Of paramount importance for the future of America’s electoral process is the need for trained and competent election observers. This process has previously been controlled by the two major political parties and it has failed. The EIA supports non-partisan observers who will accurately and even-evenhandedly document both a) the partisan behavior of many election officials and b) the fraudulent behavior of some voters.
We adhere to core principles that reduce the chances of an election being stolen by insiders. In one word, it’s transparency. In application, there are four areas:
- Can. Who can vote? We’ve discovered variances in the cost of obtaining voter records to be treasonous. While some states, (NC, FL, and OH, to name a few) provide these public records for free to anybody who wants the data, others charge prohibitive amounts (WI, AL, and VA are among the worst offenders). The result is that elitists can rig elections easier. Voting from a false address is illegal in most states, but impossible to detect if there is no public oversight. Bloated voter rolls compound the problem because miscreants can more determine whose voting rights are the easiest to steal. It erodes public trust in the electoral process when only the well-heeled political parties have access to the voter rolls.
- Did. Who actually did vote? Rare is the losing candidate who mounts a successful challenge before an election is certified. Without knowing who actually voted, there is no way to prove that dead people or ineligible felons or out-of-district people fraudulently voted. When discovered after certification, the only recourse is through prohibitively expensive legal action. The names and specific address of each voter should be released several days prior to certification, rather than afterward. Such a transparency period would enhance public support of an election’s outcome.
- Count. How are the votes counted? Are they tabulated such that all parties involved can agree it was performed in an even-handed way? Counting the ballots is not a job that can simply be left up to “the government,” as has been the case for decades. Many (if not all) people working within the government have gotten there by means of politics, so nobody can be trusted to count ballots in private. In order for all parties to accept the outcome of an election, all parties should have access to the counting process.
- Chain. What is the chain of custody for the ballots? There must be spotless accountability between the time the ballots are marked and the time an election is certified. Public confidence in the entire system is weakened every time an election is flipped by sudden discoveries of uncounted ballots, by selective recounts that only favor one side or by a late-reporting precincts that provide “just enough” votes for the incumbent to come from behind and win again.
In order for interested persons to become a State Affiliate of the EIA, their board must support policies that advance those core principles and never endorse policies that weaken transparency in those areas. Other stipulations for State Affiliates are still being refined, so please check back with us (or fill out a contact form) if you want to explore this option for your state.