Bulk Mail Voting Is the Main Obstacle to Election Integrity

Bulk Mail Voting Is the Main Obstacle to Election Integrity

By Dr. Thomas Patterson |

The debate over election fraud versus voter suppression is high-stakes and high-intensity. Trump loyalists insist the election was stolen, mechanically rigged, and rife with fraudulent actors. Democrats continue to insist that fraud never happens, an argument easily swatted away by the existence of thousands of documented incidents.

But Democrats have a point in that the problematic behaviors—bulk mail voting, ballot harvesting, and related practices—were permitted by law in most states. That means, according to the “fact checkers,” all reasonable people must agree that there was no fraud.

Trump fought the wrong war at the wrong time. While he was ranting about corrupt voting machines, rogue election workers, and a cascade of assorted allegations, Democrats in the last two elections were cleverly creating election rules intended to generate a permanent majority.

Trump and his supporters were never able to prevail in a court of law. In the end, they were outsmarted and lost the election to a pathetically weak candidate.

Attorney General Bill Barr was an astute, loyal adviser to Trump during the election. Unfortunately, his advice to stop exploring rabbit holes was not heeded.  Yet he would see the traps the Democrats were setting in September 2020.

Bulk mail balloting is not your father’s absentee voting, he explained on CNN. “Instead of requests coming from a specific address, we are now going to mail them to everyone on a voter list, when everyone knows the voter lists are inaccurate.”

“People who should get them don’t get them…and people who get them are not the right people. They are people who have replaced the previous occupant…and sometimes multiple ballots come to the same address with several generations of previous occupants.” That’s no way to run an election, he concluded.

He’s right. For generations, America had voting laws that produced fair, reliable results. The laws required that all voters register beforehand and present a secure ID. All votes were cast confidentially. Absolutely no intimidation or persuasion was allowed in or near a polling station.

Importantly, there was a strict chain of custody to make sure that there could be no tampering and that all legally cast ballots would be counted. Voting was done mostly on site although accommodations were made for those unable to vote in person on election day.

That was the American way of conducting elections. Now all that has changed. Millions of ballots are sent automatically to voters just because they didn’t opt out of receiving one. Nobody knows what happens to them until they are returned.

Helpful party workers can collect them, offer aid with voting, and often leave them anonymously in drop boxes. The notoriously unreliable signature verification often is the only ID required.

Today, this is all perfectly legal. Of course, it’s illegal to vote a ballot not your own, to unduly influence another voter, or to fail to deliver certain ballots. But with bulk mail voting, none of this is detectable.

Once a mail-in ballot is opened and separated from its envelope, any possible proof of fraud is lost, no matter how many audits and investigations are performed. We have a voting system obviously prone to fraud and coercion yet opaque to any misdeeds committed within it.  

Arizona voters, thanks to their legislature, will have a chance this year to close one gaping flaw in our system by approving a requirement of voter ID for bulk mail voters. There is no coherent reason to require ID  at the polls while bulk mail voters get a pass.

Although the media continue to insist that those who support voter ID are “vote suppressors,” Americans smell a rat. According to a Quinnipiac poll, only 60% of voters overall believed the last election to be legitimate.

In the end, it may not matter how much “provable fraud” can be discovered.  So long as we have a slipshod, non-secure system like bulk-mail voting, it will be difficult to convince voters of the integrity of their vote.

In a closely divided country, it is critical that citizens have confidence in elections and the legitimacy of the government. As Bill Barr says, “we are playing with fire.”

Dr. Thomas Patterson, former Chairman of the Goldwater Institute, is a retired emergency physician. He served as an Arizona State senator for 10 years in the 1990s, and as Majority Leader from 93-96. He is the author of Arizona’s original charter schools bill.

Title 42 Stays In Place For Now But Border Still Uncontrolled

Title 42 Stays In Place For Now But Border Still Uncontrolled

By Terri Jo Neff |

The announcement that a federal judge has temporarily blocked President Joe Biden and his administration from lifting a Title 42 public health order at the Mexico border on May 23 was welcomed news to the communities and law enforcement agencies still reeling from the ongoing influx of undocumented migrants which started after Biden was sworn in.

Federal officials admitted to Judge Robert Summerhays with the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana that once Title 42 is fully lifted, the number of border crossings are expected to “increase significantly” to as many as 18,000 migrants each day. As a result, last Friday the judge granted a request by 21 states for a preliminary injunction which forces the White House to comply with various federal rules before making any more changes to Title 42 enforcement.

In March 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) under President Donald Trump invoked Title 42, which is part of the Public Health Services Act of 1944 aimed at preventing the spread of communicable diseases in the country. Title 42 allows federal officials to suspend the right to introduce migrants -including those seeking asylum- by sealing the land borders into the United States and expelling crossers back into Mexico or return them to their home countries.

Biden later loosened Title 42 to no longer apply to unaccompanied children or to certain migrants who can show a “significant law enforcement, officer and public safety, humanitarian, or public health” interest. 

