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The New York Times Is Very Uncomfortable With Citizen Oversight Of Elections

When the media treat citizens like conspiracy theorists for being concerned about election integrity, it damages confidence in elections.


The New York Times is fretting that informed citizens are actively participating in election oversight.

Under the headline “Trump’s Allies Ramp Up Campaign Targeting Voter Rolls,” Times writers Alexandra Berzon and Nick Corasaniti complain about voters who are concerned that outdated voter registration rolls could lead to fraud at worst and sloppy election administration at best. These concerned citizens, they say, have “pressed local officials in Michigan, Nevada and Georgia to drop voters from the rolls en masse,” and have “at times targeted Democratic areas, relying on new data programs and novel legal theories to justify their push.”

On the other hand, perhaps Democrat-led cities deserve higher scrutiny from informed citizens when it comes to elections because those areas often won’t do it themselves.

Voter list maintenance is crucial to ensuring that only eligible individuals vote. Los Angeles County is just one example of a Democrat-led area that was not complying with voter roll maintenance standards until it was sued.

Judicial Watch filed a suit in 2017 alleging the county was not removing inactive registrations from its records. As part of the settlement, the county was required to contact “as many as 1.5 million people” whose voter records are inactive, to determine whether they are still eligible. But even the L.A. County Democrats admitted the concession would not harm any eligible voters.

“Nothing in the agreement will jeopardize even one eligible Los Angeles County voter,” L.A. County Clerk Dean Logan said, according to The Associated Press. California Secretary of State Alex Padilla said at the time that the move would “not lead to unnecessary removal of active and eligible voters.”

It took a court to force county officials to do their jobs, after a nudge by citizens concerned about election integrity. But Los Angeles County wasn’t the only place where concerned citizens had to go to the courts to get election administrators to take their concerns seriously.

Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows, who single-handedly tried to remove former President Donald Trump from the ballot in her state, fought tooth and nail to prevent a good government group from inspecting state voter rolls.

But a Biden appointee, Judge Gustavo Gelpí, ruled Bellows must allow the Public Interest Legal Foundation to inspect the state’s voter rolls, as mandated by law under the National Voter Registration Act.

“[W]hether voter registration rolls are accurate and current cannot be determined without inspecting the Voter file,” Gelpí ruled. “In other words, the evaluation of voter registration rolls would be impossible if the results of Maine’s voter list registration and maintenance activities were not subject to public disclosure.”

Sloppy voter rolls create opportunities for votes to be cast illegally, either nefariously or by accident. When illegal votes are counted, even when it doesn’t change the outcome of an election, it undermines voters’ confidence in their electoral process.

In Michigan, for example, an audit after the 2020 election found 1,616 votes cast by voters who had died before Election Day. Twenty of those voters, noted Bridge Michigan, were dead “before the absentee voting period began.” Some of these votes, the outlet noted, were likely instances of “sloppy record keeping” when a dead voter shared a name with another person on the voter rolls.

Furthermore, although Berzon and Corasaniti fail to mention it, one of the programs they tried to slander — Check My Vote — was only launched after Michigan’s Democrat Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson refused to remove ineligible or dead voters from state rolls following the 2020 election. There were 26,000 deceased registrants on the rolls, according to a lawsuit filed by the Public Interest Legal Foundation.

Yet, the Times evidently doesn’t think it warrants Americans’ attention.

“Investigations into voter fraud have found that it is exceedingly rare and that when it occurs, it is typically isolated or even accidental,” Berzon and Corasaniti assure their readers. “Election officials say that there is no reason to think that the systems in place for keeping voter lists up-to-date are failing. The bigger risk, they note, is disenfranchising voters.”

There is indeed a real risk voters will be disenfranchised — except it’s not the voters Berzon and Corasaniti are referring to. Eligible voters are disenfranchised every single time a ballot is illegally cast, no matter how “rare” it is.

In elections like the 2017 Virginia House race between incumbent Republican David Yancey and Democrat challenger Shelly Simonds that ended in a perfect tie, an illegally cast ballot dilutes the weight of eligible voters’ choices and can skew the outcome. Further, just because something is “rare” or “accidental” is not a “get out of jail free” card for election malfeasance.

The Times also took umbrage with election integrity activists for raising concerns about suspicious or incorrect addresses on voter registrations. After the 2020 election, Mark Davis, a data expert in Georgia, reported tens of thousands of voters on file who “had filed changes of address to an address in a different county more than 30 days before the election” but still voted in their old county. After the election, Davis noted, “more than a third of those voters” updated their voter registration or driver’s licenses to match their new address, further calling the validity of their votes into question.

But Berzon and Corasaniti didn’t mention Davis’ findings, instead downplaying the concerns of citizens like him by dismissing the address discrepancies on voter rolls as simply “addresses with irregularities, such as missing an apartment number.”

When corporate media outlets treat citizens like conspiracy theorists for being concerned about election integrity, it does the opposite of creating trust in elections. When they shrug off indisputable problems, as the Detroit Free Press did in 2016, because they may not be “sizable enough to affect the outcome,” it leaves voters with less confidence in their electoral process.

It also leaves them wondering — why are the corporate media and their Democrat allies so uncomfortable with citizens who want to make sure their elections are secure?

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