This editorial is brought to you by a staff writer for Law Enforcement Today.
Lately there has been talk of using nothing but mail-in ballots for the presidential election. If Democrats want only 75% of the votes to be counted, go ahead. Meanwhile, Republicans will vote at the polls and have all of their votes counted.
The idea put forward by those who recommend mail-in ballots is that it is safer to vote by mail than to vote in person. The reason for this, they say, is the covid-19 virus. If we simply send in our ballots by mail, there is no chance we can contract the virus from a polling place that we didn’t visit.
There are at least two problems with the concept of voting entirely by mail. The first is the scare tactic justification for mail-in voting. The second is the potential to under or over count votes.
A few days ago, on August 26th, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published a report on covid-19. The report listed a total of 170,566 deaths involving covid-19.
In the comorbidities section of the report, other conditions contributing to death are listed. For instance, 5,424 are listed as having the following comorbidity:
“Intentional and unintentional injury, poisoning, and other adverse events”.
The key word is “events”. This category covers such things as gunshot wounds, automobile accidents, and other spontaneous events which are in themselves lethal.
The fact that people in this category also had covid-19 is of epidemiological interest but it says nothing about the lethality of covid-19. Maybe they would have died of covid-19 if they hadn’t been run over by a car first, but there is no way to know because they were run over by a car first.
In this situation, the honest thing to do is subtract these numbers from the overall total and include an explanation. This is particularly true for a virus that does not have a 100% fatality rate. For anything less, comorbidities become important.
Other causes that have higher fatality rates than covid-19 are also listed: Sepsis, diabetes, renal failure, cardiac arrest, heart failure, cerebrovascular diseases, and many more.
According to the report, only 6% of the cases, or 10,233 deaths, have covid-19 listed as the only cause of death. For the remaining 94%, or 160,333 deaths, there was an average of 2.6 additional causes of death listed. From the data presented in this document, the figure of 170,566 covid-19 deaths appears inflated.
On September 2nd, Dr. Anthony Fauci appeared on “Good Morning, America”. His appearance gave him an opportunity to say a few words about the CDC report.
“The point that the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] was trying to make was that a certain percentage of them had nothing else, just COVID”.
“That does not mean that someone who has hypertension, diabetes who dies of COVID didn’t die of COVID-19, but they did. So the numbers you’ve been hearing, the 180,000 plus, are real deaths from COVID-19.”
Maybe his interviewers should have asked him about unintentional injuries, poisonings, and other “events”. Another good question might have been, “what about heart failure, renal failure, and other extremely serious comorbidities listed in the report?
Are they not far more serious than the hypertension and diabetes you used in your example?”
At the very least, Fauci has no way to determine if his answer was true. The reason is that the justification for his claim is the CDC report and it is based solely on the death certificates of the people involved. They list conditions but cannot provide an adequate portrait of how each comorbidity contributed to death.
He would have to see much more detailed records on every case to have sufficient grounding for the answer he gave on television.
The good news is that George Floyd didn’t die of covid-19. Instead, it was a comorbidity along with a methamphetamine and fentanyl overdose on top of the way he was restrained by police. According to the medical examiner, if not for the police restraint, he would have assumed that Floyd had died of an overdose of meth and fentanyl. Note that he would not have thought he died of covid-19, though he would be listed as positive for the virus. Thus, his death may have been counted by the CDC as a covid-19 death.
What all of this should tell us is that mortality rates for covid-19 are lower than reported. How much lower is an open question. The CDC says the covid-19 mortality rate is 7.9%. However, that number is likely too high based on information in their August report.
Another indicator that the world won’t end soon because of covid-19 is that infections are going up but deaths are going down, thus contracting the mortality rate. This is in part because younger people, who are less susceptible to covid-19, are going out, getting infected, and recovering. This is unlike the situation in nursing homes such as in New York and New Jersey, where large numbers of people in the highest risk group were housed in close proximity to each other, caught covid-19 (in addition to 2.6 comorbidities) and died.
One last point relevant to the justification used by Democrats for an all by mail vote is connected to riots and protests. To be more exact, the riots and protests attended by tens of thousands of people across the country over the past 95 days.