For the month of April 2022, only 42 percent of crossers were expelled under Title 42, according to a report issued by Rep. John Katko of New York. By then, the CDC had announced Title 42 would end May 23, to be replaced by unspecified plans to control COVID-19 in other ways.

Arizona is among the states named as plaintiffs in the lawsuit, which contends the end of Title 42 will bring “much greater numbers of paroled aliens with non-meritorious asylum claims who were induced to enter the United States because of the Termination Order.”

Summerhays was assigned the states’ lawsuit and issued a temporary restraining order against Biden, the CDC, and federal immigration officials to keep Title 42 in place until the legal challenge is complete. 

Part of that challenge involves ensuring the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has a workable a plan ready to implement for border operations once Title 42 is lifted. The Administrative Procedures Act (APA) requires a public notice period, with sufficient time for comment, before the CDC’s Title 42 order can be ended. And there is a requirement that the CDC show its proposed change is not “arbitrary and capricious.”

The lawsuit contends keeping Title 42 in place until an APA-compliant plan is in place will prevent “an imminent, man-made, self-inflicted calamity: the abrupt elimination of the only safety valve preventing this administration’s disastrous border policies from devolving into an unmitigated catastrophe.”

Summerhays was asked to change the temporary order into a permanent injunction, which he considered last week. His May 20 ruling notes the states provided sufficient evidence to support their argument that the CDC’s announced termination of Title 42 will increase community and state costs for healthcare, education, and public safety as a result of “increased border crossings and that, based on the government’s estimates, the increase may be as high as three-fold.”

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich called Summerhays’ ruling “a significant win,” and noted that maintaining Title 42 for now is vital.

“I’m grateful to the court for upholding the rule of law and helping maintain some level of sanity as we continue to battle the Biden-made border crisis,” Brnovich said.

In the meantime, U.S. Border Patrol Chief John Modlin of the Tucson Sector continues to tweet about the never-ending group of undocumented migrants and deadly fentanyl coming across the southwest border.

Modlin announced earlier this month that Tucson Sector agents hosted a binational training for immigration officers assigned to the Instituto Nacional de Migración. The training held at the Nogales Station included first aid and fentanyl exposure. It will enhance the handling of emergencies along the shared border, Modlin noted.

Modlin also recently hosted a delegation from Poland and the Baltic states to discuss  border security best practices. And he shared information about that two large groups of had been encountered by USBP agents near Lukeville.

Those taken into custody were citizens of Brazil, Chile, Cuba, Guatemala, and Peru.

Arizona Democratic Leader: Donald Trump Would’ve Stolen Election If Republican Was Secretary of State

Arizona Democratic Leader: Donald Trump Would’ve Stolen Election If Republican Was Secretary of State

By Corinne Murdock |

Arizona House Minority Leader Reginald Bolding (D-Laveen) claimed Republican secretary of state candidate Mark Finchem would have rigged the 2020 election in favor of former President Donald Trump if he had been in office.

Bolding made the statement during Wednesday’s debate for Arizona’s secretary of state candidates as a response to Arizona Horizon host Ted Simons’ question about preventing politicization of the secretary of state’s office.

“The reality is, is that in 2020 if Mark Finchem was our secretary of state, Donald Trump would’ve stolen the election. How do we know? Because he told us,” said Bolding.

After the debate, Bolding tweeted that voters needed to “move past the 2020 elections” in order to “change the tone” of the upcoming elections. 

Bolding’s remark elicited an incredulous expression from his debate opponent, fellow Democratic candidate and former Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes. 

Simons didn’t respond to Bolding’s accusation. Instead, he addressed a separate question to Fontes about the importance of Democratic voters to select a winning candidate.

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to corinne@azfreenews.com.

Critical Water Infrastructure Projects Get Funded Across Arizona

Critical Water Infrastructure Projects Get Funded Across Arizona

By Terri Jo Neff |

Several critical water infrastructure projects will move forward across Arizona, funded through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, referred to as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill.

Nearly a dozen projects throughout the state will be funded as part of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ 2022 Spend Plan. The $18.5 million in funding was signed into law last November by President Joe Biden, although the authority for the water infrastructure projects in Arizona tracks back to the Water Resources Development Act of 2020 signed by then-President Donald Trump.

The funds are intended for projects to help small, rural, and tribal communities across the state meet their water and wastewater infrastructure needs. Under the authority, federal funds cover 75 percent of a project’s total cost and go towards assisting with design and construction.

The first project to be funded under the authority is already under way—a critical water pipeline for the Pascua Yaqui Tribe. The $578,000 pipeline project will boost water security for the community and support future growth in the area, according to supporters. 

