Rosella Tolfree Installment Stories
A series set in the politically dystopian future of the U.S.A.
Featuring blogs that explains Rosella's World
Rosella Tolfree's World is a fictional world.
Voter Fraud and Election Overturns Becomes Rampant in the U.S.
Voter Confidence Sinks to All Time Lows
The Voter Election Process is Reformed by Congress
During the late First Age, the U.S. faced an election crisis. Voter confidence in the system collapsed. Many voters stopped voting in protest.
This crisis occurred in several states and municipalities where election contests were judicially overturned, or criminal fraud had occurred. The problems were widespread and had become a contentious issue.
The level of fraud burst the narrative bubble “that voter fraud is rare”. An issue that further polarized the nation. Claims of voter fraud or voter suppression divided the people and were echoed by pundits and politicians alike.
Even with the passage of the Voters Right Amendment, it wouldn’t be until the beginning of the Second Age of Humanity, that Congress would take up reforming voting in the U.S.
Voting Process Act
The Voting Process Act standardized the election process for all Federal elections.
The first part of the act created a division within the Secret Service to maintain a database that assigned every child born in the U.S., its territories and to a U.S. citizen abroad, a unique identification number. They then transmitted this number into all other federal databases as a coded index number, including systems used by states for voter verification. When a person died, this number was deleted from the database, and they updated all other systems.
The second part established a government corporation to produce domestically an election machine to meet specified standards. All components had to have a strict level of custody that made the complete process from chip to software to finish product all in-house. Employees had to have top secret clearance to even work in these facilities. The law didn’t permit sub-contractors or contractors. This entity was subject to two annual audits by the GAO. Further, the act required after each election the GAO to conduct a forensic audit to be reported to Congress and released to the public.
These machines, or kiosks, required a voter to place their state identification into a card slot followed by a thumb scan. After the voter verified their ballot choices, they would then approve and cast the ballot by signing their name with their finger on a touch screen. Because of the interconnection, these kiosks allowed a voter to vote in any location in the U.S. as the system would provide them with the ballot for their specific residential address on file.
Additionally, a person could register to vote at these machines, and they came in different configurations allowing agreements with states and municipalities to use them as either ballot drop boxes and/or ballot printing stations.
Some voters were resistant to using these new machines as they were interconnected to the advance Wi-Fi networks and used artificial intelligence for fraud deterrence. These voters preferred paper ballot methods which in the previous age were considered the most secure against any fraud threat.
A handful of states challenged the constitutionality of the act, but the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the federal government citing the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 and the federal government’s jurisdiction over federal elections.
In the ruling, the act didn’t stop states and local municipalities from using whatever method for voting for their own elections, but federal elections had to comply with this new technology.
One of the major results were the smaller parties used this ability to divide up municipalities by forcing them to paper ballot systems. This caused these locations to have a smaller pool of voters they took advantage of and resulted in more of their candidates to be elected to power.
By Rosella’s Time
Voting by Rosella’s time had continued at low levels. Despite reforms in place, people continued to distrust the election process. They didn’t bother to take part or even follow up with official registration. As a result, many states and counties had amended their jury selection processes to random citizen lottery systems based on tax returns.
A lot of low-level voting was because of the disruptions caused by the Great Melt and New Madrid Traps. But the previous age’s idea of high levels of voter fraud were still persistent on the social media net. This was true for the local elections, which created in the minds of citizens a sense of constant political corruption. It was re-enforced during the Ross Perot Age Period of U.S. Presidents when Congress elected the President.
The other problem was the Great Vital Records Hack. The database used by the Secret Service relied on state and other vital record information to maintain itself. Now there was a hack of 35.2 million records that went missing and had to be replaced. Aside from the controversy over special treatments because of racial issues, this inflamed arguments on the social media net of potential voter fraud and suppression. Thus, furthering people’s mistrust of voting.
Rosella is not registered to vote. Some jurisdictions prevented clones and androids from voting.
Image- polling station poll election day. By mounsey. Source pixabay. (Processed using Adobe Spark).
While dark and disturbing, the short story, “Dawn Mason’s Extreme Hatred Bias”, shows the realities facing those in the dystopian U.S. deemed seriously mentally ill. It’s not a hope filled future for these individuals.
And despite Uzzia Banks’ attempts to lead a social revolution to overturn things, society was firmly set on its opinions concerning the seriously mentally ill.
By Rosella Tolfree’s time, the U.S. society still harbored a disdain and near hatred for those suffering from serious mental illness.
Those fears were further added to by the continual development of artificial intelligence into autonomous walking machines, known as androids.
