On vote fraud and the electoral college

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People are rightly concerned about the vote fraud that is happening right now. The worst case I have found so far is canvassing in Broward County, Florida. The Republican Party in Florida is suing to stop the practice. For those who don’t know, canvassing is where you add votes to the big pile of votes without verifying they are properly cast. It’s another word for stuffing the ballot box.

Vote fraud and voter fraud will exist as long as people have any sense of dishonesty. We must approach voting the same way we approach banks. It’s not a question of whether people will try to steal your money. It’s a question of how they can do it and what you have done to prevent it.

Nevertheless, I doubt that all fifty states have sufficient methods employed to prevent the vast majority of vote and voter fraud. I doubt that even one has a really good system in place. Part of this is due to naivety, and the other part is because this is a page from the democrat playbook. They’ve been doing this for a very long time, and they are quite good at it.

Regardless, this matter of voter fraud really doesn’t concern me that much. In the end, it comes down to which states the candidates can win. Those with a democratic party bent are likely going to vote democratic, regardless of what they people think. The republicans, I would like to believe, are less likely to commit fraud, so those states are more likely to lean republican. Because of the electoral college, corrupting the vote in one state won’t really make that huge of a difference.

If we had a popular vote, then all it takes is one precinct to manufacture enough votes to upset the whole election and everything is lost. If you look in a state, that’s exactly how it happens. One county that commits fraud can easily offset all the others who don’t. In reality, they should send poll watchers from each county to the other counties so that every county has a team of representatives from all the others to make sure they counted the votes right. Or they should do something similar to the electoral college where you have to win counties not votes.

The Founding Fathers knew all this. They knew that not only are people stupid, but the polls are going to be manipulated and elections stolen. They wanted the president to be elected not by the people but by the state legislatures in a system where there were only so many votes and you can’t manufacture any votes because each vote is practically signed and certified.

Now, here’s a bit of a discussion how you can create a fraud-free voting system.

First, you have to have a system whereby each voter must verify who they are and prove that they have the right to vote. Then, you must cross-check these voter roles against themselves so that you don’t have one birth certificate validating two different records. In the database world, this is rather simple to do. As long as you have the proof of eligibility that is unique and unforgeable, you can easily make sure people who are not allowed to vote are not registered. And if you challenge the authenticity of one of these records, it’s a trivial matter to disqualify the voter.

Next, you need an open ballot, meaning, people can see how everyone voted. If you can’t match a vote to a voter, it is not a real vote. At the same time, you don’t want neighbors to be able to spy on each other to see how they voted. The secret ballot is a better system for this reason. So you need an open, secret ballot. Here’s how you do that.

It’s pretty easy to do this. One organization maintains a list of voters and produces, each election cycle, a set of codes. These codes will be mapped to a vote. If a vote can’t be matched to a code, it is invalid. Then you make it so that the voter can unlock a code, but only if they have their voter ID. We do this kind of security all the time in the web world. It is perfectly safe and it is completely untraceable. Only if you have both the voter ID (Which you’d have to be the voter to obtain) and the vote code at the same time could you verify who voted which way.

Anyway, I foresee a day in the near future when we can actually implement a safe voting system. You’d have to present valid proof of eligibility, which would be cross-checked against a national database of eligibility documents. Then you’d register a secret number with the voter registration system which would allow you to unlock your vote with your secret ID that you share with no one. You can verify that you vote and you can change your vote anytime you like up to the closing of the polls.

We can have a secure voting system where anyone can verify that the election was true and fair. They can sort through the eligibility documents and if they can disqualify a voter, they can remove their vote from the system. They can see that the vote tallies match the actual votes. And they can verify their their personal vote was not changed.

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