As the office of the United States President, America’s voting process is viewed by most citizens as somewhat of a sacred thing. It is one of the most significant things that make our nation unique and free. And yet, in recent days, it seems that both have been trampled through the mud, or at the very least shot through with bullets, leaving gaping holes where a once unified and peaceful process used to exist.
Now, for the sake of this discussion, let’s just focus on the former or the process of voting in America.
There is no question that last year, 2020, handed us some rather odd situations as far as voting goes, and, therefore, processes that have been in play for literally hundreds of years were altered. Now, it’s not a bad thing to have government officials who are willing to make changes when change is needed.
However, it’s not so great when those changes violate not only our freedoms but the integrity and near sanctity of our voting laws.
Take the ability to vote by absentee ballot, for example.
The method of making your voice heard has been used for quite some time in the US and with much success. As was pointed out often by the political left, former President Donald Trump has been known to use this on numerous occasions over the years.
It offers citizens a way to get their political opinion out there even when they cannot physically go the polls, whether that be due to health issues or when traveling.
And there is a very successful process to it.
As Robert Duvall, a 2020 Democratic candidate for Aberdeen, Mississippi’s Ward 1 alderman seat, a runoff election, explains, “When you have an absentee ballot, there’s an envelope, and you vote and then you fold the ballot up and you put it in this envelope and then you lick the flap, and then you sign across the flap, and then the notary signs your election certificate.”
Duvall ran last year, as far back as June actually, for the seat against fellow Democrat Nicholas Holliday and was defeated by a mere 37 votes. But after noticing some inconsistencies in the results, Duvall challenged the outcome in court.
Now, if you’re anything like me and have seen numerous similar cases taken to court in the last few months, you’re likely not about to put too much stock in Duvall getting his way, much less justice.
Then again, you apparently haven’t met Special Judge Jeff Weill, who was in charge of determining this case’s verdict.
Weill’s ruling states that “evidence of fraud and criminal activity in how absentee ballots were handled, how votes were counted, and the actions by some at the polling place” all gave reason to have this election overturned. A call for a new one was made.
According to the judge, 66 out of the 84 absentee ballots counted were found to be not valid. That’s a whopping 78.5 percent!
So what made them invalid?
Well, as the report says, most of it boils down to Dallas Jones, the notary who signed off on most of the ballots. Apparently, she didn’t actually watch anyone sign their ballots. As Duvall stated, “She actually testified that nobody – she didn’t sign in front of anybody, she didn’t see anybody sign it. She just notarized them. She just stamped them.”
This means there’s no way of actually knowing that the intended voter was the person who actually voted.
In addition, it was found that 83 of the regular counted ballots weren’t initialed by election workers, meaning they weren’t verified. Just counted.
According to the ruling, “clear evidence of voter intimidation and harassment” was found at the polls on Election Day.
“State law says candidates and supporters must stay at least 150 feet away from the polling place… Holliday, along with Police Chief Henry Randle, and former Mayor Maurice Howard acted as if they were above the law, repeatedly violating criminal statutes.”
Of course, Holliday isn’t thrilled with the ruling, claiming that the evidence was inconsistent, and, therefore, he will be exploring “all legal remedies” to change the situation.
While this minute election in Mississippi likely isn’t cared about by all that many people, it brings to light the very same kind of things that have persisted in nearly all other elections to take place in recent months.
And if this one was found in need of a redo, how many others deserve the same?