Investigations begin with questions, not answers. It’s time we start asking the questions that will lead us to the truth about the 2020 presidential election.
There’s plenty of metaphorical “blood in the street” to indicate that something was amiss — rampant lawlessness, procedural improprieties, and generally sketchy behavior by government officials that collectively suggests fraud on a staggering scale. We know that the integrity of our election was compromised; now we just need to figure out who perpetrated this assault on our democracy and how.
Secretaries of state and election administrators in key swing states such as Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Michigan issued guidance that directly defies state laws designed to ensure ballot security. Without statutory authority, these officials unilaterally eliminated photo ID requirements for absentee ballots, gave private entities unprecedented access to state voter rolls, instructed local election clerks to correct flawed mail-in ballots, and changed signature-matching procedures in ways that opened the door to fraud.
They justified these unlawful decisions as ways of encouraging more people to vote or preventing the spread of COVID, but such judgments were not theirs to make — and they knew it. Why were they so determined to circumvent the law?
Local election officials also accepted unprecedented infusions of private money from a leftist organization funded by $350 million from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. That money came with “clawback” provisions requiring the recipients to conduct elections according to strict terms dictated by Zuckerberg. In some states, such as Wisconsin and Georgia, simply accepting the money was against the law. In all cases, the grant agreements gave private actors authority that legally belongs to state legislatures. Why did these officials seek out and accept what amounted to illegal bribes?
The Zuckerberg-funded grants paid for ballot drop boxes, which were supposed to be secured with video surveillance and rigid procedures to ensure chain-of-custody would not be broken. Who had the keys to those boxes, and when were the boxes emptied? Who drove the trucks that delivered the ballots from those boxes to counting centers? Did they make any stops in between?
There should be video footage of both the drop boxes and the delivery of the ballots to counting centers. We know that some drop box ballots were delivered in the early morning of November 4, many hours after polls closed and the boxes were supposed to be emptied. If election workers were late to empty the boxes, the video footage would allow us to conclusively discern whether any late ballots were deposited before the boxes were emptied. If delivery trucks made unauthorized stops between collecting the contents of the drop boxes and arriving at the counting centers, then video footage of the late-arriving trucks would allow us to identify exactly who was driving them.
Unfortunately, we’ve seen no such footage. Nobody has even promised to show us the footage. But we, the American people, have every right to see that footage, which would go a long way toward answering our legitimate questions about the conduct of this election.
Why has there been so much secrecy and furtiveness? What were election officials trying to hide?
Nearly all Republicans — and many Democrats — believe the election was stolen, or at least that very serious questions pertaining to election integrity remain unanswered. That may amount to almost 100 million Americans. There is nothing more fundamental to a democratic republic like the U.S. than election integrity. Unlike monarchies, which derive their power from “divine right,” or totalitarian regimes, which derive their power by sheer force and oppression (and often rigged elections), our government derives its power from “the consent of the governed.” Without election integrity there is no such consent. And that consent is not obtained because the clock is run out, a plaintiff does not have standing, the recount does not include signature checks, or some other excuse. The evidence, charges, and questions must be addressed on the merits.
The American people have a right to know what happened at every stage in our elections. Until the powers-that-be provide satisfactory answers to fundamental questions and explain the many irregularities that plagued the recent presidential election, we cannot consider the process free or fair.
Jason D. Meister is a political strategist and an advisory board member of Donald J. Trump for President Inc. Mr. Meister regularly appears on Fox News, Fox Business, BBC, WSJ Live, One America News, and other media channels.