This is a great question, all of the things you detailed “should” have provided more support for Jill and the Greens but it didn’t this simply makes no sense to me. I honestly have no clue why those who consider themselves to the left of center vote Democrat these days.
I often liken partisan politics to a sports team fandom with the following example (disclaimer: I’m not really a sports fan, but I do watch the Super Bowl, and sometimes I’ll watch other games if 1. the Cowboys are playing, 2. there’s nothing else on to watch, and 3. I’m in the right mood).
The Dallas Cowboys are my “home team.” I fondly remember the dream team of Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith, Michael Irvin, and the rest of that team, including of course their coach, Jimmy Johnson. I remember standing out on my balcony on 31 January 1993 watching the fireworks over Texas Stadium, so drunk I’m surprised I remember anything at all, and some guy walking up the sidewalk below seeing me and yelling, “Number one!” and me yelling back, “Dallas Cowboys!” I remember being more sober the next year as they won again, and two years later when they won yet again. Then I remember a decade and more of less than stellar performance. Still they were “my team.” I knew they weren’t the same team they were in ‘92-’96, but they were still “the Dallas Cowboys,” and I’ve loved them since 1977 when I dreamed of growing up to be a cheerleader for the team because of that poster that almost every guy I knew had. You know the one, if you’re old enough to remember.
But I also know that they’re not the same team they were back when Aikman, Smith, and Irvin were coached by Johnson and were the unquestioned champions of the NFL, even after Jones let Johnson go and they lost in ’95. They did pretty well last season, but didn’t deliver. Hopefully they’ll go all the way this season.
Political parties change over time, just like sports teams. We saw many of the “Dixiecrats” leave the Democratic Party in the ’60s and go into the Republican Party, following the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and the Civil Rights Act of 1968. We saw a sizable portion of the libertarian wing of the Republican Party leave that party and go into the Libertarian Party from the early ‘70s on into the ’80s, first as the party was formed and later as more authoritarians (those who would eventually be named “the Religious Right”) drifted into the Republican Party. And we saw those, the Protestant Fundamentalists and Catholic Credalists, leaving the Democratic Party, after news of Jimmy Carter’s interview in Playboy spread, and going to the Republican Party. We saw the Democratic Party transform itself from an economically Centrist party into a Neoliberal (economically Right Wing) party under the influence of Coelho and Clinton from the late ’80s and through the early ’90s, and watched them further become no less Neoconservative than the Republicans from the mid ’90s on through Obama.
Today’s Republican Party is nothing like the Republicans of Ike Eisenhower, nor even the Republicans of Goldwater or Nixon/Ford, and today’s Democratic Party is nothing like the Democrats who supported FDR, nor even those who supported JFK/LBJ and Carter.
Yet still, there are those dyed in the wool partisan devotees, who have been members of one or the other party most if not all of their lives, often (though not always) coming from families which were members of the same party. They have thus come to regard that as “their party” no less than I regard the Cowboys as “my team,” even when they know that the party isn’t what it was when they first voted for candidates who wore that jersey. For some, it’s a matter of comfort zone. For others, it’s because they’ve been fed (and have swallowed) partisan rhetoric so long that they are thoroughly immersed in the Bifurcation Fallacy which allows for only two choices, and always demonizes “the other side.” Republicans have been calling Democrats “pinkos” and “commies” and “socialists” since at least the time of FDR’s presidency, while Democrats have been calling Republicans “fascists” since at least the time of Nixon’s presidency (and McCarthy in the ’50s didn’t help, but Ike finally was able to slap him down, with help from Edward R. Murrow).
That kind of brainwashing is challenging to break through. It can be done, though, at least in some cases.
Actually I was thinking this is one area where the private sector would be able to do this better, banks.
Banks already maintain robust servers and hacking protections, they also already have to verify identity for every person who opens an account, and they more importantly, have a lot to lose if they are busted trying to manipulate the outcomes as in being sued by billions of people in class action suits.
Local election boards should pay the banks a fee to maintain a voting page on their online banking and report to the election officials raw results of the votes made on their system.
Even without the risk of hacking, computers are imperfect and make mistakes. There is also the matter of electricity to consider; should the lights flicker, should an 18-wheeler take out a pole with a transformer, should a storm knock out power to the area, the computers will usually be down. A laptop can evade that, but even a laptop will only hold a charge for so long before it, too, must be turned off and recharged. Generators can help, but after the outage has already begun.
Paper ballots also leave a trail, and should be preserved, so that a recount is always doable. This is not to say that paper ballots would solve everything. However, as long as each precinct has several people of at least two different parties present to keep an eye on one another, and as long as the ballots are transported by two or more people of different parties, and followed by concerned citizens, and the count monitored by several people of multiple parties, the risk of tampering is minimized.
No perfect system exists, but what we have now is ridiculous.