Commentary: What Americans Lost When We Abandoned the Secret Ballot

Person putting mail-in ballot in ballot return box

My father likes to say that the secret ballot means that he doesn’t have to listen when I tell him how I voted. This joke conceals a serious point: Ballot secrecy is not just a right of the individual but also a guarantee to all that my vote was not wrung from me by bribery or intimidation.

Out of a desire to make voting “easier” and perhaps exaggerated fears of public gatherings during the pandemic, most U.S. jurisdictions permitted unrestricted mail-in balloting in 2020. What did Americans lose when ballot secrecy was attenuated or vanished altogether?

Make no mistake, ballot secrecy is incompatible with secure mail-in balloting. At the polls, we each go into a little booth and make our choices in private. By contrast, no one knows where a mail-in ballot was filled out, or if a party or union activist hovered over the voter or even filled in the circles. Nobody knows what inducements, whether cash or threats, were offered to ensure that the person voted “correctly.” And if the ballot was “harvested” – turned in to the vote-counters by activists instead of by voters themselves – our suspicions deepen.

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Congressional Black Caucus Endorses Hillary Clinton’s Pick for Ohio Special Election

Shontel Brown of Ohio

The Congressional Black Caucus’s political arm waded into the Democratic Primary for an Ohio special election Wednesday, endorsing Hillary Clinton’s preferred candidate, Politico reported.

The CBC Political Action Committee put their support behind Shontel Brown, the Cuyahoga County Democratic Party chair, who already has the backing of former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, according to Politico.

“She is no stranger to adversity and has spent her career fighting for Ohioans. Shontel Brown worked alongside community leaders to install public wifi hotspots in the Greater Cleveland area in order to improve access to broadband, helping to close the digital divide,” CBC PAC executive director Yolonda Addison said in a statement released Wednesday.

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Five Voting-Related Ballot Proposals Seek to Make Arizona 2022 Ballot

Five ballot proposals addressing voting may be on this fall’s ballot if their sponsors collect enough signatures. Three of them, known as referendums, seek to stop legislation from becoming law, requiring 118,823 signatures each. The other ballot initiatives need 237,645 signatures each. Even if all the signatures are collected, a successful legal challenge could keep them off the ballot.

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University to Teach How to Address Social Justice Using Math Modeling

Kettering University announced a new “Math for Social Justice” elective will address climate change, human trafficking, elections and racial justice causes through math modeling.

The course aims to teach students how to use statistics and data to address various social justice-related topics.

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Over 7,000 Affidavits Delivered to Michigan Lawmakers Claim Election Fraud

voters polling place

Hundreds of people concerned about the integrity of the Nov. 2020 election gathered outside the Michigan Capitol Thursday to protest and deliver roughly 7,000 affidavits claiming fraud and demanding a forensic audit.

Michigan Conservation Coalition spokesperson Matt Seely said thousands of Michigan voters have questioned the integrity of the 2020 election.

“If we do a deep-dive forensic audit similar to Arizona, it will do either one of two things. It will prove that all of the politicians who say there’s nothing to see there, that they were right. Or it will prove that there’s a big problem with the integrity of our elections and that we need to address it in a major way,” he told The Center Square in a phone interview.

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Crom Carmichael Defines White Supremacy and Its Convenient Relationship with Today’s Media

Wednesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed All-Star panelist Crom Carmichael in studio to define white supremacy and its convenient connection to journalism today.

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Commentary: The Real Threats to Our Democracy

United States Capitol at night

In the Wall Street Journal of June 10, Peggy Noonan captured the kernel of the crisis of national division that afflicts America: Donald Trump and opposed perceptions of last year’s presidential election. Equitable person though Noonan is, she qualifies as a Trump-hater, whose invective against Trump has only escalated over time.

Noonan’s premise today is that any question about the 2020 presidential election is unfounded conspiracism, but that suspicion is growing, spread by “the Trump underworld—the operatives, grifters, and media figures around him  . . .  This lessens our faith in our systems   . . . it leaves the GOP with an untreated cancer.” She holds that “QAnon is important” in propagating this fraud. She thinks that anyone who wasn’t appalled by the storming of the Capitol on January 6 has given up on democracy. Lingering concern about the fairness of the result is in itself an assault upon democracy. “The breaching of the Capitol happened because of a conspiracy theory: that the election was actually won by Mr. Trump but stolen from him by bad people.”

