By SUZANNE DOWNING
The left and the right side of the political spectrum are going in different directions in terms of making elections secure. From Alaska to Georgia, and from local elections to statewide races, progressives are trying to create a system that relies on the honor of voters and campaigns, as conservatives want controls in place to prevent fraud.
In Anchorage, Alaska, a city that has been run by a far-left Assembly and mayor for the past six years, the municipality moved to all-mail-in ballots for local elections starting in 2018, and people who have moved away from the state now get votable ballots across the country from Alaska’s largest city.
This has raised questions about the integrity of the voter rolls as those who haven’t voted for years in Alaska are surprised to see ballots in their mailboxes in Arizona, Colorado, and Maine, to name a few. Questions are being raised by conservatives — and only conservatives — about how prone the system is to fraud, with ballots in the wild and ballot harvesters now paid to fly into the state and work specific multi-family neighborhoods.
At the state level in Alaska, voters are facing a “jungle” primary that voters thought would improve elections. There is now no separate primary ballot for the Republican Party candidates, as there has been for decades. Since this measure passed (pushed by out-of-state progressive money), the Alaska Republican Party has not fought for its right to maintain its own primary ballot as a matter of freedom of association, as it has fought for and won in the past (Wayne Anthony Ross vs. State of Alaska).
Then there’s a ranked-choice system in the Alaska General Election in 2022. No state has ever tried to have citizens vote a jungle primary and then switch to a ranked-choice ballot general election, and it’s sure to cause confusion.
Trying to explain how this new election scheme works to normal Alaskans, even politically attuned ones, is not easy: They’ll vote for their favorite in the primary, but when it comes to the general, they will have to choose their first, second, third, and fourth choice in all races.
Those candidates who perform poorly will be tossed and the voter’s choice will work its way up the ballot, as some voters will essentially get to vote more than once in this scheme. The tabulation will be done by machine, and no hand recounting can occur because of the reassignment of votes. Voters will have to trust the machines.
In Seattle, the election experiments have reached the absurd: The city has started charging taxpayers to fund mayoral candidates through “democracy vouchers.” This led to an extremist, anti-public safety candidate being awarded hundreds of thousands of dollars to push his bizarre anti-social platform, which includes defunding the police by at least 50 percent, and implementing rent control on residential and commercial property. Taxpayers are having to pay for this mayoral candidate’s campaign, because his ideas cannot stand on their own.
Thus, “democracy vouchers” force taxpayers to pay for ideas they may diametrically oppose.
In Texas, Democrat lawmakers followed the orders of their leader in the State House last and snuck out of the Capitol building before a bill to restore integrity to voting could pass.
Robbed of a quorum, Republicans were not able to roll back the Covid-19 voting liberal abnormalities put in place last year. Also under the Republicans’ bill, mailed-in ballots would require a state ID number or at least the last four digits of one’s Social Security number, as added security to ensure actual citizens are voting in a state whose borders are being overrun by immigrants.
The bill would ban the practice of “vote harvesting in exchange for compensation,” something all states should do, and tightens the rules around voter fraud. Why don’t Democrats think this is a good security measure?
The Texas bill would prevent tabulating machines from being connected to a wireless internet connection. It would require mailed-in ballots to be reported separately from traditionally voted ballots.
In Georgia, new laws require voter identification for absentee ballots, and officials can’t mail out ballots to all voters without voters requesting them, as is being done in Anchorage. Also, campaign workers can’t go through the lines at balloting locations and offer people food and drink as a form of electioneering, and election offices can’t take money from liberal foundations to run their operations, as many did in 2020.
Florida’s new voting integrity law also limits the use of drop boxes for absentee ballots, and also limits ballot harvesting of absentee ballots. It adds a requirement that voters requesting absentee ballots do so every two years, rather than every four, preventing quite as many dead people from voting.
Across the nation, progressives are trying to make elections less secure, as if elections should be based on the honor system, while conservatives are trying to patch the loopholes that progressives are exploiting to get the outcomes they want.
The outcomes wanted by conservatives? Simply to restore faith in free and fair elections. It is not too much to ask.
Suzanne Downing writes for NewsMax, Must Read Alaska, and Must Read America.