Voting is Protected Speech but so is Not Voting

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By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

Primer: There are going to be countless legal challenges to vote results nationwide, it cannot be avoided. Just prepare for a mess larger than that of the Bush-Gore results which took 36 days.

A civil right is an enforceable right or privilege, which if interfered with by another gives rise to an action for injury.

Discrimination occurs when the civil rights of an individual are denied or interfered with because of the individual’s membership in a particular group or class. Various jurisdictions have enacted statutes to prevent discrimination based on a person’s race, sex, religion, age, previous condition of servitude, physical limitation, national origin, and in some instances sexual orientation.

Civil Rights and Civil Liberties

People often confuse civil rights and civil liberties. Civil rights refer to legal provisions that stem from notions of equality. Civil rights are not in the Bill of Rights; they deal with legal protections. For example, the right to vote is a civil right. A civil liberty, on the other hand, refers to personal freedoms protected by the Bill of Rights. For example, the First Amendment’s right to free speech is a civil liberty.

Read on however and give this a bit of critical thinking.

Free speech protected by the 1st Amendment has thousands of moving parts including voting or not voting. There are many times where free speech is not only challenged but removed as a civil right as noted in the case of a criminal conviction of a felony.

Wearing a t-shirt or a hat with a logo or slogan is free speech just as much as flying a flag at your home is or even not doing so.

Mandatory Voting Will Build Resentment, Not Democracy ...

Additional reading: Mandatory Voting Will Build Resentment, Not Democracy/ Fining non-voters would show that government is all about forcing people to do things just to make politicians happy.

So, when it comes to ballot harvesting, consider that forcing votes by turning in ballots for tabulation is against free speech. This all stems from voter rolls (databases) that are not audited, purged, corrected, or amended. People move away, people die, people change names and people request ballots using phony names and addresses. Mass mailings of the entire database are not representative of quality and current data. Then there is the matter of ballot design that is challenged making it confusing for the voter or the matter of mistakes made in the comparisons of signatures on file to the actually submitted ballot. How about errors made in names and addresses in the mass mailings where it does not at all match yet the ballots are mailed? What about people tailing the Post Office and delivery personnel and grabbing ballots out of mail trays or slots or simply offering a stipend to fill out the ballot for the alleged voter on their behalf?

There is still the matter of voter ID which has yet to be resolved in many states.

But now we are hearing many other incidents of ballot malfunctions including 100,000 in New York.

Valerie Vazquez-Diaz, a spokesperson for the board, told CNN that 99,477 voters in Brooklyn were affected by an issue with the “oath” envelope for their absentee ballot.

The envelopes—which include the voter’s name, address, and voter ID—were sent with the wrong name and address, a problem that was first reported Monday by confused voters, though its scope was unknown.

Here too it is important to note that many candidate vote results come down to a mere few hundred votes where absentee ballots or provisional ballots come into question.

For the matter of not voting…this matter of ballot harvesting is forcing a name in many cases as a vote where otherwise there may not be a vote at all and that too is free speech. One has to ask is this a violation of the civil rights of an individual? Of course, it is….perhaps a person is apathetic, disgusted, or otherwise not engaged at all in any part of government affairs or policy? That is fine too under the 1st Amendment.

The media should really challenge the whole matter of civil rights violations and ballot harvesting.

More from Forbes in part:

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio harshly criticized the NYC Board of Elections Tuesday morning: “This is appalling. It is so easy to avoid this mistake and it is very easy to fix this mistake.”

Key Background

This error comes amid continued attacks on mail-in voting from President Trump, who has insisted—without evidence—that the Democrats will use mail-in voting, “a whole big scam,” to steal the 2020 election. News from last week that a “small number” of ballots in Pennsylvania had been discarded further fueled the president’s accusations of widespread “voter fraud.”

Further Reading

“Pennsylvania Discarded Ballot Mishap Fuels Trump Attacks On Mail-In Voting” (Forbes)

“FBI Warns Cyber Criminals, Foreign Actors Spreading ‘False Claims’ About U.S. Voting To Undermine 2020 Election” (Forbes)

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