A current narrative dominating mainstream media and many top Democratic officials is the total absence of voter fraud. Every top outlet or public figure mirrors the next in language. Reports are swept aside as “false or misleading,” and statements from various secretaries of state and county registrars are cited as proof that no fraud occurred.
The talking points in this election that argue against the possibility of voter fraud aren’t new, or even original. Especially in Virginia.
During the 2017 elections, previous Virginia Board of Elections Vice Chair Clara Belle Wheeler asserted that her experience showed that voter fraud is a real and pervasive reality.
“Massive, well-organized, well-orchestrated voter fraud […] happens every day.”
In her speech, Wheeler also predicted that if the Republicans lost the gubernatorial election that year, they would likely lose the state to Democrats permanently.
In that election, 15 seats in the House of Delegates flipped from Republican to Democratic control. Last year, Democrats flipped 6 more seats. Their party currently has a state government trifecta: a Democratic governor and majority in both legislative chambers.
Wheeler’s stance earned the ire of local media and Democrats.
Following her remarks, the Democratic Party of Virginia (DPVA) called for Wheeler’s resignation.
“In a deliberate effort to shake the voter’s faith in the electoral process, Wheeler has made patently false allegations of massive voter fraud. These baseless allegations are intended to dissuade people from exercising their fundamental right to vote,” stated DPVA Chairwoman Susan Swecker. “Undermining the very electoral system with which she is entrusted is a dereliction of duty, and actively advocating for the election of Republicans while overseeing the election system is a conflict of interest. We call for her immediate resignation today.”
The same arguments appear in current reports on election investigations: voter intimidation, undermining the system, and jeopardizing voter trust. Some arguments even carry over the same wording.
Over three years later, Wheeler’s perspective on the reality of voter fraud hasn’t changed. The pushback she received in 2017 mirrors the pushback received by the Trump campaign and election result critics this year.
Wheeler told The Tennessee Star that she’d witnessed far too many instances of fraud to pretend they don’t exist on the scale she’s warned everyone about consistently. Wheeler added that it is every individual’s responsibility to challenge election results when there are voting irregularities.
“Each of us who are citizens of our respective states and in the Commonwealth have to be our own watchdogs. If we hear that there is something wrong, we need to investigate it to make sure that it’s not hearsay.”
Wheeler stated that the takeaway from this election shouldn’t be the truth behind voter fraud claims. Rather, it should inspire an awareness for fair election processes and proper oversight.
“If nothing else happens from this election, the bright spotlight is going to be shined on election fraud, vote tampering, and illegal activities in the 2020 election. There will be people that will be held accountable because at some point we need to have confidence in our elections. If we don’t clean it up now, when are we going to clean it up?”
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