Marvin L. Covault, Lt Gen US Army, retired, is the author of VISION TO EXECUTION, a book for leaders, and a new book May 2022, FIX THE SYSTEMS, TRANSFORM AMERICA as well as the author of a blog WeThePeopleSpeaking.com.
He hits every broken part of our election system. The following is an excerpt from his article, WHAT’S NEXT REPUBLICANS? (PART 2) By: Marvin L. Covault, Lt Gen US Army retired, November 16, 2022
(For Covault's other articles on We The People Speaking, see here.
(Your NCEIT team is already in the process of addressing each of these issues with the NC Legislature. Your 1000+ affidavits are our evidence. We also have a great chance during this long session to get back our voter id. Stay tuned for dates for legislative action days schedule. Thanks to all of you for working so hard during the primary and election day to collect the evidence we need to make it Easy to Vote and Hard to Cheat! JB)
Let’s begin by defining the problem; here are ten reasons why the election system is broken and must get fixed: ONE: Voter registration rolls are inaccurate. For example, in 2017 Judicial Watch brought suit against California and Los Angeles County, alleging that LA County has more voter registrations on its voter rolls than it has citizens who are old enough to vote. LA County has over 10 million residents, more than the population of 41 of the 50 states. Additionally, 11 of California’s 58 counties have registration rates exceeding 100% of the age-eligible citizenry. January 2019 California in general and LA County, in particular, were ordered to begin the process of removing 1.5 million invalid registrants. Whether deliberate or not, terribly inaccurate voter registration rolls across America provide the basis for fraudulent election results. TWO: Mail-in ballots provide opportunities for fraud: In some states blank ballots, with no security identifier, (easily reproduced on any copy machine) are automatically sent out to everyone on the voter registration rolls. That could result in millions of ballots out there for ineligible voters, dead people, for example, that could be filled out by anyone. Signature verification of returned ballots is so difficult that some states simply don’t require verification. Additionally, the volume of mail-in ballots in some areas is so high, election staff may have as little as five seconds to check a signature. If someone mailed in multiple ballots, there is virtually no way to catch the voter. THREE: Ballot harvesting provides opportunities for fraud: Ballot harvesting is the collection of mail-in and absentee ballots from voters by a third party who then, supposedly, delivers them to election officials. The term vote harvesting was essentially unknown to the general public until the North Carolina State Board of Elections overturned the results of the 2018 election for the Ninth Congressional District due to illegal vote harvesting; what the board called, quote, “a coordinated, unlawful and substantially resourced absentee ballot scheme.” A Florida grand jury summarized the problem as follows: quote, “once that ballot is out of the hands of the elector, we have no idea what happens to it. The possibilities are numerous and scary.” FOUR: Fraud by election officials: This happens when ballots are manipulated by officials administering the election, such as tossing out ballots. FIVE: Chain of custody: In so many ways voters lose control of their ballot; ballot harvesting is a prime example. SIX: Chaotic behind-the-scenes ballot counting: During every election, we see videos of counting rooms with large numbers of election workers milling around and tables stacked with hundreds or thousands of ballots. SEVEN: The movement towards non-citizens voting: The New York City Council, in December 2021, passed an ordinance allowing over 800,000 noncitizens to vote in city elections, declaring, quote, “New York City must be seen as a shining example for other progressive cities to follow.” EIGHT: Uncontrolled so-called “dark” campaign spending and billionaire involvement: While the Federal Election Commission is authorized to enforce the limits and prohibitions on contributions, they can't accomplish that mission given that current campaign finance laws, which in some cases authorize “unlimited” and “undisclosed” terminology. NINE: Only one day for in-person voting: Why are we so stupid as to believe one of the most important functions of our cherished republic has to be a hurry-up affair during one workday? TEN: VOTER APATHY: In the 2016 election, an estimated 100 million eligible voters did not vote. In the 2020 election, a record number of Americans voted but still an estimated 80 million, one-third of all eligible voters did not vote. Given the above list of ten sub-systems, it is obvious to the casual observer, we need to fix a terribly broken election system. Americans want election reform. This was confirmed by a July 2021 poll conducted by the Republican National Committee with 800 registered voters (31% Democrats, 29% Republicans, 31% Independents): 80% agree Voter ID is a key security measure. 87% were against ballot harvesting. 77% rejected the Democrat claim that Voter ID is racist. 78% agreed with voter signature verification and chain of custody controls. 89% agreed that voter rolls need to be cleaned up. 88% believe states should not send mail-in ballots to the general public and non-citizens. Can election reform become a reality before we have an election meltdown that tears this nation apart? Yes, it can be accomplished with a no-more-than 20-page federal law. It needs to be no more than twenty pages so that newspapers will publish it, whereby all Americans can read it and support it. The law needs to be very specific in its requirements so opponents cannot distort the intent or meaning. ELECTION REFORM BEGINS WITH A REQUIREMENT FOR VOTER ID: Here is what we know will happen first. The president, VP, and right-on down-the-line Democrats will immediately accuse anyone who believes in voter ID of being a racist and that voter ID is voter suppression. My response to that is a question, Mr. President am I to believe you are saying that adult Black Americans are incapable of going to the DMV and getting an ID? Precedent for personal IDs: In 2005 Congress passed the “Real ID Act” establishing minimum