She makes no allowance for exactly the opposite view: that there is ample evidence that Trump was sandbagged in rigged voting and vote-counting in only six states, stonewalled by the courts, and defamed by a unanimous national political media: the courts couldn’t face overturning the election, and the media can’t accept the idea that it was a tainted election. I agree with her that “the only thing that can stop” (the cancer that supposedly afflicts the GOP, even if it is in fact benign righteousness) “is true facts independently developed and presented with respect and receipts.” 

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Metro Atlanta Leaders to Use Federal Money to Address Crime

Keisha Lance Bottoms

Leaders in the metro Atlanta area said they plan to use American Rescue Plan funding to address public safety issues.

Officials in Fulton and DeKalb counties and the city of Atlanta have announced plans to use a portion of the federal aid to increase public safety or address criminal justice backlogs.

According to several reports, Atlanta and adjacent cities have seen a spike in crime over the past year. State lawmakers have launched a study to look at ways to curb the issue. Gov. Brian Kemp directed $5 million last month from his emergency fund to address the crisis.

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Commentary: ‘Pristine’ Biden Ballots That Looked Xeroxed and Why a Judge Has Georgia Vote Fraud on His Mind

When Fulton County, Ga., poll manager Suzi Voyles sorted through a large stack of mail-in ballots last November, she noticed an alarmingly odd pattern of uniformity in the markings for Joseph R. Biden. One after another, the absentee votes contained perfectly filled-in ovals for Biden — except that each of the darkened bubbles featured an identical white void inside them in the shape of a tiny crescent, indicating they’d been marked with toner ink instead of a pen or pencil.

Adding to suspicions, she noticed that all of the ballots were printed on different stock paper than the others she handled as part of a statewide hand recount of the razor-thin Nov. 3 presidential election. And none was folded or creased, as she typically observed in mail-in ballots that had been removed from envelopes.

In short, the Biden votes looked like they’d been duplicated by a copying machine.

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Commentary: Voter Photo IDs Are the Rule in Europe and Elsewhere

Democrats and much of the media are pushing to make permanent the extraordinary, pandemic-driven measures to relax voting rules during the 2020 elections – warning anew of racist voter “suppression” otherwise. Yet democracies in Europe and elsewhere tell a different story – of the benefits of stricter voter ID requirements after hard lessons learned. 

A database on voting rules worldwide compiled by the Crime Prevention Research Center, which I run, shows that election integrity measures are widely accepted globally, and have often been adopted by countries after they’ve experienced fraud under looser voting regimes.

Britain is Europe’s outlier in generally not requiring voter IDs, but Prime Minister Boris Johnson aims to change that. He went to the polls in May with wife-to-be Carrie Symonds.

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Georgia Gov. Kemp Officially Launches 2022 Campaign

Governor Brian Kemp of Georgia has officially launched his 2022 campaign, according to a press release from his campaign.

“Brian Kemp has a strong, conservative record of fighting for life, standing up for law enforcement, cutting taxes, protecting lives and livelihoods against the COVID-19 pandemic, and defending election integrity,” Kemp’s campaign manager said the statement. 

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Commentary: Elections Have Consequences; Cheating Doesn’t

Barack Obama liked to remind us that “elections have consequences.”

Boy, do they! For conservatives like me, the months since Democrats took over the White House and the Senate have been a tsunami of consequences. How do you think I like it when Joe Biden’s handlers aim 60 executive orders at the tip of his pen to effectuate a fundamental transformation of this country? Or when the Democrat-controlled Congress tries to push through statehood for the District of Columbia in order to guarantee their continued control of the Senate? Or when the southern border is turned into a 2,000-mile illegal-immigrant processing center?

Unfortunately, the dictum that “elections have consequences” is not recognized as a legitimate principle when Republicans defeat Democrats. That was obvious when Donald Trump won the 2016 election and spent the next four years being vilified as a Russian puppet, a racist and a danger to the republic. You see, Democrats consider elections to be their most legitimate means of seizing power, but not necessarily the most effective. For them, politics is the continuation of war by other means, and they have been waging war against not just Republicans, but against the Constitution for at least the last 50 years.

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Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act: Attorney Jim Roberts Talks Metro Legal’s Creation of Suppression and Fear as Referendum Seeks Ballot

Friday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act Attorney Jim Roberts to the newsmakers line to give updates on where he stands in the fight against Metro Legal to get the proper number or petitions solidified to move forward with his referendum.

