Glenn: The Spirit is the most sophisticated alarm system ever. Use it.

Tonight, I’m going to cover what happened in Ohio and so much more, but we’re going to cover it in a slightly different way than everybody else is, I think. I don’t really know. I’m not really watching the other coverage on it.

I’ve been doing a lot of reading today, and I’m brought back to a gift somebody gave me and asked me to preserve. And I’ll show it to you tonight. I took all of these pieces, and I had them bound in a book called “Forgiveness is Found From Within.” It is a true American treasure. But to get here, I have to show you what we have to forgive.

It started yesterday. Yesterday evening in Ohio, a 911 operator received a panicked caller pleading for help. Here it is.

VIDEO

Caller: Help me. I’m Amanda Berry.

Dispatcher: You need police, fire, or ambulance?

Caller: I need police.

Dispatcher: Okay, and what’s going on there?

Caller: I’ve been kidnapped and I’ve been missing for ten years, and I’m, I’m here, I’m free now.

Dispatcher: Okay, and what’s your address?

Caller: 2207 Seymour Avenue.

Dispatcher: 2207 Seymour. Looks like you’re calling me from 2210.

Caller: Huh?

Dispatcher: Looks like you’re calling me from 2210.

Caller: I can’t hear you.

Dispatcher: It looks like you are calling me from 2210 Seymour.

Caller: Yeah, I’m across the street; I’m using the phone.

Dispatcher: Okay, stay there with those neighbors. Talk to the police when they get there.

Caller: Okay.

Dispatcher: Thank you. Okay, talk to police when they get there.

Caller: Okay. Hello?

Dispatcher: Yeah, talk to the police when they get there.

Caller: Okay, are they on their way right now? I need them now.

Dispatcher: We’re going to send them as soon as we get a car open.

Caller: No, I need them now before he gets back.

Dispatcher: All right; we’re sending them, Okay?

Caller: Okay, I mean like right now.

Dispatcher: Who’s the guy you’re trying – who’s the guy who went out?

Caller: Um, his name is Ariel Castro.

Dispatcher: All right. How old is he?

Caller: He’s like 52.

Dispatcher: All right, and uh –

Caller: I’m Amanda Berry. I’ve been on the news for the last ten years.

Dispatcher: Okay, I got, I got that here. And, you said, what was his name again?

Caller: Uh, Ariel Castro.

Dispatcher: And is he white, black or Hispanic?

Caller: Uh, he’s Hispanic.

Dispatcher: What’s he wearing?

Caller (agitated): I don’t know, ‘cause he’s not here right now. That’s how I got away.

Dispatcher: When he left, what was he wearing?

Caller: Who knows (unintelligible).

Dispatcher: The police are on their way; talk to them when they get there.

This is really – this is just an amazing story, and that’s where the nightmare ended and new nightmares begin. Let me show you where that nightmare really began. It was April 21, 2003. It was 7:00 at night. Sixteen-year-old Amanda Berry was finishing up her shift at work at the Burger King, West 110th Street in Cleveland, Ohio. She was planning to walk three blocks home, but when her sister called, Amanda said, I found a ride home.

She was planning to celebrate her 17th birthday the very next day, but that never happened, because Amanda never came home, not that night, nor the next, nor the day after that. Her mom called police to report her missing, and the community rallied. Vigils were held. Simple searches were conducted. Fliers were handed out.

Almost exactly a year later, somebody else disappeared, this time a 14-year-old, special-needs student. She went missing. This is Gina. She went missing, same neighborhood, only a couple of blocks from where Amanda was missing. Now, the community is in real shock, and they rally again.

Police suspected the cases were connected, but they didn’t know how. But when they noticed that there was an older, less-reported kidnapping in 2000 in the same neighborhood, 20-year-old Michelle Knight, that’s when police said something’s really wrong here. Well, days led into weeks, and months, and all of the leads started to dry up, and many began to fear the worst.

You don’t usually survive a kidnapping very long. Odds are against it. But mom had this feeling inside of her. She said Amanda is still alive. Well, that’s what she felt, but then she made the mistake of going on a TV show and talking to a psychic. Well, here’s what the psychic told her, “I just hate this. She’s not alive, honey, and I’ll tell you why…Your daughter was not the type that would not have called you.”

