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Why Did the Mass Implementation of the Mail-in Ballots Fail?

Voto, correo, 2020, elecciones, fracaso

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When it comes to a democratic process, one of the priorities is to ensure that it is reliable. In other words, all parties —Including their constituents— trust to accept the results. This is not the case in the 2020 US elections, where half the country does not believe in 100% authentic elections. Well, they see it, at least, irregular. And that, in such a closed margin —because the choice was defined in swing states with little difference— it ends up being tragic. And what was the main point of controversy during the elections and the campaign? The massive implementation of the mail-in ballots. 

Many argue: “Donald Trump, and his team, criticized the vote by mail without evidence during the campaign. Then the same case: “President Trump alleges fraud without evidence. But there is an inescapable reality, and that is that never before in history has a massive vote by mail been implemented; And this way of voting has had its controversies before, not only with Trump. So, this opens up a question: Is there possible to be significant irregularities in an unprecedented process? The answer seems clear: of course. 

But beyond the mistrust in the elections —generated largely by President Trump’s denunciation of “fraud” and the irregularities seen in networks and some media—  the most serious thing happens because of what happened throughout 2020 and part from 2019: the democratic legal mobilization to change the rules of the electoral game. 

The US Attorney General William Barr said that large-scale use of mail-in ballots opened “the doors to possible fraud” and would also undermine citizens ‘confidence in the electoral process. 

And it is that the mail-in ballots have existed for a long time, but this year the context was atypical. 

The New York Post —which revealed several of Hunter Biden’s shady deals and also asked Donald Trump in an editorial to “recognize the results” and leave the rhetoric of fraud—  published an article revealing tactics by a Democratic official on manipulation of absentee voting. Journalist Jon Levine, author of the article, was even interviewed by Fox News following this publication that gave a lot to talk about during the month of September. 

Levine’s piece read: “A senior Democratic official says that electoral fraud, especially with mail ballots, is not a myth. And he knows this because he has been doing it, on a large scale, for decades. The Post’s anonymous source explained several of the steps on how mail-in ballots could be manipulated and how a few thousand ballots could be significant in changing the course of an election, especially with tight results. 

Similarly, electoral experts, who were cited by the great American mass media — as CNN, The New York Times, Washington Post among others—  they were always skeptical of the possibility of fraud. In other words, what was seen during the election day is not a surprise, the problem is that the main media — and pollsters—  thought that Biden’s margin with respect to Trump would be very high and that it would not matter. The reality is that it was not, and now it seems that everything will end in court. 

The New York Times denies the possibility of fraud despite irregularities in the mail-in ballots
The great article of Wall Street Journal   

“Another Election Goes to Court”, said the WSJ, in a piece where he reviewed the great race of the blue (democratic) side to change the rules of the game in electoral matters.

Over the past year, Democrats and their allies marched state after state in an unprecedented legal campaign to amend electoral administration rules, “and that was what happened, raising big doubts in the process. What’s going on? Trump’s responsibility is blamed today for allegedly undermining confidence in the system, but what happens today is a direct consequence of yesterday’s cause. 

For example, in the state of Pennsylvania, the most decisive in this contest, in 2019 he revised his electoral code to allow everyone to vote by absentee vote, “according to WSJ.” This, for the reader to understand, is a direct game change; Pennsylvania went from having a limited, well-defined absentee vote to something highly permeable, almost uncontrolled. The WSJ calls it a relatively restrictive regime change to the most liberal in the nation. 

But in this state — much disputed, by the way—  “the reforms” would not end there. More would come. According to the Democrats they “connected a home run on the fourth at-bat”, why is this? Basically, they got the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to argue that the ballot receipt deadline —  the vote—  stipulated in state law violated the “Free and Equality Election Clause” of the state constitution. This generated the court itself legislating a “three-day extension along with a presumption of punctuality for unmarked ballots received before Friday.” 

As if that were not enough, in Pennsylvania the rule change did not end there. Days before the election, the state Supreme Court even ruled that ballots delivered with signature and authenticity issues should not be rejected, according to an article in the Washington Times

Obviously, this change in the rules of the game — related to the mail-in ballots and the Democratic party—  Is not the only thing that calls this election into question. Well, during the electoral day there were a series of irregularities denounced by the Trump Campaign, which must present evidence in the courts to support the complaint of “fraud. 

On election day there were various reported situations involving mail-in ballots. Among them, as highlighted by the medium The Epoch Time were the “statistical anomalies” that favored Joe Biden. 

One of the most common arguments is that in some locations, the vote counts for Biden violate Benford’s Law indicating his article related to the topic. 

Benford’s Act states that “in many real-world data sets, such as demographics, geographic data, or even sports statistics, the first digit of numbers is more likely to be 1 rather than 2, and 2 is more likely than 3. etc. following a logarithmic scale. If the distribution of the first digit differs significantly from this rule, it could be evidence of artificial manipulation of the data, “says the medium. 

What happens is that there were states where no statistical irregularities were detected, such as Florida — won by Trump—  or Georgia — where Biden takes the lead—  but there were also some data detected mail-in ballots favorable to Joe Biden in the states of Wisconsin, Illinois and Pennsylvania. Two of them, fundamental to this choice. 

