Friday, April 22, 2016

Elections Fraud

This seems to have become a nearly routine issue in American elections. They are not "free and fair" by any stretch of the imagination -- at least in some areas, at least some of the time.

Reports have been coming in of potentially millions of voters disenfranchised in New York, for example. Ridiculous levels of SNAFU afflicted the primary election in Arizona, and similar problems restricted voting in several other states.

There is a remarkable consistency about these problems: polls don't open on time, there are too few polling places, too few voting machines at the polling places that are open, not enough ballots, voters are not found on the rolls, party registration has been changed if they are found on the rolls, extremely long waits to cast ballots, purges of eligible voters, etc.

Neither major party seems to have more than a casual interest in correcting this situation, and anything they would -- eventually -- sponsor to correct it would likely institutionalize disenfranchisement rather than ameliorate it.

So. What's going on? We've had some rather spectacular elections irregularities at least since the 2000 presidential election that was lawlessly decided by the Supreme Court in an act of unprecedented arrogance.

Now it seems that elections fraud has become endemic to the system and like a virus is spreading far and wide. Of course, when "elections fraud" is mentioned, it's generally interpreted to mean that somehow voters are committing fraud, and that must be stopped with all due prejudice. This means access to the franchise is further and further restricted by law, to the point where millions are effectively disenfranchised with little or no practical recourse.

The only problem is that voters are not committing fraud in more than single digit numbers. The idea that they are is a myth.

On the other hand, over and over again, elections clerks and their sponsors and supervisors have acted directly and indirectly to make voting as difficult as possible or actually impossible for millions, seemingly more and more voters affected at every election.

The only remedy is in the courts, and the courts are loathe to interfere, consequently the problems are not corrected. They grow worse.

Something tells me this is by design. Ultimately the public will lose faith in elections altogether, and who knows, maybe officials will be selected by boards of experts.

We've been down this path before, and it looks like we're headed this way again. Disenfranchisement was a key element in early American elections, and it came back with a vengeance in the early days of the Progressive era. The whole point was/is to restrict voting to those who are considered "worthy." And to restrict it to as few of them as possible. And to restrict voting to as few issues as possible.


I see no way out of this dilemma in the short term. Over the long term? Oh, a revolution may be in order.

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