Well, that went against everything that mom was feeling. She was confused. She was grieving, and she trusted the psychic instead of her own self. So she cleaned up Amanda’s things, and she gave away her computer and took down the pictures of her daughter. In an interview, she said, “Please don’t misunderstand me. I still don’t want to believe it. I want to have hope, but after a year and a half, what else is there? It seems like the God-honest truth. My daughter would always call home.”

So now, let’s go back to Amanda. The police are calling her now a hero. She’s a real hero in this case, because she made a daring escape. For ten years, she was in that house – ten. Amanda suffered mental torture, severe physical, sexual abuse. Reports now say police found chains hanging from the ceiling. The fear these girls had to have felt…but she survived.

After all of the fear and the pain, Amanda finally got to experience a little bit of joy regaining freedom. I don’t know how long it lasted, and how she must have ached to be held in her mother’s arms. And then she said, “Where’s mom?” Amanda’s mom never gave up her hope, but after that appearance with the psychic, her spirit was crushed. She died in March of 2006. Those who knew her said she died of a broken heart. She never got to see her daughter alive again.

The things Amanda and these girls, the things they went through, we’ll never understand, and the things they lost, we can’t even fathom – a decade worth of life. Think about where you were ten years ago when this kidnapping happened. Just then, the United States was invading Iraq. Apple launched its new iTunes Music Store, brand new then. It sold a million songs in the first week that she was missing.

We were all going to the Lord of the Rings. It broke box office records. Millions lost power during the Northeast blackout. Do you remember that? And Elizabeth Smart was found alive nine months after she was kidnapped. How much has changed since that period of time? How much have you changed?

I’ve told you before that the light is growing, but so is evil. The evil inside of these kidnappers is profound. A week after Amanda was kidnapped, her mom received a call from Amanda’s cell phone. It was a man. He said he was married to Amanda, and that she would see her in a few days. She asked to speak with Amanda, and he hung up. He never called back.

Ariel Castro attended at least two of the vigils for the missing girls. Now, he’s the guy who kidnapped the girls. He was holding them in his home, and he goes to mourn and hold a candle. His last post on his Facebook page on May 2nd, five days ago, reads this: “miracles really do happen, God is good :)”

Ariel, I don’t think God had anything to do with you, but miracles do happen. God is good. These women survived you. I don’t know about the good part of God, but Ariel, you should pay attention, because vengeance is His alone.

I was struck today, the fact that this is modern-day slavery. And slavery isn’t about race. Slavery is and always has been about control. It’s about power, and that power, that evil, is growing in our country. The reach for power and control, be it the government or in the place you work, it is growing, and it is ancient in nature.

We found out some new news today. On top of being held basically as a slave hostage, a sex-slave hostage, she also birthed a daughter of one of these early truly evil people during captivity. Imagine what birth was like. She didn’t go to a hospital. A new report is coming out this afternoon now alleging that the girls may have gotten pregnant multiple times, and that there is “disturbed dirt in the backyard.”

The evil that we are witnessing in our lifetime is difficult to comprehend. We have to recognize not only the things the girls went through, but we also should recognize they survived. Recognize that there is something in the human spirit that gets you through all of the madness.

VIDEO

Sandra Ruiz: God works in mysterious ways. You would never – I mean, it’s just unbelievable, unbelievable. These girls, these women are so strong, stronger than I am. I will tell you that much. And they all have a positive attitude. And this is what we need from everyone. We need to still be a family, neighborhood with neighborhood. We need to watch out for all kids. Really, watch who your neighbor is, because you never know.

Watch who your neighbor is, because you never know. Don’t snoop around. Get to know your neighbor. Here’s a novel concept: talk to your neighbor. We’re all so busy zoned into our cell phones and our iPads, we don’t bother making human connections anymore. What do you say we look up from time to time? Look around. We might just see something.

I talked to a police officer today, because I’m going to show you some audio here in a second, and I asked, So if you saw something – I mean, you call the police, I mean, they’d think you’re nuts – I don’t know. Something’s wrong. The police officer told me, he said, “Glenn, I’ve listened to you for years. I think one of the most important things you’ve said in a long time is get to know your sheriff and get to know your local police.”

I thought about that this afternoon in this case. We used to know, I don’t know, Officer O’Malley or whoever it was. We knew the cops. My father, I remember, he got stopped a couple of times for a speeding ticket, and he knew. He was like, Hey, Steve. Bill. What are you doing?

We knew each other. And if you saw something wrong, you could call up and say, Hey Steve, you know me. You know I’m sane. There’s something not right here. And Steve may not have necessarily believed you, but he would’ve watched that house for a while. He might’ve told the other guys on the force, Hey, Bill know something.

