NOW lets talk about election reform.

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    No more last-second attempts to thwart the vote. No more letting it get caught up in the legal system just before an election. If you’re serious about election reform, then NOW is the right time to do it.

    You want voter ID laws? Ok then, how do you plan on realistically getting an ID in the hands of every eligible voter before the next National election? Gotta start soon, or you run the risk of disenfranchising many citizens, and this is not acceptable.

    Also, is there a good case to be made for streamlining and standardizing the ballots/ voting machines? I think there is.

    Shouldn’t there be a record for voters to keep, to verify their participation in any election? Not all systems have this.

    Is it not reasonable to only make decisions that give the most people possible the chance to vote? Should there be an effort to make sure as few votes as possible are left out? Wouldn’t this give more credibility to whoever/whatever wins?

    Again, this needs to be addressed ASAP. The longer the wait, the less credible anyone coming forward with 11th hour “solutions” in the form of challenges to the current system becomes.



    RE the constitution, these things can only be addressed by the state and local elected officials and the constituents that live in them. The founders wanted the House of representatives to choose the president. (Sure it was a compromise between slave holding advocates and non slave holding forces, but that got decided 70 some years later)

    Per the supreme court (bush v Gore) there is no federal law that creates a right to vote.



    Ken’s right re: state control. The thing to do is to introduce fair legislation in every possible state asap and see how fast it can be standardized. ALEC wrote tons of boilerplate laws for every GOP controlled state legislature after 2010 – and lots of them passed. Time to counter that with things that level the playing field.



    (this isn’t really hard)…If $billions$ are securely transacted for businesses annually via the internet…I know you can fairly easily construct an ultra secure and standard voting method that you can access using your SSN or SSN+unique designator and other security feature to weed out the duplicate ssn’s or fraudulent ID’s. American Idol voting…on steroids.

    No need for special machines. Any Phone, PC, tablet, or smartphone app will do…with a secure access.

    The system would be intelligent to weed out duplicate votes from the same ID and weed out those who are alive but not of age (with SSN’s).

    It would match your voter reg to your specific “master” ID or you don’t get a vote.

    It would be nearly an immediate result update.

    For those small % without PC’s or smartphones – head to a local library or set up location.

    What if the system is hacked on election day or the power is out?


    Sure…all real possibilities…but if you build in redundancy (power, communication, and use a few NASA folks…) you will be fine.

    Fall back to the paper copies if needed – but I would not use election day as cut off – it should be one or two days prior.



    You want voter ID laws? Ok then, how do you plan on realistically getting an ID in the hands of every eligible voter before the next National election?

    You make the IDs available. If you don’t currently have a form of ID that qualifies, you have 4 years (2 for midterms) to get to the nearest issuing facility. That seems like plenty of time, even for people with disabilities or geographical obstacles.

    Of course, getting the ID isn’t going to be the problem, it’s the deciding on the criteria. Birth Certificate? Social Security card? Proof of x number of years of living at some US address? The first time a Hispanic man is turned away for an id because he doesn’t have the proper paperwork, all hell is going to break loose.

    There’s going to be no way to do it that doesn’t have somebody crying foul. The requirements will either be too permissive for Conservative tastes, or too restrictive for Liberal tastes.

    In keeping with the spirit of the original post, the time to implement it would be about 4 hours ago. The more time it has to get the kinks ironed out, the better. But I’m sure we would still see the tension ratchet way up again come election season.




    all hell broke loose because little old ladies and men who didn’t have the proper paper trail to obtain a state ID in spite of the fact that they were born in the United States and had been exercising their rights as citizens for many decades weren’t able to get IDs …

    I recently got a new passport after foolishly letting mine expire. If i count right on my fingers.. i had to have a full dozen pieces of state notarized documents for birth, adoption, marriages, divorces, being widowed, taking the name on my birth certificate back and marrying again… this in spite of the fact that I have held a US Passport in the last but one last name and proved every transition to get that passport… and had a current state enhanced driver’s license that required each and every one of the pieces of ID i had to provide to get my passport.

