By Kerry Wachter
On November 3rd, 2020, citizens came out in record numbers to cast their ballots for our President. In typical 2020 fashion this election was marred in controversy.
As polling places began to close on election night, President Trump had a commanding lead, including in many of the battleground states, but by the morning the lead had evaporated. President Trump and his supporters vehemently questioned how he could lose the lead in all the remaining battleground states, specifically in Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Georgia. Media outlets immediately dismissed any claims of irregularities, declaring that there is “no evidence of fraud”. In fact, the narrative has gone through many phases, from “there is not fraud”, to “there is no widespread fraud” to “there is no widespread fraud that would alter the results.” The goalposts kept moving.
Hundreds of witnesses have signed affidavits documenting the fraud they witnessed, from poll watchers and poll workers to postal workers to IT technicians who assisted with voting machines. Many testified at state legislative hearings in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Arizona, and Georgia. The problem is that historically, fraud is difficult to prove and it’s even more difficult to prove that the extent of the fraud is enough to affect the election.
However, there are other metrics we can look to in assessing the results of the election. As outlined in an article by Patrick Basham in The Spectator, he reveals some of the statistical anomalies presented with the election this year.
“Despite poor recent performances, media and academic polls have an impressive 80 percent record predicting the winner during the modern era. But, when polls err, non-polling metrics do not; the latter have a 100 percent record. Every non-polling metric forecast Trump’s reelection. For Trump to lose, not only did one or more metrics have to be wrong for the first time ever, but every single one had to be wrong, and at the very same time; not an impossible outcome, but extremely unlikely.” What are these non-polling metrics? Here are just a few:
- Donald Trump received 11 million more votes in 2020 than 2016, the third largest rise in support ever for an incumbent. Compared to Obama who was comfortably reelected with 3.5 million fewer votes in 2012 compared to 2008.
- Trump grew his support among Black voters by 50 percent over 2016. Nationally, Joe Biden’s Black support fell well below 90 percent, the level below which Democratic presidential candidates usually lose.
- Trump increased his share of the national Hispanic vote to 35 percent. With 60 percent or less of the national Hispanic vote, it is arithmetically impossible for a Democratic presidential candidate to win Florida, Arizona, Nevada, and New Mexico.
- Bellwether states swung further in Trump’s direction than in 2016. Florida, Ohio, and Iowa each defied America’s media polls with huge wins for Trump. Since 1852 only Richard Nixon has lost the Electoral College after winning this trio and that 1960 defeat to John F. Kennedy is still the subject of great suspicion.
According to Basham, “Atypical voting patterns married with misses by polling and non-polling metrics should give observers pause for thought.”
In 2005, the bipartisan Federal Commission for Election Reform chaired by Jimmy Carter and James Baker issued an extensive report on best practices to ensure election integrity. The report had many prescient warnings regarding voting by mail. In section 4.2, “Vote by mail is however, likely to increase the risks of fraud and of contested elections in other states, where there is some history of troubled elections, or where the safeguards for ballot integrity are weaker.” Furthermore, from section 5.2, “Absentee ballots remain the largest source of potential voter fraud.”
Is it any wonder that almost half (47%) of Americans think the election was stolen from Donald Trump? According to a poll conducted by Rasmussen Nov 17-19th, 2020 showed 61% of Republican voters believe the election was stolen from Donald Trump. And while 69% of Democrats do not believe the election was stolen, 31% believe it’s possible or somewhat possible. With such high numbers of the electorate not having faith in our election system, it is imperative that we do everything we can to restore integrity in our elections.
Whatever the outcome of the election is, and whomever is sworn in to office on January 20, 2021, all the states should commit to audit the election processes in their states, and read and implement the common sense suggestions from the Commission for Election Reform report which include their five pillars of an effective voting system, “Voter registration that is convenient for voters to complete and even simpler to renew and that produces accurate, and valid lists of citizens who are eligible to vote; Voter identification, tied directly to voter registration, that enhances ballot integrity without introducing new barriers to voting, including the casting and counting of ballots; Measures to encourage and achieve the greatest possible participation in elections by enabling all eligible voters to have an equal opportunity to vote and have their votes counted; Voting machines that tabulate voter preferences accurately and transparently, minimize under- and over-votes, and allow for verifiability and full recounts; and Fair, impartial and effective election administration.”
Upon exiting the Constitutional Convention in 1787, Benjamin Franklin was approached by a group of citizens asking what sort of government the delegates had created. His answer was: “A republic, if you can keep it.” Each generation must protect and nurture our republican form of government for future generations. Election integrity must be our priority, lack of confidence in our election process is a real threat to our Republic. All claims must be investigated and whatever the finding, let us do what is necessary so that every citizen has confidence that their vote will be recorded fairly and accurately.