Can We Salvage Anything from This 2020 Train Wreck?

Something positive might emerge from this election fiasco if we can form a national consensus about enforcing transparent procedures.

Voter drops a ballot into the ballot box.
Photo by Element5 Digital from Pexels

President Trump’s legal battle to contest the election has polarized our country.

Many Trump supporters are convinced the election was stolen, that Democrats played loosey-goosey with mail-in ballots and vote tabulations and rigged the results in Joe Biden’s favor.

Democrats claim that Republicans are trying to “overturn the election.”  Business Insider reports that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi attacked Republicans supporting the lawsuits, saying they’re “engaged in election subversion that imperils our democracy.”

The problem is, no one really knows what happened.

You know what you believe based on news reports from media you trust.

I know what I believe based on news reports from media I trust.

But none of us really “know” for a fact if this election was fair or not.

The big problem here is lax enforcement of election rules.

There were states tossing around mail-in ballots like confetti, and then ignoring procedures for checking signatures and validating ballots when they were returned.

There were many locales pushing early voting, which meant ballots had to be stored and secured for weeks until the “real” election day arrived when everything would be counted.

There were situations in several key states where local judges took it upon themselves to change election laws on the fly.  

These kinds of actions cast doubts on the integrity of the whole election process.

Every time there are ballots that need to be stored and secured, there is increased potential for fraud.

Every time there are ballots mailed that cannot be verified by a chain of custody, there is increased potential for fraud.

Every time there are judges making last-minute changes to established election rules, there is increased potential for fraud.

And anytime there is an opportunity to cheat in an election, it will attract cheaters. It will also cause the rest of us to anxiously wonder if we can trust the outcome.

An election has two vital intertwined goals: choosing a winner, and convincing the loser that he really lost. The election of 2020 failed spectacularly on both counts.

In recent years we have gone so far overboard trying to make it easy to vote that we have dangerously weakened the security of our election system. With the current relaxation of strict election regulations, we have set ourselves up for failure. This has to stop!

We cannot endure another election cycle like this. The lack of transparency is tearing our country apart. We all need to be able to trust the integrity of our elections.

It is time to establish a strict and verifiable voting system.

The simplest and most secure way to vote is straightforward and easy to monitor. Each voter shows up IN PERSON, on a SINGLE ELECTION DAY.

This procedure ensures there are no early votes to be manipulated, no mail-in ballots to be tampered with, and no doubts about the eligibility of those voting.

Results will be tabulated the evening of Election Day and we will have a clear winner by the next morning. Nobody will have an excuse to riot or protest about election fraud, because a tightly scheduled, rigorously monitored election will eliminate most of the opportunities for hanky-panky.

In case you had forgotten, this is how it used to be done. And it worked pretty well.

In recent years, a number of states have added photo ID requirements for voters. This extra layer of security will make a good system even better. Every state should adopt photo ID. Every polling station should verify that each voter is legally eligible to cast a ballot.

I don’t know what the Democrats are up to, I really don’t. I suspect there is election fraud, but it is hard to prove.

As a Republican, I can tell you I am not interested in “overturning election results” or “destroying democracy.” But I AM absolutely interested in seeing accurate vote tallies unspoiled by rickety election procedures that make it too easy for people to cheat.

And I have good reasons to wonder if Democrats stole this election, simply because they keep pushing for increasingly lax election rules that make it easier to cheat. I can’t help but wonder why.

I’m not happy about Joe Biden becoming President, but I can live with it if I know the election results are legitimate. Yet under this present system, none of us can really know. There were just too many loose ends and opportunities for fraud.

We need a strict, transparent, and verifiable election process.

In 2024, I want to have absolute confidence in the integrity of the vote. I want to know who the winner is, and I want the loser to have no doubt that he lost fair and square.

We need a single Election Day, with in-person voting, and photo ID required.

Otherwise, we will be in this same hot mess again in 2024.


About David Smith

I help small business owners produce email promotions, newsletters, and websites.
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