With Trump now promising a recount as he’s down about 20k votes in Wisconsin and about 70k votes in Michigan, people have started to point out that a such margins are too steep to realistically be changed by a recount:
I mean, it does make sense. At least in a vacuum.
But the 2020 election is not a normal election.
Due to mass mail-in voting, turnout in this election is significantly higher than in any previous election.
In 2016, about 128.8 million people voted.
In 2012, about 126.8 million people voted.
In 2008, about 129.5 million people voted.
As of right now, however, and with the full results not even in yet, the total tally for the 2020 election is about 139 million total voters. It’ll absolutely go over 140 million before all is said and done.
Now, a small portion of that increase is due to population growth between 2016 and now, but most of that is due to increased voter participation via mail-in ballots.
This is exactly what the Democrats wanted: they knew people weren’t excited about Biden, but they figured that if they mailed ballots out to as many voters as possible, then they’d get a lot more people to vote simply because it was so low-effort to do so. Just fill your ballot out and mail it back in without ever having to leave your house. No dealing with long lines or any of the headaches that are part of the voting experience.
Now, of course, this also boosted turnout for Trump, but not by as much as it helped Biden. Because Trump voters were already highly motivated and eager to vote for him. Many Trump voters would do anything to cast their ballot for him.
But one of the other side-effects of mass mail-in balloting was that it would significantly increase the prevalence of vote fraud. I’ve been discussing this on the site for several months now, as have many others.
With no uniform standards nationwide regarding deadlines for mail-in ballots, it opened up the possibility (and I would argue probability) that mail-in votes would be coming in for days after the election. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court even ruled that the state can count ballots that arrive after election day with no postmark. It’s on page 27 at the link, but you can see the relevant text here:
So in reality, voting doesn’t technically “end” in PA until Friday. And since there is no requirement for ballots to be post-marked before election day, there is essentially nothing stopping political activists from filling out ballots after Election Day and all the way up to Friday if need be. Because they all “enjoy a presumption that they were mailed by Election Day.”
This opens up the possibility for massive voter fraud. I am not a legal expert and know nothing of campaign/election law. I don’t have a law degree. However, if I had to guess, I would say the Trump campaign’s lawsuits will be targeting this court ruling specifically in order to get any ballot not clearly postmarked for election day thrown out.
But that’s just my best guess.
State laws in PA, WI and MI prohibited vote counters from counting the mail-in ballots prior to election day, even the ones that had already arrived. So on Election Day, they had to count all the votes from that day plus all the early votes, all at the same time.
Now why would they make such a ridiculous law? Because they wanted to see how many votes they were behind on election night so they could then fabricate the requisite amount. They wanted to jam up the process to ensure they were behind on the vote counts. They wanted to be the last ones to submit their results so that they could ensure they’d be able to scrounge up enough “John Doe” votes for Biden to put him over the line.
There is no legitimate reason those three states shouldn’t have have been able to finish their vote-counting in a timely fashion the way Florida, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, New Jersey, Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri–do you get where I’m going with this? If Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania had gotten their vote counts finalized and reported in a similar time frame to other states in the eastern time zone, then Democrat fixers in Milwaukee, Detroit and Philly would not have been able to
While Scott Walker was correct that past recounts have only resulted in shifts of about a few hundred votes at max, this election is totally different given the massive number of mail-in ballots and, accordingly, the massively increased likelihood of voter fraud.
I saw this email going somewhat viral on Twitter today. It was shared by Alex Berenson, someone I’ve been following since the Covid stuff broke out, and it sheds some light on exactly how mail-in vote fraud work:
“The problem with unregulated ballot harvesting is that it makes it easier for bad actors to engage in ballot fraud on a previous unprecedented scale.”
And that’s the key difference between 2020 and any prior election. The scale of the fraud could well be in the tens of thousands of votes in multiple states.
Given the way everything went down last night–Trump looking good all night, suddenly vote-counting stops, then massive troves of ballots magically appear for Biden in the wee hours of the morning–it is not outlandish or crazy at all for Republicans to be demanding recounts and vote audits.
