After seeing first hand how our elections are conducted, we have lost whatever hope we had that our elections accurately reflect the will of the people and are free of error and corruption.
We have been voting for 50 years but this November’s election was the first time we were election workers. We live in a small Township with one precinct. We arrived at the polling place just after 6:00 am and spent the next 16 hours helping our Township Clerk and Assistant Clerk conduct the election. If every Clerk and worker were as competent and honest as those in our Township, I would feel very good about our elections. Our Assistant Clerk has been working Township elections for 30 years. She recognized the signatures on every one of the absent voter envelopes received by the Township. Every person who voted in person presented a valid Driver’s License. She and the Clerk knew every one of the people who voted in person and still checked their identification. Every problem encountered was solved by referring to the detailed instruction manuals provided by the State, calling an expert on how to replace the paper tape in the ballet scanner, talking with the Township Clerk, or talking with the County Clerk.
As the day wore on, we could not help thinking about the vulnerabilities we saw:
- What if the people working the election do not know the signatures of every absent voter? In large precincts, how could an election worker know if absent ballots are fraudulent?
- What if the computer used to check in voters does not work? How many voters would just leave if there was a long wait?
- What if election workers filled out applications to vote and ballots for the people who did not vote?
- How do election workers know if the scanner is counting the votes correctly?
- What if election workers switched ballots when voters returned to the worker to have the numbered strip at the top of the ballot removed?
- What if all of the detailed instructions for starting the day, checking signatures, filling out voter applications, closing the polls, and sealing the records are not followed?
Our election systems depend on honest and competent election workers. The more complex an election system is, the more critical it is to have honest and competent workers, the more likely it is that mistakes will be made, and the easier it is for corrupt workers and officials to override the will of the people.
Everyone in our country should thank honest and competent election workers for all the time and effort they put in on election day. On the other hand, those election workers who are dishonest and incompetent should face consequences for undermining our democratic processes, and destroying faith in our elections.
I am confident that our little precinct did things right and the results reflect the true will of our voters. (Assuming that the Dominion scanning machine correctly counted the votes.) I am equally confident that dishonest election workers could have altered the results with little chance of being caught.
In the aftermath of the election, the Republicans are blaming President Trump and Senator McConnell for losing key races Republicans were expected to win. To that, I say, it is the cheating. Do not be stupid.
JSK/14 NOV 2022