Go vote today. It is more important than ever that you make the effort.
It is true there aren’t very many exciting races this year on northeast Mississippi ballots.
We have a congressional election in which the incumbent congressman, Republican Trent Kelly, has run no more than a nominal campaign. Kelly clearly believes he has a lock on the election, and he is probably right. I cannot come up with the name of his Democratic opponent and doubt that one in a hundred voters in the First Congressional District could do so.
There are several races for chancery and circuit judge positions in northeast Mississippi and a few, including Court of Appeals judges, running with no opposition at all.
Even with no hot races on the ballot, we must all go to the polls today simply to assert our belief that voting is a sacred right, one in danger of being lost if we do not maintain faith in the ideal of American democracy.
Much has happened in recent years to attack that faith and the attacks seem stronger and sillier than ever.
During the last three decades I have been able to closely watch elections and vote counts in northeast Mississippi. I am in a pretty solid position to declare I don’t believe there have been any significant instances of vote fraud except one. That was in a county just south of Highway 82 which was, until 1992, the personal political fiefdom of a crafty old time “political boss.” The old coot could in fact maneuver the vote in several precincts and did so. It was simple. Some precinct workers, loyal to the boss, would bring their results to his office on the back side of the courthouse instead of directly to the circuit clerk, whose office was just inside the front door and to the left. The old boss would sort through the ballots and discard some before they went to the circuit clerk. However, he died, and elections in that county have been pretty clean ever since he went to whatever circle of hell such sinners are consigned.
In the counties of northeast Mississippi, I do not know of a single instance in the last 22 years of any proven accusations of voter fraud.
There was one instance in one northeast Mississippi county in which a deputy in one circuit clerk’s office allowed a voter to register at the wrong address. The office of then Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood jumped on the case. The woman admitted her guilt and was fired.
There was never any indication that the foolish act of that deputy clerk had any impact on the outcome of any election. The circuit clerk in that particular county was not aware of the phony registration trick until long after the fact. I personally know that circuit clerk well. Here and now, I vouch for her absolute integrity. I know the other circuit clerks of northeast Mississippi less well. However, in 22 years as a news reporter in northeast Mississippi, I am aware of not a single instance of “vote fraud.”
When you vote today in northeast Mississippi your vote will count. It will be counted fairly and competently. No elected official or anyone else will do anything to intimidate you or invalidate your properly cast ballot.
During the last six years, Americans everywhere have been submerged by a flood of “information,” much of it simply out-right lies, about “voting fraud.”
Donald John Trump hollered “voting fraud” often in his 2016 campaign for the White House. Hillary Clinton beat him by 2.8-million votes in that year’s popular vote. However, Trump carried the big states and beat Clinton soundly in the electoral vote count. After that Trump didn’t care much about “voter fraud” for awhile. He had won his right to strut for four years on the world’s best-lit stage.
Then in 2020 Joe Biden beat Trump in the popular vote by more than twice as much as Clinton did in 2016.
Biden got 7,059,526 more popular votes than Trump in 2020. This time, the electoral vote lottery fell Biden’s way. He not only swamped Trump in the popular vote, Biden had also carried enough of the big states and won the presidency.
For two years now we’ve been hearing Trump, his disciples and flunkies holler “voter fraud.” His team of lawyers led by Rudolph Guiliani filed a host of federal lawsuits. They were not able to win a single case, even in front of Republican judges. Trump’s own U.S. Supreme Court threw out the cases that reached that far.
Was there some voter fraud in 2020? Probably some. There’s a dab of fraud and some errors are made in every big election. However, all of the cases combined wouldn’t have represented enough votes to turn the election in Trump’s favor.
On Tuesday, December 1, 2020, Trump called his own attorney-general, William P. Barr, on the carpet. Trump was angry about Barr’s statement to a reporter a few days earlier that the Department of Justice had already investigated accusations of fraud. But, said Barr, “To date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that would have affected the outcome in the election.”
Trump exploded. This was his own attorney-general, a distinguished Republican lawyer who had served an earlier Republican president as AG before being drafted from retirement back into the job when Trump needed a really big gun.
Barr verbally offered his resignation. Trump accepted it, yelling and banging on the table. Barr left the DOJ, but we’re still hearing the same empty and unproven charges of voter fraud two years later.
Enough of this noise!
Your vote will be counted fairly and honestly today in northeast Mississippi.
Strike a blow of faith in American democracy and go vote!