Are American elections free and fair?

Two hot topics for the price of one

Moderator: Moderators

Post Reply
User avatar
historia
Guru
Posts: 2242
Joined: Wed May 04, 2011 6:41 pm
Has thanked: 150 times
Been thanked: 222 times

Are American elections free and fair?

Post #1

Post by historia »

Image

According to Pew, the percentage of Americans expressing confidence that our elections will be run well has dropped from four years ago (2018), especially among voters who support Republican candidates (-30%).

Question for debate: Are elections in the United States free and fair?

User avatar
Jose Fly
Guru
Posts: 1284
Joined: Tue Jan 18, 2022 5:30 pm
Location: Out west somewhere
Has thanked: 294 times
Been thanked: 812 times

Re: Are American elections free and fair?

Post #101

Post by Jose Fly »

AgnosticBoy wrote: Tue Nov 22, 2022 1:53 pm My examples were not simply to show that fraud exists, but rather they show that some cases would go uncaught under the election process we have now. That's the main reason I advocate for there being more security.
You've advocated for voter ID and bans on "ballot harvesting". The former wouldn't prevent any of the cases that have been cited here and the latter is rather vague (for example, can I collect ballots from my family members and drop them off).
Remember that it was you (in post #47) that challenged us to bring up "real" cases of cheating as opposed to imaginary scenarios of cheating. And when I'm successful at doing just that, you complain, and then try to mix up the purpose of why I was bringing up those examples (to counter a specific claim vs. using it to claim that elections have to be perfect which I NEVER said).
No. First of all, I never issued any challenges. That's your mischaracterization. I simply noted that at the time of that post, no one had pointed to "any actual real problems" in our election systems. And still to this point, no one has shown any evidence of systemic problems in our elections. All you've shown are isolated cases, which are no more an indictment of our elections than isolated cases of speeding in school zones are an indictment of school safety and traffic enforcement.

But once again I find I'm repeating the same things I've said several times already.
For the record, my position is that elections are fair to a degree. That is my position because we are not doing things that can be done. And because of that we're in the dark about the examples that I brought up when it comes to the extent that they occur. When someone is against more security for no no good reason (esp. when politics is at play), then my confidence decreases even more.
Your opinion is noted.
Being apathetic is great....or not. I don't really care.

User avatar
AgnosticBoy
Guru
Posts: 1443
Joined: Mon Oct 09, 2017 1:44 pm
Has thanked: 171 times
Been thanked: 123 times
Contact:

Re: Are American elections free and fair?

Post #102

Post by AgnosticBoy »

Jose Fly wrote: Tue Nov 22, 2022 2:44 pm You've advocated for voter ID and bans on "ballot harvesting". The former wouldn't prevent any of the cases that have been cited here and the latter is rather vague (for example, can I collect ballots from my family members and drop them off).
And how is offering nothing, which is your position, any better?! Doing nothing is not a solution. With your position, we are in the dark about how often it happens, its impact on elections, despite there being evidence that it does happen.

If there is arguably something that we can do to make it harder to cheat (it doesn't have to be perfect), while also not making it hard to vote, then why not do it? I really don't get your side - the side that says to do nothing just because it won't ever be perfect. Police shouldn't have made body cameras a requirement because it won't prevent all misconduct ;)
Jose Fly wrote: Tue Nov 22, 2022 2:44 pm
AgnosticBoy wrote: Tue Nov 22, 2022 1:53 pm Remember that it was you (in post #47) that challenged us to bring up "real" cases of cheating as opposed to imaginary scenarios of cheating. And when I'm successful at doing just that, you complain, and then try to mix up the purpose of why I was bringing up those examples (to counter a specific claim vs. using it to claim that elections have to be perfect which I NEVER said).
No. First of all, I never issued any challenges. That's your mischaracterization. I simply noted that at the time of that post, no one had pointed to "any actual real problems" in our election systems.
Actually, you used more charged language than that. Jose said, "If there were any actual real problems, y'all would've pointed them out a while ago." (in post #47)
Jose Fly wrote: Tue Nov 22, 2022 2:44 pmAnd still to this point, no one has shown any evidence of systemic problems in our elections. All you've shown are isolated cases, which are no more an indictment of our elections than isolated cases of speeding in school zones are an indictment of school safety and traffic enforcement.
You claimed that my examples of fraud are isolated cases. Are they isolated cases or is it just that only one or a few people have been caught, esp. given the fact that the door to door interactions of campaign workers are not monitored by officials (and that mail-in ballots has only recently been increasing in number)?

