26 October 2008

A Truly Wasted Vote ...

Please don't vote for the person you think will win an election unless you honestly believe (s)he is the best suited to the job. That would be a truly wasted vote.

This presidential cycle, I'm disgusted by all of my choices -so- (per usual) I'm voting for the best governing philosophy (imho). How is it, with over 301 million people in America -and- 4 years between elections, we don't ever end up with too many good options?

If I could change our election system, I'd:
  • Forget about primaries and caucuses (on a Federal level). Each party is responsible for their own internal elections process. Public polls and monies shall not be used to help parties pick their nominees. Instead ...

  • Officially start the Federal Campaign on Labor Day by kicking off an "Issues Tournament" over the net and use that to designate the "Final Four" participants for the televised debates. Accept all who qualify (according to article II section I of the U.S. Constitution).

  • No campaign funding limits whatsoever -but- every donation of any size must be immediately posted for the public and easily searchable via the web.

  • Debates would be held on each of the three Sunday evenings leading up to election day. Each would have a theme, no audience, no panel of reporters. Just a moderator, a table, and the candidates.

  • Get rid of the Electoral College completely (sorry Dakotas, Alaska, Vermont, and Wyoming).

  • Voting machines would be in two parts. The first is a private booth with intuitive accessible touch-screen display. It generates a scannable, human-readable ballot on a single piece of paper. The second part is the scanner (located in polling places near the exit). It scans (face-down) and reports immediate results electronically across a Federally secured network.

  • Scanned paper ballots remain secured inside the scanner's vault until received by proper federal authorities.

  • The Federal Elections System would set up an Elections Registry. It would be a state of the art digital certificate / identification system. Those who wish could enroll in this system at their local post office -and- would obtain license to cast their vote over any secure net connection.

  • The directory of this ID / license system would be completely transparent and free to all. One could use these digital certificates elsewhere (as a more secure alternative to SSID, for example).

  • Same exact system everywhere.
And that would just about do it, I think.


Unknown said...

The private key may be a potential security risk for the digital ID. It would be really interesting to use some type of physical attribute such as fingerprint, DNA, or Iris scan. Then we can really get big brother into our personal lives with fully enabled scanning devices everywhere - the convience capabilities would be endless.

J.T. said...

I always look forward to the election season changes to this blog! I'm pretty much right there with you on most of the points, but have a serious gut fear on the ID tagging.

I did a quick story skeleton on an individually identifying RFID concept that I just couldn't find a way to spin in a positive light. The end result seems to be an inevitable loss of freedom.

I think that it will end up happening one way or another, is it a case of getting the right people working on it with the right motivations and under the proper monitoring, or does that become an example of unintended consequences? I'll be honest, I'd rather it occur under a Libertarian leadership where there's at least a modicum of trust in the individual as opposed to the Democrat and Republican parties that see us as so many red and blue chips.