For decades, people in the media and outside of the electoral process have been saying: “There is no election or voting fraud in North Carolina! None. Nada. Never.”
Last week, when allegations of “election irregularities” came to light in the 9th Congressional District race that led the N.C. State Board of Elections to deny certification of the election of Republican candidate Mark Harris to Congress, those same people erupted in a chorus of “See! There is election fraud … and the Republicans always do it!”
Can we all agree on the following basic principles?
- There is no room for any illegal voting by anyone ever.
- There is no room for any person who is not a legally born or naturalized citizen to vote ever.
If we can all agree on those two basic bedrock principles, we can take steps to reinstate full 100 percent faith in our electoral system.
Otherwise, confidence in our electoral system will continue to erode and further weaken our democratic republic. Which is precisely what we do not need right now.
As long as there have been elections, people of all political persuasions have done everything under the sun to win the election for their candidate or their side.
George Washington lost his first campaign for the Virginia House of Burgesses in 1756.
In 1758, he did what any candidate would have done back then to win the next election: He outspent the other candidate by buying enough booze on election day to win by a landslide.
Today he would go to jail for “bribing” voters.
There were 397 votes cast. George Washington got 309 of them. Seventy-eight percent of the vote.
Here’s the bill his supporters sent to him before the election:
- 34 gallons of wine
- 3 pints of brandy
- 13 gallons of beer
- 8 quarts of hard cider
- 40 gallons of rum punch
- Total bill: 34 pounds, Virginia currency.
That is 1.16 quarts of alcohol for every vote cast for the “George Washington for House of Burgesses!” campaign, July 24, 1758. “My only fear is that you spent with too sparing of a hand,” he wrote to his supporters beforehand thinking maybe even a quart per vote would not be enough.
Talk about a shady unreported and unlimited “independent expenditure campaign.” With alcohol. On election day. George Washington!
Google “Zeno Ponder” of Madison County in western North Carolina. In the 1960s, he would routinely stuff one ballot box with “correct” ballots marked for Democrats just in case he needed them. The real ballot box would be switched out for the stuffed one if his side was losing very late on election night.
Leslie McCrae Dowless is at the epicenter of allegations of election fraud in Bladen County which affects the outcome of the Mark Harris-Dan McCready congressional race for the 9th District. It is alleged that his get-out-the-vote operation was in violation of state law related to the handling of absentee ballots. In other states — such as California — such “harvesting” of absentee ballots is legal.
Dowless has recently done work for Republicans. Care to guess for whom he may have worked prior to 2012?
Democrats. Democrats he may have helped might be feeling a tad bit woozy if investigators and reporters start going back beyond this year’s election. He sure didn’t learn his craft starting in the summer of 2018.
America put men on the moon 50 years ago. Isn’t it about time we use 21st-century technology such as digital certificates that are secured by identity management and blockchain software using multifactor authentication, including biometrics, to confirm the veracity of voter registration?
Now that both Republicans and Democrats are alleging that election voter fraud “actually exists,” both sides have the impetus to guarantee that it never happens again.