I'm not just throwing some hypothetical at you because there is good reason to suspect that cases go uncaught since my examples showed that election officials did not catch the fraud. It took a private group going undercover to catch it. How can you speak on the extent to which my examples occur when there is little to no monitoring of this situation? And worst yet, you seem to be against anything that would help towards that. Presumably, the crooked campaign workers know exactly who they can take advantage of, most likely the poor and less educated ones.
Jose Fly wrote: Tue Nov 22, 2022 2:44 pm
AgnosticBoy wrote: Tue Nov 22, 2022 1:53 pmFor the record, my position is that elections are fair to a degree.
Your opinion is noted.
I'm on the fence so I thought you would've tried to win me over. If anything, I'm becoming more confident in my suspicions that the political parties don't care about cheating when it benefits their side. As such, the political parties won't put in security measures if they feel that it will take away from their vote. There is absolutely no excuse to not have voter ID as a requirement to vote in the 21st century.
- Proud forum owner ∣ The Agnostic Forum

- As a non-partisan, I like to be on the side of truth. - AB

User avatar
Jose Fly
Guru
Posts: 1284
Joined: Tue Jan 18, 2022 5:30 pm
Location: Out west somewhere
Has thanked: 294 times
Been thanked: 812 times

Re: Are American elections free and fair?

Post #103

Post by Jose Fly »

AgnosticBoy wrote: Tue Nov 22, 2022 9:01 pm And how is offering nothing, which is your position, any better?! Doing nothing is not a solution. With your position, we are in the dark about how often it happens, its impact on elections, despite there being evidence that it does happen.
Except I never said "do nothing". I posted and supported the security measures in HR 1 for example. Try to pay better attention next time.
If there is arguably something that we can do to make it harder to cheat (it doesn't have to be perfect), while also not making it hard to vote, then why not do it?
Like what? Like i said, so far you've suggested voter ID and bans of "ballot harvesting" (which you didn't define). What else do you suggest?
You claimed that my examples of fraud are isolated cases. Are they isolated cases or is it just that only one or a few people have been caught, esp. given the fact that the door to door interactions of campaign workers are not monitored by officials (and that mail-in ballots has only recently been increasing in number)?
As it stands, they are isolated cases. If you have evidence showing otherwise, let's see it.
How can you speak on the extent to which my examples occur when there is little to no monitoring of this situation?
And by the same token, you can't speak to it either.
I'm on the fence so I thought you would've tried to win me over. If anything, I'm becoming more confident in my suspicions that the political parties don't care about cheating when it benefits their side.
Then why did Democrats pass a bill that significantly increases election security on multiple fronts, while Republicans opposed it?
As such, the political parties won't put in security measures if they feel that it will take away from their vote.
Your claim is contrary to the facts.
Being apathetic is great....or not. I don't really care.

User avatar
AgnosticBoy
Guru
Posts: 1443
Joined: Mon Oct 09, 2017 1:44 pm
Has thanked: 171 times
Been thanked: 123 times
Contact:

Re: Are American elections free and fair?

