In 2020, the US GDP was approximately $21 trillion, with an estimated 239 million eligible voters in the same period. Basic math yields that each American vote (GDP/Eligible voters) has a theoretical minimum value of approximately $90,000. Since not all eligible voters participate, the actual value is arguably much higher.
Nonetheless, given the worth attributed to the American vote, ballots should be treated with the same care and consideration as cash, credit cards, and any other financial instrument safeguarding our money. Unfortunately, in Florida, such caution is not evident. Despite exponential technological advancements in the past decade, the certification standards used in the Sunshine State’s election process have failed to evolve and keep pace. No one would willingly deposit $90,000 of their personal funds into a financial institution certified based on Florida’s current standards. Such enterprises would be vulnerable to hackers, identity theft perpetrators, and other malicious actors.
Florida ranks #5 on the Heritage Foundation’s election integrity scorecard. However, to the best of my knowledge, Heritage does not evaluate whether the certification standards keep up with evolving cybersecurity threats. When even the Pentagon has dealt with hacking incidents, it is not far-fetched to presume such a threat could be a clear and present danger in our voting mechanisms.
Our elections empower us to choose representatives who shape the destiny of the United States and as we have recently seen, the lives of many in other countries. Our sons and daughters go to war in distant lands, our taxes fund programs that do not directly affect our lives, and our grandchildren will inherit debt that was not of their making. Is it conceivable that subverting the vote to direct the course of US policy and spending might be worth the return on investment?
Our halls of power influence both domestic and global affairs, policies, and budgetary decisions. Constitutionally, U.S. citizens are integral participants in the democratic process. The Florida Legislature and the Secretary of State must prioritize the value of our right to vote and, by all means necessary, provide safeguards to ensure confidence in our elections.
Failing to address the vulnerabilities inherent in our certification process exposes our democratic foundations. We must apply the same level of scrutiny and caution to our votes as we do to our financial transactions. Our vote is more valuable than our money, and the time to act is now.