And that crucial decision came after weeks of legal maneuvering, when matters were turned completely over to lawyers who fought not to make sure every vote was counted, but to keep certain votes protected while stomping on others.
Our process for the counting of absentee ballots is beyond absurd. Lawyers face off and quibble over each and every slip of paper, looking for any excuse — a stray marking, a township instead of a hamlet listed on an address line (or vice versa!) — to have a vote invalidated. And they likewise advocate for votes in their candidate’s favor to be counted. Images like these from Florida caused America to collectively sigh in disgust in 2008, yet the status quo remains to be repeated over and over.
Hundred of ballots were cast away in this fashion in the 46th, some no doubt with good reason, and others through the legal dance of politics. As a people, we consider the right to vote to be a fundamental right worth fighting and dying for, yet in reality there is a minefield of technicalities and regulations in the way.
Reforming election laws is no easy task. But nonetheless, it should be a priority to institute no-nonsense rules and regulations the public is able to understand without a lawyer’s assistance. Likewise, submitting to the Board of Elections an address that would get you mail delivered should be enough to have your vote counted, even if it’s not exactly what is in the voter rolls. Having a vote tossed over such technicalities is not only silly, it’s downright un-American.