Don’t Endanger Arkansas Elections
Who knew that within a matter of weeks most everyone would become germophobes? The pandemic hit and suddenly most people are better at washing our hands than a raccoon, stand far apart from one another, wearing a mask at the grocery store, and carry hand sanitizer. Some are more vigilant in their social distancing practice than even the government edicts.
Liberals are using the pandemic as an excuse to get what they wanted all along voting by mail or no-excuse absentee voting, and they want to avoid voter id. Even in this time of germaphobia, their stance is a danger to the validity of our elections. All that they are pushing makes voter fraud not just a greater possibility; it puts the results of elections in jeopardy.
ARKANSAS’ GOVERNOR AND LEGISLATURE
Earlier this year in the Arkansas Senate there was a Democrat effort to change the voting law to allow no excuse absentee ballots. The Arkansas Senate flatly rejected that notion. Thank you, Senate Republicans!
The Democrats were emboldened to propose this after Governor Asa Hutchinson issued an executive order to allow no-excuse absentee voting in some runoff elections earlier this year.[i] Now the liberals are calling on Governor Hutchinson to also issue another edict from upon high to authorize no-excuse absentee voting in the general election in November.
The method of voting should not be changed by an edict of a governor!
PROCEDURE ALREADY CONDUCIVE TO SOCIAL DISTANCING
Before we talk about the very real dangers of election fraud, let’s talk about how Arkansas already has substantial safeguards to protect voters.
FIRST, if Walmart can implement social distancing rules and cleaning practices, so can our election officials… and at Walmart people touch a lot more things. Several counties in Arkansas already have experience with implementing social distancing rules because the recent runoff election occurred during the pandemic.
SECOND, Arkansas already has a system in place to reduce the number of people at your polling place on election day and at the same time providing a system that allows people the opportunity to vote at a convenient time. It is called “early voting” and it begins two weeks and a day before election day.
November 3, 2020 is called “election day” but that day is just the final day for voting. Quit thinking about the election as being one day. You can vote over a two-week period.
Early voting begins October 19, 2020. That is two weeks and a day before the general election. Early voting is between the hours of 8:00 am and 6:00 pm, Monday through Friday, and 10:00 am – 4:00 pm on Saturday. Early voting ends at 5:00 pm the day before the general election.[ii] On November 3, the polls open at 7:30 a.m, and remain open continuously until 7:30 p.m.[iii]
That means the polls will be open for a total of 133 hours![iv]
THIRD, if employers would let their employees have a bit of flexibility on taking breaks and work schedules to accommodate voting, even better.
FOURTH, Arkansas has absentee voting but not the massive and dangerously unrestricted plan liberals have always wanted. Arkansas law provides two categories: (1) You will be unavoidably absent from your voting place on the day of the election (for example, military personnel stationed overseas); or (2) You will be unable to attend the polls on election day because of illness or physical disability.
Because of the dangers of abuse of absentee ballots, Arkansas limits not also who can vote absentee but also includes other restrictions limiting ballot harvesting.
Sending out a mail-in ballot to everyone or having no-excuse absentee ballots increases the likelihood of election fraud. You don’t have to look any further than Arkansas for examples.
ARKANSAS EXAMPLES OF ABSENTEE BALLOT FRAUD
In 2008 the Arkansas Senate held historic hearings on an election contest that sought the ouster of Senator Jack Crumbly. The issue was whether election fraud had changed the outcome of a 2006 election. Senator Crumbly kept his seat, but it was a divided Senate vote of 19 to 12. Even the Senators who voted for Senator Crumbly to keep his seat acknowledged there was election fraud in that election. Much of the testimony was about absentee ballots.
Sen. Steve Faris, chairman of the Senate State Agencies and Governmental Affairs Committee, told senators that it’s clear from the evidence that “a very large degree of fraud and irregularities did in fact occur during the course of the election.”
There were inconsistencies in the number of ballots and stubs for both the absentee and early voting boxes, but “we believe these inconsistencies do not rise to the level of which we can discount these votes,” said Faris, DCentral.
But Sen. Shawn Womack, RMountain Home, representing the committee members who favored expelling Crumbly and declaring the seat vacant, said that at least 69 absentee votes were not cast in conformance with state law. Crumbly was certified the winner by 68 votes.
At least 18 absentee votes contained some form of forgery, Womack said, and there was a discrepancy in at least 781 other instances pertaining to ballots and stubs.[v]
A special prosecutor conducted a criminal investigated into the election. Senate leaders requested the State Police to monitor the next election in that area.
With all that publicity about absentee ballots and election fraud do you think Arkansas has had no more cases of absentee ballot fraud. Right? WRONG! And, it didn’t take long for a conviction.
In a 2011 special election to fill a vacancy in the Arkansas House of Representatives, Hudson Hallum from Crittenden County was elected. His service in the legislature lasted for just over a year (July 2011 to Sept 2012.) Why so short? First, he was filling a vacancy. Second, he resigned from office after pleading guilty to election fraud!
Hallum’s scheme was money for absentee votes. It involved distributing and collecting absentee ballots. It was claimed the payments were for people who “needed” money to buy food (as if that would make it better). But, another part of the scheme involved going to a liquor store to buy one hundred half pints of vodka for the campaign. (Guess they “needed” something to drink.)
Hudson Hallum’s conviction was about eight years ago. Do you think his conviction has stopped absentee ballot fraud? If so, you probably think catching one mouse in your barn will keep all the other mice out.
Recently the Daily Signal, a publication of the Heritage Foundation, reported their database of election fraud has increased to 1,285 proven cases of election fraud, and they say their database is in no way comprehensive. Their database includes absentee ballot fraud but includes much more.
“Just look at the 2018 congressional race in North Carolina that was overturned by the state election board. Or the mayor of Gordon, Alabama, who was removed from office last year after his conviction for absentee ballot fraud.”[vi]
DEMOCRAT ASSAULT ON OUR ELECTIONS
The Republican National Committee (RNC) has also sounded the alarm about the Democrats trying to change the way we vote. The RNC recently initiated Protect The Vote, saying:
“The RNC and the Trump campaign are aggressively fighting back against the Democrats’ assault on the integrity of our elections. All across the country, Democrats are trying to use coronavirus and the courts to legalize ballot harvesting, implement a nationwide mail-in ballot system, and eliminate nearly every safeguard in our elections”
“The Do Nothing Democrats know they can’t beat us at the ballot box, so they are waging an assault on the integrity of our elections.”
2020 GENERAL ELECTION
We do not know what this pandemic will be like this fall. We hope it will be under control, but some worry that there may be a bigger wave. Either way the 133 hours of open polls over more than two weeks and the social distancing we practice in Walmart and other place will go a long way to providing a safe environment for voters.
Governor Hutchinson should not cave into the Democrats. Don’t let the Democrats destroy the integrity of our elections.
[ii] A.C.A. § 7-5-418 (a)(1)(A)
[iii] A.C.A. § 7-5-304
[iv] During early voting polls are open on ten weekdays for 10-hrs (100 hrs); On the two Saturdays the polls are open for 6 hrs (12 hrs); and on the Monday before election day the polls are open for 9 hrs (9 hrs). On election day the polls are open for 12 hrs. This is a total of 133 hours of open polls.
[v] Senate vote lets Crumbly keep his seat, Arkansas Democrat Gazette, June 15, 2008