For example, an analysis —by a user on Twitter—  of the city of Milwaukee found that in several districts the votes counted after 3 a.m., on November 4 they went to Biden by a much larger margin than previously counted. The difference even reached 40 percentage points. 

Another analysis, also on Twitter and which several journalists echoed, did not point out statistical errors, but found 10. 000 votes of people killed in Michigan, in this case, the one reporting was a pollster and “data journalist. Twitter, by the way, marked the tweet in question. 

The same user also alerted to a “change of direction” of votes in Georgia, 132. 000 to be exact. Fox News journalist Kile Walker echoed the information, but this is expected to be confirmed, of course. This could change the course of the state. 

Irregularities related to mail-in ballots

But before ruling out the analysis of the user —who is the director of Big Data Pool—  it should be noted that a lawsuit for “electoral fraud” was introduced in Michigan, according to Matt Finn, also a correspondent for Fox News.   

More irregularities in mail-in ballots reported

According to reports, everything would indicate that electoral officials were denouncing “fraud”. 

The same situation occurs in Nevada, according to the founder of The Federalist Sean Davis, who indicated that there are already affidavits in this state about notorious irregularities: “A whistleblower from the Clark County Elections Department in Nevada claims that Nevada election workers fabricated proof of residence data for illegal voters,” he said in Twitter. 

The irregularities in these elections came, to a large extent, due to the change in electoral rules related to the massive implementation of mail-in ballots.

And of course, the irregularities in the elections always existed, the great detail is that extreme parity in so many key states makes each vote simply fundamental. 

Therefore, the authorization of the Attorney General, William Barr, to address all prosecutors to investigate irregularities in the electoral process is not surprising. Fact that caused, by the way, the resignation of the person responsible for electoral crimes. 

This should have been foreseen; An even election should have been anticipated and the concern of the massive implementation of the mail-in ballots should be noted, but the vast majority of media —and pollsters— pointed to a great blue avalanche that never existed. 

Little confidence in the results, consequence of the change of rules and mail-in ballots

Today it is argued that it is Donald Trump who undermines electoral confidence by arguing fraud, perhaps there is a bit of reason, but the reality is that this point was reached by: I. The Democratic electoral tour for changing the rules of the game; II. For the weakness of the state courts that allowed it; III. Because of the little and no republican conviction to anticipate these events (that is no longer Trump’s fault). 

Of course, it would be implausible to make an analysis of these elections without the context; for social polarization and the marked role of the media and the big tech they have a direct influence on lack of confidence. Not everything is the fault of the mail-in ballots, even if it is related. 

Today Democrats call Republicans out of losers and bad losers, Republicans are not far behind and call them cheats. That doesn’t help at all, as the electoral count is now in doubt, but tomorrow, if the courts rule in Trump’s favor, who won’t trust the system will be the Democrats. 

And it is that the media related to the Democratic Party are completely discarding the court stage calling Trump the winner. How can you be fully certain of this? 

It must also be said: the mainstream media declared Biden and the world followed them, what will remain for the supporters? 

Therefore, among other things, this election was a failure, and the vote by mail – on a massive scale – is primarily responsible for it change of the rules of the game which was promoted since 2019, but strengthened with the excuse of the pandemic. 

Consequently, the results not only generate mistrust due to the irregularities and allegations of fraud — which are not yet verified if they are unfounded or reliable—  but because there is an element of injustice in the air. 

Half a country today feels hurt; by the media, by the pollsters and by the system; that the candidate who today enjoys the votes to feel like a winner —Biden—  does not think about this situation, does nothing to heal a wound that can be marked in the heart of America. 

It will only remain to see how events are resolved. There is an analysis in The Hill very interesting titled: “Trump’s demands are good for American democracy,” explains how institutions will be strengthened if they act impartially. 

Basically, if irregularities — or fraud—  are detected that change the course of the election, the system will win. Well, the anomaly was found. If the result is maintained and Biden wins, too, because the count worked, and justice — If it acts impartially— will show that the system works. There are already reports indicating that Trump will recognize if the courts do not project his triumph. 

What does not cover the analysis of The Hill and almost no other means is the failure of the massive implementation of the vote by mail. There is a sense of factual injustice in this: one candidate mobilized the vast majority of his constituents, the other needed them to vote absent, with greater comforts, and from home. It was already a very uphill choice for Trump, with his establishment and the media against almost fully, but the votes by mail put the road too high. If there is a republican victory it will be with epic overtones. 

The massive implementation of the vote by mail is not illegal, at least for the moment, but it was unfair considering, above all, that the excuse was the pandemic and social distancing. Both forgotten in the Democratic celebrations and also in the media. Although there are few certainties of what will happen, something is certain: the vote by mail failed in 2020. 

Emmanuel Alejandro Rondón is a journalist at El American specializing in the areas of American politics and media analysis // Emmanuel Alejandro Rondón es periodista de El American especializado en las áreas de política americana y análisis de medios de comunicación.

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