Is a voting in America a criminal act?

Through some perversion of investigating injustice, we are about to bump into the demise of the free vote. “Guilty until proven innocent” is quickly becoming the prism through which we are being asked to view all free elections as fraudulent. Those, which, you know, are held in “those places.”

Voting and the counting of votes is messy. Ask Sandra Day O’Connor. (1) Voting gets messier when the vote counting is subject to imaginary perturbations — mechanical failure, delayed, uncounted mail-in ballots due to a lack of postage. We gag at the possibilities.

And then there are the TV images of lines of voters waiting to get inside to the polls. Outside in the heat of a southern or western state — see the umbrellas. Queuing up in slickers and ponchos during a midwestern thunderstorm. Inside in spartan high school gymnasiums. Standing in line. Where did all these people suddenly come from?

One sign is too familiar: no voter lines in wealthy communities. Like denizens of wealthy public school districts, the “public” comes out being treated better: a plenitude of voting machines.

Another sign: increasing claims of voter fraud with a paucity of evidence. Where did these come from? Why is it that we habitually accept on-line banking security but quake at the thought of an electronic voting booth or on line voting counter. Did we suddenly gain our “vigilance” when it comes to voting?

Another sign: Russia’s up to something. Well, Russia was invited, and so were players from China, Israel and Saudia Arabia, among others. Pick your conspiracy qua coverup qua laundering. Why did these bad boys suddenly show up, meddling as it were in our electoral process?

The big picture is that we are not “sold” on democracy, YET. In this context voting becomes a nuisance, an interruption, a boring four year spectacle. For the marginalized, a nightmare.

The criminal act part is an attempt by the DOJ to turn the popular voter fraud conspiracy theory on its head: blame the people, not the abuse.(2)

Case in point: the Russian “thing” is not on the Republicans (3) but on the Democrats. So investigate the Democrats.

It’s just a quick step to blaming not the perps but the victims whom in this case are the voters. There is no measure for systemic voter fraud. Ask Stacey Abrams. But there are scalawags aplenty ready to plunder your mailbox and jam your fragile voting machine. Count ‘em on all ten fingers.

The voter is guilty before casting a vote, a witless player in a corruption beyond anyone’s control or responsibility.

So punish the voter.

July 13, 2020

(1) Then Supreme Court Justice O’Connor voted with the majority in Bush vs. Gore, ending the recount of the Florida. presidential vote which led to Bush’s reelection.

(2) Jeffrey Toobin, “The Halted Progress of Criminal Justice Reform,” The New Yorker, July 20, 2020 (on line opinion column)

(3) I am reminded of then Pres. Obama’s dire observation during a fund-raiser for Terry McCauliffe in the summer of 2016 that more Republicans polled saw the Democratic Party as a worse threat to America than Russia. Said Obama, “Where’s that at?”

Writer, essayist, dreamer.