November 14th, 2012
11:58 AM ET

America’s election process an international embarrassment

By Global Public Square

For more What in the World watch "Fareed Zakaria GPS" this Sunday at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET.

Imagine a country on election day where you know the results the instant the polls close. The votes are counted electronically, every district and state has the same rules and the same organized voting procedure. It is managed by a non-partisan independent body. Sounds like the greatest democracy in the world, right? Try Mexico. Or France, Germany, Brazil. Certainly not the United States of America.

America has one of the world’s most antique, politicized and dysfunctional procedures for its elections. A crazy quilt patchwork of state and local laws with partisan officials making key decisions and ancient technology that often breaks down. There are no national standards. American voters in more than a dozen states, for example, don’t need ID. But even India, with a GDP just 12 percent that of ours, is implementing a national biometric database for 1.2 billion voters. The nascent democracy in Iraq famously dipped voters’ fingers in purple to ensure they didn't vote again. Why are we so behind the curve?

The conservative columnist David Frum recently wrote an excellent article for and he tells a story about the 2000 presidential election. The city of St. Louis, Missouri had outdated voting equipment. So there were long delays in voting. But St. Louis was heavily democratic, so Al Gore’s campaign asked a judge to extend voting by three hours.

The judge agreed. But then George W. Bush's campaign protested, and the judge was overruled. Meanwhile voting had already continued 45 minutes past the legal time.

More from CNN: Election day should be a holiday

Is that how elections should work in the world’s greatest democracy? In most other democracies, an independent national body would make the big decisions. There would be non-partisan observers at the polls. And of course, there would be modern, functioning equipment. Even Venezuela, which had elections last month, had electronic voting booths with biometric technology across the country.

We’ve been criticized around the world for this. I saw a scathing 116-page report about our electoral process published by, of all places, Russia. Here’s the Wall Street Journal’s translation of it: “The electoral system and electoral laws of the United States are…contradictory, archaic, and, moreover, do not meet the democratic principles that the U.S. proclaims are fundamental to its foreign and domestic policy.”

I hate to say it, but Moscow has a point. (On the other hand, we do have one thing the Russians don’t: actual free elections.)

This election season we’ve seen attempts to shorten the early voting period to further one party’s chances of victory. Our ballots can be as long as a dozen pages. In some places they are paper ballots, and in some they are electronic. And Election Day always falls on a Tuesday – a working day. Every four years we see the chaos of American elections, but nothing changes.

Last week, international election observers were banned from nine states. Some of these men and women were threatened with arrest. Maybe we should start learning from election officials from abroad, not try to throw them into jail.

soundoff (550 Responses)
  1. RALF

    In Finland it has been AGES AGO since we developed from all kinds of electorates (or whatever You call it) To simple and honest, EACH CITIZENS PRIVATE VOTES. Yours truly Ralf Finland.

    November 14, 2012 at 12:11 pm | Reply
    • dsangiovanni


      November 14, 2012 at 2:58 pm | Reply
      • j. von hettlingen

        This year the presidential election had been full of suspense, with Obama and Romney running neck and neck. There had been chaos here and there. Florida again had problems with counting the ballots. The process still leaves much to be desired, yet there hadn't be any vote rigging.

        November 14, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
      • Iowa

        Lol. Must be a computer translation.

        November 15, 2012 at 2:59 am |
      • Chris mc

        Hes talking about the electoral college you tard i find it amazing that everyone takes voting so seriously when IT IS NOT THE POPULAR VOTE THAT VOTES IN THE PRESIDENT. The decision is fully up to the electoral college which is made up of republicans and democrats. Hence why george bush can lose a popular election and still win also why ruther b. Ford did same thing. There are no laws on any book that say the college must vote with pop majority. When ur a repub. in calif. ur vote did not count as winner takes all electoral votes. That why obama only won by 3 mill pop but over a 100 elec. Dumbazz. Dont vote if you dont understand how it works in fact dont vote as it doesnt count anyway. And this is no conspiracy it simply is.

        November 15, 2012 at 6:56 am |
      • Rick52

        Chris mc obviously doesn't understand the electoral college either. Has there ever been a time when a state's electoral vote did not accurately reflect that state's popular vote? (Actually, once, I think about 40 years ago, there may have been one elector who cast a protest vote for someone else). Your vote determines your state's electoral vote; it's not "wasted" in any way.

        November 15, 2012 at 9:11 am |
      • knucklecheese

        When one opens their post calling someone a "tard" as though they were some zit faced 8th-grader, it's usually a safe bet they have no earthly idea what they're talking about.

        November 15, 2012 at 11:59 am |
      • New Generation

        @Rick 52–Yeah, you MAY have a point about the Electoral Vote not reflecting the overall vote of the state, but that's not the point. Rather, it is the point. If 55% of Texans votes for Republicans and 45% vote for Democrats, the Republican gets ALL of the electoral votes. That basically nullifies the votes of the minority. A few states have actually amended laws so that the number of electoral votes is awarded based on an actual percentage. To make it easy, let's assume Texas (in the above example) has 10 electoral votes (though they obviously have many more). In this case, the Repub candidate would get 6 and the dem would get 4. In this way, every "voice" is more accurately being heard. In the current system, a candidate can win the popular vote, but still lose the election–remember 2004. Therefore, the problem is not that the electoral votes do not accurately reflect the political affiliation of the entire state; rather, it is that the Electoral College actually muddles the actual wants and preferences of the American majority.

        I hope I explained this well enough. Regardless, my opinion is that we should either all go to a percentage-based awarding of the electoral votes, or we should get rid of the EC all together.

        November 15, 2012 at 3:14 pm |
      • FKell

        "And yet there has not been any vote rigging"

        If you don't count trying to suppress the voting rights of certain people/places, then, yes I agree with you, there was no "vote rigging".

        November 15, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
      • Archyle

        The electoral college is a bit outdated and comes from a time when we did not have instantaneous interpersonal communication, even so it should be done like Maine, where the electoral vote represents the popular vote, so that someone who wins by a margin of 3 million people in the popular vote won't get a runawar victory that makes people, who are too stupid to comment on the issue but do anyway, believe they are right about everything thier party stands for and that there is no compromise, last decade it was the neocons, now its the neo libs as well. Both are fools who think they have all the answers and only ever "reach across the aisle" for the sake of political prudence..

        November 15, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
      • BillG

        Rick52 doesn't know how the Presidential election works. In whatever state you live in, if you are in the minority popular vote, your vote is discarded as soon as soon as the electoral college determines its vote. In other words, if the electoral casts their vote for the Republican candidate, then the Democrat votes don't have a voice for president. The electoral votes should be mandated by federal law to be divivded in proportion to the popular vote to more acurately elect the president. Either that or elect the president using the popular ballet count only.

        November 16, 2012 at 11:46 am |
      • Olson

        @BillG Actually Rick52 does know what he is talk about with the electoral college. Nebraska and Maine have a law in place where the overall state popular vote gets two of the EC votes... but then each congressman's vote is dependent on the popular vote of his or her particular district. So there is some chance that the EC votes will all fall completely in line in those two states. That said, the minority vote still ends up falling on deaf ears even if there is a little better chance of that voice coming out in those states.

        Part of the good that comes out of the EC is that it does give some bonus to small pop. states in their ability to speak about who the next president will be. However... those states still have representatives in the Senate to hold an equal footing on voting policies so I personally think that the EC as a voting tool for presidency is antiquated in this age.

        November 16, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
      • Dmitri

        The good thing about the Electoral College and winner-take-all voting by state is that one single region can't adversely influence the vote. Say in some extreme example NY, MA, and CA all voted like 99%-1% for the democrats, and every other state in the country went 55-45 Republicans. The overwhelming majority in 3 states might cause the popular vote to go the way of the D's, when 47 states voted for republicans (not sure if the math works out, but you get the point). I like that the EC balances out the vote regionally.

        November 16, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
    • CJ

      I am very upset over our voting process. This is insane.

