(Author’s note: this piece was inadvertently published briefly this morning, then pulled and scheduled for 2:00. In the few minutes it was up, though, one person managed to sneak a comment in. That is why the first comment is time-stamped several hours before the actual piece.)
Well, we’ve had a few days to ruminate over the election, and I think it’s time to look at what went right — and what went wrong — with the voting.
I’m not interested in the outcome here, but the process. Last Tuesday revealed some serious flaws in our electoral process, and we need to give them a long, hard look at just how we run our elections — and how to fix them.
First up, I think it’s time to get rid of purely electronic voting. Period. I have yet to hear a compelling argument for dispensing with the old-fashioned, almost antiquated paper ballots. In Manchester, I had to fill out my ballot with a sharpie, then feed it into an optical scanner. There is just too much room for human error and human malice in a purely electronic system. Sorry, Diebold. Suck it up.
Secondly, there were several amused reports of incumbent congressmen who were denied the opportunity to vote for themselves due to a lack of identification. There should be more stories like that next time around. It’s long overdue for there to be true voter verification, especially when it comes to voter fraud.
Which brings me to point 3, a serious crackdown on voter fraud. It’s hardly the sole province of any one organization or side, but I think the worst example has to be ACORN. The liberal activists have shown a horrific tendency to violate the law and commit the most flagrant abuses of the electoral system. I’d not only like to see a RICO investigation into their “voter registration” programs, but at least I’d like to see some non-governmental organization — perhaps a conservative group — appoint themselves ACORN’s watchdog and double-check and verify their voter registrations. Sure, it’ll be expensive, but just think of the Return On Investment in good PR for the group that so selflessly defends our electoral process.
That’s just three ideas. Three areas where I think that we have serious problems with our electoral process, and need to fix them.
I wouldn’t be surprised if at least one election was tipped by abuses and — let’s be blunt — crimes such as above. But the election is over. We’ve seen the effects of re-fighting elections. We need to follow the example of Richard Nixon in 1960, not Al Gore of 2000. (And let’s also eschew John Kerry of 2004, who decided in favor of contesting the election before he decided against it.)
Let’s learn from the mistakes of the past, but not obsess over them and re-fight battles that are, for all intents and purposes, lost.
We have almost two years to fix our system. Let’s get started now.