The same Democrats who cry out for mail-in ballots as a way to preserve the health and well-being of the nation have been silent about demonstrations in the memory of George Floyd but have condemned anti-lockdown protesters as risking the health and safety of everyone in their group.
The hypocrisy of these mutually exclusive positions is enough to tell us at least one thing: they are lying about something. Either protests are dangerous or they aren’t.
If they aren’t dangerous, as indicated by their support for protests and rioting, then there should be no issue with in-person voting. If they are dangerous because of increased covid risks, then they should have condemned the Floyd/BLM protests as soon as they started. They didn’t.
An interesting aspect of polling stations is that they are designed to minimize the possibility that voters in adjacent booths can observe how they are voting.
The effect is to separate voters from each other, almost like social distancing. Covid-19 related safety measures dictate the use of masks when closer than six feet, but no need for masks if six or more feet from another person.
If that was strictly observed, I wouldn’t have had to wear a mask the last two times I voted. Other polling places are more crowded than the small town I live in but the point is that because our votes are supposed to be secret, all polling places are designed to separate voters.
It would be a minor adjustment to separate the polling stations a little bit more than they are already. Switching to an all-mail vote would be a more significant change that would be logistically difficult or even impossible to manage.
The justification Democrats use for their near-hysterical demands for mail-in voting amounts to this: covid-19 is so dangerous that we cannot have people assemble for voting, regardless of social distancing. In consideration of their own hypocritical response to other large gatherings, their credibility is suspect.
In combination with business returning to normal and a declining death rate, their expressed concern is on even shakier ground. Although it pains me to write this, Democrat requests for mail-in voting appear to be disingenuous and fueled by an unexpressed ulterior motive.
There are at least two significant problem areas associated with mail-in votes. The first is that fraud will occur, the second is that logistical problems or other errors will prevent an accurate count.
Democrats claim that concerns about fraud are exaggerated. Maybe they are, maybe they aren’t. For the sake of argument, let’s say they are right. That leaves logistics and other errors. This is a known problem. Most recently, a vote in New York had to be redone completely due to problems with absentee and mail-in votes.
According to some sources, as many as 25% of the mail-in ballots were not counted. In neighboring Queens, 19% of the ballots were rejected, and 28% in Brooklyn. Those are well over the kind of numbers required to sway an election. Even if no fraud occurred at all, those figures are unacceptable.
Add to that the possibility of fraud, and we know it does happen thanks to admissions made by a “top Democratic operative”. According to him, he has personally committed voter fraud through the use of mail-in ballots as part of his job on various Democrat campaigns over a period of many years. And coincidentally, it is Democrats that are asking for mail-in ballots.
So, the justification for mail-in ballots is shaky and possibly dishonest, mail-in ballots are difficult to ship on time and count, and on top of that, there is voter fraud. Despite all this, Josh Mendelsohn of Hawkfish, a Democratic analytics firm, predicts that Joe Biden will win the presidential election because of the mail-in vote.
His firm published a prediction that, on election day, President Trump will appear to be the clear winner on the basis of in-person votes. However, as mail-in ballots are counted, Biden will overtake Trump for the win. That is the prediction.
Keep in mind that in many states, mail-in ballots must be received on or before election day. Being postmarked on election day is not good enough, and there is no way to control how quickly the post office delivers ballots.
What this means is that most mail-in ballots will be counted by election day.
The Hawkfish prediction sounds fancy, well-grounded, and worked out with suitably complex mathematical models. However, there is a flaw in what might otherwise be described as “a very cunning plan” on the part of Democrats.
If in-person voting is allowed at all, a sure way to defeat Democrats is to vote in person. We know from experience, such as in New York this year, and Florida in 2000 , that if anything, mail-in ballots are under-counted.
If you want to lose around 20% of your vote due to lost, looted, or delayed mail and other technicalities, by all means, send it in by mail. Otherwise, if you want your vote counted for sure, go to the polls in person.
President Trump has been complaining about the potential for voter fraud. He’s right, the potential exists and likely would occur, but to what degree is difficult to predict. What can be predicted based on available evidence is an under-count of mailed ballots and a full count of in-person ballots.
If President Trump really wants to prevent Democrat plans for mail in voting, he may find it easier to simply point out that voting in person is the only way to be sure your ballot won’t be lost in the mail.
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