Monday, December 12 marks the 16th anniversary of Bush v. Gore. There’s not much to celebrate.
True, the lines have gotten much better, and in many places the machinery of running elections has improved. But we still have nationally embarrassing election architecture in some places. Thank God the overheated 2016 presidential election did not come down to a recount of the votes in Detroit.
We still have partisans in charge of our election procedures. As I wrote in the Orlando Sentinel last year on the 15th anniversary:
This month marks the 15th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2000 decision in Bush v. Gore, which ended a recount of ballots in Florida, and assured the election of Republican George W. Bush over Al Gore as our 43rd president. We can all breathe a sigh of relief that we haven’t had another election meltdown with such stark national ramifications for the past decade and a half, but that’s because we’ve been lucky, not smart.
And now, we have irresponsible claims of millions of illegal votes, claims which have no basis in reality.
We can expect the years ahead to include a wave of new voting restrictions proposed in some states, and maybe even in Congress, and how much courts will step in to protect the franchise is an open question.
The voting wars seem to be heating up at a time when we should move toward consensus on the ideal of our American election system: that all eligible voters, but only eligible voters, can easily register and cast a vote which will be accurately counted.