Donald Trump, Please Butt Out

by James A. Bacon

Donald Trump inserted himself into the gubernatorial election today by repeating his endorsement of Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin. Nothing wrong with that. He can endorse whomever he likes. But I draw the line at this: “I am not a believer in the integrity of Virginia’s elections, lots of bad things went on, and are going on. The way you beat it is to flood the system and get out and vote.”

What factual basis does Trump have for distrusting the integrity of Virginia’s elections? What “bad things” went on? What “bad things” are still going on? He didn’t say.

While disputing 2020 election results in a dozen or more other states, Trump leveled no substantive charges against Virginia’s electoral system. I suppose he was referring today to a lawsuit charging that Fairfax County election officials with instituting a last-minute change in election procedures: Absentee voters no longer have to provide the last four digits of their social security numbers.

“We write election rules in advance so everybody knows what they are and everybody thinks it’s fair,” said J. Christian Adams, president of the Public Interest legal Foundation and the attorney representing the Virginia Institute for Public Poicy.

Adams argues that the measure violates the state constitution. “The Constitution of Virginia has an anti-suspension clause. It was written by George Mason, one of the Founding Fathers, and it said that bureaucrats in the executive branch can’t just ignore the law,” he said. “They can’t suspend the law. They have to follow the law. It’s the rule of law, not of men, in Virginia.”

Adams is a great electoral watchdog, and he makes a reasonable point. He’s availing himself of the legal system to contest the change. The system is full of checks and balances, and it seems to be working as designed.

Even if the courts reject his complaint, it’s not clear to me how that the rule change would bias the election results for Democrats — Republicans are voting absentee in comparable numbers to Democrats this year.

Meanwhile, Republicans are mobilizing and training hundreds (maybe thousands) of volunteers as poll workers and poll watchers to safeguard this year’s election integrity. Good for them. More checks and balances. I have every confidence in the integrity of Virginia’s electoral system. If Trump wants to help Youngkin get elected, he needs to go away and stop muddying the waters.

Update: I should note the fact that the judge threw out the lawsuit on the grounds that the party filing the lawsuit, the Virginia Institute for Public Policy had no standing. A lawsuit can be brought only by an “aggrieved voter,” candidate, campaign or party. (Hat tip: Chris Braunlich.)


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68 responses to “Donald Trump, Please Butt Out”

  1. Steve Gillispie Avatar
    Steve Gillispie

    Seldom, if ever, do I disagree with you, Jim, but — Trump’s opinion notwithstanding — I would urge a little more caution on endorsing the integrity of Virginia’s voting results.

    The biggest issues with fraud have been around mail-in and unverified ballots. The new laws the Democrat’s forced through eliminated any voter identification at the polls. Poll workers are not allowed to require it . Mail-in ballot signature verification isn’t happening.

    People without IDs may be required to sign an affidavit; but of course there isn’t even a way to know the signature on the affidavit is valid. And the adjudication process takes place long after the election is final.

    By any reasonable standard there are some large holes in the system which any fraudster could easily penetrate. This is the intention of the Democrats who fight any form of voter ID under the guise that some socio-economic groups can’t easily obtain it — those same groups to whom they hope to throw about $3 trillion of welfare payments, food stamps, education, vacations, and even COVID vaccine certifications — all of which require IDs.

    And don’t for a minute think that the party which will hire people to pose as white nationalists in front of their opponents bus would eschew any fraud they could get away with to win.

    1. The idiotic move by Lincoln project aside (they are republicans in name at least), is there any evidence of the above occurring in 2020 from either side? Any election fraud charges or convictions?

      I understand the concerns, but Virginia’s election system seems pretty solid. If there is evidence otherwise, it would be good to know.

      This year, I expect USPS to be a target of anger for delayed/lost ballots again, but that seems like incompetence more than fraud.

      1. Randy Huffman Avatar
        Randy Huffman

        One source I have seen that assembles voter fraud cases is Heritage, here:

        https://www.heritage.org/voterfraud

        If you search Virginia, only one recent case.

        I imagine voter fraud at the polls is like shoplifting, once the perpetrator leaves or their mail in ballot is counted, very hard to catch.

        1. I would think that all of the recent audits would show those issues. I’d offer that the reality of more secure elections has evolved but the understanding of that has not.

          Thanks for the link.

