Bad Ballots, and the Controlled Demolition of U.S. Governance

“If voting made any difference, they wouldn’t let us do it.”

Mark Twain supposedly said that, although there’s no record of it.1

Too bad, because it’s a good line, characteristic of Twain’s cynicism.

Twain or no, I’ve been thinking about this point as we move towards Election Day on Nov. 3.

Apparently, somebody wants us to vote… A lot of us.

They want us to vote early. Maybe even vote often. And they’re making it easy.

Indeed, just on my end something odd is happening…

In the past month, everyone in my household received unsolicited “election ballot applications” from the state, the county voting division and more than a few political groups.

Clearly, we are being encouraged to vote by mail, even though we live all of 1,000 feet from the local high school where polling usually takes place.

My wife and I received vote-by-mail ballot applications. So did the children, who live out of state.

Meanwhile, we received ballot applications for the family that used to live in our house. They sold the place to us and moved away in 2014.

And my mother received a ballot application, too. She passed away in 2013.

Holy smokes! Somebody really wants people to vote!

It’s enough to make you go, “Hmm…”

Let’s dig into this…

Unless you’ve been vacationing in Antarctica, you must know that across the U.S., governors and legislatures have changed election laws to make it easier than ever for people to vote. Just mail it in!

This is a political con job, of course. And like the “mark” in a poker game, if you’re not sure who the sucker is, it’s you…

The political class say that the idea is to protect people from getting sick if they vote in person. Avoid those filthy high schools, church basements and firehalls of long tradition.

Meanwhile, you’ve likely heard about recent court cases in which judges are literally re-writing election laws from the bench.

In just the past few weeks, judges have extended the deadline for counting mail-in ballots well past Election Day. (See Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Montana and more…)

Right off the bat, this new setup requires election officials to count ballots long after the polls have closed… For days, if not weeks. Drag it out…

If history is any guide, we’ll likely learn about bags of ballots that mysteriously show up post-election. They were “mislaid” of course… Or “lost” in the transport process.

Yeah… right.

This comes on top of current election processes which are, in many locales, already wide-open. Things like “same-day registration.” Yes… In some places you just walk in, sign up and cast a ballot. It’s that easy.

Or “vote harvesting,” in which political operatives go door to door, collecting ballots, if not “helping” to fill them out.

Of course, as things unfold over the next couple of months, we’ll see legal challenges to ballots, vote counts, overall certification processes and definitely outcomes.

The big prize in all of this is the White House.

The battle of the mail-in ballots will determine whether or not President Trump receives a four-year extension on his tenure in the famous residence.

But this mail-in voting matter is not just an issue for the presidential race…

Think of the confusion we’re about to see in voting outcomes for elections to U.S. Senate, House of Representatives, state legislatures, other state offices, local offices… In some cities and towns, down to snowplow driver and dogcatcher, I suspect.

We’re scheduled to have nationwide elections, up and down the political spectrum. And yet, the voting system has become so rigged that for many elected offices we won’t know who the “winner” is on election night, or within a day or so afterwards.

No… We’ll watch election numbers change day by day, post-election.

Tuesday night “winners” will be losers in a week or so, courtesy of “new” ballots from whomever, from wherever… With lawyers litigating and judges judging.

We’ll watch America’s so-called democracy get hijacked, but in slightly slow motion.

This upcoming scenario will destabilize American politics, and of course the overall economy.

Face it… The national political train is about to derail in the aftermath of the upcoming election. It’s going to be a mess…

And yes, it’s all by design.

It’s no longer a case of, “If voting made any difference, they wouldn’t let us do it.”

Instead, “they” are letting it happen… in spades.

The goal is political and social chaos.

Who are “they”?

Basically, it’s people who have been out of power under Trump. They never expected to lose in 2016, and they want to retake control of the ship of state.

Their new agenda is more of the old agenda; more globalism, more foreign wars, to continue to deindustrialize America, and generally to asset-strip the place…

It’s the usual suspects.

We’re witness to history unfolding, right in front of us… The country is rolling over a cliff into a crisis of governance.

Yes, voting in America has a long history of evolving… but the current trend is crazy, to the point of self-destruction.

Let’s back up for a moment and figure out how we arrived here…

The Constitution has just a few words about voting. Article I, Section 4 states:

“The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of chusing (sic) Senators.”2

In other words, the voting process is up to each state. It’s basic federalism at work…

Leave things to the states. Don’t adopt a top-down, national process; although Congress has the power to legislate on the matter as well.

In its early days, the U.S. was primarily an agricultural nation. Population was spread across the landscape. Most people lived and worked on farms, or at local jobs related to agriculture.

In an agricultural nation, spring means planting. Summer means working the fields. Fall is harvest-time. And winter is… cold, wet, muddy and tough to travel on unimproved roads.

So, it makes sense that the U.S. political tradition evolved to schedule Election Day in early November, after the harvest but before winter sets in.

At the same time, in the late 18th and well into the 19th century, most people in most jurisdictions did not all vote at one time, and on one particular day.

Every state had its own process. And in many states voting commonly lasted a month or more, leading up to that November “election day,” when votes were counted down at the courthouse.

These lengthy terms for voting were to accommodate people who had to leave their farm and ride across the county to vote.

Meanwhile, during early U.S. history, voting in most states was restricted to adult white males, and almost always to property owners. In other words, the number of voters was relatively limited.

Exact processes for voting varied from place to place. But in many jurisdictions, early “balloting” was simply a voice vote at the courthouse, tallied by someone acting as the recorder.

