Saturday, January 22, 2005

It's Like a Train Wreck

I know I shouldn't go over to The Free Press and look, but sometimes I just can't help myself.

The latest is a proposal for Plan B: Parallel Elections & Signed Ballots:
A Parallel Election would be held in tandem with the official election. It could be organized on a precinct, county, or statewide basis. And anyone could do it. It's simple. On Election Day, "parallel election pollworkers" (PEPs) would position themselves outside the polls. They would provide voters with “parallel ballots” to mark and a ballot box in which to cast them. At the end of the day, PEPs would compare their tallies with the official election returns. If the tallies don't match, the election can be challenged.
Oh, it gets better...
But, the really big deal is this... voters would be asked to print their names and addresses and sign their ballots. What's the point? To provide proof. Candidates need hard evidence in order to challenge election results. A signed ballot would act as a voter's affidavit - as direct evidence of the voter's intent.
No selection error issues there.

But what the heck, let's just eliminate the secret ballot period.
The original goal of the secret ballot was to minimize vote selling and voter intimidation. It seemed like a good idea at the time. But, that time has passed.
By this point, you may be thinking the author hadn't considered the downsides of this proposal. You'd be wrong. Of course they were considered.
What are we afraid of? Are we afraid we'd lose our jobs if our employers knew how we voted? That ship has sailed - quite literally. Millions of jobs in America have already been outsourced to foreign countries. It's only going to get worse if we can't boot these lunatics out of office. Are we afraid that some voters will sell their votes? Oh, you mean like our legislators already do? Listen. I wouldn't make vote selling legal, but I wouldn't get my shorts in a twist over it, either. Or, are we afraid to disappoint our friends and family? It's more important not to disappoint yourself.
So there you have it. Parallel elections. The answer to all of our problems. I don't know why I didn't think of it myself.