Mailed ballots, voting machine failures, software corruption, illegal votes, uncounted votes, long lines, denied oversight, trashed ballots, and delayed vote counting. How can America lead the world in technology and have a third-world voting system? Let’s look at what must change before 2024.
Although Giuliani’s team is not likely to get the presidential election reversed (but it’s getting really interesting), what they are finding should embarrass every American voter–Democrat and Republican. Why are election credibility and confidence at an all time low? Technology has enhanced much of our voting process, but we are still conducting our elections with relatively little change from a century ago. In this day when we can securely order anything we want on our computer or phone and get it in a day or two, why do we drive somewhere, stand in long lines, vote on strange, vulnerable machines, and wait perhaps weeks for questionable results? Hopefully, this is the year that brings all the vulnerabilities and corruption to surface.
No sane person would consider me qualified to resolve this complex problem. But it doesn’t take a genius to see how abysmal our election process is and what seems like the obvious fix. Over 80% of American adults use computers regularly. Probably another 10% can use them successfully if necessary. So, let’s say 90% of registered voters could do all of their voting online. Certainly, hardware and software sophisticated enough to securely and accurately process 150 million votes could be developed.
Congress should appropriate money as soon as possible to contract with prominent hardware and software companies to build a national voting system with sufficient security and redundancy to accommodate local, state, and national elections. This could be developed in highly classified environs like the development of secret weapons and intelligence systems to avoid any potential for compromise by foreign or domestic enemies. After roll-out of the platforms, everyone qualified to vote would have to re-register, and their secure information would be entered into the system. This would purge the rolls and create a fresh start. Then, voters would have to re-register every year thereafter in order to keep the rolls updated. No annual registration, no vote.
Each state would have its own separate access to the system for its local and state elections. The presidential election would continue to be based on each state’s election policies, but would use the technology of the national system. The votes of individual voters would be immediately matched with the the state and national databases to ensure only one ballot per person is counted.
Voters would have one week leading up to election day to vote to allow for sickness, travel, etc. No mail-in or absentee ballots would be necessary, since voting would not be restricted to location. Voters could log on to their voter website any time 24/7 for their personalized ballot. A unique ID and foolproof password would be required for each voter. These would be randomly generated by the system shortly before the voting. They would have to match the system’s record in its database. The system would accept no votes after the state’s election day closing time.
On election night after all votes are in, the system would tally the millions of votes in a matter of minutes for all levels of the election, and results would be known by the entire nation by bedtime on the east coast. Immediate statistical analysis would be available for the media pundits. The analytics would be almost unlimited as to how people voted collectively. All this and not one finger would have to touch ballots. No poll workers would be needed except for a few to assist the computer challenged.
That 10% or so who would need help with their voting could go to a few sparsely manned polls in each community for assistance. They would be helped through the same process that everyone else was using but on a secure touch-screen computer.
Will America do this or something similar? Or will we find ourselves in the same mess in 2024? It’s past time for our country to bring our elections into the 21st century. I plan to “share” this post with my Congressman and Senators and hope you will do the same.