Originally published November 25, 2020
With the massive allegations of voter fraud laid out by Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell, and the rest of the Trump team, it’s obvious to all that the 2020 elections were a massive disaster. Regardless of who takes the oath of office in January, election reform should be a bipartisan issue at the top of everyone’s list. Unfortunately, it seems that Democrats consistently want to open the floodgates to further fraud, so it will be up to the Senate Republicans to write the bill and force Democrats to vote against it. Here are just a few of the policies that must be implemented to secure our elections.
National Voter ID Laws
The most obvious way to secure elections is also the most controversial, at least for Democrats. For anyone who thinks logically, an ID should be necessary to vote, to ensure that the person who is registered is the person voting. Those who claim that requiring an ID is racist are guilty of the soft bigotry of low expectations. Why are there some groups unable to get IDs? Additionally, there are massive campaigns in every state to register people to vote. There is no reason why there cannot be that same campaign to get people a picture identification. If Costco can print out a membership card with a picture on it in 30 seconds, the government should be able to do it, as well.
Purge Voter Rolls Every Two Years
In even-numbered years, there are federal elections for the House of Representatives, the Senate, and (every four years) the Presidency. This gives enough time in odd-numbered years to purge the voter rolls to ensure that people who are dead for decades don’t “accidentally” cast a ballot. Have people log onto their local government website, confirm that they are still residents, and they will not get purged. Anyone who fails to do so will have to reregister.
Election Day a Federal Holiday
One of the biggest complaints is that people do not have time before or after work to go to the polls. Making Election Day a federal holiday will give time off for Americans to go vote. Since this will be a burden on employers, this can also be an excuse to downgrade Labor Day.
Mail-In Voting Is Severely Restricted
Mail-in voting could be the number one issue in the 2020 election cycle. The system is so ripe for failure that it should be more of a joke than a hanging chad. Voters can get disenfranchised if they do something wrong, and counters can toss out legal votes if the procedure isn’t followed. All mail-in ballots, with a few exceptions, like soldiers and civil servants overseas, should be illegal. Some legitimate excuses could be the physically infirmed who cannot go to the polls, or Election Day conflicts with a religious holiday. Vacation is not an excuse.
Outlaw Out-of-Country Counting
The Trump team alleged that ballots are counted in other countries, like Germany. If this does occur, it should be outlawed.
Software Must Be Vetted Federally
In a digital age, paper ballots do not make sense as a primary means of tallying a vote. However, given the inherent risks of a malfunctioning or hacked piece of equipment, the federal government should vet and approve all software used by states. This will reduce the possibility of “ballot-switching,” which happened at least once in 2020
More Polling Places, No Early Voting
These two go hand in hand, as it is currently considered “voter suppression” to stand in line (it’s not). Since early voting, especially combined with lack of voter ID, opens up the possibility of voter impersonation, reducing the time that an illegal vote could be cast is of paramount importance. However, since we don’t want to disenfranchise voters, federal funds should be used to set up more polling places and ensure that they are properly staffed.
Poll workers have an incredible responsibility, but have little training, and that training is not universal. Poll workers should have standardized training and should sign a contract, under penalty of prosecution, that they will comply with those standards.
Partisan Poll Watchers
Every polling place should have a Poll Watcher from each political party, and those watchers should be given unfettered access to roam around the polling place. No observations can be made from 20 feet away, and the parties involved deserve to have their candidates be given a fair election.
It’s unfortunate that our electoral system has fallen so dramatically that the outlined steps must be taken. However, an election only has meaning if it can be trusted. These proposals will help build confidence back into a system that so many Americans currently distrust.