The day before election day I saw on the national news a segment on voter fraud. What?? Here in the US?? Really?!
The news segment mentioned a series of activities such as “robo-calls” providing incorrect polling place addresses, putting the wrong election date on voting mailings, closing early voting early, throwing away authentic voter applications or questioning the validity of citizenship. I do not know if all of these are true, but if they are, how Far we have Fallen…!
I’ve lived in places like Mexico, where the ballots boxes were made of clear plastic to prevent ballot stuffing and where the US sent watchdogs to ensure “clean” elections. I happened to be in Haiti on business when they had their first ever election for a constitution after the fall of Papa Doc, and the voters there voted by color because they couldn’t read. Those folks were so excited to be able to finally vote!! I’ve witnessed other elections where people’s hands got stamped or their finger prints were taken to ensure they could not vote twice. We’re so self-righteous about clean elections everywhere outside of the US…. but voter fraud here at home? Unimaginable. Until now.
It saddens me to see US citizens stoop to this level and erode the value the right to vote represents. Voting, and speaking our mind freely in public is a right of citizenship. I’m glad to see people who’ve already voted or are turning out to vote on election day in record numbers. We’re finally motivated enough to get off the couch and take an action! But the voting process is tainted by all these claims of activities designed to mislead or deny people their constitutional right. The only good thing I can see about this is that it’s finally out in the open and we can have a real dialog about our own ethical behavior now! Hooray. The victory seems so hollow. We’ve taken a step down that slippery slope, so what’s next? Polling places receiving ballot boxes pre-stuffed with votes for a particular candidate? I shudder to think of it.
I sincerely hope you take the time to vote – and think about what a privilege you have been granted as you cast your ballot. Don’t let anything get in your way. Not even incorrect information about the election date or where your polling place is supposed to be.