Monday, January 10, 2005

Boxer hero, Kerry zero

If you live in Ohio, are you sure your vote for president counted?

If you live in Washington State, are you sure your vote for governor counted?

If you live in a red state, do you feel your vote for a blue candidate counted - and vice versa?

If you live anywhere in the United States or are an expat abroad, are you sure your vote counted? And that others (even those with vacation homes in three states) got to vote once and only once?

In a democracy, even a democratic republic, the true patriots will be those leaders and activists who most vehemently defend and bolster the electoral process. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, it seems what we really have on our hands is an electoral mess.

Senator John Kerry (D-MA) declined to scoff at, much less protest, the questionable accuracy and certification of the 2004 election in Ohio, still hotly contested insome circles. Senator Kerry said that, in the interest of unity, he would refrain from enjoining the uphill battle to make sure the vote tallies areas accurate as possible because, as he said, it seemed no recount would change the outcome of the election. Thus Mr. Kerry renigged on his word and letdown all those who believed him when he said during his campaign and in his concession speech November 3rd that every vote would count and that everyvote would be counted. Kerry called for "unity" then, too, and he was sorely off the mark both times. Now is not the time for Democrats to kiss and make up, much less back down and kiss up. Kerry has proven once and for all that he has left his heroic days far behind him, perhaps for good. He is now a has been candidate emptied of inspiration and eloquence. (Again, where is Howard Dean when we need him? On his way back from the scream to the dream?)

Of all U.S. Senators, only Barbara Boxer (D-CA) signed on to proudly protest the certification. She chose to take a lonely yet heroic stand for democracy and decency. (Boxer explained her objection to the Ohio certification on Alternet: Why Boxer alone? What's up with the weenies in the Democratic Party? What's right about the righteousness of the Republican Party?

Speaking of which, the Republican gubernatorial candidate in Washington State intends to be a very sore loser. Yes, that election and its recounts are a mess,but isn't it hypocritical to call for a revote? Then why not have a revote in Florida 2000 and Ohio 2004? Even if out and out corruption is not running rampant in our electoral system, sloppiness and confusion are.

There has got to be a better way, and there is. Germany and some other European and Asian countries are considered state of the art. Elections in the U.S.are not among the most accurate in the world, but they certainly should be. If Mastercard can account for every penny in millions of accounts from locations around the globe, why can't the government? Why can't we at least make sure the proceedures are identical from one side of Cleveland to the other? Why this scrappy smorgasborg of electoral paraphernalia and potential plunder? Let's get to work on this!

To some, my modest proposal may smack a bit of Big Brother, but fear not. Perhaps it IS time for a national voting card, one per legitimate Social Security number, even a national ID card that serves as a unique voter card at home and a passport cross check abroad, usable anywhere in the world.

This plastic card, like a modern credit card, would have a color photo of thecardholder and a coded unique number so that each person, no matter where they live, could vote once and only once.

And as with a credit card, the accounting would be nearly instantaneous and down to the penny - or down to each and every vote.

This would standardize things and stop most kinds of sloppiness and fraud currently rife in our hodgepodge system.

Of course, the voters need (and need to demand) clearly arranged paper ballots with a receipt - sans chads.

And while we're at it, let's get rid of the Electoral College. If "every vote counts," then let's make sure every vote really does count - and count only once.

In the meantime, remember folks: vote early, vote often!!!


Post a Comment

<< Home