As 2024 Approaches, Election Integrity Moves Back into Spotlight
As the 2024 presidential election season swings into full gear, the battle over election integrity measures also appears to be in full swing. In August, two state provisions (in Texas and in Georgia) designed to strengthen the verification process for mail-in ballots were both struck down by district courts. The rulings illustrate the latest skirmish in an ongoing partisan battle over state efforts to strengthen election integrity, which the Left characterizes as “voter suppression” and conservatives say is just common sense.
As a board member of the International Foundation for Electoral Systems and as FRC Action’s special advisor for Election Integrity, Ken Blackwell has been studying the issue for some time, particularly since irregularities came to light during the 2020 election. On Tuesday, he joined “Washington Watch with Tony Perkins” to discuss strategies on securing the integrity of the 2024 election.
“We as individual citizens have to engage,” he emphasized. “We have to recruit folks at the precinct level. There are 3,100 counties and hundreds of thousands of precincts, and that’s where elections take place. And we have to make sure that there are people who are engaged there, [with] eyes on the system that the chain of custody of our ballots happen to be reduced to the barest number, and that there are verification systems that make sure that people who are who they claim to be.”
Blackwell, who formerly served as mayor of Cincinnati, went on to assert that the Biden administration is “attacking citizenship” through controversial voter registration policies.
“They are creating, like in New York and Pennsylvania, automatic voter registration, where in fact they take away the freedom of people to make a choice as to whether or not they want to be registered,” he pointed out. As Perkins noted, “We encourage people to get registered, but one of the problems with automatic registration is, if someone really doesn’t want to vote, it allows for someone to vote illegally for them.”
Blackwell further highlighted that government officials in some states “are giving illegal [immigrants] driver’s licenses, [and] there’s really relaxed verification in some jurisdictions. So an illegal can, in fact, be encouraged to vote even though they’re not a citizen. … In New York City, there’s litigation now because what they’ve basically said is that non-citizens can vote in municipal elections if … they show identification.”
Even so, Blackwell emphasized that since 2020, many state governments and coalitions have put in place increased integrity measures to secure future elections.
“We have made progress. In 2020, there were a lot of polling places uncovered. [A] coalition … that I’m engaged in, we go out [and] recruit citizens at the precinct level. We train them [by] working through their local non-governmental organizations and their parties. And we, in fact, put eyeballs on the system. We make sure that the system is transparent and people are engaged.”
Blackwell, who also serves as Family Research Council’s senior fellow for Human Rights and Constitutional Governance, underscored how close the 2020 election was and the need to vote. “In 2020, [in] Georgia, Wisconsin, and Arizona, the election was determined by less than 100,000 votes … which in fact gave Biden the Electoral College win. … And so we have to be involved and we have to vote.”
In response to a concern raised by Perkins about an effort to exploit worries about election integrity “as a means of voter suppression to try to keep conservatives from voting by making them think their vote doesn’t matter,” Blackwell was unequivocal.
“[The Biden administration is] overloading the system with illegals and opportunities for fraud. And they in fact have advanced narratives that depress and suppress. Our responsibility is to inspire hope and engagement. [As Christians], we have to be engaged.”
Dan Hart is senior editor at The Washington Stand.