Some people love complexity. They think that technology can solve all problems and that an untested app can be used in the electoral process. I am neither a technophobe nor a Luddite but there are some things that should be as low-tech as possible: voting is one of them.
The best argument I’ve seen in favor of simplicity is by New York Times technology columnist Kevin Roose:
After Monday’s Iowa caucus debacle, I’ve decided that Americans should vote by etching our preferred candidate’s name into a stone tablet with a hammer and chisel.
Or maybe by dropping pebbles into a series of urns, as the ancient Greeks did.
Or possibly just by voting the way we voted for much of the 20th century, on analog punch-card machines that spit out paper ballots to be hand-counted by election workers, with zero iPhones in sight.
Basically, we should be begging for the most analog election technology possible. Because what happened on Monday night — a long and confusing delay in vote counting, due in part to a mobile app that was hastily designed and inadequately tested before being deployed in one of America’s most important elections — was an inexcusable failure. It caused distress and confusion, set off innumerable conspiracy theories, and started the 2020 election season by undermining trust in the democratic process.
The World War II generation was on to something with this slogan: KEEP IT SIMPLE, STUPID. We should pay heed to it and make the electoral process as analog as possible. The Impeached Insult Comedian cheated in 2016 and he will cheat again in 2020.
There are some ridiculous ideas floating around on social media among those who are conspiratorially minded:
First, the Iowa appocalypse is somehow a conspiracy by dark forces. Wrong. Software is glitchy. I believe in considering the simplest possible answer to any question: incompetence is usually the answer. Conspiracies do exist but they’re rarer than fuck ups.
Second, the DNC is behind the non-existent conspiracy. Wrong. The Iowa Caucuses are run by the state party. Primaries are run by the states. The DNC has nothing to do with either. The DNC is now and has always been a weak institution, not the KGB of the 21st Century.
Third, Trump wants to cancel the general election. Wrong. He doesn’t have the power to do so because the states run the election. Additionally, he’s desperate to be loved so he wants to run and win. President* Pennywise’s threat to the election is cheating. Repeat after me: he cheated in 2016 and he will do it again in 2020.
My solution to all of this dumbassery is to revive Civics classes. People have no idea how the government really works so they listen to trolls and idiots on social media. That’s what happens when schools spend all their time teaching students to take tests, not to think. Thinking is important and it’s an increasingly rare commodity in our country.
It’s time to post the Think Flag:
That is all.