I think it is about time to reform the election process, especially as far as Presidential elections are concerned. We have a near-flawless system but I think we should tweak some things to be more in line with our foundations. Our nation was founded based on 13, not 50 states. We have grown too big for the current system to work. Here's how I think we should rectify the situation.
1. Let's get rid of the fraud. If you can't show a legal ID you shouldn't vote. Along those same lines every legal American citizen should be provided with a free ID card with no encrypted data for the Feds to keep an eye on us with. I am not one for having a lot of power delegated to the Federal government, but every legal citizen should be issued an ID to be used for voting alone. If you don't have one, or can't show one, you don't vote. Very clear, simple, and concise.
2. Each state should be handling how a citizen votes the same way. Whether it is paper or electronic everyone in this country should be voting in the same fashion, especially in a National general election. If paper ballots are chosen as the way to go, Electronic voting should be allowed for the visually impaired (with audio readouts) so there is no intimidation by their assistants helping them vote. Along those same lines, during a Presidential election, if a candidate is on the ballot in one state - he/she needs to be on the ballot in every state.
3. The polls should be open for 24 hours during a Federal election. And all polls around the country should close at the exact same time. The results from one state should not be allowed to sway voters elsewhere. And Exit polling should be prohibited. also no cell phones allowed, and cameras should be prohibited within 100 feet of a polling place on election day. I saw people who filmed the process in last year's Congressional elections. That's tantamount to voter intimidation. I am glad I didn't see any of those people at my polling place or I would have called the police!
4. If a recount is necessary, it should be done with no delay. Some states like Virginia do not start a recount for three weeks after the contest in question is over. There is no excuse for that at all whatsoever! Also the recount must be done by an independent group of people. If the recount is being done in a race between a Democrat and a Republican, that recount should be done by libertarians or people of another third party. To do that in my example registration should be used to make sure they are not registered as a Democrat or a Republican. After one recount the results should be final no matter who comes out on top.
5. The 17th Amendment (The direct election of Senators) needs to be repealed. Giving the state legislatures back the power to elect a state's Senators will break up a monopoly the Federal level has on how we are governed. If people pay attention to politics at all it is centered in Washington DC. Having the State legislatures elect the Senators would force people to pay more attention to state politics
6. Also the McCain-Feingold Campaign refinance act should be repealed immediately. The law has limited the political free speech of every citizen in this country. Any citizen, company, and corporation should have the right to donate to whatever political cause and/or political candidate they choose, donating as much money as they choose at any time in the political process. Additionally if a company or corporation donates to a political candidate or a political cause, the should make those donations public so that consumers can make a choice about what companies they support with their dollars.
7. The Electoral College for Presidential elections needs to be changed as well so it better reflects the voice of the people. The Founding Fathers created the Electoral College approximately 200 years ago. The population has surged and the amount of states has increased (some of them quite large). I have heard and read articles that the Electoral College should be scrapped for a popular vote. Our Founding Fathers would roll in their graves. that is not how our country was founded. A popular vote is Mob Rule. Not smart. All I intend to do is to alter the formula so that it properly reflects the voice of the people. I propose that in each state if a candidate wins a congressional district's popular vote, that candidate gets one electoral vote. The candidate that wins the majority of the Congressional districts (or the popular vote in that state-the state legislatures can decide this by themselves) in a state should be awarded the two electoral votes representing that state's two senate seats. No longer will a candidate be able to get by just by bringing their message to the states that have more electoral votes. they must bring their ideas and campaign to the people in every state. No longer will the ballot cast in Montana, Vermont, and rural Illinois, (for example) be meaningless in a presidential race.
8. The Presidential primary and party nomination system needs to be altered as well. The move toward a national primary is the wrong idea. Essentially a national primary insures that the candidate of each party that raises the most money will win their party's nomination for President. Therefore it cheapens the quality of the nominated candidate for the highest office in the land. Also a national primary takes the voice away from people from smaller states with less population, and therefore less delegate seats at the conventions. To pass muster as a proper presidential candidate, one needs to capture the imagination of the entire party population, not just Texas, California, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Florida. The primary process should start the second Tuesday of January of the election year with the traditional Iowa and New Hampshire primaries. That leaves 48 more states to go. You take the 48 and split them into four, 12-state groups by delegate count. the 12 states with the lowest delegate counts have their primary on the 2nd Tuesday of February. the next group has their primaries on the 2nd Tuesday of March. The group with the 2nd highest candidate count goes on the 2nd Tuesday of April. Finally the biggest states with the highest delegate counts have their primaries on the 2nd Tuesday of May. Using this system, the candidates with the lowest support get knocked out and the candidates with the most support duke it out at the end for the nomination. Also this means that each candidate must bring their message to the people of each state, regardless of size or population count.
9. I also believe that the way the political conventions work also needs to be tweaked. the American citizens are duped into the false sense that the entire party, and all its delegates were and are united behind the candidate nominated for President at that convention. This is because the cattle call of delegates is held at a time when the only live cameras rolling are C-SPAN's. The American people need to see the process from beginning to end. Not having an adequate chance to see the cattle call does not allow for this. The Cattle call should be held in Prime Time so that networks might choose to cover it. Additionally, the meeting of the Electoral College should be covered by the national media as well, otherwise the majority of the people don't fully understand the entire process from beginning to end.
Thank you for reading. I understand that there may be people who disagree with my opinions. I hope that you at least respect mine. that is the beauty of America. We are free to have our own opinions and beliefs.