When I look at this story, I’m amazed by one thing – the map. Look at how close these houses are together. They are right on top of each other. Ten years? A girl has a baby? Ten years – nothing? Where’s the community?

Incredibly, Child Protective Services, who I don’t count on to do anything, but I just want to point this out, Child Protective Services were sent to this home in 2004 because the suspect, a Cleveland school bus driver – that’s what the guy did – he left a young boy on the bus. So when he locked the bus up, here’s this kid trapped on the bus. Well, not supposed to do that. I wonder if the labor union was involved, because they knocked on his front door , but he didn’t answer the door, so they just left.

They never made contact with him. They never returned to his house. I mean, it’s amazing to me, especially when you remember what we’ve been watching on TV happening in California, when they bust through that door in Sacramento, California, remember? And they say, hey lady, we’re going to take your kid? Really? They didn’t even bother to come back. Now, give them the benefit of the doubt. They’re not looking for kidnapped girls, but what about the neighbors?

Amanda had a child, birthed the child. How in the world did no one notice a baby being born next door, or a baby crying? In a house that wasn’t supposed to have a baby, nobody noticed this?

The interview that is going viral right now is the guy who actually answered Amanda’s plea for help. She was banging on the door, and Charles Ramsey helped her escape. He gave a pretty memorable telling off to the reporters, and it was really amazing some of the things he said in its entirety. Let me just play a little bit of the clip here.

VIDEO

Charles Ramsey: See, that girl, Amanda, told the police I ain’t just the only one. It’s some more girls up in that house. So they go in up there, you know, 30-40 deep, and when they came out, was just astonishing, because I thought they would come up with nothing. I figured, I mean, whoever she was – and like I said, my neighbor, you’ve got some big testicles to pull this off, bro, because we see this dude every day. I mean every day.

Q: How long have you lived here?

Charles Ramsey: I’ve been here a year. You see where I’m coming from? I barbecue with this dude. We eat ribs and whatnot and listen to salsa music. You see where I’m coming from?

Q: And you had no indication that there was anything going on?

Charles Ramsey: Not a – bro, not a clue that that girl was in that house, or anybody else was in there against their will…I knew something was wrong when a little, pretty white girl ran into a black man’s arms. Something is wrong here. Dead giveaway.

Q: Charles, thank you very much.

Charles Ramsey: Dead giveaway.

Okay, everybody is looking at that, but you’ll notice he said I knew a year ago. And you have to go back to another interview that he gave. Now, this one isn’t as entertaining as the first, but this is the one that I want you to pay very close attention to what he says, because it affects you. Watch.

VIDEO

Q: Well, once she said her name, you recognized the name?

Charles Ramsey: Yeah, and then I walked down the street, and I told my neighbor, Anthony. And I said Anthony –me and Anthony talked about this last year, but he told me I was paranoid, because I just moved on this street. And I told him something’s wrong with that house. He told me just leave it alone, Chuck. And you see what happened.

This guy I am trying to get on the show. This guy I want to talk more than – I want to talk to him more than any president or anybody else. I want to talk to him. He said I’m living on the street. This guy has been stripped down to nothing. You want to watch this story and actually get something out of it, because otherwise we’re voyeurs. What are you learning from this story? Ooh, what about the chains?

You want something out of this story, that guy can provide it. He knew something. Something inside of him said there’s something wrong with that house. There’s something wrong with these people, but his friend said, oh, you’re just paranoid. Leave it alone. Leave it alone. So he dropped it.

Words have consequences. We should listen more than we speak, and I don’t mean listen to each other. Maybe listen in here. When the spirit wells up in you, do not push it down. Do not dismiss it. If he would’ve known the local cop, if he would’ve had a friend who said, You know what, I know you man. I know you’re not crazy. What do you think is wrong?

I want to tell you a couple of stories, be cryptic on a couple things here, but – last week a couple of friends came over. And they came over to the house, and they told me – I had only met a friend of theirs and their spouse one time, met them one time, met them quickly. And they came over, and they said, “Dude, how did you know?” I said, “What are you talking about?” “Do you remember when you met this couple?” And I said, “Yeah, just a brief meeting.”

They said, “Do you remember you asked how does everybody feel about this couple?” And I said, “Yeah, why?” He said, “You told us something was wrong.” Well, it turns out the husband is abusing the wife. I didn’t know that, but I knew something was wrong with him, and I knew something was wrong in the relationship. And so, I went to the family. No one else said they saw it. I wonder now how many of them are going, Man, you know what, I did. I just dismissed it. Don’t dismiss these things.