Other projects in Arizona to be funded under the Corps’ 2022 Spend Plan include:

  • $3.5 million for construction of a waterline in the city of Maricopa
  • $3 million for construction of a new wastewater treatment system for the Middle Verde District of the Yavapai-Apache Nation
  • $2.25 million to make wastewater treatment plant improvements in Buckeye
  • $2.25 million to install backup generators for Pima County’s water reclamation facility
  • $2.25 million to install reclaimed water pipeline and rehabilitate existing infiltration gallery at the Queen Creek Restoration Project in Superior
  • $1.5 million to construct the WF Killip Elementary School Regional Flood Detention basin in Flagstaff to mitigate post-fire flooding
  • $1.2 million to continue construction of Flagstaff Downtown Flood Lateral Tunnel to provide flood protection
  • $1.155 million to make improvements to the water filtration treatment plant in Kearny
  • $772,500 for water system improvements in Quartzite

A separate water infrastructure plan being funded through the Corps will provide $65.7 million to complete a flood control project for the Little Colorado River. The project consists of new and reconstructed levees which will protect the community of Winslow and other areas of Navajo County.

The current levee system is in danger of overtopping or failing in a 100-year flood event. This places nearly 1,600 structures—including almost all of the community’s critical public facilities such as hospitals, schools, nursing homes, and utilities—at risk.

In These Times, We Need Our Constitution More Than Ever

In These Times, We Need Our Constitution More Than Ever

By Dr. Thomas Patterson |

These are fraught days for Americans. History is said to be cyclical but there is widespread concern that we are in inexorable decline.

Our leadership role in the world which seemed secure three decades ago is under serious threat. Polls show that confidence and love of country are in decline, especially among the young. Traditional American values like freedom of speech, free-market economics and responsible fiscal policy are openly attacked.

Meanwhile, e pluribus unum is facing replacement by a culture obsessed with racial identity. MLK’s dream of a society where skin color doesn’t determine our judgments of each other is now itself deemed racist.

America, though, is the longest running liberal democracy in history for a reason: our Constitution. Our great freedom document connects us to our roots, the sources of our strength. It can direct us away from hyperpartisanship toward mutual respect and agreement on shared principles – if we respect its authority.

But the Constitution has been repeatedly ignored and abused in our recent history. Many argue it is an 18th-century construct unsuited to governance in the 21st-century. Others claim it should be seen as a “living” document that means whatever someone says it means without regard to its actual content.

Since the Constitution prescribes limits on governmental powers, it particularly vexes Big Government types wishing to centralize power and enlarge their span of control. For example, a century ago President Woodrow Wilson was an early leader of the Progressive movement, which held that modern government should be guided by administrative agency experts.

Wilson thus opposed the separation of powers doctrine. He cautioned against “the error of trying to do too much by vote“, given the ignorance of the common man.

His legacy of disdain for the Constitution is reflected in today’s administrative state, in which unelected bureaucrats make binding rules (laws), direct the enforcement of those rules and adjudicate violations.

FDR later also regarded the Constitution as a problematic document requiring workarounds for him to be successful in establishing the social welfare programs and regulations thought necessary to rescue America from the Great Depression. He was so frustrated by the Supreme Court striking down his unconstitutional power grabs that he infamously tried to expand the court to15 members.

Roosevelt was temporarily rebuffed but eventually was able to secure so much of his agenda that the role of government in Americans’ everyday lives changed dramatically. Safeguards to liberty like enumerated powers and federalism suffered permanent damage.

Recent presidents have taken the constitutionally curious position that they should be permitted to exceed their normal powers when Congress won’t act as they prescribe. Barack Obama, a former constitutional law professor, correctly stated many times that he wasn’t authorized to suspend DACA deportations through executive order. There were “laws on the books“ and “I am not king“, he pointed out.

But he eventually caved, unilaterally granting work permits and legal status to first millions of illegal immigrants who entered as minors, then later to adults (later struck down). The legal fate of DACA is still pending, despite its continuing unconstitutional status.

Joe Biden used the same logic when confronted with the need for extension of the eviction moratorium passed as an emergency pandemic measure by the Trump administration.  Biden acknowledged that the Supreme Court had already ruled that an extension would require congressional approval. But to appease his party’s lefties, he did it anyway, expressly ignoring the Constitution.

Donald Trump was also loathe to let the constitution interfere with what he wanted to do anyway. His most egregious transgression was pressuring Vice President Pence to reject the electoral ballots lawfully submitted by the states in the 2020 presidential election.

Pence, clearly lacking the constitutional authority to do so, refused. Fortunately, unlike previous miscreants, Trump was so thoroughly rebuked that no precedent for similar actions was created.

Part of the reason America is in trouble is because we are not protective of our Constitution, not outraged when it is abused. Judicial nominees, charged with upholding the Constitution, are vetted instead based on their political agenda.

We demean our constitution at our considerable risk. It is our bulwark against the corruption and chaos that plague impoverished nations around the world.

Dr. Thomas Patterson, former Chairman of the Goldwater Institute, is a retired emergency physician. He served as an Arizona State senator for 10 years in the 1990s, and as Majority Leader from 93-96. He is the author of Arizona’s original charter schools bill.