ALAN J. FINK

Many of us can remember on election days past when we all headed to our designated polling place to vote using those old, behemoth voting machines.

Although they weren’t sleek or pretty, thinking back, can anyone remember a time that we didn’t have an election result by the end of Election Day, or at the very latest, by the next morning? Likewise, how often can you recall a contested election back then? Nowadays, despite our 21st century technology, delayed results and contested elections seem commonplace.

Today, in the interest of voter convenience, and to no small degree, due to fears of spreading the coronavirus, there are a number of options available for citizens to cast their vote.

Early voting is permitted at designated voting locales, in some states many weeks in advance of Election Day.

There are ballot boxes where you can simply drop in your completed ballot, or the real mailbox where you can have your vote processed through the U.S. Postal Service.

But many still wait to go to the polling place on Election Day to cast their vote.

What is expedient is not necessarily wise. With early voting, are people choosing their candidate for the highest seat in the land before they have all the necessary information at hand?

Only two weeks ago, most of those who already voted knew nothing about the details of the Biden e-mail scandal or of the historic Middle East peace deals brokered by the Trump White House. Just a few days ago, national security officials had discovered that Iran and Russia hacked into computers and obtained personal U.S. voter registration information. If foreign adversaries can obtain that information from government computers, how can we be assured of the integrity of votes which are cast and then stored on hard drives all around the country?

In the low-tech category, there was a news report of a random ballot box set on fire, destroying dozens of voter ballots before the fire was extinguished. And that is in addition to numerous verified accounts from several States of ballots being disposed of or dumped by ne’er do wells with nefarious motives.

Common sense tells us that the farther you distance the voter from their vote, by time or by space, or both, the greater the chance for irregularities or even outright fraud to occur, making a mockery of every citizen’s Constitutional right to have their vote COUNTED.

We may feel that we’re performing our patriotic duty by getting out and voting early. But, I submit there’s nothing patriotic about making a premature or uninformed choice for President. Perhaps even worse, what does it say about present day America when we tacitly allow our most sacred privilege, that of one person-one vote, to be forfeited merely for the sake of convenience?

Our standards have diminished considerably since the days of those old voting machines, and so has the integrity of our elections. Is there any doubt that under the current system our country is on a high-tech fast track toward Third-World status?

Alan J. Fink is a resident of Winchester.

(14) comments

Matt_the_Muscular_Man

Here are ways to increase voter participation outside of early and mail in voting:

1. Make election day a holiday.

2. Open more polling locations, especially in areas with a lot of traditionally disenfranchised voters.

3. Allow all non-violent felons to vote.

4. Allow people to schedule voting appointments.

5. Make voter registration automatic.

Republicans oppose all of these, because they don't want more voters to participate because they are a minority party that receives a smaller proportion of votes the more people participate.

And to prevent voter fraud:

Dip the voter's finger in indelible ink after they vote. Done, and money saved on "I voted" stickers.

Eredmon

You failed to mention a tamper-proof voter i.d. Oh, that’s right. NO Democrat wants that.

Matt_the_Muscular_Man

I wouldn't include that because impersonation fraud is unlikely. If someone was to go to all the trouble to impersonate someone else to get one single vote they could easily fake the ID just like myriad of college students do to buy alcohol all of the time. Also, a lot of people can't afford to time and cost of going to the DMV to get a "tamper proof" ID, so it is primarily used as another means of suppressing the vote. I don't really know if "NO democrat wants that," I do think it is a valid concern but I I didn't include it because represents a very tiny proportion of types of voter fraud that is unlikely to affect the outcome of an election. Maybe it would be a good idea if the ID cards were free and broadly available, so the fee for obtaining an ID wouldn't become a "poll tax." Voter ID laws prevent more legitimate votes than fraudulent ones.

Matt_the_Muscular_Man

Voter ID laws prevent a very specific type of fraud called "impersonation fraud." The conservative think tank Heritage Foundation keeps a database of voter fraud on their web site. I looked through the site and found 8 cases (out of over 1200 fraud cases) of impersonation fraud which is the type voter ID laws help prevent. On the other hand, the number of "duplication fraud" cases is well over 100. That is the type that dipping a finger in indelible ink is designed to help prevent. It was done during Iraq's first elections after OIF. I distinctly recall the news photos of people proudly holding up their purple finger in the air after voting for the new Iraqi parliament. A simple idea that helps cut down on a type of fraud that is FAR more common than the type that voter IDs prevent.

I'm not rejecting voter ID laws out of hand, I just think that the IDs need to be more automatic or easy to obtain. Perhaps more types of ID could be acceptable. The real problem is that the laws are designed to restrict ballot access and sold as a way to prevent fraud. I think there is a perception that lower voter turnout favors Republicans. But, is anyone really certain that higher voter turnout favors Democrats? I think that is far from certain. Perhaps if more people were engaged and voting we would have some less of the divisiveness apparent in our politics.

I think fraud is important and should be dealt with. I think ballot access is also important and should only ever be expanded, and we need to think of new ways to do that in a way that also avoids fraud. The entire history of our country is one of enfranchising new groups of voters starting with white male landowners 21 and over and expanding from there. We should protect the franchise, and also encourage participation. The highest turnout in a recent presidential election was 2008 and 39% of eligible voters didn't even vote.

Matt_the_Muscular_Man

Also, we already have a voter ID law so it wouldn't make much sense for me to add it to a list of new ideas.

Bryan.the.Nuri

*bingo*!

Bryan.the.Nuri

*yawn*... More drivel from Dr. Redmon

Spock Here

Why is it bad for a lot of people to vote? That is a good thing isn't it?

Eredmon

It’s the voting dead, and many thousands of people who didn’t request a mail-in ballot that concern anyone who truly wants a true representation of the people’s wishes.

Doc Samson

@Eredmon - No wonder you are so full of hate! Excluding the dead from exercising their rights! [lol]

Spock Here

Yeh I got 60 dead people to vote today...They all wanted Trump tho. dam

Bryan.the.Nuri

"Dr" Redmon, show us your evidence.

Doc Samson

"And that is in addition to numerous verified accounts from several States of ballots being disposed of or dumped by ne’er do wells with nefarious motives"

Shhhh! Hush! Close your eyes, listen to the soothing tones of your pro-DNC media and pretend it never happened!

Anyone else notice that the mocking derision re: mail-in voter fraud from the Left has ceased? [rolleyes]

coachmilburn

This statement is wrong ...

"Just a few days ago, national security officials had discovered that Iran and Russia hacked into computers and obtained personal U.S. voter registration information."

That information is readily available publicly. This info was not hacked, its public information.

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