The Stealth Election Lawsuit
by Gregory A. Hession J.D.
We’ve all heard the news about election lawsuits in various states where Donald Trump and other candidates challenged obvious and gross fraud in the voting and counting of ballots. Some big cities smuggled in fake ballots in favor of democrats. Others programmed their voting machines to malfunction and add votes to democrats. Still other states and cities ran their elections in violation of their own clear laws, which interesting enough, all favored democrats.
These cases featured famous lawyers, along with krakens, clownish politicians, and judges who ruled for the home team almost every time.
Massachusetts also has an entrant in the election lawsuit effort, but you have probably never heard of it. Five candidates running in the 2020 election have brought suit in the Worcester Superior Court alleging that the laws and voting practices allowed by our governor and secretary of state violate our state constitution.
Alas, these dear folks can’t count on any deep sea cephalopods, pillow makers or ex-presidents to come to the rescue. They can’t even get the Boston news media to mention them. But their claim may be better than most of the cases that have slipped quietly into the law books without a ripple.
Republican candidates John Paul Moran and Caroline Colarusso, running for seats in the U.S. Congress, and Steve Hall, Ingrid Centurion, and Craig Valdez, running for the state legislature, filed a complaint which alleged that they were deprived of a fair election. They asked the judge to order a do-over, and an injunction to not let it happen again.
Our Massachusetts constitution and laws set out a long-standing and time tested method for voting, meant to ensure that all qualified voters can vote, but that only qualified voters can vote. From time immemorial, we have gone to the polls on election day and cast our ballots, and we know the results that night.
Voters who could not be in the Commonwealth on election day, or had a religious restraint against voting on that day, or had a serious health condition, could get absentee ballots ahead of time, which were carefully controlled.
Not in last November’s election, though. At the beginning of 2020, the state legislature decided to throw out centuries of voting practice and make drastic changes, building on some liberalization which started in the 2016 election.
The secretary of state sent out millions of vote-by-mail ballot applications, with no certainty they went to up-to-date voter lists. When the ballots were returned, the checking was lax, and other household members or just about anyone could masquerade as the intended voter. Plus, we know how reliable the U.S. Mule is. They placed unguarded ballot drop boxes around the Commonwealth which were subject to fraud and vandalism. They allowed early voting without a showing of need, and allowed ballots to drift in after election day.
Early voting and mail-in voting took the place of tightly regulated absentee voting, which is the only non-election day option allowed under our constitution. By election day, 65% of the electorate had voted, so only a third showed up at the polls on election day.
That convenience cost the candidates dearly, since as election day approached, fewer and fewer voters could respond to their campaigning, having already voted. When these candidates decided to run, they assumed they would have the entire season allowed by law to complete their campaigning before election day, not have two thirds of their audience taken off the board ahead of time.
We went from a secure voting system where the rules were clear to a third-world free-for-all where no one could predict the accuracy of the results. How many mail-in ballots were returned as undeliverable? How many were used by other persons? How many persons voted twice or thrice? No one knows.
When the candidates’ lawsuit hit the Superior Court, the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office immediately geared up to fight against the people and their laws, (as it often does) and filed a motion to dismiss the case. The Worcester Court had a hearing last week on whether the case will be dismissed, and the judge will “take it under advisement”.
Since the election, legislators have filed several bills further gutting our traditional election process and making these changes permanent. And it isn’t just the Democrats who support this folly; Some (R)s are in on it, too.
The few Republicans who oppose erosion of the election laws will not even acknowledge this lawsuit or stand up and assist their fellow Republican candidates who are in this fight for honest elections. In Massachusetts, power and party factions take precedence over principle.
Without fair and predictable elections, our legislative and executive branches are sure to fall into the hands of the worst sort of people. That is why our forebears took such care to put systems into place that controlled what happened on election day.
Are we even still a representative constitutional republic if elections can be rigged?