    2. James Wyatt Whitehead Avatar
      James Wyatt Whitehead

      What about the so called late night ballot dump in Fairfax back in 2020? Did this really happen? Is it normal in a large county like Fairfax? Is this something we should see again this year? I don’t know enough about counting votes to make a conclusion. I do know there are many people in Virginia who wonder about this too.
      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7a0cbed56c00575c4490ededfecf996626062ffe518d9ee53619ba50f9699bf0.jpg

      1. Super Brain Avatar
        Super Brain

        The GA changed the Code Of Va to require a change in our absentee votes are counted. Result dumps should not be an issue.

        1. the spreadsheet is fake news. Made up for an article by the Gateway Pundit.

        2. the spreadsheet is fake news. Made up for an article by the Gateway Pundit.

        3. the spreadsheet is fake news. Made up for an article by the Gateway Pundit.

  2. Nancy Naive Avatar
    Nancy Naive

    Might as well ask the wind not to blow… a BIG wind.

  3. LarrytheG Avatar

    So Jim only wants _some_ of Trump?

    As far as I know, Va has never had a problem with elections and like Haner, I worked for a few years manning a precinct and I saw maybe one or two provisional ballots the whole time and they were about some confusion over which precinct they voted in.

    I voted a week or so ago at the central precinct and handed them my DL and gave them my address. Not once has anyone refused to present ID when I was checking folks in.

    This is what Trump is doing – he really is undermining our elections. Strongmen in other others now are also citing “election fraud” before the election if they lose.

    Here’s the thing, it would not matter one iota what Trump says if he did not have a constituency, and that constituency seems quite willing to foster doubt about elections in many states and NOW in Virginia.

    IF this election is close – and it may well be and Trump claims fraud if Youngkin loses – Virginia will get pulled into the same mess going on in other states.

    1. how_it_works Avatar
      how_it_works

      It was interesting to go to https://voteref.com/ and see how many registered voters Virginia has that are over 100 years old.

      1. LarrytheG Avatar

        Do we know who these folks are and how they are doing their work? Are they non-partisan?

        Isn’t this a C4 organization/SUPER PAC?

        https://voteref.com/terms-of-service

        https://www.opensecrets.org/outsidespending/detail.php?cmte=C00571588&cycle=2020

        1. how_it_works Avatar
          how_it_works

          Dunno, but the voter information I looked up and know is accurate in that database.

          It’s all public info, so who cares what the motivation of the people behind it is? Unless you’re suggesting that they’re manipulating the data they get from the states before they put it in their site…

          1. LarrytheG Avatar

            I don’t even know what they are showing.

            do you? What is their purpose?

            yes I do care who they are and who is funding them and what they are claiming… ESPECIALLY if they are a C4 Super Pac.

          2. how_it_works Avatar
            how_it_works

            They are showing the names, age, precinct, status, and addresses as well as the voting history (2020 and 2018 election) of all registered voters in Virginia (and a few other states).

            They make no claims otherwise. It is simply an online database.

          3. how_it_works Avatar
            how_it_works

            Maybe they, like I did, wonder how a voter who is 127 years old could be on Virginia’s voter rolls? I’d be curious to know if Social Security is still cutting checks to that person, too.

          4. LarrytheG Avatar

            I don’t doubt there are some discrepancies that need to be addressed but this is whataboutism designed to undermine the system IMHO.

            How many actual discrepancies are they claiming?

            All voting systems have to “flush” stale voter data.

            The biggest area is not deaths but people moving … who almost never report that they moved – and the elections folks don’t have a real system for determining who has moved if they don’t check in.

            But this is not “fraud” and the discrepancies are just as likely to be GOP as Dem.

            Are we talking about, for instance, 107 year old people – VOTING? I’d like to see a list of those myself if they actually voted!

            If this org wants to be credible – they actually need to do more than say “discrepancies”.

            list them out , show them.

          5. how_it_works Avatar
            how_it_works

            In less than 60 seconds of looking I just found a voter registered with the address of the Public Storage on Sudley Road in Manassas. LOL.

          6. LarrytheG Avatar

            that doesn’t really mean fraud though.

            It does not necessarily mean that people are voting that should not – ALL ONE WAY like all Dems or ALL GOP.

            All voter systems have discrepancies – it’s inevitable, but it’s not election fraud that can change outcomes…

            All this does is feed the “fraud” narrative for those who don’t want to look furhter and just accept someone’s claim.

            How do election boards actually determine who has died?

            How do they determine who has moved out of state?

            As I said earlier – when I worked at a Virginia precinct – the voters, one by one would present their DLs and we would ask them for their addresses – and we would also check their name on the pollbooks which showed current valid registered – as well as what precinct they were supposed to vote in.

            It was hard to see how anyone who was not registered and lived in that precinct could vote. I saw two in several years that were not in the pollbook for that precinct and we could not verify other precincts and they voted provisional.

