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OPINION: Hanging chad

by Ron Wood | November 18, 2020 at 5:18 a.m.

Do you remember hanging chad? No, I'm not talking about lynching someone named Chad. I'm talking about the obscure word that all of America became familiar with -- the dangling tiny circles of paper that are part of punch cards. They were punched out by a stylus to select a candidate.

"Hanging chad" refers to the TV images of election officials in Palm Beach County, Fla., in the 2000 presidential election. They were holding up paper punch cards to the light and trying to determine if the voter had punched out the little paper circle sufficiently for their vote to be counted. The fate of Florida's electoral votes for either Bush or Gore was hanging in the balance as ballots were recounted, scrutinized, analyzed, and endlessly debated. Was the "chad" intact or swinging by a thread? Finally, the Supreme Court stepped in and stopped the count. Bush won the election by a narrow margin. It had taken many weeks for that election to be finished.

At that time, America was split almost 50-50, just like it is today. The big issue in those days wasn't massive voter fraud, although dead Democrats in Detroit voting from beyond the grave isn't anything new. Nor was the issue back then counting mail-in ballots that arrived after Election Day. Mail-in voting wasn't common in that day. The issue back then was deciphering unclear punch cards or smudged paper ballots, ascertaining, if possible, what the voter's intent was. After that election, almost all states went to electronic voting in an effort to remove the lack of clarity. Now voting machines are like digital switches, casting an electronic vote one way or another with perfect clarity. That is, until they don't. In Michigan, 6,000 votes in a Republican district suddenly switched overnight from Trump to Biden. It was a "glitch," they said. Other counties and other states that used the same software are now under suspicion.

Challenges to the outcome of the election are underway in those states that had thousands of late ballots counted. What is fair? What is the proper presidential election cut-off date? Is it November third? Thanksgiving? December first? What makes any vote legal versus illegal? Historically in America, contesting an election isn't unusual. Meanwhile, the national news media has almost universally called the presumptive presidential winner as being the Democrat candidate Joe Biden. Perhaps that result will stand. Maybe it won't. This election will face scrutiny in federal courts and most likely be decided by the Supreme Court.

Surely there is a better way to vote, one that doesn't involve so much opportunity for fraud or deceit. Elections should not be able to be stolen. We need certainty in the process. Personally, I agree with Gov. Mike Huckabee that Joe Biden should himself insist that all questionable votes be audited or recounted. Why would Biden claim a victory if it is based on fraud? Remember, when Trump was elected, the Democrats claimed he stole the election. No Democratic congressmen came to Trump's inauguration. The Democrats quickly tried to impeach him. I'm sure Joe Biden wants a clean victory, right?

If it turns out Biden won fair and square, I'll be among those praying for him, even though I could never agree with him or Kamala Harris regarding their left-wing agenda items such as pro-abortion, no border wall, anti-Israel, anti-God, bigger government, pro-LGBTQ, and denying gun ownership rights.

It may be forgotten that the citizens of America are sovereign. We don't bow to a king. We loan our power to leaders. It is "we the people" who are in charge.

-- Ron Wood is a retired pastor and author. Contact him at [email protected] or visit or follow him on Facebook @touchedbygracenwa. Opinions expressed are those of the author.


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