Stop spreading the ‘Big Lie’ theory

Despite Diane Dimond’s grudging acceptance of Joe Biden’s victory in her Aug. 28 column, she devotes the rest of her screed to undermining the validity of that election and supporting Republicans’ efforts to undermine the vote. Most of her points merit rebuttal.

Despite the long history of questionable electioneering in this country, the 2020 election was not only certified but described by the supervising officials, many of them Republicans, as the cleanest election in our history. Everyone who participated, including the voters, should be commended. Instead, since the votes were tallied, Dimond has alternated between raising vague, unsupported fears of a stolen election and complaining voters are starting to doubt the validity of the result. Was that not the intent of her columns? Claims like this have already resulted in the deadly insurrection of Jan. 6.

If Dimond wants us to believe the 2020 election was deeply flawed, let’s see the evidence of “thousands of recent cases of voter fraud.” Document, with names, places and details, where witnesses have testified under oath or the guilty have confessed. So far, the claims of fraud from the losing side have melted like snow under judicial review. As the health of the republic is at stake, cite the cases, including which candidate would have benefitted, so we can examine the evidence for ourselves.

As for the recent moves to “strengthen election laws,” many of them are blatantly partisan, anti-democratic and yes, racist. What else can you call it when Alabama starts requiring state-issued IDs to vote, then closes many DMV offices in their “Black Belt?” Native American tribes have had to sue to prevent the mass disenfranchisement of their members. Purging the rolls of people who haven’t shown up for a few years disenfranchises those who can’t take a day off from their poorly paid jobs, so there’s a bit of classism as well.

Would it be wonderful if the whole country were on a new, improved voting system, especially one that protected the rights of qualified voters? Of course, but that would require a constitutional amendment. I wish you the best of luck with that.

As for mailing ballots to all registered voters, nine states already do that routinely. Some others decided to do that this time, on account of the pandemic. Of the 44 million ballots that went out by the same postal system we use for filing other vital paperwork, 560,000 were “rejected for various reasons” so the systems for detecting fraud actually worked, although they may have rejected some for a simple variation in signatures. Fifteen million apparently went to people who weren’t entitled to use them – and didn’t or weren’t interested in casting a vote. States like ours had systems to let anyone who was expecting a ballot and didn’t get one to vote in person. I don’t see the big problem there.

Yes, indeed, the attacks on our election system have eroded the trust of the citizens, as they were meant to do, under a deluge of unsupported allegations. But this nonsense may backfire on the shortsighted, irresponsible people and organizations who spread them. Elections here have been hotly contested, but the results have been, sometimes reluctantly, accepted, and power has been passed peacefully from one elected administration to the next. As the poisonous tide of partisanship rises to engulf us, and Republican legislatures assert their “right” to substitute their own electors for the people’s choice, how long will that last? If a Republican claims victory, what obligation do we have to accept the claim?

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