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Count every ballot as anything else is plain un-American
Jason Campbell

It’s supposed to be one of the inalienable rights bestowed upon us as American citizens.

No matter how rich or how poor you are – no matter your religion, your orientation, your sex, or any other distinguishing characteristic – as an American if you are eligible you have the right to cast a ballot to choose your representatives.

So why, then, are people trying to usurp democracy and nullify the ballots of American citizens just because they don’t like the way that the election is going for their particular candidate?

Isn’t that the very definition of un-American?

I knew months ago that this was going to happen, and the writing became crystal clear for me in 2018 when the Republican challenger for California’s 10th Congressional District penned a post-election letter outlining a far-fetched conspiracy theory about how Josh Harder stole the election.

On election night that year, Harder was losing. It’s not a secret in American politics that Republicans are more likely to go to the polls on election day, and Democrats are more likely to vote-by-mail if they have the opportunity to do so.

So, while there were still thousands of ballots outstanding – a large number of California have been absentee for quite some time – the race wasn’t over until all of those votes were counted.

And Harder came back to win.

Ironically, he not only successfully defended his seat against the author of that letter in this election but did so handily – eliminating all doubt as to the validity of his election to the House of Representatives in the first place.

The only problem is there’s a growing number of people who don’t see this current election as valid and they’re being fueled by misinformation intended to erode the confidence in the electoral process – in some instances by people who know better than to be spreading lies and half-truths in the first place.

I have no doubt that that there are foreign actors that are at play in all of this as well, and when people share information that isn’t true that was potentially planted there by a foreign country whose values are opposed to the Democratic values of America, they’re harming the very country that they claim to love.

There is little evidence that “election fraud” as it is represented is any way a significant problem in our elections. Outliers happen, but after checking the election fraud database maintained by the conservative Heritage Institute, I discovered that there hasn’t been a single case in California this year where somebody voted when they weren’t supposed to and it was discovered.

Nearly all of the instances of “election fraud” in California this year have been tied to people who either forged signatures on petitions to get them on the ballot or bribed homeless individuals to get them to sign so that they could be paid for the signatures that they’re gathering. That’s illegal, I’m glad those people got caught, and I hope that they’re prosecuted without an opportunity for leniency.

There is no place – none, zero, zilch – for those who betray the integrity of the American electoral system.

While the President of the United States claims otherwise, as is his right, a logical look at “election fraud” shows that it would be insanely difficult to pull off successfully since each citizen only legally gets to cast a single ballot in an election. And if you get caught voting when you aren’t supposed to, it’s not a slap on the wrist – it’s a felony. And prosecutors love to make examples out of people when things like this happen – it makes for good headlines.

How many people do you know that are willing to risk a felony – and losing the right to vote, among other things – to cast a single ballot in a race that will more than likely end up being decided by hundreds, thousands, or even millions of votes?

The risk simply isn’t worth the reward.

And the misinformation has been flying freely.

Unsurprisingly, Frank Aquila penned a letter this week claiming that the Democrats were trying to “steal” the election from President Trump – citing evidence that he was leading on election night and is seeing his lead disappear as more and more ballots are counted.

Sound anything like what happened in California’s 10th District in 2018?

The dissipation of his lead doesn’t have anything to do with fraud – nobody is trying to “steal” anything – and it has everything to do with the legally-cast ballots being counted the way that they are supposed to be.

What good is American Democracy if we cast doubt on its chief principle – that every person has the right to cast a ballot, and that those ballots have a right to be counted?

You can’t wrap yourself in the call and call yourself a “patriot” if you’re attacking the cornerstone of American Democracy.

That’s not hyperbole.

The idea that every cast ballot needs to be counted is not a radical one, or the ramblings of a crazy partisan that is looking to create division. It doesn’t get any more basic than this – those that cast legal ballots have a right to have them counted. Period.

Full stop.

And if election fraud was that easy, why didn’t Hillary Clinton – with her massive political apparatus and extensive connections – simply “steal” the election from Trump in 2016?

I don’t know about you, but if I had to put my money on her or the current Democratic Presidential nominee pulling that one off, Biden isn’t the one that I’m going to side with.

There is tremendous irony in the fact that there were pro-Trump protests in different states last night – those standing outside of the elections office in Phoenix demanding that the counting continue, and those standing outside of the elections office in Philadelphia demanding that the counting stop.

It’s okay to count the ballots when it’s going your way, but when it’s not we have to shut it all down? That seems legit.

Count all of the ballots. Let the chips fall where they may.

Anything else needs to be called precisely what it is – un-American.

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.