How can the US improve the election process for 2022 and 2024? Can it be done bi-partisanly?

Discussion in 'Politics & Current Events' started by spudmunkey, Nov 5, 2020.

  1. spudmunkey

    spudmunkey SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    5,325
    Likes Received:
    7,672
    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2010
    Location:
    Near San Francisco
    After yet-another election shitshow in the US, what are bi-partisan ways the election process could be improved?

    I specify "bi-partisan" because there are a lot of ways that I will concede likely favor the left (like eliminating the electoral college, statehood for Puerto Rico, etc) and some that would likely favor the right (left-leaning voters would be more willing to support a 3rd party candidate, more likely splitting their vote).

    I have to admit, as much of a clusterfuck as it seems with basically every county doing things their own way, I do see how the US election itself it impossible to "hack" because of how de-centralized, so any efforts to make some sort of comprehensive national system would assuredly lead to less-secure results....what are some middle-ground ideas out there?


    Here are some thoughts: I'm A-OK with ONLY counting ballots RECEIVED by the end election day....

    ...IF all states have early mail in ballots available more than 1 month before, early in person voting starts 2 weeks before. I'm all for stopping voter suppression, and I feel like that timeline is reasonable and haven't come across any arguments for needing a longer season other than "But....the more time the left has to vote, the more they do" which isn't a valid reason to extend it, IMO.

    So many people are like "Why can Florida get it right, but Pennsylvania can't?" It's specifically BECAUSE they were allowed to process early ballots before election day. The laws in Florida were changed after the disastrous 2000 election to specifically allow it...and yet it's also what the right successfully out-lawed in Pennsylvania, to make them only able to START counting early ballots on election day...and then also tried to sue them to STOP counting at the end of election day.

    I imagine it's too much to ask, but it would be great if, after the close of election day on Tuesday, that no results would be given until all counts are to be completed by noon Friday, and released all at once.

    Other thoughts?
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2020
  2. Jonathan20022

    Jonathan20022 Engineer

    Messages:
    4,955
    Likes Received:
    2,706
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2011
    Location:
    Somewhere
    There's no reason to not have mail in ballots during a pandemic, but I'm not going to sit here and pretend that it doesn't open a whole can of worms and that there is ZERO potential for voter fraud.

    However during the pandemic there are people who simply needed it to express their choice of candidate. No one can deny people of their right to vote, and I'd rather equip those people for that instead of giving them the option of life or death by forcing them to poll in person.

    I also think it's bullshit that states couldn't process mail-ins before election day.

    That being said, I'm 100% in for digital voting, the world is evolving and so the voting system can as well. If you need some kind of convoluted live vetting system to validate that you are the one submitting the vote yourself then so be it. I'd rather have that than mail in ballots in an ideal world, because I'm seeing instances of dead people who have been absentee voting for several elections being spread right now. And that shit is just ridiculous if true.
     
  3. StevenC

    StevenC SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    5,432
    Likes Received:
    5,475
    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2012
    Location:
    Northern Ireland
    Fixing the election process in the US is inherently partisan because the GOP have known for decades that voter suppression is their only path to victory.

    As to why Pennsylvania is taking so long, several states just anticipate a large number of postal votes based on historical trends but Pennsylvania didn't have the infrastructure to deal with such an influx. The could have. But they didn't. Because of the first bit.
     
  4. mbardu

    mbardu SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    2,749
    Likes Received:
    2,280
    Joined:
    May 21, 2013
    Location:
    California
    Why even put any restriction on "ONLY counting ballots RECEIVED by the end election day"?

    Sometimes even day-of votes take time beyond election day to be counted, and mail-in ballots could arrive late for a number of reasons out of control of the voter. Why would we disenfranchise such voters as long as their vote is postmarked on time? The issue is always going to be about edge cases.

    On a more general note, I don't believe anything can be done in a bipartisan way in the US at this point. And specifically not anything election related, and even less anything related to national elections because it is clear to everyone that the only reason Republicans have any national power left is because the system is unfair in their favor- and they would never agree to change that.
     
    vilk likes this.
  5. spudmunkey

    spudmunkey SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    5,325
    Likes Received:
    7,672
    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2010
    Location:
    Near San Francisco
    There will always be extenuating circumstances, right? IMO, it'd be better to work those out on the back end, by having better systems in place and earlier. There *has* to be a deadline at some point, and the final in-person election day seems like as good a day as any. If we're still getting so many ballots after that, then we need to back the "start" dates out further to be earlier.

