Vote counting. Easy and straightforward in most democratic countries. Mission impossible in “the greatest country on Earth.”
Here’s how it happens where I live. Election day is always on Saturday. We picked Saturdays because of the expectation that most people ought to be free and consider this the most convenient day for dragging their asses to a polling station. Polling stations open at 7 in the morning and close at 10 in the evening. Of course, it’s also possible to cast your vote also several days in advance or vote from home, and some citizens choose this option for various reasons.
Anyway, as soon as polling stations close at 10 p.m., vote counting starts. Members of political parties who were candidates in the election usually don’t go to sleep this evening, instead they tend to have “waiting for election results” parties in their offices where party members gather together, wait for results, eat, maybe also drink. The first results usually start coming in shortly after midnight. From what I have heard in the news, party members often go to sleep once they have a rough idea about whether they have been elected or no.
Personally, I have newer stayed awake and waited for the election results. But on Sunday mornings I always looked at the news as soon as I woke up. Results were always there.
We use paper ballots here, and people count them. You know, counting, something humans are capable of doing with the help of their hands and brains. Usually nobody requests a recount, because political parties send their members as observers to polling stations, where they just sit and look as polling station workers count the ballots. When members of different parties all sit in the same room where ballots are counted, fraud becomes unlikely.
Of course, there’s always room for human error. For example, last time we had an election in my city, due to human error, in a single polling station a few hundred votes could not be counted. Fuckups can happen. But so far those have always been minor, and didn’t influence election results in any way.
And here the party that gets the largest number of votes wins. You know, like in civilized places where nobody actually wants room for problems like gerrymandering and whatnot. And here all citizens can vote. Incarcerated people vote from inside prisons, sick people can vote from their hospitals or homes. The state makes sure that all citizens have valid identification papers that allow them to vote (whoever doesn’t have a passport gets a free voter card instead).
I wish I could sarcastically congratulate Americans for their “democracy” and being able to live in “the greatest country on Earth” while the whole world is laughing at them.
Unfortunately, Americans aren’t destroying only their own society. Today the USA has become the first nation in the world to formally withdraw from the Paris climate agreement.
Oh yeah, and since we live in a globalized world, a single country’s inability to manage their COVID-19 infections harms also everybody else, because, you know, people travel and trade with each other.