As a nation, we might be proud we ran a secure and safe election at a time of pandemic and excessive turnout.
However President Donald Trump’s wide-ranging assaults on our system of elections revealed vulnerabilities many people didn’t understand existed. We have to examine our firewalls and guarantee they are going to face up to comparable assaults sooner or later.
This time round, Democratic and Republican judges and election officers in counties and swing states stood their floor and ensured that ballots had been counted and the election was determined the voters. However though President-elect Joe Biden received 7 million fashionable votes, a swing of simply 45,000 votes in Arizona, Georgia and Wisconsin would have denied Biden the presidency.
Such a slim margin means future elections may very well be overturned disqualifying a comparatively small variety of ballots, pretty or not.
We now understand how a lot we rely on a handful of officers in swing states placing their dedication to a good election above political strain. However can we depend on that in each election? Because it was, a Republican in Michigan tried to revoke certification of that state’s votes.
Earlier than the subsequent election season arrives, we’d prefer to see a couple of issues occur, figuring out that, sure, we’re dreaming in a few instances. However nothing will matter greater than good individuals standing as much as the crazies even when it’s to their political drawback.
Broadly denounce threats of violence. In state after state, would-be election usurpers tried to overturn the outcomes threatening everybody from employees counting ballots to officers certifying outcomes. Chris Krebs, the previous director of the federal Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Safety Company, acquired loss of life threats after a Trump marketing campaign lawyer stated Krebs needs to be “taken out at daybreak and shot.” The lawyer later stated he was joking, however it’s onerous to see the joke.
The secretaries of state in Georgia, Arizona and Nevada acquired loss of life threats, and armed protesters confirmed up on Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson’s garden. Former Republican Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake was proper when he tweeted, “There may be long-term harm when this sort of conduct is normalized.”
Solely a refrain of voices denouncing it — thus far shamelessly missing this time — will stop that normalization.
Converse out unanimously towards makes an attempt to subvert the election. With out sturdy bipartisan condemnation of Trump’s blatant makes an attempt, with out proof of fraud, to overturn the election, future candidates will likely be tempted to make use of his playbook, maybe with extra success. However too many high Republicans are both supporting Trump’s efforts or staying silent. In Georgia, Senate candidates Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue are supporting a Texas lawsuit joined 17 purple states that might upend the favored vote in 4 swing states that Trump misplaced, together with their very own state.
Reform the electoral faculty. Since 2006, 15 state legislatures and the District of Columbia have signed on to the Nationwide Widespread Vote Interstate Compact, which might give every state’s electoral votes to the nationwide fashionable voter winner. The compact, which might go into impact when states with an extra whole of 74 electoral votes be part of, would give the presidency to the favored vote winner. It not can be potential to reject that winner tinkering with a couple of votes in battleground states.
Enact a brand new voting rights act. The John Lewis Voting Rights Development Act, proposed in Congress, would assist put a cease to voter suppression, reminiscent of requiring photograph IDs, gerrymandering, purging official voters from voting lists and putting drop-off poll bins and polling locations in a method that favors one political get together over one other.
Enact a constitutional modification guaranteeing the appropriate to vote. Though constitutional amendments are a difficult proposition, such an modification would make it clear each American citizen of authorized voting age has a proper to vote of their jurisdiction. That will make it tougher to toss out legitimately solid votes.
Shore up the U.S. Postal Service. The Trump administration handcuffed the Postal Service with funds cuts and removing of sorting gear in a cynical try and delay the supply of mail-in ballots. The Postal Service wants the sources to do its job, and native election authorities want federal assist to purchase gear to kind and course of mail-in ballots.
Modernize voting machines. Many election jurisdictions are utilizing outdated gear, and several other states nonetheless have paperless voting machines that don’t allow a recount. With greater than 8,000 election workplaces throughout the nation, making certain all of them have safe voting programs is a giant job, however it’s a vital one.
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