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21 in ’23: Leahy and Huey Talking Elections by Marketing Smarter, Organizing Better, and Getting out the Vote

Tuesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Craig Huey of The Huey Report in studio to discuss strategies for conservatives to take back the Nashville Metro City Council and improve conservative voter participation.

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Virginia General Assembly Approves Moving Local Elections from May to November

The General Assembly has passed legislation to move local elections for city, town council, and school board from May to November, starting in 2022. Proponents say the bill will boost voter turnout, especially among working-class voters, while many city officials say the bill is state interference that will lead to greater partisanship in local elections.

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Craig Huey of the Huey Report Warns of Danger to Republican’s If They Don’t Use Data as Democrats Master Voter Strategy

Tuesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed the author of the Huey Report, Craig Huey to the newsmakers line to discuss the winning strategies of the Democratic Party and how Republicans need to catch up.

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Ralston: Georgia Lawmakers to Address Election Reform, COVID-19 Relief in Legislative Session

Election policy reform will be a top priority for Georgia lawmakers when the General Assembly convenes next week, House Speaker David Ralston said Thursday.

Ralston said he plans to appoint a special committee on election integrity to increase confidence in the state’s voting process.

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Commentary: The Heritage Foundation’s Election Fraud Database Tops 1,300 Cases

With the addition of the newest batch of cases, all from the state of Texas, The Heritage Foundation’s Election Fraud Database now has 1,302 cases of proven election fraud, and we are following numerous other ongoing prosecutions.

As these cases and the database demonstrate, the threats to election integrity and instances of election fraud throughout the country continue to jeopardize fair and free elections for the American people.

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Commentary: A History Lesson for Democrat List Makers and Election Thieves

As we noted in our recent column Democrat Socialists Are Coming For You, the Left has begun to make lists of supporters of President Trump and the MAGA movement with the intention of driving all those whom they can identify out of the public square and depriving them of employment, education and other societal benefits.

The latest examples of this Democrat system of oppression are the targeting of lawyers representing President Trump and a petition being circulated at Harvard University demanding that former Trump administration officials be prohibited from attending, teaching or speaking at the university.

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Ohio Secretary of State Wins Stay of Ongoing Ballot Box Issue

It’s a new week and with it comes another turn surrounding ballot drop boxes in Ohio.

After a federal district judge Friday sharply criticized Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose and ordered multiple drop boxes at multiple locations be allowed, a federal appeals court stayed that order.

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Minnesota Secretary of State Sends Letters Telling Those Who Haven’t Requested Absentee Ballots to Vote from Home

Minnesota’s Secretary of State Steve Simon is sending letters telling those who haven’t requested an absentee ballot to vote from home. An estimated 2.3 million voters will receive the letter and an absentee ballot application.
The letter asserts that staying safe and keeping other citizens healthy “means voting from home.” 

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Thousands of North Carolina Voters Double-Voted, Watchdog Group Finds

Thousands of voters in North Carolina voted twice in one or both of the past two elections, according to a court filing in the key battleground state.

Public Interest Legal Foundation, an election integrity group, announced Thursday that it had filed a brief in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina outlining the number of double votes.

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Minnesota Waives Absentee Ballot Witness Signature Requirement

Minnesota will waive its witness requirements for absentee ballots for the statewide primary election in August under the settlement of two lawsuits sparked by the health threat from the coronavirus pandemic.

The lawsuits were filed by political arms of the League of Women Voters of Minnesota and the Minnesota Alliance for Retired Americans. A Ramsey County judge signed off on the consent decree with the retirees Wednesday while a federal judge scheduled a hearing for Thursday on the league’s case.

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Wisconsin to Mail Absentee Ballot Applications to 2.7 Million Voters

The Hill reports, the Wisconsin Elections Commission agreed to mail out 2.7 million absentee ballot applications to most voters in the state this fall ahead of November’s presidential election.

The vote came just a week after the six-person panel split 3-3 along partisan lines on whether to mail the forms to nearly all registered voters, even if they hadn’t requested one. The bipartisan commission on Wednesday unanimously passed the plan.

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Governor Bill Lee Signs Several Election Bills Into Law

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee signed several election-related bills into law last week, which were passed by the General Assembly before it took a two-month recess caused by the coronavirus.

The most controversial bill signed by Lee scales back restrictions on community voter registration efforts that were put in place in 2019 by the Republican-controlled Legislature. The new bill removes “misdemeanor penalties for not completing certain administrative requirements” and eliminates fines for submitting an abundance of incomplete voter registration forms.

