Well, not really.
But in some instances, yes, particularly very tight elections where the candidates are divided by only a handful of votes.
Take the recent Iowa Republican presidential caucus results, for example. But more on that in a second.
Republicans have different concerns. Supposedly worried about illegal voting, regarding which there is very little evidence, Republicans in many states have added new legal hurdles to voting, such as requiring picture ID’s and limited advance voting in an election.
This is not good government; this is targeted at low-income, minority voters and seniors without drivers’ licenses who will find it more difficult to vote and are more likely to vote Democratic.
What Republicans, indeed all Americans, should be concerned about is the inability of the American voting apparatus to get the count right in a timely fashion in extremely close elections.
Iowa Republican officials declared Romney the winner over Santorum in the Iowa presidential caucuses by all of eight votes on January 3. While the vote was essentially a tie, Romney reaped reams of publicity as the winner, adding to his front-runner status.
Shortly after midnight on January 21 – were they trying to hide the embarrassing result? — the party released new results declaring Santorum the victor by 34 votes.
And because the results of eight precincts could not be found, even that result is not definitive.
While that was only a caucus, there have been many instances of close elections where the results have been subject to challenge and long-delayed final counts.
In the 2004 election for Washington State Governor, Dino Rossi (R) was declared the victor over Christine Gregoire (D) by 262 votes out of nearly three million votes cast. After a third count, Gregoire was finally declared the winner by 129 votes six weeks later. Rossi did not officially concede until June 2005.
And of course there was the disputed Bush vs. Gore result in Florida in the 2000 presidential contest that left the nation in suspense about who had been elected for weeks – until the Supreme Court finally stepped in to choose a winner.
The point is, we have a great democratic system that usually chooses election winners, but when two candidates wind up with close to equal numbers of vote, the system breaks down.
Should the United States ever go to a popular vote for President rather than an electoral college, as many advocate, can you imagine waiting weeks or months for a final result with a handful of precincts across the country failing to report final numbers?