Post #104

Post by AgnosticBoy »

Jose Fly wrote: Tue Nov 22, 2022 9:37 pm
AgnosticBoy wrote: Tue Nov 22, 2022 9:01 pm And how is offering nothing, which is your position, any better?! Doing nothing is not a solution. With your position, we are in the dark about how often it happens, its impact on elections, despite there being evidence that it does happen.
Except I never said "do nothing". I posted and supported the security measures in HR 1 for example. Try to pay better attention next time.
We were talking about the ballot harvesting fraud example that I brought up. You've offered nothing to deal with that issue. Your acceptance of HR 1 doesn't address my example.
Jose Fly wrote: Tue Nov 22, 2022 9:37 pm
AgnosticBoy wrote: Tue Nov 22, 2022 9:01 pmIf there is arguably something that we can do to make it harder to cheat (it doesn't have to be perfect), while also not making it hard to vote, then why not do it?
Like what? Like i said, so far you've suggested voter ID and bans of "ballot harvesting" (which you didn't define). What else do you suggest?
I'd stop with bans on ballot harvesting unless you or anyone else can come up with something better, rather than just doing nothing about it. On the enforcement side, it wouldn't hurt to have undercover agents pose as prospect voters in areas where campaign workers tend to go door to door, just to see if any cheating occurs.
Jose Fly wrote: Tue Nov 22, 2022 9:37 pm
AgnosticBoy wrote: Tue Nov 22, 2022 9:01 pm You claimed that my examples of fraud are isolated cases. Are they isolated cases or is it just that only one or a few people have been caught, esp. given the fact that the door to door interactions of campaign workers are not monitored by officials (and that mail-in ballots has only recently been increasing in number)?
As it stands, they are isolated cases. If you have evidence showing otherwise, let's see it.
Isolated cases because of isolated investigations. That's an important qualification.
Jose Fly wrote: Tue Nov 22, 2022 9:37 pm
AgnosticBoy wrote: Tue Nov 22, 2022 9:01 pmHow can you speak on the extent to which my examples occur when there is little to no monitoring of this situation?
And by the same token, you can't speak to it either.
So why do you call it "isolated"?! My approach has been to simply increase security and to look into the matter. Why are you against that?
Jose Fly wrote: Tue Nov 22, 2022 9:37 pm
AgnosticBoy wrote: Tue Nov 22, 2022 9:01 pm I'm on the fence so I thought you would've tried to win me over. If anything, I'm becoming more confident in my suspicions that the political parties don't care about cheating when it benefits their side.
Then why did Democrats pass a bill that significantly increases election security on multiple fronts, while Republicans opposed it?
None of what you said conflicts with my point. You can be for security and cheating at the same time. Both the Democrats and Republicans are for voter security up to a certain point - up to the point that it benefits their party.
Jose Fly wrote: Tue Nov 22, 2022 9:37 pm
AgnosticBoy wrote: Tue Nov 22, 2022 9:01 pmAs such, the political parties won't put in security measures if they feel that it will take away from their vote.
Your claim is contrary to the facts.
Your opinion is noted.

Keep in mind that I'm not here to be an election denier. I honestly don't know if there is an amount of cheating going on that would impact the ultimate result. I'd like to know though and there shouldn't be a problem with that. I don't draw any definite conclusions on that which is why I've answered the OP in relative terms (elections are fair to a degree) instead of boldly proclaiming that it is fair or that it isn't. You are making it seem as if I would say it's unfair just because the elections aren't perfect. My thinking is that the less security, then the less confident I am that elections are fair, and the more security, then the more confident I am in its fairness.
- Proud forum owner ∣ The Agnostic Forum

- As a non-partisan, I like to be on the side of truth. - AB

User avatar
Jose Fly
Guru
Posts: 1284
Joined: Tue Jan 18, 2022 5:30 pm
Location: Out west somewhere
Has thanked: 294 times
Been thanked: 812 times

Re: Are American elections free and fair?

Post #105

Post by Jose Fly »

AgnosticBoy wrote: Tue Nov 22, 2022 10:51 pm We were talking about the ballot harvesting fraud example that I brought up. You've offered nothing to deal with that issue. Your acceptance of HR 1 doesn't address my example.

