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Get Out and Vote

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Popularity Wins Them All

Too often I hear Americans express their distaste towards the voting system. On many things with them I concur one of which is the electoral college. I hold no qualms telling the reader I think Donald Trump is slime. That son-of-a-bitch should’ve never made it past the Republican primary. When Trump mocked Serge Kovaleski, the New York Times reporter with arthrogryposis on national TV, that should’ve marked the end of his campaign. The only reason George W. Bush and Agent Orange were elected was because of the electoral college. Both lost the popular vote to their opponents. It stands to reason that he/she who garners the most votes shall be the winner. Otherwise, they might as well induce the electoral college for gubernatorial elections. That way all contestants need is to win the electoral votes for the metropolitan areas to win. That defeats the purpose of democracy and undermines citizens who live in the hinterland. That would lead to gerrymandering across the board. Were it up to me, all districts would be drawn based on population blocks during each decennial census in lieu of physical boundaries.

Shame and Blame Are Not the Game

Another qualm I have is the low voter turnout. Replacing the electoral college with the popular vote alone could solve most of that. I’m worried many Bernie Sanders voters will stay home or go third-party and get Trump reelected out of spite in 2020 now that he bowed out. Many times I’ve had online tiffs with friends on social media over this. They think I despise Bernie. I don’t hate or dislike Bernie; I tolerate him. I love his ideas, but it’s hard to respect a lifelong Independent who piggybacked off the Democratic Party in 2016 when it was convenient. Talking down to the center-left and calling the other candidates within the party “corporate Democrats,” “establishment Democrats,” and “neoliberals” and accusing them of being part of the establishment doesn’t win me over. That man had a lot of nerve shaming people like that when he didn’t call himself a Democrat until 2016. Further, I find it more difficult to believe someone who voted against the Brady Bill five times has a D minus record with the NRA. Using divisive language and polarizing the voters is no way to organize a revolution in my book. People who don’t vote have no right to complain. The Berniebots I blame partially for this quagmire. Their tacit consent allowed the most unqualified person to be in the oval office. It wasn’t just Russia meddling in the election.

Apathy is Expensive

That leads me to my second point. There should be compulsory voting across the board in all elections; presidential, gubernatorial, mayoral, etc. Certain countries have this law. Among them are Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Belgium, Bolivia, Uruguay, and Singapore. Anyone who refuses to vote should bequeath one’s income tax returns for two years until the next election. If they want to behave like petulant children because they got butthurt over their candidates not winning the nomination, then their abstention should cost them. Perhaps the only way to get them on board is to hit them where it hurts and show them apathy is expensive. Maybe they’ll think twice next time they want to take it out on everyone else and make them “Feel the Bern.” I blocked numerous Berniebots from my Facebook page when they trashed Hillary Clinton. I suspect I’ll do it more when they go into attack mode towards Joe Biden. Those people are nothing but poison, and I don’t need that toxicity in my life. Uncle Joe wasn’t my favorite candidate, either. I voted for Elizabeth Warren in the primary, but now is not the time to let our egos clout our judgment and override our consciences.

Primary and Secondary Solutions

This is why they should move all elections from Tuesdays to weekends. First off, the primaries should be held the last Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday of March to prevent people like Bernie from dragging it out until June. They can campaign the entire summer, fall, and winter beforehand to sway the voters. The winners of each primaries should be declared at 10 pm Eastern Time the last Sunday of March. Then they should have a secondary election the last week of May to weed out third-party spoilers. The same process should be done for the primary in that it should be held Thursday through Sunday. The two candidates with the most votes should be the ones selected for the general election. Were it up to me, there’d be no more pre-planned Democratic or Republican conventions in designated cities. Instead, the convention for the challenging party would be held in the select city the second week of July while that for the incumbent party would be hosted in whichever locale the following week. I’d want them to run the week after the MLB All-Star Game and 4th of July and before the Summer Olympics.

There’s More Than One Way to Skin a Cat

The general election should be moved from the first Tuesday of November to Thanksgiving weekend. Black Friday is my least favorite day of the year. It negates the purpose of Thanksgiving. Rather than bring out the worst in people, Black Friday should do the opposite. Not only should voting be held in courthouses and civic buildings. There should be election booths in commercial venues like shopping malls, grocery stores, cinemas, restaurants, car dealerships, etc. Anyone who votes in said places should receive a Black Friday discount. The customers can kill two birds with one stone. Early voting should be held 24/7 an entire fortnight before the last Sunday of March, May, and November so people can beat the crowds and not have to stand in long lines. The national guard and local police should be stationed at all locales for security. A general order should be passed down the chain of command that anyone who discusses politics or does nothing to prevent a riot should be court-martialed. This method should be the first in which people vote. The second should be by mail. Voters should be allowed to send their ballots to the country treasury office in either an envelope or via PDF in an e-mail. Anyone with a physical mailing address should be registered automatically by the post office or DMV whenever they change residencies or have their driver’s licenses renewed.

Close Encounters of the Third Kind

The third way is a bit more tricky. The voters should be able to do it online through a secure website. I know that idea makes people skeptical because of Russia’s meddling in the last election. That’s why the site should be firewalled in every country outside the United States. It should be recommend that the user does it incognito or on TOR Browser. The site should be operational only during times of election and no other. Massive security measures should be made as well. Not only should it require an email address and a password at least 20 characters long (including mixed case letters, numbers, and punctuation marks.) It should contain CAPCHA. They should require a minimal six-digit PIN number, the mailing addresses of each user over the past ten years, a social security number, a driver’s license number, a phone number with an area code, and the user’s date of birth. There should be a time limit for the user. It should give the ballot options in either English or Spanish and then require at least ten security lessons which would be the following:

      1. What is your father’s middle name?
      2. What is your mother’s maiden name?
      3. What is your maternal grandmother’s full name?
      4. What is your maternal grandfather’s full name?
      5. What is your paternal grandmother’s full name?
      6. What is your paternal grandfather’s full name?
      7. What city were you born in?
      8. What hospital were you born in?
      9. What street did you grow up on?
      10. What high school did you graduate from?
      11. What year did you graduate high school?
      12. What was your high school mascot?
      13. What were the color, model, and make of your first car?

Hack on This One, Sucker

As someone who has studied computers, I can assure the reader nobody can hack through all of that (not even Julian Assange on his best day.) I’m not an expert, but I know it takes hours to hack through one layer. The 20-character mixed-case password alone would take days. The CAPCHA feature would make it more difficult. All the required information that the user must know like the back of one’s hand and the time limit would make it impossible if not improbable at best. Even if the hackers were to use a VPN to circumvent the firewall, they would encounter numerous problems. How do you expect a hacker to have access to the personal information of 300 million people on a secure website? Even if Super Blue from IBM ran 24/7 for over 100 years, it would be unrealistic to hack through that. To put it bluntly, the saboteurs would have an easier time robbing Fort Knox.

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