The election system I'd like to see - Trust but verifySubmitted by rufrignkidnme on Mon, 12/19/2011 - 13:45
Among a lot of the memorable things President Reagan said were the words "Trust, but verify." He was referring to the Soviets at the time but I think it apropos now to apply it to our own election system.
My proposal would go something like:
When a verified citizen of a state registers to vote they are assigned a computer generated number upon a simple plastic card with on the front and a randomly generated computer number and 4 digit security code on the back. This would be the voter id to be used for no other purpose or to have any associated personal information recorded about it in any way other than the date it was generated and the state for which it was generated.
*Edit - on further thinking there would have to be some identification associated with the number and the voter to prevent the creation of Ghost voter numbers. My original thinking was to provide privacy to avoid possible voter intimidation but that risk is less and more easily answered than numbers being created and associated to no voters.
(The only thing the officials know is the number of ids that exist, what the actual id numbers are, and for which jurisdictions/elections the id is valid to vote. This would not be another ss number or a new national ID.)
When an election is held - be it for whom to elect to city/county/state/federal office or a local proposal the card/id number would be used to cast the ballot. As a control, either only current valid numbers would be accepted or all votes would be accepted and then invalid / dupes could be washed out post vote. Voting could require the physical card at a physical location or just the entry of the number.
I prefer the idea of the later of these options as then elections could be held online and debate held by everyone for months and voted on over the course of 1-2 weeks. Instead of sound byte media and frenetic Tuesday mornings.
Regardless of the details, when the person votes, they enter their secret and private ID number and their selection.
Later, each voter could go to a website and look up the recorded votes which would be published as simply two columns. The first column would be a list of alpha/numerically arranged numbers and the second column is the vote associated with each.
With the 4 digit security code, like the 3 digits given for credit cards, a feature of the verification website could be that the voter “verifies” his vote is recorded accurately by clicking a box and entering the security code. This might cause a green checkmark to appear next to each vote that has been user verified.
At this point, a total vote count can be seen by everyone AND each vote can be verified by those who cast it. So, if people see that their votes are being misreported they can step forward. It would take the option of “tweaking” the votes by 2 – 3% out of the establishment’s toolbox.
I realize there are some holes in this that would have to be fleshed out and that any system devised by man may be gamed by him as well.
For instance, fraud might still occur if someone moves or passes away and their voter Id is still valid.
To address moving, currently if you move residence you are required to re-register in your new area. So my proposal on this would be the same except with the addition of turning in the old card to the new district which would reports the number only to the old district to be removed from the rolls, shreds the card, and generates new card. This or some other acceptable process can be devised.
Perhaps it might be necessary to register to vote and receive a new voter id generated every one or two years. Or perhaps after a number is not used to vote in two consecutive elections it would be purged requiring the voter to reregister –however, this would open up the need to be able to verify folks and generate numbers at the polls. I prefer purging All number annually or bi-annually and requiring re-registration. This would ensure that civil war, WW I veterans, and others no longer rise from the grave and cast their votes for the establishment.
Technology today should make this a breeze – if it wasn’t for the entrenched interests – to find a logical and rational solution to any issues which arise.
Of all the aspects of a system like this only the procedure for reporting and removing numbers from rolls must be uniform across the Union. The removal of the number must also be verifiable by the voter. This is because it involves interstate communication.
Thoughts, comments, or interpretation of this into legislative form for submittal to my senator and representatives for introduction would be appreciated. We forget that we can do that – they should introduce any constitutional bill a constituent brings to them.