            There would be virtually no way – to give ballots to illegal voter much less all of one party since Va does not even collect their party preference.

            The irony here is that this website is referencing data provided by the State Board of elections – transparency, which does allow others to spot discrepancies.

            None of this comes anywhere close to what idiot Trump and his fellow liars are alleging…

          7. how_it_works Avatar
            how_it_works

            Voters are required to show their DL?? That’s news to me.

          8. LarrytheG Avatar

            Would you be okay with the Dems running VPAP and providing financial disclosure data ? why? why not? But you’re okay with partisans running voteref.com?

          9. how_it_works Avatar
            how_it_works

            Found another one on Old Dominion Drive in Manassas, except the address does NOT exist.

          10. LarrytheG Avatar

            but these are not fraud that favors one party over the other… it’s housekeeping issues.

            These kinds of issues are normal and inevitable, but they are not systemic fraud and nothing like Trump is alleging.

            This is the type of thing to feed the gullible and those who gravitate towards conspiracy theories like Trump is pushing.

            No voter system anywhere is without these kinds of discrepancies… but they simply are not systemic fraud.

          11. how_it_works Avatar
            how_it_works

            Nah, not fraud, but maybe evidence that some IT systems aren’t quite up to snuff….

          12. LarrytheG Avatar

            Maybe, but it’s not really IT – it’s policies and procedures.

            Like , how would you ascertain a bad address or a voter who has moved out of state or a voter with age of 107 and it’s a typo?

            Not IT… labor intensive stuff…

          13. how_it_works Avatar
            how_it_works

            The post office has a database of deliverable addresses. It is routinely used by the private sector to verify and correct their mailing lists.

            I can just imagine this voter with an incorrect address trying to vote and unable to do so because someone typo’d his address.

          14. LarrytheG Avatar

            Yep and it too has “discrepancies”.

            πŸ˜‰

            Social Security provides “death” lists and they too have “discrepancies”.

            And I agree that running “compares” between databases will kick out data but then that conflict has to be manually investigated and determined.

            Again, NONE of this is the kind of fraud that Trump is alleging… and using it to give credence to Trumps claims is illegitimate.

          15. how_it_works Avatar
            how_it_works

            Actually, postal carriers update the list of deliverable addresses as they do their route. It’s part of their job. And it’s why I didn’t have to call the postal service and tell them about my new house. The carrier saw the new mailbox and boom, it was in the database!

          16. LarrytheG Avatar

            yes… and remember they’re not only govmint bureaucrats they’re unionized ! but you never received a misaddressed piece of mail or other problems ?

            People are always bitching about the USPS, no?

          17. how_it_works Avatar
            how_it_works

            The USPS was better years ago. As of late, they, like many other organizations, are really sucking.

          18. LarrytheG Avatar

            gotta ask you – have you ever got incorrect mail?

            Does that mean the USPS is corrupt or incompetent or committing fraud?

          19. how_it_works Avatar
            how_it_works

            Are you trying to compare an organization that handles millions of mailpieces per day with one that handles millions of votes per year?

          20. LarrytheG Avatar

            yes. compare number of employees… for a start.

            My local board is between 5 and 10 employees.. and about 70,000 voters.

          21. Nancy Naive Avatar
            Nancy Naive

            Snuff? Registration is not voting. Donald Duck was registered in Richmond.

          22. how_it_works Avatar
            how_it_works

            As long as the data is present as it is received with no alteration, it does not matter to me who makes the effort to allow the public to see it.

          23. LarrytheG Avatar

            You’d be okay with Northam running VPAP?

            hahahahah

            no way!

          24. how_it_works Avatar
            how_it_works

            Sure, as long as he has an 8-year-old kid to explain to him how all that tech works.

  4. Stephen Haner Avatar
    Stephen Haner

    Trust but verify. Since I “retired” tomorrow will the ninth time I have worked as an election officer, first in Richmond and then in Henrico. I have never seen a party observer in either voting location for more than a few moments. Tomorrow I guess they will be staring at me hours on end wondering if I’m up to no good…..But it is my hope that the result of all this additional activity is more people realize in general the process in Virginia is quite good. Trump lost both times here, 2016 and 2020. I can’t speak with authority about other places. Obama won the state twice, too, so why should it have been a surprise?

    I’ve spent three half-day shifts observing the early voting process, and every voter I saw checked in showed ID. I saw nobody filling out the affidavit form to vote without ID. I saw nobody turned away because the computer reported they had already voted. I saw the usual number of folks who hadn’t updated their addresses, but that is commonplace. A couple of folks turned in absentees they had received but chose not to use.

