Monday, November 03, 2008

Margin Of Mischief - Again?

It is election eve and there are concerns about what kind of difficulties voters will encounter tomorrow. We can hope there will be few, but the question is, why should there be any?

We cannot call ourselves a democracy if we cannot hold a fair and accurate election. Another election won by either candidate within the margin of mischief is unacceptable. In a landslide, a few uncounted or miscounted votes, while not acceptable, will not affect the outcome of the election. But in an election that is close, especially with our outdated electoral college, a fair and accurate count is essential.

In a democracy, holding fair and accurate elections must be the number one priority!

We accept the thought that people should pay their taxes, but they shouldn't have to pay one more penny than they are legally obligated. Said differently, do everything you can to minimize the amount you must legally pay, but if you can cheat and not get caught - go for it. Our current system treats elections much the same way. If you can manipulate an election to you or your party's favor, go for it. It doesn't matter if what you are doing is essentially preventing a qualified voter from voting or tricking them into voting the way you want them to vote. As long as you don't get caught - go for it.

I suggest that for presidential elections, the ballot be limited to federal offices, president/vice-president and Congress. Why should there be long lines because of long ballots? Why should elections be swayed by contentious ballot issues whose main purpose may be to affect presidential voting? Democracy is worth the cost and inconvenience of having another election for these other issues on a different day.

While I'm not in favor of the federal government running the national election. I would be in favor of a non-partisan group establishing requirements that states would have to meet. Our current system allows local and state politicians to game the system to their party's advantage.

I hope this election is not won within the margin of mischief, but I can't understand why, eight years after we saw what problems incompetent and/or malicious election officials can cause, we are still facing a national election with worries about whether or not it will be fair and accurate.

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