Election Day is almost upon us, and I believe there need to be more improvements in order to ensure a fair and smooth election.
First, there is the issue of mail-in ballots. Pandemic or no pandemic, I think it is a bad idea since it opens the door for voter fraud. Oregon had this system for quite some time, and I think that state (as well as any other state that adopted it) needs to scrap it.
Next, I should remind everyone out there that Maine and Nebraska are not winner-take-all states, but instead, they divide their electoral votes for each of their Congressional districts. Considering both states have a small number of electoral votes (Maine with four and Nebraska with five), I think they would be better off having the winner-take-all system.
One might argue that states with double-digit amounts of electoral votes can adopt the system Maine and Nebraska currently have. Such states that could do consist of the following: California, Georgia, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Virginia. It is unclear if such an idea would work, but it is something worth looking into.
Then there is the issue of time zones. States that are divided between the time zones consist of the following: Alaska, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Texas. Such division can have an impact on the poll closings in these states and even such states being called too early (e.g. Florida in the 2000 Presidential election). But regardless of such mishaps, I feel for practical purposes that the only states which need to be divided among the time zones should consist of the following: Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Texas, and possibly Michigan.
Note: I understand that Florida should still be divided among the time zones if this change were to take place, but with a designated poll closing time for the entire state being in place, I believe that problem is solved.
Which brings me to my final point- the time of the poll closings for each state. I believe that the poll closings should be as follows (with all times being Eastern Standard Time):
- 7 PM poll closings: Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Vermont, and Virginia.
- 8 PM poll closings: Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and West Virginia.
- 9 PM poll closings: Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, and Wisconsin.
- 10 PM poll closings: Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming.
- 11 PM poll closings: Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington.
With these changes, Election Day would run much smoother.