Modern countries tend to take the democratic process of voting seriously. But since we’re not doing that in America any longer, the Democrat Party in Congress is putting on a full-court press to instate universal mail-in voting in all future elections.
HR 1 – the first order of business in the recently sworn-in House of Representatives – would do that and would also make the shabby practice of “ballot harvesting” legal in all 50 states. As a certain former president noted more than one time: Serious, healthy and functional democracies don’t do things like this to their votes.
In fact, as soon as Donald Trump mentioned that most of the countries in Europe have banned mail-in voting, the media jumped in to claim he was lying. It was another baseless claim from Orange Hitler. “Without evidence!”
A really fun pastime of the modern age – at least for a few more days until they ban it – is that you can jump on the internet box and look things up for yourself, if you are as skeptical and cantankerous as me.
So, how do countries in Europe approach mail-in voting? With a sharp stick and a pitchfork, according to the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance.
Out of the 44 countries in Europe, only six allow mail-in voting: Iceland, the UK, Germany, Switzerland, Poland and Luxemburg. None of those countries have a policy like what we should probably refer to as the “Pennsylvania clause” from now on. If a ballot is delivered by the postal service even one second after the polls close on election day, tough luck. It’s not a valid ballot and is discarded.
Eight European countries allow limited mail-in voting for certain people, but only in extremely limited circumstances. The process is delightfully cumbersome and is approached with a high level of skepticism and mistrust. For example, if your doctor sends a letter stating that you should receive a mail-in ballot because you don’t have legs and can’t get yourself to a polling station, they’ll come check with your doctor. Then they’ll stop by your house to make sure you really don’t have legs. Oh, and you’d better have a valid photo ID, because otherwise you’re not getting a ballot.
The remaining 30 countries in Europe have instituted total bans on mail-in voting. And it’s not just the more modernized countries like Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Belgium that have banned mail-in voting. Even the poor, underdeveloped, backwater countries like Serbia, Azerbaijan and France have banned mail-in voting. They don’t trust mail-in voting at all. They figure that if voting is important to a citizen, that citizen should get their butt to a polling station on election day to cast a ballot in person.
What about ballot harvesting? That’s such an above-board, not-at-all-prone-to-fraud voting practice that they must allow it everywhere in Europe, right? Actually, no.
13 countries in Europe have banned ballot harvesting. The other 31 countries allow the practice, but in every single case, the process is strictly regimented. In HR 1, the Democrats want to allow ballot harvesting to be conducted just like in California: Some goof can walk into a nursing home in that state with a stack of ballots and walk out with 150 votes for Joe Biden without any oversight or verification of signature.
But in the European countries that allow ballot harvesting, the process is carried out by teams of election workers to minimize chances of fraud. A team will take a stack of ballots into a nursing home – but once the ballot is filled out, the workers are not allowed to touch it. The ballots are placed in a sealed ballot box by the voters and the box has to remain sealed until counting time on election day.
Oh, but mail-in voting is totally safe and not at all prone to fraud here in America, right? Plus, it’s so convenient that it increases participation!
Yeah. That’s why in all six of the sketchy swing states in the 2020 election, they had more ballots than registered voters. Very convenient, indeed.
We shouldn’t get too worked up about HR 1, however. If it ends up being passed into law, then those will be the new rules that we’ll have to adjust to. If Democrats wreck the system to the point where the only way to win is by cheating, people on the right will just have to figure out how to cheat harder than the Dems. Are you sure you want to play it that way, Democrats?