Monday, November 3, 2008

America's voting system and how to fix it

Before the next major election, the Help America Vote Act needs to be revised. If I held public office, I would make the following changes.
1) Require precincts to have 1 voting machine per X number of voters. That number will be the same in urban and rural districts, democratic and republican districts, rich and poor districts.
2) Allow early voting for all 50 states. Base machine capacity to assume a 25% turnout for early voters.
3) If a state requires a government-issued ID card to be able to vote, make it free of charge for people to get. In NJ a government issued ID card is $24, which could mean the difference between eating and starving for a low income household.
4) Any electronic voting machine must have a voter-verified paper trail. Two receipts would print, one for the voter and one for the machine BEFORE casting the ballot, and have the voter verify that their vote is counted correctly. Since voting machine companies can produce ATM machines that can print multiple receipts easily, I don't see how this would be a problem.
5) Any company that wishes to get in the business of voting machines must be non partisan. All executives and the company itself would be banned from making any political contributions to any campaign.
6) Allow voters without transportation to use public transportation free of charge to get to the polls.
7) State, county, and local officials should not purge voter registration roles within 6 months of an election. Require the official to attempt to make contact with every purged voter, barring an official death certificate.
8) Allow people to register to vote at the polls.

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