Even with a recount, however, there are major questions:
- Who is conducting the recount? Is it the same people who presided over the initial vote count?
- What standards and rules are in place to identify and throw-out invalid ballots?
- Will the Trump campaign’s representatives be allowed to be present for the whole process?
- Will every single ballot be audited and reviewed to ensure validity?
It seems like a recount in multiple states will be potentially an even bigger shit-show than election night itself.
However, given the unprecedented potential for fraud this year and the questionable circumstances in multiple states, if a recount is conducted fairly (my friends and I joked that we should bring in a neutral nation like Switzerland to oversee the whole process), then it’s possible Trump may be able to pull this out.
Bigger picture, we might just have to come to grips the fact that America now has a thoroughly rotten and corrupted third-world style political system. We’re no better than any country out there. Maybe this is what makes this so hard to accept: the sudden realization that we’re just as corrupt as the other countries around the world we joke about.
It’s not much reassurance, I know, but the thing is, it has always been this way in this country, and we’ve always managed to survive. I’ll go over a few examples of stolen elections in American history:
The 1824 election
There were four candidates on the ballot that year, Andrew Jackson, John Quincy Adams, William H. Crawford and Henry Clay. Because the vote was split four ways, no candidate received a majority in the electoral college (or the popular vote, but that doesn’t count for anything).
However, Andrew Jackson had won the most electoral votes (99) and a plurality of the popular vote (41.4%). John Quincy Adams came in second in both, with 84 electoral votes and 30.9% of the popular vote. Crawford was in third place with 41 EVs and 11.2% of the PV, while Clay finished fourth with 37 EVs and 13% of the PV.
Clearly Andrew Jackson was the most popular candidate, but because he did not pass the requisite 131 EVs needed to win the presidency, the election was sent to the House of Representatives to decide.
(Had Trump and Biden tied at 269 EVs this year, the same thing would’ve happened. In the House, all the Representatives vote, but it’s not based on simple majority: it’s based on a tally of states. So let’s say there are 3 Democratic Representatives in a state and 2 Republicans: the vote would go to the Democrats because the majority of Representatives in that state voted for the Democrat.)
Now, Andrew Jackson was in many ways the Donald Trump of his time: a rough-around-the-edges outsider who was viciously despised by the political establishment, and beloved by the common folk. He was never supposed to come anywhere near the White House. The similarities between himself and Jackson are not lost on Trump, either: he put a portrait of Jackson in the Oval Office almost immediately after being inaugurated. John Quincy Adams, on the other hand, was the son of former President and Founding Father John Adams. He was a blueblood. He was from Massachusetts–one of the most powerful states at the time–while Jackson was from Tennessee, which was a newly-formed frontier state and considered a backwater full of hicks and savages. Does any of this sound familiar?
The election remained disputed for months. On February 5, 1825, the House convened and voted for the President. Because there were 24 states at the time, 13 were need to form a majority and win. John Quincy Adams finished with 13 votes, while Jackson–the people’s choice–got 7. Crawford got 4, Clay got zero since he was eliminated prior to the vote, having finished 4th. Adams became President despite the fact that only 30% of the country voted for him.
The Eastern Establishment banded together in support of Adams, while it was rumored that Henry Clay had struck a “corrupt bargain” with Adams in which Clay would tell his supporters to support Adams, and Adams, once President, would appoint Clay as the Secretary of State, which at the time was a very important spot and seen as essentially the next-in-line to be President. The three Presidents preceding John Quincy Adams–Monroe, Madison, Jefferson–had all served as Secretary of State immediately before becoming President.
Of course, as was rumored, Adams did in fact offer Clay the Secretary of State post, which Clay accepted. However, Andrew Jackson got the last laugh: he ran again in 1828 and absolutely demolished Adams in a groundswell of popular support and anger over the way 1824 had gone down.
1824 was probably the first “stolen election” in US history, but it certainly wouldn’t be the last.
