Thursday, January 06, 2005

Asleep at the Wheel - Congress Fails to Deliver Sound Elections

this is an audio post - click to play

As Fox News reports, Congressional certification of the Electoral College vote was delayed today when Senator Barbara Boxer and Representative Stephanie Tubbs Jones protested voting irregularities in the 2004 presidential election. Both legislators made clear that they sought not to challenge the outcome of the presidential election, but rather to shed light on areas where our elections process does not measure up to the promises Americans have made to each other in our founding documents.

As we have written before, the extremely close nature of some elections shows how important it is to have a system which records and counts votes as accurately as humanly possible. In tight races, a tiny margin of error can lead to the wrong outcome, thereby controverting the people's will, thereby calling into question the integrity of our democracy.

For decades, banks have been able to record and keep track of our financial transactions nearly flawlessly. Is it too much to ask that our votes are treated as equally precious?

Alas, the Help America Vote Act of 2002, passed by Congress in the wake of the 2000 presidential election, did not resolve the problems that exist with elections in the United States. With all the knowledge and technical capability that we possess as the world's leading democracy and economic power, the men and women of the United States Congress were unable to come up with a system which delivers the rights guaranteed to American citizens by the U.S. Constitution.

Hopefully, today's effort by Rep. Tubbs Jones and Sen. Boxer serves as a catalyst for their colleagues in Congress to remedy their shoddy performance at the wheel of American democracy. If not, it may be time for the rest of us to demand that they hand over the keys to the rightful owners.

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