Electile Dysfunction Is A Very Real Problem
With Karl Rove thanking the Republican National Lawyers Association for their hard work these last few years in ensuring clean elections, I’m starting to have the sinking feeling that Rove is one step ahead again. We are still seven months away from the mid-term elections, but Bush’s approval numbers are steadily declining, as are the approval numbers for Republicans in Congress, and neither show any signs of stopping their downward slide. While this would normally be good news, where there’s Rove, there’s fire, and he is still in charge of the day to day political maneuverings of the GOP, and backs against the wall is perfect for someone like him. He always plays the political game like he’s got nothing to lose, and at this point, he really doesn’t. If he’s happy with what his henchmen have been able to accomplish on the voting front, the rest of us surely have cause for concern.
I mean, what better way to do away with free and fair elections, than to make them so problematic, so plagued with errors, so inefficient and so unreliable, that people become convinced that the whole system must be scraped. It sounds farfetched, but it’s exactly where we are headed, and very few Americans seem to give a damn.
I am not afraid of technology, and it certainly has a role to play in the administering of elections, but only if electronic voting can be made as secure and reliable as electronic banking. If people’s money was treated with the same carelessness as our votes currently are, there would be wall to wall coverage on the news and uprisings of people and businesses refusing to allow the theft of our money, whether by “glitches” “human error” or “fraud”, so why is there no outrage when it comes to our votes? I guess money really is what makes this country go, as many have contended, because it certainly isn’t the idea of “one man, one vote” anymore, if it ever was.
At this point, I don’t care if the last few election cycles have been stolen by the GOP, what I care about is democracy, and without a vote, we don’t have democracy. Sure, we still have the right to vote, but if that vote is not guaranteed to be counted, if they can be lost in the black hole of Microsoft Windows, if people living in urban centers, and those voting in predominantly Democratic districts have to wait hours in line to cast a ballot, while white, middle-class suburban NASCAR dads, Soccer Moms and rural Evangelical voters can breeze right through (read The Conyers Report), if hundreds of thousands of people can be scrubbed from the voter rolls, if the GOP can use phone-jamming schemes to suppress voter turnout, we don’t have a democracy and one man, one vote is nothing but a lie.
While I agree that fraud in the last several elections didn’t play as large a part as the failure of the Democratic infrastructure and the refusal to even participate in the so called “red states,” that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a very real problem with the way elections are now administered. I am all for building the Party, creating a cohesive set of values that incorporate all of the issues we care about and challenging Republican domination in the red states, but I am also for an accurate accounting of our votes. Again, if Rove is happy with what his Republican lawyer friends have been able to accomplish in the last two years, I’m pretty sure GOP improvements in electronic voting are not going to bode well for any candidate with a (D) after his or her name this November.