Do it! Do it now!
The much-maligned Kos has a reasoned, factual post on what should be done to drag America’s voting system out of the mid-20th century. It’s good to read this. On the one hand, Kos’s decentralized diaries have been going crazy with claims of “VOTE FRAUD,” and Kos isn’t going there. Also, the evidence of the last year is that Kos has a little bit of pull with the national Democratic party. Not much – certainly it’s as antagonistic as anything else. But if he’s concerned with it, it’ll get into the ears of the honchos.

That would be a very good thing. It’s absolutely vital that America update and fix its election system. Europe’s elections are quick and clean and kick the shit out of ours – and when Europe is making us look bad, we should ask why. We need a centralized database that makes the wasteful and perennial claims of fraud and counterclaims of intimidation (from poll watchers alleging fraud) obselete. For Christ’s sake, we need to ease the huge lines on election day. That could happen with a national database and more machines.

And obviously – obviously – we need a standardized, checkable system for casting ballots. We need optical scan or paper-trail e-voting machines. On election day, I voted on a WinVote system that worked just like an ATM, minus the receipt. This is a disaster waiting to happen. Imagine an election taking place in, say Oklahoma, and a freak electrical storm knocking out a few dozen precincts, including the central location of the voting machines. The electronic votes would be wiped out. There’d be no way of counting them.

There was a bill in the last congress mandating a paper trail for all elections (Rush Holt’s Voter Confidence Act). It should be reintroduced and passed unanimously. This isn’t about party loyalties or conspiracy theories. It’s about making elections easier and preventing a historic disaster.

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