Yesterday I spent the better part of the day volunteering as a poll watcher. It was a revelation. I have been a poll WORKER. That is a different animal. I was a precinct co-chair for the 2016 election cycle. We had lots and lots of training. So I do understand the process. This was different. As a poll WATCHER, I was required to be at least 6 feet away from the registration table, and I was not allowed to talk to ANYONE. I was chastised by the local city clerk for being friendly to a poll WORKER. She said we can only be talking if we previously knew each other and were friends. I told her we were NOW friends and she told me it was not allowed. So I moved back to my spot and actually started praying, using my prayer book. It truly helped calm me down. And when the clerk brought lunch for everyone, and they all gathered on the opposite side of the city gymnasium we were inside, I felt the slight. But I bucked up and realized my job was NOT to make friends. I was there to ensure safe and legal voting took place. Other precincts checked in and apparently there were some shenanigans going on at the other voting location. (This town is so small, there are only 2 voting sites). Lucky for me, all I had to contend with was being slighted in a not-very-nice way.
The poll watchers are supposed to verify names, but we cannot look at the roll book itself, but we can log names. Well, the only way we can do that is to listen closely. First of all, I was in a large basketball gym (sound is not good in there) and secondly, I had to remain 6 feet away. So mostly all I could do was count heads. Voters were very nice and friendly, not realizing I was not part of the worker crowd, and they often greeted me. But when they checked in, they would pull out ID but no one repeated names that I could hear. I actually could only log 1 person the entire time I was there. But I was able to watch each voter insert their own ballot, one at a time. The person running the machine stood at least 6 feet away as he explained to each voter how to insert their ballots. I was comfortable with how that was managed. I watched the precinct chair process ballots that were out of the normal and insert them into a separate envelope. I was also comfortable with that. Lots of voters came through who ended up at the wrong precinct or, even better, were not eligible to participate in the election because they lived outside the city area. (This special election was a city council recall election for three council members. The good news? It passed and they are recalled. Illegal is illegal and Americans are getting tired of it. Message sent people!!).
The biggest take-away I have is that all voters are NOT represented in our elections. When I was trained as a precinct co-chair (and was supposed to be chair for 2020 but when I was told I had to wear a mask AND a face shield, I told them I was not interested any longer) I learned the electronics of it. I learned the rules to ensure integrity of “one person-one vote” and that some election machines are, indeed, connected to the internet via wifi. I was confident of the system until I learned all about the errors inherent in using wifi and unsecured ballots when we mail them in. That was a big lesson. Yesterday’s lesson for me was that more of us who lean to the right need to be imbedded in this electoral process. Because they do follow the rules, but it is convenient how the rules are set up that allow for underhandedness to be the norm.
We need to ensure that every vote counts. I much prefer paper and pencil. Here in Alaska, we check ID and each voter signs in that they were present and voted. You get a tear-off receipt (in most areas) and a lovely sticker telling everyone you voted. The battle, I believe, lays in the mailing of ballots. Since there is no connection to the voter who signs (now they don’t even have to do that) their envelope and the ballot that is counted, that is a problem. According to those who are involved in the process, the voter rolls themselves are a mess. So many people who no longer live in this state, and even those who have passed away, are still listed as active voters. We have lots of military bases and people who have been transferred out of state are still collecting the annual PFD (Permanent Fund Dividend) and are on our voter rolls. It is totally illegal, but there is no staff assigned by any agency to correct all of this. You know something is up when over 100% of registered voters all voted in an election. Statistically speaking, it is possible, but highly improbable, that 100% of any population votes in any election. The statistical average, being very generous, is 25% – let that sink in a little bit. That means that 1/4 of the population is dictating what happens to 3/4 of the country. That should outrage you – hopefully enough to register and to actually vote on election day.
When you start to add things up, it becomes apparent how valuable each vote truly is. Think what would happen if Joe had those 82 million votes recounted – and moved to Trump? How valuable is each of those votes? Well, it just so happens to be 25% of 330,000,000, which is the population of the United States. And that is a statistical anomaly. The number of people who normally vote – all of them – would not vote for the exact same person. Not ever. There’s always, statistically, a hold out. The larger one is that in 2021, there were about 168,000,000 registered voters. And unrealistically enough, apparently around 159,000,000 people voted in the 2020 election. Which is roughly 74% of registered voters. Not here in Alaska, but nationwide, that is an incredible turnout. Trump got more than 55% of Alaskan votes, and yet Biden got 52% – if you add that up, that is a little odd, don’t you think? Yes, that 107% of registered voters. Something is very fishy and yet our Lt. Governor certified those results. *Sigh*
It is beyond frustrating that this has been allowed to go un-protested in every, single voter’s minds. At least per the results! Because it means that neither side truly won. It also means our votes were taken from us. That this was accepted as normal and okay, especially in our media is beyond the pale. There is ongoing research that shows how messed up our electoral system is, in more than just Alaska. Local voters also skewed votes on ranked-choice voting and mail-in ballots here in Alaska, and we are now facing our upcoming special election for Don Young’s seat, open now due to his death. And ranked choice will be used. And it frightens me. Truly. Because not only does it not allow my rights as a voter to be protected, no one’s voting rights are protected. How do we combat all of this???
The writers of our constitution created a document that has stood the test of time. We have lasted about as long as most formal nations last. At least in the same form. England has undergone vast changes from its inception – it went through the overthrow of its monarchy and is now a constitutional monarchy and we all know the Royals are just figureheads, with not much power. They are richer than the average Brit, but mostly just have photoshoots and fancy balls and hunting trips. American government has not changed in over 200 years. I staunchly defend our Constitution. With the advent of technology, I do believe we need more protections in place. Protections in all sorts of realms of how we do this American life. I’m not sure what we need to do, but I do think something needs to be done. Culturally, we are sinking further and further away from a free country. If our votes do not count, well, our power has been stripped. Our country’s founding fathers were so young and so unbelievably intelligent. The constitution is not a living document. It is what it is…written down and it says what it says. And they did not intend for legislators to be professional politicians. They intended that normal citizens would serve locally and nationally, and then go back to normal life, allowing someone else in the community to serve our country. An example is Nancy Pelosi from California. She has been in politics her entire life. She has been in power in the democratic party since the 70s and was first elected to office in the 80s. But she has been a DC sycophant since her father was a rep for Maryland in the 60s. There are photos of her at JFKs inauguration! It has been far too long and she needs to be voted out of office! Patrick Leahy (D/VT) and Chuck Grassley (R/IA) have been in office for 47 years. This is just not acceptable to me.
I had an interesting chat with someone far more expert than myself about political platforms. And he taught me a lot. The RNC has a pretty amazing platform, as does the ARP (Alaskan Republican Party). We both agreed on that. The issue is this party does NOT operate according to the platforms they say they operate from, locally or nationally. I guess that would be the definition of a RINO – Republican in Name Only! If we would govern according to the Constitution, and if our parties would operate according to their platforms, this whole thing would work. But hardly anyone does that….
Again, how do we fix this? We get back to our roots. We uphold the law. We clean our voter rolls (good grief, America!!). We tighten the rules for voting. We GET INVOLVED. We need Americans to take custody of their future. We need to win this country back!
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and heal their land.2Chronicles 7:14