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What If the Fishy ‘Big Blue Shift’ to Democrats Late in Elections Is Legal?

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On the mass conversion of our institutions. Eric Felten writes:

To question the legitimacy and fairness of recent U.S. elections is to be attacked as a probable “Russian asset” out to undermine democracy or, at best, a kook. But many voters notice something strange happening. Scholars who study elections have noticed a peculiar trend developing in the last couple of decades: Late-arriving and late-counted ballots skew Democrat blue. As Election Night drags on, the pace of Republican votes slows and in the wee hours Democratic votes gain momentum. Political scientists call it the Big Blue Shift.

In the contentious aftermath of the last presidential election, Deen Freelon, an associate professor at the University of North Carolina, dismissed the concerns of Trump voters as falling for the kinds of claims that “trade on people’s lack of familiarity with the vote-counting process.” He said, “Things that are perfectly normal and happen in every election may look like, to the uninitiated viewer, as something irregular or problematic.”

Does that argue for leaving such matters to experts, or should it call into question why perfectly normal voting practices look problematic? Edward B. Foley, a professor at Moritz Law School at Ohio State University who coined the concept “Blue Shift,” recognizes that an election that appears unfair can be as damaging to democracy as a ballot box that has actually been stuffed.

[Eric Felten, "What If the Fishy 'Big Blue Shift' to Democrats Late in Elections Is Legal?," RealClearInvestigations, March 24]

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