Do election integrity activists want a "perfect" reform bill?
The term "perfect" or "perfection" is a distractive term from the main
issues. What is "perfect" is relative to what is the goal and how to
attain it. When it comes to elections in our country the perfect election would
result in the winner of the majority of votes being sworn into office.
That will supposedly be a result of the citizens choosing their representatives
by a deliberative process, the person best suited for the job. In the real world that does not happen very often. No human endeavor involving hundreds of
thousands of people, multiple jurisdictions and laws, can ever arrive
There is a major difference between the secret act of voting and the
secret process of counting those votes. Making the process of counting
completely transparent does not mandate that we lose the secrecy of how we voted. If the counting process is completely transparent and subject to citizen
oversight in a timely manner, it will result in challenges when the process is subject to abuse or manipulation by those conducting it. Most states have evolved election related laws that have been created as reactions to abuse of the process. Unfortunately, almost all of those laws are under the civil code, not the criminal code, and there are inadequate consequences if the law is not followed. Many of the laws connected to the needed checks and balances for checking the accuracy of the count are ambiguous, weighted towards the expediency of those administering the election, and unfriendly to any citizen or candidate challenging the results.
There was a reason that the California legislature chose to codify an
audit "to assure the accuracy of any automated count." At some time it
recognized that electronic means of counting votes was subject to error or