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OPINION | JOHN BRUMMETT: Voting, schmoting ...

by John Brummett | November 19, 2020 at 2:53 a.m.

From Washington to Atlanta to Little Rock, certain Republicans have just about had it with all this damned voting.

Let's start--for purposes of dispensing quickly--with the hideous Donald Trump. If only it were that easy.

The position of the preposterous second-place and Russian-endorsed excuse for our president is that votes for him should count and votes for Joe Biden shouldn't.

Trump is an utterly non-serious character except for the opportunity to start a war or a constitutional crisis, both of which he seems to be working on to spite America for defeating him--soundly--in the election.

Let's move quickly to U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina. He's also a self-appointed busybody in Georgia in that state's recount of Biden-favoring voting.

Let's go to the one thing that he and the Republican secretary of state of Georgia--again, that's Republican secretary of state of Georgia--agree on.

It's that Graham called the secretary of state and wanted to talk about the issue of Georgia's verifying signatures on absentee ballots and the purging of uncertain ones.

The secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, says Georgia's election is on the up-and-up.

He said in an interview that Graham went so far as to wonder whether Georgia, in its recount, could identify counties with the highest numbers of unverifiable absentee ballot signatures and just throw out all the absentee votes in those counties on that basis.

Absentees tended to favor Biden. That's because Biden voters believed medical doctors and feared getting out to crowded indoor polling places lest they get the dangerous virus.

Graham said he absolutely did not go that far. He said he merely wanted to chit-chat about how Georgia handled such situations. You know--it's that familiar old "how's your recount going over there?" conversation with a vested-interest senator from another state.

First, what business was any of that of Lindsey Graham?

And, second, what business was any of that of Lindsey Graham?

This South Carolina senator of established bogusness was angling to try to get a fellow Republican in Georgia to throw out votes to enhance Trump's self-absorbed attack on America's election process.

I mentioned Graham's established bogusness. Let me explain.

He is Trump's staunchest ally now, though in 2016, he said Trump was a "race-baiting, xenophobic religious bigot." He recently shepherded through Trump's rushed nomination of a Supreme Court justice though he'd said in 2016 that he'd never do such a thing so close to an election and that we could quote him and hold it against him if he turned out to be lying.

So, I hold it against him. And when he now says he didn't ask the Georgia secretary of state to throw out legitimate ballots, I'm quite certain that he did.

I also mentioned Little Rock, where Republicans want you to believe the Democratic-aligned director of elections is corrupt, although corruption requires covert competence.

The Democratic-aligned director of the Republican-dominated county election commission, Bryan Poe, has been overtly incompetent. Or, at the least, he's overseen a highly pressured staff that was rendered incompetent at times by the partisan sniping around it in the face of spiked absentee voting.

Poe and his people admit erroneously feeding a few disqualified votes into the tabulator. They also found a box of misplaced ballots and, upon reporting that, calculated that a Democrat had taken a small lead in a close state legislative race in west Little Rock and that a Democrat had come much closer in a state legislative race in North Little Rock.

Then, alas, Poe said he'd found yet another box of uncounted ballots. Then, as Republicans on the Election Commission profaned him for blundering and being transparently confessional, he and the staff discovered that the box contained disqualified ballots.

Transparently confessing your screw-ups is a very inefficient way to be corrupt.

The Republican majority on the Election Commission certified the results in the legislative district in which their candidate had a tiny lead--though the inappropriately tabulated votes conceivably affected that margin--but did not certify the one in which the Democratic candidate had a tiny lead.

They said they'd been advised of looming litigation in the race they led and left un-certified. And, lo and behold, the trailing Republican, Rep. Jim Sorvillo, came in with a suit the next day wanting a whole new election.

That would be a tragic solution, since a real and high-turnout election was held and a winner does indeed exist if only we could prove it.

So, grudgingly, a new election would suit me--but in both those narrow legislative races.

It's all the same old story: Republicans resist counting people's votes, and Democrats can't get their stuff together.

That's the actual case in Pulaski County. It's an apt metaphor more broadly.


John Brummett, whose column appears regularly in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, is a member of the Arkansas Writers' Hall of Fame. Email him at Read his @johnbrummett Twitter feed.


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