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My Experience In Iraq, Common Sense & Voting

Updated: Sep 17, 2020

There has been plenty of debate concerning how we conduct elections. Should we do mail in votes? Should we require identification? Etc. These are my observations:

The Health Excuse to Suddenly Employ Mass Mail In Ballots Does Not Measure Up

We are suddenly afraid of lines and our health? No, most of the nation is really pass that fear as is plainly seen with everyone out, not wearing masks, disregarding restraints, etc. Regardless, I recall being in Iraq during the election of 2010. They had to brave possible IEDs, assignations, kidnappings…well just plain violence. They even had to show, wait for it, an ID card! After they voted, they dipped their finger in purple dye to prevent them from voting again at another poll. Yet, I saw people in droves appear at polls…actual polls! They did not see these measures as suppressing someone’s vote. Even still, nothing, I mean nothing, was going to stop them from voting after years of living under a dictator. No violence, no trip to a poll, no need for an ID card would stop their desire to vote.

Identification Requirements Are Not Oppressive

When I hear the excuse that asking for an ID somehow disenfranchises someone I think of the lengths the Iraqis went through to get an ID card. Let’s be honest, seriously, no one is prevented from having an ID in this nation because of their race or political affiliation. You know it and I know it! It is a lame excuse to suddenly not require one. To think it is unconstitutional tells me the thinker can’t read the constitution, and we know that this same mindset won’t be applied to all the other cases where ID is required. Just be honest about it. Not having ID increases the opportunity for voting fraud. Does this really, really, have to be explained?

If we can brave the dreaded virus to shop in stores and we can turn a blind eye to the effect of the virus in mass groups in protests, no, violent mobs, I am going to say violent mobs, then we can surely brave the dreaded virus to cast a vote with a better assurance than facing IEDs, kidnappings, and assassinations. To what level do you value YOUR right to vote in a fair election?

The Mail System Capacity is Not the Issue

My concerns really have nothing to do with whether the mail system can even handle the amount of mail ins. That is pointless considering the true matter. My concern is regarding a fair election. There are reasons we have polls. They verify someone is registered, or in some cases gets someone registered. They also have poll workers where any political group can have observers. This is to ensure that no one is trying to pull a fast one less you get caught doing it. There is a built in refereeing going on that for some reason is NOT being discussed regarding how we vote. With mail in for everyone, you have removed these referees. Once you mail off your ballot, from you to the final counting there is a great chance for interference. Just to give one of MANY examples of how there has been mishap with mail in votes, consider a recent case in West Virginia. The postal carrier purposely changed people’s political affiliation. Just so this sinks in to the side that will likely resist what I am writing, the postman changed them to Republican. That’s right, both sides can now do this. That is why we have observers at polls, to help combat this fraud. Mass mail ins remove this and opens the door to great fraud. Ballots not only will be tampered with, they can simply be “lost” and never even know about it. Do we REALLY want this for a republic that is represented by who we vote for in what we hope is an actual fair election?

Open Season On Ballots

Ballots can simply be stolen and reused for someone else. People steal the mail all the time, especially with the rise of deliveries such as Amazon. The overwhelming number of people will not be caught, and if they are, will most likely not face prosecution because of just how common it is. Imagine now a bunch of ballots flooding the mail system! Large numbers can be “lost” or taken and filled in to adversely affect an election. Trust me, if I can think of this, others already have. And, they have no scruples in doing so – politics often attracts such people.

How cheaply are we willing to sell our republic? Are we truly willing to surrender safeguards to ensure fair and accurate elections because there may be danger if we insist upon it? Well, even if I be the only person to think so, I am not willing to surrender a fair election because some think it may be dangerous to have one. The safest election was probably Saddam Hussein’s last election where he got 100% of the vote. Bet it was really safe though! In 2010, I saw desperate Iraqis risking their very lives to ensure they voted. In 2020, I am watching Americans who have inherited the ideas of fair elections, willing to throw them away in order to feel safer. That is just the honest ones. Then there are the dishonest ones who can’t wait to take advantage of removing referees from the voting process. God help us.

Philip Sharp is a US Army Infantry Veteran of 20 years with 3 combat deployments, author of "Not in the Wind, Earthquake, or Fire," and host of the podcast “Rage of the Age: Politics, Religion, Economics & History With a Conservative Bend.” You can follow Philip Sharp on Twitter @RageoftheAgeNow

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