2016. 2018. 2020. 2022.
Our elections recently have been fraught with problems and issues. Despite what we have been told by different pundits and news media outlets, the biggest problem with our elections isn't "election denial"; mail in voting has been the biggest scourge on our electoral processes. I'll tell you what I mean.
When I voted for Buck McKeon to be my congressional rep when I lived in California, we knew that night that he had definitively won. When I voted for Arnold Schwarzenegger to be governor of California, we knew definitively that he had won before midnight. Now I live in Washington, and elections take 7-10 business days. What gives?
3 words: Mail-in voting. When you vote by mail, you are at the mercy of the United States Postal System. They record of timeliness is unmatched . . . in its failure. Ballot drops occur every day and only in bits and pieces just like any other mail. This is so wrong on many different levels.
The solution is easy. I'll spell out to you the how and why of my voting reform legislation plan.
Back in the day in California, voting happened in each individual precinct. there were two or three different polling places in each precinct for in person voting. That's what I want to get back to. My legislation plan utilizes school gyms and fire houses as polling places in every individual precinct. ID will be mandatory, and each place will be provided with extra ballots and drop box. Here's how it will play out in real time: Two weeks before election day, you will be mailed out an election pamphlet. one week before election day, you will be mailed out your ballot. You will fill out your ballot. On election day, you will take your ballot to the polling place in your precinct (the school or fire house). You will show your ID to the attendant at the door who will check your name against a printed list of registered voters. You will sign your name on the register with the signature you used when you registered to vote. You will then take your ballot and drop it in the drop box, retaining your stub, and collect your "I Voted" sticker on the way out. For those of you who, for some reason, don't receive a ballot or want to vote day of, I have you covered. We will have voting booths with ballots set up at your polling place for you to go and fill out, provided you bring your ID and are on the list of registered voters. If you don't have your ID, but are on the list of registered voters, you can vote provided you can bring a utility bill with your name and address to verify residency at the address where you are registered.
Once those polls are closed and the last person in line has gone home, the padlocked box will be transported to the counting place to be counted by hired personnel.
Lastly: I work in security. Security personnel work all 3 shift 7 days a week. There is no reason why poll workers can't do the same. I'm not talking about 24-hour shifts, I'm talking 8-hour shifts, day, swing, and graves (if necessary). We have enough in our coffers to be able to pay people across 3 shifts. Election security is paramount in rebuilding the trust in our democracy. Washington deserves better than to have to wait 7-10 business days to see if their candidate wins their race or not.