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FROM THE EDITOR
The Future of Voting
By JR Dieckmann
 
It wasn’t that many years ago that America had a tried and true method of electing candidates to public office. A method that was standard throughout the country and, for the most part, secure from voter fraud and corruption. Those days are gone.

It used to be that we first would go to any government building or office to register to vote. It could be a federal building, a post office, a library, or even the state Employment Development Department. All government offices had voter registration forms.

On election day, we went to the assigned polling place in our neighborhoods and voted with punch cards, paper ballots, or a lever. That’s all there was to it. It was simple and accurate. The precincts would tally up the votes and report the totals to the county registrar of voters who then compiled the various precinct results and reported them to the state election headquarters.

Then along came technological advances in electronics. Computers became portable and compact. Phones went mobile then cellphones became smaller and smaller. Then we got I-pods and finally, the I-phone which has it all in the palm of your hand.

Technology also crept into our voting system. The controversial Diebold touch screen voting machines have opened up the possibility of hackers corrupting the results with no paper trail to verify the accuracy of the actual votes. But more significant are the changes in the law brought about by the 2002 McCain/Feingold Election Reform Act.

To begin with, you no longer need to go to a government building to fill out a voter registration form. You need only go shopping on our usual shopping trip to the supermarket and file the form with a campaign worker, usually hired by a political action committee for one of the major parties.

If you’re in the country illegally, don’t worry, the campaign worker will still take your application and instruct you how to lie about your eligibility. Can’t go shopping? Just wait and some PAC employee or volunteer will show up at your door with your voter registration form.

You have no way of knowing if your registration form will reach the registrar of voters or turn up in a dumpster, or if it is delivered as promised, will maintain the same information you submitted. You have no way of know if that information is being shared with others on the way to the registrar, who may have less than honorable intentions for it‘s use.

Once registered to vote, we no longer need to go to the assigned polling place to vote, but are accepted by any precinct even though they may have no record of your registration or qualification to vote. Requesting proper ID or voter registration is prohibited. Illegal aliens with Democrat registrations are welcomed with a smile. Can’t speak English, just ask for a ballot in Spanish. President Calderon will be pleased with your participation in the American election process.

If you can’t walk or drive to the poll, then some political action committee worker will be happy to stop by with a bus, van, or SUV to drive you there with an in route orientation on who and what to vote for. If you’re not already convinced by what little campaign rhetoric you‘ve heard from the candidates and the hype from the TV networks, just ask the campaign worker to help you mark your ballot.

Republicans are not welcome users of the carpool and there will be no Republican busses, vans, or SUVs to come get you. They are all still in the parking lot with flat tires and punctured gas tanks, waiting for the mechanics and tow trucks.

If you’re confined to bed, in a convalescent care center, physically or mentally incapacitated, brain dead, or just plain dead, not a problem. A campaign worker will be happy to visit you and assist you in filling out your ballot with the candidates of his or her choice, then either delivering it or mailing it for you. If you can place an “X” on the bottom line, your ballot will be cheerfully accepted.

You probably won’t have the slightest idea who you voted for, but at least you did your civic duty to vote and that, they tell us, is what is important. No one ever said you need to become informed on who and what you’re voting for. In fact, most candidates and ballot measure supporters depend on you knowing as little as possible about them. It’s usually critical to their winning. The important thing is that everyone votes and next year, we’ll try to include your kids and your dog too.

McCain/Feingold guarantees us that our elected officials will be chosen by the most uninformed among us and that is what Democrats depend on to get elected. That is why they are determined to get Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Michael Savage, Neil Boortz, Glenn Beck, and others off of talk radio. These thinker/talkers are corrupting the election process with too many facts and logical conclusions. These kinds of people are very dangerous to the government and the ACLU.

Projecting the developments of the past few years into the future, it should not be surprising to see before long campaign workers walking around the streets and in front of the supermarkets with hand held voting machines programmed not only with the ballot choices, but also with digital voter registration forms as well. They will be stopping to talk with everyone they pass to ask if they’ve voted yet. If they say no, they will then be given the opportunity to do so. If they’re not registered, they can do that too, then vote.

No more need to bother with pre-registration or going shopping. You can order your groceries by phone or online. No more need to take time away from American Idol and Oprah Winfrey, some campaign worker will show up at your door on election day to record your (or their) voting choices in their little hand held device.

No longer will the homeless, the drunks, and the drug addicts be disenfranchised from the voter rolls. Everyone needs to do their civic duty and vote and now they will be given that chance to participate in the political lottery. The next step is to get those portable voting devices circulating in the nation’s prisons. Why should any segment of our population be left out? Everyone must vote, right?

Hey, it’s not about electing the best candidate for office anymore, it’s all about just getting people to vote. Even people who don’t know the difference between Obama and Huckabee need to record their vote. Even people who, when they see the name Clinton on the ballot and think it’s Bill need to vote. Knowing what the issues are and where the various candidates stand on them doesn’t matter anymore. It’s not important what direction the country goes in, just as long as everyone votes.

Russ Feingold will be happy. John McCain will be proud. And the Democrat party will sweep the elections, take over all three branches of the government, and pass more laws to assure their permanent hold on power. Taxes will go up, national defense will go down, English will be replaced with Spanish, and we’ll all sit around without a job singing cumbyah and smoking pot with Nancy Pelosi while waiting for our government assistance check for $225.00.

Socialists in Europe and Communists in Russia and China will be saying “Great! America finally came around to our way of thinking!” Republicans who supported John McCain, Mitt Romney, and Mike Huckabee will wonder “where did we go wrong?” Meanwhile, Republicans who supported Fred Thompson or Duncan Hunter will be looking for a new America somewhere else and another political party.

Oh, and as for those portable voting machines, well, they won’t last too long because the industry that produced them will be out of business and no replacement parts or qualified service reps will be available to fix them. Maybe some ingenious entrepreneur will find a way to convert them into I-pods or portable TVs that can receive the latest news broadcasts from China, our mother country.