As we embark on yet another election cycle with little having changed in our election systems, I have several thoughts about what I hope for at some point. These potential changes are going to be part of how I evaluate candidates. Does a candidate talk about the need for changes? Are there specifics in the speeches or just grand rhetoric? Is there any detailing of intentions on the candidate’s website?
I’ve broken down some ideas into three categories where changes are needed. In the interest of brevity, I’ve decided to use an outline format for the rest of this post.
- remove Gerrymandering in federal, state & county districts
- change process of redistricting after each census – non-partisan, independent panel of judges – elected by peers, not appointed by governor or legislature
- legislation to require identification of all donors to all parties, PACs, etc.
- popular vote of president and vice president – at the very least, requiring each state’s electors to vote for the candidate that won that state’s popular vote
- ranked voting, open primaries (all candidates from all parties together)
- run-off of top two if 51% not achieved in primary by top candidate
- state-wide election of all Federal legislative positions – not just Senate, also House
- effectively electing several House members to represent each state
- all eligible are registered to vote automatically – as result of any state registration – drivers’ license, auto tags, hunting license, etc., birth certificate with validation date on 18th birthday; removed from voter roll when death certificate is issued
- any use of electronic voting machines would require a verification system beyond original voting machine/device
- election period month long, not just one day – first step, election day national holiday, with mandatory paid time off to vote for employees in essential jobs that day
- electronic voting (online) option, eventually when security can be assured
- mandatory minimum number of polling places to serve the population adequately (reducing the number has been a voter suppression tactic by Republicans)
Party Approach Changes
- party members/candidates listen more than speak in early phases of campaign to gain genuine perspective of the electorate
- until automatic registration is initiated, create a registration drive to reach all eligible to vote
- national primary instead of individual states or regions