Four times, starting in 2008, I was a Republican candidate for U.S. Congress, judge, or other public office. Each time I lost. And each time, I personally witnessed or heard about fraud perpetrated by operatives on the other side of the aisle.
Interestingly, several scams that I heard about a decade ago were recently corroborated by a longtime major Democratic operative and election-fixer in an article in the New York Post (“Confessions of a Voting Fraud,” Aug. 29).
This whistleblower admitted that Democratic operatives obtained a “gold mine” of votes by “helping” nursing home and assisted-living center residents fill out ballots. He also discussed outright bribery – exemplified by the conviction of a New Jersey official for “paying low-income residents 50 bucks a pop to vote.”
I heard of similar shenanigans. But the “going rate” for a vote in my case was allegedly just a meatball sandwich. The sandwich truck was reportedly parked right outside the polling station.
The whistleblower also described collecting and steaming open mail-in ballot envelopes, to change the ballots inside the envelopes. I vaguely recall hearing about that one too.
The whistleblower also mentioned that the dirty work was all done by Democratic operatives and their teams, thereby maintaining the candidate’s “plausible deniability.” That, too, coincided with my impression that the Democrats I ran against were decent human beings who were kept far away from the unseemly, unlawful fray.
There were additional scams that the New York Post’s whistleblower didn’t mention. One year, I both personally witnessed and heard reports about Democratic “translators” sitting at tables at election sites, instructing foreign-language-speaking voters to fill in the Democratic boxes on their ballots.
One of my Republican colleagues “lost” his race that year by only about 120 votes. It’s likely that the “translators” stole the election from him and had at least a minor adverse impact on the race I was running in that year.
I also personally encountered election petition fraud. One of my Democratic opponents’ campaigns handed in an entire book of petitions containing invented names, signatures, and addresses – but election officials still kept the opponent on the ballot.
Another year, near the end of a petition hearing – when I was on the verge of removing my Democratic opponent from one of the opponent’s ballot lines due to defective petition signatures – election officials suddenly “found” a new, additional stack of petitions, weeks after the deadline for obtaining petition signatures had passed.
It’s reasonable to assume that the new signatures were unlawfully obtained way after the deadline. But proving that would have taken an extensive investigation – something that there was no time for at the tail end of an election hearing.
Voters who had moved or died also seemed to remain on voter rolls interminably. Countless times, when I rang doorbells and asked to speak with persons whom the voter rolls listed as living there, the current occupants informed me, “Sorry, he passed away 10 years ago” or “Sorry, she moved out-of-state 15 years ago.”
I certainly don’t blame all my election losses on fraud. I was up against sizable registration disadvantages in the districts I ran in, and I had minimal funding. But one of my elections was quite close. Perhaps it might have gone the other way in an honest world. I’ll never know.
A dear Republican eminence, New York State Senator Serphin Maltese, encouraged me to soldier on after my fourth run. “Six times is the charm,” he assured me, relating that he was finally elected on his sixth try and then remained in the state senate for 30 years.
But enough was enough for me. At least for a long while.
As I follow the news about last week’s election, I deeply sympathize with the pain that President Trump, other candidates, and everyone who voted for them must feel about potentially losing these races to fraud.
A stolen election of this magnitude will dishearten the whole nation.
And what sane Republican will ever run for president in the future, or run for office in any of the states where fraud is rampant, if he or she knows that the lifeblood he or she pours into an election race will be stolen?
Who will bother to even vote in the future, if his or her vote can be erased by fraud?
For the sake of our nation’s future, the courts, state legislatures, and the Justice Department must address possible widespread travesties such as counting late un-postmarked and out-of-state ballots; election officials unilaterally “curing” ballots; huge one-way voting-tally computer “glitches”; and unlawful denials of access to Republican poll watchers.
Pennsylvania’s legislature should also consider exercising its constitutional power to appoint electors to undo the fraud that appears to have occurred in that state.
Brave Democratic whistleblowers need to come forward and reveal the goings-on at the vote-counting offices that were obscured with paper-covered windows while Republican observers were unlawfully locked out of the premises.
We have to root out the demoralizing scourge of fraud now.