Printed ballots first appeared in the U.S. in the early 1800s. Then for many decades, these kinds of election papers were printed up by competing political parties. That is, the ballot had but one name for each office — the party nominee — and didn’t show the opponent.

This kind of party-based balloting endured for many decades. It was not until 1888 that New York and Massachusetts adopted what’s called the “Australian ballot,” listing the names of all candidates for each office.

Along the way, the first widespread use of “absentee” balloting was in the Civil War, during the presidential race of 1864.

Many Union soldiers (especially officers) were qualified voters, meaning white male property owners. But due to the war, they were deployed far from their hometowns.

In the 1864 election, President Lincoln needed military votes in his race against the challenger, Gen. George McClellan. And he made great efforts to win the votes of soldiers, ordering the Army to set up voting sites within military camps.

soldiers lined up to vote in 1864

Union soldiers lined up to vote in 1864. National Archives.

When the votes were counted, Lincoln won over 75% of military ballots cast. According to Encyclopedia Britannica:

“On election day, Lincoln prevailed handily, winning 212 of 233 total electoral votes. Contributing to his victory were the predominantly Republican votes of Union soldiers, many of whom had been allowed to cast ballots in the field or else had been furloughed to vote in their home districts.”3

Meanwhile, post-Civil War the U.S. was industrializing. Populations were exploding in cities, and more and more people wanted to vote.

And the laws changed to accommodate them.

As the 19th century unfolded, states expanded the franchise.

The particulars of voter eligibility and voting varied from state to state. But in general, the requirement to own property was removed.

Post-Civil War, Black men were able to vote, although many states and counties erected other barriers on that particular point.

Fast-forward to 1920, when women received voting rights under the 19th Amendment. This political change added an entire new category of voters. It came about only after a long-term movement, with roots in Colonial days and plenty of history along the way.4

One major force behind passing the 19th Amendment was the political and economic situation in the U.S. during and immediately after World War I. Millions of young men were overseas fighting and millions of women helped keep the economy running at home.

World War II also led to widespread expansion of voting, particularly via military ballots from overseas. The process was enabled at the federal level by the Soldier Voting Act of 1942.5

Two other matters led to major changes in U.S. voting as well: the civil rights movement and the Vietnam War.

Civil rights led eventually to the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965. This eliminated many barriers to Blacks voting across the South, as well as in many other areas of the U.S.6

And the Vietnam War led to a movement to lower the voting age from 21 to 18. This was accomplished by the 26th Amendment, ratified in 1971.7

After that, the U.S. approach to voting remained largely unchanged until 2000, when Oregon adopted “vote by mail” exclusively. And the idea has been spreading ever since.

This year, the Covid pandemic has accelerated the widespread adoption of voting by mail.

And it’s not to say that voting by mail is ipso facto a bad thing.

But sometimes things actually can happen “too fast.”

Especially when they unfold in a near-panic mode, which is what’s happening now. We’re watching the setup for massive levels of election confusion and fraud.

Or look at it from a different angle…

It’s fair to say that the “old” way of American voting — adult, white, male property owners — was overly exclusive and discriminatory, in terms of taking the true measure of the country’s political pulse.

Then again, U.S. history shows an expansion of the franchise over time. Perhaps not fast enough for some, but here we are…

Now, however, U.S. voting is regressing.

We’re rapidly moving back to mountains of dubious paper in the midst of a digital age. We’re inviting utter confusion and charting a roadmap to political destabilization.

There’s already a major screwup in New York. According to NBC News,

“Mail-in voting has gotten off to a rocky start in New York City, where election officials sent out nearly 100,000 absentee ballots with the wrong names and addresses printed on the return envelopes. The deluge of faulty ballots, sent to voters across Brooklyn, could result in ballots being voided if voters sign their own name on return envelopes bearing different names.”9

Look for more of this across the nation in the weeks leading up to Election Day.

Then watch the “lawfare” that occurs in the aftermath, concerning which votes count, who counts the ballots and who eventually “wins” which elections.

As the voting process degrades, it’s like we’re watching saboteurs openly wire-up high explosive charges that will bring about the controlled demolition of the U.S. system of governance in about a month.

Perhaps this is crystal clear to you… You’ve seen it coming and you know what’s happening.

If so, I envy your foresight…

And I suppose you won’t be shocked when it all blows up in November, December, January… When the lack of certainty over “who” will govern the country leads the economy to seize up and brings even more rioting in the streets.

This is all far beyond the cynicism of even Mark Twain…  We’re watching a setup for national disaster, and we’re walking right into it.

It’s what “they” want, and it’s happening right in front of us. At least you own some gold… right?

On that note, I rest my case.

That’s all for now… Thank you for subscribing and reading.

Best wishes,

Byron King

Byron King
Managing Editor, Whiskey & Gunpowder

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1 Mark Twain Studies

2 US Constitution

3 Ref: Military Absentee Voting, Britannica

4 19th Amendment

5 Soldier Voting Act

6 Voting Rights Act of 1965

7 26th Amendment

8 100,000 Absentee Ballots to Be Re-Mailed in NYC After Printing Error, NBC New York

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Byron King

A Harvard-trained geologist and former aide to the United States Chief of Naval Operations, Byron King is our resident gold and mining expert, and we are proud to have him on board as the managing editor of Whiskey & Gunpowder.

This “old rock hound” uses his expertise and connections in global resource industries to bring...

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