Standardized Voting System is the Answer to Florida’s Ballot Mess

The following is an opinion piece published at Fox News, 11-11-18, written by Bradley Blakeman, A New York attorney and CEO of Kent Strategies. Blakeman is also a co-founder of Secret Service Family Fund and a Republican strategist.

 

Bradley Blakeman

Florida began a statewide recount of votes Saturday to determine the winners of Tuesday’s midterm elections for the U.S. Senate, governor, state agriculture commissioner and four seats in the state Legislature. The move was reminiscent of the more limited presidential vote recount there in 2000.

I spent 37 days in Florida during the recount in 2000 working on behalf of George W. Bush. He wound up carrying Florida by a scant 537 votes and became president as a result, after a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in December that year. I hope our nation never has to go through a nightmare of uncertainly like that again.

I find it amazing that 18 years later voting problems still plague Florida and some other states as well. I hope that 18 years from now we are still not scratching our heads and trying to solve this problem – and I have an idea about what we need to do.

The solution is simpler than you might imagine. Instead of allowing each state to have its own standards for holding elections for federal office, it’s long past time we created national standards.

These standards wouldn’t be required for elections for state and local offices, but for all practical purposes they would very likely be adopted by all governmental jurisdictions in order to save money and simplify the election process.

Right now states impose their own standards for voting and conducting elections for positions at all levels of government.

Lawsuits have been filed in several states involving voter ID laws and other varying requirements that states impose for voting, along with laws specifying how ballots should be cast and counted.

These different standards in different states have a direct consequence for federal elections.

In an effort to create order out of chaos, it makes sense to have uniform standards in federal elections to ensure that all Americans are treated equally and fairly when exercising their most valued right as citizens.

Here are my suggestions for what a uniform federal election law should include:

Identification: A citizen age 18 or older should produce a valid photo ID from an approved federal or state agency to register to vote and to vote. Photo IDs have become a necessity since the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. You need one to enter a federal building, get on an airplane, obtain government benefits, and for many other things.

Registration: An eligible citizen should be able to register to vote up to two weeks before a federal election by appearing in person at an authorized federal or state office and filing an application.

Voting: Eligible voters should be able to cast ballots at their designated polling place from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. local time on the day of a federal election.

Early Voting: An eligible voter should be allowed to vote no earlier than two weeks before a federal election at his or her designated early voting location between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Absentee Voting: An eligible voter, upon the showing of good cause, should be allowed to vote by absentee ballot provided he or she petitions for an absentee ballot in person at the designated place no more than one month and no less than two weeks before a federal election.

Voting Machines: Voting machines should be uniform in federal elections. A uniform standard should be established to ensure one voting machine for a specified number of registered voters at a polling place.

Voting rules: There should also be uniform federal rules and protocols for voter IDs, registration, voting, poll watching, eligibility, timing, locations, tallying, reporting, challenges, recounts, certifications, candidate eligibility, forms, etc.

The federal government has a paramount interest under the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution to ensure that all Americans are treated the same when exercising their most important and valued right as citizens – the right to vote.

As such, the federal government has the affirmative duty to ensure that all aspects of voting in federal elections are uniform.

The goal should be that voting is fair, understandable, convenient and trustworthy. That is not the case today.

Voting should be not be so easy that it invites fraud or abuse. This means it will take a little time. But if you can take the time to wait in a Department of Motor Vehicles office line for a driver’s license or automobile registration, you can certainly can do the same for voting. Driving is a privilege – voting is a right.

