Bill Bryson once wrote, of the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, that in true American fashion, organisers stuffed up royally, but pretended that everything went like a dream. The same could be said for the 2020 presidential election.

2020 brutally exposed an election process that could be generously described as “a dog’s breakfast”. But, is that a bug or a feature? Because such a staggering level of chaos is clearly an opportunity for those with malign intent. The only real question of the 2020 is not whether there was fraud (or at the very least, critical errors), but how much there was.

It certainly seems unlikely that there was a massive, nationwide conspiracy. But there were clearly at least some low-level shenanigans going on. Whether that was enough to swing the election is a harder prospect to prove, although, when so many crucial contests went down to the wire, it’s not unimaginable that just a few boxes of dodgy ballots here and there were enough to do heavy damage.

Whatever the case, the firm believers in a stolen election are hardly going to be reassured by reports coming out of the California recall election.

Some self-identified Republicans claim they arrived at their polling center to cast their ballots in the California recall election only to be told they had “already voted.”

Conspiracy? Or stuff up?

Whatever the case, such ballot box shenanigans in a crucial election like this are worrying.

It’s no exaggeration to say that the California gubernatorial recall could have shaped the rest of Joe Biden’s term. If Gavin Newsom had been outed, the Democrats’ razor thin Congressional majority would be under dire threat. That’s more than enough reason to try and nobble Republican voters.

The problem, yet again, is exacerbated by electronic voting machines.

“At El Camino Real Charter High School in Woodland Hills, some voters say they were told the computers showed them as already having voted, even though they had not,” reported KTLA.

Estelle Bender, 88, said poll workers informed her she and several friends of hers had already voted. She also allegedly witness another man arguing with a poll worker over the same issue.

“What happened today and how shocked are you?” a reporter asked Bender.

“Very. I went to El Camino High School to vote. Got there at 10:30. Gave her this [ballot] and she scanned and said ‘you voted,’ and I said, ‘no, I haven’t,” Bender told KTLA.

“She said this has been happening all morning,” Bender further alleged. “The man next to me was arguing the same thing […] I saw two women walking toward me as I left and I said, ‘don’t be surprised if they tell you’ve already voted, and she said, ‘They’ve already done that. If I voted, how did I vote?”

A glitch might be one thing. But when, anecdotally at least, the “glitch” apparently keeps going one way only, who wouldn’t be suspicious?

According to Bender, the people she knew affected by the issue were “self-identified Republicans,” which gave her cause for suspicion.

If nothing else, issues like this highlight the risk of electronic voting. An electronic vote, it might be said, isn’t worth the paper it’s written on.

In fact, it was good old paper ballots to the rescue.

The Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder’s office said equipment was “replaced” at the polling center and that provisional ballots are a “failsafe option” for these kinds of glitches.”

“The voters who experienced this issue were offered and provided provisional ballots – the failsafe option to ensure no one has turned away from voting,” the statement said.


But, if the paper ballot disagrees with the electronic ballot already allegedly cast by the voter, is the latter discarded?

Such glitches may ultimately not have made a difference to the vote outcome. But these are issues that must still be confronted. At the very least, fraud or not, the fact that one of the oldest, largest and most powerful democracies in the world is decided by such flawed processes, is a scandal in itself.

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California Recall: Vote Fraud Yet Again?

Lushington D. Brady

Punk rock philosopher. Liberalist contrarian. Grumpy old bastard. I grew up in a generational-Labor-voting family. I kept the faith long after the political left had abandoned it. In last decade or...