“Mailing it in” doesn’t mean what you thought it meant, at least not when it comes to elections.

Usually synonymous with going through the motions, “mailing it in” is exactly how Democrats defied pollsters to turn a red wave into a blue bubble bath in Tuesday’s midterm elections. Despite a population fed up with inflation, crime, and a porous border, they got a brain-damaged candidate elected to the Senate to keep it out of GOP hands and made a contest of the House, where some giddy Republicans had hoped to grab a 40-seat majority.

While pollsters predicting GOP dominance focused on “likely voters” to read the tea leaves, Democrats in states with lax voting regulations did the opposite. They focused on people who, left to their own devices, weren’t likely to vote at all and thus stayed under the radar of pollsters. Apathetic voters needn’t familiarize themselves with the issues, much less get out of bed on Election Day if Democratic Party foot soldiers can shove a mail-in ballot and pen in front of them, get it signed, and then slide it into a drop box or hand it in at a precinct.

Republicans concentrated on energizing their base, and Democrats focused on registered voters with no energy at all. In much of America today, that’s a winning strategy. Whether you announce your values with an American flag or a yard sign, the votes of residents who aren’t paying attention count just as much as yours. And the Democrats have figured out how to capture them.

“Democrats then combined mail-in voting with ballot harvesting, drop-boxes, lax deadlines, and little or no signature verification to create a scheme that would make Boss Tweed blush.”

Sundance, the blogger behind The Conservative Treehouse, says it comes down to the difference between votes and ballots, the former being a true expression of someone’s electoral desires and the latter being a piece of paper filled out by … someone.

“Insofar as electioneering is concerned, where votes were the focus, the Biden administration suffered losses,” he wrote. “However, where ballots were the focus, the Biden administration won. Since the advent of ballot centric focus through mail-in and collection drop-off processes, votes have become increasingly less valuable amid the organizers who wish to control election outcomes.”

It doesn’t work in states such as Florida, Georgia, and Texas, where legislatures have tightened up voter integrity rules. But in other states, distributing and collecting ballots among apathetic voters matters more than winning the battle of ideas, motivating the base, or even candidate quality.

Democrats have wanted all registered voters to automatically get a ballot for years. All the way back in 2009, California Democrat Rep. Susan Davis introduced the “Universal Right to Vote by Mail Act.” It went nowhere on the federal level but caught on with a handful of states, including Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, and Utah.

And then came COVID.

The pandemic allowed the mail-in system to take hold in other states, first as a temporary measure. California cited the pandemic when it started automatically mailing ballots to each of its 22 million registered voters. But it worked out so well, the deep-blue state made it permanent. Ditto Colorado, Hawaii, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Vermont, and Washington.

Democrats then combined mail-in voting with ballot harvesting, drop-boxes, lax deadlines, and little or no signature verification to create a scheme that would make Boss Tweed blush.

Maybe the Democrats’ mastery of mail-in balloting was best displayed in Pennsylvania, where John Fetterman defeated Dr. Mehmet Oz despite suffering a stroke in May that sadly left him unable to process or respond to basic questions without a closed captioning system. The obvious brain damage Fetterman suffered was on full display in the candidates’ October 25 debate. Many Republicans felt genuinely sorry for him, their empathy perhaps stoked by the confidence they had just watched him lose the race.

But by then, half of the state’s mail-in ballots had already been cast. And now Fetterman, whose incoherence should be disqualifying, is on his way to the Senate. There’s even talk of him running for president in 2024.

Republicans can complain about the new system that turns unwanted ballots into actual votes, or they can figure it out for themselves. If they stand pat, President Fetterman will do his best to express his gratitude.

The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.

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