“Let’s Learn from 2020 and End the Agony for Ever” by Anil Shrivastava ‘Musafir’

American presidential election is a mess and it must be simplified. The biggest problem with the presidential election process is an absence of a uniform directive to govern the election across all states. Every state in the Union has its own convention regarding this matter. This provides room for the Secretary of State of each state to manipulate the process to his/her own party’s advantage. For example, Democratic-run Nevada decided to extend the deadline for receiving the ballots to November 10 – a week past the election day.

Pennsylvania ruled to accept mail-in ballots up to three days after the election day. At least seven states explicitly allow voters to change their ballot if they have voted before election day. Wisconsin even allows voters to change their minds up to three times before the vote becomes official. Although there is no evidence of ever applying this law, Kentucky’s constitution prohibits idiots from casting a ballot, however, a person must be ruled an idiot by a judge.In Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan absentee ballots can’t be counted until 7 a.m. on Election Day by state law. Thus, ballots take far longer to process than many other states. Many states have different rules about allowing observers to monitor vote counting. In some Democratic-run cities such as Detroit and Philadelphia, the ballot-counters were alleged to hide the counting from the Republican observers. Some ballot bags in Philadelphia, surprisingly, contained ballots for Mr. Biden only. I have no evidence to support those allegations.

The United States is the most advanced country in the world in many respects, but when it comes to voting they need to learn from India, the largest democracy in the world. “Many of the Indian politicians may be corrupt and criminals but when it comes to voting and tallying the votes, they run a squeaky-clean machine. Voting in India is conducted by electronic voting machines (EVM). More than 2.3 million EVMs were used in 2019 general elections all across India. GPS devices were fitted in the EVMs to monitor their movement. The EVMs allowed vote counting to be completed in up to three hours compared with manual counting, which could take 30 to 40 hours. The electoral body also used digital cameras, videotaping of speeches and the use of wireless networks during the election process to avoid any foul play. One more thing, Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machines were used along with EVMs at all polling stations to allow voters to cross-check the votes.” (Source al-Jazeera)

In India all the voters are allowed to vote on a given date by region and all the results are announced on a pre-determined date. In 2019 General Election, 553 million eligible voters turned out to vote. They all voted and the results were counted on time to give Mr. Modi’s party an undisputed majority. Keep in mind that unlike the USA where we have a two-party system, India fielded 8,251 candidates representing 464 different parties in 2019. The sole inhabitant of the remote Gir National Forest in Gujarat, home to Asiatic lions, had his own polling station complete with his own electronic voting machine.

Thanks to the complications, president Trump has refused to accept Mr. Biden as a genuine winner due to the alleged irregularities in voting and vote counting process. He is suing a number of states demanding either a recount or nullify the ballots received long after the election day. The winner, eventually, may be decided either by the U.S. Congress or the Supreme Court.

To add to the confusion, the next president will not be officially elected until December 14, when electoral college votes will be cast and collected. The United States Constitution doesn’t require that the members of the electoral college vote for the winner. They can vote for any candidate they choose to. Over the years, 165 electors have not cast their votes for candidates who had won in their states.

It doesn’t end there. The electoral votes must be certified by both the Senate and the House on the sixth day of January.

“Congress shall be in session on the sixth day of January succeeding every meeting of the electors. The Senate and House of Representatives shall meet in the Hall of the House of Representatives at the hour of 1 o’clock in the afternoon on that day, and the President of the Senate (the current vice president) shall be their presiding officer.” (U.S. Code 15).

Let’s hope that the present nightmare ends soon and a uniform election law in all the states of the United States of America is implemented before 2024.

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