One more story – I was at the NRA convention this weekend. And I occasionally will have decent discernment on people, and usually only – I wish I had it all the time – but usually only in – well there’s the line there – usually only in lines like this, and it happens rapidly. And you’ll see, if you were watching that, you’ll see people are in front of me very fast.

And I don’t like it, because I like to spend time with people. But I look people right in the eye. And I have this bizarre gift that occasionally I can look people in the eye, and I can feel them. And I know kind of – I don’t know anything about them. I don’t know what they’re really going through, but I can feel pain sometimes.

And this guy in line Saturday, he came through, and he was with three people. And he came through the line, and I looked up, and I said, “Hi.” And he looked me right in the eye, and he said, “How are you?” And I said, “Fine,” and I signed his book, and I slid it back. And as I’m sliding it back, and he’s starting to turn, I feel tell him everything’s going to be okay. But he’s smiling. Everything seems to be fine.

And then this woman comes up, and she starts talking to me. And he’s leaving, and I hesitated that long. And he’s walking away. And she says, “Hi, how are you?” I’m signing the book for her, and I’m hearing again, tell him everything’s going to be okay. Well, I look over, and he’s already gone. I said to the woman, “Could you hold just a second?” They stop the line.

I went around the podium, and I had to go out. They keep me in this little box thing now for security. And I went out, and I look out, and he’s already way down. He’s like 50 feet away from me, and he’s way down by the escalators. And I said, “Hang on. I’ll be right back.”

So I went out, and as I’m walking up to him, I see him with some friends. And he’s laughing, and I’m thinking I am so stupid. What am I doing? And I walked up to him, and he turned around, and he went, “Whoa, what’s up?” And I said, “I don’t even know what this means, but I feel like I’m supposed to tell you everything’s going to be okay.” The guy immediately broke down and hugged me and started to cry. I don’t know what was going on in his life, but things like that become stronger when you actually follow through.

If you don’t believe any of the God stuff, read The Gift of Fear. There is a radar in all of us that too many of us ignore. It’s a muscle, and the more you ignore it, the weaker it gets. Exercise it. It will warn you. It will set off alarm bells – listen, listen. I’m sure a lot of people had been around that guy all weekend. A lot of people were around this husband and wife, and they thought something, but they didn’t say anything.

At some point – I have told you for years – at some point, the spirit will say to you stop, turn around, go the other direction. We are here now. I don’t know what the spirit will tell you to do, but it’s time to listen to it. It is the most sophisticated alarm system ever made. Use it. Back in a minute.

On Wednesday's TV show, Glenn Beck sat down with radio show host, author, political commentator, and film critic, Michael Medved.

Michael had an interesting prediction for the 2020 election outcome: a brokered convention by the DNC will usher in former First Lady Michelle Obama to run against President Donald Trump.

Watch the video below to hear why he's making this surprising forecast:

Use code BECK to save $10 on one year of BlazeTV.

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

On Thursday's "Glenn Beck Radio Program," BlazeTV's White House correspondent Jon Miller described the current situation in Virginia after Gov. Ralph Northam (D) declared a state of emergency and banned people carrying guns at Capitol Square just days before a pro-Second-Amendment rally scheduled on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Jon told Glenn that Gov. Northam and the Virginia Legislature are "trying to deprive the people of their Second Amendment rights" but the citizens of Virginia are "rising up" to defend their constitutional rights.

"I do think this is the flashpoint," Jon said. "They [Virginia lawmakers] are saying, 'You cannot exercise your rights ... and instead of trying to de-escalate the situation, we are putting pressure. We're trying to escalate it and we're trying to enrage the citizenry even more'."

Glenn noted how Gov. Northam initially blamed the threat of violence from Antifa for his decision to ban weapons but quickly changed his narrative to blame "white supremacists" to vilify the people who are standing up for the Second Amendment and the Constitution.

"What he's doing is, he's making all all the law-abiding citizens of Virginia into white supremacists," Glenn said.

"Sadly, that's exactly right," Jon replied. "And I think he knows exactly what he's doing."

Watch the video to catch more of the conversation below:

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Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

Ryan: Trump Louisiana Finale

Photo by Jim Dale

Part One. Part Two. Part Three.

