Disenfranchisement = Suppression = Fraud

Lets stipulate that both sides have and do engage in suppression and fraud. We will never agree on who is worse, so lets avoid that side street. We can all agree that suppression/fraud are serious threats to American democracy. It is not enough for a president to be elected fairly; he must also be perceived to have been elected fairly.

I fear that barring an unexpected landslide, neither President Kerry nor President Bush will be considered fully legitimate by a significant percentage of the electorate. We can't change that at this late date, but there are a couple of things we can do to lessen the impact.

1. Letís have a public discussion about the rules. Each state (constitutionally) has its own rules for counting votes and registering voters. Letís make clear what they are and follow them during this election. They can be changed next time, but this they are all we have. Letís not let the lawyers decide what should be the case AFTER they figure out what is the most advantageous to their side. Win or lose by the rules set BEFORE the contest.

2. Letís stop making accusations in public that we donít believe in private. Do Republicans really believe Mickey Mouse and Jive Turkey, Sr. will be allowed to vote in Ohio? Do Democrats really believe that the police (many of whom must be democrats) will be deployed to suppress the vote? Letís not let our politics damage our democracy.

3. Letís resolve right here and now to support the candidate who wins the most votes based on the standards in place right now at this here and now time and none other (redundancy intentional). I firmly believe that Kerry could win by fraud. I am sure others think the same about Bush. We all have to recognize that we might not be right. Letís both sides resolve to swallow that bitter pill and do what is better for America on November 3.

After the election, we have to change the way we do things. America runs it elections on the honor system. Less than 1/3 of all the states require a photo ID. It is obviously easy to register ineligible, even non-living voters. Letís enforce reasonable standards for proving you are who you say you are.

Every fraud and every suppression must be committed by an individual. Yet almost nobody is ever prosecuted for voter fraud. Letís find and punish some of the bad guys who are stealing our democracy vote, by vote.

Letís require voters to be at least a little responsible. It is the voterís duty to find out where the polls are, what the requirements are to vote and how to vote once he/she gets in the booth. If we stop treating voters like idiots, maybe they will stop acting like them.

Every legal vote should count and not be negated by someone elseís fraud. That should be something that all parties can sign onto.

Posted by Jack at October 26, 2004 1:46 PM