Please Vote Tomorrow, I’m Pretty Sure It Will Get Counted

November 1, 2010

(ChattahBox Op/Ed) – The system is still corrupt and untrustworthy.  Years after George W. Bush was elected president by the Supreme Court, the way we vote and the guarantee that our vote is counted is still an issue that is yet to be decided.  After all the talk of reform, and there was some, was it enough to instill confidence back into the system that denied the people the president they voted for (Al Gore) in 2000 or are we still mired in more talk than action?The technology has changed radically since the November elections of a decade ago that created a controversy that history books will profoundly remember.  But technology has not made the process more pristine and there is still not one accepted method of counting ballots that is 100% fool proof.  It has been suggested by many people that there is no such thing as a perfect election methodology and as long as there are humans involved in the process there will be an opportunity to cheat the system, and I would guess that is true in general terms, but is it a reality?  Sure it is.  As long as billions of collective dollars are spent on elections, there will always be reasons for suspicion as it relates to the method of voting and the way those votes are counted.

I have to believe that in order to be sure your vote is counted there must be an iron clad way to accomplish that.  Some suggest the oldest and purest form of voting is the old check mark next to the name on the ballot and that hand counting is still the best way.  I’m not buying that.  I also don’t buy that computer technology has the upper hand on delivering accurate results because as we all know that computers can be manipulated or hacked.  We still have no one method adopted by states that would help streamline the process and in the process help in creating safeguards and protections that give more confidence in the system.  So with all that said, does your vote count?

Sure it does.  I mean I’m pretty sure it does, right?  I mean it has to because it looks like it does when I vote or so it seems anyway.  Seriously, how could it not, right?  So, yes our votes count I’m pretty sure because how could they not after all this time and money spent on election reform, right?

Listen, I am not paranoid and I do believe my vote does get counted but I am not comforted by the idea that we still don’t have a standardized method of voting in this country.  I still believe there is way too much room for questionable results and reform has been slow and burdensome for states to enact for a variety of reasons.  We still don’t have it right and voting reform is still too partisan an issue, which is what forced me to take notice.  How is it so hard to agree on voting reform?  How is it that we can’t see that clearly confidence in the system is still not close to 100%?  And why, for Aunt Millie’s sake, are we still so far from a solution to this problem that caused great upheaval a decade ago?

The people who are at the forefront of voter fraud and reform are for the most part non-partisan.  These are people who largely want transparency in the process and have worked tirelessly to see that reform is not a forgotten issue, and yet it is still a question yet to be decided.  The insanity in that just makes me shake my head and wonder why?  You too?

And, sadly, it’s not just the method of voting that is still on the table.  It’s also about identification of voters, who is eligible to vote, back up plans in place should something go wrong, etc.  I find it unacceptable that we are still having the same discussions about voting that we were having ten years ago which means only one thing: those in power haven’t figured out a way to tilt some part of the process in a favorable way to their Party.  It’s the only answer that makes any sense.

I can assure you with 100% certainly that there will be stories breaking across the country tomorrow and on Wednesday about voting problems and there will be some areas of the country where the results will be contested because the loop hole that exists in that community will be utilized.  There will be voting precincts that will be ill prepared for the turnout and others where the equipment will break down.  Moreover, there will be voters that show up to their polling place that will be told they are in the wrong place even though they know they are not.  And again, it begs the question: how can this still be happening?

I will vote first thing tomorrow morning as I always do. I am usually one of the first ten people at my polling place and where I vote they have the optical scanning system in place.  It seems to work and I have to trust it does and I don’t vote and wonder if my vote counted, but there are many people that would suggest that I should. For now I am just not taking the bait, but I would like us to once and for all find a standardized way of voting that assures us all that our vote counted (a printout of my ballot would be a great start) and then move on to more important issues.  But as long as we have even the slightest reason to suggest that the system is not fixed there will always be that twinge of doubt.

I do want to encourage all of you to vote tomorrow and if the lines where you are at are long, be patient and do your civic duty with pride.  I also want you to believe, as I want to believe, that your vote will be counted, but wouldn’t it be great to know with complete certainty is was?  Yeah, I agree, and hopefully one day we will.

Tony Trupiano is a former national syndicated progressive radio talk show host, author, and a former candidate for Congress. He is also a nationally recognized media trainer.  He can be reached at tony@mediatony.com and can read his Blog at www.mediatraining.me..


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