How Many Times Will You Vote Tuesday?

It's time to stop fraud by upgrading our ancient election system

Here’s the thing that I don’t get. If I use my credit card too often in a short period of time, a cyber-Big Brother somewhere pushes a red button that shuts me down. For the next purchase I have to speak to someone and verify my birth date, secret password and shoe size before I can use it again. If I type the wrong password into the computer more than twice, it will shut me down and tell me to try later when I’ve finally remembered the name of my first pet. If I mistakenly print out an e-ticket in my nickname and it doesn’t match my passport well, hell, I could be in jail by dinnertime. And if I try to create a user name on the internet that someone else already has — someone somewhere in the entire vastness of Internet cyberspace — I am told to try again. To interact in this world is to be subject to suspicion. The assumption is that people are wont to steal, lie and cheat and so security measures exist in just about every facet of our lives.[SIGNUP]

Well not every facet, apparently. I was recently enlightened to the longstanding and widespread abuse of absentee balloting. Now, I believe that the wacko who posts a recipe for a home-made bomb is culpable if someone whips one up and takes down a federal building in, say, Oklahoma so I will not detail any specifics on the process. Suffice it to say, however, that absentee ballot fraud is easy to perpetrate and almost never detected. It occurs during every election. Ineligible voters are voting; eligible voters in the U.S. are voting twice. And people overseas are voting using a flawed absentee ballot system that makes it all too easy. And why? Because the system was designed with the assumption that people are good and honest and will, in fact, only vote once. The archaic security checks in place are designed to spot honest mistakes not dishonest misuse.

Are you kidding me? I have to show my theater ticket to go to the bathroom during a movie. No one assumes that human nature is honest and honorable so why does my government? Don’t you think someone ought to fix this problem? I submit that the fix is easy. In this techno-world we live in there has to be a way to track an absentee ballot and verify that that voter has not voted twice. I can track a UPS package almost by the hour from the minute it ships to the knock on the front door.

So why hasn’t it been done? If one assumes that there is a need and the know-how, then the answer must be lack of concern or bureaucracy within government. My guess is that it’s a little bit of both. And that is just not acceptable. So we need a plan, a program, some checks and balances to curb absentee ballot fraud. If two college kids can develop Facebook, I’ll bet there are a couple out there that can design a way to detect voter fraud. Go ahead, Harvard, I dare ya.