The “Corrupt Bargain” of 1876
52 years after the first “corrupt bargain,” America’s Presidency would be decided by another. On election night in 1876, Democrat Samuel Tilden was ahead in the popular vote by a margin of 50.9% to 47.9%. However, he was one EV shy of the 185 majority needed to win the Presidency. Republican Rutherford B. Hayes had 165 EVs. Three southern states had disputed outcomes: Florida, Louisiana and South Carolina, and they totaled 19 EVs. On top of these three states, a “faithless elector” in Oregon cast his vote for Tilden even though Hayes had won the state.
Though the returns in the three disputed Southern states favored Tilden, there were allegations of voter intimidation, plus South Carolina’s vote totals represented 101% of eligible voters, which equals obvious fraud.
Deadlocked over the disputed states and neither party willing to concede, the two Presidential campaigns eventually met in late January of 1877 to figure out who would become President. Eventually they came to a “compromise” under which they would award the 20 disputed electoral votes to Republican Rutherford B. Hayes, making him president, in exchange for the Hayes administration promising to remove federal troops from the South, where they had been stationed since the end of the Civil War in 1865, thus bringing a formal end to Reconstruction. The deal included other provisions as well, but the main one was ending reconstruction.
So that’s how the 1876 election was decided: by a 15-man commission in a smoke-filled room in Washington.
The Likely-Stolen 1960 Election
This one, although not frequently brought up, is still within living memory for millions Americans.
While political junkies might know that the 1960 election featured probably the closest popular vote in history (Kennedy won by 112,827 votes nationwide, or 0.17%), many will look at the EV count (303 for Kennedy, 219 for Nixon) and assume it wasn’t really that close.
But it was. Kennedy won Illinois and its 27 EVs by a state-wide margin of 0.19% (8,858 votes) and he won Texas and its 24 EVs by a state-wide margin of 2% (46,257 votes). Had those states swung to Nixon, his 219 EVs would have instead been 270 and Nixon would have won the 1960 election.
It’s those two pivotal states where the pro-Kennedy fraud is most often alleged. Even NBC’s Andrea Mitchell recently referred to the 1960 election as “obviously stolen.” A 2016 documentary on the election plainly stated, “As the dead of Illinois cast their votes for Kennedy, there are more allegations of fraud in Texas.”
This was back in the heyday of the Daley Family political machine in Chicago, and it’s probably where Chicago gets its reputation as being a hotbed of voting fraud. The “dead voters” meme is a Chicago election-time staple: “Today we join our dearly departed in voting straight-ticket Democrat, ” goes the quip. “Vote early, vote often,” is another.
An investigative report named Earl Mazo who started poking around in Chicago after the election said, There was a cemetery where the names on the tombstones were registered and voted. I remember a house. It was completely gutted. There was nobody there. But there were 56 votes for [John F.] Kennedy in that house.“
Nixon had already conceded by the time Mazo was able to meet with him and share what he’d found. Nixon wanted to avoid a “constitutional crisis” during the height of the Cold War.
After an investigation in Chicago, 677 election officials were charged with fraud, but none were convicted. Later, in 1962, three election workers were found guilty and sentence to jail time over election fraud in Chicago in 1960.
As for Texas, Kennedy’s slim victory there is probably attributable to his running mate, “Landslide” Lyndon Johnson, at the time the powerful Senate Majority Leader. LBJ’s political career only got off the ground in the first place due to voter fraud, and his ability to deliver Texas for the Kennedy ticket is largely why the Kennedy’s chose him as a running mate despite their obvious hatred of one another.
The name “Landslide Lyndon” applies to LBJ in the same way that a 6′ 5″, 350lb biker dude is nicknamed “Tiny.” It’s ironic, tongue-in-cheek. LBJ won the 1948 Democratic Primary for Senate by just 87 after a ballot box stuffed full of votes for him was “discovered” in a tiny town called Alice down near the southern tip of the state:
When the dust settled, the new totals showed 202 additional voters, some of whom were deceased and buried in the local cemetery or were absent from the county on election day. These voters “lined up” in alphabetical order at the last minute, signed in the same blue ink in the same handwriting and all cast their ballots for LBJ.
