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Politics: The Independent
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By Robert Cleveland
Senior Conservative Editor
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Time For Election Reform
We Need To Trust The System Again
VIDEO: 2012 Voting Machines Altering Votes
Vote 2012
Vote 2012
A screenshot of the voting glitch that changed selections once voting choice was made. | Photo: Archives
ALSO | election | 2012
It's a bit difficult to write this column in light of the election loss Republicans just suffered. As an unabashed Romney supporter, I obviously was not pleased with Tuesday's election results. But don't roll your eyes at me. This is not a "he stole the election" column. This should be an important issue for all Americans, regardless of party affiliation.

One of the main things that struck me as I watched the news on Election Day were just how many reports of shenanigans of all kinds were coming in from across America.

It is bewildering that, in the most technologically advanced nation in the world, we still can't get electronic voting machines to work properly. A YouTube video posted by a voter on Tuesday quickly went viral, showing that any election on a large area of the screen selected Romney, while a selection for Obama required an extremely precise touch in a very small area of the screen. There were reports of that same problem happening on both sides, both in early voting and on Election Day. In South Carolina, voters were using electronic voting machines that are known to produce inaccurate results, and are under audit by the state.

There was a report that in early voting in Houston, the NAACP basically came in and took over a polling place in Houston, promoting Obama, moving people to the front of the long voting line...violating election laws. There were several reports of polling places with prominent pro-Obama displays, including this one in Philadelphia, and this one in Florida. A judge ordered the display in Philadelphia be covered up, and a lame attempt was made to do so. The same thing happened at a polling place in Washington, DC.

In Illinois, one voter took a picture of a poll worker who was wearing a pro-Obama hat. At a polling place in Washington, D.C., hundreds of voters were reportedly turned away when the electronic voting machines failed to function, and the polling place only had 50 paper ballots available.

In New Jersey, victims of Hurricane Sandy were allowed to vote via email or fax, but had to ca

With so many close elections, we must ensure that every vote is legal, and ever vote is counted.
ll in to request a ballot. Reports came in from some Sandy victims that they were met with constantly busy phone and fax lines, and that the email address to submit ballots was full.

The Black Panthers, who created controversy back in 2008 when they were filmed standing outside Philadelphia polling places in paramilitary uniforms brandishing clubs, were back for this election. They apparently left their clubs at home this time around, but after their actions last election, they should not have been allowed near any polling place.

Perhaps most disturbing were some reports of voters showing up at their polling places, only to find that their names had already been crossed off despite the fact that they had not yet voted. God only knows how many times that happened.

Then there are the military ballots ballots were sent out late, many were destroyed when a C-130 crashed in Afghanistan...we really have no idea at this point how many of our troops were disenfranchised in this election, and what effect that may have had on the final results.

Mitt Romney and Barack Obama
Mitt Romney and Barack Obama
The 2nd presidential debate was in the form of a town meeting, in which citizens asked questions of the candidates on foreign and domestic issues. Candidates each had two minutes to respond, and an additional minute for the moderator to facilitate a discussion. The town meeting participants were undecided voters selected by the Gallup Organization. | Photo: Getty Images
Put all of this together, and it begs the question: how much can we really trust the American elections process? It was very interesting that, for all of the wrangling back-and-forth that America has gone through over the past few months over voter ID laws, there were reports that even the United Nations-affiliated international observers were a bit bewildered that the United States doesn't require ID to vote. Since the people who spent so much time and energy calling voter ID laws racist look to the UN for so many other policies, maybe now they can be convinced that such laws are a good idea, after all. Even Iraq, right after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, had more reliable elections than we do now, and all they did was put some ink on people's thumbs when they voted. We don't even do that.

So many of our elections today are down-to-the-wire. Even as I write this, they are re-counting ballots in Florida over a Congressional race there, and a recount is ongoing for a state assembly race in the district just North of where I live in California. With our elections so close in so many areas around the nation, we are in a situation where a few thousand sometimes even just a few hundred fraudulent votes could push one side or the other over the edge...and the real truth is that we just don't know how much voter fraud has influenced our election process. For as many reports as there are on Election Day of irregularities and out-right shenanigans, the results of voter fraud investigations rarely receive the same level of publicity.

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There truly is no excuse for a democratic republic such as ours to have this level of uncertainty in our elections process. We need to start working on serious reforms now, so that we can trust our elections in the future. Voter ID laws are just a start.

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"Time For Election Reform | We Need To Trust The System Again"
Editorial ID #12611, 856 words, first released November 8, 2012, 5:00 pm
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Gniav thpisohrCre wseomN, rnbo eOcobrt 01, 1679, is na ncAaemri pinicoatli. He si eth h49t unnttiaeeL onoevGrr fo nilraCfioa,...

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