Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Voting In Minnesota

I think pretty much everybody is glad that this election is over, no matter who you voted for. No, I am not extremely happy that Franken is going to be one of my two senators representing me in Washington, but that's the way it goes.

Although I AM glad that this election is finally over, Norm Coleman was certainly within his rights to have taken it as far as he did. And actually, he didn't go as far as he could have in contesting the results. A lot of people groan when they think about Coleman pushing on to another court for what will probably amount to yet another decision against him. But that's the way the screwed up voting system in Minnesota works. For me, this election has exposed many problems with the way Minnesota conducts its voting process. Here are some of my opinions on how our voting process ought to go:

1) Absentee ballots are too easy to mess with. In order to ensure that only properly cast ballots are counted, only those ballots cast on the day of the election should be counted.

2) Ballots should not be open to human interpretation. If you are too stupid to vote properly, then you forfeit your right to be counted. Don't give me this "My voice wasn't heard" crap. Read the instructions. Follow them. They are simple. Double check your ballot. Make sure you did it right. If you're worried, ask an election judge - that's what they're there for. If you still screw it up, you're a moron.

3) Contesting results takes forever. Under this system, the rules for counting votes are so liberal that it only stands to reason that everybody contest everything the other candidate does in court, which amounts to a ton of time spent counting, recounting, contesting the recount, and then suing for this or that. Nobody can blame Coleman for doing what he did. You would have done the same thing if you were in his shoes.

4) If the race is too close to call, don't do a recount. Recounts are too open to problems of interpretation and voter fraud. One particularly curious thing in the Franken V. Coleman election is that Franken not only erased the deficit he was losing by, but picked up a few hundred votes in order to win. How often does that happen? So a lot of the votes that were given to him were open to interpretation, which as Coleman is stating, is contestable. It's just not a good system to foolow. Rather, have a run off vote, or whatever it was that they did in Georgia. They essentially had a second election. That way, everyone still has a chance to vote, and if you actually care about the election and you aren't just caught up in the excitement of election day, you'll come back and vote for your candidate again.

I'm not speaking from a conservative point of view here. I can handle that Coleman lost. The thing I don't like is the potentially dishonest way that he lost (note: I am not accusing Franken of dishonesty - I'm more accusing the system of being too vulnerable to dishonest people) and the stinking incredible amount of time it took to get a decision. There's got to be a quicker, more accurate, more efficient way to handle voting.

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