At the end of Trump rallies, I would throw on my Carhartt jacket, sneak out of the press area, then blend in with everyone as they left, filing out through swinging doors.

Often, someone held the door open for me. Just 30 minutes earlier, the same person had most likely had most likely hissed at me for being a journalist. And now they were Sunday smiles and "Oh, yes, thank you, sir" like some redneck concierge.

People flooded out of the arena with the stupidity of a fire drill mishap, desperate to survive.

The air smacked you as soon as you crossed the threshold, back into Louisiana. And the lawn was a wasteland of camping chairs and coolers and shopping bags and to-go containers and soda cans and articles of clothing and even a few tents.

In Monroe, in the dark, the Trump supporters bobbled over mounds of waste like elephants trying to tiptoe. And the trash was as neutral to them as concrete or grass. They plodded over it because it, an object, had somehow gotten in their way.

It did not matter that they were responsible for this wreckage.Out in the sharp-edged moonlight, rally-goers hooted and yapped and boogied and danced, and the bbq food truck was all smoke and paper plates.

They were even more pumped than they had been before the rally, like 6,000 eight year olds who'd been chugging Mountain Dew for hours. Which made Donald Trump the father, the trooper, God of the Underworld, Mr. Elite, Sheriff on high horse, the AR-15 sticker of the family.

Ritualistic mayhem, all at once. And, there in Louisiana, Trump's supporters had gotten a taste of it. They were all so happy. It bordered on rage.

Still, I could not imagine their view of America. Worse, after a day of strange hostilities, I did not care.

My highest priority, my job as a reporter, was to care. To understand them and the world that they inhabit. But I did not give a damn and I never wanted to come back.

Worst of all, I would be back. In less than a week.

Was this how dogs felt on the 4th of July? Hunched in a corner while everyone else gets drunk and launches wailing light into the sky? configurations of blue and red and white.

It was 10:00 p.m. and we'd been traveling since 11:00 a.m., and we still had 5 hours to go and all I wanted was a home, my home, any home, just not here, in the cold sweat of this nowhere. Grey-mangled sky. No evidence of planes or satellites or any proof of modern-day. Just century-old bridges that trains shuffled over one clack at a time.

And casinos, all spangles and neon like the 1960s in Las Vegas. Kitchy and dumb, too tacky for lighthearted gambling. And only in the nicer cities, like Shreveport, which is not nice at all.

And swamp. Black water that rarely shimmered. Inhabited by gadflies and leeches and not one single fish that was pretty.

Full of alligators, and other killing types. The storks gnawing on frogs, the vultures never hungry. The coyotes with nobody to stop them and so much land to themselves. The roaches in the wild, like tiny wildebeests.

Then, the occasional deer carcass on the side of the road, eyes splayed as if distracted, tongue out, relaxed but empty. The diseased willows like skeletons in hairnets. The owls that never quit staring. A million facets of wilderness that would outlive us all.

Because Nature has poise. It thrives and is original.

Because silence is impossible. Even in an anechoic chamber, perfectly soundproofed, you can hear your own heartbeat, steady as a drum. A never-ending war.

I put "Headache" by Grouper on repeat as we glided west. We were deadlocked to asphalt, rubber over tarface.

And I thought about lines from a Rita Dove poem titled "I have been a stranger in a strange land"

He was off cataloging the universe, probably,
pretending he could organize
what was clearly someone else's chaos.

Wasn't that exactly what I was doing? Looking for an impossible answer, examining every single accident, eager for meaning? telling myself, "If it happens and matters the next year, in America, I want to be there, or to know what it means. I owe it to whoever cares to listen."

Humans are collectors and I had gone overboard.

Because maybe this wasn't even my home. These landmarks, what did they mean? Was I obvious here? When I smiled, did I trick them into believing that I felt some vague sense of approval? Or did my expressions betray me?

Out in all that garbage-streaked emptiness — despite the occasional burst of passing halogen — I couldn't tell if everything we encountered was haunted or just old, derelict, broken, useless. One never-ending landfill.

Around those parts, they'd made everything into junk. Homes. Roads. Glass. Nature. Life itself, they made into junk.

I cringed as we passed yet another deer carcass mounded on the side of the road.

As written in Job 35:11,

Who teaches us more than the beasts of the earth and makes us wiser than the birds in the sky?

Nobody. Look at nature and you feel something powerful. Look at an animal, in all of its untamable majesty, and you capture a deep love, all swept up in the power of creation. But, here, all I saw were poor creatures who people had slammed into and kept driving. Driving to where? For what reason? What exactly was so important that they left a trail of dead animals behind them?

