TITLE:  Shaky Upcoming National Election Environment can be Fixed – Ken’s Thought of the Week

EXCERPT: The dramatic challenges that are facing America today, from COVID-19 to the rioting, looting, and growing chaos on America’ streets, are creating confusion and division as the 2020 elections approach. How can we defuse the turmoil now plaguing America?


QUOTE OF THE WEEK:  “I consider it completely unimportant who in the party will vote, or how; but what is extraordinarily important is this—who will count the votes, and how.”?

Said in 1923; Boris Bazhanov The Memoirs of Stalin’s Former Secretary (1992)


By Ken Abramowitz

See the sources for this article and more research in the Additional Reading section.

As storm clouds gather over America and chaos continues to spread in our cities, our culture and the history of our democratic process face dramatic challenges to both our economic recovery and the perceived safety of voting in person.

Here are some of those challenges facing us over the next two months:

(1) Mail-In Ballots May Overwhelm USPS and Precincts  Although mail-in voting has been promoted as a safer way to cast our ballots, the system is untested on such a huge scale, and there is a fear that it will overwhelm the Post Office. The Post Office must not only deliver them to individual voters, they must then return the ballots to their respective precincts. More than 96 million ballots and mail solicitations have already been sent out and the sheer number of mailed-in ballots may overwhelm, not only the Post Office, but the local vote counting systems as well. If that happens, there is the possibility that all the votes may not be counted in time to meet the Electoral College’s December 20th deadline, when the election results must be certified.

(2)  Voting Lists Full of Unqualified Voters  In addition, the voting rolls are filled with names of people who are not citizens, who have moved away, who are deceased, or who are otherwise unqualified to vote. RealClearPolitics.com reports that voter registration rates exceed 100% of the adult population in 378 U.S. counties. 19 counties in five states – California, Colorado, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Virginia – have been warned that they could face a federal lawsuits because they have failed to update voter rolls.

(3) Censoring by Social Media  Another challenge facing America now is the perception that social media giants are censoring what they consider to be conservative political posts. A Pew Research Center survey conducted in June found that roughly 75% of adults in America consider it likely that social media sites intentionally censor political viewpoints that they find objectionable, and  suppress conservative voices. In addition, it found that nearly 51% of Americans say they approve of social media companies labeling posts from elected officials on their platforms as inaccurate or misleading, while only 46% said that they disapprove of this.

America is the leader of the free world, and both our democratic allies and enemy dictatorships are watching us closely. So it is urgent that we should address these issues in order to ensure the integrity of the electoral process before November 3 and to show to the world that the American democratic process works.

This is what I suggest:

(1)  Voter Guide on Election Rules. The Constitution delegates the management of the elections to the States. However, the Administration should provide guidance on how to best manage the electoral process within Constitutional norms. This should not be a partisan issue, but one that provides clarity and transparency to every voter, regardless of political leaning. A simple voting guide, defining perhaps ten voluntary standards, should be provided to every state official responsible for the electoral process, and posted on the internet for the benefit of the voters. This guide would help voters understand what they should reasonably expect from a perfect electoral process.

Every one of the 50 states should then receive a ‘report card’ which would grade their success in meeting those standards.  This ‘report card’ can be created by the Federal Election Commission (FEC) and a small group of independent election experts. The results should be publicly announced a month prior to the elections, if at all possible, so that states might be able to address serious issues.

(2) Temporarily Federalize the National Guard to Shut Down the Riots and Protect Voting Rights.  The violent riots that are destroying entire neighborhoods in America’s cities must be stopped as soon as possible, before the elections. President Trump said he was ready to use 75,000 federal agents to quell the violence. The Insurrection Act gives him the authority to federalize the National Guard in every place where the violence has escalated to the point of destroying our cities and endangering the lives of the people who live there, when “any part or class of its people is deprived of a right, privilege, immunity, or protection named in the Constitution and secured by law.” . The Act was last used in 1992 immediately after the  beginning of the Los Angeles riots. It is essential to take necessary action to restore law and order as quickly as possible. They should remain deployed until the crisis in America’s cities is over, and calm and safety have been restored..

(3) Terrorist Designation   Treasury/StateDepartment/DOJ/DHS should follow through with the President’s recommendation, the U.S. Senate’s Resolution 279, and the “We the People’s” Petition to the President dated July 6, to designate Antifa and associated groups to be domestic or international terrorist organizations. Their leaders and financiers should be investigated, including the legality of funding these violent riots, and their ability to fund them should be stopped, according to U.S. Code§ 2339C prohibition against financing terrorism.

(4) Legal Response to “Defund the Police”   All cities and states that “defund the police” should be sued by the Department of Justice (DOJ) for not protecting the Constitutional rights of American citizens. All police officers in good standing who are fired or who resign because of “defund the police” policies, should be immediately hired by the U.S. Marshals.

(5) Censorship on Social Media  Social media giants have been accused of political bias and of censoring postings that they don’t agree with. According to The Hill: “Mainstream conservative content was strangled in real time, yet fringe leftists, such as the Young Turks, enjoy free rein on the social media platform.”

Conservatives are facing an uphill battle as the censorship by the big tech companies expands and the companies become increasingly powerful. To partially level the intellectual debating environment, a new law classifying social media platforms as broadcasters or news media should be passed, to update the antiquated law, the Telecommunications Act of 1996, which gave immunity to any internet provider for content provided by a third party. That law, which was passed long before social media became the communications powerhouse it is today, states:

“No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.” Under the proposed law, social media sites, which would override this portion of the 1996 law, and remove immunity from the social media sites. It would make them liable for slander and defamation, and should include a prohibition againt censorship under the First Amendment.

If these changes are not made quickly, we could have a long contested election, marred by endless lawsuits and senseless violence, encouraged directly or indirectly by the radical left. If Donald Trump wins the election, history tells us that the Democrats would most likely spend the next four years claiming once again that his Presidency is not legitimate, and that therefore they are entitled to “resist” the rule of law, just as Democrats in the south did before and after the  Civil War.

If most of  these changes are made soon, we may be able to curtail the chaos that is pervading the environment during this electoral season. A relative “calm” would enable us to genuinely debate the important issues of the day, focus on how best to protect American values and our way of life, and how to protect Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness!

Additional Reading

USPS warns 46 states it cannot guarantee mail-in ballots will arrive in time for election – Fox News

The Election Integrity Threat: 96 Million Unverified Mail-In-Ballots – Judicial Watch

22nd Amendment | U.S. Constitution – US Law | LII / Legal Information Institute

More than half-million absentee ballots mailed to the wrong people in VA – Law Enforcement Today

Pew study: 2 million dead Americans on active voter rolls – TheHill

Dead Cat Gets Voter Registration Card In The Mail – The Daily Caller

Five States Face Federal Lawsuit Over Inaccurate Voter Registrations – RealClearPolitics

The Constitution – Full Text – The National Constitution Center

What Is the Insurrection Act? – History

U.S. Code § 2339C – Prohibitions against the financing of terrorism – U.S. Code | US Law | LII / Legal Information Institute

A response to your petition on Black Lives Matter – We the People: Your Voice in Our Government

S.652 – 104th Congress (1995-1996): Telecommunications Act of 1996 – Congress.gov | Library of Congress

Telecommunications Act of 1996 – Federal Communications Commission

When LA Erupted In Anger: A Look Back At The Rodney King Riots – NPR

Defund the police: What it really means and how it would work – New York Post

Conservatives face a tough fight as Big Tech’s censorship expands – TheHill

Military Power in Law Enforcement: The Posse Comitatus | U.S. Constitution Annotated – US Law | LII / Legal Information Institute