As we sit here we still don’t know who the next President is. And that’s fine. I know we all want to know because this result will affect us greatly for the next four years or longer. But they need to count the votes. As I look at the different maps showing how many votes each candidate has and how much percentage of the vote total is in, something occurred to me: there’s a better way. In my opinion, this is how the results from Presidential elections (and maybe all elections) should go:
- Hold the election. Have in-person voting on election day, require state-issued ID, and have each person sign on the line in a record confirming they voted (to prevent voting more than once).
- Require that ALL mail-in ballots be received before election day. If you want your vote to count, there’s no reason to mail it ON election day. Get it in at least a week early to be safe.
- Count the votes. At the close of the polls on election day, every single vote should have already been received. There should be a list of workers who will count the votes along with a registered representative from each of the two largest parties in the race (D & R usually) to keep everybody honest. As each precinct counts their votes and as the absentee counters do their work, they send the completed count to the Secretary of State for that state (or whoever is in charge of the voting in that state).
- This is the most important point. The Secretary of State does NOT release any vote totals until the counting is 100% complete. So we would literally have no idea who won that state until the counting was over.
In this system, we would have a map that is completely blank of color, and then each Secretary of State would come to their podium or whatever, and announce that “Trump won Iowa” or “Biden won Oregon” or whatever. We do this in churches all the time. Many churches hold annual elections for deacon, treasurer, etc… This is almost always a three step process: Take the vote, count the vote, and announce the vote. I think this would be a better system for our country.