Congressman Smith Capitol Report: Mailing It In
On November 3rd millions of Americans will engage in the civic duty of casting a vote to decide which individual will be entrusted with the responsibility of serving as President of the United States. As we learned four years ago, the outcome of presidential elections can come down to just a few thousand votes out of millions cast. And this year’s election is on pace to be one of the closest and most contentious since John Quincy Adams was awarded the presidency by Henry Clay’s House of Representatives in 1824, a backroom deal which became known as the ‘Corrupt Bargain’.
This year it may not be backroom dealings which discredit and stain the election, but instead the disastrous and unconstitutional policy taking hold in left leaning states across the country of universal mail-in balloting.
Universal mail-in voting is not anything like absentee ballots. For decades, states have allowed legal voters to request a mail-in ballot when they would be absent from their polling location on the date of the election. Only then, after an application was complete and approved – confirming someone’s name, address, residency, registration and eligibility to vote, would an individual receive their official ballot. Now, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Utah, Vermont, Washington—and the District of Columbia—are just sending these official ballots out to every single name on the rolls, regardless of whether they request one or not – or if they even are a legally valid voter who should be participating in our country’s election.
You don’t have to look much further than the government’s flawed attempt from just a few months ago to send out millions of stimulus checks to see how this new policy is destined to fail. Pets receiving thousand dollar checks? Deceased individuals being mailed taxpayer funds? While the consequences there may be unfortunately driving our country further into debt, the consequences of invalid ballot mailings could be catastrophic. What’s stopping a family member who gets a ballot of a deceased relative—like those who received checks—from casting an extra vote? Further, with no identification, signature or residency verification, there is little to no way to prevent identity forgery or to prevent illegal immigrants from voting. One illegal vote voids the constitutionally guaranteed vote of an American citizen. Having illegal votes counted that could decide who is the next President of the United States would be the most direct and consequential undermining of an American election by a foreign power. It would pale in contrast to the cries of ‘collusion’ on the left over the past 3.5 years. Simply put, there is no way for these states, under the weight of millions of ballots pouring in, to confirm a fair election free of fraud has taken place.
Not to mention the invasion of privacy which will occur when operatives come knocking on your door day after day saying you need to complete your ballot and mail it in ASAP – or worse yet, they tell you they will mail it for you and then discard your ballot if they disagree with your vote.
Even if there was a way to prevent illegal ballots or illegitimate votes, there are still serious questions regarding the logistics of getting ballots to legal voters and ensuring their votes are counted. A simulation conducted by “CBS This Morning” mailed completed mock ballots to see if they would reach their intended destination. 3% of those mock ballots never made it to their intended PO Box. The result being those voters were disenfranchised as their ballots were never received or counted. While that may seem like a small number, think about President Trump’s 2016 victories in Michigan (0.2%), Pennsylvania (0.7%), or Wisconsin (0.8%) – a 3% error rate could drastically alter the outcome of the elections. New York tried mail in balloting for its primary elections earlier this summer, the result was the New York City Board of Elections said that 84,108 of the 318,995 mail-in ballots for the June 23rd Democratic president primary were not counted. That means that 21% of mail-in votes were not counted or invalidated.
With no evidence, we have heard from progressive activists for years about how Donald Trump colluded with the Russians to influence the outcome of the 2016 elections and that we must secure our election integrity from foreign threats trying to sway the outcomes. That’s great, but what about the threats to our election integrity right here at home! Sadly, some only seem to care about securing our elections when it comes to delegitimizing President Trump and not when it comes to protecting you from actual voter fraud. Instead of working towards solutions to ensure the legitimacy of every vote cast, Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives have advanced priorities to do the exact opposite. Their signature legislation this Congress was to use taxpayer funds to support their campaigns and have universal voter registration, regardless if that meant millions of those ineligible to vote were registered. Back then, when I tried to include legislation requiring a citizenship check for voter registration, Speaker Pelosi blocked it from consideration. Thankfully, the United States Senate stopped this legislation from advancing. Now, as a result, Speaker Pelosi and the left are finding new ways to unconstitutionally influence the outcome of this election – trying to lessen the value of each vote cast by millions of legitimate American voters. Negating any citizen’s vote is unfair, unacceptable, and un-American.