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It’s Time to Drag the U.S. Voting Process into the 21st Century

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With the election just around the corner, I am back to musing about our antiquated system for casting and counting ballots. This leads me to the question: When is the United States going to drag the voting process into the 21st century?

In many parts of the country, we pull levers on mechanized ballot boxes. Here in Southeastern Michigan, the ways one casts a ballot is as varied as the number of small communities in the Detroit metro area. I can only imagine the chaos when you fold in the various states with their methods.

I’ve voted in small rooms that mark the ballot as soon as the curtain is opened and used Sharpie markers on paper ballots nearly shoulder to shoulder with the next citizen. I’ve been checked for ID and not checked for ID.

Why this country persists in fulfilling its civic duty by using outdated and flawed methods that allow for fraud and misuse is beyond me. All one needs to do is remember the 2008 election in which dead people, illegal and legal resident aliens and Mickey Mouse had their votes counted. Others voted, and voted often, or were trucked in from other states to vote. Some inmates cast ballots. Mail-in ballots, many from those outside our country and are often serving in our Armed Forces, are lost in the mail and not counted at all.

Voter fraud devalues the votes of those of us who are legally in the system.

There should be a better way of piecing a crazy quilt of voting techniques into a streamlined, sensible operation. The answer is literally at our fingertips.

The Internet.

You would think young liberals (like our President) who are already plugged in to an electronic world would embrace the idea of using the Internet for voting.

Some may argue the safety of using an online platform for casting votes. I disagree. Most people do their banking and payments online now as it is through secure servers. The government has its own secure servers in areas of defense and even through the Department of Education. Do you think I would share my personal and financial information on FAFSA if it were not safe? While it is a possibility, very rarely is there any breach in security.

Each registered voter could be verified, issued a distinct registration and PIN number and given the opportunity to vote either from home, work or overseas. Voting could be held open 30 days from the actual election day. For those without Internet access such as the elderly and poor, computers can be made available at precincts where precinct workers can assist.

Electronic voting would eliminate voter fraud by giving each living person a unique number. Once you access your number and have cast your ballot, you are finished until the next election. Since dead people cannot access the Internet (at least not without help) we would cut a huge chunk of fraudulent voting right there. Electronic ballots could be made foolproof, with precise instructions if one makes an error. I’ve seen ballots spoiled because some voters mark multiple choices when they should have marked one, or crossed party lines in primaries when they can’t.

Tabulation would be instantaneous. No more waiting for the polls to close in Hawaii before you know the results. Results would be fluid, available for all to see.

Plus, just think of the trees we could save! Paper ballots, mail-in ballots, it would all be a thing of the past. Cash strapped communities would not have to expense postage and supplies.

I want to think my one vote is worth something. Obviously with the problems of the last election, I am not sure. When I see my paper ballot swallowed by a mechanical machine, is it really my voice? At least with online voting, each person would have one vote and no more.

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About Joanne Huspek

I write. I read. I garden. I cook. I eat. And I love to talk about all of the above.
  • Arch Conservative

    Allyou need to know about how liberals feel about the voting process is that they always oppose laws requiring ID.

    They don’t want an honest system because they know they’d lose more often than not.

    Our very own chairman Obama is steeped in the politics of the most politically corrupt city int he entire nation.

    Democrats need the support of dead people, illegals, convicted felons and repeaters voters. They will do anything to ensure that they get it.

  • http://www.joannehuspek.wordpress.com Joanne Huspek

    I would agree with you Arch, but I’d like to believe there are some “good” Democrats out there, ones with ethics and a conscience. Ones who want a fair system and won’t skew it in their favor to ensure the result they want.

    Hmm… maybe not.

  • zingzing

    archie: “Allyou need to know about how liberals feel about the voting process is that they always oppose laws requiring ID.”

    how did you register to vote? far as i recall, you have to have a dl or ss #, but what happens if you don’t?

    “Democrats need the support of dead people, illegals, convicted felons and repeaters voters. They will do anything to ensure that they get it.”

    and republicans have to disenfranchise certain people. what a wonderful game we play…

  • Arch Conservative

    What good is requiring ID to register to vote if you later allow anyone who shows up at the poll to vote without providing ID?

    You also didn’t address the fact that Democrats/liberals oppose all efforts to require ID at the polls.

    You need to show ID to rent a DVD but not to vote so that we may avoid election fraud. yes what a wonderful game indeed.

  • zingzing

    “What good is requiring ID to register to vote if you later allow anyone who shows up at the poll to vote without providing ID?”

    you have to show voter registration, do you not?

  • Polly

    Uh, I’ve had to show I.D. but I’ve never had to show my voter registration card.

    Keep in mind that ACORN “registered” thousands of people, often the same person many, many times, sometimes Mickey Mouse, sometimes made up names. How hard is it, really, to become a “registered voter”? And how likely is it that election officials, overburdened by the thousands of new registrations, will catch every faulty registration? How hard would it be to find someone to cast those votes?

    I have no problem with showing my I.D. Why do the Democrats think no one should be required to? At least make those fictitious voters procure fake I.D.s.

  • Woodwose

    We already have a national id number, it’s called a social security number. Just mail out a PIN number to everyone and let them vote with their SSN and PIN number. If you don’t get a PIN number in the mail, go to your local Social Security office, prove who you are, file a change of address, and pick up your PIN number.

    On election day, everyone votes from any internet connected computer. If you don’t have access to an internet connected computer, go to your local polling place like you do now, or the library. Nursing homes, hospitals, senior centers, soup kitchens, etc, etc would just need a laptop and a air card to pass around so everyone who wants to vote can vote.

    Are there fraudulent SSN’s out there, sure, but work on tracking them down and getting them out of the system. We already work on tracking down fraudulent SSN’s already, if necessary, increase our efforts. But I really think this way is the best way to encourage everyone to vote once, and ensure they don’t vote twice or more.

  • Kruel

    Have any of you, the author included, ever considered the possibility that there are too many people voting without the benefit of the least knowledge of how our government functions much less the actual issues in question?

    Oh, and to that specious remark about republicans and disenfranchisment – how about some verifiable evidence of at least the quality of that presented in the various suits against ACORN?

  • Woodwose

    Hey Kruel, are you a Nazi or what? We either have universal suffrage or we’re a fascist state. There’s really no in between.

    Yeah, yeah, yeah, it sounds good to make voters pass a test demonstrating a basic understanding of civics, economics, world history and current events before allowing them to vote.

    But you can’t single out who is allowed to vote. If our society can’t do a good enough job educating the majority of our citizens to vote intelligently, we deserve what we get.

    However, while no should be prevented from voting, no one should be forced to vote either.

    If you are completely apathetic, or you don’t feel you know enough to cast a vote, don’t vote.