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Michigan Dem Chair Lavora Barnes Accuses Republicans of ‘Voter Suppression’ for Defending Election Laws

Lavorna Barnes

The chair of the Michigan Democratic Party accused Republicans of “voter suppression” after the Republican National Committee announced a $10 million effort to defend current election laws.

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National Democrats Sue Minnesota As Part of ‘Eight Figure Commitment’ to Fighting ‘Voter Suppression’

Two national Democratic groups filed a lawsuit against Minnesota Thursday in an effort to eliminate the state’s “unconstitutional” restrictions on voter assistance.

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Elections Omnibus Bill Would Make Minnesota Member of National Popular Vote Interstate Compact

An omnibus bill that could radically transform elections in Minnesota recently passed out of committee and is making its way through the Minnesota House. Among the most drastic proposals in the bill is one that would make Minnesota a member of the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, which is an…

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Commentary: Ballot Harvesting Corrupts Elections

by Ned Ryun   People think the real problems with the integrity of our elections involve non-citizens voting, or lack of photo ID, or voter rolls needing to be cleaned, or ballot box stuffing. While those are all problems, people are missing the elephant quietly sitting in the corner of…

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The Tennessee Education Association Teachers Union Spent More Than $500,000 on 2018 State Elections

The Tennessee Education Association, the teachers union in the state, spent more than $500,000 between January 1, 2017 and December 31, 2018 on political activities, according to its filings with the Tennessee Bureau of Ethics and Campaign Finance, most of which went to candidates for state offices. The Tennessee Education…

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North Carolina’s Lt. Governor Dan Forest Announces 2020 Gubernatorial Exploratory Committee

One of the most anticipated announcements in North Carolina politics is on the path to becoming a reality.  According to a video released Monday, North Carolina Lt. Governor Dan Forest is officially looking at a run for Governor in 2020. The Facebook video, released on Forest’s campaign page, announces the formation of…

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North Carolina House Elections Committee Chairs Announced

North Carolina’s Speaker of the House Tim Moore has announced the appointment of State Representatives Holly Grange (R-D20) and Destin Hall (R-D87l) as co-chairs of the North Carolina House Committee on Elections and Ethics Law. “These two House members have a strong legal background and will be an integral part…

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Commentary: What Happened in North Carolina is Voter Fraud

by Jason Snead   More than a month after the November election, the details of an apparent voter fraud scandal orchestrated by a North Carolina Republican operative are still coming to light. A coordinated absentee ballot harvesting ring may have gathered, tampered with, or destroyed hundreds of ballots. The outcome…

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Tennessee Star Report Exclusive: Ben Cunningham Says Conservatives Living in Metro Nashville Council District 29 Should Run in January Special Election

On Thursday’s Tennessee Star Report with Steve Gill and Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 am to 8:00 am – Leahy welcomed special guest host, Ben Cunningham to the show and chatted about his urging of conservatives in metro Nashville to run for office…

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Elections Matter: Democrats Conjure Up Thirty Year Old Anonymous Sexual Misconduct Letter to Smear Kavanaugh

On Friday’s Gill Report – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 1510 WLAC weekdays at 7:30 am – Star News Digital Media National Political Editor Steve Gill was perplexed by the Democrats’ recent attempts to smear Brett Kavanaugh with an anonymous thirty year old allegation on the eve of his confirmation. …

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Commentary: It’s Up To Conservatives To Nationalize The 2018 Midterm Election

by Richard Viguerie   For many years I’ve been telling the GOP establishment that Republicans never win a big election unless they nationalize the election – that means drawing a clear contrast with the Democrats and giving the voters “a tune they can whistle” on big conservative themes. The Republican…

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Early Voting Turnout Heavy in Maury County

vote

Voters hit the polls heavily in the first two days of early voting in Maury County. The polls opened Friday at the Maury County Election Commission for early voting in the 2018 Tennessee general and primary election, The Daily Herald reported. On Friday and Saturday, at least 1,100 votes were…

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Google Suspends Advertising Related to Irish Abortion Referendum

Fetus on Health

Google is suspending all advertising connected to Ireland’s abortion referendum as part of moves to protect “election integrity,” the company announced Wednesday. The move came a day after Facebook banned foreign-backed ads in the Irish campaign, amid global concerns about online election meddling and the role of internet ads in…

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