Sdrawkcab Gniog

Americans are up to their neck in computer technology, but we are drifting backwards. One would think that voting has been figured out after so many years of doing it. Between Federal, State, and Local voting for 244 years we have probably voted 122 times. In my state, we must register to vote. It was a painless process when I did it, and today it is even more painless. The bottom line is that we are required to produce a signature which is kept on file by the County Clerk and when we vote we must sign again. Today’s signature is compared to the one on file. In order to get that far I had to produce a birth certificate to prove my citizenship. Those of foreign birth had to produce Naturalization papers. One of the new ways to register is to answer yes to the question “would you like to register to vote?” when applying or renewing your driver’s license. Citizenship is assumed during that process. In my mind this is an avenue for corruption. Since no proof is needed to renew your driver’s license it is up to the individual to be honest about citizenship. Since the Muslim attack on New York in 2001 the Department of Homeland security has tightened the rules a bit, but not for voting, for traveling. A person’s driver’s license is now accepted as proof of identity. The driver’s license has to be a Real ID license. To get a Real ID one must show a birth certificate, or passport, and proofs of residency. But one can still get his license renewed without making it a Real ID. He can then answer the question “do you want to register to vote?” Regardless, In Illinois one has to be registered to vote, but he can do it at the polling place on election day. I’m not sure what documentation one must bring to do that.

So why are we going backwards in the process? Well, we have added too many ways to vote. Number one is to show up at the polling place, number two, if you are out of town you may request an absentee ballot, number three, you may vote early at designated polling places within you precinct, and finally, we can now vote by mail. Voting by mail means you get a ballot in the mail, mark it and send it back in the mail. What is questionable is who gets a ballot? Often I receive multiple requests for questionnaires through the mail. Most likely because I am on several mailing lists. How will they control that if the sender does not know you, does not know if you are a resident of the state, or if you are qualified to vote. My dog could get a ballot and I could help him mark it and return it. The Board of Elections will have absolutely no knowledge of whether it is a valid ballot or not. A lot of other questions arise also. What do they do with ballots that are past the postmark requirement? What do they do with multiple votes from the same individual? How will they know that I have not used a mail in ballot for myself, my first wife, and my second wife, mother, father, my kids, my friends etc?

Too many times I have heard of a precinct reporting late and turning the election result because someone found a box of uncounted ballots in the trunk of his car. Which election judge would not remember he had ballots in his car on election day? With the mail in ballots, it will be too easy to manufacture votes behind the scenes to turn results.

The technology sector wants to modernize voting by using computers. Many experiments have been tried only to learn that computers can be rigged to vote the opposite, to mis-count or to not count. In other words they are only as honest as the people managing them.

I am certain that counting votes has been a problem since the very first election, and that is why each precinct has to certify that they are reporting an honest count, and the county does the same, and finally, the state certifies the count in the National election. With all these certifications there is less opportunity for fraud, yet it still occurs.

The number of ways to cheat on an election are endless, and the arguments against voter fraud are always beaten back statistically arguing that with so many votes to count, it would have to be massive to be effective. I’ve only heard the argument that even if fraud existed it would be in such a minute number that it wouldn’t affect the outcome. What these arguers don’t take into account is that if there are enough different ways to cheat, and all of them are used, that collectively it can matter.

In this moderne world we have become accustomed to knowing the outcomes of elections on the same day as the vote. In order to do that all votes have to be counted after the polls close. What will happen if the votes from the military arrive from battlefields late? What about mail in ballots that arrive past the postmark date? How much time is allowed for the mail to arrive and is there any grace for excusable lateness? Given all these variables, when will we know what the final count is? If an election is won by a landslide, there is no need to wait for all the counts to come in, however, if the election is close like it has been for the past twenty years, all lost ballots must be found and included. There is a good chance that we will not know the outcome of any future election for weeks after the election.

Given that the winner is not known what happens to the country and its administration? The new winner can not be forming his government until the outcome is known. If that candidate does form a new government and finally winds up losing what has been achieved? Thankfully, the Constitution dictates the new president be sworn into office on a specified date, and the count has to be certified by then which gives us fifteen weeks to straighten the mess out.

What ever the problems it is our constitutional right to vote. Voting is the one thing that allows us to make a difference in how the country is run. You can write letters to Congressmen, and Senators and even the President, but they don’t mean as much as your vote, so vote for the candidate you think will do what is right for our country. Voting is the one thing we can do as citizens to change the way things work in Washington.

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