Mystery and uncertainty

[Today’s run 4.4 miles]

It looks like the presidential election is finally wrapping up.

Although I appreciated many of the policy efforts of the Trump administration, I am not a big Trump fan and I am even less impressed with Trump himself after this period of post election FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt).

Election machines and election processes are a mystery to wide swaths of the population and ripe for the kind of mysterious insider/conspiracy rumors that we have witnessed. I remember in the 2000 election Bush vs Gore and how the result of that was blown up as some sort of terrible injustice. We are getting an even larger cloud of smoke this time around.

But slowly the people who have the most invested in fair elections – the politicians – are starting to realize their position: if the elections are rigged then their own legitimacy is immediately in question. So at least some self-interested common sense is starting to come to the front.

Our system is built on competing interests. The Democrats keep an eagle eye on the voting system so that the Republicans can pull a fast one. And the Republicans keep an eagle eye on the voting system so that the Democrats can’t pull a fast one.

Voting machines have been a focus of close scrutiny from their introduction. The people selecting these systems have to look for convincing signs of competency like workable audit and cross checking. The counters in Georgia went back and physically counted every ballot paper, removing the electronic tally system completely, without much change in the outcome.

A lot of the mystery is just due to the fact that people aren’t involved and don’t really care to participate except when an election is close enough to draw attention.

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