Ross: Ballot box vigilantes aren’t Batman

Oct 26, 2022, 8:57 AM
(Photo by Deccio Serrano/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
(Photo by Deccio Serrano/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

In Maricopa County Arizona, which was at the center of vote fraud allegations in 2020, there is a campaign to recruit and dispatch self-appointed voting monitors to watch every drop box in the county.

Which they have a right to do, as long as they stay at least 75 feet from the ballot box.

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But some voters find this creepy. Because in a few cases, these poll-watchers have shown up armed and dressed in military camouflage.

Which has prompted the sheriff to send actual officers to monitor the monitors.

So we must ask the question – Is this okay, or should these monitors be considered vigilantes?

And if they are vigilantes, we then have to consider whether they are bad vigilantes or good vigilantes.

Good vigilantes are okay. Batman – was a good vigilante, and was so beloved that in 1966 the good citizens of Gotham City elected him mayor. And in that episode the caped crusader had this exchange with Robin, the Boy Wonder, who thought their campaign signs were too small:

ROBIN: “Don’t you think we should make them a little bigger, Batman?”
BATMAN: “I think these are quite large enough, Robin. After all, the voters are interested in issues, not in window-dressing.”
ROBIN: “Sure, Batman, but a little showmanship wouldn’t hurt us any.”
BATMAN: “No, Robin, I want to conduct a campaign that deals with the issues. I’m convinced that the American electorate is too mature to be taken in by cheap vaudeville trickery. After all, if our national leaders were elected on the basis of tricky slogans, brass bands, and pretty girls, our country would be in a terrible mess, wouldn’t it?”

Holy irony Batman – it certainly would!

And so I hope the ballot box vigilantes are the good kind – who share Batman’s humility and respect for the democratic process. And if they do manage to capture video of midnight ballot smugglers stuffing the ballot boxes – I will thank them for their service. But if they find themselves with no evidence of fraud, I expect them to say so.

And if they show up armed and scare voters away — I hope they are rounded up, disarmed, and sent to Texas to board a charter flight that will fly them to a country better able to use their skill set.

Listen to Seattle’s Morning News with Dave Ross and Colleen O’Brien weekday mornings from 5 – 9 a.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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Ross: Ballot box vigilantes aren’t Batman