“I know it doesn’t count” – radio show callers question election integrity

Middlebury College political science professor Matthew Dickinson (left) and VT GOP activist Jay Shepard both engaged callers questioning the integrity of the upcoming presidential election on the WVMT Morning Drive call-in program.

By Michael Bielawski

Three calls spanning two consecutive episodes of the WDEV Morning Drive Radio Show last week featured listeners complaining that the current status of election integrity in the nation and the state is discouraging. One caller declared “I know [my vote] doesn’t count.”

Meanwhile at least one local media personality is downplaying such concerns in his social media postings.

The first caller of two in a row occurred when Matt Dickinson a Political Science Professor at Middlebury College was a guest on the show last week on Thursday. He posted later that day on X (formerly Twitter), “A couple of callers suggested they were inclined not to vote because of the purported fraud – how can you trust the election outcomes they said? #georgiasenate”.

On the show Dickinson explained that he thought Georgia’s most recent US Senate races were determined at least in part by the perception (he doesn’t comment on whether he thinks it’s true or not) that US elections are currently compromised.

The caller who didn’t identify himself said, “As long as there’s any question about how authentic the election is, it’s all a moot point, I believe. And this thing about voter IDs, they should be shown. And as long as there are all the mail-in ballots that are going in there, there’s going to be a question about how authentic anything is.”

The host asked if being discouraged would keep him from voting.

“Oh no I am still going to vote but I’m looking at it through slanted eyes,” he said. “I think there’s more than enough evidence to show that this has gotta get cleaned up. The fact that nobody’s addressing it is something that bothers me.”

The next caller suggested there needs to be national standards when it comes to issues like voter ID.

“Why is it so complicated to get a national voting procedure for all federal elections, where all federal elections for Senate, Congress, and president you present a voter ID?” she said. “That would solve the whole darn thing and people could go back to feeling like their vote counts. Because I vote and I know it doesn’t count, and it is a moot point.”

Dickenson says there is “just no documented evidence” of fraud during US elections. He does not acknowledge the 1,400-plus cases proven and documented at the Heritage Foundation website.

The next episode of the show on Friday featuring Jay Shepard, Vermont’s Republican Committee representative, got yet another call concerning election integrity.

“I think number one I’m not hearing anybody wanting to promote people in the legislature or election reform. So I’m leary of it but I just don’t have much hope,” the caller said.

Shepard sympathized with the caller’s concerns about elections.

“And I don’t believe that we’ve seen enough changes as far as the election integrity part of it goes, I think we all want free and fair elections and I’m not sure anything has changed since the last election,” he said.

Local media personality suggests to only side with Biden’s narratives

While the public is engaged in increasing skepticism regarding election integrity, some local media are trying to downplay such notions. Local journalist Kevin Ellis, who co-hosts a WDEV radio show, The Vermont Viewpoint, has shared a social media post on X (formally Twitter) suggesting that journalists should only side with the Democrat narratives concerning the 2020 election or the subsequent January 6 protests.

Ellis calls the assertions by CNN’s White House correspondent John Harwood in the video “valuable” on his X account.

Harwood says, “I also think it’s important to say that a core point that [Biden] made in that political speech about [Trump being] a threat to democracy is true, now that’s not something that’s easy for us as journalists to say. 

“We’re brought up to believe that there’s two political parties and two different points of view and we don’t take sides in honest disagreements between them, but that’s not what we’re talking about. We do not have honest disagreements. The Republican Party right now is led by a dishonest demagogue.”

Harwood offers no consideration that the majority of Americans suspect fraud is impacting US federal elections in major polls such as by Rasmussen.

Harwood continues, “Many, many Republicans are rallying around his lies about the 2020 election and other things as well. And a significant portion or a sufficient portion of the constituency that they are leading attacked the Capital on January 6 violently.”

The author is a reporter for the Vermont Daily Chronicle

Categories: Elections, Uncategorized

33 replies »

  1. See the leftist progressive socialist Democrats on radio and TV are spewing their bs as usual. Nobody seems to have the gonads to challenge them for what they are.