Research of the time showed that the android brain was prone to psychological issues like that of a human’s brain. It was from this reality that scientists developed psychological control features for androids, but this didn’t comfort society. People became scared of a robotic rampage.
With the Hollywood Rampage event, in which a few cerebra cybernetic enhanced actors went on a killing spree in downtown Los Angeles, humanity’s fear of full cybernetic interconnection with the digital world would lead to problems were realized.
As a child, Rosella herself almost ended up in a state repression drug program. There was an incident when she was around the age of seven when the state of California did a reassessment on her. This was prompted by one of her online schoolteachers noting fantasy elements in a creative writing assignment that were too detailed. The details were so vivid it was as if she had been there and snapped a photo. The administration suspected Rosella might be suffering from dementia or schizophrenia. Results of the reassessment came back as inconclusive. Without a conclusive result, the state couldn’t place her in the program. The results spared Rosella the trauma Dawn suffered.
Image- mental illness depression mental. By avi_acl, Source pixabay. (Processed using Adobe Spark).
Uzzia Banks and
The Moon Riots of Houston, Texas
In 2017, 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. were reported to have a mental illness from mild to severe according to the NIMH. Of which, “serious mental illness defined as a mental, behavioral, or emotional disorder resulting in serious functional impairment, which substantially interferes with or limits one or more major life activities” was about 4.5% of U.S. adults.
By the time of the late First Age of Humanity, the U.S. dealt with its mental illness problem that plagued not only its prisons and jails, but society.
Advance CRISPR systems were used to wipe out all genetic mental illness. Society followed this up by advance A.I. to aid in the early detection of the remaining mental illness in children.
Those children discovered to have latent mental illness traits as early as two years of age were placed into government sponsored drug programs. These kids for their rest of their lives were given doses of drugs formulated for their genome to control the mental illnesses from developing. This practice continued straight through the chaos of the Great Melt, with the inclusion of the A-4 birthing androids.
The success rate for this program was about 85%. The remaining 15% where either not caught by the initial early detection or the drug program was ineffective for unknown reasons.
To make matters worse, this 15% were the worst of the mental illness spectrum. Those who had behavioral issues, were antisocial, and sometimes psychotic.
Uzzia Banks was one of the 15%. Born in London to an older couple, his parents immigrated to the U.S. to seek better treatment of his mental illness before the time of the Great Melt. Uzzia suffered from high functional autism and expressed antisocial behaviors as a child. He had chronic violent outbursts. Afterwards, he would collapse asleep where he stood.
He scored 144 on the standard IQ test and was considered “gifted”. He enjoyed playing games. Anything that required mental thought to puzzle it out. Uzzia’s unique gaming gifts attracted a group from MIT to help them teach an A.I. system how to do what he does. This would lead to a breakthrough in advance A.I. systems towards the development of the android brain by Dr. Koremori in Japan.
As Uzzia aged, he learned to focus his rage into fiery rhetoric. This became useful during college in Houston, Texas, where he studied political science. Unlike many of his peers who were doing online classes, he attended a small in-person college. This is where he became entangled with a group of college Marxists associated with the local Antifa. While popular within the group, his disorder made him awkward around people. Dating was difficult for him and he failed at it.
All this caused him to turn inward into himself, only to burst outward with a fiery rage of complaints about society and people.
His outbursts landed him into trouble both with the local police and the college administration. Several times he was arrested for disturbing the peace and was eventually expelled from the college for being a disruptive student. It was around this time when both his parents died one year after each other from natural causes. As a result, he inherited a large sum of financial assets.
Still living in Houston, he set up a Social Media Net channel and held his own political commentary show. In time, the show gained followers for his offbeat Marxist views of the world. Since he was a child, he knew he had an untreatable mental illness. But his parents told him he was always special. As a result, he blended this special view with Marxism to come up with two conflict groups. Those who were the special untreatables and the normies as he called them.
On his show he would call normies mental illness bigots for their treatment of the special untreatables. And he was right. U.S. society pushed these people into the fringes. They were in prisons, mental institutions, or left to be homeless. Society did little to help these people since they were untreatable. Employers could discriminate against them in many jurisdictions. Even while attending college, there were no accommodations or help given to him. The police and law didn’t see him as special.
In his forties, he formed a local group of Marxists called the Dignity for Mental Illness, Houston Chapter. They would meet weekly at the Secret Moon Tearoom off Ferris Street to discuss recent Marxist theories and plan protests. Most of his followers were like him, in that they too were untreatable and had run ins with the law.
His small group continued to locally demonstrate, and occasionally caused property damage, hoping to seek change concerning the social treatment of those like themselves. Their demands were always met with both deaf ears and force.
