Yesterday, Iowa held its antiquated and exclusionary process for assigning nominating delegates known as the “Iowa Caucuses.” There are approximately a trillion reasons that caucuses should go the way of the dinosaur but that’s not the subject of this rant.
No, the problem today is that Iowa Democratic Party screwed the pooch with its data reporting system and now we don’t know who won the caucus. And once we do know who won, no one will believe it because no one trusts how the reporting was conducted. It’s a short cognitive leap from “Are you sure they wrote that down right after the app crashed?” to “IT WAS RIGGED BY ALIENS!!!!!”
You do not want people think elections are rigged. People who think that, don’t vote because they honestly believe aliens will steal their ballots and change the outcome.
We have MAJOR problems with our election systems in the country. We have gerrymandering. We have the racist-ass electoral college system that was created to appease slave owners. We have hack-able electronic voting machines. We have Republican state elections officials who purge voters for shits and giggles. We have states shutting down precincts in minority neighborhoods. And we have this dumb idea that elections need to happen on a Tuesday and workers don’t get paid time off to go vote.
It’s bad. Read bad.
Also? It’s on purpose.
The system we have is a system put in place to uphold existing power structures and devalue the popular will. It’s a system rooted in white supremacy and patriarchy and the only reason it’s as inclusive as it is now is because people bled and died for voting rights.
Nowadays, we have the rights but those cagey white supremacists have gone after access and election integrity. That is why we have this shambles of a system. Voting requires a person to make a complicated plan for checking registration, finding poll locations and times, and arranging transport, work coverage, and childcare even before you can look at a ballot. If one piece of the Jenga game that is US voter participation slides, CRASH! That voter doesn’t vote.
Iowa is a wake up call to the rest of us that we need feet on the ground during the election to make sure it’s as fair as it can be. Fortunately, we live in the same moment of history as Stacey Abrams and she is mobilizing a movement for this very thing. Check our Fair Fight to learn more about what we all can do.
Post Photo Credit: By Douglas W. Jones – Own work, CC0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=37953786