  2. Democrats/Progressives say things like ‘there’s no evidence of widespread fraud’.  This is partly related to the fact that Dem/Progs have set up a system that has no audit trail. There’s no way of knowing whether a vote being counted was cast by an actual eligible voter. With automatic mail in voting like the system Gov Scott pathetically signed us up for, ballots are mailed out, for example, to all residents of nursing homes (including those with unionized workers helping dementia patients). When those ballots are returned whose vote is being counted? The other challenge with the assertion that there’s ‘no evidence’ is the fact that you can’t find what you’re not looking for. For so long as they’re successful in selling us on the ‘no evidence’ mantra, no DA office will feel obligated to devote any resources to actually finding the evidence. 

    • You are exactly right, TJ. And Republicans keep falling for the trap of responding to the “no evidence” argument with “Yes there is!” — and then they can’t provide any for the reasons you cite. So, they lose all credibility on the issue. The correct way to attack the lack of integrity in our system is to show how with current absentee ballot practices there is no way to verify that a vote counted and attributed to a voter was actually cast by that voter. If you the cheaters explain how how votes can be validated under their system, they can’t do it.

      • Knowing the details of our voting process is required for any legitimate criticism. The problems being discussed rest with the unique mail-in voting process specified for the 2020 election. Should this process be continued? You be the judge.

        This was the first election in which ballots were ‘automatically’ mailed to every ‘registered’ voter, whether or not the voter requested the ballot.

        The process was not legislated. It was a ‘directive’ by SOS, Jim Condos. And the language describing the process was poorly written. The directive includes, for example, the following disclaimer on the voting and vote counting process.

        “The Municipal Clerk or other Local Election Official (LEO) accepting the return of ballots shall not be required to enforce this provision but shall report any suspected violations to the Secretary of State’s Office who shall refer them to the Attorney General’s Office for investigation.”

        The directive also requires ‘strict chain of custody procedures regarding voted ballots, ballot boxes, and tabulators shall be issued by the Secretary of State for conducting this process.’ But the process is anything but ‘strict’. Consider this disclaimer in the Condos directive.

        “The Secretary of State, in collaboration with the Department of Health, will issue guidance and/or further addendums to this Directive regarding safe procedures for the conduct of polling places based on current CDC guidance. This may include the safe conduct of poll workers, hand-counting of ballots, polling place social distancing, masking, and cleaning of polling places and equipment.”

        In other words, anything goes.

        And keep this in mind too. Vermont municipalities received a significant financial stipend from a non-governmental agency (The Center for Tech and Civic Life) to be used to facilitate the SOS directive. My Town of Westminster, for example, received at least $5000 from this NGO – more than one dollar for every voter.

        And where did The Center for Tech and Civic Life get its money? You guessed it. From Mark Zuckerberg,

        Here’s the deal: Specifically, Vermont town clerks can’t verify/validate the signatures on a mail-in ballot envelope because they don’t have verified signatures on file to compare.

        Further, the practice of sending mail-in ballots to all registered voters offends the statutory requirements for traditional ‘early or absentee’ voting for which voters must complete an application process.

        Can anyone prove there was 2020 election fraud? No.
        Can anyone prove the 2020 election was fair and accurate? No.

        Can anyone prove the election process is flawed? You be the judge.

  3. The thing that gets me is…if elected officials are really concerned about the public perception that something was wrong with our elections, wouldn’t the prudent stance be, “Let’s get to the bottom of this”? Instead, we get, “Nope, our elections are safe. There is no evidence to the contrary.” (Which isn’t true.) This strikes me as evidence that not only are there problems, but our elected officials KNOW there are problems and want to keep it that way.

    • If it’s true, where’s the evidence and why are there people on your side that believe that our elections are safe? It’s okay to admit that you were all conned by Trump. We forgive you, but seriously, where’s the evidence?

      • Vermont’s director of elections, deputy sec of state, and several town clerks testified that there is no way of knowing who actually filled out an absentee ballot in Vermont. If a ballot for the person (or family) who lived at my address before I did shows up in my mailbox by mistake, I can fill out and send in those ballots with near zero likelihood of detection, and totally zero chance of being caught. I can buy your ballot from you fill it out and send it in with no way of being caught. I can fill out my spouse’ ballot for her and my kids’ and my elderly parents’. No way for election officials to detect any wrongdoing. It’s on the system to effectively demonstrate that it is capable of detecting, tracing, and prosecuting fraud if and where it occurs. Ours in Vermont can’t do that. And there have been many psychological studies done that demonstrate if people are given an opportunity to cheat, and are shown that there will be no recognition of or consequences for their cheating, they will cheat. A lot. That’s Vermont’s voting system.

