felons and illegal aliens—ensures that it won’t be.
The fetishization of the franchise by the Jacobin left has only one purpose: gaining political power. Despite all the yapping in the secular media about the sanctity of the vote, a sizable minority of Americans don’t seem to care. Only about 60 percent of the eligible population bothers to vote in a presidential year, while the number falls to 40 percent in congressional elections.
Already, major figures in the Democrat Party have warned of continued violence in the streets (Kamala Harris) and have advised somnambulist Joe Biden not to concede on Election Night or, indeed, ever (Hillary Clinton). The Washington Post—where “Democracy Dies in Darkness”—recently warned (threatened?) that “the election could spark violence—and a constitutional crisis.”
Rosa Brooks wrote of a George Soros-funded front group called the Transition Integrity Project, which war-gamed various Democrat fantasy scenarios: “A landslide for Joe Biden resulted in a relatively orderly transfer of power. Every other scenario we looked at involved street-level violence and political crisis.”
In other words, nice Republic you got there. Would be a shame if anything happened to it.
In the midst of our Cold Civil War, which is turning ever hotter, Lincoln would have closed that newspaper down in a heartbeat for open sedition and incitement to violence.
With their usual flair for projection, the Democrats are wish-casting an election in which Trump refuses to concede and must be frog-marched by the Secret Service or the military out of the Oval Office at noon on Jan. 20, 2021.
The reality is that the Republicans must be ready to combat levels of fraud that Plunkitt and the old Tammany sachems could only have dreamed of. For it’s clear, under the guise of “protecting our democracy” that the Democrats will instead abide by their real slogan—“by any means necessary”—to rid themselves of this meddlesome president.
Such is the continuing fury on the left that a defeat would likely expose not only Trump but every member of his family, his cabinet, and his prominent supporters to Democrat revenge, conducted principally through the state courts. New York State’s radical attorney general, Letitia James, has been waging lawfare against the president from the time she took office, and she’s hardly an outlier.
What to Do
What can the Republicans do to stave off such attacks?
The first thing to do is win. Nothing would crush the left’s spirits more than a defeat beyond the margin of cheating even worse than that handed to them in 2016. Ballot harvesting outside California needs to be strangled in its cradle, with GOP lawyers watching in every swing state precinct and challenging any ballots that just fell off a truck.
With the left promising Electoral College chaos if neither candidate gets to 270 electoral votes, Trump also needs to warn the voting public that should the election be tossed into the House, then under the 12th Amendment, there is a possibility that Nancy Pelosi could emerge as president. In addition to running against Biden and Harris, he needs to run against Pelosi—not just to prevent her accession but to take back the House as well.
The Republicans also need to keep a weather eye on the state of Biden’s plainly deteriorating mental health. It would be just like the Democrats to remove him from the ballot—say, after a disastrous first debate—and substitute Harris.
After all, despite the fact that it was plainly illegal, that’s exactly what they did with corrupt New Jersey Sen. Robert Torricelli in 2002, forcing him off the ballot and replacing him with superannuated former Sen. Frank Lautenberg, who wasn’t even a declared candidate. There’s no reason to think they wouldn’t do it again.
In a 7–0 decision, the Democrat-dominated state supreme court ruled a month before the election that New Jersey election law should be interpreted to “allow parties to put their candidates on the ballot, and most importantly, to allow the voters a choice,” even though in crafting the law, the legislature had stipulated that changes could not be made less than 51 days from voting.
For the future, early voting and extending voting hours need to be eliminated. Election Day doesn’t just sneak up on people. Further, absentee ballots should be drastically reduced and allowed only for active-duty military and diplomats and their families stationed overseas. Retirees in Costa Rica have effectively renounced their right to vote.
Further, the constant tinkering with the franchise has got to stop. Via the 14th and 19th amendments, and other administrative rulings, every American is guaranteed the right to vote. And part of being a free country is that your exercise of that franchise is neither mandated nor coerced; indeed, not voting is every bit as much participatory democracy as voting itself is.
America has already endured several chaotic elections: in 1800 (Adams v. Jefferson, which was decided in the House); 1824 (Adams Jr. versus Jackson, in which Jackson won the popular vote and had the most votes in the Electoral College, but was euchred out of his victory by a “corrupt bargain”), 1876 (Garfield versus Tilden, which was decided by a special bipartisan commission), and 2000 (Bush versus Gore).
We don’t need another one.
Michael Walsh is the editor of The-Pipeline.org and the author of “The Devil’s Pleasure Palace” and “The Fiery Angel,” both published by Encounter Books. His latest book, “Last Stands,” a cultural study of military history from the Greeks to the Korean War, will be published in December by St. Martin’s Press.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.