It’s my dream that the court proceedings trying to adjudicate the close senatorial election between Coleman and Franken could be turned into a “teaching moment” (I think that’s the liberal term) by throwing the entire election out and demanding a new election. I don’t know that the courts have that authority, but they could in effect by demanding strict accountability for every vote cast.
The point is not to come to some particular conclusion, but to establish legal president for what sort of electoral behavior will have standing in the courts. So, I would propose that the courts demand a “chain of custody,” so to speak, that would ensure that there is a validity to every electoral evolution with the ultimate goal of making any given election free of any taint of fraud.
Who ever wins this election will win by a margin that falls within the margin of error. It become even more important that every effort was made to insure the validity of each vote.
Therefore, I would love to see the court demand that voter registration rolls are accurate. Moreover, to have legal standing the state of Minnesota would have to demonstrate, in a very transparent manner and public manner, that voter rolls are kept scrupulously accurate. Perhaps by insisting that voter registration close a certain specified number of weeks prior to an given election to allow the state of square those tallies.
I’d love to see the courts then insist, for a successful challenge that each voter be matched to those voter registration rolls by means of biometric data–a governmental issued photo ID. Then, finally to insist, again for standing in a court challenge, to have physical evidence (a marked ballot) to correlate with each vote tally. I’d like to see strict physical accounting for each ballot published and no batches of ballots somehow being “discovered” in someone’s car trunk. Finally, guidelines for the election judges to insure exacting and uniform standards treating the counting of each ballot. In other words, I’d like to see the Coleman/Franken court challenge be turned into an exercise of exacting accountability every step of the way.
Put it this way, would you like to see the decision for a radical mastectomy, made on the basis of a breast biopsy, that was handled in the same manner as some of the ballots that mysteriously appeared in some envelope that someone “overlooked.” Speaking as a physician, that would constitute a slam-dunk malpractice action; just settle ’cause you’re never going to get it past the jury.
People make a whole big deal about the “right” to vote. But, the right to vote, like any right, entail certain responsibility. I could never see what was so difficult about voting with the old punch card; the ones of “chad” fame. You simple check your ballot after marking it to make sure that the chads have been punched out. Frankly, if you can’t do that you don’t belong in the voting booth. In a similar fashion, it’s not rocket science to follow directions and put an “x” in a box next to the candidate of your choice. Or, to fill out an oval if the ballot is to be electronically read.
The first time I voted, I voted absentee. That meant I just got a booklet and a punch card. I then had to find a chad labeled, say #34, in order to vote for a particular candidate. I didn’t have the advantage of a voting machine that would allow me to line up the card and just punch a hole in the machine desk top to punch that particular chad. Boy, was that stressful. The state of Illinois should have provided me with psychotherapy afterwards. But, of course, Obamacare wasn’t available in 1976.
Seriously, though. Participation in any democratic process requires a certain level of personal responsibility and, dare I say it, virtue. And, if you can’t cope with a little personal responsibility, you can move to Northern Pakistan where the Taliban will tell you what to do.