Election rules have to mean something
The rule of law must be respected to protect freedom. Changing the rules to achieve a desired result undermines both, and when this is done in the administration of elections, democracy itself is in jeopardy.
Unfortunately, the left shows no qualms about exercising power to gain partisan advantage, especially when it comes to electoral management. They have even come up with new rules to suit their purposes, regardless of whether they have the authority to do so.
This goes far beyond well-known examples, such as state election officials. decreeing the right to use mailboxes to vote absentee or send absentee ballot requests to all registered voters without legislative approval. In some ways, the lesser-known cases are even more egregious, no doubt due in large part to the fact that they receive significantly less public scrutiny.
Two particular examples, one from Wisconsin and the other from Pennsylvania, perfectly illustrate this double standard.
In Wisconsin, the cities of Madison, Milwaukee, Racine, Kenosha, and Green Bay conspired to apply for millions of dollars in grants from the Center for Tech and Civic Life, a left-wing organization that received $ 350 million from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, to finance privately. electoral operations throughout the country. The so-called “Wisconsin 5” agreed to abide by a long list of conditions designed to maximize participation at the expense of ballot security, without ever bothering to execute their “Safe Elections Plan”By the state legislature, which has constitutional authority to administer elections. Instead, they sought retroactive approval from the Wisconsin Elections Commission, which approved their new election rules after a fait accompli was presented to them. In other words, they asked for forgiveness rather than permission, and they made sure to consult the left-wing WEC rather than the right-wing state assembly when they did.
The Wisconsin 5s also invited outside activists from CTCL partner organizations, such as the National Vote at Home Institute, to help. manage your choices, as Project Friendship learned through extensive field research. These activists assisted with voter-specific demographic microspecifications to encourage turnout, offered their expertise in “curing” faulty vote-by-mail ballots, and even helped organize and run the central counting center in Green Bay.
The effort turned government election offices into partisan campaign centers to win the vote for a select candidate.
And all of this was done not only without proper authorization, but also in defiance of the objections of the Green Bay City Clerk, who is the one designated by state law to oversee the elections.
The situation was very different in Fulton County, Pennsylvania, a small, rural county that more than 80% of his nearly 8,000 votes to Donald Trump in 2020. At the request of state lawmakers, Fulton County hired an outside firm to conduct an audit of its electronic voting machines, which was completed in February and found no problems with the systems provided by Domain Voting.
Several months later, in July, Acting Commonwealth Secretary Veronica Degraffenreid issued “Directive 1 of 2021,” which prohibits counties from allowing third parties to examine voting machines and allows the secretary to revoke funds that would normally be available for the vote. purchase of new voting equipment.
After unilaterally assuming this authority for herself, Degraffenreid retroactively applied the new rules to Fulton County, decertifying county voting machines and refuse to release funds for the county to replace them.
The secretary’s actions are not based on electoral integrity concerns nor are they designed to promote transparency, a key ingredient of any fair election. Rather, his directives appear to be part of a coordinated effort to avoid a serious overhaul of electoral systems and procedures by threatening financial or legal repercussions for those who raise questions.
The weakening of democracy does not occur when people question the performance of a democracy. However, democracy fails when those in authority use that power to prevent that authority from being challenged.
Phill Kline is the former Kansas Attorney General. He currently serves as a pulpit pastor for Amherst Baptist Church, a law school professor, and director of the Thomas More Society’s Friendship Project.