The Sanctity of Election Day vs Chaotic Voting Process
Crooks love chaos. And 'chaotic' is the best word to describe the U.S. voting process - particularly in 2020. It was an 'anything goes' affair where in some states where Americans could vote any how, any where, and at any time. And although this situation is hugely upsetting to many observers, it's not entirely new. Since the Civil War, we have surrendered the 'transparency and integrity' of our voting process (i.e., paper ballots and hand counts at the polls on Election Day), for the 'ease and convenience' of voting by machine, computer, absentee, early, mail-in, harvest, drop box.
The predictable result? We have invited wholesale fraud into the voting process, and no one believes the election results accurately reflect the will of the voters. Fundamentally, there is no meaningful transparency to the process, nothing to observe, no voter to identify, no unbroken
chain-of-custody for electronic or paper ballots, and therefore, no meaningful manner in which election results can be verified. Our allegedly
elected political leaders are without any true legitimacy.
It is not that American elections are 'at risk' of vote fraud, so we need to build 'public confidence'. But rather, our elections are well and truly broken. And although the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) could step in and point out that our elections are in direct violation of the U.S. Constitution and several federal laws, they have instead sat on the sidelines, at best, or are complicit in it, at worst.
So, for the past several decades, a multitude of lawyers and their clients have waged war on the election results. However, the 2002 election has proved to be a banner year, as there appears to be a staggering amount of evidence of vote fraud: poll watchers harassed, intimidated, and denied meaningful oversight of the ballot counters, ballot boxes stuffed, dead people voted, and counterfeit ballots added to the totals, people got absentee ballots they didn't apply for, and others turned up at the polls only to be told that they had already voted by absentee ... when they didn't. Add to that, highly suspicious software, updates, and anomalies to electronic vote totals nationwide, and you've got an election breakdown of catastrophic proportions.
Even state governors and Secretaries of State got in on the action by unilaterally changing election law before the election, a violation of Article II, Section 1, Clause 2 of the US Constitution that gives that power solely to state legislatures.
We have arrived at a place where, quite literally, we cannot know who truly won any race for political office. Pre-election polls can be used to 'shape' public opinion as well as reflect it, and exit polls are equally non-transparent and unreliable. And although foreign interests may have played a part in our undoing, we Americans are mainly responsible for allowing our most hallowed democratic institution, Election Day, to be destroyed.
TRANSPARENT and VERIFIABLE
NON-TRANSPARENT and UNVERIFIABLE
The demise of our voting process began 150 years ago. During colonial times and up until the Civil War, those who were allowed to vote engaged in 'open voting', either by voice vote or signed paper ballot. There was no 'secret ballot', and therefore everyone knew who voted and for whom, and so could add up the results for themselves. That left 'getting out the vote' on Election Day, an essential component of any successful race for political office, which in turn, created an atmosphere of urgency and drama necessitating the establishment of 'time constraints', meaning a beginning and an end to the frenzy. If those constraints did not exist, candidates and their supporters could launch campaigns of harassment and intimidation that would have no end in sight.
Our Founders designated the first Tuesday of November to choose our President in a federal election, and enshrined it in Article Two, Section 1, Cause 4 of the U.S. Constitution. Election Day was to be a sacrosanct day, a day when we must show up in person in order to participate. A day when we collectively choose our political leaders.
Alexander Hamilton expressed the Founders' concerns about election integrity in the Federalist Papers #68, where he wrote,
Nothing was more to be desired than that every practicable obstacle should be opposed to cabal, intrigue, and corruption ... And as the electors, chosen in each State, are to assemble and vote in the State in which they are chosen, this detached and divided situation will expose them much less to heats and ferments, which might be communicated from them to the people, than if they were all to be convened at one time, in one place.
Hamilton clearly recognized the importance of protecting voters from improper influences. In a similar vein today, voting on Election Day at your local poll using paper ballots and hand counts, is critical to ensuring that only those qualified to vote are allowed to vote, and that their votes are counted properly. To that end, the election process must take place under the unobstructed and effective view of poll watchers in order to guarantee a free and fair election for candidates and voters alike.
For those who cannot make it to the polls on Election Day, designated teams of poll workers together with poll watchers could visit places such as nursing homes to conduct onsite elections and deliver those ballots to the local polling station to be counted that day, maintaining transparency and chain-of-custody requirements. Similarly, polls could be set up at embassies, consulates, and military bases for citizens living overseas.
Our Founders in their infinite wisdom selected one day where all the drama of an election would play out. Where we would speak with one voice. Today, we need to end the chaos and confusion of ill conceived modern conveniences and return clarity and credibility to our voting process on Election Day ... and that day only.