Koch: Democracy at stake when ballots are counted

by Tom Koch

I submit that democracy was not on the ballot last Tuesday, but it is very much subject to what happens once the ballots are finally counted.

Our republic, which has survived many and various challenges over the past 231 years, is built on the consent of the governed.  That consent is derived at the ballot box, and acceptance of the results of the balloting is critical to our survival as a nation and a society.

Other systems are constituted differently.  Joe Stalin said, “It’s not important who casts the ballots—what’s important is who counts them.”  And in more recent years, nation after nation has seen their democratic forms seized by strongmen who were duly elected (Turkey) or by military juntas (Myanmar.)  Thank God—and Thomas Jefferson and James Madison and Ben Franklin and others—that these are not our systems.  At least not yet.

It is a short slide from a stable democratic republic into a banana republic (without the bananas!), and we must be wary of the dangers within.

Let me be clear. The January 6 storming of the Capitol was, in fact, revolutionary in nature and, if successful, would have destroyed our democratic structure.  The 2020 election was not stolen; Donald Trump lost the election, and his claims to the contrary ill befit a man who I think was generally a pretty good president. 

Our electronic voting machines are more accurate than hand counting by humans, despite occasional malfunctions that are fixed without affecting the eventual vote count.  Reasonable voter identification requirements are not an impediment to the voting rights of certain groups of voters, and Vermont could benefit from something more than just the “checklist,” which was fine when everyone knew everyone else in town.  There is some degree of fraud in every election cycle, but not enough to affect the results.

 In short, elections in this great country, and especially in this wonderful State of Vermont, are essentially fair and accurate, and the results need to be respected and accepted.  Certainly, not everyone will be happy with the results, but elections – not fights in the streets – are how we resolve our differences. 

We need to be thankful for the fact that we live with such a system, and once the votes are accurately counted, it is critically important that all of us accept the results.  The survival of democracy depends on that acceptance.

The author is a resident of Barre Town and its former member of the House of Representatives.

Categories: Commentary

19 replies »

  1. Watch 2000 mules and all the thousands of hours of other evidence presented by impeccably credentialed investigators.

  2. Yeah, whatever you say. NOT. The “storming” of the Capital you speak of was committed by a few hundred UNARMED Americans who were largely LET IN by Capital Police as per the videos thus far released or obtained by media sources.

    As far as “revolutionary” in nature? If THAT incident was, then CERTAINLY you must admit that the extremist democrat organizations who breeched the “people’s House” and set BOMBS off within it in the 1970’s and the 1980’s were true revolutionaries, as their intent was to murder elected officials.

    Our survival as a nation is NOT to accept election fraud of any degree but to question and challenge and oppose ANY & ALL degree of fraud, inconsistency, media influences in the form of propaganda, support election reforms, and seriously question a thus far inextinguishable & perpetual “state of emergency” due to a four-year-old pandemic for which we now have a plethora of treatments that drastically altered the manner in which votes are both cast and counted!

    Challenging the true threats to this democrat form of governance should not merely be acceptable to you and yours, but you ought to realize that such challenges & opposition are not only acceptable and indeed enabled by our US Constitution – but they are encouraged and are the responsibility of an informed electorate!

    The 2020 elections appear by many accounts to have been rife with fraud as were a number of elections this time around: not surprising. Nice try Mr. Koch, but you simply cannot fool all of the people all of the time.

    As the song lyrics say: “what are you going to do when they come for you?

  3. This guy’s a real clown. Honk, honk! “…Jan 6 would have destroyed our democracy.” LOL. Yeah, no. What were they going to do? Seize the magic ring that mind controls the rest of the country? GTHOH. (Second H stands for “Heck,”) As for the vote fraud, check the mail in ballots (I got three!) Check the drop boxes. Check the reams of votes all mathematically lined up…7 for Biden, 1 for Trump for stacks and stacks. (Oh, yes, those ones were straight up printed and the dots filled in black by the printer.) I’d tell you to check the software on the voting machines, but for some weird reason it isn’t allowed, And lastly, when all contested states suddenly stop counting, and vote dumps happen at 3AM in other countries, the US calls it a clear sign of fraud. So check that too. It’s grass roots fraud, my rubber-nosed friend, and it just happened again. Paper ballots. Vote in person, barring tightly controlled and justified absentee voting. Count by hand and don’t put cardboard over the windows. Anything else is simply cover for fraud. But then, the side that wants to tear down the system doesn’t care about the rules, do they?

  4. Jeez, what ignorance, So basically: shut up and obey, this guy must be living in a bubble.

    …hundreds of inditement’s, prosecutions, tons of evidence and footage of ballot harvesting and fraud. How about about the current delays and machine errors and not to mention all the current mail in ballot issues.
    Sorry, no way we should ever respect or accept fraudulent results and a potentially rigged presidential election.
    The institutions responsible to investigate have completely failed, they are part of the problem now..
    We need a serious overhaul !

