We find ourselves in a weird place where we are told to accept that voter fraud likely existed in this last election – but since it can’t be proved the fraud had sufficient impact to affect election results, we should suck it up and accept the results. If the results were not affected by illegal activities, then for what purpose were risks taken to conduct fraud? The requirement that we accept results unless we can establish the extent of effect on votes cast permits cheaters to pull off the perfect crime. This requirement championed by the media is backward – it should not be responsibility of the victim of fraud to establish the full extent of manipulation. If votes were cast in the name of dead people, votes were counted without required monitoring by candidate’s representatives, or if required signatures were not verified to observer’s satisfaction, the perpetrators instead should be required to prove that their procedures had insignificant effect on results.
In the laboratory, all data found to be compromised by equipment or human error must be rejected, and either the measurements are repeated after the problem is corrected or the experiment continues with available date sans corrupted data. Similarly, no election results should be accepted from a precinct shown to have manipulated results. Either a different group of administrators and workers should conduct a new election in that precinct or counting for the rest of the state should be certified without results from precincts where there was known fraud. The existence of fraud should be all that is required, not the effect of the maneuvers on vote counts.
As spelled out in the Constitution, each state legislature is responsible for establishing voting rules and procedures for their particular state. Ballots involving deviation from those rules – whether ordered by state or federal judges, secretaries of state, or local election officials – must be judged invalid.
Only firm corrective action will discourage repetition in future elections. Not only should people who perpetrate fraud face legal charges, they must never be trusted to play a role in future elections or ballot counting.