9 April 2021

NOTE FROM NORM: Protecting Americas Democracy

The essential part of America’s Democracy is confidence in our elections.  If Americans fail to believe in the integrity of the system of elections at every level of government, American Democracy will fail.


The hue and cry over the recent election law changes in Georgia are an example of competing interests in reforming what is, in many parts of our country, election systems that fail to live up to the integrity test.


There’s not a Republican election law proposal anywhere in America that is deemed anything other than voter “suppression.” by Democrats and their allies in the media.  It is outrageous and further erodes confidence of Americans in the nation’s media.


Let’s be clear about what the Georgia election law, SB 202, does.  The following is an overview of analysis by Georgia’ Governor Brian Kemp and others and reflects a clear picture of what is really in SB 202:


  • Rather than limiting the capacity to vote early, it actually increases access to early voting. There will now be two mandatory Saturday early voting opportunities, and local election officials can now opt for two additional Sundays during early voting.


  • A free state ID card or driver’s license would be required to request and submit an absentee ballot to improve upon the state’s outdated and subjective signature matching process. This initiative provides a significant degree of increase in securing absentee ballot verification and tabulation.  NOTE:  Every Georgia voter must already present some form of photo ID to vote in person.


  • Every county must provide ballot drop boxes, and they must be secured around the clock. NOTE:  These boxes were not available to Georgia votes prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.


  • Despite the misleading claims of the one-party media, the legislation actually allows election officials to provide water at stations within 150 feet. As previous Georgia law allowed, private individuals may campaign and deliver food and water for voters.   This prevents voters from being bullied and intimidated while they are exercising their constitutional right to cast a vote.


  • Election officials must continue to tabulate votes until they are complete.


  • All 159 Georgia counties would be required to abide by these new rules, dramatically expanding Georgians’ ability to vote early.


In addition to these changes there are other elements of the law that provide the State of Georgia to intervene if local election officials are not performing their duties at a level necessary to fairly conduct elections.


The media narrative over Georgia’s new election law, a law designed to expand and protect voter rights, not limit them, is inexcusable.  But it is an increasing pattern of outright misinformation regarding attacks on Republicans committed to reforming election laws and increasing voter confidence in their integrity.


The State of Delaware, President Biden’s home, lacks the liberal expansion of voting rights that Georgia has enacted.  One wonders if the President, who has accused Republicans of passing a “Jim Crow” law in the state, would have equally harsh words for his own state if he were confronted with this reality?


The truth is that Democrats believe there is no benefit in enacting legislation that will increase ballot integrity.  From mandatory voter registration to eliminating the need for any kind of proof to obtain and cast a ballot, to allowing anybody to vote, whether they meet the standards under the United States Constitution, is a concerted effort by Democrats to water down the concept of “one person, one vote.”


The value of one’s vote is that it has the legitimate power of being cast legally.  To minimize the importance of securing ballot boxes, verifying that someone who is voting is the person voting, insisting that those applying for an absentee ballot prove that they, indeed, are the person applying AND the person voting on that ballot, is the real voter suppression strategy.


The leftist press is pillorying Republican legislators throughout America as they contemplate what can and must be done to ensure America’s election laws’ integrity.


The fact is the once-in-a-lifetime global pandemic demanded that Americans be given the ability to exercise their right to vote in ways that we typically would have been reluctant to do in the past.  Yet, even with those efforts, there was still a clear effort by election officials in every state to live up to their duty, responsibility, and obligation to ensure that those ballots cast were done with integrity and within the laws of the land.


As we emerge from the global pandemic, it is right and just that we should ensure that the rule of law be fair and measured in its approach to protecting the integrity of elections for all Americans.


Anything less would be a dishonor to our Founders and the men and women who have fought and died for our rights to a free and democratic society.


Democrats and their allies have won the hearts and minds of the nation’s media, Major League Baseball, and a small number of corporations.


In the end, Republicans hope to win the hearts and minds of fair-minded Americans who understand that their vote, and their elections, are more important than rhetoric and headlines.