If you stayed up last night holding on to your CBD oil and wine bottle for dear life as you watched election numbers come in – like we did - it's safe to say you saw the catastrophe that is the American voting infrastructure, at work. Not necessarily the roads to get to the polls but more so the system in which votes are cast.
Not only was the vote preemptively suppressed, it was confused, mishandled and unsupported. How is it even possible that a democracy in the first world can have the type of voting issues that America had yesterday? Isn't the whole point of the Great Western Experiment that we cherish not only our ability to vote but the accuracy and protection of the vote? Aren't we supposed to have our shit together? Like... what is this?
Let’s just run through the facts:
North Carolina had voter machine malfunctions due to humidity. Like from the outside! Even though you don't vote outside. THINK ABOUT THAT!
Georgia had the wrong power cords for the machines at some of their locations. Which is either full-on sabotage or complete incompetence, not sure which is worse.
North Dakota ran out of ballots. Da Fuq? Go get more!
Texas had a ballot shortage. Didn't we just address this?
New York had over 40 complaints about “broken scanners”. Seriously? Is nobody checking these machines before the most important day of our 2018 lives? What ever happened to a dry run?!
Tennessee had power outages. PAY YOUR DAMN LIGHT BILL!
South Carolina has “calibration issues”. Say it with me. Dry. RUN!
Prudence Island only has one voting machine. (That’s a whole point in itself)
The one machine on the island broke and they had to send a new one on a ferry. This makes me hate New England.
Social Media sites had to do 'round the clock corrections and content removals from American users - big and small - intentionally posting misinformation. Russia who?
These are the types of issues that you hear about in a Banana Republic and not the good kind with affordable yet classic linen separates. Fuck-you-mean the weather is affecting your machines ability to do it’s fucking job? How in the hell, does an entire land mass – I don’t care how small – only have one voting machine and no back-ups? In what world do you run out of ballots?
WHAT IS HAPPENING IN AMERICA? UGH.
No matter how you feel about the way the midterm elections turned out, we should want a better system for our democracy as a whole. In a world where 98% of Americans need their jobs and voting takes place on a work day, we can’t have people standing in line for 3+ hours trying to exercise their right. More over, are we really living in the richest/greatest country on earth if we have crippling issues that can be fixed with $20 at Wal-Mart, a little tenacity and a printer? Lastly, did nobody know the election was happening? Like why does it feel like the people who were tasked with securing and executing the vote casting process were unprepared? Or worst, unable/unwilling to do their job? COULD IT BE? Do you think the shitty-ness that is American voting efficiency is a side-effect of bureaucracy? Gasp! PARTISANSHIP?!?
Every Republican pundit was quick to point out that the complaints received about voting complications – be it machines or long lines – are well within the standard. And that’s true. The American voting system has been consistently terrible for a while now. But… that doesn’t make it ok. It just makes it dependably bad.
It's true, the issues polluting our election process know no prejudice. Anyone can forget their license, or accidentally fill out their registration wrong. Everyone is annoyed by long lines and incompetence isn’t necessarily a pillar of identity politics. THAT BEING SAID, when these average issues that “could happen to anyone” disproportionately happen to communities of color and lesser means and when the laws start to displace certain communities with “surgical precision” (cough, North Carolina) that’s when we’ve got to raise the "standard".
We as a country have to be able to admit that our voting process is not equitable, it’s not representative and it’s not by accident. I don't have time to get into gerrymandering and voter suppression so look it up. These issues exist because we are used to our citizens being apathetic and not showing up but also because the current party in power benefits from a certain level of dishevelment amongst the masses. Do you really think we'd be having so many issues if the Republican base relied on public transportation, had less time to kill (a high percentage are retired and or self-employed) or systemically experienced issues with government ID. Probably not.
America has got to get away from a political world that prioritizes winning over accurate and efficient representation. And if you think that this is just more millennial rambling bullshit, ask yourself this...if you went to the bank to get your money out and they told you that the machine wasn't working because of the weather outside or because the manager brought in the wrong power cord...how would you feel? Now, keeping that same energy, tell me how you feel about not being able to get your vote.