Find-the-Matrix: Messing with Elections

“Not content with limiting voting rights, Republicans are threatening the integrity of vote counting itself.”

Transpartisan Note #145

by A. Lawrence Chickering and James S. Turner

We offer the Transpartisan Matrix as a descriptive, analytical, and energetic snapshot of contemporary American politics. In NYTimes writer Richard L. Hasen’s latest op-ed, Republicans Aren’t Done Messing With Elections, the author examines how he believes Republicans are putting politics before the people by manipulating the system which supports our fundamental right to have all our voices heard.

At the core of Mr. Hasen’s piece is an exploration of the “battle over voter suppression”. From Georgia to Nevada, Texas to Michigan, and many states in between, elected and appointed officials are being censured, stripped of authority, and forced from office by conservatives looking to suppress and control the votes and the voters in their states, he says:

“A new, more dangerous front has opened in the voting wars, and it’s going to be much harder to counteract than the now-familiar fight over voting rules. At stake is something I never expected to worry about in the United States: the integrity of the vote count. The danger of manipulated election results looms.”

Although it is unsettling the number of examples he shares, Mr. Hasen’s goal is not simply to jolt us with a wake-up call. He also offers concrete solutions that we believe suggest the  transpartisan impulse or imperative at the core of American political activity.

“So what can be done? To begin with, every jurisdiction in the United States should be voting with systems that produce a paper ballot that can be recounted in the event of a disputed election. Having physical, tangible evidence of voters’ choices, rather than just records on electronic voting machines, is essential to both guard against actual manipulation and protect voter confidence in a fair vote count.”

Let us also note, Democrats who argued about fraud in the 2004 election as well as Republicans unhappy with the outcome of the 2020 election both call for paper ballots.

That’s not all. He goes on to highlight the importance of business and civic leaders speaking out; the need for Congress to fix the rules for counting Electoral College votes; the necessity of a nonpartisan  (we would say transpartisan, agreed-upon solutions rather than split-the-difference compromises); administration of elections; and, most importantly, the imperative of meaningful support for the people counting the votes. Republicans are pushing bills through state legislature they say will build confidence in elections outcomes. Democrats says this legislation will suppress votes. Use our matrix to sort out the claims and see what you think.

“…we need a national effort to support those who will count votes fairly. Already we are seeing a flood of competent election administrators retiring from their often-thankless jobs, some after facing threats of violence during the 2020 vote count. Local election administrators need political cover and the equivalent of combat pay, along with adequate budget resources to run fair elections.”

He ends the article by making it clear that,

 “…the time to act to prevent a democratic crisis is now. It may begin with lawsuits against new voter-suppression laws and nascent efforts to enshrine the right to vote in the Constitution. But it is also going to require a cross-partisan alliance of those committed to the rule of law — in and out of government — to ensure that our elections continue to reflect the will of the people.”

The Transpartisan Review reports on ideas, actions, and events that underscore the opportunity to find societal solutions by avoiding the all too common hyper-partisan and deadlock-threatening efforts often passed off as “politics” by our daily media. We point out that the current Democratic/Republican – Left/Right political duopoly made up of 30% of the US constitutional political constituency controls 99% of all the country’s elected offices.

The people want their vote counted fairly. Read Mr. Hasen’s article and look for the Transpartisan Matrix.

(Image CC BY-SA 2.0 by Michael Fleshman. Additional text and editing by Andy Fluke.)

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