      • In addition to the excellent points made in Mr Roper’s reply, if the media is constantly telling people that there is a ‘grave threat to democracy’ if republicans win, don’t you think they’re, to some extent giving people a green light to cheat. The more they stress the gravity of the threat posed, the ‘existential threats’ the more they’re encouraging people to view their transgressions as being justified ‘to save democracy’. In that environment, how could anyone believe the honor system is good enough. 

      • I read the testimony and had to chuckle at the whataboutism you are referring to. If you’re worried about people mailing in ballots of their family members and changing the votes to democrat, how about your party works on not being so toxic.

      • Chris, for me it’s not a partisan issue. It’s an election integrity issue. Fair elections require adherence to one person/one vote. If the system can’t transparently guarantee and protect that principle, no side that loses an election will ever accept the results. That’s not good for democracy.

      • Dear Chris,

        It is simply called logical reasoning and common sense. If we are forced to vote in an election system with the following conditions we do not have a trustworthy system.

        *No Ballot chain of custody
        * No Voter ID’s
        *Unrequested Ballots are mailed USPS to ALL voters on ALL voter checklists
        throughout the state
        *The Ballots are controlled by the state rather than the local town clerks
        *Ballots are mailed out and circulating for 40+ days before the actual
        Election Day
        *Non-deliverable Ballots go where
        *Ballot harvesting is legal and allowed
        *Unattended Ballot boxes are allowed 24/7 for depositing voted Ballots *Same day voter registration is allowed
        *DMV voter registration is allowed – are non-citizens registering
        *The state allows college students to vote in Vermont even when their
        residences are elsewhere
        *The state has given access of all state voter checklists to non-
        governmental organizations
        *The state belongs to ERIC and gives them access to state voter checklists
        *Questionable yet, mandated vote counting machines

        Our Constitution declares we are to have a Free and Fair Election System without Corruption. With the present system, we don’t have any way to know who has actually voted on the mailed Ballots. There is no way to audit vote results with no Ballot chain of custody.

        Why would anyone with a sound mind think the Vermont Election System is Free and Fair without Corruption?

        Why isn’t the Vermont Republican Party challenging this bogus Non-Constitutional Election System?

      • Chris, on your ‘how about your party works on not being so toxic’ comment. I don’t recall President Trump giving a nationally televised speech labeling those who did not vote for him domestic terrorists. He hit back at political opponents but not their voters. I’ll say that once more. He hit back at politicians but did not call our Americans who didn’t vote for him domestic terrorists. Was his approach too troublesome and toxic for your kind?

      • MikefromtyeWhites the people that stormed the capitol on 1/6 are domestic terrorists so yes I agree with that label. 

        You can’t be serious about your Trump comment lol. He just suggested General Miley be killed, he is literally running on a platform of I’m going to punish my enemies. Let’s be real, I abhor Sleepy Joe but anyone who supports Cheeto Mussolini and the revenge tour can’t chirp about “fair and free elections.” 

      • I like it when selection supporters automatically default to the Fedsurrection as their go to defense against questioning election integrity. The beast most appreciates their obedience and compliance. Do not question authority – Do not question anything and that is an order! They demand you sit in your cubicle, give them a 1/3 of your earnings, give the rest to the debt masters, and waste away your life because they own you sniveling peasant!

      • Re: “… the people that stormed the capitol on 1/6 are domestic terrorists so yes I agree with that label.”

        Chris, does that include the federal and district law enforcement agents (so many the DOJ lost count of them) who infiltrated and instigated the crowd before Trump was finished speaking? Does it include the House Sargent at Arms and Speaker Pelosi, who purposely refused National Guard assistance, even when requested by the Chief of the Capitol Police?

        These are all proven allegations. Even Ray Epps has been busted – sort of. Is that not ‘evidence’?

