By: Jeffrey Winograd
Election Day is on the doorstep and the related political climate crisis is threatening to overwhelm the American social fabric.
The Congressional Research Service (Election Day: Frequently Asked Questions) describes Election Day as “the day legally established for the general election of federal public officials: President, Vice President, and U.S. Congress.”
It is obvious that Election Day in America has been hijacked by the various states. “State and local elections are often, but not always, held on the same day as federal elections,” according to the CRS.
In fact, Election Day, as now practiced, is a misnomer of epic proportions – better to call it Election Weeks. The result is that more than 100 election lawsuits that impact the conduct of federal elections are now on court dockets across the country.
Typical Election Issues Circa 2022
Looking at the United States from outside its borders, it must be unimaginable to view a laundry list of issues that continue to overwhelm the judiciary in various jurisdictions.
The issues contributing to the chaos run the gamut from requiring photo identification to signature matching to the use of unregulated drop boxes for ballots.
No wonder there are so many Americans who have been labelled “election sceptics.”
The Constitutional Fix
While the Constitution and federal statutes provide a structure for elections and voting in the United States, election administration is primarily a state responsibility, explains the CRS.
A second CRS publication (Campaign and Election Security Policy: Brief Introduction) delves a bit further and, as if by magic, emerges a golden constitutional nugget: “The U.S. Constitution and federal statute regulate the division of governmental responsibility for election security, although no statute is devoted specifically to the topic. Most broadly, the Constitution’s Elections Clause assigns states with setting the ‘Times, Places and Manner’ for House and Senate elections, and also permits Congress to “at any time…make or alter such Regulations” (Art. I, §4). [Emphasis Added]
It would seem that, if projections on the eve of Election Day are accurate, the Republican Party is likely to be the majority in both the Senate and House of Representatives.
Consequently, the GOP can claim “ownership” of the issue and deliver a comprehensive package of federal election reforms for delivery to the White House for signature.
Top 10 Fixes
A series of bicameral legislative hearings could produce a comprehensive package of reforms that would withstand any constitutional challenges and progressive Democratic claims of racism and other bogus issues.
Take a look and even compile your own Top 10:
#1 Establish a 3-day period named Election Days, running from a Sunday through the following Tuesday, with no early voting except via restricted absentee ballots.
#2 Valid photo identification is a must with provisions to give low-income citizens, regardless of race, such identification.
#3 Given the open border in the south, proof of citizenship is essential. Passports and birth certificates (along with a photo ID) are common-sense possibilities with others to be added.
#4 Mail-in ballots and absentee ballots only for cause and with 100% signature matching by humans.
#5 Drop boxes for ballots must be restricted, regulated and placed at secure locations.
#6 Specific standards for voting machines must be established and enforced.
#7 Ballot harvesting must be prohibited.
#8 Ballot counting timeframes and procedures must be established and enforced.
#9 So-called ballot curing must be prohibited unless carefully regulated.
#10 No voter registration on Election Days.
The argument for restricted early voting is best made by the unfortunate case of John Fetterman’s candidacy for the Senate. Most fair-minded persons among those who have already voted for him would now likely want to reclaim their vote.
And then there is a significant ballot counting issue that has been festering in the Keystone state for more than two years. Read about it at the risk of winding up totally confused.