Monday, November 5, 2012

Duplicitous US voting system


American voting polls needs to be revamped. In first world democracies, the people know the votes almost immediately  Ballots are counted rapidly, accurately and only once in a blue moon do people suspect voter fraud, political fraud, or voter suppression. I hope that I am not the only person who finds it just a bit...odd...that in this country the Republican party have 'scouts'out watching for voter fraud, while the Democrats have 'scouts'out watching the Republican 'scouts'whose anterior motive may be to suppress voters. 



We have widespread campaigns of Republicans making public service announcements to the Hispanics, "Do Not Vote," as a means of protesting one thing or another. Translation - Hispanic votes typically means Democratic win. The Republican agenda appears to be to manipulate the Hispanics into thinking they are doing a good thing by choosing not to vote. WOW!


Once again, Florida is the epicenter of the voting controversy. Democrats and Republicans will battle it out in court over whether early voting should span 14 days or eight days. In Southern Florida, people have to weight in line four..five...six hours just to exercise their constitutional right to participate in society. This does not happen in Italy, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, France, Israel or Japan. I have to wonder whether former Soviet countries have this problem. 

In France, the Minister of the Interior is responsible for establishing places and voting hours. They print ballots and count the votes. In Italy, it is illegal NOT to vote. That is right - it is against the law if a person does not cast their vote. These governments want citizen participation. Without citizen participation a democratic society cannot function. 

To sum it up - here is what does NOT happen in other Democracies. 

Politicians of one political party do not get to set up voting schedules that favor or harm their party, or another party. All political parties get to participate in Debates. All we see here are the Democrats and Republicans. That is not fair or right. The Green Party, Libertarian Party, and Socialist Party should also have a spot on the platform. We should not have a two party system. 

Duplicitous politicians do not get to move around districts, or voting places to gain advantages or disadvantage. In fact, politicians should not ever have any say in districting, or the administration of elections. Parties should have a minimal role, and by that I mean mini-mini-minimal role in overseeing elections. 

There should not be any watchdogs, counter-watchdogs, or any of that going on. I seriously doubt there is any widespread illegal voting going on. It seems funny to me that some criminal or illegal will try to vote. Come on! We have a hard enough time getting our own citizens to get off their butts and vote. That being said - everyone should have a State issued Identification card to vote. If some poor person in the middle of nowhere does not have one, then the State should offer then the ID card free of charge. No person should have to pay to vote. But every person should have to make an effort to do it - no Identification,  no voting. That is perfectly reasonable. 

I also think that Italy is onto something.Compulsory voting is not a new concept. Some of the first countries that introduced compulsory voting laws were Argentina, Belgium, Australia, and Netherlands.  Decisions made by democratically elected governments are more legitimate when we have higher proportions of the population who vote. Mandatory voting is also beneficial to political parties. They would not have to spend money convincing people to come out and vote. Everyone would be required to do it by law. 

Every adult person should have to vote. I would impose a $50.00 fine onto every eligible voter who does not go to the polls because they are too lazy. They can vote by mail. If they do not  do it, that is not any different from shirking jury duty. I do not think it should be criminalized, but there should be a small fine attached when a person does not vote. 

The funds raised by failure to vote fines should be used to finance the voting system, and maybe even pay for those Identification cards for some old lady who lives in the middle of Mississippi. 

Finally - there needs to be an Act of Uniformity when it comes to voting. No person should have to wait in line for more than forty minutes to vote. The voting booths, or voting mail system should be standard and every State in the Union should comply with that standard. I see how all those fifty dollar fines would come in handy in this area. 





1 comment:

  1. Where I live outside the USA, we are required to register to vote, but not to vote. We vote on Saturdays, mostly in primary school halls. I can vote at any polling place in my parliamentary district. I have never waited in line to vote. Voting requires a mere two ticks on a ballot, one for the person to represent my electorate, the other for the party whose platform I prefer. The latter tick, instituted in 1996, is the only democratic detail that is in any way controversial. Local body elections are conducted by mail in an off year. The outcomes of elections are usually announced on the 11PM news. The mechanics of democracy are all pleasant to deal with. I have never heard of someone being prosecuted for voting more than once.

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