It Isn’t Hard to Cheat

Why does Joe Biden say Republicans are a “threat to democracy”? In part, because they worry about election fraud. From his infamous speech:

They do not recognize the will of the people. They refuse to accept the results of a free election. …

And they’re working right now, as I speak, in state after state to give power to decide elections in America to partisans and cronies, empowering election deniers to undermine democracy itself….

I would say, on the contrary, that it is election fraud is that undermines our democracy.

It is an article of faith among Democrats that election fraud is rare, if not nonexistent. Thus, Minnesota’s Secretary of State, Steve Simon, authored an op-ed in the Star Tribune scoffing at the idea that voting by mail opens the door to cheating. My friend James Dickey of the Upper Midwest Law Center responded in the same venue, in devastating fashion. First, Simon’s gaslighting:

The Aug. 30 article “Secretary of state race paints 2 views of voting” cites Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon as claiming that “a mailbox thief” would have to accurately forge a voter’s signature and obtain the separate witness signature that’s required to vote by mail.

Let’s start with the second point. Simon doesn’t mention it, but in the 2020 election the requirement of a witness signature–the only real speed bump on the way to election fraud–was illegally revoked. How? By collusive litigation between the Democratic Party, which recruited plaintiffs, and Steve Simon himself. This was a scandal, but the Democrats got away with it. They started two cases, one in federal court and one in state court, using different plaintiffs. That way they got two bites at the apple. The federal judge refused to approve the collusive “settlement” entered into between representatives of the DFL Party and the DFL Secretary of State, for which, as he said, no substantial evidence was offered. The state court judge, however, loyally endorsed the “settlement,” and in 2020 witness signatures were not required on mail-in ballots, contrary to state law.

James Dickey went on to demolish the first point asserted by Simon:

Unfortunately, under the administrative rules created by Simon’s predecessor and enforced by the Office of the Secretary of State, that is not true. In fact, the office has defended the rules, which say the opposite, in court.

Minnesota Rule 8210.2450 actually makes it impossible for election judges, who must compare signatures between ballot applications and signature envelopes, to do just that. In place of the law’s signature-matching requirement, the rule says that a “ballot must be rejected under this subpart on the basis of the signature if the name under this subpart is clearly a different name than the name of the voter as printed on the signature envelope.”

The rule then states that this is the only basis for rejection of an absentee ballot under the statute, and it allows for a variety of differing signatures to be used on one or both documents, forbidding rejection even with these differences. Thus, even if there is a signature mismatch, according to the rule, the ballot must be accepted unless the names are different.

So a cheater doesn’t have to “accurately forge a voter’s signature,” as Simon disingenuously claims. On the contrary, under Simon’s own rule, he just has to write the voter’s name. Any old signature will do.

Simon’s rule violates Minnesota law, but Simon has defended it in court:

I wish what the secretary said were true, but the Upper Midwest Law Center has had to bring a lawsuit, representing the Minnesota Voters Alliance, to challenge this rule, which does the opposite of what the secretary says.


The Aug. 30 article also misleadingly states that “Minnesota cities and counties get to choose who counts absentee ballots, with some tapping election judges and others relying on their employees.” Employees who are not “deputy county auditors” have no say in the counting. But who “counts” absentee ballots that have already been accepted as truly the voter’s vote is a side issue. Who “accepts” or “rejects” absentee ballots is the major issue.

In the Minnesota Supreme Court’s March 16 decision in Minnesota Voters Alliance v. County of Ramsey, the court held that only party-balanced election judges may accept or reject absentee ballots where there is an identification number mismatch between the ballot application and the signature envelope. This category alone resulted in more than 7,000 rejections in the 2020 primary and general elections, according to secretary of state statistics. Given the misleading administrative rule for election judges, that number would likely be far higher if “signature matches” were really being done.

As James concludes, “it is far too easy to cheat in Minnesota elections.” Sadly, this is true in many, if not most, states.

Democrats consistently oppose any and all measures intended to assure election integrity. As a result, the U.S. has perhaps the most lax election systems in the world. There is no plausible explanation for the Democrats’ fierce opposition to ballot integrity, other than the assumption that enabling voter fraud is an important part of their electoral strategy.

There are other reasons why Joe Biden and the Democrats try to demonize Republicans as “racists” and “fascists,” but one of their most important motives is that they want to delegitimize all efforts to make our elections honest and secure.

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