Op-Ed: Republicans, Just Say No to Ballot Harvesting


As an international democracy and elections specialist, I spent more than 30 years evaluating the quality of elections and devising means to improve them for the United Nations, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the U.S. government and private foundations, and I can say with confidence that American elections are the least secure and most corruptible of any developed country, and far less secure or fair than election processes in most of the developing democracies of the Third World.

But it doesn’t take an expert to know something is wrong with our elections.

A recent poll by The Associated Press and the University of Chicago revealed that less than half of Americans are confident that the 2024 vote will be counted accurately, 70 percent support requiring ID to vote, less than half are confident in voting machines, and only 30 percent are confident in mail-in voting.

Confidence in elections is essential in a democracy, as without confidence in the election process, there is no confidence in the legitimacy of our elected representatives.

After witnessing the partisan interference in elections by big business, Big Tech and government officials in 2016, 2018, 2020 and 2022, Republicans and conservatives are losing hope they will ever again see a fair election.


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In desperation, many have suggested emulating the Democrats and focusing on ballot harvesting of mail-in votes during an extended voting season, even though all three are very insecure election processes.

This is a losing strategy for several reasons.

First, Republicans and Democrats are different. Republicans have a fixed moral code derived from religion and believe in the rule of law. On the other hand, leftists, Marxists and most modern Democrats have no fixed moral code. They believe that whatever is good for the party is politically correct, and therefore also morally correct.

In this skewed philosophy, lying, cheating, stealing, blackmail, libel and murder can all be morally correct when they are used to advance the leftist vision of utopia.

Should Republicans carry out more ballot harvesting?

Yes: 58% (18 Votes)

No: 42% (13 Votes)

Extended voting periods, mail-in voting and ballot harvesting all facilitate cheating. Because Democrats will cooperate to make use of insecure election practices in ways that Republicans will not, they will always have an insurmountable advantage in these insecure elections. No matter how many votes Republicans legally harvest, Democrats will always be able to find a few more once they know the total they have to beat.

Second, we would be competing on the Democrats’ battlefield, a battlefield they have had decades to prepare. Decades in which they systematically captured election management to shape laws and procedures. Decades in which they created hundreds of advocacy NGOs and lawfare firms and built massive taxpayer-funded electioneering ground forces out of teachers and government employee unions.

Third, promoting the idea that ballot harvesting can be a viable path to victory will lead to complacency and reduce the resources and public pressure needed to enact the legal and procedural reforms required to ensure the 2024 elections are free and fair.

Rather than fight on the Democrats’ battlefield, we need to force them to fight on ours. We need to move the battlefield from the courts and institutions, where we cannot win, to the cognitive battlefield, where we have all of the advantages.

While it may seem that the left has all the power, we do have some asymmetrical powers if we can recognize and use them.


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We have the people, who in general still support free and fair elections for all, and together we can challenge the institutions. And we have an objective that is difficult for the left to challenge — the restoration of transparent and verifiable election processes so that all voters of every party can have confidence in the fairness of our elections and the democratic legitimacy of our elected representatives.

To ensure that the 2024 elections are wholly democratic and accurately reflect the will of the people, we must focus on the technical problem of defining transparent and verifiable election processes in all 50 states, and then on the political challenge of forcing state legislatures to enact those reforms.

The Democrats’ game is rigged. Let’s change the game.

The views expressed in this opinion article are those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by the owners of this website. If you are interested in contributing an Op-Ed to The Western Journal, you can learn about our submission guidelines and process here.

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