I'd stop with bans on ballot harvesting unless you or anyone else can come up with something better, rather than just doing nothing about it. On the enforcement side, it wouldn't hurt to have undercover agents pose as prospect voters in areas where campaign workers tend to go door to door, just to see if any cheating occurs.
How are you defining "ballot harvesting"? Would you make it so that every mail voter has to personally drop off their own ballot, no exceptions? What if doing that prevented some people from voting? Is that an acceptable outcome for you?
Isolated cases because of isolated investigations. That's an important qualification.
So you have zero evidence that it's a systemic issue.
So why do you call it "isolated"?!
Because that's what the evidence indicates. Duh.
My approach has been to simply increase security and to look into the matter. Why are you against that?
Who said I was against "looking into the matter"? Go ahead and look all you like.
None of what you said conflicts with my point. You can be for security and cheating at the same time. Both the Democrats and Republicans are for voter security up to a certain point - up to the point that it benefits their party.
Huh? Who is in favor of cheating?
Keep in mind that I'm not here to be an election denier. I honestly don't know if there is an amount of cheating going on that would impact the ultimate result. I'd like to know though and there shouldn't be a problem with that. I don't draw any definite conclusions on that which is why I've answered the OP in relative terms (elections are fair to a degree) instead of boldly proclaiming that it is fair or that it isn't. You are making it seem as if I would say it's unfair just because the elections aren't perfect. My thinking is that the less security, then the less confident I am that elections are fair, and the more security, then the more confident I am in its fairness.
Then you should be supportive of HR 1 and be against the Republicans blocking it.
Being apathetic is great....or not. I don't really care.

User avatar
AgnosticBoy
Guru
Posts: 1443
Joined: Mon Oct 09, 2017 1:44 pm
Has thanked: 171 times
Been thanked: 123 times
Contact:

Re: Are American elections free and fair?

Post #106

Post by AgnosticBoy »

Jose Fly wrote: Wed Nov 23, 2022 12:28 pm How are you defining "ballot harvesting"? What if doing that prevented some people from voting? Is that an acceptable outcome for you?
Here's one definition:
Ballot harvesting is the practice in which political operatives collect absentee ballots from voters’ homes and drop them off at a polling place or election office
source
Jose Fly wrote: Wed Nov 23, 2022 12:28 pmWould you make it so that every mail voter has to personally drop off their own ballot, no exceptions?
All they have to do is drop it off at the mailbox. If there's a medical reason why they can't do that, then I'd be okay with having exceptions.
Jose Fly wrote: Wed Nov 23, 2022 12:28 pmWhat if doing that prevented some people from voting? Is that an acceptable outcome for you?
There would be exceptions. Some of this is already covered under federal law:
The Voting Accessibility for the Elderly and Handicapped Act of 1984 (VAEHA) requires accessible polling places in federal elections for elderly individuals and people with disabilities. Where no accessible location is available to serve as a polling place, voters must be provided an alternate means of voting on Election Day.
Source: The Americans with Disabilities Act
Jose Fly wrote: Wed Nov 23, 2022 12:28 pm
AgnosticBoy wrote: Tue Nov 22, 2022 10:51 pmIsolated cases because of isolated investigations. That's an important qualification.
So you have zero evidence that it's a systemic issue.
Sure, but that alone doesn't prove that it's not systemic or more widespread. At one point in time, we had zero evidence that bacteria existed, but that doesn't mean it didn't exist at that point, or that it only exists when we know about it.
Jose Fly wrote: Wed Nov 23, 2022 12:28 pm
AgnosticBoy wrote: Tue Nov 22, 2022 10:51 pmSo why do you call it "isolated"?!
Because that's what the evidence indicates. Duh.
Sure, we only have evidence of it occurring once, but that doesn't mean that it has only happened once. Things can exist or happen outside of our knowledge of it. And as I said before, the reason why we only have evidence of it occurring once is because we only have one investigation that just looked into one case. To get a true picture, we should have more than ONE investigation focused on more than just one person.
Jose Fly wrote: Wed Nov 23, 2022 12:28 pm
AgnosticBoy wrote: Tue Nov 22, 2022 10:51 pmMy approach has been to simply increase security and to look into the matter. Why are you against that?
Who said I was against "looking into the matter"? Go ahead and look all you like.
That should be done before drawing conclusions about the extent of any type of cheating.
- Proud forum owner ∣ The Agnostic Forum

- As a non-partisan, I like to be on the side of truth. - AB

User avatar
historia
Guru
Posts: 2242
Joined: Wed May 04, 2011 6:41 pm
Has thanked: 150 times
Been thanked: 222 times

Re: Are American elections free and fair?

