“The people who cast votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything,” said Joseph Stalin.
Never was the truth of that statement proved more than in the Fifty States in 2020. We are constantly told by the media, the politicians, and the bureaucrats that there is “no evidence of significant voter fraud.” That is, of course, because the fraud we are seeing is NOT “voter” fraud. It is “vote-counter” fraud.
Realizing that the election still has a lot of time to play out, it is not too soon to spend a little time thinking about the lessons learned from this disaster of planetary proportions. Especially now with the Supreme Court non-decision decision.
So lets start out with just a few. I’ll ask Readers to suggest some more for later.
Here’s one that several people have offered, over the years, which is very controversial.
Secret ballots are a very bad idea
The history of the secret ballot is a total blank to most people. If you tell someone that secret ballots are NOT in the Constitution, you will find they are shocked (and at least some will call you a liar – good barroom bet!). But as Wikipedia is accurate in reporting: Massachusetts was the first state to adopt a secret ballot, in 1888, and South Carolina was the last to do so, in 1950.
The reason for adopting what is often called the Australian or Massachusetts ballot was protecting people from intimidation – if their vote was public, nasty people would (and sometimes did) attack them. And sometimes organizations demanded that people cast their votes in favor of a certain candidate (or slate) or issue.
But in fact, the Constitution (of the US, and possibly many States) does NOT require a WRITTEN ballot. State laws do, but there is nothing sacred about written OR secret, written ballots. Votes taken in Congress and State legislatures are NOT secret ballot. Neither do many town meetings and assemblies, especially in New England, use secret ballots to elect officers. And of course, virtually NO County Commissioners and City or Town Councils make any decisions by secret ballot.
And there are big problems, from a moral and liberty-lover’s point of view, with secret ballots. AND with pre-printed paper ballots. Perhaps the biggest is the lack of accountability and responsibility for your vote. An anonymous voter theoretically has no risk of being attacked and even killed because of whom (or what) they voted for.
Computers are only as honest as their programmers and users
And don’t get me started on computers when it comes to big problems with voting.
With our ugly, ungovernable, unlivable, and immoral massive urban areas, it seems that voting would be impossible (under our current system) without computers. And “convenient” ways of entering votes into them to tally, and produce the desperately desired results as soon as possible. (Especially if you are cheating and realize that your desired outcome is falling behind.)
Except that with convenience and computers, it is even easier to make sure that the desired results are made to order, apparently as often as not. That should come as no surprise, when trillions of dollars and the power of death over millions is at stake.
We depend on computers for a lot of things. Probably way too many things, given problems with the power grid, electromagnetic pulses, and the normal ability for humans to mess things up, especially with computers. With elections, we have made the consequences so incredibly important that it has become a serious problem.
Not only do we have to worry about programmers and users with all kinds of built-in work-arounds, we do also have a problem with hackers. As wireless technology improves, the potential for serious, malicious hacking grows and grows.
Laws are only as good as…
A: people being willing to obey them – mostly voluntarily, and
B: the way they are written: if the politicians intend them to actually do what the politicos claim the law will do.
Our election system has thousands of laws, regulations, and procedures which govern them. Most are designed to prevent obvious problems which happened in the past. Secret ballots are intended to prevent voter intimidation. Data processing is intended to remove human error and speed things up. Monitors and vote watchers, positive on-site identification, voter registration and many other things which are costly and complex targeted specific concerns. Which is nice, as long as people obey them.
Which they don’t.
And added to that, in recent years, the politicians have been passing laws that weaken the integrity of the elections. Again, because the stakes are so high. Motor voter laws make fraud easier, in the name of “enfranchisement.” Reducing the residency time to be able to register and vote makes fraud even easier. Same-day registration and laws against signature matching and demanding valid identification? Again, whatever the stated intent was, what they allow is more cheating. Cheating which is very difficult to pin down and document except in rare cases.
Which brings up point C: Laws are only as good as they are able to be enforced. If the powers that be don’t want to enforce a law, it is worthless. If they claim that the fraud and cheating is so minor that the “integrity” of the ballot is not damaged, and so do not reject things like bogus ballots, duplicate registrations, false identification and residence, and all the other things, it doesn’t matter. As 2020 is proving again and again.
What can be done?
Obviously, to most people, the ideas of going back entirely to paper ballots AND getting rid of secret ballots are non-starters. It should be seriously considered, however.
To me, to harp on a constant theme, the best way to deal with corruption and cheating and fraud in elections is to reduce the things that are at stake in each election: power, money, and control. (And as I’m constantly told, that is a non-starter, too.)
So, dear readers, what are YOUR ideas?