Feb 27, 2024
Feb 27, 2024
Joe Biden has finally won the US presidency. This has been one of the most contentious US presidential elections in its history and a blot on a great democratic country.
I lived in the US for seven years in the late 1970s, first as a graduate student and then as a faculty at the University of Florida and had very pleasant experiences which I fondly remember. I have been living in India since the early 1980s but have kept up with the news and affairs in the US and hence observation of their elections.
US needs an independent Election Commission
The US needs an independent Election Commission (EC) which can regulate and easily solve the contentious issues of election fraud or corruption. Presently for every dispute, the lawyers of different parties rush to local or supreme courts. The courts sometimes take a long time to dispose of the cases. An effective Election Commission can take care of such issues and cases rapidly.
India had a history of an excellent and very independent election commission. Unfortunately, its image and integrity have lately been tarnished and comprised. Yet for a vast and spread out country like India with a huge voting population, the EC still manages the elections effectively. Though the outgoing US President Donald Trump has created avenues of corruption and has lately compromised the independence of many Civil Services and other Institutions, but still an independent Election Commission in the US will be a good idea.
The US is one of the most advanced technological countries in the world. Everybody does their commerce transactions sitting at home; either they transfer money or buy stocks or any other commercial activity. It is all done by a click of a button on their computer or mobile. After all, what is more, important to a person than the transaction of his money safely for various purposes. Yet he/she does not bat an eyelid in doing those transactions from his/her mobile or personal computer.
Using a safe platform to vote
It is, therefore, a mystery why the US and other western countries cannot vote using their mobiles and computers using similar and safe platforms as used for commerce transactions. Such voting can be quite easy, fast, and glitch-free.
The old method of casting votes in polling stations is acceptable and still prevalent in poor countries where poor and illiterate voters have no internet connectivity.
But in the US where almost everybody has a mobile phone and good connectivity, it should be used for voting.
A nail-biting US election
That the election results were so tight and competitive shows the victory of free and fair elections and the victory of democracy. This was despite the predictions made by media that there will be a Democratic Party wave or blue wave (colors of Democrats are blue whereas those of Republicans are red) but it did not happen and the voting was based mostly on local and national issues.
Then there are whole other issues like the Electoral College vote - which is based on archaic laws and is almost a middle-age artifact! Enough has been written and debated about it. I feel it should be dispensed away with.
In no other democracy in the world a candidate losses the election when he/she has got the majority of votes. Yet in the US, if he/she does not get the required Electoral College votes they lose irrespective of the number of votes polled by them!
More by : Dr. Anil Rajvanshi