    Gillispie and I have fought this battle before. I for one am sick to death of it. What I choose to do with my life after tomorrow will be in large part due to folks like him, but I’ve had enough of this.

    1. Steve Gillispie Avatar
      Steve Gillispie

      Quite a repudiation, Steve.

      My position that one must not take the possibility of voter fraud for granted and be particularly suspicious of requirements which make it more difficult to detect would seem to have been the underpinning of your dedicated, valued and respected work.
      Much as I respect you, the great work you have done and are continuing to do, and my confidence that no fraud could happen under your purview–I will not suspend my distrust of zealous political operatives and their ability to manipulate the ballot process.
      But I do regret that you feel compelled to reevaluate your life direction because of folks like me.
      Steve

  5. Nancy Naive Avatar
    Nancy Naive

    Along Larry’s discussion, I wonder if the campaigns are able to obtain lists of who has voted early or by absentee? I bring this up because canvassing was being done in my neighborhood and they weren’t going to every door. For example, they went to only 3 of my immediate neighbors that I could see and skipped others including me, and not because of lawn signs or lack thereof. Could be party registration, but we’re not party affiliated and should therefore look like red meat to either party, BUT we did vote a couple of days after they opened for early voting.

    1. how_it_works Avatar
      how_it_works

      The political parties have their ways of figuring which direction voters lean even in the absence of party registration. They have their own databases of voters with this information in it.

      Some of these ways include but are not limited to:

      1)Campaign contributions
      2)Surveys
      3)Voting in primaries

      1. LarrytheG Avatar

        Yes – but no way to actually be able to change votes already cast or affect the votes fraudulently that Trump has been claiming.

        Again – finding discrepancies or even the ability to identify individual voters is not the potential for fraud unless the discrepancies and/or personal info are used by someone favor one candidate over another and change the election.

        That kind of fraud is rare and usually requires more than one person to accomplish. Has a single case of that been found?

        1. how_it_works Avatar
          how_it_works

          What are you babbling about? I was pointing out that the political parties have their own databases and know which direction voters lean, and you bring fraud into it, which has nothing to do with that.

          1. LarrytheG Avatar

            this thread started over “discrepancies” and implications that the elections were not secure. right?

            so what point are you making now?

            If POLs … REALLY knew which way voters lean, we’d not have nailbighter elections so much, no?

          2. how_it_works Avatar
            how_it_works

            No, this thread started over NN’s observation that campaign workers do not knock on all the doors in their neighborhood.

            Geez, pay attention!

          3. LarrytheG Avatar

            the last ones after you posted https://voteref.com/ and which I asked why you posted it and what it was about and it was apparently about discrepancies of voter information… 107 year olds and folks voting with wrong addresses, etc?

            And I pointed out that such discrepancies are not necessarily “fraud” and by no means the kind of massive fraud to overturn elections, etc?

            It’s okay, we can end this thread now, right?

          4. how_it_works Avatar
            how_it_works

            I think we should. This thread took a wrong turn somewhere. And my GPS works..

          5. LarrytheG Avatar

            πŸ˜‰ … my apologies…

  6. Nancy Naive Avatar
    Nancy Naive

    I just register my company, Cyber Shaolin Monks, and we are prepared to audit Virginia election results for 50% of that charged by the Ninjas. BTW, we have a machine to look for Chinese allels on absentee ballots… better’n bamboo.

  7. John Harvie Avatar
    John Harvie

    Trump is poison now. He should get the heck out of the picture.

    The social medias actually did GOP a favor by attenuating (to some extent) his inflamitory and damaging rhetoric.

    Whatever the election outcome perhaps Youngkin’s candadacy will have a beneficial effect for the midterms, maybe even beyond the boundaries of Comm. of VA.

    1. DJRippert Avatar

      I agree. The best thing the lefties at Twitter ever did for the GOP was to ban Trump from the platform.

  8. Nancy Naive Avatar
    Nancy Naive

    BR Goes Live on CRT…
    https://mobile.twitter.com/TheGoodLiars/status/1455243036795998212?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Etweet

    Is he a retired Navy CAPTAIN? Hard to read the scrambled eggs on the cap.

  9. Donald Smith Avatar
    Donald Smith

    Perhaps Trump is trying to goose the pro-Youngkin vote. Over 40% of the Virginia electorate voted before Election Day, according to National Review. Most of those votes were cast before McAuliffe’s campaign imploded and his polling went south. Sounds as if Youngkin needs anyone and everyone who supports him to get to the polls.

