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Ross: A voting solution everybody can agree on

Activists rally against Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), calling on them to eliminate the legislative filibuster and pass the "For The People" voting rights bill, outside the Supreme Court on June 23, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

I’m going to offer a solution to solve the voting rights crisis.

The big problem seems to be what’s defined as “restrictive” when it comes to voting requirements.

For example, here in Washington, we view mail-in voting to be the least restrictive system, and yet for people who would prefer to vote in person at their local precinct – and there were a lot of them when we made the change – they were told too bad, you can’t! And to this day, if you prefer to vote in person, you have to go to a county voting center that is very likely nowhere near you.

I think the problem is not the restrictions so much as the perceived motives of the politicians proposing them. They’re being proposed by Republicans and endorsed by Trump, so Democrats will assume the worst. As Republicans do when the roles are reversed.

And so, two states could have some of the exact same rules and one gets accused of suppression and the other doesn’t.

So if states are going to impose rules intended to prevent bogus votes, they should also impose rules that protect legitimate votes.

Here are two rules that should be mandatory:

One of the most discouraging obstacles to voting is an endless line, which tends to happen when people have to fumble for ID, or forget their ID and have to fill out provisional ballots, or the computers crash.

I see zero excuse for long lines. It’s not like election day is a surprise, right? So the law should state that when the wait time reaches one hour, poll workers must provide a mail-in ballot on the spot to voters who don’t want to wait. The bar code is recorded so they can’t vote twice.

And rule number two: Some bills make it easier for partisan poll-watchers to challenge voters who they think may be illegitimate.

Well, there is a deep tradition in America, that pre-dates even the Declaration of Independence: There is no taxation without representation.

So, a fair election law would state that any legitimate voter whose vote is not counted in the initial tally is exempt from all taxes, federal, state, and local, until the next election. That would also apply in states where the legislature is allowed to annul ballots.

No legitimate voter whose vote was annulled should owe a dime in tax. And anyone who believes they do should just admit they’re a communist and migrate to Cuba. But do it quickly because I think the communists are in a little trouble down there.

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