Let’s get this said up front: America does not have a problem with “Voter Fraud” it has a problem with “Election Fraud” and they are both creations of a panicked Republican Party. “Voter Fraud” is fake but “Election Fraud” is as real as it gets. Progressives have to be innovative and aggressive in attacking it. Video Voter Verification (3V) is one way to do it.
I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that upwards of 90% of people who show up at the polls and vote for Democratic candidates have a cell phone. I’m taking that number to 100% if you count folks that don’t own one but just have access to one. What would happen if 100% of those people made a 30 or 60 second video of themselves immediately after they voted, verifying their identity, the polling place where they voted and who they voted for?
And what if the Democratic National Committee set up a site where all of these people could upload their videos? I’m guessing we put a billion useless “selfies” and videos on-line somewhere. What if we decided to make a tiny fraction of them actually matter? Maybe 65 or 70 million of them.
I don’t think I’m going out on a limb by saying that it would be a helluva lot harder for the cheaters to cheat when the votes are tallied. If the cheaters know that people have created their own date and time stamped video voter verification record that can be tracked and authenticated it will surely give them pause before they pull any of the bullshit 11th hour efforts to disenfranchise folks who were immune to the normal voter suppression techniques that have worked so well in the past. I am not terribly tech savvy but this does not seem terribly difficult to pull together.
And it is entirely necessary. We have all of the evidence we could ever need to conclude that the Republican Party will employ any means necessary- fair and unfair; legal and illegal- to trip up Democratic voters. If they will partner with hostile foreign actors to tamper with our elections we would have to be fools to put anything past them. They believe that demographics are destiny and the demographic direction of the country looks horrible for them right now. The so-called “browning” of America terrifies the Republicans because they have been getting over for years by demonizing and marginalizing these emerging “browns” for decades. They don’t have time to shift gears on policy or politics to account for the growth of this group of voters so they just have to shut them down.
Those efforts are in full swing all over the nation but especially in any “swing” state or potential “swing” state. Georgia is widely considered one of the next big battleground states and you can already see corruption in full swing around here. Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp claims that the state inadvertently erased the record of the vote tally in the special election in the Georgia 6th district less than a year ago when Jon Ossoff underperformed the polls and his upset bid fell short- sending the walking train-wreck Karen Handel to Congress. Now he’s running for governor and just got caught conspiring to close 90% of the polling places in a 90% black county. He had to back off because he got caught red-handed being a red-neck racist and criminally corrupt politician. Had the Atlanta Journal-Constitution not publicized his flagrant attempt at voter suppression, he would have pulled it off and won the election by the margin of those voters.
So being alert to the threat and using whatever tools are at our disposal is our best defense against immediate and secret disenfranchisement. And in this case the best tool at our disposal is our beloved side-kick and constant companion, our cell phone.
In an age where an 11 year old kid can hack into a Florida voting machine and make it play “Jingle Bells” we damned well better put a separate verification vehicle in place if we want our votes to count- or dispute vote counts in our congressional districts. To be sure, there will be local laws, state laws and maybe even federal laws that dictate what can be video recorded and all related issues so guidelines and instructions could be posted for each state. The fact that videos made on our cell phones are automatically time and date stamped is a neat little benefit that we can now use to protect us rather than compromise us.
I figure we should ask Facebook to foot the bill and set this up for us. They owe us that much in my estimation for letting Vladimir Putin stick his grubby little fingers in our election through their platform last time around. They could probably have something like this up and running in a week. This is a real chance to redeem themselves because the asinine commercials and congressional testimony certainly didn’t help the cause.
But the rest would be up to us. We have to step up and show and prove now. And in doing so we could seriously upgrade the game for the whole country. It is virtually impossible to sustain a system of lying about voters and cheating them out of their say when there is a verifiable record of who they are and a shadow tally to cross reference against the official record.
This is just one idea from one citizen who desperately wants our democracy to work properly. Anything is better than the status quo but some solutions are a lot heavier lift. Changing all voting machines so that they provide a voter receipt would take too long to implement before the 2020 election much less the 2018 midterms. Going back to a paper ballot system would be a great start but you still have to get legal and local approval. Even then you still have to worry about Brian Kemp throwing your votes into the Chatahoochee River. So for now, we have to focus on what we can do without the assent of those who are entrenched in the effort to silence our voices and ignore our votes. Just KNOWING that 3V exists would scare the shit out of them and that makes it worth it to me all by itself.
So somebody please give Zuckerberg a call and see what he can do.