Our democracy is threatened, this time by way of the post office. Democrats across the nation are pushing mail-in ballots for every voter in November. Not wanting to let the crisis caused by COVID-19 go to waste, they’ve disguised their plot to manipulate the integrity of our election system by arguing that voters fear contracting COVID-19 if they physically show up to the polls. Democrat leadership clearly wants non-citizens to vote, which is ironic since they also claim to be concerned about foreign influence over our elections. The Left is willing to mar our democracy for a chance at winning at the ballot box. That is simply un-American.
It is also no secret that both sides of the political aisle have long agreed that voting by mail-in ballot increases the likelihood of fraud. During a 2004 Congressional hearing, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-NY, said, “In my experience in New York, paper ballots are extremely susceptible to fraud. I could show you experience which would make your head spin.” Just two years ago in a legislative hearing in Austin, a prosecutor from South Texas (and registered Democrat) testified: “Any time you have ballots that are outside the polling location, you’re going to have fraud…I would never recommend everyone voting by mail – it invites fraud.”
Democrats are selling Americans a false narrative; election integrity will jeopardize personal safety. Election officials have many options available to safely and securely hold in-person elections. They can provide masks, hand sanitizer, and gloves. They can enforce physical distancing recommendations, sanitize voting stations, and implement other practical solutions so voting machines can be operated touch-free. To shorten waiting times and lines at polls, they could also expand the number of early voting days as we did in Texas for the primary elections. With precautions like these, voters can access polling places safely and exercise their vote without fear of being defrauded. If we safely choose to go to shopping malls, restaurants or even large public protests, we have no excuse to forego our constitutional-right to vote, and to do so in person.
In Texas, to prevent fraud, we must show an ID when we vote just as we are required to show a form of ID at the airport, government buildings, financial institutions, and during many other daily activities. But there is no effective way for election officials to ensure that mail-in ballots are not requested fraudulently. Just as credit card skimmers can steal your financial information, vote harvesters can easily collect “authentic” signatures under false pretenses and steal your vote. During the 2018 primary, an anonymous video surfaced that appears to show how easily a Houston-area campaign worker collected a ballot application and signature from a voter in less than 20 seconds. After providing her signature, the voter asked the worker, “Is this legal, what you’re doing?” The worker replied, “Yes, ma’am, we’ve done 400 already.”
Once mail ballots go out, harvesters show up at a voter’s door and offer “voting assistance.” They often appear friendly, and helpful. Successful vote harvesters leave with a voter’s signature and a ballot that is blank, that is “correctly” voted, or that can be modified later. Or the harvester can simply discard the ballot if the voter chose the “wrong” candidate. Done effectively, the process is largely invisible to the voter, who is led to believe their ballot was cast according to their wishes.
Because of tactics like these, my office has conducted over 300 investigations of mail-in ballot fraud. Our investigators have spoken with thousands of victims of mail ballot fraud over the years, and they commonly tell us they were pressured and harassed by campaign workers to sign up to vote by mail, vote a certain way, or hand over their ballots. The common denominator in mail ballot fraud is that the votes of the victims are cancelled and replaced by those of paid campaign workers. Every fraudulent vote disenfranchises a lawful voter by canceling out their lawful vote.
Politically-motivated groups want to scare us into allowing what amounts to unlimited vote by mail. In doing so, they are stealing your right to vote. Democrats distract the public with talk of foreign involvement in our elections while they are brazenly creating election interference themselves. If we willfully compromise the integrity of our election process, we are threatening the future of our country as we know it. Let’s work together to stop them and keep our elections safe, fair, and honest.
By Ken Paxton – Texas Attorney General