So I crossed myself dolorously and said an "Our Father" and recited a stanza from Charles Bukowski's "The Laughing Heart"

you can't beat death but
you can beat death in life, sometimes.
and the more often you learn to do it,
the more light there will be.

Out here, nothing but darkness. Needing some light, by God. Give me something better than a Moon that hides like an underfed coward.

Jade told me about some of the more traumatic things she'd seen while working at the State Fair.

"Bro, they pull roaches out of the iced lemonade jugs and act like nothing happened."

"All right but what about the corn dogs?"

"You do not want to know, little bro."

She looked around in the quiet. "Back in the day, the Louisiana Congress refused to raise the drinking age from 18 to 21," she said. "They didn't want to lose all that drunk gambler money. So the federal government cut off funding to highways."

We glided through moon-pale landscape for an hour before I realized what she had meant. That there weren't any light poles or billboards along the road. Nothing to guide us or distract us. Just us, alone. And it felt like outer space had collapsed, swallowed us like jellybeans.

Like two teenagers playing a prank on the universe.

In the cozy Subaru Crosstrek, in the old wild night, brimming with the uncertainty of life and the nonchalance of failure, we paraded ourselves back to Dallas. Alive in the river silence that follows us everywhere.

New installments come Mondays and Thursdays. Next, the Iowa caucuses. Check out my Twitter. Email me at kryan@blazemedia.com

The Iowa primary is just around the corner, and concerns of election interference from the last presidential election still loom. Back in 2016, The Associated Press found that a majority of U.S. elections systems still use Windows 7 as an operating system, making them highly susceptible to bugs and errors. And last year, a Mississippi voter tried multiple times to vote for the candidate of his choice, but the system continuously switched his vote to the other candidate. It's pretty clear: America's voting systems desperately need an update.

That's where blockchain voting comes in.

Blockchain voting is a record-keeping system that's 100% verifiable and nearly impossible to hack. Blockchain, the newest innovation in cybersecurity, is set to grow into a $20 billion industry by 2025. Its genius is in its decentralized nature, distributing information throughout a network of computers, requiring would-be hackers to infiltrate a much larger system. Infiltrating multiple access points spread across many computers requires a significant amount of computing power, which often costs more than hackers expect to get in return.

Blockchain voting wouldn't allow for many weak spots. For instance, Voatz, arguably the leading mobile voting platform, requires a person to take a picture of their government-issued ID and a picture of themselves before voting (a feature, of course, not present in vote-by-mail, where the only form of identity verification is a handwritten signature, which is easily forgeable). Voters select their choices and hit submit. They then receive an immediate receipt of their choices via email, another security feature not present in vote-by-mail, or even in-person voting. And because the system operates on blockchain technology, it's nearly impossible to tamper with.

Votes are then tabulated, and the election results are published, providing a paper trail, which is a top priority for elections security experts.

The benefits of blockchain voting can't be dismissed. Folks can cast their vote from the comfort of their homes, offices, etc., vastly increasing the number of people who can participate in the electoral process. Two to three-hour lines at polling places, which often deter voters, would become significantly diminished.

Even outside of the voting increase, the upsides are manifold. Thanks to the photo identification requirements, voter fraud—whether real or merely suspected—would be eliminated. The environment would win, too, since we'd no longer be wasting paper on mail-in ballots. Moreover, the financial burden on election offices would be alleviated, because there's decreased staff time spent on the election, saving the taxpayer money.

From Oregon to West Virginia, elections offices have already implemented blockchain voting, and the results have been highly positive. For example, the city of Denver utilized mobile voting for overseas voters in their 2019 municipal elections. The system was secure and free of technical errors, and participants reported that it was very user-friendly. Utah County used the same system for their 2019 primary and general elections. An independent audit revealed that every vote that was cast on the app was counted and counted correctly. These successful test cases are laying the groundwork for even larger expansions of the program in 2020.

With this vital switch, our elections become significantly more secure, accurate, and efficient. But right now, our election infrastructure is a sitting duck for manipulation. Our current lack of election integrity undermines the results of both local and national elections, fans the flames of partisanship, and zaps voter confidence in the democratic system. While there's never a silver bullet or quick fix to those kinds of things, blockchain voting would push us much closer to a solution than anything else.

Chris Harelson is the Executive Director at Prosperity Council and a Young Voices contributor.