Inspection- Count the Provisional Ballots

by Ken Carman

 Since we are going to do this, why not count the provisional ballots?
Inspection Please don’t just dump them in with the other ballots. It would be best for the nation if we find out the difference between what was counted and what wasn’t. It also would be important to find out why those voters were rejected for regular ballots. Did they have no ID, insufficient ID for whatever the local standard was? What is the “local standard?”
 I understand the job is big enough as it is, but for the good of the nation we need to find out just what the cost of rejecting voters for regular ballots is. And, of course, if they were counted, we need to know that too.
 Giving voters provisional ballots is odd, at best. If the claim is the voter isn’t qualified to vote, or hasn’t proven they are qualified to vote, then they simply shouldn’t be allowed to vote. Instead they should be given a piece of paper showing why they weren’t allowed to vote and be allowed to challenge that in court. It could make a lot of money for lawyers, yeah, maybe that’s one downside.
  The upside is it might be a check on things like Crosscheck. Rejecting voters because they have a name similar to a voter in another state should be exposed and, to be honest, whomever insisted they be kicked off the rolls should have to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, this is the same voter who voted in Florida, or Ohio. If the claim is they had insufficient ID, then what ID did they produce, if any? What is the standard and is it equally applied across all precincts? How does it compare to other states?
 Those who do the rejecting should have to prove, in court, this isn’t unequal access. If it’s good enough for George W. Bush it’s damn well good enough for John or Mary Q who tries to vote and has the wrong “flavor” ID, when John or Mary P. sail through elsewhere with the same ID, or worse.
 If the provisional ballots were to be dumped in with regular ballots that would be unfair, I suspect. Despite claims they are counted if the election is close, I suspect they are never counted. And if they are counted, who makes that decision? How “unequal” is the process of making that decision? How partisan-ly convenient?
 If they were destroyed we need to know that too: by whom and why.
 I understand. This effort is expensive. But if provisional ballots are ignored you might as well stop right now, in my opinion. As both campaigns have said: Stein and Clinton, it’s unlikely this will change anything, and I agree. But perhaps if we include provisional ballots, as I have suggested, we can at least assure voters their time hasn’t been wasted: going to the polls, taking time off for work if they must. If the vote is sacred then their effort is sacred too. Or we can show there’s a good reason why their provisional wasn’t counted and they damn well better have some ID with them. Or we can show they may have been part of a scam intended to provide unequal access. Or we can show their votes have, essentially, just been thrown away.
 Doesn’t an election where the “losing” candidate received over 2 million more votes qualify as close enough to count provisional ballots, even if just to show to the whole nation, and those who attempted to vote, what the difference might be? Or is the reason not to do this to make sure we don’t know the difference because it might anger these voters and anger a nation? Maybe to protect those who want to have the right to deny the vote to others without proving due cause?
 Then we need to demand to know why voters are rejected, demand the lists, see how, and why, this decision to list them was made. There are those who believe it a scam to people likely to vote in politically incorrect ways from voting. Shouldn’t we at least try to start clearing this up?
 Whatever the reason: we need to know. Left as is means maybe even millions cast some form of ballot that’s worthless: a placebo ballot essentially. This could be a form election fraud that would do on a far more massive scale what it was claimed Jack Kennedy’s peeps did: toss actual physical ballots into one of the great lakes. Or we can verify the claim a lot of people are trying to vote shouldn’t even be trying.
 Shouldn’t those who have taken upon themselves the “right” to deny the vote have to prove their reasons are sound and appropriate? If not shouldn’t that at least be some part of these recounts? To quote the reasoning used so often to justify actions, “If they have done nothing wrong they should have nothing to fear.”

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Inspection is a column that has been written by Ken Carman for over 40 years. Inspection is dedicated to looking at odd angles, under all the rocks, and into the unseen cracks and crevasses that constitute the issues and philosophical constructs of our day: places few think, or even dare, to venture.
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