Well, I just got back from voting. I think everyone probably knows who I voted for and if you’re thinking I wasted my vote I think you wasted yours on Kerry (or Bush). At any rate, I have a few observations on the whole voting process.
- Next to all candidates was their party designation, except in the cases of judges, who were marked “NP” or “Non-Partisan”. What a joke! I don’t know about you, but I’d like to know where judges stand on such issues as abortion, gay rights, etc.
- The process was extremely quick. I was in and out in about 20 minutes.
- I’m frustrated at how low tech the whole process is. I LIKE voting with paper because paper trails are a Good ThingTM. However, I’d like a “voter verification” code that I could check online if need be. I envision it working much like a UPS trcking number. I could view when my ballot was cast, if it was “official”, verify my votes and, if it was deemed an “invalid” vote why it was deemed such.
The next problem I see with the entire voting process is that lawyers are becoming more and more involved in the process. If we have a repeat of last year’s debacle where the man with the majority of the votes loses the election in the courts, we’re going to have a serious problem on our hands. Voters will become disenfranchised with the process (why vote if the courts decide in the end?). Other countries will begin to question the stability of our election process (the UN, by the way, is overseeing our election this year – something usually reserved for third world countries experiencing their first elections). In other words, it’ll be a huge clusterfuck. I, of course, have an opinion on how things could be fixed.
- Either move to a popular vote or mandate the Electoral College vote in a percentage based way, instead of the current winner-takes-all way. Currently if Bush wins Ohio by 3 votes he takes ALL of Ohios Electoral College votes. Under my changes Bush would get 51% of Ohio’s EC votes and Kerry would get 49% of Ohio’s EC votes.
- Allow all parties who appear on at least 40 state ballots to participate in the Presidential Debates. If he’s a valid candidate who is on enough ballots to win the election he should get just as much air time as everyone else.
- Change The House of Represenatives into a representative body based on percentage of votes. If the Green Party got 10% of the votes they would get 10% of the seats in the House for that particular state.
- Allow for popular votes on federal issues. I’m not sure if this is currently happening or not, but for certain issues I should be able to vote on federal laws.
I think we need to get away from the thought that our “Democracy” (it’s, by definition, actually a Republic) is perfect. It has known flaws and, luckily, our framers have given us avenues to fix those flaws. In time, I hope they are fixed. If not we could be in for some major problems in the very near future.