Friday, January 07, 2005

They Cheat and STILL Can't Win

I'm amazed at how many people decry the Ohio election results as being invalid because of alleged errors in counting. The critics and partisans point to the banking industry where companies can process millions of transactions with near perfection (they say) and try to draw a corollary. "If something like check transactions can be done right every time why can't voting for the leader of the free world be done just as well?" they ask.

Let me put it like this:

How many banks allow you to withdraw money without identification?

How many banks allow you to make a withdrawal of all your funds in absentia and then allow you to go into the branch and withdraw those same funds a second time?

How many banks allow a check to be cashed when they can't tell if you wrote the check for $10 or $1,000?

How many banks cash checks signed by Micky Mouse?

I could go on but the point is, the banking industry is HIGHLY regimented with very strict rules that are specifically intended to prohibit cheating. It is also overseen by federal regulatory agencies who have zero tolerance for funny business.

On the other hand, elections in this country are largely based on an honor system where the dishonest can quite easily game the system. There is no federal regulation, there is no effort to enforce strict voter registration rules, or to prevent voters from being bussed from precinct to precinct, no effort to card them when they walk into a precinct to vote, no serious effort to even keep illegals from voting.

The banking industry is a little hard to demagogue:

BANK: "Sir, you have insufficent funds in your account to cover that check".
MAXINE WATERS: "Bank of America is trying to disenfranchise it's minority banking customers, they should be allowed to withdraw as much money from the bank as they need without being forced to keep funds in their accounts."

The hard, cold fact is that the voting process in this country has, in many places, been hijacked by the left. If that level of corruption and laxity were the norm in the banking industry the whole financial system in this country would collapse. But the Democrats would be the last to want the regimentation of the banking industry to be imposed on the election process.

It is a testament to how hard the GOP got out its vote this last time to overcome the huge level of cheating undertaken by the Democrats. The grandstanding in the House and Senate about Ohio was pure demagoguery and nothing more. The Democrat leadership is about as interested in reform of the election process as they are in seeing Condi run for President in '08. If we tightened up our registration and voting process in this country they would rarely win a national election.

Can you imagine them voting for reform that would institute the following?:

- 30 day advance registration requirement (to give election officials a chance to check the authenticity of the registration),
- National voter registrant database to assure that the voter was registered in only one state, was alive, was not a felon, was a legal citizen, and of voting age.
- Social Security Card (or other national ID) required to register (no driver's licenses allowed).
- 2 forms of ID required to actually vote.
- No provisional balloting
- No dead people, pets, cartoon characters, or illegals would be allowed to vote.
- Optical card voting only (no punch cards, no touch pads, no lever pulling). Optical (fill in the bubble) scan cards are the most reliable voting methodology and, while largly an electronic process on the counting side, leaves a paper trail.
- Only ballots correctly filled out are counted, PERIOD. If the voter makes a mistake (fills in too many bubbles, forgets to fill in a bubble, marks the wrong bubble, etc.) then the ballot is considered "soiled" and is discarded, no ifs, ands, or buts.
- No hand recounts allowed. Hand recounts are subject to gaming (c.f. State of Washington guber race).

That is the kind of reform that would make sure that voters were not disenfranchised by having their votes nullified by cheaters. This is, in fact, the current situation. The last election, I voted in California, a state where election fraud is rampant on the Democrat side. Nobody makes a big deal out of the fact that my and thousands of other GOP voters are disenfranchised because California is considered a "blue" state. The GOP can't win here, the conventional thinking goes, so who cares if the Democrats pad their margin by a few hundred thousand votes?

One has to wonder how "red" California would go if we instituted the election reforms listed above.


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