Not All Votes Are Created Equal

AGENT: How may I help you?
CLIENT: I’m calling for an increase in my credit line.
AGENT: I see you’re calling from your home phone. Just a few security questions?
CLIENT: Yep.
AGENT: Which of these cars have you never owned? Ford Falcon, Dodge Caravan, Toyota Corolla, Chevy Blazer.
CLIENT: Chevy Blazer.
AGENT: You recently made a large purchase with your credit card. What was the merchant’s name?
CLIENT: Sears.
AGENT: Name all the streets on this list where you once lived: Placid, Westmoreland, Chesney, Manor.
CLIENT: Placid, Manor.
AGENT: Good. Sorry for the questions but they’re for your safety. Now let’s get to your credit line.

We know how to validate your identity for business transactions: credit cards, online purchases, loans, car rentals, etc. Why can’t we do the same for your vote?

Politics. Some (blue) states go as far as to prohibit asking for voter identification.

Here’s the law Congress should make regarding election regulations (and it’s not voter ID cards).

Contents

  1. Not All Votes Are Created Equal
  2. Build a National Voter Registry
  3. Grade the Vote
  4. Replace Provisional Ballots with Provisional Status
  5. Set Penalties for Corrupting the Registry
  6. Challenges
  7. Closing Arguments

Build a National Voter Registry

All states require voters to register. We hijack that moment to build a National Voter Registry.

We mandate all U.S. voters be in the National Voter Registry and all states use the Registry to validate each act of voting.

States continue to scrub their own portions of the National Voter Registry.[1] But we protect the integrity of the Registry at the national level, and step in when states fall short in their duties. We use federal authority to protect federal elections.

Grade the Vote

Every individual vote in the nation receives a grade (A-B-C-D-F). This grade is based on the evidence of citizenship provided when registering, as matched when voting. Congress shall establish standards for ‘evidence of citizenship’ and rules for grading the vote.[2]

You get a higher grade when you have better evidence in the Registry, and the identification shown when voting matches what’s in the Registry. For example, when voting in person a high grade may come from having a confirmed birth certificate, facial image, signature and thumbprint in the Registry that matches the name, facial image, signature and thumbprint presented when voting.

You get a lower grade when you have poor evidence in the Registry file, or the identification shown when you vote poorly matches what’s in the file.

Replace Provisional Ballots with Provisional Status

Everyone can vote: no need for provisional ballots. A vote simply gets tagged as provisional if the voter receives a low grade.[3]

Voters in provisional status are given a grace period within which to update their files in the Registry, to avoid being subject to voter fraud investigations, and to avoid questions should the election later be challenged. Identifications provided when casting a ballot (e.g., facial images, thumbprints, voice prints, signatures) are forwarded to the Registry.

Set Penalties for Corrupting the Registry

Harsh penalties are put in place for those who intentionally stuff the system with low grade ballots, or engage in advocacy thereof.

Low grade votes may be subject to voter fraud investigations, with harsh penalties upon conviction. Refusing to cooperate with investigations can result in penalties, a disqualified vote and higher standards of evidence required of you in future elections.

Challenges

Opponents to this proposal will cite voter suppression from the threat of fraud investigation. We’ll need a robust and flexible set of exceptions and protections (e.g., persons under Witness Protection, U.S. citizens cohabiting with illegal aliens) to fend off these challenges.

It will take years to win the convictions needed to instill in the public mind the seriousness of the penalties for corrupting the intent of the Registry.

It will take years to convince voters of Registry security , integrity and its singular purpose. We’ll need a robust educational program to encourage voters, over time, to strengthen their evidence of citizenship in the Registry (National Protect the Vote Day!). We aim to gradually raise the hurdles for the A, B & C grades.

But we just spent $3.9 billion on new voting machines! These didn’t validate the right to vote, just the count. Federal spend was $3.54T in 2016. Spend a little bit more to make sure those trillions are spent as per the will of a majority of valid voters.

Closing Arguments

If you’re gonna cheat do it big.[4] Challenges are only made in close elections. Gather millions of illegal votes and you’re in!

This proposal stops big cheats, and small ones. It’s not the fraud we catch that undermines faith in government, rather the perception of fraud gone uncaught.

Blue State politicians will work tirelessly to gut this legislation, raising one legal challenge after another. Academics will pump out reams of data alleging voter suppression.

But I foresee a day when states are routinely ranked by the quality of their votes, and politicians campaign on promises to raise the quality of votes in their state.

To make this legislation stick we need a president who can rile up public anger against voter fraud and so push states into upgrading it to a constitutional amendment.


1. For example, non-citizens can register as such if states allow non-citizens to vote on local initiatives. States, under national supervision, grade votes for local elections.

2. Included are physical evidence, evidence from past voting, and evidence from other government databases (e.g., SSA, INS, BOP, State Vital Statistics). Grading for remote voting (e.g., absentee ballots) is more stringent than for in person voting.

3. A voter’s grade is tied to their candidate choices with an anonymous key. In the event of a challenge to election results, the secrecy of the vote of those with low grades may be compromised  as part of an investigation. If no challenge is made then all keys are shredded.

4. If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed. – Adolph Hitler
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