Political Thoughts with Richard Bleil
There is a lot of news on illegal voting in the news today. Let’s start with the one I first heard about, in particular, arrests of recently released convicts for voting illegally in Florida. There seems to be a lot of confusion about the right to vote there. On being released, somebody is telling some recently released prisoners that they are allowed to vote, something that they have taken to heart. As rehabilitated citizens, they wanted to exercise that right, only to find that they are ineligible, but what strikes me is that it’s only when the police arrest them that they realize that they had been misled.
This makes no sense to me. I know that when I go to vote, in every state in which I have lived (more than half a dozen), they always checked their roster of registered voters. I was rather surprised in my current state that they did not require any kind of document as proof. Usually, they ask for a driver’s license, but not here, which I’m sure is because these identification cards are not easy for some people to get depending on their race or socioeconomic status. Regardless of the required documentation, though, if I wasn’t on the voting register for my specific region, I couldn’t vote. So what is happening in Florida that people are voting who are not eligible?
I’ve long suspected that certain political parties are behind the false statements of eligibility to votes, but of course I have no evidence of this. Today’s news features one voter in particular, a former convict who was told that he is eligible to vote, who was arrested at gunpoint for voting illegally. The issue at hand, of course, is why it was necessary to use weapons for this infraction. The photo of a man being arrested at gunpoint for voting illegally was striking. So, although it may be redundant at this point, how did he even get a ballot, either in-person or absentee? If he was ineligible, why was he on the voter roster in the first place?
Since Trump lost his election to Biden, the Republican Party has been harping on the idea of illegal voting. This seems to be because of Trump’s ego, that of a man who cannot fathom that he could have possibly lost an election if it was fair. Despite a plethora of investigations, lawsuits and recounts all of which verified the validity of the election results, Trump continues to claim election improprieties, and his Republican followers fell in line and helped spread the great lie.
Today, a second story came in about a woman charged with illegal ballot box stuffing on behalf of her husband, a Republican, in a primary election that he lost by a significant amount in Iowa. The race was the Republican primary for Congress, and she was charged with 52 counts of voter fraud for filling out and casting absentee ballots in 2020.
To be indicted is not the same as being convicted, so we do have to be careful not to jump to conclusions, and a quick search of news shows that there are many other charges of voter fraud for both parties, but fifty-two counts is rather extreme.
I’m not sure what the point is to this post. As you now know, I’m suspicious of voter fraud cases and whether or not they were the result of some kind of conspiracy, and yes, although it happens in the Democratic party, it seems far more common in the Republican party. That might be a perception based on personal bias, but on the other hand, it’s also the party that seems to be using the claim, even after being discredited, to pass restrictive voting laws.
So where should the blame be placed? On the people who are allegedly telling recently released convicts that they are eligible to vote? On the people in charge of voter registration or checking the rosters? On the politicians who are using their power inappropriately? And, yes, I realize that I’m biased about the Republican party, but I will even lay the blame of my bias at their feet. I wish I could return to the Republican party, but they have cemented their reputation as being dishonest, and for playing games to restrict voting.
One thing is for sure. If more people voted, the less significant voter restrictions would matter. We’re to blame for putting the people in office that are playing these games. Remember, voting occurs every year, even when there are no federal elections. Vote, and vote for the candidate that best represents your views. Parties lie. Both of them.