        Is it possible, based on your comments, that you, too, may be prosecuted as a co-conspirator. If you think that’s not a possibility in today’s topsy-turvy Orwellian cartoon, read up on France’s revolution, the Storming of the Bastille, the subsequent Reign of Terror, and the fate of Robespierre.

        What goes around comes around, my friend.

  4. ‘Harwood says, “I also think it’s important to say that a core point that [Biden] made in that political speech about [Trump being] a threat to democracy is true, now that’s not something that’s easy for us as journalists to say.’ Of course it is easy for leftist “journalists” to say such things. In fact, they can’t help themselves, bless their hearts.

  5. I’m more inclined to say we don’t get a choice because presidential candidates are limited to a select chosen few regardless of qualifications, as evidenced by the DNC’s obvious success in blocking Bernie Sanders and RFK, Jr. It all looks rigged.

  6. How many voters in Vermont? According to published articles linked here, 48 million people in France are registered to vote. They must show photo identification and sign a document next to their name. Volunteers count the ballots one by one. Voting by proxy permitted with the ballot brought to a police station. No mail-in voting. Machines viewed as suspect and not used to any serious extent (see articles for explanation).
    https://www.breitbart.com/europe/2022/04/10/french-election-mail-in-votes-banned-photo-id-hand-counted-paper-ballots/; https://apnews.com/article/covid-health-elections-voting-presidential-elections-8c89c40dd7728d740018f4d008f04cd3

  7. Callers to WVMT do not have to identify themselves in any way. the Morning Drive is the only call-in show that I know that require no identification. It is nothing more than verbal graffiti. The person that called on Thursday may have been the same one who called on Friday- so much for integrity of perspectives on the news.

      • Tyler, all I am asking is for first name ID just as every other conservative talk show requests.

  8. Evidence…election integrity? This just seems all backward. Don’t they know that it’s us who have lost confidence in the integrity of their convoluted the voting process? Isn’t this similar to our shaken confidence in lots of other unresponsive institutions where citizens aren’t heard? …”scientific experts”, the “media”, the fair application of the judicial system and laws in general. The civil spirit of law abiding cooperation is eroded and being replaced by a culture of folks willing to go underground…to take on an antigovernment mantle and skirt their efforts to rule us. It’s not our burden to explain why we aren’t believers anymore. It’s their burden to convince us of the righteousness of their nonsense. In the meantime in place of the leadership we elected them for they try to rule us…an unconvinced/uncooperative populous. Good luck!

  9. You could be peeing on these people’s shoes and they’d try to convince you a) no, it’s rain, b) and it’s “climate change” caused it, and c) it’s all Donald Trump’s fault.

    You know what was his fault? Keeping us out of wars. Solving the border crisis. Not paying billions to get hostages released. And on and on and on.

    ‘Nuf said!

  10. It will all come to an end when the citizens of this country start voting with bullets instead of ballots and it’s not going to be a pretty picture.

      • It is really inspiring to see folks respond to commenter “Chris” with calm, rational and logical statements. (not joking, usually folks get their shorts in a twist and then it’s “all bets are off” behavior)
        However, we are well past a normal redress of grievances through proper and appropriate channels, not only in Vermont but in the country as well.

        We either organize and protest-a lot and everywhere or we wait for the “brownshirts” to show up. Because the digital ones already have… by virtue of the recent legislation by the EU and Britain’s Ofcom. Because all digital media companies will be forced to comply, that then forces them to apply the same rules across the platform regardless of what country you live in. And then we’ve lost free speech. Since no newspaper or other media source will allow actual fair and balanced reporting, the average person has no voice. Just my humble opine. And that’s when we enter the state of tyranny.
        And when that happens, and Americans begin to disappear, never to be heard from again, when property is confiscated and protestors calmly standing with signs and not obstructing or impeding traffic or other movement are dragged away, that is when the bullets fly. It will come to that. It has no other choice at this time. Too much of our country’s infrastructure is infected with corruption and self-interest or disinterest. Then the question becomes, how do we handle being behind enemy lines?
        The other choice is that we get silenced and descend into a complete communist/Marxist/totalitarian hell. We are inches away. Just my humble thoughts.

