Last month I wrote a blog for IWF.org discussing two federal criminal prosecutions for voter fraud related to the 2020 election. But within minutes of sharing the piece on social media, I received a notification from LinkedIn stating that my post violated their policies. Are Americans receiving the full facts, or are social media censors making knee-jerk cancellations whenever they see the word “fraud”?
I appealed the decision, noting that the convictions for fraud that I wrote about in my piece were documented by the U.S. Department of Justice. The press releases are on the federal government’s website here and here. Nevertheless, my appeal was rejected out of hand. Notably, I took another attempt at the LinkedIn feature and reposted the same blog, but using the terminology “voter suppression” of voters who cast ballots by mail. This time, there was no complaint or rejection. Same article, same information — voter fraud by federal postal workers, but using language often employed by the left.
Neither my blog nor the excerpt I shared on Linkedin (“In federal mail ballot voter fraud prosecutions from the 2020 election, the perpetrators were U.S. Postal Service employees”) ever challenged the results of the 2020 presidential election. It pointed out results of federal convictions related to that election — and one was even completed during the Biden administration.
The directive to pursue those claims came from former U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr. Contrary to the leftist claim that this directive interfered with the 2020 election, the action limited the federal government’s interference — by fraud and abuse of its own employees — in elections. The Biden administration, by contrast, has issued an executive order to federal employees far more involved in the 2022 election, but without the directives to manage and oversee their behavior from interference and prosecute what they define as “election misinformation.”
Our system is broken if information backed up by research is not allowed to be shared. The people need to have knowledge of all the facts in order to inform effective policy decisions and elect government officials who make those decisions with their consent. If the information is only one-sided, the decisions are poorly informed.
For years, the left has denied that election fraud occurs and tries to minimize its occurrence and impact. Two decades ago, they circulated the talking point that election fraud is a “solution without a problem” until the Republican National Lawyers Association and the Heritage Foundation posted a database of state and local criminal convictions.
Two convictions hardly challenge the results of the presidential election where there is a margin of difference in the hundreds of thousands, but a few votes can change the results of local elections. The inconvenient truth is that these convictions rebut the left’s “solution without a problem” talking point, but the phrase is still being regurgitated about voter fraud by leftist advocates in Texas and Georgia.
Furthermore, unprosecuted voter fraud is a concession few, if any prosecutors, want to admit. Which prosecutor will apologize for his or her failure to prosecute crimes?
Fortunately, there are nonpartisan prosecutors willing to pursue these cases, and the state legislatures are trying to develop new solutions to address loopholes for those who wish to gain power without the consent of the people. In 2021, Texas and Florida formed their own versions of the Department of Justice’s Election Crimes Branch to pursue voter fraud claims at the state and local levels.
There is a dire need to examine the facts and encourage more civil and productive conversation regarding elections. Read on after a headline. My argument actually is that voter fraud is a form of voter suppression. The goal is not to stop thinking and speaking about elections, but to encourage more thorough and nuanced discussion. Don’t tune out information that might not fit your preconceived notions. Let’s stop regurgitating partisan talking points to our own echo chambers and canceling out those who want to learn more. Otherwise, you’re part of the problem, instead of the solution.
Maya Noronha is a visiting fellow with Independent Women’s Law Center and a civil rights attorney. She has expertise on voting rights, election administration, political law, and redistricting.