The movement spread to a few other cities as the Great Melt began. Chiefly the areas around Los Angeles, Seattle, Portland, and Chicago. Once again protests were met with clashes against police in full riot gear. The public had no stomach to provide special treatment to the untreatables. Many saw them as a violent threat to society, and the psychological community agreed.
Around the time of the Great Melt, when Uzzia was pushing in his early 70s, he was participating in a protest that turned into a multi-block riot in Houston. A stone hit him in the head. Many always assumed it was one of the police officers that had thrown the stone back at the crowd after they threw it at the officer. But this was never confirmed. Uzzia would die because of his injuries. The riot became known as the Moon Riots because the protest started at the Secret Moon Tearoom off Ferris Street.
With Uzzia’s death the movement lost momentum and fell apart.
In a twist, Uzzia’s work resulted in social change a few years later during the rebuilding phase after the Great Melt. With the passing of The New Public Workers and Assistance Act, it granted work guarantees even if the worker committed sexual harassment at the workplace, because the person had a genetic or psychological issue causing the problem. Criminal or civil charges couldn’t be levied against such individuals because the act saw it as retaliatory. Legal challenges associated with the act got hung up in the courts, resulting in a mixed bag of lower court decisions, and a Supreme Court unwilling to resolve the issues.
While only a simple nod to Uzzia Banks’ movement, some in the U.S. Congress were paying attention.
Related Freemium Story- Dawn Mason’s Extreme Hatred Bias
Image- untitled image. By Florian Olivo, Source Unsplash, Unsplash License (Processed using Adobe Splash).
Android Family Automation
The recent pandemic in the U.S. has shown something that some religions where already aware of. Raising children requires someone to be there for them. In the U.S., the work of the family is truly underappreciated in comparison to 41 countries.
Therefore, the news media is claiming that women are now being set back with the pandemic. Especially as online schooling has become the norm for many jurisdictions.
Android Family Automation
I’ve mentioned before that there was a shift in family life with the development of the A-4 Android. By the Second Age of Humanity, true automation came to the work of the family, allowing the human adults to pursue work ambitions with no worries. These androids were a complete female replacement theory from birthing, to nursing, to childrearing.
No more need for women to take time off for having a child. No more was there any need for other older adults to care for the children. No more need for babysitters or daycare. No need for bussing or school buildings. Everything could be done in the home with an android attending all the necessary needs. With the automation of online schooling due to advance A.I. systems, home schooling was far easier and cheaper.
While it was costly to lease these androids, those costs were offset by government incentives. Governments were more than happy to transition away from burdensome in-person childhood education, or other similar systems. Greater incentives were sometimes provided to single human parents to encourage the leasing of androids.
Rosella’s Life as a Child
Peculiarly, Rosella Tolfree didn’t grow up this way. She grew up with her dad and no android support despite being born from one. She had instead an upstairs elderly neighbor who watched over her. In doing so, she became out of step with her generation. She’s not used to the presence of androids but doesn’t hold a hatred for them. She tends to prefer more human contact than that of a machine. Many of her peers think she’s odd. Except those who’ve grown up in orthodox families with two human parents and no android use. These kinds of families tend to be religious and are not the social norm.
Other Blog Posts Dealing With Family Life
Important Legal Changes in the Dystopian U.S. of Rosella’s World- Part 2
From Artificial Wombs to Human Clones
Image- untitled image. By Tyler Nix, Source Unsplash, Unsplash License. (Processed using Adobe Spark)
Cyclical Oppressors and Perceived Utopias
While America continued to adopt various socialist-like programs, it never fully became an absolutely communist utopia. Americans still prized individuality over the collective, and politicians were unwilling to uproot the U.S. Constitution based on identity politics. Politicians would amend the Constitution from time to time, but not fully change it into a new government. The current system served the parties well.
Set against the backdrop of increasing radical pressure to hold another Constitutional Convention, mainstream parties had to deal with these elements every election cycle. Despite having organized political parties initially, the American Marxist groups were by the mid-20th century a loose collection of identity politics, and intersectional theorists that used social media as a decentralized communication tool. They are more known for their leftist publications, which continue to operate even in the digital age.
By the Second Age of Humanity these groups were operating their own channels and shows pumping out their messages 24-7 to anyone willing to listen. In the Second Age, they still operated in a decentralized manner with no clear leadership. This made it difficult for local, state, and federal authorities to broker deals or even charge the leaders with racketeering or conspiracy.
