The Post-Election Day Security Blog
THE POST ELECTION DAY SECURITY BLOG
Well folks it’s done, another midterm election has come and gone. It cannot be denied that in recent years the concept of voting has become more important to people.
Of course, there are still those with cynical viewpoints who might say voting has no purpose and that it’s all a waste of time and money. Well if there is one thing that I’ve noticed is that wealthy people don’t like to waste time or money and they spend a lot of money so their candidates can win.
Even before 2020 there have been those, within both political parties, that have questioned both the results and the security of ballots. Theories ranging from stolen ballots, fake or faulty voting machines, tunnels under ballot boxes, and so forth have eroded our confidence in a free and fair election. But we are not here to talk about the numerous conspiracy theories that run rampant around election time. This blog will hopefully give you, the security-informed reader some peace-of-mind about what took place for our electoral security in 2022.
The following is a personal account from one of our Field Training Officers, from the field:
"As a security officer I have been assigned a site that has a drop box inside the store and a polling place next door. Neither one was tasked to me directly, I just watched the store and the surrounding parking lot.
However, I would often walk inside and visually check the drop box for signs of tampering or vandalism. Last night, (November 8th, 2022, at 8:00 P.M) a man and a teenage boy came to collect the ballots. The manager of the store escorted them to the drop box and the other security officer on site was able to observe them.
Upon exiting the store I watched as they placed a big bag of ballots (tongue twister) into an unmarked SUV. It was at this point, between when they exited the store and when they left the site that those ballots were at their most vulnerable. Escorting them to their vehicle entered my mind but I decided there may be some legal blowback, after all, escorting them was not my assigned task.
I made sure not to lose sight of them as they walked across the parking lot. I checked to see if anyone was observing them from a distance. At that moment, I recognized a small notion of paranoia within myself, and ran various scenarios in my head of what I would do if someone approached them. I can understand why some would want to take it into their own hands to make sure all ballots are counted and repel any threats to the election process. However, one must also recognize, as I did, that additional security might not be necessary. Fear and paranoia are great motivators for action, but it could be the wrong action. In the end, no harm came to the ballots, the ballot collectors, the poll workers, or anybody really.
Democracy held-fast and the feeling I received from witnessing it all unfold was that of pure patriotism."
Sadly the aforementioned story is not a nationwide experience.
Many do give in to fear and paranoia and arm themselves then watch ballot boxes from a distance. Whatever their intentions may be this is and has been known as voter intimidation. Voter intimidation is a tactic that has been used since the Civil War. Women, minorities, employees of wealthy businessmen, have all lost the chance to vote because they fear violence or retaliation. These days voter intimidation still exists and innocent voters fear reprisals so much they will cover their license plates before heading to the drop box in order to protect their identity. This happened in Mesa, a suburb of Phoenix, Arizona. The Arizona Secretary of State and State Attorney General are currently looking into six cases of voter intimidation and threats via email. Law enforcement have responded to armed individuals watching the ballot drop boxes and others who take pictures of voters license plates in the name of “voter security.” One voter who felt harassed by this took a picture of their license plate and reported them to the Department of Justice. As a result the DOJ has asked law enforcement to increase security near ballot drop boxes and polling stations.
In conclusion, while there are some who may not think so, every eligible voter has the right to vote safely and securely without the fear of repercussions to persons or property.
“The ballot is stronger than the bullet.”
– Abraham Lincoln
Included in this blog are links to videos on the ballot process and voter intimidation