November 15, 2016 – The phrase “one man, one vote” has been used throughout the world in the demand for universal suffrage. Once secured, the sanctity of that vote is of paramount importance. To abuse that right is to diminish democracy. Yet, we find ourselves in a time when the validity of our elections must be questioned.
It has been a week since the General Election, and many of you have been calling for a post mortem of what transpired with regard to election integrity during that cycle. As most of you know, I suffered more than my share of election irregularities during the Democratic Primary with many of my votes “disappearing” as state results were updated. One of the reasons I continued as an independent candidate for President and as the nominee of the Reform Party and the American Delta Party was to bring the need for election reform to the attention of the people. Here are a few examples of what my team observed.
In my home state of Florida, my team captured a screenshot of my 4,188 vote total in Broward County with 48.2% of the vote counted. Then, it captured a screenshot of my vote total with 62.9% of the vote counted. According to the tallies, I somehow managed to lose 3,685 votes during this period while every other candidate’s vote total increased.
Turning to the results in St. Lucie County, Florida, I was able to replicate the feat by losing 773 votes between the counts taken with 39.1% and 78.1% reporting. Again, no other candidate was able to match that performance.
Then, we monitored progress in Kentucky, where I had done well but suffered a loss of votes in the Democratic Primary. The bad news is that I went from 105 votes in Ohio County with 100% reporting to 0 votes a short time later. The good news is that we could at least determine to whom those votes had been reassigned: Evan McMullen. Perhaps it was just human error, but then, our names, McMullen and De La Fuente, aren’t particularly easy to confuse, and the data is entered electronically rather than by humans.
Moving on, we turned our attention to North Dakota. Certainly, this state’s results would be too small and obscure to merit manipulation. Yet, in Walsh County (with 100% reporting), I was once again able to lose all but one of my votes when new results mysteriously appeared. At least this time, Darrell Castle suffered a similar fate… perhaps because he had participated in Free and Equal’s Presidential Debate with me the week before, which moderator Ed Asner said, “gave dignity to this election.”
Next, we examined New Hampshire. This was the first state in which we observed anomalies during the Primary in which I lost over 90% of my votes. This time, that percentage soared to nearly 98% as I went from a vote count of 1,179 with 52.9% reported to one of 27 votes with 70.6% reported. Unlike North Dakota, no one shared in my “glory” in the Granite State. I was the only candidate to lose votes, just as I was in the Democratic Primary.
Then, we witnessed the same trend in New Jersey. Between 44.3% and 80.9% of the reporting, I was the only candidate who was able to lose votes; 590 of them to be precise (nearly 33% of my prior total).
Finally, we looked for favorable ground. I had done well in mock elections in the great State of Tennessee in the final weeks of the campaign (routinely beating Jill Stein). So, imagine my surprise in Macon County, where I started off in front of Dr. Stein with a commanding 533 to 23 vote lead with 50% reporting only to lose by a count of 36 to 10 with 100% reporting. I had to lose 523 of the 533 votes I already had at the midway point to accomplish that result, and once again, I was the only candidate whose vote total went down.
In fairness to Dr. Stein, she was beating me in Knox County, Tennessee, with 82.4% of the reporting completed, and she maintained her lead at the 98.8% mark. Unfortunately the gap widened because her vote tally went up (as did every other candidate’s) while mine went down by nearly 65%.
Now, I’m not one to complain, but this seems to be a little unfair. Votes should not just vanish over the course of an evening. If you cast a vote, you should have every right to expect it to count the same at the end of the evening as it did at the beginning.
Senator Bernie Sanders suffered a similar fate during the Democratic Primary, which we all now know was tipped heavily in favor of Hillary Clinton. Regrettably, Senator Sanders has chosen to remain silent on the issue. I will not!
We need a serious investigation into the integrity of our elections. If President-elect Trump is supposed to be an agent of change, then I challenge him to do something about this. My message to our incoming President is as follows:
“I know you want to build a wall, but how about emulating one of President Reagan’s greatest successes? There is a wall that separates politically privileged candidates and those with immediate name recognition from other legitimate candidates. So, my challenge to you is: ‘Tear down that wall!’ Level the playing field, and more importantly, make sure every vote is counted as it is cast.”
Those are my thoughts. What are yours?
(Please feel free to express your opinion below. My only request is that you do so rationally rather than emotionally and in a civil manner that respects the rights of others to disagree.)