Has the United States had its last election with a level of confidence in the results? Maybe, but that doesn’t have to be the case.
We all- right, left or otherwise- should desire accuracy and confidence in our voting system. Done well, we would all know that the result of our elections is the true will of our people. That’s as it should be.
To that end, I would propose the following to our legislators at the state and national levels.
- Have standards for identification and registration of all voters with deadlines closing voter rolls (book closing) a month or so in advance of an election
- Develop a national voter database to prevent multi-state voting in the same election
- Return to true absentee voting for those out of the country, away from home for work or education and injury or illness preventing in-person voting
- Make the deadline for receipt of these absentee votes the day before election day
- If we determine early voting is necessary or appropriate, make it one day, at least full week before election day, at early voting sites as determined by election officials
- Have absentee and early votes tabulated going into election day, but results held until election day voting hours are concluded
- Either move election day to Saturday or make it a national holiday as to not inhibit the ability of working people to vote
- Put polling places in our schools which are already government buildings that should not be disrupted by holiday or Saturday voting
- Announce early and absentee results at the conclusion of election day voting as election day votes are being tabulated, as Florida does now
While this may not be a complete solution, it is at the least steps in reining in a system that has us, now three weeks past election day, still waiting for results of a presidential election with some other races still undetermined.
We are not a third world country and with current technology there is no reason we should be voting like one. This system would provide unofficial results on election night pending the verification and audit process with certification thereafter.
Some will call this idea voter suppression, but it is not. It is strengthening the system of selecting our elected officials so that all can have confidence that it was done fairly and accurately regardless of political party or philosophy.
Don’t all Americans deserve that?