From: the other end of the sidewalk
Member Rating: 3.8
Message 1 of 2 (794662)
11-19-2016 8:35 AM
There are several things we could do to improve our voting system, and with the last year democrat primaries and the general election I think it may be time to have a national conversation on this topic. I'll start:
There are three main facets: voter's rights, verifying voters and verifying vote counts.
We need a voter bill of rights:
- ALL citizens should be eligible to vote in ALL state and federal elections.
- Natural born citizens could be automatically registered NPP (no party preference) on their 18th birthday, with a photo ID (issued through post office similar to passports) much like draft cards used to be issued.
- ALL naturalized citizens automatically registered NPP when they earn their citizenship, and they receive a photo ID.
- NPP registered people eligible to vote in ALL primaries, and can change to the party of the primary at the time they vote.
- House of representative districts need to be apportioned by a rational metric removed from party bias, such as population density based on census data, and all candidates should be a resident of their district and have voted in it in the previous election. People have a right to proper equitable representation.
- Every citizen should be able to vote without question or restriction of any kind (the federal government could issue photo ID voter cards through the post office just as passports are issued, they can be issued on the 18th birthday for natural born citizens, and issued when naturalized citizens pass their citizenship requirements).
- Mail-in ballots should be available to everyone upon request.
- ALL ballots should be paper ballots, the same as mail-in ballots, that can be recounted.
- All ballots should be instant run-off ballots.
- ALL votes to be counted before ANY results announced.
- No more "winner take all" states for electoral college delegates: make delegates proportional to popular votes.
- Every primary, state and national election should be by verifiable paper ballots with ranked/instant runoff voting, so no candidate can be a "spoiler" in any race.
- The final primary ranked votes are not counted until the convention, and every state shall have counted and correlated all votes before the convention.
- The final ranked national elections are not counted until the electoral college and every state shall have counted and correlated all votes before the convention.
Use of the primaries and the electoral college as the final counting system for the ranked votes has three benefits: (a) it does not require amendment to the constitution, (b) it gives states time to resolve anomalies and even run another vote if necessary, and (c) this shifts the media circus from election night to the day of the convention or the electoral college. This shift allows states time to validate and recount the ballots.
Voter fraud is rare and usually insignificant to the elections, but this is the reason we have voter photo ID laws in some states, however the laws currently are more about suppression of votes than preventing voter fraud.
The reason that we KNOW photo ID laws are not about double voting voter fraud, but about restricting votes is because:
- There is no process to provide valid photo ID's at the polling stations at no cost to voters if you bring sufficient documents to qualify for one (eg -- what you need at other places to get one) and
- The states do not budget to provide ID's for existing registered voters and do not take any responsibility for providing valid ID's for people that are registered. There are no touring facilities to provide the photo ID's.
- There is no specified standard for the photo size or orientation, and there is no database collected of photos used.
- Allowable photo IDs show bias, allowing NRA membership cards but not university ID cards.
- Places (DMV etc) where you can get photo IDs are shut down in black neighborhoods.
- There is no program to scan photos at the polls and compare them to a digital database that can search for duplications.
This is voter suppression, ie election fraud, pure and simple.
Thus the voter's rights for every citizen to get a federal photo citizen ID, and a federal requirement that any state that requires photo IDs should accept the citizen ID.
Alternatively all paper ballots could have a cover sheet to verify the voter with address and thumbprint turned in when ballot picked up.
Verifying the vote counts
People have a right to know that their vote has been counted in the way they voted.
The easiest way I see to accomplish this is to have a random code on every ballot with a copy for the voter to take home and look up on the tabulated votes and see their vote is correctly documented.
The voting commissions also record the number of voters so that "votes" can't be added to the total.
This can be initiated through petitions to governments or through ballot initiatives: see https://ballot.org/