security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards. Implantation was to have been in October 2020 but was Covid-extended to 3 May 2023. Under the law applicants applying for a Real ID must prove their birth date, birthplace, citizenship, legal status, Social Security number, and residence documentation. Without a Real ID, Americans will be denied access to TSA at any airport. The point to be made here is this; is there a movement to oppose the Real ID law? Have you heard one single dissenting voice in the mainstream media concerning the Real ID requirement? Is anyone calling it racist? No, because there is no opposition. Ask yourself this question; do I know any adult U.S. citizen who does not have a valid ID? I thought so, you can’t think of one, and neither can I. So why is this particular ID requirement racist voter suppression? It makes absolutely no sense. The reality is, a Voter ID Card system will solve most of the ten election problems and it will be self-policing. A Voter ID Card law intends to positively identify a voter at a voting site with a current photo, a valid state Voter ID number, a current address, and a history of voter activity. Under this federal law, everyone who is eligible to vote must have a Voter ID Card to perform in-person voting or to apply for an absentee ballot, the only two voting methods that will be authorized. The Voter ID Card will be obtained from a state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) facility and it will expire simultaneously with the expiration of a driver’s license. Both can be renewed at the same time. The Voter ID Card will be the same size and quality as today’s Real ID. the Voter ID Card will present a photo, full name, date of birth, address, sex, eye color, height, hair color, expiration date and, most importantly, an individual Voter ID 10-digit number beginning with the two-letter state abbreviation such as NC-456-789-3322. To obtain a Voter ID Card, you must be 18 years of age and present the following documents: a valid passport or birth certificate proving identity and date of birth. One document confirming full name and social security number. Two documents with a current physical address prove state residency. The state DMV will immediately provide the state election headquarters with all Voter ID Card data. The important point here; THAT LIST WILL BECOME THE STATES’ VOTER REGISTRATION ROLL. This immediately solves the first election fraud problem of ineligible voters on the voter registration rolls. When a voter presents their Voter ID Card at the voting site, the administrative assistant will swipe the Voter ID Card and ascertain if that particular Voter ID Card number has already been used during the current election period. if not, the assistant will print out an individual ballot that has the voter’s full name, address, and Voter ID Card number printed on the ballot. In the presence of the voting assistant, the voter will sign the ballot acknowledging that the data is correct. Fraudulently signing a ballot will be a federal offense. With Voter ID Cards, every ballot instantly becomes individualized with the voter’s name and number. This prevents ballot stuffing, voter impersonation, and fraud by election officials. Once the voter has filled out the ballot and it has been read by the vote-tabulating machine, any subsequent ballots presented with that Voter ID number will be automatically rejected. Additionally, any ballot presented without or with a fraudulent ID number will be rejected. The Voter ID Card system will also be self-policing. That is, when a Voter ID Card hits the expiration date the software will automatically delete that Voter ID name and number from the system. Furthermore, when a voter gets a new card or renews an expired one, the system will automatically add the voter to the registration rolls. The result will be that we will no longer have dead people voting or 1.5 million ineligible voters registered to vote in LA County. Ballot stuffing means casting illegal votes or submitting more than one ballot per voter. That cannot be done with voter ID because every ballot must have a voter ID number on it and that number can only be used once during an election cycle. Voter registration fraud involves filling out and submitting a voter registration card for a fictional person, or filling out a voter registration card with the name of a real person but without that person's consent and forging his or her signature on the card. None of that can happen with the voter ID card system in place because of the voter identification requirements at the DMV site. Voter impersonation occurs when a person claims to be someone else when casting a vote. The voter ID card prevents all of that activity. Fraud by election officials happens when officials administering the election are tossing out ballots or casting ballots in voters' names. The system will not accept ballots without a valid number and the system will only accept that number once. Opponents of voter ID call it “voter suppression and racist”, a ridiculous, unintelligent, slanderous charge. Their scenario is that perhaps some elderly, single lady living alone in the north Georgia mountains will have no opportunity to get a voter ID card. That is a doubtful assumption but even if true, voter ID is for the greater good of the most people. Let me now comment on election day. Why are we so stupid as to believe one of the most important functions of our cherished republic has to be a hurry-up affair during one WORK-DAY? And we wonder why one out of three eligible voters fail to cast a ballot. There is an easy fix, make the election a weekend happening. The Constitution gives the States and Congress the authority to, “set the time and place of elections.” Begin voting on the first Saturday in November from 8 until 7 o’clock. Continue on Sunday, 10 until 7. The majority of voters do not work on weekends. Top this off with a Monday national election-day holiday every even-numbered year. Give everyone ample opportunity to participate, eliminate long waiting lines, and take away most apathetic lame excuses for not voting. Make it difficult for citizens not to vote. IN-PERSON VOTING AND ABSENTEE BALLOTS: This federal law intends that the maximum number of registered voters will physically go to a local polling site, record their vote privately on a paper copy