  5. Joseph Stalin did say that It was the people who count the votes are the ones that matter; the addendum to that should remind all of us that those who manufacture, administer, and control the electronic machines we use now are the ones who control the outcome! Those machines are as easy to manipulate as any computer in the average home! Anyone with a modicum of intelligence that watches “2000MULES” by Dinesh Desousa will be outraged at the lack of secure voting in this country! It is clear that the 2020 election was compromised and nothing has been done to correct that! It is way past time for indictments and arrests to happen! Anyone who continues to deny the obvious facts of that election is guilty of treason along with those who perpetrated the fraud!

  6. Mr. Koch’s words seem but an effort to direct a narrative. While many Vermont voters feel (but do not know) that Vermont’s elections are ‘safe and secure’ (james condos told you so) It appears that Vermont is a beta test for the elitist to hone the ballot manipulation. So well done, in fact that it is entirely legal. Codified in the secretive Covid-19 2020 legislative session.
    It is past time to pay attention to such intentional deceit- a little to late to close the barn door, now that all the horses have escaped.
    It may be that this biennium, the super-majority will be working on 1st Amendment issues. Such as how to make speech like this a ‘hate crime’. Ridiculous? We have already allowed legislation controlling speech to become law, S.265- passed last year.

  7. According to his bio, Mr. Koch will be 80 years old next week. At this point in his long life and career, what does he have to lose that would really matter now? The septuagenarians and octogenarians will likely expire with their secrets, and their assets securely hidden behind trusts and other safe havens. As an attorney, his practice was estate planning nonetheless. As a legislator, I assume his record shows no conflict of interest as an officer of the court. Here are his remarks when he “retired” in 2014: “In my view, the Vermont Legislature is a very special place: a place where each member represents a very small number of citizens and has an unusually close relationship with his or her constituents; a place where members develop friendships and working relationships across party lines; a place where members arrive with genuinely good intentions, listen and learn to an extent that I am sure is totally unanticipated, come to different conclusions, debate their differing points of view, resolve them by majority vote, and then go out and socialize together in the evening. “Above all, the Vermont Legislature is a place that, in my experience and observation, is devoid of corruption and ethical problems. Once again, I refer to Dick Snelling, who in his first inaugural address said, ‘There may be other public offices in which one can serve besides that of a legislator, but there is no higher office.’ “Mr. Speaker, I believe that one’s service, both here and outside these walls, is measured by the effect one has had in improving the lives of others,” Koch said.
    Over the course of his career, Koch said he has been fortunate to work on election law reform, Act 250 revisions, mental health parity, improved treatment of patients with mental illness, health care reform and “helping to fight the epidemic of illegal drugs.” (VT Digger 5/6/2014)

    I’m sure his words here, today, will age just as well as those in 2014. How those reforms working out in 2022 by the way?

  8. The comments here are not unexpected and are all part of robust debate, which I fully respect.

    Let me respond to just one point. I was asked how I know that machine counts are accurate. It’s because we have had numerous hand recounts of machine counts, and to my recollection (and perhaps there is an instance where my recollection is wrong), the hand count has always confirmed the machine count with only minor variations that were not enough to change a result.

    • The recount of ballots is merely one aspect of the election. In Vermont the Tom foolery is done within the voter lists, that’s where it’s always been done. The machines just add yet another layer on top.

      How else do you explain people voting against their wallet for decades?

  9. To suggest that a machine, which does what it is told to do, is more trustworthy than elected Justices of the Peace at counting votes is a catalyst for fraudulent behavior (where needed)

  10. Election cheating is a norm, a norm that is being normalized…for remember money laundering is big business, as the we are now seeing with the FTX crypto currency scam…where Vermont’s own ‘Bought Becca” was awarded $1.1 million in what is essentially stolen money…with the understanding that she would be pushing a certain agenda, inclusive of “Pandemic Preparedness”, such that the agenda of the West’s Rules Based Order i.e. ‘be part of the agenda or we destroy your nation’ is combined with a Malthusian fervor that seeks to get rid of billions of people on the planet.

    No Mr. Koch this is no longer a great country, but rather a bankrupt financial oligarchy presently funding actual Nazi’s in the Ukraine in the latest installment of perpetual war…

    And no there was no Insurrection on January 6th…American’s no longer do what George Washington did on Christmas Eve against the British…even though Democrat Party projections (of their own fear of the truth betrayed the fact that are afraid of the truth and real political debate)

    Enjoy the fantasy life of fair elections!

  11. Seems apparent that Mr. Koch at almost 80 years old probably gets his national news from the alphabet channels, ABC, NBC, CBS, MSNBC, etc. It’s not difficult to see way the republican party in Vermont is a pathetic mess while this man sits on the platform committee. All these never Trumpers are dedicated to the national and state uniparty and republican establishment. Just revealed that McConnel received over 2 million from the FTX crypto currency scam to defeat Trump endorsed candidates in this election. This is the country known for money laundering, Bio labs and massive political corruption. Why do you think the democrats are protecting the Ukraine with $Billions?

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