Why Is It Necessary To Ensure The Integrity Of Our Elections?
Are you concerned about election integrity? The subject has most certainly been in the news. Some of us have great concerns about whether we can trust the vote. Others think concerns about election integrity are a big hullabuloo about nothing.
Is there an issue? Well, consider how carefully most of us protect our personal property.
- When we leave our homes, we lock the doors. Some of us even purchase expensive home monitoring services.
- When we go to the gym, we lock our street clothes (including our car keys and wallets) in lockers.
- When we park our cars on the street or in public lots, we lock them up.
- When we establish a bank account, we need to provide a photo ID to take money out.
- When we use a credit card, we need to use that card to ID ourselves to spend money with that card, and we may even use a pin.
- And so forth.
Isn’t election integrity just as serious a matter as protecting our personal property? In addition to the power to make and/or enforce the law, whoever wins an election gains control over huge amounts of wealth. So, it is important that we elect honest people, but how do we know when we have elected someone who is not honest? A good clue is that that person strangely has much more money to spend on himself. For example, a few years after their election that person may have several expensive homes in their possession. Where did all that money come from? Can’t you guess?
We often fail to pay our elected officials appropriate salaries. Arguably, to make pilfering public funds less tempting, we should pay school board members, county board members, and members of the General Assembly much more than we do. Unfortunately, many of us are so miserly we won’t pay our elected officials respectable salaries, and that works to the advantage of the dishonest. BECAUSE they are unwillingly to take bribes, relatively honest people cannot afford to run for public offices that require a lot of work, but don’t pay well. Thus, the crooked have much less competition when they run for public office. However, that’s another subject for another time.
The fact we don’t pay our elected officials well is not the fundamental problem with our election system. Isn’t a devil always whispering in our ears? Why do we so often listen? The real problem is that none of us is good. Consider how the Apostle Paul put it.
Almost all of us may try to vote for people more intelligent and gifted than ourselves, but we also tend to vote for people who promise us a personal benefit in return for our vote. In return for that promise of a personal benefit we sacrifice voting for someone we hope will be more honest than our self. We only get honest leaders when we exercise a little honesty ourselves. We only get honest leaders when we vote with an honest desire to further the welfare of our family, friends, and neighbors.
When we vote we must begin with the understanding that none of us is good. We must accept the fact we cannot even trust ourselves to do what is right. Once we accept our own potential for corruptibility, then we will understand why we cannot give our leaders any more power than absolutely necessary. Few of us, if any, can resist the temptations of great power.
Consider this example.
As the coronavirus pandemic raged, Uncle Sam was doing more than putting money in unemployed Americans’ pockets — the federal government was also shipping tens of billions of dollars overseas to fraudsters working with the country’s most prominent adversaries, such as China and Russia.
Haywood Talcove, CEO for LexisNexis Risk Solutions’ government division, says 40% of the more than $700 billion spent on unemployment went to fraudsters.
Most of that ill-gotten money — $175 billion of it — went to overseas actors. And most of that, perhaps $140 billion, went to organizations that are state-sponsored.Continued => Feds pay billions to fraudsters tied to China and Russia in COVID-19 schemes – Washington Times
When we allow our leaders to bribe us to obtain our votes — with “other people’s money” — we elect people like ourselves, people more concerned with enriching themselves than in serving or in protecting the rights and property of others. Therefore, when we complain about our political leaders, we must admit we have no one to blame except ourselves.
- We simply cannot find an honest man or woman, someone to vote for we can trust with great power.
- When someone promises to use the power of government to give us “other people’s money,” we must resist our own greed. Otherwise, we won’t even vote for the most honest candidate on the ballot.
- For the sake of our family, friends, and neighbors, we must hold our leaders accountable. We must monitor what our elected officials are doing and work to replace the crooks and the incompetent.
- To protect our ability to control those who lead us, we must protect the integrity of our election system. That is the subject of this series.
What is next?
- How Do We Volunteer To Be An Election Officer?
- What About Election Laws?
- How Are The Political Parties Involved?
- What About Early Voting?
- What About Counting The Absentee Vote?
- What Can We Do To Get The General Assembly To Strengthen The Integrity Of Our Elections?