      Florida is a joke and many other states have voting laws that are obviously in favor of the party in charge.
      They change congressional districts that favor the ruling party in many states as well. It is upsetting and wrong.
      When will someone stand up and say this is wrong and no matter what party you belog to, you will not put up with it.

      November 14, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Reply
      • HDrider

        At about the same time that we have campaign finance reform and a ruling that businesses are not people. In other words, never.

        November 14, 2012 at 7:35 pm |
      • Jay

        you do realize its fake right? why get upset with something as real as professional wrestling or do we all still believe in that to, along with santa clause and the tooth fairy. the reason our elections are outdated are simple... it make the results easier to lie about. food for thought

        November 14, 2012 at 8:44 pm |
      • bethnor

        the conspiracy theories are getting tiresome. as patraeus shows (again), government officials can't even keep their hidden affairs a secret. what makes you think they can pull off voter fraud on a gigantic scale, jay?

        November 14, 2012 at 10:39 pm |
      • Honestly

        The scariest part about Jay is that he has no doubt. And he's not alone in this country.

        November 14, 2012 at 11:48 pm |
      • Barry O from Nigeria

        Evidently Bethnor is not aware of how voting in Chicago has worked for over a century.

        November 15, 2012 at 12:20 am |
      • Wes Scott

        Sadly, it is no accident that we have such a terrible and easily corruptible voting system. We should be embarrassed and ashamed that Mexico, Venezuela and Russia all have far superior voting processes and rules than we have in the "Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave" where we are supposed to be the paragon by which the rest of the world measures democracy.

        November 15, 2012 at 12:23 am |
      • Scott

        Both parties take advantage of changing voting district boundaries to benefit their party. If youi aren't aware of that, you just haven't followed politics for very long.

        November 15, 2012 at 2:08 am |
      • Gether

        No, Ray is not alone. He and millions of us who no longer bother voting because of the rigged system. But I guess millions no longer voting is just a conspiracy theory, right? Maybe you are the one with the tin foil, fact repelling hat.

        November 15, 2012 at 6:38 am |
      • knucklecheese

        This foolishness will stop just as soon as the people of the US start to think and behave like objective, thoughtful, level-headed adults. So, I guess the answer to your question is... never.

        November 15, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
      • Archyle

        people do it all the time, but as most major media outlets are for profit corporations who have vested interest in the party they favor, nothing will be brought to the light. Media went from a golden age back to what it was about 100 years ago, arms of political power from those who believe that public service is a career they deserve, instead of a calling that requires sacrifice, its why they voted to make it so lucrative, and why they basically ensure constant entertainment for the 24 hour news networks. If a network operates based on ratings, which determine its ad revenue, then it is going to have to sensationalise, you saw this not only with FOX and CNN, but with the freaking weather channel...Its why many of us stopped watching cable altogether and bought netflix, sure the service isn't mind blowing, but not having any commercials is nice, that way if I want to be exposed to partisanship, I can expose myself without the worry of someone doing it to me.

        November 15, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
      • Archyle

        I have to go with Jay on this one. Its all a show, all this partisan antics is just to keep us divided, and it works, because they have basically boiled it down to a finely tuned weapon against your mind. Furthermore, I don't care if our voting sucks compared to Brazil or any other country, because though that may be the case I still have far mor oppurtunity and wealth here than they do, and if you have good voting it doesn't matter if you can only vote for criminals, its why theres millions upon millions of illegal immigrants in this country where the "voting sucks and is outdated". so the bottom line is, regardless of how modern your voting system is, if you can only ever vote for criminals, tools and liars, what does that benefit you?

        November 15, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
      • Yep

        @Jay – Exactly. The election is a illusion for the American people to make them think they actually have a say in the political process. The Presidency has been bought and paid for way before the election began. Follow the money and find the people that actually control the government.

        November 16, 2012 at 1:12 am |
    • American

      Have to agree with Fareed on this one, especially since we are one of the very few civilized countries in the world that does not have a national voter ID card requirement.

      November 14, 2012 at 4:01 pm | Reply
      • Honest John

        Democrats don't want voter ID, because that would impact the use of illegals from voting Democratic. Dogs, Cats and People who are dead vote every year in Chicago (Democrats) and by chance the home of our newly elected President...wonder where he and his campaign learned how to get the votes????

        November 14, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
      • @American

        I agree, hey we don't even enforce E-Verify in all states they claim "it's too expensive"! The 15 million estimated folks that are in this country illegally according to government stats 57% are receiving some kind of government handout. Hey if you can receive bene's with no ID verification you might as well go to the polls as well. The whole system here is broken. When countries that are not as wealthy as us and have a bigger population have better systems in place, that is our should be our first clue.

        November 14, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
      • settino

        boo hoo hoo Honest John. You lost the election!! get over it!!

        November 14, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
      • settino

        proven over and over again that voter fraud in the USA is not an issue, but republicans insist this is why they lost...badly!!! LOL!!!

        November 14, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
      • Martin

        Honest John, with a name like that, you'd think that your response would be more honest.

        Only instances of voter fraud in 2012 seemed to come from the REPUBLICAN side, not the Democrat side.

        November 14, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
      • Libacryte

        For those naive souls who keep spewing the talking point about not being any voter fraud – you are either naive, clueless, ignorant, blinded by your allegiance to your party, or all of the above.

        The very FACT that you hear in the news about someone dying, and someone else being able to cash the dead person's social security checks for YEARS should PROVE to you that instances of fraud do exist – just because they haven't been caught doing it, and just because our voter roll purging workers are SO overwhelmingly understaffed does NOT mean it doesn't happen!!

        If a person dies, or if he moves away, then more than likely his name is NOT purged from the voter roll in the district he was in – and so (stay with me, little brained ones) – ANYONE can take his voter card & take it to the polls & show it & then vote – because they do NOT have to show ID. That's been PROVEN (just because your "news" sources refuse to report on it does NOT mean it doesn't happen).

        There is NO reason NOT to have to show ID to vote – but there are TONS of reasons why we SHOULD have to show ID – if I have to have ID to rent a movie at Blockbuster, but NOT to vote, then something is WRONG w/ that picture!!

        November 14, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
      • BillinCA

        – NAACP maning a whole polling place in houston and gave out free bottle of water and wore Obama shirts. When an observer brought it up to an election judge she was told to shut up.

        – Philly kicking out every single republican election observer and only let back in after a federal judge ordered their return.

        – Homes shipping mentally disabled people to polling stations and telling them who to vote for (their families find out afterwards).

        These are just a tip of ice berg and was reported early hours of election day. What haven't we been told yet?

        Yeah, there's no voting fraud.

        November 14, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
      • John G.

        Honest John, if what you say is true, your ideology and your party is truly toast. Both parties spin it if they can get away with it. Do you remember the "chads" in Florida when it was Bush versus Gore and Gore lost by a few votes? I suppose you think it was a coincidence that Jeb Bush was gov. of Florida at the time...

        November 14, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
      • Stephen

        For so called "HONEST JOHN'... Statements like that with no proof along side it are getting old... Stop with the Fox News garbage....yawn... Everybody with half a brain and yes even that dead cat you talk about knows if EVERY citizen in this country HAD to vote republican party would be obsolete.. and thats BASED ON FACTS... The growing percentage of democat votes even in so called red states is growing alarmingly.... Again that foreign word to some republicans FACTS.... You're making most of us republicans look stupid..

        November 14, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
      • mpouxesas

        I would have to disagree with you on the 'civilized' part. The rest, I agree....

        November 14, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
      • Jim in Charlotte

        Honest John, if companies are considered people and donate billions to political campaigns then my dog or cat should be able to vote. I mean what's more rediculous, one false vote or companies investing money into politics instead of employees and technology?

        November 14, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
      • larry scrogens

        Strange, a liberal actually saying that we need IDs to vote? I agree totally and am amazed at the many articles I'm seeing, some written by other CNN commentators, about how racist and incendiary it is to ID people to vote. Honestly, I do not think you can have a functioning democracy if you are not IDing people in order to insure they are who they are in fact saying they are and not some dead person or made up person altogether. Total joke. Shame on the Dems for pushing this as a false issue and using it as a complete red haring to encourage blacks to vote – all in some strange effort to get back and evil white guys. Really, we just want integrity in our voting system, something we fight and die for overseas but do not have the courage to enforce in our own country.

