Letter to the Editor

Let's 'right' the lies

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Over 250 bills from 43 states, including Iowa, have been introduced or enacted based upon the big lie that the last presidential election won by Joe Biden was due to fraudulent or irregular ballots cast. Since free elections form the bedrock of our Constitution, such actions jeopardize preservation of our democracy. Further, dozens of lawsuits on behalf of Trump have been thrown out or rejected by multiple courts, including the Supreme Court, for lack of evidence or facts.

Whether these court decisions were unanimous or not is moot—a court ruling is a ruling.

Still, Republican state and congressional leaders plus right-wing “news” propaganda organizations continue to bombard the airways with the big fraud lie. Perhaps they should reference the Heritage Foundation (hardly a liberal group) for some election facts.

Their data for mail-in ballots show that over 20 years with 250 million votes cast, there have been 1,200 fraudulent cases with 143 convictions which equates to a 0.00006% rate. This group estimates over the same time period the fraud rate for over one billion total votes is 0.000014%. Oregon, one of the first states to mail ballots to all registered voters, since 2000 with 50 million votes cast in all elections, has recorded two fraud cases which equates to 0.000004%. Iowa over that period has had 17 fraud incidents with one of those being a person voting for Trump twice.

These numbers hardly support the "big lie" justifying massive changes to state voting laws. In fact, these state maneuvers are nothing more than blatant voter suppression tactics to maintain power for a diminishing voter base. If these voter suppression proposals are allowed to stand, our constitutional democracy is doomed.

Federal oversight of our elections is needed. That is why the HR4 Act passed by the House which reinstates the 1965 Voting Rights Act with updated preclearance stipulations needs immediate Senate approval, as well as House HR1 which modernizes voting rules and procedures.

These bills are so important to our democracy’s future that partisanship should not be an issue. But, if the Senate filibuster must be eliminated to pass them, so be it! Please contact our Senators to insist on support of these two bills — to stand up for our constitutional democracy instead of blind party power.

Terry B. Yarns

Spirit Lake