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Amy Roberts: Pillow fight

Park Record columnist Amy Roberts.

You know what they say — when the majority doesn’t care for your ideas, don’t change your ideas; instead make up a bunch of lies about those questioning them and see what sticks.

No one really says this, but damned if it’s not scribbled somewhere in the election playbook for a number of conservatives. Summit County’s Republican Party Chair, Karen Ballash, being one of them.

According to a news report, Ms. Ballash recently sent an email to her supporters, noting she’s concerned about the integrity of the November election, and she doesn’t have a lot of faith in either the mail-in ballots or voting machines. Presumably, that’s only the case if her candidates of choice don’t win. If they do, I imagine she will fully endorse the process.



Her email also included a link to a video from Mike Lindell, the MyPillow guy who is currently being investigated by the FBI for identity theft, conspiracy to defraud the United States, and causing intentional damage to a protected computer. He was also permanently banned by Twitter for spreading election lies and is being sued for defamation by both Dominion Voting Systems and its rival Smartmatic USA Corp, who stated he “intentionally stoked the fires of xenophobia and party-divide for the noble purpose of selling his pillows.” A federal judge recently ruled the cases against him can move forward, stating there is ample proof Lindell ignored publicly available information that contradicted his theories and there is sufficient evidence he knew his statements were false and promoted them with “actual malice.”

Perhaps Ms. Ballash should be more concerned with the integrity of her “source” than that of the local election process.



In an interview on KPCW she justified her skepticism stating, “There were huge boat rallies that just happened where nine miles of boats get in a line and rally for Trump. And you’re like 80 million votes? That Joe Biden got 80 million votes — it’s just a lot to swallow.”

Frankly, it’s a lot to swallow that Trump got more than five votes. But aside from that, seeing a bunch of people in boats at a Trump rally is hardly a logical reason to suddenly decide local elections won’t be fair. That’s like going to a Dallas Cowboys football game at AT&T Stadium, seeing 80,000 fans dressed in silver and blue with stars painted on their faces, all cheering wildly when the Cowboys score. Then, based on that experience, determining everyone across the nation is a rabid Cowboys fan and the 82,500 people at MetLife Stadium cheering for the Giants simply just can’t be real. Too much to swallow. Instead, the only plausible explanation is a problem with the ticketing machines.

Considering Republicans control the Utah legislature, and Trump won the state in 2020, it’s even more absurd Ms. Ballash would suggest Utah’s by-mail votes can’t be trusted.

Utah is the only red state that allows all elections via mail-in ballots, a practice that’s now been in place for a decade. Before the 2020 election, the only concern raised by election officials was the likelihood that parents would fill out their kids’ ballots while their children were serving missions for the Mormon church.

Delusion runs deep though. So this year Utah lawmakers passed laws mandating 24-hour surveillance at ballot drop boxes, tightening voter ID requirements, and making it easier for voters to opt out of mailed-in ballots.

These measures, combined with a 10-year history across the state of successfully executing fair elections by mail, apparently aren’t enough to quell Karen’s concerns. Though I’d venture to say Ms. Ballash is not afraid of election fraud. She’s afraid of losing. Afraid to admit her and her party’s ideas and policies aren’t popular with the majority. So instead, she’d rather doubt the democratic process than examine her platform. Self-reflection is difficult, a lot harder than just deciding what you want the truth to be.

Maybe she should buy a new pillow and sleep on it.

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