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We Need to Fix Our Broken State Election Systems

a ballot being counted
Voters lose confidence the longer it takes to count votes. (AP)

Michael Dorstewitz By Monday, 05 December 2022 10:14 AM EST Current | Bio | Archive

It’s now December and votes are still being counted in some areas. As each day passes, public trust in the results diminish, and for good reason.

Within the last four years voters have asked:

  • How can a U.S. Senate candidate who can neither understand speech nor express his own thoughts due to a recent stroke defeat a nationally-recognized physician and TV personality?
  • How can a gubernatorial hopeful who’s obviously afraid to debate her more articulate opponent come out ahead in the end?
  • How can a presidential candidate campaigning from his basement defeat an incumbent who headlines multiple rallies per day attended by thousands?

With respect to the second item, predominately Republican Cochise County, Arizona, voted to delay certification of the 2022 election results, citing irregularities, including tabulation machines that were certified by an unaccredited lab. The Secretary of State’s office announced that they will file a lawsuit against the county.

And with respect to the last item, an 83%-plus drop in military ballots counted from 2020 to 2022, combined with the recent discovery of absentee military ballots sent to a fictitious member of the U.S. armed service, prompted at least one Wisconsin state lawmaker to raise more questions over the 2020 election.

Wisconsin was one of the battleground states won by Biden that pushed him across the finish line ahead of Trump.

With each instance, voters conclude that maybe the results are being skewered behind closed doors.

And as the process drags on, public trust diminishes. In a recent Trafalgar Group/Convention of States Action national survey, voters were asked, “Are you more or less likely to trust election results that take days or weeks to tabulate?”

A majority of respondents — 54.8% — said they were less likely to accept the results.

Without surprise, there was a stark division between parties on the issue. A full 68.1% of Democrats were more likely to accept delayed election results, while 80.4% of Republicans were less likely to do so.

Legacy media has been doing its part to gloss over election anomalies. Victoria Marshall, staff writer for The Federalist covering election integrity, listed a number of Election Day headlines as proof.

They include “Why The 2022 Midterm Election Results Might Not Be Known Right Away” from CBS News and NPR’s “Be patient: this election is probably going to go on awhile.”

But the most prophetic may have been this one from ABC: “Early election night results might not indicate final tallies (and why that’s ok).”

Translation: Don’t let those early Republican gains fool you. They’re just a “red mirage” that will disappear in the coming days, weeks or months — whatever it takes.

So what’s the answer? Other states would do well to look to Florida.

The Sunshine State was a laughingstock and a national disgrace following the 2000 presidential election. It was the year of the hanging chads, when election monitors examined IBM punch cards one-by-one, to determine what each voter intended.

After that they got to work under the direction of incoming Gov. Jeb Bush. And despite the fact that it became a model for the nation, it tries to improve upon that model each election cycle.

As a result Florida announced its 2022 results within hours of the polls closing, despite the fact that it’s the third most populous in the nation.

With that in mind, National Review senior writer Charles C.W. Cooke thought that may be just the ticket for states like Arizona and Nevada who never seem to get things right.

“As I suggested in 2020, the first thing a lot of U.S. states ought to do when this week is over is call up Jeb Bush and pay him to fly out from Miami and explain how he took Florida’s vote-counting system from a national embarrassment to the gold standard,” he said.

Cooke explained that “Florida has three times the population of Arizona, and nearly seven times the population of Nevada. It can be done.”

As far as that goes other states, including Michigan and Ohio, did it too, although not nearly as dramatically.

But the point is, something has to be done in order to restore voter confidence.

Last month, Federalist staff writer Jordan Boyd revealed what she believed was the real threat to America’s greatness.

“Democrats tried to frame the 2022 midterms as a referendum on Republicans, whom they’ve branded a ‘threat to democracy,’” she observed, adding, “but the real threat to our nation is how little Americans can trust elections that drag on for days or weeks.”

And as trust in our elections declines, confidence and respect for the leaders elected through those flawed, distrusted elections declines as well.

Michael Dorstewitz is a retired lawyer and has been a frequent contributor to Newsmax. He is also a former U.S. Merchant Marine officer and an enthusiastic Second Amendment supporter. Read Michael Dorstewitz's Reports — More Here.

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It's now December and votes are still being counted in some areas. As each day passes, public trust in the results diminish, and for good reason.
state election systems
Monday, 05 December 2022 10:14 AM
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