Welcome to the official website of Jim Brown - NEW COLUMNS appear each Monday!
This site is part of Brown Publications and The Lisburn Press
You are visiting my site on: May 29, 2024


Jim Brown Audio Player
Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

June 13th, 2022

Baton Rouge, Louisiana


Undertaking the job of Secretary of State used to be fairly routine.  I should know as I held this elected post in Louisiana for eight years during the 1980s.  I even served as president of the National Secretary of State Association, where then was little controversy among these elections’ officials in states all over America.  We were all high-ranking bureaucrats who just saw that the elections were run in a legal and orderly manner.  Few controversies took place.

Well this has all certainly changed today.  Secretaries of State are in the middle of firestorms all across the U.S. This fall’s elections will find incumbents challenged by opposing candidates crying election fraud, and a broken voting system.  Many such challengers are saying that the future if America is at stake. “It doesn’t really matter who is running for assembly or governor or anything else. It matters who is counting the votes for the election,” said Rachel Hamm, a candidate for Secretary of State in California. 

And remember Mike Lindell, the MyPillow guy? He’s formed an organization called America First that is putting up a slate of candidates for secretary of state across the nation. He formed this organization because he believes “most secretaries of state are corrupt and should all be replaced. They let our country be taken through computers.”

New Mexico candidate Audrey Trujillo takes her criticism a step further.  She says that state voting systems, overseen by Secretaries of State, are “no better than any other communist country like Venezuela or any of these other states where our elections are being manipulated. Your vote hasn’t counted for decades. You haven’t elected anybody.”

The America First group has a platform calling for “moving to paper ballots, eliminating mail voting and aggressive voter roll cleanup.”  Well guess what? That’s exactly the system in place during the time I serve a secretary of state 40 years ago.  The bulky voting machines owned by the state printed out a paper ballot that was easy to check and review.  Mail ballots were allowed only for servicemen serving outside the country, and for a limited number of essential public workers.

Elections back in my day generally took place without a hitch.  When I first took office in 1980, there was so much public confidence in the elections process that the clerks of court shut down their offices when the polls closed. The only way the news media could report the election results was by having a stringer reporter hang out at the clerk’s office and write down the results as the court workers hand-delivered the ballot totals.  I changed this procedure by meeting with the clerks, and getting their commitment that they would call me in Baton Rouge at the Secretary Of State’s office to report the voting totals by telephone.

Absentee voting? You couldn’t do it unless you signed an affidavit swearing that you would be out of the state on election day.  I was voting at my home in Ferriday back then.  But I had to be in my Baton Rouge office to oversee the election process. How was I to legally vote? I got up at 3 o’clock in the morning, drove two hours to Ferriday, stopped at Hubert Lee’s donut shop to pick up a box of hot donuts for the commissioners, and arrived at ward one, precinct 1, held in the Flemings flying service hanger at 6:00 AM when the polls opened. After a brief visit with the commissioners, all who I knew well on a first name basis, I voted, then quickly headed back to Baton Rouge so as to be back in my office shortly after 8:00 AM. A real labor of love to cast my ballot which I did for a number of years.

Life seemed so much simpler then. My how our country is changed.  Unfortunately, manipulation of voting machines, widespread voter fraud, crooked elections officials, and foreign hacking have all become a rallying point for those who see conspiracies as our current election cycles roll around.

Personally, it’s hard for me to buy in to such schemes of election manipulation.  But we’re living in a different world today where claims of crooked elections have become a way for candidates to raise campaign money. And like it or not, allegations of voting fraud will be a part of numerous elections across the country come this fall. So we better get used to it.

Peace and Justice

Jim Brown

Jim Brown’s syndicated column appears each week in numerous newspapers throughout the nation and on websites worldwide.  You can read all his past columns and see continuing updates at http://www.jimbrownla.com. You can also look over a list of books he has published at www.thelisburnpress.com.








Leave a Reply