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Election Remedies Can Restore Faith and Preserve Democracy

Election Remedies Can Restore Faith and Preserve Democracy

 (Jj Gouin/Dreamstime.com)

By Monday, 04 January 2021 04:57 PM Current | Bio | Archive

Why does this already feel like defeat, regardless of the outcome of two special Senate elections in Georgia, or the mayhem to certify the winner of the 2020 presidential election the following day?

When 1 in 3 Americans distrust the final 2020 result, 75% are convinced fraud occurred, and millions back the point of view the Presidentshould never concede, the question is whether America can ever recover what it has already lost?

Four years ago, more than 4 in 10 Democratsrefused to accept the validity and/or accuracy of Trump’s victory, arguing to others (and themselves) that a conspiracy of dissidents and “deplorables” had hijacked the will of the people.

Fast forward to Republicans in 2021, as the shoe is being worn on the other foot. The good news is the cobbler (aka, “we, the people) can mend this mess by changing the rules to foster faith and trust; to make elections better, fairer, and more trusted than anywhere on earth (we currently rank 27th among nations concerning our trust in elections, below Hungary and barely above Turkey).

What’s worse is that despite the affirmations of election officials and liberal media that somehow this election was flawless, doubts persist. Texas’ Senator Ted Cruz recently pronounced, "By any measure, the allegations of fraud and irregularities in the 2020 election exceed any in our lifetimes."

Democracy may be able to weather world wars and civil wars, but it won’t withstand repeatedbody blows to the integrity of the vote thrown, alternately, by both sides of the political aisle. As it stands, democracy is being T.K.O.’d.

The path to healing begins by embracing anhistorical truth. There have been issues, irregularities and and/or fraud in every major American election in our lifetime. Consider Kennedy-Nixon in 1960, literally decided by two states (Illinois and Texas) and allegedly impacted by two politicians (Chicago’s Mayor Richard Daley and Texas’ Lyndon Johnson) where stuffed ballot boxes and votes by the un-living fed a narrative that the election was stolen.

Forty years later, Florida’s hanging chads left Americans hanging for 37 days before a divided Supreme Court affirmed a 537-vote winning margin. In both elections, and countless others in between and since, we’ve challenged results with recounts, lawsuits, and discoveries of wrong.

Yet if we allow widespread doubt over elections to overwhelm Americans’ thirst for self-determination, there will be no winners moving forward. None.

So whether you’re cheering for Kelly Loeffleror Raphael Warnock, David Perdue or Jon Ossoff (or none of the above) in Georgia, root even more --- until you’re hoarse --- for something far more impactful and lasting: election reforms.

Consider five electoral remedies that are as obvious as they are urgent:

One. A uniform election system. In Florida alone, there are 67 counties with 67 different election systems. Trying to square results from one jurisdiction to another, one state to another, is nothing short of manmade madness. Without a process of one-size-fits-all, we are left with all-sizes-fit-none.

Two. One-day reporting. Instead of allowing the drip-drip-drip of results to be reported out by media fueling ratings, and partisans feeding rage, announce all final results at one time on one day.

Three. Full transparency, so everyone knows nothing is hidden.

Four. Invest in integrity. Instead of the $400-million that was approved last year for minor election upgrades, we must invest billions in major overhauls that include cutting-edge equipment that counts votes, verifies signatures, and confers legitimacy.

Five. Criminal penalties for offenders. Deliberately messing with the collection and/or counting of the popular vote is an act of electoral treason. These offenders are willfully and maliciously shredding the nation’scollective fiber by fomenting dissent, distrust and destruction. We need punishments that fit these crimes.

Instead of pillorying each other over who won or lost In 2020, let’s use 2021 to unite and fight for the biggest vote we could ever cast: the preservation of democracy.

Adam Goodman is a national Republican media strategist and columnist. He is a partner at Ballard Partners in Washington D.C. He is also the first Edward R. Murrow Senior Fellow at Tufts University's Fletcher School. Follow him on Twitter @adamgoodman3. Read Adam Goodman's Reports — More Here.

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Instead of pillorying each other over who won or lost In 2020, let’s use 2021 to unite and fight for the biggest vote we could ever cast: the preservation of democracy.
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2021-57-04
Monday, 04 January 2021 04:57 PM
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