It is almost exactly 20 years ago that Tony Blair introduced postal voting on demand in Great Britain. Like so many things Blair was involved in, it was disastrous. In the early years, not even proof of identity was required to vote in this way. This ridiculous system has contaminated British politics.
While many court cases for postal vote fraud have ended with prison sentences, the widespread extent of abuse is truly incredible. A 2016 government report on the practice stated that it is open to “fraud, undue influence, theft and manipulation”. I would add that the left is much better than the right at fraud.
Take the Peterborough by-election last year, when a carrier bag with 1,000 ballots was delivered to a polling station. A convicted electoral fraudster, who ran with the winning candidate, was also seen with a Labour rosette during the count. When members of the Brexit Party knocked on the doors in the center of Peterborough, people were initially happy to talk to us about picking up their empty ballot papers. When we returned, no doors opened for us.
My awareness of the damage that the postal vote has done in Britain tells me that Donald Trump is right to continue fighting in the US, even if he still has to find sufficient evidence.
I have spent the last eight days of the presidential campaign traveling to many states and following the Trump train. From the icy cold of Michigan to the harsh northern winds of Arizona, what I witnessed was truly amazing. Trump was in the political shape of his life, addressing huge crowds and speaking at up to five rallies a day. His endurance and the power of his personality are extraordinary. Since his party was behind the Democrats in all competitions, he quickly gained momentum after the second debate, in which he performed well.
None of the opinion polls, experts or mainstream media in the U.S. understood what was going on, and all were wrong in their predictions. They promised that a so-called blue wave was on its way, in which both houses of Congress would be won by the Democratic Party. In fact, the Republicans have won seats in the House of Representatives, and they still control the Senate. They have also achieved their highest ever referendum. All this is evidence of Trump’s party leadership.
Although I could see the pro-Trump trend with my own eyes, many months ago I was concerned that the widespread early voting by mail might be a problem. In fact, I said on August 4 on American public radio that I feared that an election night victory for Trump could turn to ashes because the postal votes were counted the next day. Unfortunately that is exactly what happened.
I am the first to say that a Biden presidency would be the right outcome if every vote cast by mail was honest and legal. But with a postal vote it is never that simple. The temptation to cheat is too great. American voters must be able to trust that no fraud has taken place.
The emphasis is now on Donald Trump to provide evidence – plenty of evidence of illegal behavior. Teams have been set up in the major states and already claim to have found some. The same media that mistakenly wrote off Trump’s chances of winning the election are now shouting foul and saying he is a sore loser. They are wrong to do so. Incidentally, they are the same people who denied Trump legitimacy in 2016 and have used every dishonest trick since then to discredit him.
In states like Wisconsin, there are counties with suspiciously high voter turnout of over 90 percent. Questions have been further raised as a result of the large ballot depots that have taken place in several states following the closure of polling stations. And there is skepticism about the behavior of the postal service itself.
I have no idea if the ongoing legal action will succeed, but when Trump presents overwhelming evidence of abuse, his 69 million fanatical supporters will believe that Biden stole the election. I know Trump well enough to understand that losing is not in his vocabulary. He will simply consider what happened the other night a temporary setback. He will also see himself as a victim of the establishment and in the next few weeks he will launch the 2024 campaign.
Nigel Farage is editor-in-chief of the Newsday platform “The Debate” in Washington.