        November 14, 2012 at 9:00 pm |
      • Scott

        The Democratic voters in Minnesota overwhelming voted down a state amendment that would require all voters to have an ID.

        November 15, 2012 at 2:01 am |
      • Satan

        "Democrats don't want voter ID, because that would impact the use of illegals from voting Democratic. Dogs, Cats and People who are dead vote every year in Chicago (Democrats) and by chance the home of our newly elected President...wonder where he and his campaign learned how to get the votes??" -- Still going with that logic, huh? You can't prove ANY OF IT. Do you honestly think that ILLEGALS, some of whom you may assume have been here quite some time, would show up and risk deportation so they can help elect a Democrat? Are you listening to yourself. Where is their incentive to do that? Also, my mom's neighbor in MN said he personally witnessed a felon try to vote and was caught and demanded what the "left" planned to do to fix that. I pointed out that he was what was the problem? You people are just paranoid. You refuse to accept that no one likes your beliefs in 2012.

        November 15, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
      • Amargosa

        I am from Michigan, and I show ID every time I vote for the past 60 years. I don't understand what is all the fuss is about showing an ID. If you have nothing to hide, you should be fine. And about these collage electro votes they suck. People elect the people not michines.

        November 15, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
    • MarioLuiggi

      Voter ID and standardized voting is the only way to prevent fraud and ensure fair elections, which the US does NOT have.
      Democrats use lack of voter ID to win some states while the GOP uses local laws and changing districts to do the same.
      I am from Brazil, poor or rich, black or white, you must have a voter ID or you don't vote. Everybody votes on the same day and vote is obligatory or you get a fine. Laws and process is exactly the same in all cities and states. Within minutes, you know who won the election. The US voting system is as good of that of a banana republic. Pathetic.

      November 14, 2012 at 10:28 pm | Reply
      • Scott

        Changing voting district boundaries to benefit one party is not a uniquely GOP pratice. It has been around since the 1800's. It is called gerrymandering. Both parties use it frequently.

        November 15, 2012 at 2:14 am |
    • mkat2

      It's different here. A truy refined system would not permit all the fraud, corruption, like dead people voting or non citizens voting! In California, the Polls closed at 8:00 PM & at 8:01 the State was called as going to Obama! Fastest vote count ever, even though there was no way he'd lose California, but keeping up appearances would have been tasteful.

      November 14, 2012 at 11:42 pm | Reply
      • delmer

        California could have been "called" for Obama a week in advance, everybody knew he would win the state. The same thing applied for states like Oklahoma and Texas and Alabama. Only the TV networks "call" a result, the official result has to wait until the votes are counted

        November 15, 2012 at 8:11 am |
    • Iowa

      I are hope their privates don't vote. Yikes!

      November 15, 2012 at 2:44 am | Reply
      • Iowa


        Sorry. Terrible touch screen on Galaxy Nexus phone!

        November 15, 2012 at 2:46 am |
    • knucklecheese

      Unlike Finland, the US is a land of scams, cheating, selfishness, arrogance, and dishonesty. These principles are what drives every aspect of our (very strange) culture. The reason we don't choose our leaders and laws by a straight popular vote using modern technology and non-partisan moderators is that such a scenario would make it nearly impossible for us to do what we (on BOTH sides of the aisle) do best: lie, cheat, and steal. I know it sounds ugly. I know it IS ugly. But it's the bottom line.

      November 15, 2012 at 12:13 pm | Reply
    • Jeff

      Why change a system that helps you stay in power. As long as the Democratic Party can use dead people and register pets for votes why change?

      November 15, 2012 at 1:34 pm | Reply
      • deanzo

        Based on your response I have to assume you are a Republican. Please face the facts that Republicans lost based on their ideas and policies, not because a dead cat or person voted. Sure there is voter the tune of some 2,000 actual instances since the year 2000 according to people who study fraud. Wide-spread voter fraud doesn't exist. I'm proud Minnesota voted down a voter ID measure. You'd be wiser to spend your time figuring out how Republicans are ever going to win another presidential election thinking the U.S. ethnic and racial make-up looks like the 1950s...with a social agenda that's closer to the 1600s. Really. Good luck with that.

        November 19, 2012 at 8:36 am |
    • Mike

      I agree with Ralf, it should be simply popular vote, the same electronic machines throughout the country, and they should incorperate biometric tech for Id (thumb or fingerprint). How simple would that be to do? Our country wastes trillions on an over-bloated military budget (we spend 35% more than the next ten top spending countries combined, and 40% more than the entire rest of the list combined) yet can't be bothered to solve small problems like this.

      November 15, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Reply
      • Charles

        People have learned to cheat the biometric systems. Gummy fingerprints (over real fingers to produce body heat) as well as iris photos to hold in front of iris scanners. Plus as mentioned before, the current system is to the benefit of the government, so reform can't come from within. It would have to take something radical to push forth a genuine reform .

        November 16, 2012 at 3:05 am |
    • Curtis

      Sorry, but I could not find where to properly post this....about 30 minutes ago I heard Fareed (whom previously I held in somewhat of a high regard) say on Pierse that the Gaza strip was 1, the most densly populated place on earth (wrong...the region of Dhaka in Bangledesh is), 2 Gaza was the poorest place on earth ( I heard him with my own ears.)..(wrong...Democratic Republic of Congo is) and 3 Mothers there do not want their Sons to be suicide bombers (wrong, I remember seeing myself on CNN mothers saying that with Allah's help their sons would praise Allah and give them self's up in martydom........I've read his first book and watched his show alot.....I now conclude that he has gotten use to the limo's and fancy dinners and clearly like most of the "enlighten intellectuals" have lost contact with the real world and it's inhabitants.

      November 15, 2012 at 10:06 pm | Reply
    • Andrey

      American voting system stays so ridiculously outdated and convoluted because the result does not matter: simple as that! Why to spend any resources and time on it: the show will go on disregarding!

      November 16, 2012 at 12:56 am | Reply
  2. onwee

    Clearly all those other countries are suppressing voters. I wonder which ones?

    November 14, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Reply
    • Jay Jay

      What utter rot – nobody is supressed in Europe – every four years I tune in for a good old laugh at your 'system'. Pathetic.

      November 14, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Reply
      • nightsun2k7

        I couldn't agree more. In Canada we don't have issues like these at all. We also only give the people who work for us 50 days to run a campaign. We don't need 2 years to figure out whether or not they are doing their job and if they can't convince us they should still work for us in 50 days then they shouldn't be working for us in the first place. We also don't care what religion they are. I don't have a clue what religion Steven Harper is, I couldn't care less. Either they can do the job or they can't. If they can't...their gone.

        November 14, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
      • JM

        Not to mention that only around 60% of the U.S. electorate bother voting.

        November 14, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
      • Some Random Guy

        You're obviously lying. Most European countries require IDs to vote, they're obviously suppressing everybody.. or so liberal logic would have us believe.

        November 14, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
      • cedar rapids

        'You're obviously lying. Most European countries require IDs to vote, they're obviously suppressing everybody.. or so liberal logic would have us believe.'

        Except liberals do not have an issue with voter IDs. We have an issue when they wait and wait and wait and then try to introduce it right before an election.
        If they tried to inroduce it now, in time for the next elections, then we wouldnt have an issue.

        November 14, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
      • Two problems...

        There are at least two problems I've seen here so far:

        @cedar rapids – I have not heard of on "voter ID" law that liberals have supported; irrespective of any sort of timeline for implementation, they all seem to be vehemently opposed. In fact in MN, the Democrats where severely opposed to the voter ID amendment that would have implemented voter ID in the future.

        Secondly, excepting India - not sure we really want to emulate that state - all of the examples cited are tiny in comparison to the US; they have different issues. There was a town in main that knew at 00.01 local time the outcome of the election for its district; they have 10 voters in the town.

        November 14, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
      • J.C.

