The 2020 presidential election ended the night with no clear winner. With all the different voting options, it was virtually impossible to count the votes in a timely manner. A lot of people voted through methods that usually aren’t very popular. This year’s election saw a large percentage of mail-in ballots and early voting. These methods of voting were encouraged due to the pandemic. The high rate of mail-in ballots showed us one thing. The system is obviously flawed. Voting procedures may need to undergo some serious changes for future elections. Many American citizens are confused, frustrated, and disenchanted with the voting process. No matter where you lie on the political spectrum, you must agree that voting should be fair and transparent. Now is the time to figure out what changes to voting procedures need to be made so we don’t deal with post-election chaos during the next election.
Higher potential for misplaced votes and tampering
Human error is a real thing. Whether it’s intentional or accidental, errors can greatly influence election outcomes. Huge numbers of mail-in ballots provide the perfect opportunity for votes to be miscounted, lost, doctored, or thrown away. Presidential elections often make people emotional which can lead to biases when counting votes manually. A completely automated counting system could mean much more credible results. On the other hand, using an automated system does have its flaws. Power outages, hacking, and system failure are three issues that come to mind. So, what is the solution? Relying on people to be honest and put away their biases doesn’t seem to work. The only way the American people will feel confident is with 100% transparency.
Mistrust of results
In most recent presidential elections, excluding the election of 2000, we’ve had quick and relatively indisputable results. Even if you’re unhappy with the chosen candidate, there’s something to be said about knowing the results right away. Citizens start to mistrust results when the counting process doesn’t go as expected. With the 2020 presidential election, we’ve seen a lot of issues. The method of voting and counting ballots varies greatly from state to state. A standardized vote-counting system could work. Every state could use the same voting methods, the same ballots, and the same way of counting. Overhauling the system would be pricey. But it would likely reduce or even prevent the chaos we’re dealing with now. Constitutionally, states are allowed to choose their voting procedures. But it may be time for all the states to work together on coming up with a better system.
The current way of voting in US presidential elections is obviously not working. There need to be some changes to our voting procedures before the next election in 2024. When voters can’t trust the system or results, that means less voter turnout. Being able to vote for our elected officials is one of the best things about being an American citizen. We are directly in power to choose our representatives. So now, let’s work with those representatives to set up a new system that works. We need transparency in the voting and vote-counting process. Consistency in voting machines and procedures is also important. The American people deserve a quicker and more reliable outcome in the next election. There is no reason that a developed nation like the United States should have millions of voters feeling skeptical of the voting process after the polls close.