A solution in search of a problem

“The band is just fantastic that is really what I think. Oh by the way, which one’s Pink?”– Roger Waters

The Texas legislature has revealed it’s legislative agenda. The agenda is a window into the soul of what legislatures are most concerned about. You would normally think they would want to establish new regulations for the energy grid. Maybe they would want to look at how COVID has impacted the state and how its long-term ramifications could impact the state. You’d be wrong.

Maybe they would look at the rash of mass shooter events that have occurred throughout the country and in the state and rethink some of their open carry laws that promote this kind of activity. At the very least maybe we could establish universal background checks before Jethro is allowed to lug his AR-15 into the Starbuck’s and Chili’s. Again, you’d be wrong.

If you had voter fraud on your legislative bingo card you’d be the winner. This was following an election that saw two documented cases of voter fraud state wide. However, don’t take my word for it. The Heritage Foundation has documented voter fraud cases coming up to the 2020 election. So, here are the breakdowns from the last several major election cycles in the state of Texas.

2018– 8

2016– 2

2014– 4

2012– 8

2010– 11

The Heritage Foundation is not exactly a liberal stronghold. Most observers consider them to be one of the more conservative thinktanks in the country. So, let’s do some quick math. If we total the number of cases of fraud in the last decade (counting the two from this year) we get 35 cases.

Texas currently has close to 30 million residents. If we assume that half of eligible voters vote during presidential elections (2012, 2016, 2020) and that a third vote during the off-year elections (2010, 2014, 2018) then we’d surmise that about 20 million voted in the presidential elections and maybe 10 million voted in the off year elections. So, that’s roughly 35 fraud cases in 30,000,000 votes casts.

For those that have a quick calculator at the ready, that means that fraud impacted .000116 percent of the ballot. Stop the presses and lets get to work people. Voter fraud is threatening to ruin this fragile experiment called democracy. At that rate, voter fraud had exactly zero impact on any of the races. I didn’t include the off-year elections when you had local races like mayor, city councils, and school boards. We might have had closer to 40,0000,000 ballots cast since 2010 and maybe a similar percentage of cases.

In other words, this isn’t to say that we shouldn’t be vigilant to combat fraud. It also doesn’t mean that maybe more people committed fraud and got away with it. What it means is that the measure you go to to combat the problem needs to be commensurate with the threat. The threat is ridiculously low. So, why are we busting out the big guns to secure our elections when they are overwhelmingly secure in the first place?

Well, the answer is that when you have difficulty with voters choosing your candidate then we want the candidates to choose their own voters. It should be telling that the Texas GOP is overwhelmingly questioning the validity of elections throughout the country and yet they said that the elections in Texas were perfectly valid. Is it because rates of fraud were so much lower in Texas? I may be spitballing here, but I think it might have more to do with the fact that the GOP dominated elections in Texas yet again.

However, let’s take their assertions at face value. Texas ran a clean, secure, and accurate election in the 2020 cycle. If that’s the case then why are we rolling back early voting, mail in voting, and drive by voting that had become so popular in the last election? How does that make our voting more secure? Stronger ID laws could certainly do that. Maybe we could go from .000116 percent to .000058 percent. In exchange for that largesse we get to disenfranchise thousands of Texans. The fact that the majority of those Texans are likely Democratic voters is a happy accident I’m sure.

This is simple. The GOP know that their days are numbered. Their days are numbered unless they can rig the system to keep themselves in office. Normally I would suggest coming up with a message that is more palatable to more voters, but it appears as if the GOP is incapable of doing that. If you can’t guarantee that you are the best choice for voters you guarantee that you get only the voters you want.

Author: sbarzilla

I have written three books about baseball including The Hall of Fame Index. I also write for thefantatasyfix.com. You can follow me on twitter @sbarzilla.

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