Fraud aside, these 4 election reforms could help Republicans next time

TV networks broadcast clashes at voting facilities for the first time in 20 years.  In response, most conservatives would likely rally around Election Day standards for mail-in ballots throughout the country, such as allowing observers from each party to witness the matching of voters' signatures before a ballot is opened and counted — thus providing the same security as checking ID for in-person voting.

While those reforms would solve many Election Day problems, this chaotic election also lends itself to four campaign reforms that would likely have benefited Republicans in this election — even though Republicans have often been the group standing in the way.

1. Instant Runoffs would have likely resulted in the election of a Republican majority in the U.S. Senate today and delivered Wisconsin to Donald Trump.  The instant runoff system lets voters select their second and third choice in elections.  If no candidate has 50% of the first place votes, then the top two candidates remain in the race and the vote of everyone who voted for a candidate who did not make the top two goes to the top-two candidate he listed higher.  Rather than losing by 20,540 votes, Donald Trump would simply have started that far behind as the second place candidate in the instant runoff, and almost certainly won the overwhelming majority of the other 48,874 spread out over three candidates (the pro-life American Solidarity and regulation-hating Libertarian and Constitutional Parties) to win the state.  Both Georgia senators would have also almost certainly have been celebrating re-election as part of a 52-48 GOP edge in the Senate rather than about to survive nine weeks of being attacked by hundreds of millions of dollars the next nine weeks to avoid a 50-50 Senate.

2. If Secure Electronic Voting for Disabled and Overseas Military were in place today, Donald Trump would likely lead in Georgia.  Republicans are pinning hopes on 8,000 overseas ballots, including military, being mailed back to the U.S. in time to give Trump a chance in the state.  If the U.S. allowed a secure electronic system for military overseas — such as first was used in West Virginia — then most of these votes would likely already be in Trump's column for a preliminary win in the state.

3. Due to Virginia's new non-partisan redistricting passing last week, the Republicans will likely make huge gains in 2021 legislative races and then pick up congressional seats in 2022.  For too long, Republicans have simply opposed redistricting reform, thus alienating voters while not looking for states in which it would help them due to being the legislative minority.  The Virginia referenda took the power from the new Democratic majority to draw lines to cement supermajorities, and it is the first example of Republicans benefiting from an end to redistricting.

4. A commonsense money-in-politics law to outlaw ActBlue's "untraceable" donations would have prevented Democrats from outspending Republicans $10 billion to $5 billion this year.  Prior to the explosive report on September 13 that almost half of ActBlue's money came from unemployed people, $40 million through ActBlue was used to drive Lindsey Graham's negatives sky-high at 49% and into a tie for his re-election.  It was only by tweeting the story and hammering ActBlue and their suspect money being used against him that Graham surged back ahead to win re-election.  If Republicans refuse to pass any money-in-politics bill, including the Stop Foreign Donations Affecting Our Elections Act to ban the this practice, similar attacks in 2022 with no presidential candidate to back them up may prove fatal.

The Democratic campaign and election reform package (HR1) was similar to Nancy Pelosi's recent COVID-19 relief package, an attempt to piggyback a partisan wish list on a bill of things people really want.  In that case, Republicans responded by proposing a straight-up bill to provide what was needed by the businesses and those who lost their jobs due to COVID-19 with no political goodies.  A similar response to American's strong desire for politicians to reform the campaign and election system could be the basis for the Republicans to likewise counter HR1 with a package of these items — and in 2020, these reforms would have actually helped rather than hurt them in campaigns.

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