    The dates I mentioned were just my thought of what would be more-than-sufficient: more than a month for mail-in, and 2 weeks of early in-person. If it needs to be longer than that, I'm OK with that...I'd rather have it be 8 weeks/6 weeks instead, than have the count cut-off pushed out further and further to make accomodations.
     
  6. mbardu

    mbardu SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    2,749
    Likes Received:
    2,280
    Joined:
    May 21, 2013
    Location:
    California
    It wouldn't really help to back the "start" date further, would it? There are still going to be people who send their ballot earlier or later. If you want all ballots to arrive by election day, then the answer would be to only accept votes with postmark way before the day of in-person voting (a week or two...whatever we feel is required for mail to arrive), but even that comes with it's host of problems with a gap in time between mail-in and in-person voting.
     
  7. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

    Messages:
    16,540
    Likes Received:
    5,437
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2005
    Location:
    St. Johnsbury, VT USA
    The two parties will cooperate as soon as the Sun freezes over.

    The only way to change things is if one of the parties breaks into two, dissolves, or beats the other in a civil war.
     
    Thorshammer1980 likes this.
  8. Jonathan20022

    Jonathan20022 Engineer

    Messages:
    4,955
    Likes Received:
    2,706
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2011
    Location:
    Somewhere
    I agree with @spudmunkey there should always be a hard stop on the vote counting.

    Make the start of election voting 1 - 2 months in advance of the cutoff date. And anything that's received after that date/time doesn't count. No offense to people, but the fringe shit I hear about people voting at the last second usually has more circumstances than the out of control keeping them from doing so.

    1 - 2 months should be more than enough time to send in your vote or go process it.
     
  9. Randy

    Randy The Pusterience™ Super Moderator

    Messages:
    23,048
    Likes Received:
    10,098
    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2006
    Location:
    The Electric City, NY
    McConnell is to blame, and that's not a Republican Derangement Syndrome argument. If you remember McConnell making the pledge that the goal of the GOP was to "make Obama a one term president", that was the first shot across the bow.

    There was a lot of mutually agreed upon rules that made sure you didn't take an action that was "winner take all" flipping based on party. That's why you see previous SCOTUS picks chosen at near unanimous vote and now it's constantly 50%+1.

    The problem you have is that the Dems could take control and choose to change rules in a way that shoot them in the foot but are better for bipartisanship, then the Republicans can use those rules to handcuff Dems while they're in control, campaign on Dems inability to get anything done, take back over the Congress and change the rules back to give themselves unilateral control.

    Only way you're going to get any change that sticks would be an amendment or amendments, since the threshold is so high to be able to change it.
     
  10. diagrammatiks

    diagrammatiks SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    4,699
    Likes Received:
    5,160
    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2010
    Location:
    china
    america is super fucked. the symptoms were there for a while but the tipping point was really Obama.
    dems sat on their asses and liberals waited for their magic black president to fix everything
    while republicans just straight fucked up shit up behind the scenes.

    add that to the fact that no one really knows how or why a democracy can function where 50 percent of the people disagree with the other 50 percent fundamentally disagree on really basic shit.

    democracy is for deciding like hey which contractor and how should we fund fixing some roads.
    it's not meant to work when one side wants to fix roads and the other side thinks abortion is evil.
     
    odibrom and StevenC like this.
  11. zappatton2

    zappatton2 SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    1,048
    Likes Received:
    983
    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2009
    Location:
    Ottawa, ON
    It's funny, I'm watching the Walking Dead tonight, and the part I always found the most far-fetched about this show was the idea that people would instantly tribalize and turn on each other during a common crisis. Now I'm wondering if in the Walking Dead universe, the rest of the world solved the zombie crisis 9 years ago, and they're all just watching Americans go at each other with guns and baseball bats.
     
