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OPINION

Why Americans Mistrust Election Results More Than the Citizens of Any Other Democracy

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

Last week, 27 European nations voted for their representatives in the European Parliament.

If you were aware of this, did you happen to notice that there were no allegations of cheating in any European country? If you are on the left, you might respond that there were no such allegations because the right did better than the left, and it's the right that makes these allegations.

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But that response has little merit. For one thing, there were no such allegations, let alone demonstrations, during all the years left-wing parties won European Parliamentary elections or national elections. For another, in America, it is not only the right that has charged election fraud: Hillary Clinton, for example, still claims the 2016 election was stolen from her.

The fact is that, among democracies, America is essentially alone in having nearly half its population mistrust election results. So, either America is cursed with a paranoid population, or there are valid reasons for Americans to mistrust their elections' results.

There is no question it is the latter. America is unique among democracies in having half its people mistrust election results because America is unique among democracies in the way it conducts its elections.

America is almost alone among democracies in not demanding that voters provide any identification when they vote. For some reason, the American left vehemently opposes voter ID. It claims voter ID is racist and that those who favor it are engaged in "voter suppression." This is prima facie absurd: Are airports racist for demanding passenger identification? Does passenger ID result in "passenger suppression"? The most plausible reason the left opposes voter ID is to enable some degree of voter fraud. If that is not the reason, isn't it enormously irresponsible to cultivate doubts about election integrity among half its country's citizens -- for no valid reason? Moreover, in no other country does its left oppose voter ID.

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America is almost alone among democratic countries in not requiring paper ballots. As of 2023, only Brazil counts all its ballots in national elections through electronic voting. According to Pew Research Center, votes are cast by manually marking paper ballots in 209 of the 227 countries. In France, as reported by the Associated Press, voters "use the same system that's been used for generations: paper ballots that are cast in person and counted by hand." In 2009, Germany's Federal Constitutional Court ruled that voting machines could no longer be used. In 2017, the Dutch government announced that all ballots in the 2017 general election would be counted by hand.

Moreover, among those countries that use electronic voting, only in America are the source codes of the voting machines kept secret. Three companies -- Dominion, Election Systems & Software, and Hart InterCivic -- control about 90% of the U.S. voting technology market. Each is privately held, and each is committed to keeping its source code from becoming fully public. Wherever else in the world electronic voting is allowed, the source codes are available to all political parties.

America is almost alone among democratic countries in not confining voting to one day. All through American history, Americans voted on Election Day (unless they had previously requested an absentee ballot). The left has obliterated Election Day; we now have Election Month.

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Various American states are alone among democratic countries in mailing ballots to all their citizens -- that is, even to those who never requested a ballot be sent to them.

America is almost alone among democratic countries in the length of time it takes to learn election results. In other countries, people continue to learn the results within hours. Throughout American history, Americans knew the outcome of virtually every election the night of Election Day. No longer.

All too often, tragically, there are valid reasons for Americans to mistrust election results. Add elections to the long list of institutions the left has ruined.


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