and observe the ballot being inserted into the electronic counting terminal. The only alternative voting procedure is to request an absentee ballot from where they are registered to vote. Mail-in voting and ballot harvesting are prohibited. Furthermore, the specific voting procedures described below intend to ensure transparency of the process, accountability by all election personnel, and voter faith that the process is error-free. A citizen may be registered in only one location. Multiple registrations is a federal offense and punishable by a $25,000 fine for each occurrence. During presidential elections voters will receive two ballots; one for president and vice president only and one for federal congressional offices, and state and local candidates. Every election day, we inevitably see videos of the back-room activities at voting sites and it looks chaotic with multiple tables stacked with ballots, people milling around, and a total lack of security. The object must be to improve efficiency and security. Personnel working the in-person voting sites should be organized as follows: all of the work will be accomplished by teams. each team will consist of a person affiliated with each of the major political parties plus an observer. Executive team: This team will oversee all operations during each voting day and ensure that every procedure prescribed in the law is being adhered to. An executive team member must secure the voting facility after the last departing election worker. Administrative team: they are responsible for in-processing all voters and getting them to a voting booth. Counting teams: They are responsible for a backup system of manually counting all in-person and absentee presidential ballots. After a ballot has been read by machine the voter will then hand the ballot to a counting team member. That ballot will be manually numbered from 1 through the total number of ballots that will fit in a storage box; let’s say for example 200. Additionally, the counting team will keep a manual count of how many votes each candidate received; for example, when the box is full the counting team will agree that it was 115 votes for candidate A and 85 for candidate B. When ballot number 200 goes in the box it will immediately be sealed with permanent tape with the total for each candidate recorded on the box exterior. That box will immediately be turned over to the Accounting Team. That manual backup counting process can be accomplished in just a few seconds with a 100% chain of custody and no stacks of unattended ballots on tables in the election center. Accounting team: they will verify the count of each box of ballots, secure the counted ballots in a secure storage room and maintain an up-to-the-minute total presidential vote count. ABSENTEE VOTER'S ACTIONS. Absentee voters must fill out and mail the federally mandated standard voter registration and absentee ballot request to the voter registration office where they are registered to vote. That request will require the voter to specify the reason they cannot be on hand to vote locally, such as: ü Being unable to get to the polling place due to illness, injury, or disability. ü Being on business travel or vacation outside of the county or area of residence on election days. ü Being a student at an out-of-state college or university. ü Military personnel stationed out of state or overseas. If this is accomplished by mail, the voter is responsible for mailing the absentee ballot request no later than September 15th. Voter registration offices are responsible for mailing the return absentee ballot no later than October 5th. Absentee voters must mail in their completed ballot no later than October 20th. Counting teams will begin counting absentee ballots on 25 October using the same procedures described above for in-person voting. Voters who determine they will be unavailable to vote in person due to illness, unprogrammed travel, etc. after the 15 September mail-in request date, may get an absentee ballot in person at their regular voting location up to within 24 hours before the beginning of in-person voting and turn in the completed ballot before in-person voting ends. All election results will be released simultaneously across the nation beginning at noon, eastern standard time, on Tuesday, the day following the election close. Any release of voting results by anyone at any time before this is a federal offense and will be immediately investigated by the FBI. Races that end with competing candidates’ vote count within one-half of one percent of each other will be recounted. My conclusions and final thoughts: What is recommended here is a load of changes to the election system. But, to me, that simply explains what a mess the election system is now and how badly it needs to be cleaned up. I am a states-rights advocate; I am against big government with big controlling regulations. But I do not believe we can equivocate on foundational issues, such as free speech and free and lawful elections, that have been the hallmark of this great republic for over 200 years. For the electorate to have confidence in the system, this nation needs one set of common-sense rules for elections that apply to every state. Finally, it is important to note that in 2021 the democrat-controlled House of Representatives and Senate set forward election reform bills, HR-1, and S-1. Fortunately, neither bill came to a vote. The bills were about 800 pages in length and generally would have mandated into law most of the elements discussed above that currently have the potential for fraudulent results. When drafted and presented to the House of Representatives for consideration and ultimately for a vote, this Election Reform Bill will, in my estimation, be about twenty pages in length. Author’s note. The next proposed Speaker presentation to America outlining the legislative agenda for the 118th Congress will soon appear entitled, WHAT’S NEXT REPUBLICANS? (PART 3) And again, if any of you agree with what I have proposed in PART 2, and if you have contact with any movers-and-shakers in Washington, please provide them a copy. Thank you. Marv Marvin L. Covault, Lt Gen US Army, retired, is the author of VISION TO EXECUTION, a book for leaders, and a new book May 2022, FIX THE SYSTEMS, TRANSFORM AMERICA as well as the author of a blog WeThePeopleSpeaking.com.