No rush to fix Florida’s outdated voting system Republicans keep winning
In the year 2000, Bush versus Gore rattled the United States. Americans became familiar with the terms “recount” and “hanging chads.” In the wake of the national embarrassment, something became readily apparent: Florida’s voting system is wrought with problems and inconsistencies. Eighteen years later, we are again faced with that hard truth. There is irony in that number, but we shall get to that in a moment.
One would think that with such an important function of our democracy operating so poorly, there would be an impetus to improve such a flawed system. And yet, here we are once again seeing how one county’s bungling of votes reveals the dirty little secret of Florida politics — power feeds on confusion. It’s no wonder that the Democrats haven’t held the Governor’s Mansion in two decades, and that the Florida Legislature is ironclad Republican. What is the rush to fix a clearly broken system if you are continually benefiting from it?
That’s not to say every Republican is a fan of such a problematic system. But one should ask why are we still dealing with such an antiquated voting system? You wouldn’t use the same cellphone from 18 years ago, but we are still using the same voting system? Admit it, there is something inherently wrong with that concept. It is also not just the processing of votes that’s a problem; it is the lack of uniformity of ballots across the 67 counties. Or the fact that in this year alone there were several amendments with three laws attached to them.
All of it renders a confusion that makes you wonder why are we purposely putting up with this screwy system? To make matters worse, you have NPA’s (No Party Affiliation) unable to vote in a primary, thus forcing them to be part of a two-party system. This doesn’t lend itself to inspire trust in those who have yet to take part in our voting system. Rather than encourage involvement, it actually discourages people from joining something so disjointed.
Which brings me to a last and final point. We often hear how young people don’t vote, and how we need more involvement from our youthful citizens. Well, imagine being someone who just turned 18 years old, and in the year of your birth there was this big controversy surrounding voting. Now in the first year of voting eligibility, again you are prone to stories of uncounted votes and governors suing counties for simply counting the vote. Let me ask you, does that inspire much confidence?
However these recounts end up going, one thing for certain is we can’t afford to wait another 18 years to fix a broken system. If we don’t, we risk losing another generation of voters becoming disillusioned with the process. That is, of course, if those in power benefiting from such a broken system see no reasons to revamp such an outdated format. Which gives a whole new meaning to “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
Oh the irony of such a statement.
Clockwise from top left, Andrew Gillum, Ron DeSantis, Rick Scott and Bill Nelson.