During the 2000s, Laura and I were election functionaries. We verified the identities of the voters on the rolls, we observed the rule of law concerning the casting of ballots and prohibited electioneering (political slogans and merchandise within a certain distance of the polling place). Each of us inspected and signed the blank ballots for accountability (so that we know how many ballots there were and that some “extra” ballots don’t just show up someplace), helped people with technical problems, and secured the ballots before, during and after the election. We were unable to leave the voting room (except bathroom breaks). Lunch was provided for us. We then counted the ballots and reported the final tally to the election commission.
This was all done on paper, hand counting, hand reporting, signatures, observed by poll workers representing the three major parties here. There were times I fought for the intended will of a voter even when it didn’t agree with my party. A stray mark from a frail hand no where near a candidate should not invalidate an obvious selection. The other poll workers were equally committed to a fair and impartial outcome.
Once the final numbers are reported, the original ballots are sealed in a briefcase and affixed with the final tally. We are then able to watch the precincts report the count and observe ours entered in the total.
You would think, listening to Donald Trump, that elections are a new thing, that hell, trying to steal an election is a new thing, as if no one has ever thought of that. Elections have been going on in one form or another for thousands of years. We have developed very robust chains of trust based on transparency, redundancy, checks and double checks.
I have personally observed and participated in the process as a poll worker, and I can confirm that there is no possible way that there could be fraud in an election.
If someone fudged the vote tally reports, we would know it, because we know what we counted. Votes are not tracked by individuals (of course), but they are tracked by polling place or by precinct or district.
Could an individual with a hidden pen change votes or invalidate them surreptitiously? Yes, it’s possible, but more than likely that person would be caught, and at most they wouldn’t be able to affect more than a few 10s of votes. It could never arrive to the levels required to change the outcome.
I walked away from each election I participated in confident in the outcome, even when it didn’t go my way. I was assured that the process worked and that the will of the people was being heard.
So stop. Please stop. There is no fraud. There could be no fraud. Joe Biden will be the next President of the United States. Stop trying to undermine the will of the people and our democratic system.