Op-ed by Summer Lane | Photo: Alamy
There is no question that the elections in America have changed. Whether they’ve always been questionable or we’ve only just recently realized how corrupt the system is, the bottom line is chillingly clear: Americans don’t trust their elections anymore, and how could they?
With embarrassingly long vote-counting processes that have elongated Election Day into “Election Week,” the concept of electoral reliability in our republic has been irreparably caricatured. Widespread reports of printing and tabulation problems in Maricopa County, Arizona, have obliterated the integrity of the state’s midterms almost entirely.
Since 2020, election races have been audited, investigated, and protested. Election integrity organizations like True the Vote have discovered staggering evidence of nationwide vote trafficking cartels.
VoterGA also continues to dig up data in the Peach State that indicates their election processes have likely been far less than above board for a long time.
President Donald Trump has often called the 2020 presidential election “rigged and stolen” and has strongly called out irregularities and corruption wherever he sees it.
U.S. elections are chaotic, messy, fraught with errors, and clunkily drawn out. How did this happen? How did America, the pinnacle of modern civilization and a shining city of liberty on a hill, tumble down the mountain of election integrity and wind up with third-world election processes?
Arguably, the downhill descent started in 2000.
Hanging Chads and the Help America Vote Act
A cursory observation of America’s modern-day election systems has drawn voting machines into the limelight. Whether tabulators are down or ballots are being rejected, it seems as if the machines are always front and center when it comes to election woes.
In 2000, then-presidential candidate George W. Bush and Democrat candidate Al Gore were locked in a heated contest for the White House. Many Americans remember the debacle of the “Hanging Chads,” when it was reported that Florida ballots with punch tabs weren’t “all the way punched,” via Mashable.
This resulted in a delay in the election results. Bush was eventually declared the victor, but the path ahead was clear for election reform. In 2002, former President Bush signed the “Help America Vote Act” into law, which established mandatory standards in the U.S. when it came to election administration.
Via the act, guidelines were laid down for voting system standards, computerized statewide voter registration list requirements, and more. The act supposedly helped to streamline the U.S. election system – and perhaps, in many respects, it did. However, the nationwide adoption of the digital voting system seems to have caused more harm than good in the long run.
In a 2018 Mashable article, author Rachel Kraus wrote:
“Of course, the impulse to digitize voting also came with the deeper integration of technology into everyday life, as well as with the expectations of the media and the public, who wanted instantaneous returns. But the adoption of electric voting also came from the idealized position the tech industry held at the time.”
The introduction of widespread machine-led voting in the U.S. changed the landscape of our elections, for better or for worse. Ultimately, the machines seem to have led us to 2020 and now, 2022.
Reports of election irregularities are not simply relegated to one single area. Machines alone aren’t the only election-related tools getting a bad rap. Widespread mail-in ballots have been a vehicle of nationwide reports of vote trafficking and fraud. In fact, it’s the mail-in ballots that are being counted for days, like in the recent midterm races in Nevada or Pennsylvania.
Between a problematic election system in 2020 and the endless media news cycle that refused to report on evidence of dubious activities taking place in precincts across the country, election integrity seems like a lost cause.
Now, in the wake of damning evidence in Elon Musk’s “Twitter Files” that exhumed a breadcrumb trail of Big Tech censorship and collusion with federal agencies to suppress and silence political dissent, it seems as if no institution can be trusted anymore.
Conservative filmmaker and author Dinesh D’Souza tweeted on Monday, “Basically Trump is proven right that an unelected cabal rigged the rules of the game in order to fix the outcome of the 2020 election—and then shut down his ability to speak out about it. The #TwitterFiles alone are sufficient to demonstrate these two chilling points.”
Is it really as hopeless as it seems? What can Americans do to reclaim the integrity of their election processes?
Do your part
The answer is simple: do your part. The swamp can’t be drained from the top down. The best way to implement organic change is to battle it out right where you are. In a recent interview with RSBN, Trump attorney Christina Bobb keenly advised Americans to “get involved in the process…Become a precinct committeeman…volunteer at your state or county GOP. The more eyes we have on the process, the harder it is to cheat.”
“Sunlight is the best disinfectant,” Elon Musk tweeted in May.
For the everyday American, knowledge is power, and continually exposing the truth is the only path forward. Establishing election reform in America will be a long and arduous journey. A return to same-day paper ballots seems like the most reasonable option in light of the rampant issues in troubled counties like Maricopa in Arizona or Clark County in Nevada.
“Ultimately, we want same-day voting,” President Trump told a crowd of supporters in Memphis, Tennessee, in June.
The concept of single-day vote counting and result tabulation is the goal of many proponents of basic election integrity and security. Without free and fair elections, Americans have no freedom. The onus of responsibility ultimately rests with we the people, who have been tasked to safeguard constitutional liberties and protect the sanctity of the ballot box.
Thomas Paine, one of our most famous Founding Fathers and the author of “Common Sense,” stated two centuries ago that, “Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigues of supporting it.”
The question is: are we, like men, willing to undergo the fatigues of supporting our freedom?
The choice is yours.