by el gato malo
we can argue about just how much democracy is even desirable in a republic where the rights of the individual are supposed to stand paramount to the whims of the demos and that most oppressive of forms of governance “tyranny of the majority,” but i suspect just about all of us can agree to a basic issue:
if we are to have democracy, counting the votes is vital and, as a subset of such, determining which votes are valid and who is allowed to cast them is critical.
if one person can simply grab 10,000 mail in ballots, fill them out by machine, and drop them in mailboxes, that’s not democracy, that’s fraud.
if people who are not US citizens are eligible to vote, that too is fraud.
this seems a pretty uncontroversial set of ideas, but the obviousness and ethics of such seem to stand increasingly in opposition to the actual black letter law.
consider arizona, whose bizarre two tier voter registration provides a poignant example.
in order to vote in state or local elections, you must submit “valid proof of citizenship” which includes several options like passports and birth certificates or an AZ driver’s license (which requires same to get it).
however, astonishingly, no such stricture applies to federal elections. you can register to vote for the house, the senate, the president by simply filling out a form (link conveniently provided) that has no verification requirements whatsoever.
it’s the electoral equivalent of a liar loan.
you can read it on their state website HERE.
this is a pretty astonishing divergence and one that could, given the truly massive influx of illegal immigration, have profound effects on electoral outcomes.
the dichotomy is striking.
you need to prove that you are a US citizen and arizona native to vote for maricopa county dog catcher, but to vote for president, just fill out a form. nothing else needed.
this is a pretty wild intersection of NIMBY and manipulation.
“well, absolutely not. THOSE people cannot be allowed to vote to take OUR resources.
oh, NATIONAL resources, sure, by all means, go ahead!”
i am struggling to envision any sound ethical basis for this sort of policy or why “federal should be different.”
this leads to some questions:
- is this some sort of federal loophole?
- are states somehow proscribed from validating federal voting eligibility?
- is this a situation unique to arizona or is it one present in other states as well?
because one can certainly see how it could provide the basis for some truly astonishing election manipulation.
(if folks have some more insight on this, please post in comments)
the US is the richest and most technologically advanced country in the history of countries. the idea that we could not count votes in real time with perfect precision is an absurdity. of course we could.
we are choosing not to because someone wants it that way.
and the ramifications of this are obvious to anyone able to think by analogy.
trusting governments to run elections is like trusting orcas to manage a seal migration.
voting in the US should be a zero trust system.
it would not be that difficult to build.
i outlined some ideas in the back half of this piece.
but even this is pointless if we’re not going to pay any attention at all to who is allowed to register.
flooding voter rolls with unverified registrants seems assured to render valid elections impossible. it breaks a system to the point where you simply cannot trust anything, especially if these people do not even need to vote in person but can, instead, do so by mail.
this is a blueprint for fraud to the point of complete absurdity and abnegation of the idea of representation.
it’s astonishing watching the same people who were demanding “vaccine passports to be allowed to eat in a restaurant or go to school” then flip and proclaim “demanding valid voter ID is racist as it harms minorities” is like some sort of master class in hypocrisy.
there is no burden there. it’s invented nonsense rooted in presumptive bigotry that somehow “minorities” cannot get identification cards. this is a self-serving falsity from people seeking to adulterate elections. there is no purpose beyond that.
on puerto rico, elections are in person, one day affairs that require not only ID to vote, but a specific voter ID acquired from the election commission. it looks like this:
it has your picture, your address, holograms, the whole 9 yards.
to get it, you need to go to the election office, in person, at least 50 days before the election. they check your residence, your citizenship, and take your picture. you need your original birth certificate or social security card, proof of where you live, other valid photo ID, etc. it’s like getting a passport except that you are required to show up in person and all three of the main political parties have representatives there each of which processes some part of your application and all of which keep an eye on one another. it’s a simple, straightforward system. and it works.
this registration qualifies you to vote. you are assigned a voting place near your home. you may only vote there. when you go, they check your ID at least twice with the final check up against a copy of your photo that the election site has in their system. only then do you get handed a ballot.
this has had no ill effect i can see on voter turnout.
this sort of system needs to be rolled out in the US.