Authored by Lawrence Wilson via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),
Ballot harvesting. Stuffing ballot boxes. Tampering with voting equipment. Stealing ballots. Censoring candidates. These were some of the concerns raised, notably by former President Donald Trump, in the aftermath of the 2020 election.
As we approach 2024, how great a concern is election security for the 2024 presidential candidates? The Epoch Times submitted questions to major candidates in both parties to find out.
The questions centered on three concerns: Did election tampering affect the outcome of the 2020 presidential election? What should be done to ensure a fair election in 2024? Will you accept the outcome of the 2024 contest?
Former Ambassador Nikki Haley responded directly to our questions. Representatives of former Vice President Mike Pence and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis referred us to their previously published views on the matter.
No response was received from the campaigns of Republican candidates Trump, Sen. Tim Scott (S.C.), entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, or Democrat candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
The views of Trump, Scott, Ramaswamy, and Biden were available through media interviews and public statements.
Here’s what they said.
Impact of Fraud in 2020
Trump made broad claims of election interference immediately after the 2020 election and stands by them.
“That was a rigged election, and it’s a shame that we had to go through it. It’s very bad for our country. All over the world, they looked at it, and they saw exactly what everyone else saw,” Trump said in a May 11 town hall-style meeting on CNN.
Trump claimed election interference causes a difference of 16 percentage points in the outcome of the election.
The former president cited censorship on Twitter and “millions of votes” caught on camera in cases of “stuffing ballot boxes.” He referred to alleged evidence from government cameras as proof.
DeSantis acknowledged some election tampering in a May 26 interview on MSN but said much of the fault lies with Trump.
The Florida governor said that the COVID-19 state of emergency contributed to the use of ballot collection, also called ballot harvesting, which is the collection of absentee ballots from voters by a third party for delivery to a ballot drop box.
While legal in many states, critics claim it is an opportunity for fraud.
“Of course, I think that that’s wrong,” DeSantis said. “But if I were the candidate, I would have gone in and combated that, either had our people doing the same ballot harvesting or been more aggressive to try to head that off in terms of some of the legal challenges.”
DeSantis also said the government colluded with tech companies to censor negative information about Biden, which he called “election interference.”
“It’s totally unfair, but I’ll also point out that was Donald Trump’s FBI and Donald Trump’s DHS that was doing that. He didn’t have control over his own agencies,” DeSantis said. “If someone in my government were doing that, they would have been fired the next day.”
Pence called the 2020 contest “an election marked by significant voting irregularities and numerous instances of officials setting aside state election law” in a March 2021 article for Heritage Foundation.
“I share the concerns of millions of Americans about the integrity of the 2020 election,” Pence wrote.
Yet Pence famously refused to decertify the election results in the Senate.
“But once states had certified those elections, once the courts had reviewed them, once the Congress had considered any objections, I knew my duty was clear,” he said in a June 7 town hall-style event on CNN
Haley, Scott, and Ramaswamy have said they believe some election tampering did occur but that it did not change the outcome of the race.
There was fraud in the 2020 election, but no court or state legislature found that it was enough to change the outcome,” Haley told The Epoch Times.
Scott said there was evidence of minor irregularities and even fraud, but he saw no evidence of a rigged election. “Thus far, no justice, judge or fact finder has found evidence indicating the election results in those states should be overturned,” Scott said in a statement issued on Jan. 5, 2021.
Ramaswamy said much the same in a May 19 interview on NPR.
“I have a lot of issues with the suppression of information by social media companies and internet companies that led up to that election,” Ramaswamy said.
“But in the technical sense of, you know, do I think that there was large-scale ballot fraud or whatever that changed the election outcome based on how the votes were counted? I have seen no evidence of that.”
Biden has obviously accepted the results of the 2020 election. However, he has voiced concerns about possible election interference in 2024. His concern centers on the enactment of laws aimed at voter suppression.
“The Georgia Republican Party, the state legislature has now given itself the power to make it easier for partisan actors—their cronies—to remove local election officials,” Biden said at Atlanta University in January 2022.
Biden stated concern that laws preventing voting by mail or ballot drop boxes would keep many from having their votes counted.
Some 80 bills were introduced in 23 states this year that would place new limits on voting by mail and obtaining absentee ballots, according to the Brennan Center for Justice.
Read more here...