Saturday, October 18, 2008

The integrity of the vote

If we grant the premise that a representative republic is a fair and better form of government, of which the integrity of the voting system is the heart, then it would seem that a benevolent government would take all necessary actions to maintain that integrity. Yet, even in the face of rampant voter registration fraud, the United States Supreme Court found yesterday that Ohio state election officials did not need to scrutinize thousands of questionable new voter registrations. How could this happen? Surely, if it is the vote which decides the future of a republic, then a government which has your best interests at heart would do everything possible to insure the accuracy of that vote. Why would they intentionally allow, or inject, fraud into such an important system?

Think about the question. Why would they seem to want fraud in the system? What possible reason could there be? Why, when the system is already rampant with fraud, computer problems, and human error, would they not decide to at least take a second look at thousands of potentially fraudulent registrations? What could their motivation possibly be?

In every election, there are some disputed votes. There are calculation errors, there are mistakes made by voters, there are incomplete ballots, clearly, there are problems. Now, instead of acting to clarify a confusing situation, the Supreme Court has acted to further muddy the waters. Why? What do they gain by acting in this fashion?

In the 2000 presidential elections, both sides were desperately trying to gain an advantage during the recount. There were absentee ballots that were deliberately not counted. There were voters turned away at the polls for no legitimate reason. There were voters who claimed they accidentally voted for the wrong candidate. And both of the two major parties lobbied to get the votes counted in their favor, dismissing those votes held in counties which did not historically support their candidate, and emphasizing the importance of those votes in counties which did.

So with so much ambiguity in the voting process, which has to be the most important part of a representative government, what do those in powers stand to gain from more? Is it possible that those in power want there to be ambiguity? Is it possible that they want elections to be in dispute? Is it possible that they want the outcome of elections to be decided by government officials, instead of by a clear vote of the people?

My readers know I don't support this system. But the question to those who do has to be, what is your government trying to achieve? People often want to blame these problems on the other team. In reality, I believe that the traditional delineation between democrat and republican is less important than the difference between statists and those interested in individual liberty. While I'm willing to believe that there are more statists on the democrat side, I think that is simply a result of the voter to whom they must pander. I believe the statists want the election to be in doubt. I believe they want to take the decision making authority out of the hands of the voter. After all, they know what's best. It's for your own good.

You can trust them.

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