We need transparency to restore trust in the electoral system

BRATTLEBORO — Robert Fritz delivered the basic democratic line that the 2020 elections was the freest and fairest election to date, and without a doubt Joe Biden was fairly elected.

As someone with an interest in the discipline of philosophy, and who has respect for the principles of epistemology (the study of how we know), I find this claim quite amusing.

It has always been my position and remains so to this day that neither the Trump cult, who insist that the election was stolen from him, nor the Biden blue checkmarks, who claim the election was the freest and fairest ever, have a legitimate reason to know of the truth of their claims. I have no way to know if Biden was legitimately elected and find it hard to believe anyone could know.

There are many reasons to be skeptical of the 2020 election. First, much of the counting was done on programmable voting machines to which the source code is not accessible by the public.

The justification for this is that the source code is proprietary, which ignores the axiomatic fact that without public access to the source code, there is no way to know the votes were counted fairly.

Some might come back with the claim that Republicans won their elections on these same machines, but that claim is irrelevant and beside the point.

Also, two innovations that were commonplace during the 2020 vote provided ample opportunity for cheating. Results for 2016 and 2018 congressional elections were overturned in North Carolina due to massive cheating that occurred due to ballot harvesting. How do we know that harvested ballots were gathered and submitted fairly? We don't!

The innovation of ballot drop boxes creates great opportunity for ballot box stuffing by pseudo-voters. Who believes that every signature on these ballots was properly verified? I don't! I think there is good reason to question the legitimacy of at least some of these votes.

I applauded the attempt at a full forensic audit in Arizona, but that was compromised by the failure to forcibly obtain router data.

The fact remains that there is no way to know the validity of the 2020 election, whether you are a Trump voter, a Biden voter, or a third-party voter like myself, because there is no transparency. Without proper systems and safeguards in place, knowing the results is just a pipe dream.

A priority for everyone in this so-called "democracy" is to make certain there will be full transparency. All voting machines for which the source code is not available for public inspection need to be ditched. Get rid of drop boxes because it is too difficult to validate the ballots deposited within. Make ballot harvesting illegal.

Instead, institute mobile polling stations for institutions such as nursing homes that request them. At least two or more sworn election officials ought to be responsible for collecting such ballots.

If you want to restore trust in the American electoral system, I suggest getting behind a call for transparency over a desire to simply have more ballots cast.

Without transparency, it does not matter how many ballots are cast.

This Voices Letters from readers was submitted to The Commons.

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