Concern about safe and secure elections has been heightened by a new movie from Dinesh D’Souza called “2,000 Mules.”
The good news is that there may be mules in other cities who helped Joe Biden get elected president but they probably had little, if any, effect in Jacksonville.
Mike Hogan is the supervisor of elections. He is a conservative Republican who was known for his integrity as a member of the City Council and in the Florida House. He ran for mayor in 2011 but lost when he was deserted by GOP power brokers who feared he would not dance to their tune.
Hogan says Florida election laws are strong and the local procedures are effective in preventing fraud.
Then, how, some ask, did Jacksonville “turn blue” in 2020?
It didn’t. Democrats have outnumbered Republicans in Jacksonville and the rest of Florida for decades. In 2018, the liberal, drug-using Democrat candidate for governor garnered more votes in Duval County than Ron DeSantis, who has proven to be one of Florida’s best governors. Two other statewide candidates who ran as Democrats also got a majority of the vote here.
Trump’s victory in 2016 was the outlier. He won because: 1. He was a businessman, not a politician. 2. He promised to close the border. 3. He didn’t give a damn what the media thought about him.
When Biden won Jacksonville in 2020 it was by almost 19,000 votes. Trump had defeated Hillary Clinton here by about 6,000 votes in 2016. But there were 40,000 more Democrats than Republicans in 2020 and they had a large turnout.
The difference in 2020 likely was a shift in the votes cast by independent voters, neither Democrat nor Republican.
Eye on Jacksonville’s analysis of the returns from 2016 and 2020 showed the precincts with a majority of Democrats and a majority of black voters voted for the Democrat candidate in both elections. Only a few precincts with white Republican majorities flipped in 2020, and those by slim margins.
It was in the white and integrated areas where neither major party is dominant that votes shifted to Biden in meaningful numbers. We consulted a long-time follower of local elections who has been crunching numbers on voting for decades and he said his own independent analysis got similar results.
However, Republican registration now matches that of Democrats in Florida overall and is near parity in Jacksonville. The percentage of voters who belong to neither major party also is increasing.
Democrats nationwide have pushed for laws that make it easier for people to vote — and also to cheat.
Honest voters seem to be rejecting the flawed mail-in ballot systems favored by Democrats and in what probably is a related trend huge Democrat losses are expected in the fall elections, despite any cheating that may occur.
In some states, mail-in ballots are sent to all voters. That is not done in Florida. A voter has to request one. Universal ballots scream “fraud” by their very nature.
There has been a substantial increase in mail voting in Jacksonville. It has gone from 17 percent of the total votes in 2016 to 28 percent in 2020. Interestingly, there was a 143 percent increase in mail voting by Democrats.
No-excuse mail-in voting combined with ballot harvesting – the practice of collecting ballots from individual voters and taking them to the polls or post office en masse — is what the Heritage Foundation calls the “tool of choice for vote thieves.” Mules is the term used for those who harvest ballots.
Meanwhile, fake fact-checkers have been employed in a desperate attempt to refute the powerful evidence presented by D’Souza.
The bottom line is: There are safeguards locally for mail ballots and for those cast on machines at the polls, Hogan said. Poll watchers, signature scrutiny and a canvassing board also help ensure fairness.
That is not to say cheating cannot take place. But no one has presented any hard evidence of mass cheating in Jacksonville to date.