Third Party & Independents Archives

Judgment Day

It’s not that complicated; invite a few friends over, preferably from different political affiliations, and have a discussion about what would be a near flawless and clear counting voting machine. Easy and/or accurate recount, on staff workers who can quickly fix technical problems, voter number id stamped and issued on a receipt as voted and given to the voter as well as recorded internally, electronically and on paper thus giving a triad of verification. We put all of this kind of thought into guarding our nuclear defense strategy and yet the process to elect the man in charge of it all has the complexity of a tin can telephone in some states.

Standards need to more enforced. The news is already reporting that lawsuits were being filed before the polls had even opened with allegations of voter intimidation, vote score not zeroed on machines, and voter registration verification. Either we are to believe that our officials just didn't put thought into some of the most basic concerns in the voting process or corruption is running amuck in the polls.

Given the results of the 2000 election, I fail to see why many of these issues can even still be called normal since we had more than enough time to correct and compensate. Both parties plan to exploit any (however slight even) irregularities in the votes in case they need the leverage to win the state, so motivation is lost on the major parties to help encourage standards in the voting process.

This election is looking to be as close as the 2000 election, perhaps even closer. Voter turnout is expected to be higher than usual but the country is still polarized on the issues and their choice in candidate. With the spin, the media efforts, and the massive amount of money spent in election campaigns (didn't we just pass new laws on campaign finance reform?) voters are repeatedly confused to what is fact and what is hype.
In the end, we have a process that is unclear to the public and starting to come unhinged. We the people need to focus more effort on getting our officials to bring back confidence in the process, Make us feel like our vote really matters and make the process fair again with little room for wiggle. It is a bit awkward to declare ourselves the champions of democracy to the world when we can't even guarantee a polling standard to ensure our leaders are truly representing the people.

Regardless, until these issues are fixed, we should all vote while trying to reform the system. To help you get through the recounts and the lawsuits, here are a few links to help you stay informed;

State-by-State Poll Closing Times
Key dates on Choosing the Next President
What is the Electoral College?
State-by-State Provisional ballot Rules
What happens if no presidential candidate gets 270 electoral votes?
More links to help keep on top of the Laws and Rules of Presidential Election Results.

Posted by Beau Wade at November 2, 2004 11:33 AM