Commentary: Restrict Mail-In Voting to Restore Trust

The 2020 U.S. election was unique in many respects, but its chief distinguishing feature is that it occurred during a full-scale pandemic. One consequence was that the election operated under regulations that changed how Americans vote. Some states bent voting rules to expand access. Some resorted to mail-in voting to ensure that everyone who wanted to vote could do so. These actions were, to some extent, understandable, but the resulting conditions were extraordinary, and the dramatic increase in mail-in voting created a major political phenomenon: the blue shift, in which late-counted ballots turn voting outcomes toward the Democrats.

On election night, vote totals initially looked good for President Donald Trump. But as mail-in votes rolled in, central swing states moved into Joe Biden’s column, and Biden won the election. The phenomenon disrupted expectations – and sowed distrust. Many of my Republican family members said, “It didn’t seem right. I knew something was wrong.” Trump, attuned to the emotions of his base, made use of this sentiment. He stoked suspicion that Democrats stole the election. The nightmarish result was the Jan. 6 insurrection.

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Amidst Concerns of Election Irregularities, Commonwealth Court Recount Begins in Pennsylvania

Amidst public concerns of electoral irregularities in Pennsylvania, a recount will decide the outcome of the Commonwealth Court contest between Republican Drew Crompton and Democrat Lori A. Dumas.

Based on unofficial returns published by the Pennsylvania Department of State, Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Dumas now leads Superior Court Judge Crompton by 16,804 votes out of more than 2.5 million votes cast for either of the two. That’s a margin of about a third of one percent, within the 0.5 percent difference that prompts a recount under Pennsylvania’s Act 97 of 2004. 

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Pennsylvania County Commissioners’ Group Opposes Live-Streaming of Mail-In Vote Counting

Bipartisan enthusiasm for election-reform legislation appeared solid at a Pennsylvania Senate State Government Committee hearing on Thursday, save for one part: video live-streaming of mail-in-ballot counting.

Elements of the bill, sponsored by Sen. David Argall (R-PA-Pottsville) and Sen. Sharif Street (D-PA-Philadelphia), have arisen largely from recommendations in a June 2021 report by the Senate Special Committee on Election Integrity and Reform. Argall and Street’s proposal excludes some of the ad hoc panel’s more contentious ideas, particularly enhanced voter-identification rules, which Rep. Seth Grove (R-PA-York) is spearheading in separate legislation. (While Gov. Tom Wolf [D] vetoed Grove’s bill in June, the representative has reintroduced it in light of the governor’s subsequent remarks in favor of a strengthened voter-ID requirement.)

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Poll Shows Overwhelming Majority Support Voter ID Laws

The latest poll by Rasmussen Reports indicates that three-fourths of all Americans support stricter voter ID laws, such as requirements to present photo identification before voting, as reported by Breitbart.

The poll shows that 75 percent of likely American voters are in favor of laws that require presenting some form of photo ID, such as a driver’s license; only 21 percent opposed such a proposal. Among the 75 percent, 89 percent of Republican voters approved of such a suggestion, along with 77 percent of independents, and 60 percent of Democrats. In addition, an overwhelming majority of black voters support voter ID, at 69 percent to 25 percent.

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