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County Hall Corner: Some Good News on Voting Integrity

Since the 2020 election, there has been a continuous political battle about the count. Initially, the election results were challenged in the courts, but nothing could be proven to the satisfaction of the judges. A protest in Washington, D.C., over the election certification at the US Capitol was organized on January 6, 2021, supporting Trump with an estimated 80,000 or so attendees. A small percentage of these went into the Capitol Building and created quite a disruption, to be sure.

Still, the only death that happened that day was the unarmed Ashli Babbitt, who was fatally shot by Capital Policeman Michael Byrd while Babbitt attempted to breach a barricaded door. Yet the greatest concern among the mainstream media was not over the shooting death of an unarmed trespasser that day (evidenced by the fact that Michael Byrd’s name was sheltered for over nine months), but there was great angst over Capital Police officer Brian Sicknick, who had two strokes and died the following day. This protest was defined as an “insurrection” and resulted in 1,240 arrests, with 1,033 found guilty of “attempting” to disrupt the election decision proceedings. Most of these resulted in long federal prison sentences.

Yet the year before, there were some 9,000 protest demonstrations across the country over the George Floyd arrest resulting from his death. Thankfully, 93 percent of these were peaceful. However, the other seven percent represented over 600 violent riots rather than just demonstrations. They resulted in arson, vandalism, and looting, causing an estimated $2 billion in insured damages nationally. This was the highest recorded damage from civil disorder in US history. Multiple police officers were shot or attacked during those protests. In New York City alone, nearly 400 officers were injured following two weeks of George Floyd protests. Overall, the riots resulted in the death of at least 25 Americans.

Yet, to this day, the politicized left media considers the US Capital intrusion on January 6th as the greatest threat to democracy since the Civil War, and the George Floyd protests were overall ‘peaceful.’ (Technically true by highlighting the peaceful 93 percent, but ethically a lie in ignoring the massive devastation and injuries as a result of the seven percent of the “protests”).

It is this double standard that so frustrated Republicans, especially when it relates to election integrity. In major cities all around the country, a pattern is all too common. A Democratic incumbent or candidate is trailing after the polls are closed and the votes counted, but then write-in ballots appear out of nowhere at the last minute, and miraculously, the Democrat wins the contest. When it is challenged, it is either too late or not enough evidence.

But Pennsylvania is not called the Keystone State for nothing. Our state may start a trend across the country for stronger voter integrity. On Thursday, March 28th, a 2-1 decision from the U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals struck down a lower court ruling on Pennsylvania’s mail ballots. The outcome was unexpected and even more surprising was that all three of the judges were Democrats.

Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Whatley hailed the decision, “This is a crucial victory for election integrity and voter confidence in the Keystone State and nationwide. Pennsylvanians deserve to feel confident in the security of their mail ballots, and this 3rd Circuit ruling roundly rejects unlawful left-wing attempts to count undated or incorrectly dated mail ballots. Republicans will continue to fight and win for election integrity in courts nationwide ahead of the 2024 election.”

This is good news, but there is more. Representative Jamie Flick noted in a recent newsletter: “With a voter identification constitutional amendment having languished in committee for nearly a year, despite bipartisan support for the concept among both the public and lawmakers, House Republicans have launched a discharge petition in an attempt to advance the measure. Requiring ID each time a person casts a ballot would help prevent election fraud, including voting under a fictitious registration, voting multiple times by registered voters in multiple states, impersonating another voter, and illegal immigrant voting.”

Yes, our elections will never be one hundred percent honest, but the stench from the 2020 election has lingered long enough. As we go to the primaries today, we should be encouraged that slowly but surely, change toward voter integrity has begun. As the words inscribed on the Martin Luther King Jr. Monument in Washington, D.C., “We shall overcome because the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”