My Prediction: Neither Biden nor Trump

Way out on a limb here, and against broad consensus, I believe the two leading candidates for America’s next-term president will be absent from the November 5, 2024, ballot. My opinion of how that would happen is the topic of this post with which few will agree.

I have recently heard many people express something like, “With over 340 million people in America, is this really the best we can find?” Of course, only about 160 million would be qualified to be president, but still. I have to admit, this time last year, I never thought President Biden or former President Trump would be the front runners by huge margins two months prior to the first primary elections. I also have to concede that apparently both will win their respective primaries.

However, I don’t believe that Biden actually plans to serve a second term. Despite his cognitive deficiences, he has to recognize that his other incompentencies and unpopularity would be devastating for our nation. But he also realizes an announcement to not seek a second term would make him a lame duck with little influence for the rest of his term. Trump, on the other hand, will not likely bow out without extremely heavy pressure from his party leaders. I believe there will come a time, probably after the primaries, when his legal encumbrances and his increasingly narcissistic behavior will force his withdrawal from the race. I predict this scenario would set up an unprecedented situation resulting in the most chaotic presidential election in our nation’s history. Thankfully, there are policies and procedures for such a predicament.

First, a little background. Although voters at the primary polls choose their general election presidential candidates, it is technically the Republican and Democratic national conventions that have the final say regarding their parties’ nominees. Convention delegates from all states selected through state processes, and coordinated with the respective party’s national committee, vote on each party’s candidate. Most of these candidates are “pledged” or “bound” to vote according to their states’ majority votes, at least in the first rounds of voting. A few are “unpledged” or “superdelegates” who are allowed to vote their conscience regardless of their state vote. The 2024 Republican Convention at Milwaukee, Wisconsin, July 15-18, 2024, will have 2,469 delegates with 104 unpledged. The Democratic Convention at Chicago, Illinois, August 19-22, 2024, will have 4,532 delegates with 744 superdelegates. If the votes are close, the voting may go several rounds until there is a majority winner. At some point in multiple rounds, the pledged or bound delegates are released to vote their conscience rather than with their state majority.

I envision a case where both Biden and Trump win their respective primary elections, after which both will withdraw from the general election within days before their national conventions. That will allow each of them to claim they would have won a second term while releasing their parties to run other candidates in America’s best interests. Of course, it would throw the conventions into unprecedented disarray. The delegates would coordinate with their respective state committees with the vast majority voting for their states’ second choices. There would likely be several rounds of votes in each convention. Eventually, a Republican and a Democrat candidate would rise to the top and enter the general election.

The next three or four months would see the wildest presidential campaigns of our lifetimes. The two (or three) unanticipated candidates would be doing whatever it takes to sway the massive voting public in a very short period of time. Ultimately, the 2024 making of the election sausage would be from a rare recipe that might produce the best outcome for America in a long while.

America Must Fix Its Voting System

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.

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