Another election year, another election night that has turned into an election week. With all the technological progress we’ve made over the last 50 years, why has it suddenly become harder to count all the votes on election night?
Did people suddenly forget how to count?
No, people can count just fine. The problem is that the Democrats have chosen to value the principle of easy voting over efficient voting. Instead of making everyone show up to a poll on Election Day, and maybe allowing some people to vote early by mail because they have to, Democrats have decided to allow anyone to vote any way they want, even if it means sorting and counting millions of ballots days after the election.
“We had hamper after hamper of these pink bags stuffed to the brim (with ballot envelopes),” an election worker in Sacramento County, California, told Cal Matters in 2020. “It is a lot of work, and when we get these huge amounts back, we just throw more temps at it.”
In California, mail-in ballots remain valid, even if they are mailed on Election Day. That means ballot counters have to wait days for the mail to be delivered before they can finish counting votes.
Cal Matters explains what the back end looks like: “For elections employees, it’s like an assembly line. Once they receive ballots, they scan them into the system. Someone has to verify that the signature on the ballot envelope matches the signature of the registered voter. Once the signature is verified, elections officials can separate the ballots by precinct and prepare to run them through a machine that counts the votes. There’s not one machine that does it all. With mail-in or vote-by-mail ballots, humans play a large role making sure ballots are verified, sorted and make it into the counting machine. They are also there to troubleshoot if the machine goes awry.”
Considering that complicated process, it’s a miracle the vote finally gets counted at all.
Maybe, just maybe, our highest priority on Election Day shouldn’t be making it as easy as possible for everyone to vote. Maybe people would trust elections more if we went back to voting on Election Day, counting those votes, and announcing a winner that night.
Other countries, such as France and even Italy, are able to count all their votes and announce election results on the same night. We could too. All we have to do is make it a priority.