At a recent meeting of discussion group I attend weekly, we started a friendly debate on the Jill Stein Green Party movement to recount votes in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. One member of our group was saddened to learn that Hillary’s campaign was now paying attention to the Stein effort. He is in good company. There is no shortage of articles from democrats calling for a stand down and acceptance of the vote count. One of the good ones is by Slate.com’s Daniel Politi “The Seven Main Reasons Democrats Shouldn’t Donate to Jill Stein’s Recount Fund.” Some of Politi’s reasons are worth considering and are discussed below, but he missed one big reason to support the Recount — Establishing the Cause.
People lose interest in causes very quickly as they get on with their lives. If we are to keep our eye on the ball, we must be clear what game we’re playing: the game of making democracy work and voting truly democratic. This includes:
- Renovating our voting system so the popular vote prevails
- Reviewing our primary system so Iowa and New Hampshire don’t wag the dog
- Reminding the the incoming team that they have no mandate.
- Revamping the voting system so a few swing states don’t become sledge hammers that make all other state votes irrelevant.
- Having a vote that doesn’t result in hanging chads, questions on hacking, or any other number of other improprieties.
- And last and least – Payback Fairness. Let the Labeler and Chief feel how unsettling it is to have one’s legitimacy questioned from immigrants working to become legitimate citizens to Obama having to endure questioning of his place of birth.
The Hillary Campaign readily admits that a recount is not likely to change the outcome of the election giving credence to Politi’s reason #3 for not recounting: “There are no guarantees.” It’s a weak reason. There are never any guarantees, but the effort sheds light on the need for voter reform, review of the electoral college, and reconsideration of our entire disjointed system of voting.
Here’s another reason to recount. We should always be willing to double check ourselves and keep ourselves open to audit. Mr. Labeler seems to get audited all the time. He is living proof that an audit doesn’t stop business as usual, but the audit does open the question that something just might be wrong.
Politi’s last reason not to fund the recount is his strongest: “There are better places for your money.” This is true. The effort is raising funds and awareness for the Green Party, while helping it build lists for future marketing efforts. If you really believe in voter reform, consider funding Stein’s latest campaign, but also find other places that may be a better investment in funding overall voter reform. Little Hinges will continue to look for these efforts and welcomes input from readers. Meanwhile here are three efforts you can explore now to just learn more, or potentially fund with time or money:
- Lobby your state to change winner take all electoral votes. According to this article by John Koza, from thehill.com, the founders readily allowed states to choose how electoral votes are allocated. Changing just that portion of the system is a strong move to make every vote count.
- Donate to the National Popular Vote non-profit, lead by Koza and other great democratic thinkers.
- Learn about the concepts behind and donate to FairVote.org, formerly the Center for Voting and Democracy. This group advocates or ranked voting, where you don’t just vote for one candidate but your first, second, third choice. Then, all votes are counted and aggregated to get a consensus candidate in office.
Write us at LittleHingesUSA@gmail.com if you know of others or have other suggestions.