Tags: 2020 Elections | Unions | Voting Rights | uniform | standards | states

Much Needed Election Reform Will Cure the Cancer on Our Democracy

voting and election reforms

(Jixue Yang/Dreamstime.com)

By Friday, 04 December 2020 11:54 AM Current | Bio | Archive

Whether you identify as a Republican, Democrat, Independent, or "Other" — one thing is absolutely certain: there are lessons to be learned from the 2020 election.

Right now, America is in desperate need of these things — Now:

—Voting standards that are nationally uniform.

—Campaign finance reforms, and:

—Social media regulation and oversight.

The America of today is plagued with 50 different and unique voting standards in each state. This has created uncertainty, confusion, rule changing, and irregularities with respect to the counting, timing, transparency, and voting protocols in states and localities.

The lack of uniform rules and regulations for voting invites mischief, uncertainty, lack of trust — and fraud.

Without systemic changes in voting protocols and procedures, irregularities and uncertainty becomes the norm.

Establishing fair, just, and equitable federal voting standards in federal elections will force states to follow suit. Although states will not be required to follow federal rules in state or local elections, it would be costly and inefficient not to do so.

The federal government has a paramount interest under the Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution to ensure that all Americans are treated the same when exercising their most important, valued right as a citizen — the right to vote.

As such, the federal government has the affirmative duty to ensure that all aspects of voting in federal elections are uniform.

It makes no sense that states have the power to make their own rules and requirements with regard to federal elections, rules that could change the outcome, disenfranchise, confuse, prevent or — even discourage voting.

It's neither fair or equitable for 50 states to have 50 different rules for federal elections.

Uniform voting standards will eliminate state lawsuits, confusion, and inequities to registration and voting nationwide.

Campaign financing this during this campaign and election cycle also exposed the need for sweeping changes to be made.

When an outside group can raise more money than a candidate themselves to influence the outcome of an election there is a cancer on our democracy.

The amount of money raised and spent this election cycle for president, the U.S. Senate, and the U.S. House is obscene.

Now is the time for serious and meaningful campaign-finance reforms.

I believe one simple rule would go a long way in achieving balance in campaign financing — if you can’t vote for the candidate on the ballot: you can’t contribute to the campaign.

Period.

Today, citizens can only vote in the district of their domicile.

A citizen does not have the right to vote in the district of their choosing.

Corporations and unions should only be allowed to influence an election if they have a nexus to that district/state. It makes no sense for outsiders to have undue or unfair amounts of influence on elections in which they have no such nexus.

These new rules would make representatives more beholden to their constituents.

I always found it very strange when a New York congressman would attend a fundraiser for his own campaign in Arizona. Also, matching a personal wealth contribution beyond a threshold by the U.S. government will ensure that no citizen will have the chance to "buy"votes or an election.

The elimination of outside influence would reduce the vast amounts of money candidates and parties would need to raise and would give more of a voice to those who have the greatest stake in the outcome of an election: the voters, corporations, unions, and interest groups within a particular district or state.

Today, it's possible for outside groups to wield more power and influence than the candidates themselves.

That is wrong.

Social media showed its anti-conservative bias this election cycle.

They took unprecedented steps, censorsing and editorially controlling Republican and conservative persons and entities.

This  certainly became an issue at key moments duruing the election and campaign process in 2020. 

As a result of social media’s interference (and bias) Congress has the obligation to investigate, regulate and legislate. This should be a bipartisan effort.

As it has been said, you can either learn from history or be condemned to repeat it.

Now is the time to act to establish national uniform voting standards, campaign finance reforms, as well as social media regulation and oversight.

Bradley A. Blakeman was a deputy assistant to President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2004. A principal of the 1600 Group, a strategic communications firm, he is an adjunct professor of public policy and international affairs at Georgetown University and a frequent guest on Fox News and Fox Business. Mr. Blakeman is also a registered lobbyist for the Communications Workers of America. Read Bradley Blakeman's Reports — More Here.

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Now is the time to act to establish national uniform voting standards, campaign finance reforms, as well as social media regulation and oversight.
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2020-54-04
Friday, 04 December 2020 11:54 AM
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