Conservative David Frum: America’s voting system is a disgrace

Though your initial thought may be “oh the guy who wrote the ridiculous ‘Axis of Evil’ speech,” but read what Frum has to say about how the actual physical process of voting in America compares to voting in Europe (hint: our system lets politicians cheat, a lot).

As a permanent expat who has been struggling with the 2012 voting process, I have to agree with Frum on this one. The American voting system is a disgrace, and we should all be embarrassed by it.  I mean, Americans have to wait in lines for two hours, or longer, to vote, every single election – it’s a disgrace.  This morning Arianna Huffington tweeted the following, and she’s right:

If a governor can’t ensure that everybody who wants to vote can vote, the Feds should take over voting in that state.

Years ago I had a French colleague who previously worked for a large US computer firm. He was responsible for selling voting systems into eastern Europe after the fall of the Soviet Union. This equipment – both hardware and software – was leading-edge stuff at the time. He used to laugh about how much more modern and functional everything was there compared to what we had (and have) in the US. If I recall correctly, everything over there was also paid for by the US government who wanted to help bring democracy to Eastern Europe (a laudable goal).

How about bringing some of that new-fangled voting equipment back home?

Frum is on the money. This is definitely one of those articles that you want to read from start to finish.

David Frum writing in CNN:

Vote by Shutterstock.

When the polls close in most other democracies, the results are known almost instantly. Ballots are usually counted accurately and rapidly, and nobody disputes the result. Complaints of voter fraud are rare; complaints of voter suppression are rarer still.The kind of battle we are seeing in Florida — where Democrats and Republicans will go to court over whether early voting should span 14 days or eight — simply does not happen in Germany, Canada, Britain or France. The ballot uncertainty that convulsed the nation after Florida’s vote in 2000 could not happen in Mexico or Brazil.

Almost everywhere else, elections are run by impartial voting agencies….

[H]ere’s what doesn’t happen in other democracies:

Politicians of one party do not set voting schedules to favor their side and harm the other. Politicians do not move around voting places to gain advantages for themselves or to disadvantage their opponents. In fact, in almost no other country do politicians have any say in the administration of elections at all.


An American in Paris, France. BA in History & Political Science from Ohio State. Provided consulting services to US software startups, launching new business overseas that have both IPO’d and sold to well-known global software companies. Currently launching a new cloud-based startup. Full bio here.

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