Can We Trust Our Elections? Grading Each State

There should be an area of agreement between all reasonable people in the United States.  For our country to survive we must be able to trust the integrity of our elections.  If elected officials are abusing their power like they are in places like California right now, we need to have the ability to vote those people out of office or else there is no check against tyranny.  When dishonest politicians are able to steal elections, they will. 

Both Democrats and Republicans say that they want honest and fair elections.  Both parties have complained about the integrity of our recent and upcoming elections.  Unfortunately, they have different ideas about what is taking away the trust in our elections.  We heard a lot from Democrats about Russian interference in the 2016 election.  In fact, they have spent much of the last 4 years investigating it over and over again.  Many of you may wonder how they allege that the Russians changed the outcome in 2016.  Did they somehow hack our voting systems and change the vote counts?  Did they fly in Russians to swing states where they cast illegal votes?  No.  The alleged Russian interference is that they said mean things about Hillary Clinton on Facebook.  While that may be frustrating to Hillary fans, it does not actually make it easier for anybody to cast fraudulent votes.  Plus, how many of you would change your vote because some stranger said something mean on Facebook?

Republicans ask a different question about voting that we should all agree is important.  Do we know who is casting the votes in our elections and that no shenanigans are happening with those votes?  If we don’t it opens the door to voter fraud, stolen elections, and the end of our government of the people, by the people, and for the people.  Do not fall for the media line that very few people get convicted of voter fraud so nobody does it.  That’s like saying a Las Vegas club that doesn’t check ID’s has no underage people inside because no underage people got caught. 

How can we be more confident about who is voting and that they are correctly counted?  The only way to be sure is to require in person voting, on Election Day, with matching photo ID to verify that the person is who they say they are.  It’s easy and it’s common sense.  Unfortunately, not everybody wants to have honest elections. 

Each state sets up their own election laws, so some are far more reliable than others.  Some are unwisely pushing for mail-in voting, with nobody there to verify that the person who filled out the ballot is the actual person that the ballot belongs to, and with no guarantee that the ballot will be delivered or counted.  In fact, there is already an investigation into military mail-in ballots that were apparently opened and thrown into the garbage in Pennsylvania.  The only time a mail-in ballot should be accepted is for overseas military personnel.  All 50 states now allow some form of mail-in voting, so nobody gets a perfect score on preventing voter fraud, but some states at least have a few precautions set up. 

Unfortunately, other states not only lack rules to prevent election shenanigans, but they come up with ideas to make cheating so easy that the Houston Astros wish they had thought of it.  “Ballot harvesting” is the shady practice of allowing a third party to collect ballots and deliver them to be counted.  This has all of the negatives of mail-in voting with the added problem of having partisan people targeting which ballots to bring in.  In California this practice caused congressional districts that had always voted one way to flip.  In many of the cases the returns had one candidate ahead at the end of election night only to swing wildly to the other side the next day.  Whenever the results from election night change like that it raises major red flags as to the integrity of those votes.

It’s pretty unbelievable, but some states do not even require you to show identification when you go to vote.  That means we have no idea who is casting votes in those states.  Here in California, if I walked into a polling place and said my name is Fred Johnson, then I’m Fred Johnson.  Apparently in Pennsylvania their Secretary of State said that they would not even throw out a ballot if the signature doesn’t match.

What we need is a report card to know which states have safe enough elections to trust the outcome.  Below you will find it, with a grade based on how many precautions are set up to make sure that each vote has been properly cast by the correct, legal voter. 

