We all remember the tragedy of the 2020 elections and, more specifically, our presidential election. Even if you weren’t a fan of former President Donald Trump and even if you voted for Joe Biden, you have to agree that the election of 2020 was wholly mired in question after question about its legitimacy.
To be sure, the results were not what anyone was expecting. While Democrats around the nation overhoped for such an outcome, they had to know that Trump’s strength and support were not meager, which would surely make the race close. Hell, some might have even fully expected the latter to win, given that support.
But he didn’t. Or at least that’s what we were told.
Case after case of illegal voter fraud began to be reported by voters and poll workers alike. And most in battleground states like Arizona and Pennsylvania. As you likely remember, Arizona had so many, in fact, that a full-blown audit was conducted on the state’s election and its processes, the very first ever done in the history of the US.
Now, there was never enough evidence discovered to have the election overturned. However, a number of problems were found – problems that began a nationwide conversation on voter integrity and just how our future elections should be handled.
And as elections for this month’s 2022 midterms begin, states like Arizona are indeed making some changes.
One significant one is that a judge has recently ruled that ballot drop boxes can be monitored to ensure fraud or other illegal voting behavior is not taking place.
District Judge Michael Liburdi decided that Clean Elections USA, an election integrity group, could, in fact, keep an eye on all the ballot drop boxes in the state.
The case ended in front of Judge Liburdi after a left-leaning group called the Arizona Alliance for Retired Americans didn’t like the idea of someone keeping tabs on the state’s election drop boxes. According to the group, such activity would “suppress” or “intimidate” voters, possibly making them not want to vote at all or drop off their ballots.
And while the judge agreed that such monitoring of drop boxes could be problematic, what would be even more would be to deny the voting integrity group their First Amendment rights, which Liburdi believes banning them from drop-off boxes would do.
As he said in his ruling, “An individual’s right to vote is fundamental. But so too is an individual’s right to engage in political speech, assemble peacefully, and associate with others,” according to ABC News.
And as was pointed out by the judge and others throughout the case, there was and never has been any evidence that Clean Elections USA was actually scaring people off or issuing any real threats. It was noted that individuals sent to the ballot drop boxes were occasionally armed. But not one occasion of such had ever resulted in those armed individuals making any statements that could be taken as a threat, nor were they acting in a manner threatening to voters.
As Clear Election USA clearly proved, their group members were there to merely observe. And if that prevented certain unsavory individuals from committing election fraud, all the better.
The group fears that “mules” would be used to stuff the drop boxes with thousands of illegal votes, as they believe happened in 2020. And their fears are not completely unfounded.
In fact, according to the election integrity group True the Vote, about 4.8 million votes were illegally cast in the 2020 general election this way in an effort to subvert the vote in key swing states like Arizona. The hope is that Clean Election USA’s presence at those drop boxes will keep voters honest and much more unlikely to act in a way that might illegally influence the voting process.
Maricopa County’s Sheriff’s Department is also worried about such. And so they have posted officers around their county’s two ballot drop boxes. Additionally, state Attorney General Mark Brnovich has called on citizens and voters to keep an eye out for any suspicious-looking behavior or intimidation at the drop-off locations.
So far, ABC News reported that only 10 cases of such have been found so far, which have been reported to the federal Justice Department by Arizona’s Secretary of State Katie Hobbs.
And with Clean Election USA’s efforts, the hope is that there won’t be many more in the coming days and weeks.