Over fourteen hundred international election experts gathered data last year and pronounced the United States last in election integrity among long-standing democracies. On a 100-point scale, the U.S. received an integrity rating of 69.3 percent -- one notch ahead of the narco-drug state Colombia at 69.1 percent and just behind the nearly-narco-drug state of Mexico at 69.8 percent, neither country with a long-standing democracy.
"The November 2014 Congressional elections got poor grades because experts were concerned about the electoral laws, voter registration, the process of drawing district boundaries, as well as regulation of campaign finances," according to the Electoral Integrity Project report.
The experts particularly found U.S. voting registration problematic. So let me summarize that for you. We have 50 different state election laws -- some quite fair, others authoritarian in nature. With the elimination of the Voter's Rights Act of 1965, Republicans have declared open season on Black, Latino, elderly and young voters. Over 90 percent of the U.S. House districts are rigged to be non-competitive. Corporations can secretly launder money into political campaigns.
And our Supreme Court has declared corporations are people and spending money is free speech.
Of course the report worded this in a bit more scholarly manner: "America also suffers from exceptionally partisan and decentralized arrangements for electoral administration." To put it bluntly, there is no Constitutional right to vote, as there is in the European Union Constitution.
The report correctly recognizes the history of election corruption in the U.S. as: "…increasingly polarized and litigious…ever since the 2000 'Florida debacle' generating growing controversy in state-houses and the courts." This is the rise of Karl Rove and Rovian politics -- laws are routinely broken, private computer companies "accidentally switch votes," election officials co-chair partisan political campaigns, and voters are mysteriously purged from the voting rolls.
This leads to the following conclusion in the report: "Elections in the United States as relatively poorly ranked by experts compared with other established democracies, deserving further scrutiny."
Luckily for the Unites States, the Electoral Integrity Project sponsored by the University of Sydney in Australia does not measure the method by which people vote. The U.S. is the only democracy on Earth that allows private, for-profit partisan corporations to secretly program the computer voting software. Had this ludicrous non-transparent practice surrounding e-voting machines been calculated, the U.S. would be listed as the worst democracy on the planet.
The reality of non-transparent computer voting means that the U.S. should not be considered a democracy at this point in history. Jimmy Carter made this very point in 2013 when he told Der Spiegel the U.S. "has no functioning democracy." In post-Constitutional America, we need to acknowledge the fact that we hold perhaps the worst elections on the Earth. Once we accept this fact, we can come up with solutions to restore a real democracy.
~ Bob Fitrakis serves as Federal Elections Commission Chair at the Green Shadow Cabinet