Like the first fat drops of rain ahead of a hurricane, the early stories of voter fraud in the US 2020 presidential election are landing in the news cycle now that voting has started – there’s a cash-for-ballots scandal emerging in Minnesota, the three trays of ballot-filled US mail picked up in a Wisconsin ditch, the 1,000 Virginia voters who were each sent two absentee ballots in the mail. From the nation that brought you the hanging chads cliffhanger in 2000, this election will be an extravagant Hollywood-style follow-up, packed with late vote counts, polling incompetence, mail-in fraud, disorganisation and massive lawfare; and that’s just what will hit the media, without including the skulduggery taking place behind closed doors.
It’s not just that 2020 voting will take place under 50 different state systems, that partisanship is white-hot, and that the US postal workers unions have endorsed Democrat candidate Joe Biden, so good luck in trusting in their discretion.
It’s also that this year, due to the China virus, mail-in and absentee ballots have been expanded to a new, untested level. In the 2016 election 33 million, or nearly one-quarter of all votes, were cast by mail. This year absentee voting has been expanded to 118 million voters in 34 states, and mail-in ballots have been sent to all 44 million voters in 9 states. It doesn’t take much imagination to see this going horribly wrong. The US Postal Service itself has warned states to consider extending vote-counting deadlines and Trump has tweeted long and loud about the potential for voter fraud. The Democrats meanwhile, having argued that there was no evidence for widespread voter fraud, are now urging in-person voting, having discovered in North Carolina that black voters’ ballots are being rejected at four times the rate of white voters.
Despite media protestations to the contrary, there’s a long history of voter fraud in the US. What about the (ex) elections judge Domenick Demuro, just convicted in Pennsylvania of taking bribes and certifying false results in the 2014, 2015 and 2016 primaries? There’s the NY Post mea culpa of a master Democrat fraudster, who says there’s not an election in New Jersey he and his teams haven’t worked on, and that fraud is the rule, not the exception. The Heritage Foundation keeps a sample list of voter fraud going back to 1983, including 1,298 proven cases of voter fraud, with 1,121 criminal convictions. Chaos seems to be the default operating system of US election machinery, and that’s both a strength — because it’s harder to fiddle all 50 states — and an obvious weakness.
In October 2016, at the height of the last election campaign I witnessed one of the clearest and worst displays of dirty tricks I’ve ever seen, uncovered by a crusading journalist called James O’Keefe. His exposé, detailed later, showed misbehaviour so brazen and depraved that it could have come only from zealots who believe their ends justify any means, who know that what they are doing is wrong and criminal but are arrogant enough to think that they can, and indeed, should, break normal rules. These are people who, in the words of ex-Labor powerbroker Graham Richardson, will do ‘whatever it takes’. Wrongdoing exists on both sides of the political fence, obviously, but many Leftists feel justified in undermining a political order because they don’t believe in it in the first place. Conservatives largely support and defend the status quo, while Leftists want greater change to achieve their brave new world. Certainly the political violence we see these days is overwhelmingly leftist in nature. Remember, the patron saint of radicals, Saul Alinsky, dedicated his book Rules for Radicals to ‘Lucifer, the first radical’.
The background to the O’Keefe exposé was a damaging spate of headline-grabbing violence at the increasingly successful 2016 Trump rallies, allowing the media to paint Trump as engendering civic chaos: if this is what happens at the rallies, what would it be like if he ran the country? Then, on 18 October 2016, O’Keefe published undercover sting videos with Democrat operatives bragging about staging and creating the disruptive incidents at Trump rallies. They talked about running a training school, where the like-minded or money-hungry (and even the mentally ill) were paid to learn the dark arts of provocation, in the hopes of drawing Trump fans into physical confrontation in front of the cameras. The Democrat operatives called it ‘conflict engagement’. Said staffer Scott Foval: ‘There’s a script… sometimes the “crazies” bite… sometimes they don’t bite.’ Foval, elsewhere: ‘It doesn’t matter what the friggin’ legal and ethics people say, we need to win this motherf-cker.’
So damning was the footage that Foval lost his job the next day and his boss, political consultant, convicted tax and bank fraudster Robert Creamer also stepped aside — and suddenly the Trump rallies became violence-free.
The Democrat campaign downplayed the two as small fry and the groups involved, while Democrat-linked, were at legally deniable arm’s length. Foval was just a staffer but bossman Creamer is a stalwart, married to a Democrat congresswoman. He visited the White House 342 times during the Obama terms, frequently to see the president. When Obama gave his final televised presidential address, striding a stage before an adoring throng, I saw Creamer sitting in the front row, applauding. Not such small fry.
O’Keefe’s team is called Project Veritas, and he typically targets left-leaning organisations. To those who say it’s unethical to tape private conversations, he says he has to do it to protect himself legally. It is legal in some states and illegal in others. The lawsuits over his 2016 Democrat sting continue, but O’Keefe has won the early rounds and brags Project Veritas has never lost a lawsuit.
James O’Keefe is now releasing his next sting, which he says on Twitter will be his biggest story yet – and the subject? Voter fraud, which may well become the defining controversy of this election.
The US is a shouty, overly dramatic nation, but genuinely sinister events such as the Creamer agitprop are only too common. Trump’s approval is rising, the polls are tightening and both sides are releasing material that has been saved and concocted for the final days. Working away beneath the headlines will be the Fovals and Creamers of 2020, perhaps steaming open envelopes, substituting ballots and more.
A joke on Twitter recently was that Biden was coming third in the yard sign stakes: after Trump and Firewood For Sale signs. Let’s hope that it is the voters who get the final say and not the tricksters.
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