Jeanette Strong: Just one to a customer



“One person, one vote.” U.S. Supreme Court, Reynolds v. Sims, June 15, 1964
“A majority of Nevada voters know that we didn’t have a secure election. If we can’t have fair elections, then people are not going to turn out. They’re not going to believe in the system.” Republican Senate candidate Adam Laxalt, One America News Network, Jan. 27, 2022
This column was submitted before the Nevada primary election, so I don’t know who won. However, I feel confident making some predictions, based on what candidates have said and previous election history.
Since President Donald Trump lost the 2020 presidential election, Republicans have pushed the lie that the election was stolen. None of the over 60 lawsuits claiming fraud succeeded in the courts, and Trump’s own appointees have confirmed that the election was free and fair. Despite that, Trump followers stick to the Big Lie, trying to lay a foundation to claim every election Republicans don’t win must have been rigged, including in Nevada.
There are several arguments against this predetermined conclusion. One is the total voter registration in Nevada. As of May, Democrats have 718,532 registered voters. Republicans have 631,108. Nonpartisan voters number 627,474, with 176,277 voters from other parties, for a total of 2,153,391 Nevada voters.
There are more than 87,000 more registered Democrats than Republicans. Nonpartisan voters and others don’t vote as a block, but most of the nonpartisan voters I know tend to vote Democratic, so the weight of Nevada’s votes would seem to trend Democratic, which fits past voting trends.
Another argument is the complete lack of evidence of voter fraud in 2020. Every challenge to the 2020 election results failed. “Trump's legal challenges failed in Nevada because there was no evidence of any improprieties that could have affected the outcome of the election. Republican Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske investigated Republican claims of voter fraud and found no evidence to corroborate the allegations…. A Nevada court similarly found no evidence that the 2020 general election in Nevada was affected by fraud.” (Salon, March 29)
Neither Nevada’s Republican Secretary of State nor the courts found any evidence of fraud. Despite that, a Nevada candidate for U.S. Senate, Adam Laxalt, is already making plans to contest the 2022 election, before even one vote has been cast.  
“Just days after he announced his campaign to challenge Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto in August, Laxalt said he might file pre-emptive legal challenges even before the first votes are cast in 2022.” (NBC News, Feb. 3)
A third argument is the security of our voting systems. Big Lie promoters claim that voting machines were hacked to change votes. Voting machines aren’t even connected to each other, let alone the internet, so any hacking would have to be done machine by machine by physically changing the software. Even if that were possible, the machines are checked to make sure they are working properly. They can’t be changed by satellites or any other outside method.
The idea that fake mail-in ballots can be slipped into the general count has been very popular among conspiracy theorists. Again, each mail-in ballot is bar-coded, and numerous checks ensure that duplicate ballots are kicked out. If someone tried to vote by mail and in person, both ballots would be flagged and the voter would be questioned and possibly arrested. It’s basically impossible to commit mass voter fraud, but Republicans are working hard to keep promoting that lie.
Confidence in our voting systems is probably the most important aspect of our democracy. The principle of “One person, one vote” was fully established in 1964. Despite that, Republicans around the country are working on strategies to undermine that principle by suppressing the vote and intimidating voters.
In so doing, Republicans are working to weaken our democracy. In his 1796 Farewell Address, President George Washington warned against those who would try to overturn our democracy.
He wrote “…cunning, ambitious and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the Power of the People, & to usurp for themselves the reins of Government; destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion….The disorders & miseries, which result, gradually incline the minds of men to seek security & repose in the absolute power of an Individual (who) turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of Public Liberty.”
Washington knew about despotic rulers. We need to pay attention to his warning and protect our democracy. If we don’t, we will lose everything.
Jeanette Strong, whose column appears every other week, is a Nevada Press Association award-winning columnist. She may be reached at news@lahontanvalleynews.com.

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