Years ago, as an independent voter, I wasn’t concerned about the presidential election because I had little regard for either candidate. That’s why when a female health care provider began a conservation about voting, I almost backed away until I realized she wasn’t trying to persuade me to choose a candidate she endorsed.
Instead, she was telling me about a matter that concerned her because it seemed to unjust. That’s why I chose to listen to her.
What she described was a method of gathering votes I’d never imagined. At the time, because the phrase was unfamiliar to me, I didn’t know that what she had seen was known as vote harvesting or ballot harvesting. She was upset because the votes were being collected from patients at an elderly care facility; those dementia patients had lost their ability to know their signature meant they had cast their vote for a certain candidate.
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Although evidence of that same harvesting was documented regarding Biden’s election, nothing came of those allegations. As an independent, I was troubled by the implications of that dismissal.
Of course, there was little I could do other than anticipate changes to come with the 2022 elections. Although I had my doubts about the highly touted "red wave," I knew that weighty issued confronted Democratic candidates due to Biden’s ineptness. None of those issues, especially the higher cost of food, gasoline and housing, would be ignored by the electorate.
Added to that, the president and vice president denial that our border with Mexico is insecure certainly had to anger voters in border states and beyond.
Change had to come!
However, predictable as the outcome should have been, the change the election produced was little more than a mild rebuke. Even as an independent, I was stunned, forced to examine my expectations.
And that’s when it hit me, the pattern I recognized from 2020. A number of assumed-to-be winners lost races by the slimmest of margins thanks to last minute tabulations, margins that were shocking yet similar as those in 2020.
This time, in November 2022, I can’t help but wonder whether this year’s vote harvest also produced bountiful results.
Barry M. Koplen, Danville