Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Astonishing, And Unbelievable Vulnerability

Our current vulnerability to election tampering by any, and all, foreign interests is absolutely intolerable. More to the point, however, is the lack of response to this vulnerability; inaction that spans decades of knowing that our voting systems are antiquated, poorly designed, and subject to only the most limited form of review (recounts or audits), and systemized checking for problems of any kind.

And now, in this excellent article (linked below) we find that the only federal agency formed to actually tackle the problem, besides the Department of Homeland Security, is being attacked to the point of seeking its complete abolishment. That agency is the Election Assistance Commission.

Let's be clear here. More than porous borders. More than ISIS terrorists infiltrating to do us harm. Our ability to rely on a completely objective system of vote tallying is absolutely essential to preserve our Democracy. If we are stupid enough to allow our voting systems to be pummeled across various avenues of unchecked breaching we will create a downward spiralling vortex of ever increasing chaotic controversy that will have only one final outcome. No one believing that their vote matters at all any more (a fact we're already too close to) as, insult to injury, not only does money influence what we know, so as to vote in manipulated ignorance, we will also have outright sabotage to deal with as well.

It's easy to see here how this can get so tangled into the idea of "States Rights" and how local governments may be reluctant to have one more area where the "Feds" are "dictating" arbitrary standards, but this goes way beyond the concerns of local control. Just as it would with outbreak standards to prevent the spread of communicable disease, or with the standards to protect the flow of monetary transactions, and the repositories where the information is kept.

And the thing is, I have to believe that the unbelievable push back, primarily from Republicans, to create a uniform, rational solution to our current vulnerabilities, goes hand in hand with a general reluctance by conservatives to have much of any further comprehensive overhaul of how we vote. And you need look no further than how we've allowed local municipalities to Jerry Mander precincts to see how this comes out. Or to see how too many local municipalities have instituted rules to try and marginalize the votes of demographic groups the powers that be would rather not have to pay attention to.

The fact of the matter, in my view, is that conservatives are terrified of comprehensive voting reform precisely because it would shake up what ought to be obvious unconstitutional district representation. Not to mention the instigation of cheap shot rules to make voting nearly impossible for those on the lower end of the economic spectrum. Terrified as well, I think, as any real attempt to look at voting reform would make it so much harder for them to continue make their ridiculous claims of voter fraud. Claims that have had the effect of throwing gasoline on the already growing flames of doubt in our electoral processes; which really makes you wonder where their patriotism lies.

We must demand comprehensive reform, and robust, systematic protections of this most basic part of our Democracy. We must do this quickly. Otherwise you might as well join the Anarchists and just start smashing as much as you can to bring the whole thing down now, because that's ultimately what doing nothing about voting is going to give us.

How easy would it be to rig the next election?

By Jesse B. Staniforth