        "American voters in more than a dozen states, for example, don’t need ID. But even India, with a GDP just 12 percent that of ours, is implementing a national biometric database for 1.2 billion voters"

        All 1.2 billion Indian voters are being "supressed", what a shame. And, @cedar rapids, the Democratic Party doesn't want voter ID at all, anytime, anywhere. If you don't believe me, just try to push for voter ID now, directly after an election. I wish you good luck.

        November 14, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
      • mdm123

        Two problems.... I'm not sure you are thinking your argument through. You stated that the other examples stated in the article were tiny compared to us. Are you aware that Brazil has about 200 million people? Germany and Mexico are very large countries as well. So... why shouldn't we try to emulate their success?

        And the tiny town with 10 voters you referred to is not in Maine, it is Dixville Notch and is located in New Hampshire

        November 14, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
      • dhondi

        I agree, it is almost as entertaining as english parliment.

        November 14, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
      • JJVR

        Two different things are being mixed up here: the election and the voting process. The voting process in my native Brazil as Fahred explained is all eletronic and has been adopted for more than 15 years with bareky a glitch, and ( with even 30 different parties??) almost no complaint of voter fraud or suppression. If we can safely transfer millions of dollars by computers and internet what excuse can the most advanced country in the world give for not using fully eletronic voting procedure ? It is unbekievable this banana republic type election , specially in Florida. As to the election process we have the same trend in the US , which little real discusiion of the issues and millions of dollars on PR people marketing candidates like soap or deodorants,

        November 14, 2012 at 10:02 pm |
    • Bruce

      You've never even been to any of the countries you allude to, and you have the gaul to say "clearly"? What a jerk...

      November 14, 2012 at 12:46 pm | Reply
      • Nightowl

        Bruce – you mean GALL (not Gaul) – or was that your attempt to sneak in a pun that swipes the French?

        November 14, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
      • Scotchguard

        If you're talking about Fareed, I'd be willing to bet he's been to most, if not all, of the countries mentioned in the article. Not everyone spends their entire life inside the U.S. borders. Those who travel see that other countries often have things that far surpass what we have in the U.S.

        November 14, 2012 at 11:35 pm |
      • D. Umber

        Iit is "gall" not "gaul"

        November 15, 2012 at 5:21 am |
    • Coflyboy

      Some people have never been out of the country, have a below-standard education, and zero inkling of what happens outside of America, and yet have the gall to have an opinion.
      Zakaria is correct: Compared to many other countries our voting systems are antiquated and laughable. Kinda like our healthcare system.

      November 14, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Reply
      • Alex

        We had this in the Soviet Union where I grew up. People never traveled anywhere and were convinced that life there was the best in the world.

        November 14, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
      • mikamom

        I think you have one thing wrong. Our healthcare system is probably one of the best in the world. That's why people from around the world come here for treatment. Our insurance system has flaws that need addressing, but messing with the whole healthcare system is like throwing the baby out with the bath water.

        November 14, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
      • Stephen

        I don't think you have to necessarily travel to another country to appreciate their strengths and weakness. Traveling to somewhere in Europe for a week isn't going to show you whether or not their system of government works or doesn't work. I know I would love to go oversees and see how other countries do things but as someone who make less than thirty thousand a year it is very unlikely I will ever be able to afford it. I think that is why most Americans do not travel oversees much. Even going to Mexico can cost a couple of grand and in this economy a good portion of us don't have that kind of cash.

        November 14, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
      • Coflyboy

        Footnote: I lived and worked in Germany and The Netherlands for 20 years.

        November 14, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
      • Scotchguard

        Our healthcare is NOT the best in the world. It's ranked 37th in the world. Far below almost every European country and many other countries. "Medical tourism," in which U.S. citizens seek medical care in other countries because it's far less expensive and often superior in quality, is becoming a huge industry. But if you don't get out of the US much, you might not know that.

        November 14, 2012 at 11:40 pm |
      • JustSomeGuyWho

        Scotchguard – I think you are misrepresenting the statement. Our ranking of 37th is significantly weighted on equal access to healthcare. What he is saying is that in terms of medical facilities, research, science ... we rank among the world's best. That is, if you have access to it. Texas Medical Center is frequently ranked as the most prestigious in the world. The Mayo Clinic, Johns Hopkins, etc. are world-renown. What we fail miserably at is providing equal access to all americans. If you can afford it, you can receive the best medical care in the world, right here in the United States ... if you can afford it.

        November 15, 2012 at 12:31 am |
    • Eli Cabelly

      Those countries aren't suppressing their voters. Here's an idea, mandatory voting, with an entire month available for voting, with voter IDs that are issued by each county. That way everyone has an ID and everyone votes.

      We can even make the ID like a credit card and put the voting information on that.

      November 14, 2012 at 3:18 pm | Reply
      • aalba

        That is the best idea I've heard regarding voter I.D. – when one registers, send them a voter I.D. card with their photo on it. Genius!

        November 15, 2012 at 7:08 am |
  3. Jameserizer

    If we repaired our election system (can't say 'fixed', can I?), then they would be harder to steal. That is not in the interests of our political parties, as evidenced by the decades of gerrymandering, deep-pocket, anonymous 'campaign contributions', etc. The worlds greatest democracy has become corrupted and it is up to us apathetic voters to repair. Or not.

    November 14, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Reply
    • Badly-Bent

      Procrastinators UNITE! (Tomorrow)

      November 14, 2012 at 4:10 pm | Reply
    • Scott

      On the contrary, if we "repaired" our election system so that all vote tallying was electronic and centralized (as suggested by the author), it would be the easiest system in the world to manipulate. If you control the central tabulator, you control all of the results.

      November 14, 2012 at 7:04 pm | Reply
      • TomNPitt

        D I E B O L D

        November 14, 2012 at 9:15 pm |
      • Iowa

        That's why we need one standardized cardstock ballot that allows for general & local election sections. Everyone must use black ink & have them immediately scanned into the computer & then also counted by hand & monitered by independent observers. They can announce the electronic results immediately & that winner can be declared the presumptive nominee. We should all wait patiently for the process to be finished. Even if it takes a couple weeks to officially announce winner.That way we are double sure & Americas voters protected.

        November 15, 2012 at 3:10 am |
  4. Johnna

    The winner should be determined by popular vote and nothing else!

    November 14, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Reply
    • J Russ

      that would be a democracy......unfortunately (for you) we're a republic.

      November 14, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Reply
      • Mbele Matombo

        "Democracy" and "republic" are not mutually exclusive, but not identical either. Democracy means "rule by the people" while republic means "rule by elected officials" (as opposed to hereditary rulers). A representative democracy is a type of republic. A direct democracy is not.

        In a "pure democracy" or "direct democracy", the people vote directly on every issue. In a "representative democracy", or "republic", they instead elect representatives to study and vote on the issues for them.

        Direct democracy is a bit unwieldy for anything much larger than, say, a small town, and so primarily exists only on the local level. Examples of direct democracy include New England town halls or the Athenian government in ancient Greece. Most national governments that are called "democracies" are representative democracies or republics, not direct democracies.

        November 14, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
      • Some Random Guy

        A Republic is a form of Democracy, in fact it's the only form of democracy currently in effect anywhere on the planet.

        November 14, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
      • Eric

        Couldn't agree more. People seem to forget about our federalism. Each state decides how to choose it's electors. It just so happens that all states except for NE and ME award them winner take all based on statewide popular vote. A state can do whatever it wants (short of violating the voting rights act) to choose it's electors. I can imagine a state where the state legislature votes to choose it's electors and perhaps that results in some proportional choice, or perhaps still winner take all. Or, perhaps, governors (yes dubious to put that much power in the hands of one man, but possible). That is the beauty of the U.S. is that we are a federation of independent states. Some states have even gotten together and attempted to nullify the electoral college via the national popular vote interstate compact (, whereby these states have decided (conditioned on enough states joining the compact to equal 270 electoral votes) that they will award their votes to the winner of the popular vote, even if their state has a plurality of it's people voting against that candidate. This would basically usurp the electoral college and result in the popular vote always determining the winner. The point is, states decide what to do for themselves, the federal government does not, and I think federalism is important for a nation as large and diverse as ours. I can understand how for Germany or France it makes sense in the same way that some states have all electronic, instant voting, but not at the national level.

