Every four years I am stunned by how utterly complicated it is to count ballots for presidential elections! How many people it takes. How much paper. The time to scan. The delays. The cost. The litigations.
We had barely recovered from the trauma of the 2016 election when we walked into the pandemic-laced 2020 election. We may never recover from the current whiplash.
India - the largest democracy in the world - uses electronic voting machines. The scale simply doesn't allow for paper. The country started transitioning to electronic voting in 2003. Even in the far reaches of the country, officials arrive in villages with voting machines and people line up to cast their vote. The machine even walks to voters who cannot get to it.
And here we are, still marking bubbles on paper ballots.
Global banking rides on the backbone of the internet. Even the hawala system relies on encrypted mobile technology. But when it comes to voting, every state gets to decide how they will manage the voting process. Whether they will use machines, what kind, what their deadlines will be, ID requirements, and so on. Not to mention the ineptitude of the postal service.
This week, we got several phone calls from the local Democrats and His Lordship Barack Obama. Way to get our attention! On election day, a caller urged us to vote. Tarun and I realized that they were calling for Josh, who votes in another jurisdiction. Ah yes, the voting system does not talk to DMV because that would make too much sense.
A sacred national process that is run in 50 different ways.
Throw into this volatile mix the match labeled "fraud" to upend the sanctity of the process. Trump is using the chaos to his full advantage when the reality is that, despite our frustrations, the system is working, albeit slowly. My hat is tipped to ALL the brave election officials who are working tirelessly in the middle of a pandemic to count every vote.
Yeah, yeah, I know "states rights" and all, but this cannot be the best we can do. I know I cannot take any more PTSD, can you?!