  StateVoting Only on Election DayVoting In Person OnlyID Required to Verify Who Is VotingBallot Harvesting and Other Notable Rules  Grade
    Alabama    YesNo, but an excuse is required    YesAbsentee ballots require witnesses and must be received before the close of polling    A
  Alaska  No  No  Yes, but non-photo ID acceptedA special needs voter can have a representative return a ballot  C  
    Arizona    No    No  Yes, but non-photo ID acceptedFamily member, household member, or caregiver can return ballots    C
  Arkansas  NoNo, but an excuse is required  YesBallot harvesting allowed, but limit two ballots per authorized agent  B
California  NoNo, and everyone receives a mailed ballot  NoBallot harvesting allowed  F
Colorado NoNo, all mail-in election NoBallot harvesting allowed F
  Connecticut  YesNo, but an excuse is required  Yes, but non-photo ID acceptedOthers can return votes for disabled voters, with restrictions   B
  DelawareYes, but early voting passed for 2022  NoID is requested, but voters can sign an affidavit to avoid showing IDUnspecified if ballot harvesting is allowed   D
  Florida  No  No  YesOthers can return votes for disabled voters, with restrictions  C
  Georgia   No  No  YesOthers can return votes for disabled voters, with restrictions  C
    Hawaii    NoNo, all mail-in electionID is requested, but voters can recite their date of birth and address insteadUnspecified if ballot harvesting is allowed    F
  Idaho  No  NoID is requested, but voters can sign an affidavit to avoid showing IDUnspecified if ballot harvesting is allowed  F
Illinois No No NoBallot harvesting allowed F
    Indiana    NoNo, but an excuse is required, and coronavirus is not a valid excuse    YesMail ballots must be received before the close of polling    B
  Iowa  No  NoYes, or another voter can vouch for their identityBallot harvesting allowed  D
Kansas No No YesBallot harvesting allowed D
  Kentucky  YesNo, but an excuse is required  YesOthers can return votes for disabled voter, with restrictions   A
    Louisiana    NoNo, but an excuse is required, and coronavirus is not a valid excuse ID is requested, but voters can sign an affidavit to avoid showing IDMail ballots require a witness signature and must be received before the close of polling    B
  Maine  No  No  NoBallot harvesting allowed, but limited to five at a time  F
Maryland No No NoBallot harvesting allowed F
    Massachusetts    No    No    NoBallots may be delivered by a family member or from a healthcare facility    F
      Michigan      No      NoID is requested, but voters can sign an affidavit to avoid showing IDFamily member or certified election assistant can deliver ballots.  Ballots must be received by 6 pm on Election Day    D
  Minnesota  No  No   NoDesignated agent can return up to three ballots  F
   Mississippi    YesNo, but an excuse is required      YesUnspecified if ballot harvesting is allowed.  Mail ballots require witnesses and must be received before the close of polling    B
    Missouri     Yes      No    Yes, but non-photo is acceptedBallots can be returned by a family member or a team of election authorities and require witness signatures    B
    Montana    No    No    Yes, but non-photo is acceptedLaw limited who could return ballots and only six per person, but a judge has held up the law    D
    Nebraska  No  No  NoOthers can return up to two ballots except for campaign workers   D
  Nevada  NoNo, and everyone receives a mailed ballot  NoBallots may be returned by a family member  F
New Hampshire    YesNo, but an excuse is requiredIf ID is not presented, the voter signs a challenged voter affidavit and votes a regular ballot. After the election a mailing is sent and the voter must sign and return it; if it is not returned, the voter will be investigated for voter fraud.Family members, nursing home staff, and residential care staff can return up to four ballots which must be received before the close of polling    B   
  New Jersey  NoNo, and everyone receives a mailed ballot  NoAn authorized messenger can return up to three ballots  F
  New Mexico  No  No  NoA caregiver or immediate family member can return ballots F
  New York  NoNo, but an excuse is required  NoUnspecified if ballot harvesting is allowed   F
North Carolina    No    NoNo, although a voter ID law was passed by voters, it was blocked by an Obama appointed judge. Ballots require witness signature and may be returned by a near relative or legal guardian    F
 North Dakota    No    No    YesOthers can deliver up to four ballots, cannot be a candidate or be compensated    C
  Ohio  No  NoYes, but non-photo is acceptedBallots can be returned by a family member   D
 Oklahoma    No    No  Yes, but non-photo is acceptedCopy of ID, notarized ballot, or two witness signatures required    C
Oregon NoNo, all mail-in election NoBallot harvesting allowed F
      Pennsylvania      No      No      NoIf voter becomes too sick to vote a representative, deputy sheriff or constable can deliver an emergency absentee ballot    F
  Rhode Island  No  No  YesUnspecified if ballot harvesting is allowed  D
South Carolina    YesNo, but an excuse is required, and coronavirus is not a valid excuse      YesBallots may be returned by others except candidates or paid campaign workers and require witness signatures    A
 South Dakota     No       NoID is requested, but voters can sign an affidavit to avoid showing IDPhoto ID required for a mail ballot.  An authorized messenger may deliver ballots, but if more than one they must notify the person in charge of the election   D      
  Tennessee      NoNo, and a judge ordered them to allow no-excuse absentee voting      YesUnspecified if ballot harvesting is allowed    D
    Texas     NoNo, but an excuse is requiredPhoto ID requested. Voters who do not possess an acceptable form of photo ID and cannot obtain one, may present a supporting form of ID and execute a Reasonable Impediment DeclarationPhoto ID required for a mail ballot.  A household member, relative or person lawfully assisting a voter who is disabled or cannot read the ballot may return the mail ballot    C
  Utah  NoNo, all mail-in election  NoUnspecified if ballot harvesting is allowed  F
  Vermont  NoNo, and everyone receives a mailed ballot  NoUnspecified if ballot harvesting is allowed  F
    Virginia    No        No    Yes, but non-photo acceptedWitness signature required for mail ballots.  A designated representative can return ballot for a voter who is incapacitated or hospitalized    C
  Washington  NoNo, all mail-in election  NoUnspecified if ballot harvesting is allowed   F
 West Virginia  NoNo, but an excuse is requiredYes, or be identified by a poll workerAnyone can return up to two ballots  B
  Wisconsin      No      No      YesUnspecified if ballot harvesting is allowed. Photo ID required for a mail ballot and witness signature required    C
  Wyoming  No  No  NoUnspecified if ballot harvesting is allowed  F