        November 14, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
      • Iowa

        Thanks Mbele Matombo! Great Explanation!

        We need more smart people in America. Putting tax dollars into the efficient & effective education of our children & adults to inspire innovation & betterment of our nation as one people should be our main priority!

        November 15, 2012 at 2:57 am |
      • idiophobia

        actually we are a federalist country which is a democracy and a republic combined

        November 16, 2012 at 10:49 am |
      • kenneth


        November 18, 2012 at 1:01 am |
    • Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

      FYI President Obama won the popular vote by 3 million! Anyhow you look at it, it was a LANDSLIDE defeat for Romnesia!

      November 14, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Reply
      • Rich

        "Anyhow you look at it, it was a LANDSLIDE defeat for Romnesia!"

        2% is a landslide? Thanks for the tip.

        November 14, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
      • Some Random Guy

        Less than 1% of the population is a landslide?

        November 14, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
      • malibu123

        Ah, the mathematical IQ of a Bammy supporter shines through again.....

        November 14, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
      • Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

        Yes, it was a landslide because our President swept all the swing states. Even CNN called it a landslide sweep of the swing states. Its a LANDSLIDE. Four More Years!

        November 14, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
      • danita

        it's not hard to do when 47 million of your people are on welfare and thinks the reps will put you to work. CNN money said 33% of you do not work and will not look for work.

        November 14, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
      • Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer


        I have alot of white friends who refused to vote democratic but they're all on welfare and food stamps. Can you figure that out?

        November 14, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
      • RedskinsFan

        Technically to all the Whiney-Baby Trolls, it was closer to a 3% victory and over a 100 Electorate vote advantage. That's about as close to a landslide that we have had since 1996. But hey, keep watching Fox News... I'll use numbers I find on CNN, since they are fairly impartial compared to FoxNews and MSNBC.

        November 14, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
      • Eli Cabelly

        It's only considered a landslide if it was for the Republicans in 2004.

        November 14, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
      • Daniel

        @rich – 2%? Umm... in the Electoral College President Obama won 332 to 206... how is that 2% again? That, sir, is a landslide victory in what was supposed to be a 'toss up' election just days before.

        November 14, 2012 at 11:29 pm |
      • JustSomeGuyWho

        What an odd definition of landslide. If CNN is calling it a landslide then I call it sensationalism (no, I don't watch Fox News). Reagan beat Mondale by 18% in the popular vote (525 to 13 in electoral votes) ... Nixon beat McGovern by 23% (520 to 17 in electoral votes) ... Johnson beat Goldwater by almost 23%. Those were landslides. Obama beat McCain by 10 million votes and 192 electoral votes ... a much bigger win than this election. Just calling it like it is ... or isn't ... and what it isn't is a landslide.

        November 14, 2012 at 11:47 pm |
      • kenneth

        Hey folks check back to when romney was getting out of college.they only give out one class 4D deferment per ward every 6 about romney luck!Or did he get some BIG time help?And where did romney go while our troops were getting wounded,killed or MIA' He was in france.Now my only trip to france was to bring back american equipment after the french kicked us out of france.And can you guess he thought is was good of the french to do that?You only need one guess.Willard mitt romney.Now im glad he lost.Wounder how he will make for the money he spent on trying to buy being our next president?Even some republicans think he was a bad choice to run for president.guess they got their heads out of the sand a little late to find that out.

        November 18, 2012 at 1:14 am |
    • Debbie

      I totally agree and the electoral college should be either done away with or the electorals should be split depending on the percentage of votes per state. i.e. Virginia has 13 electoral college votes if one candidate takes 51% of the state then they should get 6 1/2 of those votes. The system we have in place is archeic to say the least. I voted on a paper ballot, the county next to mine voted electronically so even with the state it isn't consistent.

      November 14, 2012 at 12:55 pm | Reply
      • Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

        And what if the results were the other way around, would you teapugs be complaining about the electoral system??? Of course not! Take a lesson from Paul Ryan...he said the President won fair and square. If you teapugs have a problem with that, then you can go ahead and seceed! Good riddance! Bye bye. Good bye.

        November 14, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
      • Some Random Guy

        The problem is that people don't actually understand why the electoral college exists. You just assume it was because of the level of technology in the 1700s, which is absolutely not the case.. and makes absolutely no sense if you think about it.

        If a state could send people to cast an electoral vote, they could have sent a piece of paper with a vote tally on it with them. The electoral college exists to make sure that every state is important and encourages every presidential candidate to show some interest in every state. That is still a important and shouldn't be done away with.

        November 14, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
      • AFFT

        "The electoral college exists to make sure that every state is important and encourages every presidential candidate to show some interest in every state. That is still a important and shouldn't be done away with."

        Actually the electoral college makes a Republican vote in Massachusetts and a Democrat vote in Texas not count for anything. It also makes candidates campaign only in swing states. Officials, including the President, should be elected through a popular vote. ID should also be required of voters. Why complicate something that should be simple?

        November 14, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
      • btguy

        we tried to secede once and you burned everything from virginia to the sea and then said you were doing it to free the slaves rather than over the taxes started the fight.

        November 14, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
      • mdm123

        I basically agree with you but there cannot be a split of a vote under current law. There are actually 538 people who will gather to vote soon and at that moment the election is certified. Federal law governs the electoral college voting mechanism but each of the the states decide how to allocate their votes. The greatest majority of states have a winner-take-all rule and the few remaining states use a pro-rated system.

        November 14, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
      • drkent3

        SomeRandomGuy is correct – we elect a President in order to preside over a collection of states – not over the population of the country. Each state is voting for who it wants – which is the point of the Electoral College. Popular vote is meaningless for electing the President. For example, if you had every person in California, Texas, Florida and New York vote for the same candidate, that would be sufficient numbers to elect that candidate – regardless of what the people of the other 46 states decided. IT'S NOT A POPULARITY CONTEST. Again, it is about presiding and governing over 50 relatively independent states – which each have their own Governor and representatives in Washington. Remember – there is a House, which is determined by popular vote. It is appalling how little the average person understands our system.

        November 14, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
      • JustSomeGuyWho

        Whether you like it or not, you are essentially voting for who your state is going to vote for in the presidential election. Your vote does count, but only at the state level. If you think about it, we call it a federal election ... but it isn't. You are voting for who your state is voting for president ... you are voting for your state is sending to the Senate ... you are voting for who your district is sending to the House. That's it. All other offices you are voting for are at the state and local level.

        November 15, 2012 at 12:00 am |
    • Scott2

      I agree. Bush should have lost the 2000 elections because he had less popular vote than Al Gore. Unfortunately, Bush had 271 electoral votes to Al Gore's 266. Yet the Republicans turned a blind eye to the results. The Country was even more divided then than now. Republicans should stop practicing hypocricy.

      November 14, 2012 at 1:01 pm | Reply
      • Goose66

        And the liberals screamed to high-heaven about the electoral college and how broken it is. Now, they are telling Republicans to quit whining. Who's the hypocrite in that scenario (assuming you understand what the word actually means)?

        November 14, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
      • Patrick

        Well since Obama won both the Popular Vote and had a CRUSHING electoral win it seems pretty silly that conservatives are crying foul about the election.

        November 14, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • maryd

      I believe the forefathers of this country knew EXACTLY what they were doing, without the electoral college, no telling, what elects would look like in this country. You people of TX and GA who want to no longer be a part of the United States of America, because President Obama has FOUR MORE YEARS need to grow-up.

      November 14, 2012 at 2:31 pm | Reply
      • tlee

        i agree i live in ga i voted Obama but we have a lot of goobers here and i dont mean peanuts. its is embarrassing to be so many people who dont vote for their own self interest. but what fox says, they like rush hannity .

        November 14, 2012 at 9:24 pm |
    • menoc

      Are you saying George W. Bush Stole the Election in 2000?

