As a young lawyer in 1971, I volunteered my services to the Committee of Seventy, a nonpartisan, independent watchdog, to help monitor the Philadelphia mayoral election between Democrat Frank Rizzo and Republican Thacher Longstreth. The committee sent volunteers to investigate reports of voting irregularities at polling places throughout the city. While we had no authority to intervene or rectify a situation, if founded, we could refer a complaint to the District Attorney’s Office for official action.
If history and common sense are any guides, mail-in ballots will make it easier for Democrats to “harvest” the votes of those living or dead who will have no role in casting them.
About 7 a.m. on Election Day, I was dispatched to a polling place in West Philadelphia to investigate a broken voting machine. Then, as now, the voting machines were maintained and provided by Philadelphia’s City Commissioners.
Upon arrival, I found a mechanical voting machine. As designed, the back of the machine had two overlapping panels, which, when closed, covered the meters reflecting the vote totals. The panels were supposed to be wired shut and a lead seal affixed to the wire.
But this voting machine had no seal and no wire, and the panels were open. Interestingly, the meters reflected that Democrat Rizzo had already received 233 votes. In comparison, Republican Longstreth’s meter showed 12 votes. Since the polls had opened only two hours before, this seemed unlikely. So I asked the judge of elections at the polling place how many people had voted so far. “None,” he replied.
As I was writing up my report, a character straight out of central casting (bent nose, husky, threatening demeanor) approached.
Me: “Who are you?”
Thug: “That’s not important. Just don’t report this.”
Me: “Sorry, but I’m reporting it.”
At that point, he jammed a beefy finger in my face and growled, “Just remember to include in your report that Longstreth got 12 votes, too!”
Later that day I was called to another polling place, where I found a wheelchair-bound senior citizen shaking and crying. She had been brought on a bus along with her fellow nursing-home residents. As told to me, the owner of the nursing home was a Democrat committeeman who had escorted each of these residents into the curtained voting booth to “help” them vote.
The lady in the wheelchair had refused his assistance. So, after telling her that she could not return to his nursing home, the committeeman had left her behind to fend for herself.
The matter was turned over to the police. I don’t know what happened to the woman, but I am sure that her abandonment was an object lesson to the other nursing-home residents who might have entertained some notion of freely voting their consciences.
Unsurprisingly, Rizzo won by 391,239 to Longstreth’s 343,204. That turned out to be the last gasp of the Republican Party in Philadelphia. As the votes were totaled on election night, Longstreth memorably conceded, “I’m too big to cry, but it hurts too much to smile.”
Now fast forward to the 2008 presidential election. Although Barack Obama was favored to win Pennsylvania, the Democrats took no chances and pulled out all the stops. This included harvesting mail-in ballots from the inmates of the Philadelphia Detention Center, where criminal defendants were lodged awaiting trial.
One day, after visiting a client at the Detention Center, I stopped to exchange pleasantries with the guards at the main entrance. While we were talking, two young men walked by holding large boxes of documents. According to the guards, they had been in and out of the jail the last few days getting inmates to sign ballots. When I did a double take, the guards laughed and shrugged their shoulders. The unspoken message: that’s life in the big city.
Today, as the pundits, pols, and talking heads insist that voter fraud is very rare, I cannot help but think back to my small part in the 1971 mayoral election and the Obama campaign’s efforts to enfranchise the criminal class. Are they seriously expecting us to believe that human nature has been purged of venality since John Kennedy stole the 1960 presidential election and “Landslide Lyndon” Johnson eked out his razor-thin 1948 Texas senatorial victory with the after–Election Day discovery of ballots purportedly cast by 202 dead or otherwise missing voters? Are we supposed to ignore the hundreds of more recent cases of election fraud? To buy what they are selling would require a national act of voluntary amnesia and willful ignorance of the mounting — but much-derided by the Democrats’ media adjunct — evidence of ongoing electoral fraud.
In the latest creative political use of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Democrats are warning that we will be risking infection if we vote in person at the polls. So it is that the Democrats are promoting yet another new public health protocol: voting by mail instead of risking death at the polls. Apparently, while it is safe enough to socially distance at the supermarket, the pharmacy, or big box stores, polling places will be COVID-19 death traps. So, to save lives, the ever-thoughtful Democrats insist that, in the upcoming presidential election, we stay safe by using the mail-in ballots being sent to every registered voter — living or dead — on a massive scale never before attempted in American history.
President Trump and others have raised the warning of potential voter fraud posed by the widespread use of universal, unrequested mail-in ballots. In response, the Democrats insist that there is no evidence supporting Trump’s claim. But, if history and common sense are any guides, mail-in ballots will make it easier for Democrats to “harvest” the votes” of those living or dead who will have no role in casting them.
The term of political art for this practice when used in nursing homes is “granny harvesting.” The confused or mentally disabled residents need only sign their names to the ballots, and others will fill in the rest. As illegal, outrageous, and damaging to democracy as this scam may be, the use of mail-in ballots will be a far more humane and efficient way to steal the election than transporting busloads of enfeebled and confused senior citizens from nursing homes to polling places and escorting them into the voting booth to make sure they vote the right way. It also eliminates the need to abandon the occasional old-timer who won’t play ball. After all, as I can tell you from personal experience, an abandoned, desperate, and sobbing white-haired granny in a wheelchair is a bad look for the Party of Compassion.
So will the Democrats try to steal the 2020 election by harvesting mail-in ballots? Why wouldn’t they? If indeed the past is prologue, then we should not expect the party whose operatives corrupted our intelligence agencies to spy on candidate Donald Trump, attempted to frame President Trump for nonexistent collusion with Russia, and impeached him without a scintilla of justification, to hesitate for a nanosecond to use universal mail-in ballots to harvest the “votes” of grannies, convicts, and dead people to defeat the one man who stands between them and their dream of total control of our lives.
The Democrats demand that those opposed to the massive and unprecedented use of universal mail-in ballots produce evidence that it will increase the risk of voter fraud. But they have it backwards. Since they are the ones changing the fundamental way we conduct elections, the burden of proof is on them to demonstrate that they won’t — in their messianic pursuit of power at all costs — follow their well-established tradition of dishonesty and exploit the obvious opportunities for fraud presented by universal mail-in ballots.
George Parry is a former state and federal prosecutor. He blogs at knowledgeisgood.net and may be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.