Wednesday, June 7, 2017

The 2016 Election Is Our Political Pearl Harbor American Democracy Can't Survive Corrupt Elections

It is proof that Americans aren't serious about democracy and the only thing that gives legitimacy to the government, an honestly held vote, that seventeen years after the disastrous election of 2000, as we find out the extent to which the dictators in Russia have meddled in the 2016 elections that banning the use of voting machines and the dependence on the internet in the interest of protecting the vote is not being demanded as the only way anyone can have any confidence that the right people are governing the country.

After the obvious manipulation by the Florida government under Jeb Bush and Katherine Harris and the incompetence of the ballot design as well as the use of voting machines, it was clear that they didn't give a reliable result  Things are worse with computerized voting machines because they can be hacked, they have been long demonstrated to be vulnerable to hacking and corruption and nothing has been done to get rid of them.  Given the state of hacking and the political interests of the companies who design the machines and the software, there is no reason to believe it can be made safe.

Federal elections produce the Congress and the Presidency who rule over all of us, there is a national interest that all of the people who hold those offices are elected honestly, beyond not only a preponderance of evidence, beyond any doubt.   If Democrats again get control of the federal government they should make it a law that no election which is not based on a paper ballot, marked by the voter which is retained in a secure manner for recounting will be certified.  If that isn't a means of forcing serious voting reform to secure the vote some other means of doing so must be taken.  A paper ballot marked by the voter and retained in a secure manner for recounting is the minimal requirement for a vote that deserves to be taken seriously.   I would prefer a hand count of the vote as has worked so well in Canada for decades and which worked in the United States - though the process, too, has to be honest beyond question.   Here is a description of the process in Canada, whose elections process is notably more honest than it is in many American states.

There is no excuse for there to be anything but an absolutely standard ballot for the federal offices, president, vice president, House member and senator.  A form of ballot that is taught in elementary school and which is as familiar as a penny.  

The disaster of the Trump regime, produced by a combination of domestic corruption and interference by a foreign despot looks like a final warning to me.   Given the way that Republicans in legislatures and governorships as well as on the courts have been trying to rig elections in ways unseen since the height of the Jim Crow era, it has already produced the most serious attack on American democracy, perhaps in our history.   This is our political Pearl Harbor.   It's not as dramatic up front but the results are going to be bad.   I don't see a lot  evidence that people have noticed much.

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