Make voting more secure

Editor’s note: This is the last column Mike Myers wrote, Dec. 30. The longtime newspaper man and columnist passed away Wednesday at the age of 69.

On Nov. 3 and during the weeks leading up to it, 155,507,248 ballots were cast in the presidential election. And each and every one of them was voted honestly and counted accurately. Some politicians want us to believe that.

As a fairy tale, “Cinderella” pales in comparison.

One thing was gotten out of the way earlier this month: Joe Biden won and will be our next president. There simply isn’t proof of enough fraudulent voting to change that in favor of incumbent President Donald Trump.

With that out of the way, perhaps we Americans, both Democrat and Republican, can get real about the election. It needs to be investigated. The opportunities for cheating and inaccuracies were simply too great for us to continue ignoring.

So what? What difference does a little election fraud here and there make? Think about this: How many times have you read of elections or referendums on tax issues that were decided by handfuls of votes? Consider that those involved in ballot fraud are probably more interested in electing their favored person as a county commissioner than in trying to sway the presidential election. Hey, I live in West Virginia. I know that.

Actually, in terms of elections, we Mountain State residents can brag a bit. Mac Warner, our secretary of state, worked with election officials in all 55 counties to clean up voter registration rolls. Tens of thousands of names of dead people and others who had changed addresses were pulled off the lists. It’s a safe bet that not many (again, this is West Virginia) ballots were cast by dead people.

The same can’t be said about some other states.

How about mail-in ballots? They’re all the rage, to the point that election officials in some states want to make it easier to use them. Easing restrictions on them is an election rigger’s dream.

And I can’t think West Virginia is the only state where, in the past, it was possible to buy votes with a pint of whiskey. Back in the old days, one had to trust that the fellow who’d accepted your pint would vote as you told him to.

Now, you can watch over his shoulder as he marks his mail-in ballot — and be certain.

How widespread was election fraud and inaccurate counting of ballots this year? I don’t know. My sense is that it was not nearly as pervasive as some people think — but that it did occur.

Before we rush to make it easier for people to vote, perhaps we ought to look into how the massive changes made because of COVID-19 worked out. Members of Congress of both parties should for a change leave their partisanship on the Capitol steps and investigate.

Or are we afraid of what they might find?


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