The New York Times published an article July 30, 1977, titled “Ex-Official Says He Stole 1948 Election for Johnson”:
“The disclosure was made by Luis Salas, who was the election judge for Jim Well’s County’s Box 13, which produced just enough votes in the 1948 Texas Democratic primary runoff to give Mr. Johnson the party’s nomination for the United States Senate … ‘Johnson did not win that election – it was stolen for him and I know exactly how it was done,’ said Mr. Salas, now a lean, white-haired 76 year old … George B. Parr, the South Texas political leader whom Mr. Salas served for a decade, shot and killed himself in April of 1975. Mr. Johnson is dead and so is his opponent … Mr. Salas said he decided to break his silence in quest for ‘peace of mind’ … ‘I was just going along with my party’ … He said Mr. Parr ordered that 200-odd votes be added to Mr. Johnson’s total from Box 13.
“Mr. Salas said he had seen the fraudulent votes added in alphabetical order and had them certified then as authentic on order from Mr. Parr … Parr was the Godfather … He … could tell any election judge: ‘give us 80 percent of the vote, and the other guy 20 percent.’ We had it made in every election …”
The New York Times article continued:
“The Associated Press interviewed … a former agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, T. Keilis Dibrell … He confirmed Mr. Salas’ statement that the last 200 votes had been in alphabetical order’ … Mr. Dibrell said ‘Also, the last 202 names were made with the same colored ink, and in the same handwriting, whereas the earlier names in the poll list were written by different individuals and in different color inks.’
The final statewide count, including the Box 13 votes, gave Mr. Johnson an 87 vote margin … earning him the tongue-in-cheek nickname ‘Landslide Lyndon.’”
According to LBJ biographer Robert Caro, LBJ stole as many as 20,000 votes in that 1948 race, way more than just the 202 that Luis Salas admitted to.
It doesn’t take much imagination to venture that Johnson reached into his bag of tricks once again in the 1960 election, calling on his trusted good ol’ boys network in Texas to ensure he and Kennedy were on top when all the dust settled.
Additionally, famed journalist Seymour Hersh wrote in his 1997 book “The Dark Side of Camelot” that he had listened to tapes of FBI wiretaps regarding election fraud in 1960, and Hersh’s opinion was that Nixon was the rightful winner. Hersh also claims that the Mafia was involved in getting Kennedy elected.
The Hanging Chads in 2000
Over 60,000 ballots in Florida, most of them on punch cards, had registered no vote for president on the punch card readers. But on many of the punch cards, the little pieces of paper that get punched out when someone votes – known as chads – were still hanging by one, two or three corners and had gone uncounted. Gore went to court to have those ballots counted by hand to try to determine voter intent, as allowed by state law. Bush fought Gore’s request in court. While Gore won in the Florida State Supreme Court, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled at 10 p.m. on Dec. 12 that Congress had set a deadline of that date for states to choose electors, so there was no more time to count votes. Gore conceded the next day.
In addition, there was an issue of “butterfly ballots” (you can Google a picture) also in Florida, which were alleged to be confusing for voters and were subsequently blamed for Reform Party Candidate Pat Buchanan getting 3,000 votes in Palm Beach which Gore alleged were meant for him.
Bush ended up winning Florida by 527 votes total. Florida’s 25 EVs put Bush over the top and gave him 271 EVs.
The point I’m trying to make here is that politics has always been corrupt in America. We are not entering uncharted waters here. I wish it weren’t so, but this is the way things have always been.
I am not saying we should just give up and accept that we’re playing a rigged game. I still think Trump should exhaust every possible legal avenue he has here.
I am still hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst. That entails accepting the possibility that Trump could lose, which I have. And that’s what I’m trying to do here.
Do not for a minute assume that this is the first time in American history where there was funny business during a major election.
This is nothing new. We have to learn how to fight fire with fire. We have to be as hungry to win as the Democrats are.
I know a lot of Republicans think it’s the end of the world if we lose this election (it isn’t), but it’s the Democrats who are behaving as if they feel that way. They will stop at nothing to win.