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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.
|State||Voting Only on Election Day||Voting In Person Only||ID Required to Verify Who Is Voting||Ballot Harvesting and Other Notable Rules||Grade|
|Alabama||Yes||No, but an excuse is required||Yes||Absentee ballots require witnesses and must be received before the close of polling||A|
|Alaska||No||No||Yes, but non-photo ID accepted||A special needs voter can have a representative return a ballot||C|
|Arizona||No||No||Yes, but non-photo ID accepted||Family member, household member, or caregiver can return ballots||C|
|Arkansas||No||No, but an excuse is required||Yes||Ballot harvesting allowed, but limit two ballots per authorized agent||B|
|California||No||No, and everyone receives a mailed ballot||No||Ballot harvesting allowed||F|
|Colorado||No||No, all mail-in election||No||Ballot harvesting allowed||F|
|Connecticut||Yes||No, but an excuse is required||Yes, but non-photo ID accepted||Others can return votes for disabled voters, with restrictions||B|
|Delaware||Yes, but early voting passed for 2022||No||ID is requested, but voters can sign an affidavit to avoid showing ID||Unspecified if ballot harvesting is allowed||D|
|Florida||No||No||Yes||Others can return votes for disabled voters, with restrictions||C|
|Georgia||No||No||Yes||Others can return votes for disabled voters, with restrictions||C|
|Hawaii||No||No, all mail-in election||ID is requested, but voters can recite their date of birth and address instead||Unspecified if ballot harvesting is allowed||F|
|Idaho||No||No||ID is requested, but voters can sign an affidavit to avoid showing ID||Unspecified if ballot harvesting is allowed||F|
|Illinois||No||No||No||Ballot harvesting allowed||F|
|Indiana||No||No, but an excuse is required, and coronavirus is not a valid excuse||Yes||Mail ballots must be received before the close of polling||B|
|Iowa||No||No||Yes, or another voter can vouch for their identity||Ballot harvesting allowed||D|
|Kansas||No||No||Yes||Ballot harvesting allowed||D|
|Kentucky||Yes||No, but an excuse is required||Yes||Others can return votes for disabled voter, with restrictions||A|
|Louisiana||No||No, but an excuse is required, and coronavirus is not a valid excuse||ID is requested, but voters can sign an affidavit to avoid showing ID||Mail ballots require a witness signature and must be received before the close of polling||B|
|Maine||No||No||No||Ballot harvesting allowed, but limited to five at a time||F|
|Maryland||No||No||No||Ballot harvesting allowed||F|
|Massachusetts||No||No||No||Ballots may be delivered by a family member or from a healthcare facility||F|
|Michigan||No||No||ID is requested, but voters can sign an affidavit to avoid showing ID||Family member or certified election assistant can deliver ballots. Ballots must be received by 6 pm on Election Day||D|
|Minnesota||No||No||No||Designated agent can return up to three ballots||F|
|Mississippi||Yes||No, but an excuse is required||Yes||Unspecified 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 accepted||Ballots 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 accepted||Law limited who could return ballots and only six per person, but a judge has held up the law||D|
|Nebraska||No||No||No||Others can return up to two ballots except for campaign workers||D|
|Nevada||No||No, and everyone receives a mailed ballot||No||Ballots may be returned by a family member||F|
|New Hampshire||Yes||No, but an excuse is required||If 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||No||No, and everyone receives a mailed ballot||No||An authorized messenger can return up to three ballots||F|
|New Mexico||No||No||No||A caregiver or immediate family member can return ballots||F|
|New York||No||No, but an excuse is required||No||Unspecified if ballot harvesting is allowed||F|
|North Carolina||No||No||No, 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||Yes||Others can deliver up to four ballots, cannot be a candidate or be compensated||C|
|Ohio||No||No||Yes, but non-photo is accepted||Ballots can be returned by a family member||D|
|Oklahoma||No||No||Yes, but non-photo is accepted||Copy of ID, notarized ballot, or two witness signatures required||C|
|Oregon||No||No, all mail-in election||No||Ballot harvesting allowed||F|
|Pennsylvania||No||No||No||If voter becomes too sick to vote a representative, deputy sheriff or constable can deliver an emergency absentee ballot||F|
|Rhode Island||No||No||Yes||Unspecified if ballot harvesting is allowed||D|
|South Carolina||Yes||No, but an excuse is required, and coronavirus is not a valid excuse||Yes||Ballots may be returned by others except candidates or paid campaign workers and require witness signatures||A|
|South Dakota||No||No||ID is requested, but voters can sign an affidavit to avoid showing ID||Photo 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||No||No, and a judge ordered them to allow no-excuse absentee voting||Yes||Unspecified if ballot harvesting is allowed||D|
|Texas||No||No, but an excuse is required||Photo 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 Declaration||Photo 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||No||No, all mail-in election||No||Unspecified if ballot harvesting is allowed||F|
|Vermont||No||No, and everyone receives a mailed ballot||No||Unspecified if ballot harvesting is allowed||F|
|Virginia||No||No||Yes, but non-photo accepted||Witness signature required for mail ballots. A designated representative can return ballot for a voter who is incapacitated or hospitalized||C|
|Washington||No||No, all mail-in election||No||Unspecified if ballot harvesting is allowed||F|
|West Virginia||No||No, but an excuse is required||Yes, or be identified by a poll worker||Anyone can return up to two ballots||B|
|Wisconsin||No||No||Yes||Unspecified if ballot harvesting is allowed. Photo ID required for a mail ballot and witness signature required||C|
|Wyoming||No||No||No||Unspecified if ballot harvesting is allowed||F|