Michael Eriksson's Blog

A Swede in Germany

Follow-up II: Some observations around the current U.S. election(s)

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A further follow-up to my observations around the U.S. election(s) (cf. [1], [2]):

  1. In my original text, I spoke of Sweden and “voting-by-mail”. Here I dropped the ball, in part because my status as an ex-pat has made me eligible for mail-voting (“Brevröstning”, literally “Letter voting”) the past 23 years, in part because of unfortunate terminology and/or a faulty memory regarding my years in Sweden: What is available in Sweden is early voting (“förtidsröstning” / “before-time-voting”), which until 2006 went by the confusing name “poströstning” (“post voting”). This “post”, however, referred to the location within post offices—not posting by mail (by the voter).
  2. I have read a few further accounts by election observers. A considerable problem seems to be that the observers are powerless to do anything but observe (indeed, even their right to observe is often obstructed to the point of pointlessness) and there appears to be no other true control instance.

    There really has to be someone who has the right to say “You must not do that!” and be obeyed—possibly, even the right to interrupt* the counting and have the staff replaced or bring in the police** to enforce compliance. It must somehow be possible to stop the abuse as it goes on, not just report about it days later, when the damage might already be incurable.

    *A delay of hours or even a full day is vastly preferable to a fraudulent or grossly incompetent count.

    **Here there are a lot of details to resolve to prevent both a violation of secrecy and the risk of using the police in an abusive manner. These go far outside the current scope.

  3. The current events demonstrate some problems with the secret-ballot system: consider e.g. if all votes where listed with voter name on a web-server, where anyone could verify how many votes had gone to whom, whether the own vote had been correctly registered, whether the senile old grandma and the dead grandpa had “voted”, etc.

    Unfortunately, this brings a slew of other potential problems, like coerced voting and retaliations against those who voted for the “wrong” candidate—something of great relevance in light of the rabidly anti-Trump/anti-Republican attitudes of many in the current U.S. (Or e.g. against SD in Sweden or AfD in Germany.)

    (Which is the lesser evil will depend on the circumstances in the respective country at the respective time, but it is noteworthy that when I first heard of the secret-ballot, likely in school, my reaction was “How is that supposed to reduce cheating?!? What it does is open the doors wide for cheating!” Whether I was just naive or whether Sweden was still a sufficiently “nice” country at the time, that I cannot judge decades later. It is clear, however, that the secret ballot closes one door while opening another.)

  4. I am used to Leftist hypocrisy, but what I have seen since the U.S. election beggars believe. Above all, that the likes of Biden have the audacity to speak of e.g. “healing” and “unity” is so outrageous that I (a professional writer!) have problems finding words. There have been years of hate-propaganda, unwarranted attacks, whatnot from exactly these people, driving people apart, awakening hatred, aggravating or creating conflicts,* and now these people speak of “healing” and “unity”!?!?!? It is sick, it is twisted, it is inexcusable.

    *Notably, not limited to the Republican–Democrat divide, but also e.g. racial agitation

    What has happened to Trump is basically four or five years of the one kid punching the other in the face and then blaming him for “being so ugly that I was in the right to punch him”. This now followed by the punched kid going to see the school nurse, and the puncher speaking loudly of friendship (and how he is the one who will bring friendship about—as long as the ugly people have the decency go elsewhere or to wear paper-bags on their heads).

Written by michaeleriksson

November 11, 2020 at 7:03 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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  1. […] a manner that repeats the inexcusable hypocrisy and hate propaganda already mentioned in e.g. [1], where I […]


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