    Demiurge and spudmunkey like this.
  12. Xaios

    Xaios Foolish Mortal

    Messages:
    10,648
    Likes Received:
    3,393
    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2007
    Location:
    Nimbus III
    That sounds like a great idea for a dystopian comedy, where you've got one formerly powerful country reduced to the bare minimum of survival whose leaders are saying that the rest of the world has been decimated (e.g. Breitbart's constant hue and cry that "Europe has been lost to the Muslims"). Pan to every other country and it's nothing but picket fences and neighbors sharing cups of sugar while watching the news coming out of the wacko country with morbid amusement.

    Actually, that basically sounds like North Korea, aside from the "formerly powerful country" bit.
     
    zappatton2 and spudmunkey like this.
  13. fantom

    fantom Misses his 6 strings

    Messages:
    780
    Likes Received:
    663
    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2009
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    1) the other party should be able to vote in primaries to remove candidates from consideration. This means people like Bernie Sanders and Trump should not be on the election ballot at all. Honestly, I would be fine if every year 10 random people were assigned like jury duty too

    2) Term limits for congress and judges

    3) Congress and other public service salaries and benefits should be the median (not average) of the region they represent. In other words, if the median income for a family in Kentucky is 50k with mediocre health care, Mitch McConnell should not be making 175k with top of the line healthcare

    4) ban private entities giving any funding or quid pro quo at all to politicians, especially for elections. Also stop treating business as more important than people when it comes to policies

    5) reelection should require 60% of the vote instead of 50%. Seriously, you had years to prove you are better than an unknown, if you can't get supermajority to back you, gtfo.

    6) either get rid of the electoral college or redo the votes to better represent the people

    7) senator votes should be weighted by the number of people they represent (decimate to the nearest million), so 70k people represented is 1 vote. 30.6 million people represented is 30 votes

    8) put deadlines on when a bill should be voted on. Consequences: Senators should lose their jobs for bullshit tactics to delay votes

    9) stop trying to change idealogical differences with policy. Stop trying to pass and protect abortion, gun control, death penalty, etc. If people can't agree for 50 years, it's a waste of time to discuss it. You can read this as: stop trying to push federal law on everyone when they clearly disagree and let local communities and states deal with their people

    10) the incumbent should be on the ballot independent of a party. So this year, Republicans should have put a 2nd candidate on the ballot with Trump


    The complete shit show the last 30 years is career politicians pushing hyper-partisan policies and tactics instead of collaborating. If you remove the hyper partisan players and the career players using disincentives and forcing more options, maybe things will start being more civil.

    And if it isn't clear, my point here is that the election process is not the problem. It's career politicians and hyper partisanship that need to be dealt with.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2020
    Thorshammer1980 and vilk like this.
  14. Descent

    Descent SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    1,580
    Likes Received:
    594
    Joined:
    May 7, 2014
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    The country as we know it is done. Once the boomers pass, it'll be all half doped up zombies with limited intelligence, like AOC. All the people with money will pack up and leave as they did in South Africa and Zimbabwe. Looks like the next happening place will be Brazil.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2020
    Thorshammer1980 likes this.
  15. spudmunkey

    spudmunkey SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    5,325
    Likes Received:
    7,672
    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2010
    Location:
    Near San Francisco
    I know that's been sort of a shining hope off in the distance, but honestly...with the rise of social media as it currently exists? I'm doubtful. It used to be that the more you learn about the world, typically, the more open you are to it. However, the rise of social media has given every niche an echo chamber, and a sense of community with like-minded individuals, helping solidify their stances....I honestly don't think it'll be the case.

    There's no denying her twitter clap-back game, though. ;)
     
  16. zappatton2

    zappatton2 SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    1,048
    Likes Received:
    983
    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2009
    Location:
    Ottawa, ON
    I don't know where you're getting this, AOC has been one of the few points of genuine intelligence in American politics over the past four years. Maybe someone in politics fighting passionately on behalf of the actual public interest just looks too foreign in the States, but there's a lot of social democracies, with progressive taxation, higher social mobility and a wider spread of actual wealth, that feature leaders that reflect the spirit of public interest.

    Plus, their economies are some of the most productive and successful in the world, above and beyond Norway's oil reserves. People don't flee those countries because they foster success, just not in the zero-sum, winner-takes-all method we assume is normal in North America.
     