      November 14, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Reply
      • Daniel

        I don't know about 2000 but I seriously question the results of the 2004 election. Basically I couldn't find a single person I knew was a 'registered Republican' who said they voted for the man. Not one and I know dozens... yet he won. If he couldn't get his OWN party to vote for him and Democrats most definitely didn't vote for the Bush Administration then... how did he win? Gerrymandering and hacking electronic voting anyone?

        November 14, 2012 at 11:40 pm |
      • Iowa

        No I'm sure GW was safely in a classroom somewhere. I would say it was Jeb Bush, Katherine Harris & the ballot toting Republican elected Sheriffs who stole the elections for Dubya.

        November 15, 2012 at 3:20 am |
    • Satan

      Obama still would have won even without the Electoral College. So Republicans really can't say they were cheated...unless they insist on saying that it was all fraudulent votes that re-elected the President, which is nonsense. They just aren't liked.

      November 15, 2012 at 1:17 pm | Reply
  5. ROMNEY- America's Last Hope... now wasted

    Romney didn't lose, the Free World and the entire human race lost.
    The Mayans were right, 2012 is the end.
    The LORD has doomed us and the liberal trash is to blame.

    November 14, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Reply
    • ruducky2

      Every end is a new beginning. Here's to the beginning.

      November 14, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Reply
    • Lisa

      Maybe some prozac or other medicine would help your problem?

      November 14, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Reply
      • Tom

        Thorazine is probably called for here...Chlorpromazine is used to treat the symptoms of schizophrenia (a mental illness that causes disturbed or unusual thinking, loss of interest in life, and strong or inappropriate emotions) and other psychotic disorders (conditions that cause difficulty telling the difference between things or ideas that are real and things or ideas that are not real) and to treat the symptoms of mania (frenzied, abnormally excited mood) in people who have bipolar disorder (manic depressive disorder; a condition that causes episodes of mania, episodes of depression, and other abnormal moods). Chlorpromazine is also used to treat severe behavior problems such as explosive, aggressive behavior and hyperactivity in children 1-12 years of age. Or maybe just some new tinfoil...

        November 14, 2012 at 7:59 pm |
    • Sid

      You are not helpiing your side by throwing out conspiracy theories. And Fareed Zakaria, you should be fired for what you did. Plagiarist.

      November 14, 2012 at 12:36 pm | Reply
    • Mbele Matombo

      Now,now. Take two aspirins and call the GOP in the morning of Nov 7th, 2016. Until then, do try not to be a sore loser

      November 14, 2012 at 12:51 pm | Reply
    • cedar rapids

      you are either a nut or a troll.
      either way it doesnt look good for you.

      November 14, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Reply
    • Reasonably

      Tinfoil hat alert.

      November 14, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Reply
    • Michael

      Thanks. Let us know when the mother ship lands.

      November 14, 2012 at 1:34 pm | Reply
    • Jay G

      Ah great. Another religious nut giving reasonable, moderate conservatives a bad name. I wish the religious right would go jump off a cliff (along with the extreme liberals), so we can actually enjoy a somewhat moderate group of elected officials that can actually work together and get things done. Instead, we have the worst partisanship in our history fueled by the two most vocal (and least intelligent) extremes.

      November 14, 2012 at 1:53 pm | Reply
      • MrHanson

        Or perhaps he's a troll. Ever think of that?

        November 14, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
      • A Non-Partisan Fluffy Little Bunny

        Government is now accurately representing the people. Our beloved bleeding heart progressives have embraced and promoted extreme multicultural pluralism until we no longer have the ability to agree on anything. We are like a giant centrifuge with viewpoints being forced to the narrow far ends of the left and right wings.

        November 14, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
    • maryd

      I would bet you are a white person who bleieves that God only takes of white folks. Where is the God in you. I would bet again that it is not in you, it is only on the outside for people to see, never for you to see.

      November 14, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Reply
    • A Non-Partisan Fluffy Little Bunny

      I was wondering when some kneejerk would bring up their religious medieval feudalism. "Lords" went out in the 16th century, you know.

      November 14, 2012 at 2:53 pm | Reply
    • biff mcguzzle

      Go F Yourself . If 2012 is the end I hope I get to see your sorry know-it-all, Christian zealot, Bible-thumpin', Tea Baggin', Take Back Our Country, Closet Racist, righteous butt get swept up first.

      November 14, 2012 at 8:05 pm | Reply
    • A Mayan scholar

      The Mayans didn't predict 2012 as "the end of the world", only the end of their calendar, which would subsequently start over. Not relevant to the election debate, but it sure would be nice if people would stop repeating this ridiculous myth.

      November 15, 2012 at 2:56 am | Reply
    • Iowa

      Well Romney's God lives on planet Kolob so maybe we can move their & the Christian God is clearly not done with humanity yet as per their own prophecy.

      November 15, 2012 at 3:23 am | Reply
  6. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    The teapublicans tried to supress the vote but it backfired. Instead of limiting Democrats' access to the polls, what they did was inadvertently energized the Democratic base and motivated more people to register to vote and even stay in line for up to 8 hours to send Romnesia packing. That's democracy for ya! But then again, it was not just Democrats and Independents but many Republicans crossed party lines to help re-elect President Obama. Thank you thank you thank you! Now if only the righ wing extremists led by the likes of Limbaugh, Trump, Nugent and Head would just go ahead and seceed...

    November 14, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Reply
    • Blue

      Whatever you want to tell yourself. Half the people voted to FIRE Obama. All Obama offered in his campaign was lies, ommissions, misrepresentations and deflection. No plan (until the final week, and weak), no merits, no addressing his prior campaign commitments he failed, no validation of the dismal performance for 4 years that impacted every American; from double gas prices, utility/energy bills up 11-18%, food prices up, tuition up, even bus fares and public transportation up. During these 4 years of hemoraging public workers burden unchecked due to Labor puppet mastery and lack of fiscal reform, the middle class was crushed by all the above things that hit every household every day, the real impacts. No word of all that fiasco from the 4 years out of Obama's mouth, nor the biased media who simply printed whatever Obama's campaign spouted in lies, nor the Labor organizations who continued to spout the nonsense to their Koolaid drinking ignorant voters who went along with the rhetoric.

      There's your mandate. A house of lies.

      November 14, 2012 at 12:45 pm | Reply
      • Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

        No, that songs like what GWB and the GOP gave to America and the world for 8 years. What President Obama did was cleaned up 8 years of right wing mess to move our country forward. If you have a problem with that well that's too bad.

        November 14, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
      • Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

        And by the way, shouldn't your name be red??

        BLUE SKIES, NO red reign!!!

        Four More Years baby! Swallow two of that and call Rush!

        November 14, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
      • leonid7

        It's funny that not a single expample you mentioned from gas prices to public transportation had anything to do with Obama's policies.Those things are all state or municipal or market and resource-based and have nothing to do with executive actions. So, do you actually have any factual reasons for disliking Obama, or this just another example of the straw man narrative that permeates politics right now?

        November 14, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
      • Jsun

        I keep hearing this line that half the people voted to fire Obama like this is some revelation or something that's never happened before. Do yourself a favor and look at the history of our presidential polls and the percentage of the popular vote that the winner received. There's only a handful of candidates that even reached the 60% mark, and one of those was Nixon. Bush Jr. won by what, 400 votes in Florida but lost the majority? Many people on both sides agree Clinton was a great president but he never won the popular vote at all. Neither did Kennedy or many other presidents. By all accounts this was a firm victory for Obama.

        Really though, can't we put this behind us and move forward with the problems that need to be solved instead of all the bickering?

        November 14, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
      • mdm123

        OK, here we go, another person blaming high gas prices on this administration. Gas prices are mostly driven by world oil prices by the barrel and then taxing authorities add their levy in. I invite you to seek out a graph which shows the relative gas prices for EVERY first-world country and you will see that the relative price of gasoiine (petrol) goes up and down at precisely the same rate for every one of them at the same time. So, you either have to believe that the price is driven by world oil prices or you have to believe that the leader of EVERY first-world country is committing political suicide at the same time by somehow magically driving fuel costs up. And guess what? Those leaders can't agree on much at all, so why would they agree on this? Please do your homework before you make statements that are not grounded in fact.

