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For your consideration: “The Democracy Amendment”

It seems to me that we’re not going to get lasting progress on issues that matter until we insist on fundamental voting reforms.

As long as primaries can be overturned at the whim of elected delegates & delegate votes overturned at the whim of the Delegation Chairs then current primary elections (and don’t even think of putting caucuses in the same category as an election) are meaningless.

It wasn’t that long ago that the popular vote was overturned NOT just by the Supreme Court deciding the outcome of the Florida election but, by the Electoral College which made that decision so critical.  Without the Electoral College, those few votes in Florida wouldn’t have mattered at all. No one disputes that Al Gore won the popular vote for United States President in 2000.

And we also know that with electronic voting machines leaving no paper trail we can’t really rely on the vote counts anyway….

Therefore I’m proposing for your consideration: a Constitutional Amendment, “The Democracy Amendment”comprised of the following sections:

  1. Abolish Electoral College and replace with Popular vote
  2. National Presidential Primary … a single day for candidates of all potential candidates in whichever parties to run for President all on one day
  3. Hand count ballots by human beings in front of any interested voters: No electronic or mechanical or digital counting of ballots
  4. District of Columbia represented with full voting rights in US Senate & House. (and whatever else that would make them more fully human) …

Are there other voting issues that need to be addressed to give us an actual democracy?

The floor is open to amendments.  But, I recommend keeping it simple.


10 Responses

  1. Oh wow, with one primary day, think of all the money we’d save.

    • Save money and BS…. The conventions could continue for the purposes of developing the Party Planks. But, other than that they’d wither away. And none-to-soon!

  2. No wins via plurality. Vote for candidates by ranking them from most preferred to least preferred (aka: instant run-off voting).

    “None of the Above” as a meaningful selection wherein a majority choosing that option causes a recall of the candidate(s).

    • Good point — you mean no President elected with less than 50+% ? And the recall option is good.

      That has to be worked into simple non-ambiguous sections.

      • Exactly. I remember a primary not long ago with four candidates running. The result was that the winner got the nomination with only 45% of the votes, meaning the majority actually voted against the nominee (albeit split among three other people). Wikipedia has a good entry in IRV.

    • Oooh, I like the instant runoff idea. Isn’t this somewhat similar to a caucus where the losing candidates’ supporters have to redistribute themselves? I like it but it has to be run differently from a caucus and without the potential for interference from a candidate’s supporters who want to monkey wrench the procedure.

  3. Once we get this worked out, I want to send it around to places that will get people talking.

  4. my mind is already spinning with how we keep track of the ballots after they are counted and then need to travel to the next level up for safe keeping for recounts….. I know that is not in the spirit of keeping it simple.
    Okay, how about everybody gets the purple thumb dye?

  5. Whenever government makes something needlessly complicated it’s because some one who benefits wants it that way. In this case it’s the print and broadcast media that benefits by selling political ad space then reporting on the elections. Same as the needless invasion of Iraq, nothing sells soap flakes like news programs with laser guided bombs blowing the shit out of stuff.

  6. Legal Paper Ballots is good. One National Primary Day could be good. A Three Day Voting Weekend to give people who work every weekday and/or some weekend days a chance to vote would be good.
    Abolish the Electoral College? So that 15 overpopulated bicoastal states can elect someone to persecute and exploit 35 underpopulated nonbicoastal states? Good luck getting that Ammendment ratified.
    Better to just hold formal talks on dividing an ungovernable country into smaller self-governing and governable New Nations.

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