Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Election Integrity

Forty years ago a photographer friend of mine used to use his vacations to travel abroad and capture images of exotic or fascinating places. One year he went to a country in South America, it may have been Uruguay--and while there a national election took place. 

When he returned and shared his photos, the ones he took on election day were especially interesting. When you voted, you were required to dip your thumb into a jar of ink so that you were "marked" as having voted. My friend showed photos of smiling people holding up their black thumbs.

What I seem to recall is that voting there was compulsory, so failure to vote meant you did not get tagged with the ink. This also may have served to help ensure no one voted twice. (In theory, you could cut off that thumb and vote again, but then again, that's a pretty extreme method of cheating.

These past two years a lot of noise has been generated by the media regarding the lack of confidence in our election integrity. 

Cheating and ballot box stuffing is nothing new. Read Theodore White's The Making of a President, 1960. Mayor Daley helped JFK win Illinois by cheating. The difference between Trump and Nixon is how they responded to it. When Nixon called JFK in the middle of the night to concede, he let JFK know that he knew it was stolen, but for the sake of the nation he was not going to press it. He learned that he would have to win by a larger margin next time.

The cheating was not widespread, but it was real. 

Ironically, even though much has been made of Trump's efforts to deny the results in 2020, the Democrats did the same in 2016, as this NBC News story points out

When Trump won in 2016, busloads of people went to Trump Tower in NYC to protest, with signs that had been mass-produced in advance. (Eyeroll here.) I'm a little anxious for what we may see tonight.

My prayer is that the we tone down the rhetoric and find a way to recapture civility. 

Feel free to comment.


Richard Scott said...

(1) Worth noting that Nixon tried getting Sam Giancana to rig the election, and the only reason Giancana refused is because JFK asked him first.
(2) Cut the "both siderism" crap. 2016 Democrats did not storm the Capitol, and they did not blame Italian space satellites doing the will of Hugo Chavez. Certainly no one in power did, unlike elected "leaders" in Congress who continue to spread the Big Lie.

Ed Newman said...

Thanks for reading and leaving a comment.
re: (1) I did not recall that.
re: (2) I'm a cynic about the political machinations on both sides. Making the Blue and Red into a black and white tale of bad guys and good guys doesn't line up with how I see things.
I thought the NBC story interesting because it came from a mainstream source and not a Right-wing podcast. fwiw

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