Post #107

Post by historia »

AgnosticBoy wrote: Fri Nov 18, 2022 9:14 pm
KSBW wrote:
The United States Postal Service and the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters are investigating after a woman reported finding a bag stuffed with valid and completed Santa Clara County ballots in a ravine in the Santa Cruz Mountains.
. . .

So not only do we have some rogue mailman throwing away voting ballots, but we can also see that election officials did not discover it themselves. A private citizen reported it.
I'm not sure we can say with any level of certainty that this is a case of a rogue mailman throwing away ballots. As an aside: wouldn't a rogue mailman just destroy the ballots instead?

Since this bag included other mail as well, this looks more like a case of a thief stealing a mailbag off a mail truck (or something like that) for the purpose of identity theft, and just tossing the rest. There just happened to be mail ballots in the bag at the time.
AgnosticBoy wrote: Fri Nov 18, 2022 9:14 pm
Furthermore, the fact that the voters of those trashed ballots did not report their ballots missing undermines historia's point to some degree regarding "many" voters checking the status of their ballot/vote.
This point is well taken.

Let me say that, for me, when discussing this and other hypothetical scenarios of voter fraud, the question is always one of (a) scale and (b) the claim it is "simple" or "easy."

Perhaps tossing 36 ballots could go unnoticed if none of the voters check the status of their ballot -- although the nefarious actor is taking a risk even there. But tossing 360 or 3,600 ballots would greatly increase the likelihood of some voters noticing and reporting the problem.

It is therefore not "easy" or "simple" to do this at a scale that would make this kind of fraud worthwhile, especially when this scenario imagines multiple mailmen just blindly tossing ballots, including those that might actually be cast in favor of their particular candidate or proposition, an unusual scheme to begin with.

So, is this possible? Sure. Is it "easy" or "simple," as was claimed? I think not, and that is what I am objecting to.
AgnosticBoy wrote: Mon Nov 21, 2022 3:04 pm
Jose Fly wrote: Mon Nov 21, 2022 1:00 pm
AgnosticBoy wrote: Mon Nov 21, 2022 2:14 am
I will say that there is nothing wrong with having more security just as long as it doesn't make it hard to vote. The amount of additional security needed is debatable.
What do you have in mind?
No ballot harvesting. Voter Id.
Just so we're clear, though, neither of these suggestions would address the rogue-mailman hypothetical scenario.

One thing that would be good to do here, it seems, is greater education so that more voters who choose to cast their vote by mail are checking the status of their ballot -- that not only increases security, but also addresses the mistakes some of these voters make:
Purple Knight wrote: Tue Nov 15, 2022 2:06 pm
Tons of ballots get rejected for the signature not matching, which seems incredibly arbitrary.
I disagree. Signature matching is a vital security measure for mail ballots, and so is not at all "arbitrary." Most states alert voters that their ballot was rejected for a signature mismatch and give them the opportunity to cure it, a sensible measure.

User avatar
Jose Fly
Guru
Posts: 1284
Joined: Tue Jan 18, 2022 5:30 pm
Location: Out west somewhere
Has thanked: 294 times
Been thanked: 812 times

Re: Are American elections free and fair?