        November 14, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
      • Coflyboy

        Wow... you must be watching Fox News 24/7. And you call yourself Blue? Your color should be Red... as in Republican or Communist.

        November 14, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
      • mary

        Do you actually read what you write? If you actually believe this tripe you have been dipping way too deep in the Limbaugh Kool-Aid. Just tell it like it is. You're white and you can't stand the fact a black man is POTUS. And for the record here, I am white and I voted for Obama. He was the only candidate who showed concern for the PEOPLE of this country.

        November 14, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
      • Jason

        The desperate words of a man clinging to false reality. The fact is that EVERY presidential elections is decided by 1% or 2% so saying HALF the people voted against him his useless. in 2004 nearly HALF the people voted to FIRE GWB, but it wasnt enough. I thought it was HILARIOUS when that was FOX NEWS' only way to try and heal their pride to say well half the people still voted against him... Happens every election no matter who wins... YOUR POINT IS...? What exactly?

        November 14, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
    • malibu123

      Sadly, people like you represent the quintessence of Bammy supporters. After the inevitable financial collapse that's coming, it will be amusing to watch people like you desperately trying to support your messiah. So blind, so mentally sub-par, and oh so misguided.

      November 14, 2012 at 1:36 pm | Reply
      • Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

        Financial collapse? GM is alive and Bin Laden is dead!

        November 14, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
      • NorCal415

        First of all....a finacial collapse is FAR from "inevitable". I suspect if you had any education on economics and politics, you would realize that. Secondly, the economic issues this country is having that lead you to your "the sky is falling" reaction, are the DIRECT result of your party's mismanagement for 8 years. The buck starts and stops with the GOP. You simply CANNOT spend trillions to wage a decade long war, while you systematically cut the revenue income from the wealthy. It's as simple as balancing a can't spend what you don't have. UNFORTUNATELY for America, your party is ignorant to basic economics...along with half the country.
        Want the problems in America fixed? Then I suggest this country start investing here at home with education and rebuilding our own infrastructure and stop focusing on the social issues that divide us.

        November 14, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
      • Jsun

        Why do you want to see the US fail so badly? Most of us want it to succeed regardless of what party is in control

        November 14, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
      • Coflyboy

        This financial collapse you speak of... you right-wing extremists all seem to have some kind of ability to predict the future. I should buy my lottery tickets from you.

        November 14, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
  7. the_dude

    Its not in the interests of politicians to fix the voting system. Otherwise how could ofailure get 108% of registered voters in a county to vote for him?

    November 14, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Reply
    • BethM

      Same-day voter registration.

      November 14, 2012 at 12:56 pm | Reply
    • Amniculi


      November 14, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Reply
  8. al

    We are behind the times because the entrenched political parties want it that way.
    If any of the parties actually cared about voting they would fix these longstanding problems but they don't care about anything except holding on to power.

    November 14, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Reply
    • Ibanker23

      Al, I think you hit the nail on the head. I'm not an American, but what I observe from the elections is that each party (but more noticeanly the Republicans) use every political avenue available to them to either get more voted their way (Democrats) or suppress voters (Republicans). The Republicans in particular would neveragree to an independant election delivery unit because they would assume that there are more Democrats than Republicans and if they couldn't suppress the vot they would only lose if the Democratic candidate was in significant disfavor, such as Carter in 1980.

      That said, an independant body to run elections (like every other major democracy) is probably overdue.

      November 14, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Reply
      • blood_wraith

        independent bodies can suck our fat ones. america is a federation of states first and a central government third. states run the voting and while i think that some serious updating in many states is overdue it certainly isn't something that should be done by the federal government or an independent unelected third party

        November 14, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
  9. Henry Allen

    You Americans certainly have your voting problems, and I wish you the best in your attempts to resolve these. But, as a Canadian, I am greatly disappointed with my fellow Canadians; almost 4 out of 10 choose not to vote. This past November 11, we Canadians celebrated Remembrance day, commemorating those Canadians who gave their lives in wars so the rest of us can experience freedom. At every election I wish the ghosts of our dead soldiers could stand in silent vigil to remind everyone of the price they paid and our obligation to preserve democratic freedoms.

    November 14, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Reply
  10. michael

    Does it really matter what the world thinks of our system? I think not. We decide how our system is run, not the world.

    November 14, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Reply
    • Daniel

      Fine with that, but then we also need to stay out of other countries' effort on running their place....

      November 14, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Reply
    • Coflyboy

      Thats not the point. Having an efficient system that works well is a lot easier to deal with. a lot cheaper too!
      Leaning from other progressive countries is not a bad thing Folks! Dont you learn from YOUR neighbor?

      November 14, 2012 at 3:02 pm | Reply
  11. Jody P

    I agree, just embarrassing. After the deficit, taxes and such are dealt with, make this a priority. The question is, are we capable of making a system without turning it into a frankenstein because each side is trying to gain an advantage? People have to understand that over years and decades there is an ebb and flow and what goes around comes around. It can't be your day every single day. There are checks and balances in our system for a reason. Do any of our leaders have the foresight to accomplish something like this? Lets hope so! Are you all listening?

    November 14, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Reply
  12. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    We don't need to change the voting system. As long as right wing extremists in this country continue to display their blatant bigotry, racism, hate and evils and continue to wage their hateful wars on other Americans who do not fall into their definition of who is fit to be an American, they'd find it harder to win elections for here on out.

    November 14, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Reply
  13. Loathstheright

    Embarrassing that 57 million people would actually vote for Mitt.

    November 14, 2012 at 12:32 pm | Reply
    • John

      How can Ill. vote Jesse Jackson Jr back into office. This is why stupid people shouldn't be allowed to vote. Yes i'm talking about democraps..

      November 14, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Reply
      • Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

        Only dumb people vote for an incompetent fool who gave us two decade long wars and an economic crisis.

        November 14, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
    • Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

      That's should come as no surprise after all. Just remember half the country, particularly the slave south fought a civil war against the Union to seceed. So when 57 million people vote for Romnesis, all it implies is that he got the backing of the offsprings of the confederacy. But thank God the Union won again.

      Congratulations President Obama! Four More Years!

      November 14, 2012 at 12:56 pm | Reply
      • bob

        your an f-in idiot! lets see how bad obozo does in this four years. last four were dismal. nothing but a fraud and liar, you'll be the 1st to get whats coming your way you liberal demorat!

        November 14, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
      • Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer



        November 14, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
  14. Blue

    Not only the voting method, but the campaign method. 1) this campaign was full of slanderous and misleading statements, it was all that Obama's campaign was based on... no actionable plan, no tangible measures demonstrating progress or even a telling of what mattered to that party, if not what would be tangibly expected – just mud slinging with lies and 1-liners. 2) we cannot be a democracy when the two parties stranglehold the process and themselves are on the strings of campaign contributors – chiefly Labor and PACs. It has to be illegal – and economically viable – for any candidate to take 1 dollar from anyone other than federal campaign financing and salary. Hold a primary for parties to be selected by popular vote, then provide the top 4 parties' candidates federal campaign funding and campaign support (such as web presence for posting plans and tools). Run your party on the Federal dime, everyone on even footing, the people vote. Done. Corrupt system eliminated.

    November 14, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Reply
    • Blue

      Oh yeah, also need to eliminate the Electoral system that provides 55 EV's to one candidate for a massive state like California, who is not 100% voting for one candidate... not even close. It's time for the people to vote, and let them vote with a clear conscience that they're not drinking Labor organizations' Koolaid of self-serving rich leaders who will always remain rich while all citizens suffer from a non-thriving and crashing economy.

      November 14, 2012 at 12:50 pm | Reply
      • Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

        Where were you on the night Americans waved Ole Glory, sang patriotic songs and chanted Obama got Osama, Obama got Osama, Obama got Osama? O' my bad! Where were you on the night Americans waved Ole Glory, sang patriotic songs and chanted Four More Years, Four More Years, Four More Years???

