Thinking about a voting system that makes it lawfully necessary to report in a public forum (i.e. newspaper etc.), the results of an election. It would have to be in a way that each voter could confirm their votes by anonymous means thereby making the results more transparent.
If you think about it, how do we know that the vote one casts on election day actually gets counted? And, the opposite, how do we know that some votes counted were cast by a live, actual citizen? Yes, dead people cast votes for their favorite candidate quite often. How do we hear who has won our very important elections? Typically the media tells us. Yes thats right, those trustworthy, completely ethical, not bias organizations, tell us who won. And we just go along with it. No proof, no backup. We’re just trusting that they are adding it up correctly! But, we get the “I Voted” sticker, so we feel that we’ve done our part, and we are good Americans. Well, you can keep that pointless sticker.
Sometimes in national contests as the west coast starts voting, the media is already reporting which candidate has won on the east coast. Do you think that this has sway with the west coast voters? I would say it most likely does. Some people tend to not vote for someone if they think said candidate has already lost. It’s almost like wanting to brag that you voted for the candidate who won, it might seem to say that you may have political acumen if you chose the winner. Everyone wants to be on the winning team, right? Haha, not me!
Then there is the issue of non US citizens casting votes. Now it is difficult to know exactly how many illegal aliens have voted. There have been instances where it has happened. With the presidential elections being within a couple million votes these days, a small percentage of population could have a major impact on the outcome. This is a good paper that outlines some info in regards to that question. Seems that problem would be greatly reduced if all states required the people to present a photo ID in order to vote. Some states don’t even make people provide ID’s.
See this map of voter ID laws by state.
Now look at the map of the per state breakdown by political party of the last presidential election. Interesting how similar the non voting ID states tend to align with the Democratic states. Why is that?
Bottom line, Americans need to come up with a better election system. One that is able to be confirmed by the populous. Here’s one idea…
We call it “The Common Sense Voter Transparency Act”. Yes, we should use the phrase “common sense” because it seems anytime you put the word common sense in front of anything these days, it resonates with people. Everyone wants to be associated with having common sense, right? The CSVTA, would pass some laws for federal elections. First off, it would be mandatory to show ID to get a ballot. Then each person would choose a random ballot that had a number associated with it. Secondly, any federal election would last an entire week, not a few hours. We would take our time, do our due diligence, and avoid the immediate gratification tendencies that we have embraced as a people, as of late.
It might be broken down as follows…
Day 1–Election Day–Election day would be a holiday. No one would go to work that day. The only thing a US citizen would do that day is vote. Also, no one would know who won, because the votes would not be counted at all on this day. This would also prevent the media from speculating on a winner, and therefore possibly swaying those still on the fence.
Day 2–Counting Day–Ballots get counted on day two and day three. A law would be passed that would carry a stiff jail penalty if any voter volunteer would leak info in regards to the election results.
Day 3–Counting Day–Ballots get counted on day two and day three. A law would be passed that would carry a stiff jail penalty if any voter volunteer would leak info in regards to the election results.
Day 4–Reporting Day–On reporting day, the results would be physically published in a newspaper. It wouldn’t just be a big headline, because it would still be preliminary, it would be a listing of everyone in that city/district/ community that voted. It would have the number that was associated with your randomly chosen ballot and next to it, what that number voted for. This way, each American could look up and confirm in the local newspaper that their vote was counted properly. With that, you could compare with trusted family and friends, which way they voted, to enable a random double check system. This would also provide a paper backup for posterity.
Day 5–Ensure Accuracy Day--As with anything, this day would be a buffer to confirm any errors that might have occurred. This day would be for the person who did not see their voting record in the newspaper, etc.
Day 6–Correct Inaccuracy Day–Just as it sounds, this day would correct any found errors.
Day 7–Official Reporting Day–This day would be where the winner of the election officially wins.
A system like this would enable the citizenry to verify that their vote was counted correctly, that would ensure each district/state recorded correctly. Now, This is a raw thought and some further thinking would need to be done to make it better of course, but you get the gist. WE need to change the way we elect people. And ultimately, that would lead to a more perfect union!
I would love to hear any critical thoughts or additions to this idea!