Tuesday, November 6, 2012

My concerns going into today's election about the election itself....

Let me express my concerns as the American public go to the polls today.

(1) Good, old-fashioned corruption.  It is a concern in every election in every nation on earth and, while some corruption is inevitable in every election, the closer the election the more significant it becomes.  This election has concerned international observers so much that, in addition to the traditional OSCE observers the US will have United Nations observers as well.

(2) Electronic voting.  I don't like it.  I don't like the lack of hard, physical paper.  I don't like the manner in which corruption is so damn easy and virtually undetectable.  And I don't like that it is ill-adapted to conditions of crisis, like so much of the northeast is in today.

(3) That brings up another concern - Hurricane Sandy and the convergent snowstorms have left large numbers of people without transportation, communication, or electricity.  Will everyone be able to poll?  Will everyone be informed?  Will they even have the time to poll given the demands on their time of merely surviving and cleaning up?

(4) Inadequate coverage of the minor parties.  Yeah, I know the metaphysics of voting, the tyranny of the two-party system endemic to our institutional arrangement.  Whatever.  The fact that for a couple of decades third-parties have gradually grown more important to our political discourse in the United States and, this year, they were entirely left out of most public discussion and completely drowned out o the private discussion in terms of advertising is disconcerting to me.

(5) New voter identification laws.  I'm not against them inherently, but I am concerned about the intent of many of them and equally the fact that most were implemented with limited public discourse, discussion, and time.  The courts are clearly concerned as well, given the number of states in which they have suspended the new laws.