Most publicly traded companies in America have their books audited every year. I’m sure there are lots of reasons they do this. Chief among the reasons, however, is trust. Investors want to have a clear view of what the company did with the money they gave it to invest. The whole idea is that if the company’s new product line does well, the company will share the results of their good work with the investors who financed those efforts.
Major nonprofits also audit their efforts annually. They understand that people who care enough about a cause to give their money are their biggest asset. They want to keep those donating assets happy. The best way to keep donors happy is by spending their money well – and for the cause.
What I’m saying is, even if there isn’t a law requiring audits, where trust and money are involved, investors and donors want to know that the numbers in the income and expense columns line up and have the decimal in the proper place. It’s just good business.
Audits keep everyone honest, sometimes by finding and fixing mistakes, and sometimes by finding and fixing intentional dishonesty by employees or officers. The basic question auditors are answering is this: Is this organization doing what they say they are doing, and are the results being accurately depicted?
Audits are not a be-all and end-all, they’re an ought-to-be-there. They’re not perfect, nor do they uncover all bad actors. One of the first cases of computer fraud occurred at IBM, when the payroll programmer was directed that the calculation rounding error was to be in the company’s favor, but decided that it should be in his favor, instead. And so it was, for many years, until he took a vacation during a busy time, the program quit, and it had to be fixed by someone else.
Most big organizations wouldn’t let that same error happen again. They would put controls in place to prevent it. I remember the specific wording in the financial realm very well: “I want you to fix this so it doesn’t ever happen again!”
Elections in America are a BFD. That’s a Big Fiduciary Duty. Many of us expect the party in power, which runs the election process, to accurately count the ballots, even if the end result means that they will lose power. That’s a lot to ask of anyone, but especially of someone who thinks the world will end if their party loses power in the election.
Of course, the “world ending” event they are thinking about is their own personal world. It has nothing to do with the greater life of the city, county, state or feral (federal) government’s demise. The world they are worried about is the world surrounding the office they are holding – and they about to lose control over. Gone are the power, prestige and payoff opportunities. Why would anybody want the office otherwise? Or so they think, which reveals who they really are – and why the rest of us are where we are.
Now, given that political officeholders in horribly run cities, counties, states and federal jurisdictions are almost always of the Democratic persuasion, can you imagine why an audit of a major general election in such a venue has never before happened? I mean, there are “rights” in the constitution, state and federal, which we maybe will grant you our subjects, sometimes, perhaps if we feel like it. But there is also the right to power over you, our subjects, which we will never ever grant to anyone else, and we really don’t care if they won the election or not. Close enough description?
It would be much easier to think well of Democratic Party officeholders in these areas if they grumbled about the time and cost, but ultimately sat down at the table to work out the details of the audit and agreed to open all the books. Those books are, after all, the People’s books. This is especially true when the audit is being conducted at the order of the state senate, which has behind it the Will of the People and is ultimately responsible for having the state conduct a free and fair election.
Now, if you are in big media, isn’t this a great story to cover? A first-ever audit of an election in a major election contest? (Presently in Maricopa County, Arizona.) I wonder why big media’s interest shows up most strongly in non-interest, followed by derision of the idea of auditing an election at all?
If you’re a politician and believe you were elected by a massive number of votes from legal voters, why would you not support an audit of the election process? Wouldn’t your power be even greater after the audit verified your victory?
If you are a company providing election services to voters, wouldn’t you welcome an opportunity to demonstrate just how fail-safe your election machines actually are?
If you’re a corporate honcho, who the bleeping-bleep do you think you are, denigrating audits when you, yourself are subject to the very same process, annually? You know perfectly well that audits work.
If you are a celebrity-retard (celebtard), what the bleep do you know about anything outside the realm of looking pretty for the camera and acting … in whatever script someone else wrote you? Just post some more pretty pictures and go away!
If you’re a Republican politician and your party is on the losing side of the election, what possible motivation could you have for opposing an audit of the results?
If you are not a voter, or you’re a voter who didn’t vote this time around, why would you care what happened in the election? You didn’t vote; obviously, it was all the same to you!
As a matter of fact, I can’t think of any honest person who would be opposed to a close “look-see” of what happened. And that right there is the key, isn’t it?
It’s the honest-person clause. There’s too much money in politics. There’s too much power in holding political office. And there’s too much criminality among those who have held political office, especially those who want to retain that office at all costs.
Isn’t it interesting that something that has been used routinely in the corporate and giving sectors for so long, and has worked so well, should bring so much exposure to so many things in the public sector that we would never have thought were there on such a scale? Given the reactions we see around us, maybe we already know the results of the audit.
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