Mad Libs: Write Your Own Joe Biden Speech

Have any of you ever wanted to be a political speechwriter?  This year could be your chance!  Our media is so biased that they are pushing a candidate who has trouble remembering where he is, much less stringing two sentences together, just because he is the Democrat.  We have already seen him talking about kids rubbing his hairy legs, roaches, and kids jumping on his lap.  He has told us that, “poor kids are just as bright and just as talented as white kids.”  He recently gave a speech that was completely unintelligible where he rambled about Covid taking 100 years.  Just last Friday he actually read “end of quote” straight from the teleprompter during a speech.  Joe Biden needs your help!

It’s actually easier than you think to help out Joe.  It was sitting right under my nose the whole time.  On my bookshelf there is still an old Mad Libs book from when I was a kid.  You may remember them.  They would ask you for random words and then you would fill those words into a story to make it your own zany version, just like Joe does with his speeches.  To make our own Joe Biden speech, all we have to do is take a section from a recent speech, take out some words, have a friend pick some replacement words without looking, and fill in the blanks.  Let’s try it with the section right before his rambling Covid quote, which starts at the 11:07 mark in this link.  First, I will give you the template to write an extremely realistic Joe Biden speech of your own!  Then, I will show you an example Joe Biden speech using the template. 

First, ask your friends for corresponding words to the list below without looking ahead at the speech.  Then fill in the blanks with the words they gave you.  Then use it in your portfolio to apply for a job with the Biden campaign!