  11. From all we Vermonters have learned, the massive mail-in ballots flooding the election were all equally available to sign and enter by the dishonorable. We had no verification of the signatures. It is a scam.

  12. Hqving read all of the VT election laws, sat down with multiple town clerks, and organized multiple audits, I can tell you with absolute certainty that the problem regarding our election has nothing to do with Republicans or Democrats. It has nothing to do with the people running the election or the people voting in the election.

    It has everything to do with the laws surrounding the election. In all cases, the laws are there to prevent us from being able to audit it. You cannot have a free and fair election if it’s not secure. You cannot have security if you can’t later prove the security, and that can only be done with an audit.

    That’s the bottom line. The laws are set up in such a way that it can’t be audited by citizen groups and the government is only marginally sure that the count is correct. But they will tell you because their jobs and livelihoods depend upon it that there is nothing wrong with the election. These laws have been systematically changed since the 90s.

    Until we all start harping the same tune which must be that we need to be able to audit the election, they will continue to do whatever they want with their selection process.

    • The only people who benefit from a voting system that can’t be audited are the cheaters. So, the question is, who are the people making these rules? It can’t be the naive and ignorant among us. They wouldn’t know if they were benefiting or not. No. Only the people who are cheating, then, are those who make these rules.

      First, it was SOS Condos, by virtue of his ‘directive’. But if anyone thinks Vermont conservatives aren’t culpable, explain why every Republican Vermont State Senator later voted for S.17 – the continuation of the policy to ‘automatically’ send a mail-in ballot to every registered voter.

      • When you come to realize that there is really no left versus right only those who want things done for them and others who wish to do it for themselves you’ll understand that it doesn’t matter whether it’s a Republican or Democrat. All that matters to them is the division because it’s all about control, something they have and want to keep. Look at Kochs post. It’s about control not about what’s right or wrong for the people.

        You mentioned condos but he is just one in a long line of people that have allowed this to happen since the 90s. If you go look at the state statues they’ve been changed slowly and steadily to erode any ability to audit. The majority of the changes were done in the 90s. In fact, if you read through enough of Condo’s writings, he actually may be dumb enough to believe that he’s been helping this entire time.

        Unfortunately one of the things we’re really dealing with is a lot of ignorance. Something that seems to be very underneath the golden dome.

      • Who was Governor in the 1990’s? Howard – Yee Haw – Dean (1991-2003.) He took the realm after Snelling’s brief return in 1991. Prior to that it was Maddy (DNC operative) Kunin 1985-1991. In my brief time working under the Dome in the 1980’s, it was plain to see who was politically annointed and who was simply occupying a seat. Most deals were cut at the Tavern bar or the Capitol Plaza bar. They would stagger back to Peter Welch’s (Senate Pro Temp) or Peter Smith (Lt Gov) office to hash out the rest. I saw how the sausage was made and it was dirty and messy. The difference between then and now, there was just enough morality and ethics to appear there was some honor among the thieves. Vermont’s political shenanigans and palm greasing is as old as the hills. It is a small State and the populace is easy to manipulate and sway with “incentives” that never “trickle down.” Wash, rinse, repeat. The Federal pork is the life blood of the State by design. Vermont is a behemouth welfare State because the Feds made it to be so. It would not be so bad here if our Congressional representatives hadn’t cemented their hind-ends into their seats for decades. They all took a cut off the top of Federal money and “favors” under the table directly to and through the Golden Dome. Other States have the same “business” model going on as well. The answer is the entire diseased, rotted through, system has to come down. What we are seeing now is the last desparate attempts to keep the “business model” alive and covered up. It’s over and they know it. We’re just playing it out and who actually survives – literally and figuratively, remains to be seen.

      • Re: “You mentioned condos but he is just one in a long line of people that have allowed this to happen since the 90s.”

        Of course, this is true. And there isn’t enough room on this forum to list them all. But the real culprits are ‘we the people’. We’re either too stupid and lazy, or too corrupt, in our own right to hold our elected representatives accountable. And I think the majority of us fall into the first category. This is not to say most of us are bad people. But we are pretty much stupid and lazy. And we’re all about to get a major dose of smart-tablets thrown in our collective faces. What we do then will determine the destiny of this otherwise amazing American Experiment. Godspeed.