By Bill Crane
“Then too the bitterness that would be engendered by such a manuever on my part would, in my opinion, have done incalcuable and lasting damage throughout the country,” from his memoir book, “Six Crises,” by President Richard M. Nixon, on why he did not contest or demand recounts in the states of Illinois and Texas after the Presidential election of 1960.
Political king-maker, Joseph Kennedy, father of then U.S. Senator John Fitzgerald Kennedy bragged to many in the almost immediate aftermath of the 1960 contest of the resources involved in vote-buying and tabulation ‘assistance’ in Illinois and Massachusetts, as well as the able support of these efforts in Texas by supporters of U.S. Senator Lyndon Baines Johnson. JFK and LBJ would move to the White House as President and Vice-President, while Nixon would finish his second term as Veep for President Dwight Eisenhower, heading home to California to lick his wounds and prepare for a political comeback bid for the White House that would be successful eight years later. Nixon believed as he stated many times since losing that election, that the presidency, and our republic, were each more important than who is elected President.
Recounts in close contests are a legitimate part of the electoral process. In Georgia, and contests where the outcome is separated by half a percentage point or less, the trailing candidate may request a recount, with those costs absorbed by the state and local election officials. The most recent presidential contest in Georgia, at the start of system security audit and hand recount, was decided by .03 percentage points, and a margin of just over 14,000 votes in favor of Vice-President Joe Biden. In local contests, where elections are more frequently than you might think decided by a few dozen votes, recounts do change outcomes, however with the old punch card system, the immediate past voting tablets and now the new Dominion Voting System, though human error remains part of the equation, the results needle does not move very far in re-tabulating and re-canvassing.
Much is being made of signature matching and a ‘forensic audit’ of the Georgia results. Even if the recount did produce a different winner, the prevailing state law does not allow for such an audit. What we are still lacking, at least as of this writing, is any significant evidence of ballot fraud.
IF the election contest was stolen, why would the thieves give MORE votes to U.S. Senator David Perdue, than President Donald Trump? Why would they leave a State House GOP Majority largely intact? Why leave all that reward on the table if you are going to take the risk of multiple felony count charges for ballot fraud?
Absentee mail-in ballots remain the most vulnerable part of our system. I have a solution, for consideration by the next General Assembly. Virtual voter identification required. At any precinct or Advance Voting location, Georgia voters are required to show government-issued I.D. This requirement can be added to the Absentee Ballot application or ballot itself, to contain space and requirement for Driver’s License or U.S. Passport number, or Georgia voter I.D. number as well.
Turnout in runoff elections typically drops by more than half. A solid rule of thumb for runoff winners is that if you can turn-out the SAME NUMBER of voters you had in the General Election or Primary, you will win. Even with record turnout, only 70 percent of the eligible registered voters in Georgia (6.8 million), participated in the General Election. That other 30 percent may also participate in the two Senate runoffs, as well as the statewide runoff for Public Service Commission on Tuesday, January 5.
Equally, if not more important, are the local and regional elected officials who will be selected in four other contests across the state on Tuesday, December 1, ranging from a Special Election to fill one month of the unexpired term of 5th District Congressman John Lewis to who will next serve as District Attorney for the Western Judicial Circuit of Georgia (Athens/Clarke & Oconee counties).
Election fraud is real, has occurred, and will again, but not likely on a scale to sway the outcome of a Presidential election. The dead have voted in Georgia, and precincts have voted in alphabetic order, but at this point, the only jockey still beating a dead horse perhaps should instead be scheduling moving trucks for arrival and departure from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. There are also two LIVE U.S. Senate contests to focus on trying to win.