What is an Election?
An election is a formal and organized choice by vote of
- a person for a political office or other position, or
- a policy intended for subsequent enactment (such as a ballot initiative)
That’s a good first start, but in order to conduct an election, 5 things are required:
- A Vetting process to verify voter eligibility
- A Tally process where multiple opposing parties count the votes
- Multiple Observers, ideally from opposing perspectives, to observe the entire election process
The first two are obvious, but the next three are actually just as important. The general idea is for people to come to consensus, or agreement on the results of the election. It's very important to understand that there is no trust involved at all. Instead, the election processes and outcome is verified by way of consensus among opposing parties. That's just the very nature of an election.
But here’s the problem today. Misguided forces across the country from both sides of the aisle are trying to get rid of the last three steps. They are doing this primarily through mail-in voting. If we as a nation allow this trend to continue, it’s the end of the nation as we know it. But I digress…
- Who gets to Vote?
Every election for public office has voter eligibility requirements that must be met before an election participant is allowed to vote. Some election jurisdictions require a citizen to register to vote only one time. Not surprisingly, these elections are subject to more identity fraud. Elections that come out of these areas exhibit less veracity. Other jurisdictions require voters to register for each election. This fosters a result with a much higher level of integrity because only recent, accurate & up-to-date information is being used. No more need for stale voter rolls, nor to register to vote. Just register for each election and be done with it until the next election.
But who actually registers the voters? That is the job of a Vetting Registrar. They are responsible for vetting the identity of the voters (item 3 above).
An election without an accurate vetting registrar is not an election
- How are Ballots issued?
When performed in person, observers can ensure that only one ballot is issued to each voter, and that fraudulent ballots cannot be inserted into the mix. In contrast, when ballots are accepted remotely (i.e., absentee voting is practiced), there can never be any guarantee.
- How are Election Results Determined?
It’s one thing to hold an election, but it’s meaningless unless the results are determined. Therefore, the organization of an election requires a tally (vote counting) process (item 4 above).
A tally is the performance or direct observation of an election count carried out under Proportional Representation using a Single Transferable Vote. A tallyman, or teller is a person responsible for counting votes. A Teller Committee is a collection of multiple tellers organized for a single election to perform this task, which can be automated if implemented correctly.
An election without a teller committee is not an election
- What makes an Election Free and Fair?
So aside from the content supplied on a ballot, an election requires a vetting committee and a teller committee. And finally, elections also require transparency - the more the better. Transparency is what makes elections free and fair. Transparency is enabled by the act of observation. A transparent election is free from coercion and it’s fair because opposing parties who ultimately come to a consensus are observing it.
Vetting Observers watch the voter vetting process to ensure the Vetting Registrar is properly performing their tasks. Tally Observers, typically appointed by political candidates and parties, observe the issuing of ballots, the opening of ballot boxes, and watch as the individual ballot papers are counted and independently verifying that count themselves. Nearly all of the tallying step can be automated if implemented correctly following EIP.
So, the final ingredient in an election is a set of partisan observers bringing consensus throughout the vetting and tallying processes.
An election without observers, vetting registrars and tellers is not an election
The process described above will be familiar to some, yet incredibly … absolutely foreign to others. While most elections around the country are still held following the process described above, there are a growing number of states in America (46%) that have adopted a different model.
Unfortunately for the country, nearly all of these are now conducting illegitimate elections - particularly those that have embraced mail-in absentee voting, including the following states:
- North Dakota
- New Mexico
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
What can be done to reverse this Dangerous Trend?
That’s what the EIP is for. Implement the protocol and all will be fine. Ignore it at your own peril.