On election day, 1980, my dad took me at 2 years old to walk a precinct to get out the vote for Ronald Reagan. In the first 7 presidential elections of my life, I continued the tradition and volunteered to go door-to-door, asking Republican households to go vote. Afterward, I would go home and eagerly watch the returns come in and races get called. Election day in the United States used to be fun. It was an event. To political nerds, it was like Super Bowl Sunday.
Unfortunately, election day is no fun anymore. Democrats have ruined it, like so many other things in America. This is not because the results of the midterm elections were disappointing. It has little to do with who wins or loses. It is about the mechanics of the election itself. There are four main reasons why that special Tuesday in November no longer holds the magic that it once did.
- We don’t get results. – Back when there were VCRs, my parents tried to record the Alfred Hitchcock classic, North by Northwest. The only problem was that the tape cut off with Cary Grant hanging from Mount Rushmore, a literal cliffhanger. We had to wait until we could go to the video store and rent it to find out what happened. Nobody wants things left up in the air without a resolution. This is, sadly, how election day is now. We go to bed without knowing who won. It took a few days to find out who had won the Senate, and it took 10 days before we finally found out that Republicans had taken control of the House in last month’s midterms. That is partly because, after the 2000 election, nobody wants to call a race incorrectly and have to pull it back. However, the bigger culprit is that there has been an assault by the Democrats on election day itself for years. Now, there are mail-in ballots and ballots dropped off anonymously at drop-boxes, with at best, questionable authenticity, that take days to count. There is no good reason for this. For most of my lifetime, people voted in person on election day, and we had far more trustworthy and reliable results, and knew most of them on election night.
- Early voting. – In many states, there is early voting for weeks prior to election day, before the campaigning is done. This means that if somebody is persuaded in the final weeks of the campaign after they cast a vote, they are out of luck. This also eliminates the ability of voters to take into account some late-discovered information about a candidate. For example, some people believe that the FBI’s reopening its investigation into Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton’s staff and their use of a private email server swung the election to President Donald Trump. Now, many people have already voted, so late-breaking information is too late.
- News coverage is terrible. – Years ago, the media was biased in favor of the Democrats, but they generally tried not to turn off half of the country by openly and obviously attacking Republicans and rooting for the Democrats. Now, most of the television news coverage is so bad that it is unwatchable. On an election day when the Democrats had destroyed the economy, leading us to a plummeting stock market, massive inflation, and small businesses struggling to survive, the news coverage steered the conversation away from that and towards whatever sideshow they could come up with. One example was an interview by ABC news anchor David Muir with a moderate Republican, New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu, at his victory party after he won re-election. While Governor Sununu tried to focus on his supporters and his vision for New Hampshire and our country, Muir kept trying to segway into irrelevant things, like the 2020 election, and the media’s favorite target of hatred and vitriol, President Trump. It was uncomfortable to watch. The media will bend over backward to avoid any subject that will be damaging to Democrats, no matter how obvious. This election, the crumbling economy was the elephant in the room, but what you heard on election day was, “yeah, yeah, inflation, but what about so-and-so?” Every single one of you, whatever your political leanings, know that if the Republicans were in power with a bad economy, the media would be laser-focused on it. The last time the news was fun to watch on election day was in 2016, and not because the coverage was good, but because most of the “journalists” looked like they were about to burst into tears.
- Distrust of the results and fear of cheating. – Whichever side you are on, you cannot deny that a large portion of the country does not trust our elections right now. This is a problem. When things are going poorly, people need to be able to vote out those in power. If they distrust our elections and feel like no matter how they vote, the elections are rigged, it leaves them backed into a corner with no other recourse except to fight in other, possibly less peaceful, ways. We need to restore accountability and faith in our elections. When I see a close race on election night, I get a sinking feeling, because I know that they will find enough ballots, however they do it, to make the Democrat win. I don’t trust the results, along with a whole lot of other people, and while there is an easy fix, Democrats refuse to do it because they don’t care if people have faith in our elections as long as they stay in power. If anybody honestly cares about preserving our democracy, they would want to alleviate these fears. Calling people “election deniers” and trying to vilify them does not work. Neither does saying, “you can’t prove fraud.” That is the point. Due to mail-in ballots and a refusal to verify voters with ID at polling places, there is nearly no way to prove fraud. That does not prove that cheating is not rampant. It just proves that we have no way of knowing how much cheating is happening. Instead of gaslighting people who have concerns about our election security, just prove to them that our elections are secure. It is actually very easy to do. Simply require voters to show ID when they cast their ballots, in person, on election day. If we do this, it makes it very difficult to cheat.
Election day can be fun again if we fix these four things. Hopefully, we can do it. If not, what is left for Democrats to try to ruin? Groundhog’s Day?