Imagine a country on election day where you know the results the instant the polls close. The votes are counted electronically, every district and state has the same rules and the same organized voting procedure. It is managed by a non-partisan independent body. Sounds like the greatest democracy in the world, right? Try Mexico. Or France, Germany, Brazil. Certainly not the United States of America.
America has one of the world’s most antique, politicized and dysfunctional procedures for its elections. A crazy quilt patchwork of state and local laws with partisan officials making key decisions and ancient technology that often breaks down. There are no national standards. American voters in more than a dozen states, for example, don’t need ID. But even India, with a GDP just 12 percent that of ours, is implementing a national biometric database for 1.2 billion voters. The nascent democracy in Iraq famously dipped voters’ fingers in purple to ensure they didn’t vote again. Why are we so behind the curve?
The problem, as I see it, is that our election system varies by jurisdiction. You mean to say elections should be federalized? Surely, there must be things the federal government would be better at than leaving it all up to each jurisdiction which makes up its own rules. This creates confusion among voters who have recently moved because their new voting location may do things entirely differently than their previous voting location.
Why doesn’t it make sense to have uniform ballots, uniform identification procedures and uniform voting laws across the entire country? I fail to see the problem with such a change. Allowing people to participate in the process of electing their government is precisely what the founders had in mind.