    It’s also possible that Trump realizes that he really screwed up in Georgia when he told his supporters to stay home and the Democrats won the Senate. Perhaps Trump is trying to do some damage control for his image.

  10. Peter Galuszka Avatar
    Peter Galuszka

    This is a hoot! For five years JAB and his merry band of buddies have tried to pretend that Donald Trump DOESN”T EXIST. Until today’s election day when he might get in the way of Youngkin who enjoys Trump’s endorsements but doesn’t want The Donald around at rallies. What a way to run a party!

    1. Matt Adams Avatar
      Matt Adams

      New Flash, despite his attempts to remain relevant and feed his narcissistic personality Trump doesn’t matter. He’s not on any ballot, he doesn’t hold any office minus FPOTUS.

      You can’t make your entire message about Trump when he’s no longer on the ballot.

  11. Nancy Naive Avatar
    Nancy Naive

    BR Goes Live on CRT…
    https://mobile.twitter.com/TheGoodLiars/status/1455243036795998212?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Etweet

    Is he a retired Navy CAPTAIN? Hard to read the scrambled eggs on the cap.

    1. Matt Adams Avatar
      Matt Adams

      How does one get U.S. Navy out of something that clearly says U.S. Air Force. There also isn’t a rank on the hat, stop being obtuse.

      1. Nancy Naive Avatar
        Nancy Naive

        Military, by definition, is fungible.

        1. Matt Adams Avatar
          Matt Adams

          Not really, I also find it highly humorous that someone who was employed the the U.S. Navy makes such statement.

          1. Nancy Naive Avatar
            Nancy Naive

            Who has the most boats? Army.
            The most airplanes? Navy.
            What does the AF have? Golf courses and stables.

            The definitons of “secure”
            Navy — tie it in a knot.
            Army — fence it in.
            Marines — attack it.
            Air Force — lease it.

          2. Matt Adams Avatar
            Matt Adams

            This isn’t WWII, the Army doesn’t have the most boats. They currently only have 118 watercraft.

            The Navy doesn’t have the most planes, that would be the Air Force.

            The Air Force has golf courses, steak and lobster.

            Everything else you stated is irrelevant of your own opinion, which at this point seems to be driven by myth more than fact.

            Which again, is hilarious that you were ever employed the the U.S. Navy and making such statements.

          3. Nancy Naive Avatar
            Nancy Naive

            But… I didn’t steal from them posting on social media all day.

          4. Matt Adams Avatar
            Matt Adams

            “Nancy Naive Matt Adams β€’ 19 minutes ago
            But… I didn’t steal from them posting on social media all day.”

            Cool story, also your standard statement when you get caught with your BS in hand.

          5. Nancy Naive Avatar
            Nancy Naive

            Who has the most boats? Army.
            The most airplanes? Navy.
            What does the AF have? Golf courses and stables.

            The definitons of “secure”
            Navy — tie it in a knot.
            Army — fence it in.
            Marines — attack it.
            Air Force — lease it.

  12. Charlie Potatoe Avatar
    Charlie Potatoe

    The Election has shown how misguided Mr. Bacon’s views turned out to be.

    He totally misrepresented Trumps key role in Youngkin’s Election, and fails to recognize the success of Younkin in assembling and maintaining a successful Coalition of disparate Voters with common interests.

    Younkin did not renounce Trump and gratefully accepted his support, while maintaining a respect full distance from some events by Trump supporters.

    This posture, his support of Issues favored by Trump and his Supporters, and his prospect of winning the Governorship, left the door open for the support of Trump and his Supporters.

    A Month before the Election, Younkin was getting 87% of Republicans.

    In response, Trump acted to rally his Voters to Younkin, by repeating his support for him in press releases/statements, calling in his support for him into a Rally of Trump Supporters in the Richmond suburbans(Henrico County), and urging his supporters to vote for Youngkin in a Tele Conference with tens of thousands of his supporters on Election Eve.

    These actions were coordinated with vigorous efforts by Trump Supporters on the ground to convince his Voters to support Youngkin and get out to vote for him in early voting and on Election Day.

    As a result, Youngkin received the support of 96% of Republicans on Election day.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/elections/interactive/2021/exit-polls-virginia-governor/

    These efforts by Trump did not interfere with Youngkin maintaining his Coalition and making gains with moderates in the Suburbs and other areas carried by Biden, despite warnings andheavy breathing by naysayers.

    In truth, Trump support was a necessary, but not exclusive, element in Youngkin’s win

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