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Arnold Ahlert / February 25, 2021

DeSantis Leads the Way on Election Integrity

As Democrats push for voter fraud, too few Republicans are willing to really fight back.

On February 22, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis became the most consequential politician in America.

That was the day America learned a majority of the justices serving on the U.S. Supreme Court are easily intimidated cowards whose refusal to even consider the unconstitutional machinations surrounding the 2020 elections has put this nation on the brink of complete lawlessness.

In his dissent, joined by Justices Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch, Justice Clarence Thomas highlighted the pusillanimity of his fellow justices. “The Pennsylvania Legislature established an unambiguous deadline for receiving mail-in ballots: 8 p.m. on election day,” Thomas wrote in his dissent. “Dissatisfied, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court extended that deadline by three days. The court also ordered officials to count ballots received by the new deadline even if there was no evidence — such as a postmark — that the ballots were mailed by election day. … These cases provide us with an ideal opportunity to address just what authority nonlegislative officials have to set election rules, and to do so well before the next election cycle. The refusal to do so is inexplicable.”

Not inexplicable. Explicably and explicitly corrupt, and columnist C. Edmund Wright explains the tortured logic that enabled it. “Those trying to challenge Pennsylvania’s obviously corrupt and rigged election system have been told that they cannot challenge the laws ahead of the election, because there is not yet a victim,” he writes. “They’ve been told that fellow Americans impacted by Pennsylvania’s corrupt system cannot challenge, because of standing. Now they’ve been told that they cannot challenge after the election, because it’s after the election — and therefore moot.”

Columnist Michael Walsh was even more on point, describing the 2020 vote as a “free-for-all election in which you could vote without ID, vote months ahead of the election, vote days after the election, ‘cure’ your ballot if you made a ‘mistake,’ allow a complete stranger to ‘harvest’ your vote, and never have to prove provenance.”

He then sounded the ultimate warning: “One more election under these rules and the Republic is dead.”

Enter Governor DeSantis. As of now, the man who appears to be one of the precious few Republican politicians with an ounce of testosterone has proposed a series of new initiatives designed to ensure at least one state in the nation conducts its elections with integrity. To wit:

Ballot Integrity

  • Address the use of ballot drop boxes.
  • Address ballot harvesting so that no person may possess ballots other than their own and their immediate family.
  • No mass mailing of vote-by-mail ballots — only voters who request a ballot should receive a ballot.
  • Vote-by-mail requests must be made each election year.
  • Vote by mail ballot signatures must match the most recent signature on file.

Transparency in the Elections Process

  • Political parties and candidates cannot be shut out from observing the signature matching process.
  • Supervisors of Elections must post over-vote ballots to be considered by the canvassing board on their website before the canvassing board meets.
  • Prohibits counties from receiving grants from private third-party organizations for “get out the vote” initiatives.

Transparency in Elections Reporting

  • Requires real-time reporting of voter turnout data at the precinct level.
  • Supervisors of Elections must report how many ballots have been requested, how many have been received, and how many are left to be counted.

Unsurprisingly, Democrats and their media enablers framed these proposals as something that directly benefits DeSantis. South Florida’s Sun-Sentinel labeled them as “something that could help his election chances.” The Orlando Sentinel stated that DeSantis is “targeting voter registration.” Sarasota Herald-Tribune columnist John Kennedy insisted the governor is pushing “for an array of controversial changes” that would “likely help his party and his own reelection chances next year.”

State Senator Randolph Bracy (D-Orlando) agreed. “I hate to go here, but it looks partisan, it looks like there’s an effort to get a strategic advantage,” he asserted. “Knowing that Democrats overwhelmingly vote by mail … I feel it’s the elephant in the room.”

Daniel Smith, an elections “expert” at the University of Florida, went the “voter suppression” route. “If voters are sent a mail ballot, there’s a better chance they will vote,” Smith said. “Republicans don’t want that, the way it is now. So there’s no principle, it’s all partisanship driving that.”

When one is advocating “principles” whereby ballots are mailed out in massive quantities — whether requested or not — some context is necessary. In 2020, Maria Matthews, director of the state Division of Elections, testified in federal court that while as many as 85,000 voters might be ineligible to cast ballots, it could take years to process that data.

More context? When Eric Holder was attorney general, he made a career out of preventing voter rolls from being cleaned up. In fact, at a 2009 meeting of the Voting Rights Section, Deputy Assistant Attorney General Julie Fernandes made it clear exactly where the department stood on the issue. “We have no interest in enforcing this provision of the law,” she stated. “It has nothing to do with increasing turnout, and we are just not going to do it.”

Flash-forward to 2021, and there’s every indication Biden’s nominee for attorney general, Judge Merrick Garland, won’t be any better. Consider this exchange between him and Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) at Garland’s confirmation hearing:

Lee: “Do you believe that efforts to purge voter rolls of individuals who have either died or have left the state in question or to require voter identification are racially discriminatory and an assault on voting rights?”

Garland: “This one is one I can’t answer yes or no because you’re asking about motivations of individuals, some of whom may have discriminatory purpose and some of whom have no discriminatory purpose.”

Really? Removing dead and ineligible voters from voting rolls might be discriminatory if the motive for doing so isn’t sufficiently “pure”? According to whom? Moreover, the phoniest — and most racist — trope promulgated in America is the Left’s insistence that people of color are fundamentally incapable of procuring the same ID and being the same fully informed and technologically capable citizens as every other group of Americans.

Yet it is precisely that trope the Left will use to bludgeon weak-kneed Republicans more terrified of being labeled a bigot than losing the republic via election fraud.

DeSantis isn’t one of them. “Last November, Florida held the smoothest, most successful election of any state in the country,” DeSantis said in a statement announcing his proposals. “While we should celebrate this feat, we should not rest on our laurels. Today, we are taking action to ensure that Florida remains a leader on key issues regarding our electoral process, such as ballot integrity, public access to election information, transparency of election reporting and more. By strengthening these election integrity protections, we will ensure that our elections remain secure and transparent, and that Florida’s electoral process remains a blueprint for other states to follow.”

It’s a blueprint Republicans ignore at their peril — or quite possibly their extinction.

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