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The U.S. Republic is the world’s greatest consensual government experiment. America has earned this distinction by fostering a continuity of competitive elections, within a free society, under the auspices of the rule of law. As with all things that are human, imperfections, and irregularities have not been absent. The reason that election tampering has not caused systemic duress is that the electoral deformities of the past have not been institutionalized. Securing free and fair elections is America’s biggest domestic challenge.
The 2020 presidential election was not fair across the board. The process was tainted with irregularities. Dubious activities were carried out by influential actors. The concentration of these maleficent exercises was in key swing states. State courts, governors, and election commissions bypassed the Constitution and changed electoral laws. The Chinese communist-made pandemic was the premise for this constitutional violation. The result of this siege by executive and judicial authorities on the exclusive duty of state legislatures, was to comprehensively neutralize established hurdles to avoid voter fraud and cheating.
The Pew Research Center, in a 2020 report, concluded that 46% of voters expressed their preference by mail-in or absentee ballot in the presidential election of that year. Over 92 million people requested or were automatically sent ballots in 2020. By election day, 102 million ballots had been cast either by mail or through early voting. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, most voters, 69% (later reports cite 72 %), used these “nontraditional” methods (mail-in, early voting). In the 2016 presidential election, only 21% voted by mail. This figure is typically lower the further one goes in American history.
Mail-in Ballots and Election Security
The elephantine relaxation of impediments in 2020 to prevent fraud in mail-in voting schemes produced stark irregularities. These were exhibited, in greater proportion, in particular counties of Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. Former President Trump, the Republican Party, numerous state attorneys, and private citizens presented legal challenges to what ensued because of the unconstitutional changes in electoral laws. Unfortunately, most of the lawsuits were dismissed on technical or procedural grounds. The due process mechanism which includes witness testimony, cross-examinations, evidence presentation, and other substantive procedures in trials was denied to, not just the plaintiffs, but the American people and her democratic system.
European democracies weigh heavily against mail-in voting. In France, it is prohibited, except for severe cases of medically impaired citizens. This is for a reason. Cheating in elections is made easier with ballots deposited by mail, instead of in person. As people die, move, or have changes in their eligibility status to vote, without being reported to the local election bodies, the problem of dirty voter rolls sprouts. A 2012 Pew study found that there were 24 million invalid or inaccurate voter registrations. That represents 1 in 8 voters registered to vote in the U.S. This is an attractive market for unlawful ballot harvesting, fraudulent signatures, buying votes, duplicating votes, manipulation of ballots, ballot petition fraud, ineligible voting, unduly influencing real voters, and impersonating voters.
Mark Zuckerberg, ‘Zuckerbucks,’ and Funding of Elections
Powerful elites and oligarchic structures also proved to have unduly interfered in the 2020 presidential election. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg contributed $419.5 million through multiple non-profit organizations, which prioritized logistical assistance to heavily concentrated Democratic counties in key battleground states. This egregious manner of corrupting the American political system effectively circumvented federal finance laws limiting donations to candidates and parties. It established a two-tiered system. Republicans were greatly disadvantaged by the “Zuckerbucks”, as they came to be known.
Big Tech and Hunter Biden’s Nefarious Habits
Big Tech went all out for the Democratic candidate. It suppressed damaging information about the Biden-Harris candidacy. One example was when it censored news and information on Hunter Biden’s nefarious habits, business practices, and the potential involvement of his father in his commercial adventures. Google searches presented an alternate reality to skew the playing field in favor of the Democratic ticket. Mainstream news outlets became Democratic trenches in a war to make Trump lose.
Free and fair elections require equal access to the means of communication. In today’s world, this includes social, as well as mass media, and internet search mechanisms. Big Tech became ideological actors that used a privileged position granted to them by public laws (Section 230) and obstructed the political process. Private companies, with a quasi-monopolistic status, cannot operate like an unelected government in a republic.
Voter integrity laws across America must be enacted. This is crucial in pivotal states. Private, dirty money cannot bypass campaign spending limit caps to favor one candidate over the other. Big Tech must be deconstructed. It is time they are treated as common carriers. The first step is to pass laws that make it easy to vote, but difficult to cheat. After the Republican tsunami takes place in the November midterms, then the other two enemies of America’s republic must be confronted.
Julio M Shiling, political scientist, writer, director of Patria de Martí and The Cuban American Voice, lecturer and media commentator. A native of Cuba, he currently lives in the United States. Twitter: @JulioMShiling // Julio es politólogo, escritor, director de Patria de Martí y The Cuban American Voice. Conferenciante y comentarista en los medios. Natural de Cuba, vive actualmente en EE UU.