Chaos: They asked for it; we don’t deserve it

They — especially elected Pennsylvania power brokers — asked for this.

We — the people — deserve much better than this.

Add presidential elections to our democratic foundations being shaken this year.

Under cover of COVID-19, we were told mail-in balloting had to be our voting way of life. Hence, more than 100 million people voted with mail-in ballots and a hodge-podge of loose “rules.”

Some had to be in by election day. In Pennsylvania, Gov. Tom Wolf and a politicized state Supreme Court trampled the Legislature and allowed for ballots received after the election, which seems to be constitutionally wrong. In North Carolina, ballots can be counted through next Friday.

As predicted here this summer, the presidential election is buried in chaos.

And Pennsylvania, the ultimate battleground state, is at the heart of it. In Philadelphia, windows were papered over to deny vision of the count inside and poll watchers were denied lawful access to counting. Nevada changed its voting system in the past 90 days and hordes of votes are being challenged for their origin. Wisconsin’s recount is mired in legal questions. In one Michigan county where President Trump received 62 percent of the vote in 2016, he received less than 40 percent this time.

Under the cloak of poll watching restriction and secrecy, results like that create cynicism, legal challenges, unrest and violence, especially when delayed counts are enacted overnight. The court becomes more vital than the voter. Joe Biden’s overtaking of President Trump in the Georgia count at dawn Friday becomes a footnote. All because the greatest country in the world can’t create an efficient, transparent way to count votes for our president.

To complete the insult, the CDC said Monday people testing positive for COVID could still vote in person if they wore a mask. So it’s just like going to the grocery store, after all. So all this mail-in gadgetry with varying rules wasn’t necessary? And we are told this the day before the election? How convenient.

Imagine a Republican governor in Pennsylvania and Republican majority Supreme Court doing what was done in this state this year for this election. The media examination would be suffocating. Imagine electoral circumstances reversed and Donald Trump on the cusp of re-election. Democrats, understandably, would be demanding a legal microscope on every vote in every contested state.

There will never be a fairer, more transparent way to cast a ballot than in person on election day, as our constitution intended. All of us should be united in the goal to count — for all to see — every legally filed vote, the key word being “legal.” Doing anything else sets us up for delegitimized presidential elections, no matter which party or person wins.

If we are going to deface another American foundation, let’s at least be uniform. How about all the states insist on a postmark a week prior to the election, assuring all ballots arrive by election day? And then all states count and input them like Florida did, on election day. Count the mail-ins first, not last.

That alone won’t cure the election and campaign shortcomings.

Next, we should ignore any pollster who will not fully divulge how they went about producing their results. Joe Biden, we were told, was going to win every battleground state, Wisconsin by 17 points. He was going to win the popular vote by 10 points, we were told.

None of that happened, but one candidate benefitted and one was disadvantaged by polling propaganda. Who knows how many people in Wisconsin stayed home because they thought there was no point participating.

Finally, we need to demand national media and big tech information providers who are interested in balanced, complete coverage.

Want to harangue President Trump because you don’t like him? Fine.

But allowing someone to hide in their basement rather than campaign and answer real questions regarding what they would do as leader of the free world is journalistic malpractice. And if that candidate won’t come out of hiding, that should become a story and they should be badgered just as aggressively as President Trump.

That’s called journalism — a sadly fading concept.

And when there is a legitimate story from a reputable newspaper, fully sourced, attaching direct ties of a presidential candidate to the Chinese Communist Party, with millions of dollars involved, it should at least be looked into by all media. If the national media can pursue a Trump/Russian collusion hoax for three years, they can pursue a legitimate news lead. That’s if they care about doing their jobs instead of being political activists.

Finally, Twitter’s censoring of the story should be called what it is — criminal suppression of First Amendment free speech rights.

Joe Biden said the soul of the nation was at stake this presidential election. He was correct.

But did he realize whose souls he was talking about?

David F. Troisi is retired as editor of the Sun-Gazette.


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