  1. VERB (PAST TENSE): ________________________________
  2. ADJECTIVE: _______________________________________
  3. ADJECTIVE: _______________________________________
  4. PLURAL NOUN: ____________________________________
  5. NOUN: ___________________________________________
  6. A PROFESSION: ____________________________________
  7. A PROFESSION: ____________________________________
  8. PLURAL NOUN: ____________________________________
  9. ADJECTIVE: _______________________________________
  10. NOUN: __________________________________________
  11. VERB: ___________________________________________
  12. A FAMOUS PERSON: _______________________________
  13. A PROFESSION: ___________________________________
  14. PLURAL NOUN: ___________________________________
  15. NOUN: __________________________________________
  16. A NUMBER: ______________________________________
  17. NOUN: __________________________________________
  18. NOUN: __________________________________________

Now read the speech with your words to fill in the blanks.

I’ve ____(1)____ with police in this country for many years. I know most cops are __(2)__, __(3)__ people. I know how they risk their ___(4)___ every time they put that shield on and go out the door. I’m confident I can bring the police to the ___(5)___ as well. I’d make sure every ___(6)___ and ___(7)___ had the support they needed from the federal government. But I wouldn’t be looking to use the United States military against our own ___(8)___. If I were president, my language would be less ___(9)___, I’d be looking to lower the ___(10)___ in this country, not raise it. I’d be looking to ___(11)___ the nation. But look, if ____(12)____ wants to ask the question, “Who will keep you safer as ___(13)___?” Let’s answer that question. First, some simple ___(14)___. When I was vice president, violent ___(15)___ fell _(16)_% in this country. We did it without ___(17)___ and ___(18)___.

Finally, as I promised, here is an example Joe Biden speech by speechwriters Uncle Mark and my friend Nikki.

I’ve farted with police in this country for many years. I know most cops are ugly, questionable people. I know how they risk their testicles every time they put that shield on and go out the door. I’m confident I can bring the police to the beer as well. I’d make sure every insurance agent and sex therapist had the support they needed from the federal government. But I wouldn’t be looking to use the United States military against our own baseball players. If I were president, my language would be less stupid, I’d be looking to lower the woman in this country, not raise it. I’d be looking to eat the nation. But look, if George Clooney wants to ask the question, “Who will keep you safer as mechanic?” Let’s answer that question. First, some simple puppies. When I was vice president, violent birds fell 69% in this country. We did it without pizza and speakers.

There you have it!  Had I not told you how it was made you probably would have thought it was straight from the campaign trail of the best Democrat the party could come up with.

How did yours turn out?  Leave it in the comment section and let us be inspired!

Wait. Who is Divisive?

In my new book The God Bet, I talk a lot about recognizing false frames that the media sets up to trick and confuse people.  There is even a bonus section at the end of the book with an index of false frames that the left and the media use to define issues in dishonest ways to attack Republicans.  This week a friend posted a video that was going around social media that uses so many false frames in such a short video that it would be a great opportunity to help you filter them out and “unspin” issues that the left is trying to manipulate you with because they think you’re gullible.  Let’s prove to them that we aren’t.

The video can be seen here and starts with a portion of the Republican Convention speech by Kimberly Guilfoyle on Monday night.  The caption said that it was full of lies so I was interested to hear why she would lie when all the truth is already on our side.  In it, they edit to show parts of the speech where she is being emphatic and raising her voice, as well as parts where she is legitimately criticizing what Democrats will do if they win in November.  The lies were not in there.  

Then the podcaster who made the video pops on the screen and I figured out where the lies begin.  He starts with a supposed joke that her speech is in the style of North Korean propaganda and that her speechwriter was Mussolini.  Then he gets to the false frames.  He claims that “the modern GOP is predicated on divisiveness and hate and bigotry.”  What does he use as his proof?  He continues, “Trump’s campaign was launched on the promise of banning Muslims and banning Mexicans from this country.”  A half-truth and a boldface lie.  With regards to Muslims he never suggested ejecting law abiding Muslim citizens from the United States.  He did propose a temporary travel ban on countries where a large percentage of the population supports terrorism or sharia law, not because of bigotry or hate, but for national defense purposes.  With regards to our Mexican immigrants, he does not want to ban your neighbor who legally immigrated here.  He does want to stop people who break our laws from crossing our borders.  To say that that is a ban on Mexicans is like saying if Disneyland banned me from sneaking in without paying it was a ban on white people from the park.

