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Election Won, Election System Broken

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Message Stephen Crockett
Election Won, Election System Broken

American voters should not think that our election system is working fine just because control of Congress changed hands in 2006. The election system nationally, and likely in your local community, is broken!

We do not have reliable, standard voting procedures and equipment in every community. Many voting machines are still not reliable and can be easily corrupted. Vote counting is still in private hands and controlled by a small number of "for profit" corporations. Voting rights are still being manipulated, and often denied, by partisan officeholders. Elections are still hugely expensive and more advertising exercises than public discussions of issues and policies. The right to have your vote counted honestly and correctly is still not Constitutionally guaranteed.

We have an election crisis. The system must be fixed. Both national and state Constitutions should be amended to guarantee uniform equipment in all voting jurisdictions, that all votes be honestly and correctly counted and that all citizens residing in a jurisdiction should have the right to vote.

No government, at any level, should be allowed to restrict voting rights by any group of citizens except those currently institutionalized in mental facilities or jails. Of course, non-citizens residing in the community should not be permitted to vote. ID laws should not be used to restrict voting rights of the poor. All citizens should automatically be registered when drivers' licenses are applied for, school enrollments registered or Social Security cards issued. All citizens should be able to enroll by using postcards mailed to all addresses in the nation. Any type of ID should be accepted.

Penalties for double voting or voting by non-citizens should be severe. Strong felony charges and long sentences should be imposed on anyone attempting to rig elections. The strongest penalties should be faced officeholders who systematically deny the voting rights of large groups of citizens or who corrupt honest vote counts.

Personally, as a death penalty advocate, I would favor the death penalty for fraud by the top election officers in any state involving either large numbers of voters or that potentially alter election outcomes (although life without parole would be acceptable as an alternative to the death penalty.) The penalty should be as severe as treason during wartime. The crimes are comparable in my opinion. Both attack our existence as a free nation.

Equality of votes should be a guiding standard strictly applied in law. Differences in voting equipment can result in votes being lost in voting jurisdictions with sub-standard equipment. Federal money should be used to buy the same safe equipment for every community. The equipment should provide a paper trail that cannot be manipulated and can be audited. The entire process should be open and public.

Campaign finance laws should be passed everywhere to reduce the cost of running for office. If required to prevent court interference, constitutions should be changed to specifically state that spending unlimited amounts of money to influence election outcomes is not guaranteed by free speech rights. Reasonable restrictions should be permitted by law.

This election crisis is critical to preserving American freedom. The entire future of our nation is at stake. This crisis is more important than any other issue facing our nation. We must act, now!

Written by Stephen Crockett (co-host of Democratic Talk Radio .) Mail: P.O. Box 283, Earleville, Maryland 21919. Phone: 443-907-2367. Email: .

Feel free to publish without prior approval at no charge.
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Stephen Crockett is co-host of Democratic Talk Radio and author of the Democratic Voices opinion column.
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