My vote is for national voting standards that will eliminate state lawsuits, confusion and inequities to registration and voting nationwide.

~~~~~~~~~

I’ve been saying the same thing since 2000, but because of states’ rights and other various reasons, it will never happen. Standardizing the process removes the possibility of voter fraud, the mainstay of Democrat victories, and now with Dems holding the majority in the House, such a bill wouldn’t pass.

Blakeman has some good suggestions, but his idea of showing up in person to request an absentee ballot would be impossible for some of our military. The biggest task would be cleaning up the illegal voters, particularly in states like California and Florida who have large populations of illegal immigrants on their rosters. This needs to be done before any type of new system could be implemented.

The area that needs the most attention would be implementing stricter rules for the people involved in the counting and reporting the results.

Basically, it’s a good idea, but as we all know, the government is the least efficient body in this country, so I’m not so sure they’re the ones who should be in charge of this.

~Kathy



Categories: Political

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16 replies

  1. I’ve got trouble giving elections over to the federal government. Give a little they will take a lot more. I like local level elections and state rules.

    Like

    • We all have trouble with that, tannngl, because we know how badly they botch things up when they’re in charge, but somebody needs to get a grip on this so that incidents like the ones happening in Florida, Georgia, etc don’t keep happening. There’s got to be an answer, but whatever it is, it will complicated.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. If we had a STANDARDIZED federal ballot (President, Vice President, Senators and Representatives) for all 50 states, then military absentee voting would be easy. Simply take the ballot, and mark your choice for P/VP, then go to your state and mark your choice for Senator and Reps.

    While that would not solve the question of local races, your voice would be guaranteed on the federal level no matter where you are.

    Like

    • That just might work, VM, especially for our military, but I honestly don’t see it ever getting fixed. The Dems like things the way they are so fraudulent voting is easier, and the Rs aren’t known for actually fixing anything ever, that I can recall.

      Like

  3. Biometrics is a must. That’s the only way to prevent people from voting in multiple locations.

    Like

    • Technically that could work, but there’s the added expense involved and it would also require people’s information, either fingerprint or iris scan, to be entered into a central database. That brings up the privacy issues along with maintenance of that database. The Dems raise a ruckus over voter ID, so double that if they’re approached with the idea of taking to this step.

      Then who do we trust to maintain the database? Certainly not the NCIS or the IRS – we’ve seen how information magically disappears from government computers.

      Any fix will be complicated and costly, so that’s probably one of the big reasons it’s never been addressed. I still think that machines in every state is the way to go, at least for now. Yes, they can be tampered with, but not as easily as paper ballots.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Voting reform is clearly needed not just in Florida but in many other states across the country as well. I believe making election day a national holiday, as well as the elimination of gerrymandering and the electoral college, could also help make the system far more democratic.

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    • You seriously want to see the electoral college eliminated?? We can agree that we need voting reform, but the electoral college ensures that California doesn’t run the nation, so no, it stays.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. I’ll toss this your way you’re good at digging up the facts…

    I read today that a woman from Snipes office came forth with an affidavit to say she witnessed others in Snipes office filling in blank ballots for the DemoKKKrats

    I don’t know if this is true no one else is reporting it (yet)

    She has since been fired and told to never come back

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This is a tough call for me, Kathy. While I think Mr. Blakeman has the right ideas about how elections should be overseen, the dangers of putting the federal government in charge must also be weighed. Blakeman is proposing a process driven by common sense, but when was the last time any Democrat allowed common sense to prevail? It would be well and good if we could be sure Republicans would be running the show, but that won’t be the case. Once the feds have control and Democrats get their say, I am 100% confident that the leftists will be true to their history and insist on rules and procedures that give their party the advantage. Instead of consistency and order across the country we could very well get Florida times 50. In addition to that I might also just note that Mr. Blakeman didn’t address what I believe is the most important aspect of the process: enforcement of accountability. Given what’s at stake there must be VERY harsh penalties for anyone who intentionally messes with our elections. I’m talking 25 years in jail with the option of having your sentence suspended if you give up your U.S. citizenship.

    Perhaps instead of letting our often inept and corrupt powers-that-be in the federal gov’t take over elections we should disqualify votes from any state that fails to meet minimum standards for fraud prevention and transparency.

    Liked by 1 person

    • With the government in charge of a standardized system, I have no doubts it would be screwed up just like everything they’re in charge of. I’d rather see an independent organization take it on, but even that could be subject to influence from politicians and activists.

      I’m not sure there’s a fix for it, and certainly not an easy one, but since that’s our only voice, it needs to be handled and protected better. At the very least we need standardized and clearer guidelines for the officials to follow, much like the guidelines voters have to follow.

      I did a brief search on what deadlines are in place for election officials, but didn’t find anything. I would think there’s a cut-off point where the officials cannot accept and count any more ballots. That would put a stop to the miraculous boxes of ballots showing up late, which are always full of Dem votes, by the way.

      I think Blakeman was looking for a way to prevent this from happening, but still, it’s funny how accountability never comes up, except for the voter.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Yeah, there’s no way to police something as subjective as “independence.” The CBO is always touted as being “independent,” but we all know how little truth there is in that. “Independence” will end up being whatever Democrats define it to be, as is always the case.

        I am a firm believer in the laws of natural consequences as the best means for getting people to do the right thing. We can pass more laws or put the feds in charge, but we’re watching Democrats ignore the Florida constitution as we speak. So if I were queen I would just say “You can pull all the shenanigans you want but if we aren’t satisfied that your representatives aren’t fairly and lawfully elected then you will lose your representation.”

        Liked by 1 person

      • “…you will lose your representation.” If only our Rs had such fortitude.

        I’m liking it and looking forward to you being the queen.

        Liked by 2 people

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