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Last updateFri, 27 Nov 2020 10am

Columns

Houston, we have a problem

I awoke Tuesday morning in a funk, harboring troubling thoughts on Election Day in the USA. A bitter cold wind blew in the air, heightening a sense of bad omens.

pg16aMy anxiety wasn’t about expectations of a tight race between the presidential contenders or which one might be the victor. It concerned the U.S. election system as a messy whole, and dim prospects that inherent flaws will be corrected in the foreseeable future.

The U.S. Constitution and political trends work against sensible reforms to make election procedures more accessible and equitable for voters, and consistent on a state-to-state level. If that ever comes about, the country hailed as the shining star of democracy could learn some lessons from Mexico’s election standards.

How is it possible that the number of polling places across the U.S. has been drastically cut over the most recent election cycles, while disputes over the timeframes and validity of casting mail-in ballots are on the rise in 2020?

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