2020/2021 elections post-mortem
With closely successive elections now mercifully past, many Jewish Georgians may well be thinking “Shehecheyanu” or more heartfeltly, “Baruch Sheptarani.” Our media market includes two “swing” congressional districts, with heavily contested races. Mid-summer on, there were nonstop dueling ads for both contests, one still unresolved. TV stations were the big winners. What a monumental waste of money and airtime! Paying for your contests were massive infusions of out-of-state cash, augmented by national party demonic dunning for dollars from small contributors.
During the Cold War, the U.S. and the Soviet Union were able to negotiate a Strategic Arms Limitations Treaty (SALT). Now that Georgia has set the country’s course for the next two years, it could perhaps forge a model pact for the nation: a Georgia Election Limits Truce (GELT) between the two major parties, with or without the force of law, to mitigate such electorate abuse.
National 2020 vote fiascoes should never be repeated. Elections must not only be free and fair, but universally perceived as such. Proven essential safeguards against fraud need be reinstituted and consistently applied. Absentee ballots should be the exception, not the rule. Results should be available close to the close of Election Day polls. Though parties typically jockey for electoral advantage, the uncontestable legitimacy of elections being a national imperative, embrace of such common-sense measures ought never be a partisan issue.
Richard D. Wilkins, Syracuse, N.Y.