I’m just guessing here, but I’m inclined to think Comrade President Trump is having a wee bit of difficulty sleeping. Maybe he’s worried about his pending legal troubles, maybe a late night snack upset his digestion, maybe he’s been wrestling with his conscience (okay, that’s not very likely), or maybe he’s fretting about the course of the global pandemic (equally unlikely). But for whatever reason, last night, around midnight DC time, Trump was awake and couldn’t resist the deadly allure of Twitter.
I’ll agree that Gov. Kemp of Georgia is a fool. I mean, he supported Trump. He trusted Trump. He believed in Trump. Clearly, the guy’s a fool. Anybody who puts any faith in Donald J. Trump needs to memorize the Washburn Prophecy — the immortal words of Hoban ‘Wash’ Washburn: “Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!” The one and only thing — the ONLY thing — a person can rely on with Trump is that he’ll betray them without hesitation if he thinks it’s in his interest. Or if they annoy him. Or if he thinks it’ll get applause from his audience of the moment.
But beyond the not-so-sudden but inevitable betrayal, Trump’s tweet is also grounded in lies and fantasies. ‘Open up signature verification,’ he says. Apparently what Trump wants is to have somebody (for example, a Trump loyalist) compare the signatures of registered voters to the signatures on…on what? On the ballots? Just a reminder here: THERE ARE NO SIGNATURES ON BALLOTS. They’re secret ballots, for fuck’s sake. The entire point of secret ballots is that they’re kept secret.
Before a ballot is counted, though, signatures ARE required. And matched. Twice. When you register to vote, you sign a document. That signature is kept on file. When you request an absentee or mail-in ballot, you have to sign the request form. That signature is compared to your registration signature. If it matches, they mail you a ballot. You DO NOT get a ballot unless the signature is matched. After you’ve filled out that ballot, it’s put into a secrecy envelope (because, you know, it’s a secret ballot) and you sign that envelope. When the election office receives that envelope, they compare your signature to your registration signature again. If it doesn’t match, the election office informs you and gives you a chance to correct it, and if you don’t correct it, your ballot gets shit-canned. If it DOES match, they remove the ballot from the secrecy envelope so it can be counted. They separate the ballot from the secrecy envelope BECAUSE IT’S A SECRET BALLOT. If they didn’t separate them, it wouldn’t be secret.
So any absentee or mail-in ballot has had the signatures verified twice. But once the ballot is removed from the secrecy envelope, there is no way for those ballots to be re-united with their secrecy envelopes because, again, THE VOTES ARE SECRET.
This is pretty basic stuff. Either Trump is completely fucking ignorant about how secret elections are held (which is likely), or he’s deliberately trying to sow mistrust (also likely), or possibly the man is delusional (again, likely). Maybe it’s all three, I don’t know.
What I know is this: his followers will see this tweet and demand ‘signature verification’, then become outraged when they’re told it’s impossible. I know this because, like Trump his ownself, his followers are completely fucking ignorant about how secret elections are held, or they’re deliberately trying to sow mistrust, or they’re delusional. Or all three. I don’t know.
I also know this, and I’ll repeat it: Trump’s followers should familiarize themselves with the Washburn Prophecy. The betrayal won’t be sudden, though it will seem that way to them. But it will be inevitable.