Friday, January 07, 2005

Election reform

Ahh reform. We did it with campaign finance, and saw an election with more soft money poured into it than ever before, while abridging people's right to free political speech in the same stroke. John McCain likely made George Soros.

And now John Kerry is talking about election reform. So is Barbara Boxer, who objected to the certification of the Electoral College vote to make a point for the need to examine the irregularities in Ohio. And let's not forget the buffoons in the House--all Democrats--who started the thing and lobbied at least one senator to join them.

But some of this reform rhetoric rings a little hollow. Yes, things weren't perfect in Ohio. But folks in Florida lined up around the corner in the days leading up to the election to cast an early vote. Why isn't that a problem? Power went out at Republican Party headquarters in Pittsburgh on election day, which was running the get out the vote effort, while the Democrats' HQ across the street still had the lights on. Bush needed Pittsburgh votes in that very close of swing states to win it. And as I've noted before, ballot boxes were stuffed in several Philadelphia precincts before the voting even began. Or the Democrats' playbook. And let's not forget a little of the pre-election fun that was pulled against Republicans in October.

Their complaints, as I've said before, are limited to Bush-won states where conditions at the polls were not excruciatingly perfect for Democrat voters. Not irregularities, just life, and a system run by mostly good, but fallible people. That's not something as serious as, say the voter fraud we've seen them pull.

But I agree with Kerry and Boxer...let's reform! I'll start!

Let's purge voter rolls by comparing them to vital records registries for dead people and those who have sold their homes and moved. Let's pass a law stating that ballots that mysteriously turn up without a chain of custody accounting for their whereabouts, like those in the Washington Governor's race, don't get counted. Let's require that collection, tabulation, and storage of absentee ballots be done with bipartisan supervision. Let's do away with easily spoilable ballots, like those with chads or other features which can easily become fragile with handling after numerous Democrat-requested hand recounts. Let's ensure that ballot boxes are inspected prior to the opening of polls, with any "stuffing" to be reported to the FBI. And let's ensure that ballot boxes be under bipartisan guard until the votes are properly counted. Let's tie the hands of judges by writing laws that abolish both "intent of the voter" lawsuits and hand recounts where statute only provides for machine recounts. Let's prohibit courts from extending (or shortening) polling hours as was tried in Missouri in 2000. Because all of these things create more problems than they could ever solve.

Now, do you think the Democrats really want a system that prohibits fraud? One would hope. But since they're raising the issue and we know their history, I urge conservatives to jump in with them. Let's join them in their quest to make voting work.

But let's bear in mind one thing. It's more important that the votes be cast and tabulated in a simple, fair, transparent, and completely honest way, than "every vote" being counted. Because as we have seen a little more often than we like, not all that turns up at the polls is a "vote".

And never forget these national Democrats, magnanimous reform rhetoric aside, are willing to win by any means necessary. You'd sooner part a bear from its cubs than these weasels from fraud.

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