Post #108

Post by Jose Fly »

AgnosticBoy wrote: Wed Nov 23, 2022 9:22 pm
Jose Fly wrote: Wed Nov 23, 2022 12:28 pm How are you defining "ballot harvesting"? What if doing that prevented some people from voting? Is that an acceptable outcome for you?
Here's one definition:
Ballot harvesting is the practice in which political operatives collect absentee ballots from voters’ homes and drop them off at a polling place or election office
source
Jose Fly wrote: Wed Nov 23, 2022 12:28 pmWould you make it so that every mail voter has to personally drop off their own ballot, no exceptions?
All they have to do is drop it off at the mailbox. If there's a medical reason why they can't do that, then I'd be okay with having exceptions.
Jose Fly wrote: Wed Nov 23, 2022 12:28 pmWhat if doing that prevented some people from voting? Is that an acceptable outcome for you?
There would be exceptions. Some of this is already covered under federal law:
The Voting Accessibility for the Elderly and Handicapped Act of 1984 (VAEHA) requires accessible polling places in federal elections for elderly individuals and people with disabilities. Where no accessible location is available to serve as a polling place, voters must be provided an alternate means of voting on Election Day.
Source: The Americans with Disabilities Act
Jose Fly wrote: Wed Nov 23, 2022 12:28 pm
AgnosticBoy wrote: Tue Nov 22, 2022 10:51 pmIsolated cases because of isolated investigations. That's an important qualification.
So you have zero evidence that it's a systemic issue.
Sure, but that alone doesn't prove that it's not systemic or more widespread. At one point in time, we had zero evidence that bacteria existed, but that doesn't mean it didn't exist at that point, or that it only exists when we know about it.
Jose Fly wrote: Wed Nov 23, 2022 12:28 pm
AgnosticBoy wrote: Tue Nov 22, 2022 10:51 pmSo why do you call it "isolated"?!
Because that's what the evidence indicates. Duh.
Sure, we only have evidence of it occurring once, but that doesn't mean that it has only happened once. Things can exist or happen outside of our knowledge of it. And as I said before, the reason why we only have evidence of it occurring once is because we only have one investigation that just looked into one case. To get a true picture, we should have more than ONE investigation focused on more than just one person.
Jose Fly wrote: Wed Nov 23, 2022 12:28 pm
AgnosticBoy wrote: Tue Nov 22, 2022 10:51 pmMy approach has been to simply increase security and to look into the matter. Why are you against that?
Who said I was against "looking into the matter"? Go ahead and look all you like.
That should be done before drawing conclusions about the extent of any type of cheating.
I understand your position. Thanks for the discussion.
Being apathetic is great....or not. I don't really care.

User avatar
Purple Knight
Guru
Posts: 2491
Joined: Wed Feb 12, 2020 6:00 pm
Has thanked: 804 times
Been thanked: 496 times

Re: Are American elections free and fair?

Post #109

Post by Purple Knight »

historia wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 12:03 pmI'm not sure we can say with any level of certainty that this is a case of a rogue mailman throwing away ballots. As an aside: wouldn't a rogue mailman just destroy the ballots instead?
That's been my point all along with this scenario. You could never prove it to a criminal conviction level of certainty even if they are doing it. And no, I think they'd trash the ballots. If ballots are found in the trash, a simple lack of proof cures all suspicion, because no matter how much proof you have that they threw away the ballots, it can always be an accident. But if the remains of ballots are found burnt or otherwise deliberately destroyed, well then, we have at least a potential problem if, for example, there are fingerprints around.

My solution has been to 1) have cameras on anyone handling ballots, and make the videos 100% public. Crowdsource it. Bitter losers will comb those videos. And 2) not need criminal conviction levels of proof to simply bar someone from handling ballots. You're not convicting them of a crime. You're not even firing them. Just don't let them handle ballots if, for example, they are the mailman of a certain route and ballots along that route were found trashed.

Did you know you can't be a teacher if you're even accused of molesting a child? Not convicted, just accused. (I know this is true in Florida but I don't know if it is true in any other states.) This is waaaaay out of the ballpark on the side of protecting the children, and it leads to so much power in the hands of false accusers that innocent teachers have committed suicide. Yet we do this, because the children are that important. Aren't the People that important? Especially if we aren't even talking about firing anyone, let alone charging them with crimes?
historia wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 12:03 pmPerhaps tossing 36 ballots could go unnoticed if none of the voters check the status of their ballot -- although the nefarious actor is taking a risk even there. But tossing 360 or 3,600 ballots would greatly increase the likelihood of some voters noticing and reporting the problem.
And if they notice the problem, so what? You are the one who pointed out that it just looks like some nameless thief stole a mail sack. That will always be possible. Requiring the level of proof you want, there is no more connection between fraud and 36 ballots trashed and 36,000 of them. It could always be an accident. It could always be a thief. There will never be proof. Even if you have a video recording of the mailman throwing ballots away, which is the maximum level of proof ever obtainable, he will claim it was an accident and you won't be able to prove he deliberately did anything wrong.

