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View Diary: Here Come the Freshmen (38 comments)

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  •  I've been thinking that we really really (10+ / 0-)

    need a national overview for elections, especially House and state and local elections. For years we've let the Kochs have the run of the place and they have killed us with their stealth candidates. And their stealth ALEC agenda. I don't know how it would work, but we need to keep from getting hammered in 2014.

    American Television is a vast sea of stupid. -xxdr zombiexx

    by glitterscale on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 12:51:41 PM PST

    •  Unfortunately, Elections are left to the states (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pecanlandman, glitterscale

      to regulate and some of them devolve the power out to the counties and municipalities.
      The resulting jumble of laws and rules, non-standard ballots, a plethora of machines, et cetera, makes oversight VERY difficult.
      I would like to see a Federal Election Agency created, a Civil Service, non-partisan bureau, on the lines of the Census, probably housed inside of DoJ, with field offices in every state, that administers elections.
      One of the tasks they would be charged with would be to write the software for all voting systems, in opensource, and publish it online where it can be inspected by codehead citizens. That software, and the votes counted, would be the property of the People of the United States, not proprietary to any private enterprise as it is now.
      Slot machines in the casinos work on software that is checked by State Gaming Commission inspectors armed with certified thumb drives, If a machine is suspect, the software can be verified simply and quickly, if the machine's software doesn't match, the machine is impounded until it's been hosed and re-installed.
      And that's for a machine that sucks up nickles.
      My vote is worth more to me than a bucket of nickles.
      The Election Agency should have observers and auditors at every vote tabulating center as well as spotchecking random precincts.
      The machines can be sourced to any number of companies but they all must comply with Election Agency compatibility requirements, just the way they do for Firewire devices or Photoshop plugins.
      All systems should have some form of paper ballot that the voter has seen and approved before it gets scanned and thereafter, it is held in a locked ballot box until the election is certified or until a recount is ordered.
      I like the idea of using touch screen systems to choose, that prints out on plain paper, your finished ballot. That way, you can annotate entries, linking information on the candidates and initiatives without swamping the voters with TMI, but not leaving them without the information they need, TLI. Electronic ballots also allow for easier disability access. They also make correcting a ballot, like when a candidate dies or drops out just before election day, much easier
      The final print that you approve is what you carry over to the scanner. If you find that it didn't come out as you wanted, you can crumple it up and print a different one, it's not a numbered ballot that can be spoiled, it's plain paper until it goes into the box.
      I also liked the idea that California has done which is to use MANY small polling places, like one for every 200 voters, in places near where people live and work. With 5 machines, if it takes 5 minutes to vote, the whole precinct can be DONE in 3 hours! 20 machines, under one hour! Line? What line?
      All of this would be aimed at making it easy and quick, to encourage turnout, to broaden the electorate.
      Oh yeah, and make Election Day a national holiday where all but essential services are closed.
      It's more important than Christmas or Easter and those days shut down just about everything (extremely inconvenient days for Atheists and other non-Christians).
      Of course all of this would take a Constitutional Amendment, so while we're wishin', lets dump the Electoral College in favor of a National Popular Vote.

      If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

      by CwV on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 04:06:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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