The election may be over, but the results are still not clear. While the media may have declared a winner of the Presidential race, at least five states still appear to be close without a clear winner. There will be recounts, with voting “irregularities” and apparent violations of election law in some states. All of this may end up being disputed in court. President Trump has every right to challenge results his campaign believes are fraudulent, just as Vice President Gore did in 2000.
Here’s what we do know about the election: there was no “blue wave” favoring Democrats; Republicans picked up seats in the US House of Representatives, how many is unclear as some races are still very close; the Redistricting State Constitutional Amendment passed, so Democrats will not be able to gerrymander Congressional and General Assembly districts; and control of the US Senate will be decided by two runoff elections in Georgia on January 5th.
The source of much of the confusion and allegations of voter fraud is mail-in ballots. Many states, including Virginia, expanded the use of absentee and mail-in voting due to fears of the COVID19 virus. Absentee and mail-in ballots are less secure and much easier to falsify than in-person voting. The apparent fraud in some states is causing many voters to lose faith in our elections. I believe Congress needs to pass minimum national standards for elections in order to restore confidence, including:
– Require the counting of ballots be recorded and live streamed for all to see,
– Require in-person voting unless the voter is physically unable to do so, due to illness, disability, or because they are out of the area,
– Establish a two-week early voting period to reduce the number of people who would need to vote absentee due to being away on Election Day; currently the early voting period varies widely from state to state,
– Require photo ID to vote; this has worked very well in states that have implemented it without reducing voter turnout or disenfranchising any legal voter, and
– Require proof of citizenship and residence in order to register to vote.
These reasonable steps, could be easily implemented in every state and would significantly improve election integrity. Continuing the current path will just lead to more turmoil and division.
I’ll continue to fight for fair, open and honest elections.