We need to protect our elections, but there are two different issues here. One is the physical process of gathering, counting, safeguarding and recording votes. The other is the build-up to the election.
The first could be somewhat mitigated by dumping the expensive touch screen computer voting machines that do not provide a hard copy record for later checking or recounting, and which may baffle some voters.  I believe the most safe, efficient and cost-effective system is the one already in use in Augusta — the paper ballot.
The second issue is the run-up to the election. Fake or spun news on both social and broadcast media to confuse or dissuade voters is not only coming from foreign sources, but also from well-funded internal sources distorting facts, reputations and even voting dates and places.
Then there is the matter of voter-suppression campaigns and gerrymandered voting districts that look more like spiders than squares or rectangles.
And finally, dark money in elections has converted “one-person,one-vote” into “one-dollar,one-vote.” It’s got to be ended.
The loudest and best-funded voice is seldom the wisest or most honest voice when it comes to election advice.  The humane, rational, scientific or data-backed view is often the weakest voice.
And finally, in my mind, if we are to retain the Electoral College system, we should do away with the winner-takes-all tally system. If a few big states vote 51% (or less) for a candidate but give 100 percent of delegates at Electoral College time, they easily out-vote dozens of smaller states that could have voted 70% to 80% for a different candidate.
Harvey Versteeg
Augusta

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