Oh, Look, We Found More Votes!

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Edward Durr and Steve Sweeney

UPDATE: According to the Associated Press, the claim that 12,000 ballots had been found was misleading. Readers erroneously, though quite reasonably, interpreted Sen. Steve Sweeney’s claim that 12,000 ballots had been “found” as referring to ballots found in his District 3, that might effect the result of the election for state Senator in that district, explaining why he had not conceded the race. Actually, the 12,000 ballots were not “found,” but were mail-in ballots the arrival of which was completely expected, but for another district race, and had nothing to do with Sweeney’s race against Durr in District 3. In response to the confusion, Sweeney said, “I didn’t say they were found. I said 12,000 votes came in to Camden County. My point is: Votes are coming in. I don’t know how many are coming in. I won’t know until today. But votes were coming in every day. Could there be a large number of votes? Could there be no votes? The point is: Just let us count the votes. I’ve earned that.” Actually, Sweeney did write in an email to the Philadelphia Inquirer that “there were 12,000 ballots recently found in one county,” and he did not identify the county as Camden County or any other county. The AP article has a somewhat accusatory tone toward those who spread this “misinformation,” as if those who read Sweeney’s original claim were somehow responsible for spreading misinformation. No. It was Sweeney and Sweeney alone who spread the misinformation with his email. By the way, Sweeney still hasn’t conceded the race.

In a truly remarkable story out of New Jersey, Edward Durr, a truck driver and political novice, defeated New Jersey state Senator Steve Sweeney in the race to represent District 3 in southern New Jersey. Durr ran as a Republican and media outlets were fond of reporting that he spent only $153 on his campaign. Sweeney, a Democrat, has represented District 3 in the Senate since 2004 and has been president of the New Jersey Senate since 2010. With 100% of precincts reporting, Durr held a 52% to 48% lead over Sweeney.

But, wait! Surprising absolutely no one with any experience of contemporary election shenanigans, Sweeney has refused to concede the race, announcing by email that 12,000 votes have been “found” that still need to be counted. Sweeney wrote in an email to the Philadelphia Inquirer: “The results from Tuesday’s election continue to come in, for instance there were 12,000 ballots recently found in one county. While I am currently trailing in the race, we want to make sure every vote is counted. Our voters deserve that, and we will wait for the final results.” Sweeney didn’t bother to identify the county in which the ballots were “found.”

New Jersey voters in District 3 deserve that every vote be counted, Sweeney insists. Well, of course they do! Even those votes “found” after every precinct has reported all of its votes. That doesn’t smell fishy at all. Who could possibly question the integrity of an election when 12,000 votes (out of about 65,000 cast) are suddenly “found” after each district as reported every vote they knew about. Clearly, no one knew about the 12,000 votes until somebody “found” them. I wonder who “found” them? Whoever did deserves a medal for preserving the integrity of New Jersey elections! Why, who knew that so many votes could be simply set aside, possibly wrongly determining the result of the election? It must have been God’s hand itself that led whoever it was who “found” those missing 12,000 votes. Hurray! Now, District 3 voters can rest assured that the election of their state Senator will be one objectively determined by all votes being counted, and not by some underhanded attempt to steal an election by a corrupt politician unwilling to let go of the power he has amassed over the years.

I’ve written about the integrity of elections before. Last November, the election for who would represent the 22nd House District in New York was thrown up in the air when new votes kept getting “found.” A judge had to settle the mess, rebuked the election officials for not following proper procedure, then demanded a re-canvassing of voters. In September, I wrote about a YouGov poll reporting that 38% of Americans don’t believe the 2020 presidential election was legitimately won by Joe Biden. That’s a lot of people who lack confidence in the integrity of our elections. The comedy playing out in New Jersey certainly isn’t going to help resolve the problem.

Somebody had better get on top of this, and soon. Otherwise, we’ll never be able to hold another election without the loser insisting it was rigged, and a whole heck of a lot of people believing it. That spells disaster for any government that hopes to regard itself as of the people, by the people, and for the people.

Be Christ for all. Bring Christ to all. See Christ in all.

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