What if the election had been close? We need better processes.
Certain parties have decried the "signature verification" process. Is there any way to supplant or improve on the process of verifying the identity of a mail-in voter??
I would be very interested in seeing a film that explains in detail exactly how my county and state governments actually tabulate votes. Just understanding the process would go a long way toward assuaging many citizens' concerns. Maybe it would include a Q & A with the particular state's secretary of state where she would answer questions like: would it be possible for a nefarious or compromise/bribed election worker to surreptitiously flip a significant number of votes without detection? What safeguards are in place to prevent or catch tampering? The public needs assurances that the process has integrity. Our ignorance of how the process works is a vacuum that is filled by conspiracy theories. Maybe these guides exists and are not well publicized or more likely, local governments don't have the budget to do Netflix-style explainer documentaries about how they do their jobs.
I think it would be useful to dive into the specifics of why Republicans and Democrats think elections were not "free and fair". By and large the complaints of Republicans have been that people are voting who aren't authorized (or alive), or some people are voting more than once – classic voter fraud, which has been extensively investigated and found to be vanishingly rare.
Democrats' complaints sometimes include suspicions of voting machines, but also include procedural obstacles like disproportionately long lines in minority precincts, misinformation, intimidation tactics, and the blatant tilting of the field by gerrymandering. These latter problems have nothing to do with the precise mechanics of counting up and auditing votes.
Why did you not include the Bush vs. Gore election? I would like to see how it compares. That election was particularly fraught and, for me personally, was the first time I seriously doubted the process.
And then, it is not just any single election itself but also the years and decades of gerrymandering and voter suppression that also raise doubts about any election.
There is much work to be done.
Census taking is somehow related.
USA rushed to technology as an assumed improvement on hand counting. In fact, it has many problems of it's own- including malfunction of machines. As Julien has pointed out, I believe the paper ballots system is a good and reliable system. Decades ago I remember being such a volunteer ballot counter here in the US. We plodded through the paper ballots til we got the count. It was all very transparent and easy to recount if anyone believed a problem had occurred with a particular set of ballots.
I have this crazy theory that all of your election woes in the US comes from trying to do too much on a single Election Day. This results in long complicated ballots that are slow to fill out and slow to count. Which results in introducing machines. The machines increase the cost of voting sites which, paradoxically, increases waiting times.
Machines, waits, and complexity all cause distrust.
Contrast this to Canada. The median ballot I’ve seen in my life has had 1, maybe 2 questions on it. The median across the country is probably higher because municipal ballots might have 10ish questions on it.
This means our ballots are simple single page that you can fill out in a minute with a pencil. An election site only requires paper, cardboard, and pencils. Hand voting is relatively fast. Yes, we have fewer ballots to count but we all also have a smaller labour pool to hire counters from.
Spread your elections out, don’t have state elections on the same day as federal elections, and see how many problems go away.
Seeing this from France, the election process in the US seems extremely complicated. Here we all vote on the same day, a sunday, and we can give a power of attorney to someone else if we can't go to the polling station. Only paper ballots are used and counted manually in the evening by volunteers under supervision. Results in each station are public. Of course we don't have several states distributed in several time zones, which makes things simpler.
Are there central repositories where state by state assessment of election tools, processes exist for review? While it's clear that each state has an obligation to build and run their own process, what are the federal level programs/policies that influence them? What part of the US Gov't does this flow through? Anyone have links to share where citizens can lend a hand/get involved?