Later in his diatribe he has some better jokes than late night comedians have told in years, but that isn’t hard.  He says that “optimism does not compute for this party (Republicans),” and jokes that, “you’d have more luck going into Home Depot for lasagna than expecting uplift from the GOP.”  He says that Republicans are fearmongering and “are only capable of governing by fear.”  He wasn’t even intending to be funny, but honestly, how hilarious are his claims?  Republicans are divisive, pessimistic, and govern by fear?  Let’s compare and see which party is more divisive, pessimistic, and fearmongering?

Democrats

Poor people are victims of the evil rich.  Gay people are the victims of intolerant Christians.  Women are the victims of sexist men.  Immigrants are victims of xenophobic white people.  Black people are the victims of racist white people.  The police are bigots who go to work each day trying to murder black people.  You should vote for us to protect you from all these divisive, fearmongering monsters.  Also, if you don’t vote for us you’re going to die from coronavirus if the world doesn’t end from global warming first. 

Republicans

America is a land of opportunity!  If you work hard you can succeed no matter where you started.  We are one nation, under God, and everyone should be free to worship as they please and live by those values.  America is a great melting pot and immigrants are welcomed as equals on the day they take the oath of citizenship.  Skin color is irrelevant.  Black people are just as capable as white people.  The police are heroes who try to keep law abiding citizens safe.  If you vote for us we want you to enjoy your freedom and not have to worry about the government getting in your way. 

Which party seems more divisive?  Which one wants to scare you into voting for them? 

But wait.  It got better.  After making the Bizzaro World claim that Republicans are the divisive ones, he defends the Democrats by denying reality.  He says:

“What was par for the course was the fearmongering about Democrats; the threats about open borders and closed schools and sending jobs back to China and installing socialism and the police sending your calls to voicemail and controlling what you do and say… the thing is, none of that is true.”

The real thing is, he’s lying.  That stuff is true.  He claims that, “Zero Democrats are running on open borders.”  They may not call it open borders but they fought against funding the wall and against any kind of real enforcement.  Many of them have even voiced support for sanctuary policies and for abolishing ICE.  Most Democrats do want schools closed and he even admits it later in the video.  Democrats do want to put in place socialist policies and some, like Bernie Sanders, even call themselves socialists.  This guy apparently hasn’t heard all of the talk about defunding police.  I promise you that’s not coming from Republicans.  As for controlling what you do and say, how can he deny it?  Don’t Democrats want to control what you do with more of your money by taking it for the government?  Don’t Democrats want to control where you can eat or whether you can go to a concert, sporting event, movie or church?  Don’t Democrats want to control who bakers have to bake wedding cakes for?  We could go on and on.

He says Republicans should run on real policy but then if we point out what Democrats actually stand for he calls it lies, straw man arguments, and fearmongering.  Besides that, President Trump is running on policy.  The Republican Convention this week was full of his policy accomplishments, because they are many.  On the other hand, the only policy talk from Joe Biden at last week’s convention was that he would make the next four years smile free and faceless by requiring masks.  Apparently that doesn’t count as controlling what you do. 

This video is a great example of how the media tries to deceive you and it is not unusual.  I watched President Trump’s inspirational, accomplishment filled acceptance speech Thursday night and then flipped around the news channels to hear what they were saying.  The entire mainstream media really is like the Bizzaro World, where everything is opposite of reality.  They told me his optimistic speech about American greatness, faith in God, and freedom was really about anger and divisiveness.  It was perplexing, but I expected it.  I always understand that the mainstream media is trying to manipulate us.  You should too.