    I am only 63 and i have a copy of my certificate of live birth issued by the state of Nebraska in 1949…

    lucky me that i had the foresight long ago to request and pay for multiple certified copies of everything when they were still easily accessible and affordable.

    Without my dozens of papers.. it becomes difficult to prove who i am.




    remember that there are a lot of people with no smart phones or internet access. believe it or not, there are still people who don’t have land lines.

    what about people with varying disabilities that might prevent them from registering the way others do?

    i guess the real question is, “what process do all americans over age 18 share, in common, that would allow them to register to vote automatically, regardless of ability or means?”

    for example, motor voter was great, but it’s limited.



    Why not a cross-platform voter registration system? Something like motor-voter, but combined with other things…say Vehicle registration, driver’s license, gun registration, passport renewal, address change via USPS, food stamp registration, etc. Really try to expose as many people from as many different socio-economic backgrounds as possible to voter registration ID creation. It can be done wirelessly via any camera with the ability to be connected to the internet.

    Any time someone registers or re-ups one of these types of programs, they may be presented with the opportunity to have a FREE ID made for them which can be registered with the voter roles of their state and can be renewed as necessary.

    Does something along these lines sound reasonable?



    Or just through the IRS. File your taxes, and receive an ID card.



    so, you’re talking about voter ID and such, which is fine, but there are very few instances of voter fraud. an easy way to do it would be to use your SSN for your voter ID number.

    what we really need to be talking about is election fraud through rigged voting machines, misinforming opposition voters about polling places and times, and outright wholesale purchase of elections – and the people running for office.



    redblack nailed the real problems

    “what we really need to be talking about is election fraud through rigged voting machines, misinforming opposition voters about polling places and times, and outright wholesale purchase of elections – and the people running for office. “



    Why doesn’t every state have mail in ballots? Seems so simple vs standing in line for hours. Much more civilized.



    redblack…I totally hear you…

    Not everyone has technology accessible. But more do than don’t. You work around this…

    But also…Not everyone votes. Politicians count on this of course…

    So…given the parameters of this dream…

    They shot guys into space and landed on the moon 50 years ago with thinking through the problem…the risks…and tested systems & processes.

    This is no different..and we have technology 1,000 times more powerful at our disposal.

    First – you register. You get your ID with a Master Identifier that is only you. Build in impossible to duplicate algorythms and double checks. Upgrade this process to define who really is eligible and WILL actually vote. How / Where you register? Similar to opportunity now (online, paper, DOL, etc)…but with increased security scrutiny.

    Second – during the registering…you opt for how you will vote. Tech…No Tech.

    If you choose NO Tech…you will be given the option to select “Can Travel”…”Can’t Travel” to a set up location with technology.

    3rd – “Can’t Travel” voters who are eligible will have technology brought to them via a certified election member with credentials and secure technology – who will assist in the voting process – NOT influence – just assist.

    4th – Mail in ballots will always be an option for the “old school” folks and emergency.

    I think of the reverse engineering of the link that was posted for checking if my vote was counted.

    All someone did was feed my ballot through a high speed scanner and wallah (magically)…I am in the system.

    Take out the majority of those scanning staff…re-purpose them to be the traveling tech teams that go to the Senior Centers with IPADS and such and allow the online voting to provide more immediate and secure results.

    I restate the obvious – there are really really smart people who can build a really really secure system to confront fraud.

    Meanwhile…the kids of the guys who sent the guys to the moon…are planning trips to Mars…

    Where to next century?



    365 Stairs:

    What you said sounds reasonable to me. Go vote on a secure website with SSN as access. I would add open voting for up to 2 weeks online to cover 99%+ of the problems people will have finding the time to get to the requisite technology.

    Does anyone see any shortcomings to this solution? There probably are some that aren’t obvious.



