First Published in DelawareLiberal on November 8, 2014 by Progressive Populist
Voting across the country is in chaos. Our state by state patchwork
of voting rules, laws, ID's, machines, processes, poll worker training
and counting can only be described as third world. I believe these
systemic flaws contribute to the national malaise about voting
participation. For many it is a pain in the butt. Others, a huge
inconvenience. For many a discouraging experience.
What are the
flaws? Inconsistency on voting rules, laws and rights from state to
state. Poor quality training of poll workers. Proprietary machines
owned and operated by private corporations, some of whom do not hide
their partisanship. Nor do they particularly hide the inferiority of
their technology. We make registration as difficult as possible for
many. Especially minority and young voters whose votes are deliberately
suppressed by policy from the Republican party.
Voting rights and
election protection advocates have pointed out this absurdity from what
is often promoted as the world's greatest democracy. But nothing
happens to rectify the innumerable defects in the system and process.
It is time to give all Americans, regardless of their State of
residence, equal and reliable access to their participation in the
electoral system. It should become a national priority. This is a
The 2014 mid-terms once again painfully
illuminated the problem. The reports are still flowing in from election
protection groups. One source on which I rely for reporting on voting
problems is Brads Blog. Brad Freeman has passed along many examples,
close to twenty states, where irregularities have been reported.
Verification is still underway but here are some examples.
2,000 election judges were notified just before election day that their
training was not complete and therefore they should not report for duty
November 4. It caused unopened polls, delays and frustrated voters
across the city.
Virginia-Machine vote flipping.
North Carolina-Wrong data was sent to polling sites, including wrong information on voter polling locations.
Indiana-Machines would not boot properly in some counties.
Connecticut-Computer glitches caused a court to order some polls to stay open later to rectify.
Georgia-At least 40,000 registrations were not processed.
Missouri-Ferguson ran out of ballots.
Florida-The infamous Broward County compute voter ID system failed.
Arkansas-Poll workers asking from wrong ID's, machine vote flipping.
Alabama-ID requirement inconsistencies across the State.
registration database transmission failed; machine failures in largest
County, No provisional ballots ordered, total confusion on ID
requirements due to Federal Court last minute intervention.
Maryland-Touch screen vote flipping.
New Mexico-major drop in motor voter registration.
California-L.A. county double voter registrations.
Colorado-Duplicate and incorrectly printed ballots.
Tennessee-Machine vote flipping. Incorrectly printed ballots.
really don't know how this might have impacted individual contests.
Under this chaotic system, we mostly cannot ever know. America, can't
we do better, or do we not care?