Rosella Tolfree Installment Stories
A series set in the politically dystopian future of the U.S.A.
Featuring a blog that explains Rosella's World
Rosella Tolfree's World is a fictional world.
Voting in the US
In the news there’s talk of POTUS 45 may not peacefully leave office should he not win. Citing such issues as the possibility of election fraud occurring because of mail in ballot delays.
While it’s been suggested by some news pundits that the US should get over this single day approach to elections. And move towards a monthly voting theory (this would be like India, which takes an entire month to process a national election). The reality is Americans are no doubt too impatient to wait a whole month for results. We’ve become accustomed to the instant for everything.
Regardless of the outcome this November 2020, you will see both sides argue across this nation about election irregularities. Everything from polls not being open long enough to accommodate long lines, to counting delays of mail in ballots, improper ballot counting procedures, and to election judge issues. You name it there will be a case filed, especially for districts where numbers are close.
The reason has to do with how in many states the electoral college votes are a winner takes all situations. Thus, there’s an incentive in close counts to make cases about fraud and deceit. Despite in a close count situation, there’s typically an automatic recount by law. There could be a serious delay in election results if there’s a lot of mailed in ballots to recount. No doubt there’s going to be the surprise box of ballots that someone forgot to process. Throwing more gasoline on the election fraud pyre.
In Rosella’s world, I deal with voting in a short story I wrote back in 2017 called, “How Covfefe Will Save the U.S. From Robot Domination”.
This is the passage from the story describing how the character Steve votes using a voting kiosk.
“He went to the voting kiosk, pulled out his ID, put it into the card slot, placed his thumb on the scanner plate and then the machine cleared him for voting. He voted his ballot for his district. At the end he verified his selections, and then with his finger signed his approved ballot as he casted his votes.”
I know some may not like the use of such technologies because it requires a physical id and biometrics for identification, but in person voting there’s someone who checks you in. The reason the voting polls are supposed to be local to your home is so the people working the polling site know you. Thus, no need for identification. The poll worker can vouch for the identity of the voter once they confirm the records as being true. But in today’s age, no one knows their neighbor anymore. We are no longer so closely knit as communities. Hence the push for voter id systems for fraud safeguards. The problem becomes that state ids should be free and easily obtained for all eligible voters. This may not be the case in many jurisdictions in the U.S.
I understand the concern of mail in ballots. While convenient, what if the voter records are not that up to date and a person gets a ballot for a roommate who's no longer there? If they send it in, it could be construed as voting fraud. But what if they see their friend over the weekend and the friend fills it out and then gives it back to be dropped off at a collection box? Is that still fraud? The friend doesn’t even live in that place anymore but is voting in its election district.
States are supposed to keep things up to date, but they mark people as “inactive” until after not voting in two federal elections according to law. Then the voter can be purged from the rolls. Election officials have different powers depending upon the jurisdiction to auto update address information. So, it’s inconsistent across the nation.
Therefore, a true national voter registration system is needed in the United States, despite current online attempts. States don’t have to comply. My understanding is they share some voting records between some states, but again not all.
The lack of solid universal federal standards and compliance makes any voting in the U.S. a hodgepodge of inconsistency and fraught with possible party manipulation for voter suppression.
I don’t truly address this issue in Rosella’s future. Her world, is beset with complex issues of flooding and volcanic traps, wiping out whole portions of states. How to get people to vote becomes a local concern as much as it is today. So long as the tallies are told to the federal level for those elections, that’s fine with everyone.
If you read the story, you’ll discover that despite the use of an electronic polling system, there are odd things that can happen in an election where results can be skewed calling into question the whole voting process.
So, even in the future, despite attempts to improve voting, there will always be issues.
Image- untitled image, By Jan Antonin Kolar, Source Unsplash, Unsplash License (Processed with Adobe Spark)
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