Around the end of the First Age to start of the Second Age, Maeva Paquin, a French Neo-Post-Modernist, came up with a new Marxist theory. She called it, “Oppresseurs Cycliques” or Cyclical Oppressors. Looking back through history, she noted how Lenin and other communists became oppressors in their society. This furthered the need for deconstruction and reanalysis of the intersections of the oppressed. Requiring the oppressed to revolt against these oppressors. If successful they would then become the oppressors themselves. Starting the cycle all over again.
Or as she called this cyclical reality, “utopie réalisée”, or perceived utopia. In that, each cycle would create a perceived utopia that would fall into a dystopian reality because of the creation of oppressive leadership.
Paquin noted the same was occurring with the African American subculture. As the new affirmative action amendment took effect in the U.S., the Race-Conflict approach was fading rapidly away now that a successful win had occurred. And African American personal perceptions were changing about well-being. The old victim arguments were no longer working because the people no longer saw themselves as a victim based on any historical legacy or natural racial category. Many saw the amendment as the final and end all corrective action needed socially because of the political messaging to get it passed and ratified. Opposition shut down attempts to say otherwise on social media or the news. While individual African Americans were not becoming “oppressive overlords” in American society, they were becoming like their historical white counterparts in larger numbers. More African Americans were being lifted out of poverty and out of the prison systems. Being moved into the higher income brackets. With all the social perks that come with those brackets. A perceived utopia.
But Paquin saw that in doing so it came at a dystopian cost for some. The uneven realities of the amendment created widening disparities between African Americans and the other races and ethnicities. Thus, the amendment was creating groups of oppressed people by her thinking. Repeating the original cycle of the past. Making the amendment a source of cyclical oppression.
By the early Second Age, with advance CRISPR, full genetic manipulation and fixing of human genomes became a reality. Paquin noted that people were skewing the concepts of race, gender, and sexual identity on a genetic level. They were removing some and mixing others. This made identity politics of any kind going forward increasingly difficult to argue. She predicted if the trend continued that a new oppressed group would need to be found if there was to be any hope for the movement.
The main counters to Paquin’s arguments was the lacking resolution to the cycle and getting what her critics called “absolute utopia”. A state of perfect and unchanging utopian existence. She would reject the absolute utopian theory as an impossible reality because of human nature. Other critics told her views on what oppression was and what it was not were skewed. She would dismiss this out of hand.
Paquin was correct in that by Rosella’s time all the labels of sexuality had faded away in society. People did whatever with whomever (there were still social norms and laws dealing with children and consent). The public celebration of unique sexual identities was no longer a norm. And as for race, people had blended in so much melanin genes to deal with the increase in ultraviolet radiation from global warming that many people looked similar in color. People became “color blind”. With the affirmative action amendment firmly in the past, nearly everyone excepted things as historically resolved.
The New Conflict Groups
It was during the development of the A-3 androids that Marxists groups in France latched onto a new under privileged group. They called themselves, “Société de la liberté robotique”. A French organization known by the initials SLR. Or in English, the Robotic Freedom Society. This group pushed for marriage rights, property rights, voting rights, wage earning rights, etc. for autonomous A.I. sentience. They see humans as oppressors. And these machines as the true humans. Many of the followers’ desire to become machines themselves. These followers see androids as slaves in the same context as historical human slavery. The counter arguments were that androids are machines. Programmed tools for humanity’s service. There’s no comparison to human slavery. Humans have dignity and a soul. Machines don’t.
Government anti-terrorist organizations saw the SLR as a bona fide threat. They believed that the SLR could reprogram A-3 and A-4 androids to become malicious against humans. They also believed that the group was responsible for the illegal trafficking of illicit cybernetic technologies.
The only other social group that was attempted to be organized in the United States were those who were displaced by the floods and New Madrid Traps. This included the native born and immigrants herded into the camps known as the Stacks. The Stacks were shipping containers turned into makeshift housing for the displaced by the federal government. But attempts to organize these people constantly broke down due to the level of support and oppression they suffered. While in the Stacks, the federal government ensured that they met their basic needs. Some could leave the Stacks to get employment in the surrounding communities. Overall, these people had become so discouraged with their position in society they lacked the will to fight back. They had become content with their bleak outcome.
Other Posts of Interest
Human Sexuality, Sex, and Genderism in Rosella’s Dystopian World
Important Legal Changes in the Dystopian U.S. of Rosella’s World
Important Legal Changes in the Dystopian U.S. of Rosella's World- Part 2
Image-"Workers of the world unite". By Hennie Stander, Source Unsplash, Unsplash License (Processed with Adobe Splash)
Seth Underwood writes hard science fiction and political dystopian science fiction. His future political dystopian U.S. world features decades of despot presidents, a flooded world, and new para-military force known as the Ranger Marshals. He has freemium stories at www. sethunderwoodstories.com