OPINION: Election Controversy a ‘Phony Issue’ to Perpetuate Trump’s Big Lie

OPINION: Election Controversy a ‘Phony Issue’ to Perpetuate Trump’s Big Lie

This opinion piece was written and submitted by Rock Springs resident Stephen Shea.

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At the last county commissioners’ meeting, my friend Jeff Ramaj was given the difficult assignment of challenging the honesty of voting machines to a commission that has experience in how the system actually works.  Jeff and “Cause of Wyoming” contend that voting machines are hackable electronically and are not to be trusted.  Although the election system does have some contact with the internet (checking validity of voters), these machines do not.  They simply collect the paper ballots, tally the checked results, and keep the ballots locked up.  Yes, there are computers involved, yes there is contact with the internet in the election system.  Regardless of that, it is nearly impossible to “stuff the ballot box” under this system—there are too many human eyes on it, and too many lists, checks, and re-checks working within the process.  Even a cheat like using an absentee ballot the day before the election, then showing up at a polling place on election day to vote has little chance of success—the lists of voters are kept up that quickly.  The same is true with the recently deceased, and spouse ballots swiped from the household mail.  They nearly always get caught and make headlines when they do.  This has happened only a handful of times.  Even “updating software on election day” will not enable fake or changed ballots when the results are compared to the voter rolls.

There are 3,143 counties or parishes in the United States.  Each of them has an election board that has representatives from both parties.  They know who their registered voters are, whether they are Democrats, Republican, or independents, and about how the tallies will likely total. The same is true down to the precinct and ward levels, and they oversee their level of the verification and counting process.  They submit their results to the counties.  When the results are in, representatives of both parties as the election board will normally certify the county results.  They can ask for re-counts or examine whatever they like that comes out of the machines, be it the completed ballots, the recently registered (election day) voters, or the tally numbers on the machines.  Republicans and Democratic representative in all these counties can certify the results when all questions are answered.  These numbers are passed on to the Secretary of State.  His or her people know the numbers of voters per county as well.  He or she certifies the results for the entire state, determines the tally of electoral votes, and these results are certified by Congress for all 50 states, normally on or about January 6th.

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So, there is a ward check, a precinct check, a county check, a state check, and the national check.  All of them aware of the number of voters involved, which parties have the votes, and if any votes are in question.  

For the 2020 election, this process worked well, and is considered by election experts to be one of the most accurate in history.  155 million votes were cast—the most in history.  Of that number 1,465 were found to be fraudulent—1,264 were prosecuted immediately.  That left 201 questionable ballots out of 155 million in question, but they were still spotted by the system.  

Due to their candidate losing, the entire system was called into question by the loser of the presidential race, Donald J. Trump.  His people (Giuliani, Sydney Powel, etc.) disputed the election results, and took their charges to court, losing 62 times due to lack of evidence.  Venezuelan voting machines, Italian satellites, bags of fake ballots and the like were never found.  Election deniers insist they are still out there, but the courts have proven otherwise.

Please consider this:  Donald J. Trump lost the 2020 election by 7 million votes.  In order to tie with Biden, that huge margin divided up equally between all the counties would have required 2,227 fake votes in every county in the U.S.  Pretty tough to miss that many.  Being dedicated and accurate “bean counters,” election officials frown loudly if there are but one or two votes out of the ordinary, much less 2,227 under their watch.  They don’t stop counting until the errors or causes are found—checking down to the precinct and ward level.  Since Wyoming has 23 counties, there would have been around 51,000 extra votes imposed on the state’s system.  Very hard to miss.  There are only about 217,000 voters in the entire state.  

What accounts for all the Big Lie charges?  It can only be seen as the Republican party’s belief that Trump deserves another term, and that there was no way that Biden could beat him.  The prime example that we have in this case is the members of “Cause for Wyoming” who have brought this to the attention of our County Commissioners.  This group refers to itself as a “grass roots” organization whose meetings have been attended by Secretary of State, Chuck Gray.  Another of its members who attended the Commission meeting via Zoom, State Senate candidate Patricia Junek, marched to the Capitol on January 6, and whose husband is quoted as saying that the demonstration “was 99% peaceful.”  

It is obvious that Ramaj, Gray, and Junek are avid and dedicated supporters of Donald Trump.   That is their right, but their contention that the electoral system (that Gray partly runs) is hackable is false.  This totally unproven belief is part of the biggest threat to our democracy—The Big Lie.  This belief is at this point pretty much “baked in” to Republican brains, despite it being completely false and unproven.  

Besides the obvious issues presented above, another big “tell” has occurred. “Why haven’t the Republicans in Congress called for an investigation of HOW Biden stole the election?”  The answer to this is because they know better. They themselves were elected to office on the same voting system, and they know that it is well-managed, honest, and that it works. But they will do anything, it seems, to get Trump back in power.  “Cause of Wyoming” and other promoters of the Big Lie use each other to bolster their own false claims by claiming there is “other evidence” or “the video proof is just not available at this time.” 

Regarding Wyoming—Trump won by a landslide.  Question: Why would our Secretary of State challenge the veracity of his own system?  Answer:  He wants to cast doubt on the entire election system for Trump’s benefit and to keep this phony issue in the mind of the public. America knows how to run honest elections and is a shining example for the rest of the world.  To infer that our elections are anything less than the best in history, is a crime against our best people, the veterans who fought and died for this system of government and the right of one person, one vote. Trump’s Big Lie is a travesty brought on us by a self-serving man who cares about none of our principles and wants to destroy all of our systems of government for his own corrupt ends. 

Stephen Shea