        November 14, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
  15. Ron

    What’s more embarrassing is that the US citizens, in 21st century USA, receive bias treatment by their legal system, where “everyone under the law should have been equal.” And you want to be our beloved country for which we should live or die?

    November 14, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Reply
  16. butch

    Every article Fareed writes does more to confirm that he just doesn't get it. Its very funny how Fareed quotes communists to solidify his position that America doesn't know how to run a democracy.

    Try again Fareed.

    November 14, 2012 at 12:47 pm | Reply
    • cedar rapids

      taking of not getting it.
      he quotes russia because if even russia is talking of issues, then the US has issues.

      and communists? really? join us in the modern world why dont you.

      November 14, 2012 at 1:35 pm | Reply
    • antn

      the 50's called. they want their boogeyman back.

      November 14, 2012 at 2:46 pm | Reply
  17. Berk Demirbulakli

    I voted for Romney! I hate black Obama!

    November 14, 2012 at 12:48 pm | Reply
    • Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

      How does it feel to be on the loosing end of history?

      November 14, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Reply
      • Dayton

        It's "losing", not "loosing" loser.

        November 14, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
      • Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

        Why are you teanuts on the keyboard. Aren't yall supposed to be attending a rally to seceed???

        November 14, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
    • Pokernicus

      He's also white..

      November 14, 2012 at 1:04 pm | Reply
    • leftywriteagain

      We hate Berk! Where the hell are you from anyway? D the U.S. a favor and take the next thing smoking BACK!!! LOL

      November 14, 2012 at 1:07 pm | Reply
    • sly

      Berk, you are not alone. Most white people who are not very intelligent find it quite difficult to live under a white President (also black) who is smarter than them.

      This is commonplace in the South (and in your country Germany), where the level of education in whites is quite low. People become racists when they realize that they are not very smart, so they look for other groups (religious or minorities) who others put down, and they jump on the bandwagon.

      Being racist helps relieve your realization of how stupid you are, and for a moment, you feel smarter than someone.

      November 14, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Reply
      • bob

        Hmmm! so that explains why obozo is a racist! We learn best from our leader who spouts revenge! What a jerk!

        November 14, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
    • situationalawareness

      The fact that you had to mention the color of his skin says millions about you.
      Go away.

      November 14, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Reply
    • Bubba

      Please continue to voice your racist opinion. It helps to ensure the GOP goes back into the cellar, where their ancient corrupt code belongs.

      November 14, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Reply
  18. Miss Demeanor

    Fareed is right... Mexico and all those other countries have learned how to create corruption-free politics. No politician in any European country has been involved in fraud (else we would have heard about their sleazy dealings in, say, Oil-for-food in Iraq or illegally dumping toxic waste in Brazil and Africa or breaking agreements to sell weapons to third-world dictators)... Only the US allows money to influence politics...

    November 14, 2012 at 12:48 pm | Reply
    • cedar rapids

      dumping toxic waste has nothing to do with how elections are held.

      November 14, 2012 at 1:36 pm | Reply
      • read between the lines

        Miss Demeanor's is implying that corruption-free voting requires corruption-free politics... which doesn't exist...

        November 14, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
  19. jose

    Our system is not only antique, but it is a system where fraud can be easily done. when I voted, I handed my ID and they siad, not we don't want your ID, tell us your name they said. I put my ID away and I said my name was jose and then last name, I could vote for anyone who was my family who was not voting, or vote twice or three times or more. I could have known someone who died and vote for that person, so if some one wants to do fraud, then our system is the one, well it is new york and if they required IDs then the democrats will get upset over that and I ask, why would that be? they keep winning new york every year? sad, very sad

    November 14, 2012 at 12:56 pm | Reply
  20. Vence

    Let's face it. The united states is overated in many aspects. Don't get me wrong is still a great country, but many things need to be updated. We are behind on many social issues this electoral system is just one example. The problem is that certain people stick to the no moving ahead policy, or even worst, if you want to go ahead just carry me. Selfishness is stopping the future of this great country. The good thing is that people everyday less.

    November 14, 2012 at 12:58 pm | Reply
  21. Jack

    It makes for great TV, though. And who could undermine the most important part of democrazy, capitalism?

    November 14, 2012 at 12:58 pm | Reply
  22. Jody P

    Please, please, PLEASE enact a time limit like Canada. That would help so many issues.

    November 14, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Reply
    • A Non-Partisan Fluffy Little Bunny

      While they are at it, repeal "corporations are people too" and the legislation allowing "super PACs". The best government money can buy usually favors the golden rule. You know, "those with the gold get to make the rules".

      November 14, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Reply
  23. Bob

    People, you can't compare a country of 310 million people with tiny countries of 5 million. Yes, it is a lot harder to count all our votes than it is in those tiny nations. And it's an embarrassment when Zakaria seems to suggest we should be more like India. A country whose government is utterly corrupt to the core. I don't think so, Fareed.

    November 14, 2012 at 1:03 pm | Reply
    • nc

      Corruption is every where. It is just the degree of corruption that is different. In India, despite everything, elections reflect the will of the people. Governments fall and power changes hands. It is a working democracy that is much younger to US. It deserves some credit.

      November 15, 2012 at 6:43 am | Reply
      • Charles

        Not to mention India is a country of some 1.2 BILLION (meaning several times larger than the US) with lower standards of living. NOW how do we compare?

        November 16, 2012 at 7:47 am |
  24. palintwit

    Our real national embarassment is Fox News, Trump, Palin and teabaggers.

    November 14, 2012 at 1:04 pm | Reply
    • Wolf

      True Americans know how to acknowledge and engage in lively debate and argue facts without resorting to over simplified notions such as yours.

      November 14, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Reply
    • bob

      don't forget to include yourself you f-in rat, rachel maddow and chris mathews coming to dinner tonight, maybe you can use your EBT card and call in on your obama phone......i voted against obozo because his utter lack of values and character,,,as time will proud you must feel

      November 14, 2012 at 1:44 pm | Reply
  25. sly

    Yes, it is a failed system, and we should have Federal regulation of the voting.

    Thank Goodness the American people got it right though and voted for our strong President Obama, and voted in women and minorities to Congress to better represent America.

    Fact is, the GOP is outdated, and presented a very poor candidate.

    Looking forward to 4 good years with our President, who is the best Foreign Policy President we've had in 20 years.

    November 14, 2012 at 1:05 pm | Reply
  26. steve

    I agree, we should be making changes throughout the country to modernize our electorate system. I hope the President and Congress take the time to do something about this.

    November 14, 2012 at 1:08 pm | Reply
  27. coyoteliberty

    Imagine a country where the most qualified, most experienced candidate in the race ISN'T ignored by a mass media with an opposing agenda, isn't kept off state ballots for sketchy reasons and isn't excluded from having his groundbreaking ideas to the countries problems excluded from the national debates by a "commission" controlled by the two party political machines in co-ordination that violates the spirit of fair election laws.
    I'm one of 1.2 million Americans who envision such a country and who voted for Libertarian Gary Johnson, despite the fact he was outspent 667-1 and out reported 1,500 articles – 1 in this last election.

    November 14, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Reply
    • MarkinFL

      So less than 1/2 of one percent of our country care about your guy but he should be given equal attention?
      Reality is that you better be very well known before beginning any national campaign. And there is no media conspiracy, They just know that you have a snow-balls chance in a general election.
      Remember it is at least 70% a popularity contest.

      November 14, 2012 at 1:17 pm | Reply
  28. snowdogg

    Who is going to propose and implement electoral revisions?

    November 14, 2012 at 1:11 pm | Reply
    • Bubba

      Sarah Palin – The most qualified person in the GOP. Which really says alot.

      November 14, 2012 at 1:37 pm | Reply
  29. MarkinFL

    This is simply what comes of being the oldest running democracy. We have an entrenched system that is antiquated with too many people in power dependent on it staying that way.
    In one way it reflects our rich history. On the other hand that is where this current "system" belongs. History.

    November 14, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Reply
    • Bubba

      Brilliant observation, but wasted on Republicans who are angry at being #2.

      November 14, 2012 at 1:34 pm | Reply
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