I have often written about the imbalance in the United States between concern for vote tallies, which is hyper, and concern for voter turnout, which is an issue that is largely left unaddressed.
As I advocate for election modernization, chiefly through the adoption of online voting, I continually point out the irony of the prevalent belief that paper balloting systems are the best way to ensure a reliable vote tally, given how historically unreliable paper balloting is. Those who are obsessed with tally at the expense of turnout advocate for tabulation systems rife with human error.
However it is the continuing and deepening disregard for how inconvenient voting is that is proving to be so consequential to democracy in America to the extent it is killing democracy itself.
After last years election of the clown currently in the White House, I at first began to doubt my longstanding belief that our electorate is not reflective of our society. In other words, demographic groups who vote more reliably are not as diverse as the population at large.
I felt this is especially true in midterm and off-year elections, while elections for POTUS in 2008 and 2012 showed high enough turnout to elect and re-elect President Obama.
Then 2016 happened. Perhaps our electorate was more representative of our society than I had thought.
But as it turned out, 2016 produced the lowest turnout for POTUS in twenty years. Suppressed turnout in key battleground states was a deciding factor in the outcome of that election.
Now we face the 2018 midterms. Given all of the energy out there to resist Trump and the GOP agenda, one would think 2018 will see record high turnout for a midterm. Perhaps it will. But if it does, it will be despite how ridiculously hard we still make it to vote.
If turnout is typically low in 2018, the rest of the resistance will prove meaningless. 2018 will probably be the most important midterm election in recent memory.
Unfortunately, given my belief that low turnout is CAUSED by archaic inconvenient voting processes, along with the fact that voting suppression will continue next year, I have reason to be greatly concerned.
We jeopardized so much in 2016, enough to threaten the extinction of our democracy. We must now give turnout the highest priority.
We must cyber the vote!