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Time to fix the voting process

Dan Reinhard, Minot

Now that the fog of all-out war has cleared, it’s time to fix our voting process. But how do we as a nation solve all the problems we witnessed in the November General Election or the unprecedented proceedings that happened in the State of Georgia? I believe there are three salient causes for the destructive election influences that brought our Nation to the brink of civil war, they are: political parties, money, and mail in ballots.

To begin with, political parties are the singularly most divisive element to our republic. Though I have written about this previously, and at risk of being repetitive, George Washington provided his grave concern about the formation of parties in his Farewell Address to our nation. His foresight was blatantly obvious during the Senatorial reelection process in Georgia. Were those campaigns viciously fought for the political views and perspectives of the Georgian citizens, or were they most prominently conducted for political party control in the U.S. Senate? You decide. Try to imagine those flagrant hostilities if North Dakota had to experience the same with both our senators were in a similar battle.

Albeit a preliminary estimate of the monies spent in the Georgia election, I’ve heard that it is anywhere between $500 million to $1 billion dollars -possibly much more. We are well aware that money is the root of all evil, but think about that sum of money being flashed around to honest key state elected officials, media outlets, judges and… I propose that no money from a nonresident, business or any entity outside their state of residency, can be contributed to another state’s political campaign. All contributions will have limits and would could from only residents within the State where the election is held. However, if there were no political parties, would there be as many concerns about a billionaire from California who was trying to influence a candidate’s election in Arkansas for example?

Finally, why are we still conducting elections with 18th century methods? What I propose will be costly for initial equipment and technology setup, but will end all conflicts of fraud, so called disenfranchised voters, mail system overload, or to whatever the latest legal complaint might be. It begins with a voter ID card. Each card will have a photograph and a microchip with a unique 32 character code assigned to the individual. It will establish an accurate voter roll in each state and will have to be renewed at the same interval as their driver’s license. The card cannot be used for anything other than voting. Next, using satellite secure cryptographic, (not the internet) technology, any voter can vote at any polling station, but unless traveling, each citizen should vote at their established location. Each station will have a ballot template for every district in the country and will be printed out when the voter’s ID is read at the polling station. Mobile polling stations will be available for those that due to health/physical reasons, cannot travel to a polling station. Mobile stations will also be available at most federal highway rest stops for travelers and truckers. Lastly, the system can never independently reveal how an individual voted, that can only be accessed by the voter with their ID card.

Think about it before it’s too late…

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