US elections have become controversial in the past 25 years. Ever since the Bush v Gore election in 2000, one party or the other seems to challenge the legitimacy of new presidents. Everyone over 35 years of age can remember the 2000 election that hinged on the state of Florida’s vote count. News coverage of ballot counting, hanging chads and other oddities kept citizens mesmerized until the final decision was made on December 12 following a Supreme Court ruling. Many Democrats rejected the legitimacy of that election. Democrats also claimed that the Trump election was illegitimate in 2016.
Many states have passed legislation that requires voters to show a picture I.D. at the voting station before being given a ballot. Democrats claim that this is discriminatory, claiming minority voters may not be able to get an I.D.
Of course Donald Trump and many others in the Republican Party claimed that the 2020 election was stolen as Georgia, Pennsylvania and Arizona went to Joe Biden by razor thin margins. Adding to the confusion and suspicion was the fact that many states’ voting commissions changed the rules for voting, due to COVID, when such rule changes were only to be made by state legislators. Changes such as ballots being mailed to every voter address increased the risk of fraud as lots of unclaimed ballots floated around because people had died, moved, etc.
In the past decade, Republicans have sought new ways to reduce the risk of voter fraud. Many states have passed legislation that requires voters to show a picture I.D. at the voting station before being given a ballot. Democrats claim that this is discriminatory, claiming minority voters may not be able to get an I.D.
Earlier this year, Democrats tried to offer a voting rights bill that passed the House but died in the Senate. Basically, the legislation called for restrictions on gerrymandering, the process of re-drawing district boundaries every ten years in a way that benefits the party in power. The bill also established federal guidelines for state elections, which, up until now, have primarily been up to states to decide. It also placed the U.S. Department of Justice over state voting processes. New guidelines included a Federal Holiday on Election Day and a requirement that 14 consecutive days of early voting be allowed prior to Election Day. Republicans claimed this bill stripped security from the election process by taking away voter I.D. requirements and allowing election day registration, which they say could allow one person to go to different precincts, register and vote multiple times.
A Monmouth University poll this year indicated that 80% of Americans support the requirement to show a picture I.D. to vote, so it appears that Republicans have some support in the matter.
...it is unlikely that reform will take place in the near future. Even so, be sure to vote anyway. Your vote is important!
Unfortunately, in our divided world, even elections have become a divisive topic. In my novel, Wayward Patriot: Securing the Vote (to be released in 2023) an “ideal” election system is developed in order to have a perfectly secure process that everyone could use. Even that is manipulated by an individual who rationalized that the country would benefit as a result.
There may be some reforms in our election processes that would be beneficial. However, with our elected officials refusing to work together, it is unlikely that reform will take place in the near future. Even so, be sure to vote anyway. Your vote is important!