  17. USMarine75

    USMarine75 The man who is tired of the anus is tired of life Contributor

    Messages:
    7,692
    Likes Received:
    8,625
    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2010
    Location:
    VA
    The problem with the election process is several issues:

    1. There is a reason why the Founding Fathers thought the Constitution needed editing through the years. Things like the Electoral College have become outmoded and outdated. How can you have a 3M popular vote lead but lose the election? How can you have 7 of the last 8 popular votes for the Presidential elections won by Democrats, only to have Republicans take office twice? And during those years 5 of the 9 Supreme Court Justices were installed for lifetime appointments? None of this reflects the collective will of the people.

    2. Get money out of politics. Until you do your vote will never compare to the vote of corporations.

    3. Term limits for SCOTUS and Congress. The Founding Fathers never thought political appointments should be for life.

    4. Get rid of gerrymandering and redistricting. Both parties do it but the Republicans far better.

    I can’t overstate this enough. The current mail-in process has been around for hundreds of years. This was not changed except by Republican state legislatures this term to make it more difficult. If you believe the Democrats are stealing the election with mail in votes via a corrupt process the likes we have never seen before (as seen on Fox News) you are a fool of the highest order.

    Bonus: Get rid of Mitch McConnell.
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2020
    XPT707FX, JSanta and Louis Cypher like this.
  18. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

    Messages:
    30,587
    Likes Received:
    6,858
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2004
    Location:
    Somerville, MA
    Bolded bit - take that up with the Pennsylvania GOP. Look at what happened in OH vs PA - OH, where early votes were counted when they were received, started off very blue but swung red as the night went on. PA, which the GOP stale legislature and governor fought attempts to allow mail-in ballots to be counted when received, and could only start even opening envelopes on 7am of election day, started off extremely red, and when all's said and done, by tonight, may not even be a particularly close race. Contrast that with Arizona, which has long allowed and even encouraged voting by mail, and in particular the state GOP has a pretty effective vote-by-mail get out the vote operation; this is one of the reasons a lot of networks have been hesitant to call the race.

    If I could wave a magic wand and implement any electoral reform, though, a nonpartisan districting committee would be my first pick. The supreme court is open to challenging partisan gerrymandering, but hasn't found a case to make it stick (TBD, now that it's 6-3 conservative). Just ore-empting the issue and taking the district-defining process out of the hands of political parties would go a long way towards getting more competitive elections with incumbents facing real challenges from the other party, and not simply worrying about being primaried by an even more radical member of their own party.

    Second would be doing away with the Electoral College, which - let's be honest - ever since the Civil War settled the question of balance of power between the states and federal government, is an anachronism. The GOP will never accept that, though, because they've only managed to put together a majority of the popular vote in the presidential election once since HW Bush in 1988.
     
  19. nightflameauto

    nightflameauto SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    617
    Likes Received:
    771
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2010
    Location:
    Sioux Falls, SD
    Yeah, my first thought in this thread was "as long as McConnell holds a seat at the table, there's no fixing anything."

    This is entirely too close to where we're headed.
    Brazil? If anything right at the moment they seem at least as fucked as we are.

    The only real way to fix the election process in this country is to dump first past the post. We need ranked voting so that people can actually pick someone they want during primaries rather than, "this is the one person I think can win." And in all honesty, if we did ranked all the way up to election day, let there be four candidates on the ballot. That'd mix shit up real good and we wouldn't end up with the two least desirable candidates sitting on the goal line waiting for the go ahead to spike the ball into the public's face.

    The senate needs a massive shake-up.

    SCOTUS needs term limits.

    And we need to destroy the entire lobbying industry. The very fact that it exists is messed up enough, but the fact that the public KNOWS it exists and just shrugs it off as nothing is insane. We're literally seeing corporations shoveling funds directly into government officials pockets and we just don't seem to care. And the few that do care are stuck wondering WTF we can do about it.

    But all this shit is pure theory until McConnell and his obstructionist do-nothing brigade are driven out of office. He'd stop any and all progress simply because ignoring the will of the people is the Republican creed.
     
    XPT707FX and vilk like this.
  20. StevenC

    StevenC SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    5,432
    Likes Received:
    5,475
    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2012
    Location:
    Northern Ireland
    Imagine saying "look, this used to be better" about South Africa of all places.
     
    XPT707FX and slan like this.

Share This Page