Think about that for a moment. The absolute maximum proof obtainable is not enough proof. There's something wrong with this if you're designing that system.


Besides, it's not likely to be some grand conspiracy. At most, it will be a post office full of partisan workers talking about what I just told you and how they can always say it was an accident. If I can figure this out, so can some high-IQ outlier at the post office. There's likely to be one. And then, why on earth wouldn't they? They can't be caught. And we're in a historical period right now where each side thinks the other is legit evil, and any methods are justified, not a period where both sides respect the other's difference of opinion as political, and respect the political process. So there's not any moral reason for most people not to do this, either.

I mean, I think I'm an example. I actually don't know because I don't know how to assess this morally. But my reasoning is thus. If Trump really commits basic human rights violations, and "build the wall" might qualify against the right to travel, which some people do consider a human right, then isn't it moral to depose him by any method necessary? And isn't it especially fine to depose him by a nonviolent method? People like to draw parallels with Hitler, and say, well, wouldn't you get rid of Hitler by any means necessary? And then that will inflame partisan hatred because the conservative side will scoff at the notion that Trump is as bad as Hitler, because the truth is he's probably not.

But how I parse that parallel is binary: Commits human rights violations - Y/N? If yes, depose by any means necessary. If no, respect the process. Is this wrong?
historia wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 12:03 pmIt is therefore not "easy" or "simple" to do this at a scale that would make this kind of fraud worthwhile, especially when this scenario imagines multiple mailmen just blindly tossing ballots, including those that might actually be cast in favor of their particular candidate or proposition, an unusual scheme to begin with.

So, is this possible? Sure. Is it "easy" or "simple," as was claimed? I think not, and that is what I am objecting to.
The part that makes it easy and simple is just trash the ballots and rest in a bubble of no risk, because no proof can possibly be obtained. It boggles my mind if people aren't coming up with this.
historia wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 12:03 pm
Purple Knight wrote: Tue Nov 15, 2022 2:06 pmTons of ballots get rejected for the signature not matching, which seems incredibly arbitrary.
I disagree. Signature matching is a vital security measure for mail ballots, and so is not at all "arbitrary." Most states alert voters that their ballot was rejected for a signature mismatch and give them the opportunity to cure it, a sensible measure.
So let's say I'm a partisan poll worker, working through a bunch of ballots. I'm a conservative, so I "decide" the signatures don't match on many ballots that vote liberal. The absolute worst that could happen, in a state that alerts the voter, is that every last one of them comes and rectifies it. The worst that could happen if I do this is net zero benefit. And let's be honest, not 100% of these people will come and rectify it. So realistically I get some gain for zero risk. Even if someone discovers it, which won't happen, the fact that 99.99% of the signatures I decided didn't match were liberal ballots (the other one was a fellow who signed "Mickey Mouse") doesn't prove I did anything wrong. It's just a coincidence.

Is it really that weird to point out that in an available scenario, which some people not hypothetically but actually find themselves in, that if someone chooses X in this scenario, they get a benefit for no cost, and then speculate that people in that situation might very well be choosing X?

User avatar
Jose Fly
Guru
Posts: 1284
Joined: Tue Jan 18, 2022 5:30 pm
Location: Out west somewhere
Has thanked: 294 times
Been thanked: 812 times

Re: Are American elections free and fair?

Post #110

Post by Jose Fly »

"I didn't mean to, it was an accident" does not absolve you of a crime. If you run someone over in a crosswalk and kill them, saying "it was an accident" won't cause the police to be like "Oh, well then you're free to go".
Being apathetic is great....or not. I don't really care.

Post Reply