So, what do you think? Is he lying? Ignorant? Or delusional? Me, I’m inclined to go with lying, with ignorant coming in a close second — but it’s impossible to completely rule out delusional. I could be talking about any number of Comrade Trump’s recent comments, but I’m focusing on this one particular Tweet for now.
He’s not entirely wrong about that whole ‘scandal of our times’ business. But the scandal is we have a president who is either lying about the coming election, ignorant of how mail-in balloting is done, or suffering from paranoid delusions. It’s got to be one of those.
I’ve voted by mail. It’s dead easy, and its secure. Here’s how it worked for me:
After you fill out the ballot, you put it in an envelope labeled ‘Secrecy Envelope’, and seal the envelope. The Secrecy Envelope is then placed in an ‘Affidavit Envelope’, which you have to sign and date and seal that as well. The Affidavit Envelope is then placed in the ‘Return Envelope’, which also has to be sealed. All of these envelopes are the old-fashioned lick-and-seal type, not the fancy new remove-a-strip-and-press type. If you want to vote Absentee, you have to be willing to sacrifice a lot of saliva.
What I didn’t say — and didn’t know at the time — is that the Return Envelope had a unique barcode for each ballot to insure the individual ballot corresponded with the envelope. Nor was I aware that my signature on the Affidavit Envelope could be quickly compared to my signature which is kept on file by the local election office (you’ll recall you had to sign up to vote the very first time; you also signed in to register for every earlier in-person election).
That level of voting security — signature verification, ballot barcode verification — is only the beginning. The ballot itself has been tested to insure the ballot scanners will read ONLY authentic ballots, and only authentic ballots for that particular election cycle. The scanners aren’t able to read ballots from previous election cycles, even if those ballots were created to use the same scanning system.
But wait, there’s more. There are 3,007 counties in the United States. There are another 236 first-order administrative divisions, which are basically counties by other names (for example, Louisiana has parishes instead of counties, Alaska has boroughs, and the District of Columbia has…well, the District of Columbia). Why is that important? Because there is NO national ballot.
That’s right. Every voting jurisdiction designs and creates its own unique ballot. We’re talking the typeface, the weight of the paper used for the ballot, the size of the ballot, the phrasing of the text instructing the voter on how to vote by mail, the envelope in which the ballot is mailed to the voter, the security envelope containing the marked ballot to be returned, and the actual return envelope. These designs are deliberately changed from election to election.
So in order for Comrade Trump’s claim that “millions of mail-in ballots will be printed by foreign countries, and others” to be true, those foreign countries (and ‘others’ — I have no idea WTF he could possibly mean by ‘others’) would have to exactly duplicate thousands of distinctly different ballot packets unique to every voting jurisdiction in the United States for the 2020 election cycle PLUS be able to match the signatures on file of the individual voters they were attempting to impersonate.
To believe that could happen, Trump would have to be delusional. Which, let’s face it, isn’t out of the realm of possibility. Ignorance, on the other hand, is not just a possibility but almost a certainty; he’s profoundly ignorant of how government works. But I’m opting for lying, simply because that’s Trump’s natural response to almost everything.