    Add in a secure printing option for submitted ballots like any transaction confirmation and you might be good? Lack of paper trail is what concerns me with current black box voting…



    But seriously, any https based system is hackable. I’m not sure that we’re not just exchanging one issue for another even potentially more insecure one. I think the current paper ballot counters are just fine.



    Well redblack.. public library? The shortcoming is THIS state… the slowest in the nation .. even Florida looks downright speedy. At some point.. if you want to vote.. you might have to exert some effort. I got something in the mail…. telling me how many times I voted in the general elections…. I assume it counted. I love the chicanery… they used to bribe my Irish ancestors with strong drink and a free lunch… we have progressed…. we get a lot more than that now.



    Yes…everything man-made and technology sourced is hackable…

    Just like every manual paper document was/is now.

    If you build this correctly and install layers of secure oversight, the only way corruption happens is due to an inside job – easily pin pointed through user ID / system admin ID, etc.

    What do we want?

    Properly & Securely accounted for votes from as many eligible voters as possible in the quickest amount of time with built in contingencies for delays caused by diasters.

    The infrasture of the internet & communication has built in redundancy to handle large traffic.

    Look at the sheer volume and how fast they know how many Twitter feeds occur at certain times of the day during national events.

    Give a dozen or so kids from Google, FaceBook, Twitter, or Amazon a month and about $10M with untlimited RockStar Energy drinks and they will build this with their eyes closed.




    The ease of e-voting is a compelling argument, but there are other problems not so visible with doing so. I see: security, privacy, & the inability to recount votes as some top problems.

    You can have great security on centralized servers, admin IDs, etc, but what about vulnerability from the weakest links, the peripheral computers? How do you handle the security of home PCs, smart devices, library & school computers, etc. Viruses, malwares for example could quietly infect a personal system, take your voter input and change it, or present different options onscreen — sending something different back, without anyone being aware.

    Another thing. Right now when you vote you have secrecy that keeps your vote private. You can tell everyone how you voted… but you can’t Prove It. You get no “receipt”, and your signature and name are even separated from your completed ballot before its counted. Meaning, someone can’t coerce you to cast a certain vote. If there was an electronic system compromise, hundreds of individual voters and their votes would be exposed.

    Also, you can’t do recounts electronically. Many elections are determined by only a couple votes. Recounts are done, again and again, auditors present, with visible ballots. How would you recount an electronic result? Esp. with differences of only 10-20 votes between candidates? How do you prove the results?

    Seems to me e-voting presents national security risks. Google was cyberattacked in 2010:

    Big software makers can’t make their own systems completely and totally inpenetrable, so I don’t trust a US e-voting system against global hackers. Some high population areas (and counties) have billions of dollars at stake in their election. There’s no reason to assume there aren’t interested parties who would not jump at the opportunity to hack it.

    And who would have access to the source code? The developers would have to be killed! :P



    Very good input Meg! I have an inkling you’re a techie of solid creds…

    Couldn’t a recount theoretically be confirmed by the digital signatures left behind by the confirmed ID log in (trace back)?

    I understand…my input is not even original and is a pipe dream at best.

    But going back to hanging chad is much less desirable than taking full advantage of technology and use the many high powered brains that can work through these concepts and perform tests to either prove or disprove the ability.



    Meg’s right. We could end up with competing hackers from different sides fighting it out! The best hack elects their candidate of choice. :-)

    For all we know, that could already have happened in districts with black boxes. Did you know that the Ohio former Attorney General had a sworn statement from the guy who built the tabulating software that pushed the local results to D.C. in the 2004 General election. ADMITTING he built an access node to a local PC that could change votes however he pleased? He was looking for a plea bargain but hadn’t yet given his complete statement. Guess who hired him? Karl Rove. He died in a plane crash before he could testify to what he actually did during the vote tabulating. The case is still pending but without the star witness. You can look it up on Wikipedia, etc…



    Lookup King Lincoln Bronzevill v. Blackwell.

    I got a couple details wrong but basically, he was seeking protection from a death threat from Karl Rove for giving testimony to what he did during the election. And you thought this was all just fiction and speculation, right?

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