05/14/09 — Vote questions: Lost military ballots only part of 2008 election story

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Vote questions: Lost military ballots only part of 2008 election story

It should not surprise anyone that there are still questions being raised -- and some uncomfortable discoveries being made -- about the 2008 election.

But it absolutely should convince anyone who hopes to be an advocate for fair and legal elections that the process needs to be overhauled.

The lost military absentee ballots, and new accusations about falsification of voter records by ACORN volunteers, suggest that there is a serious reason to look harder at decisions that have been made recently to lift some of the safeguards that were designed to keep the process fair and honest.

The idea behind immediate registration and voting was to open up the process to more Americans.

And that is a mistake. Not because we want fewer people to vote, but because there should be a bit of effort that needs to be made to have your vote counted.

Asking someone to register in advance, to present identification and to prove residency is no great chore -- and no barrier for anyone, regardless of their socioeconomic status. It is only a hindrance for those who choose to cheat.

What we have to do is to stop bending the rules for those who do not seem to appreciate the enormity of their right to choose their leaders -- and to demand some accountability and effort from them if they choose to exercise their rights.

Flooding a ballot box is dishonest and defies the democratic process. It is not what America should stand for.

And making sure that every vote that is cast -- no matter whom it is for -- is counted, especially those of the men and women who are laying their lives on the line for this country, should be a top priority.

This process needs a good hard look -- and soon.

By the time 2010 rolls around, we should have a handle on the concerns.

And by 2012, we had better be able to get it right.

Published in Editorials on May 14, 2009 11:06 AM