Got Election Protection? An Agenda for America's Voting Future

Search form

Got Election Protection? An Agenda for America's Voting Future

Got Election Protection? An Agenda for America's Voting Future
This article originally appeared on Free Press.

A mass grassroots election protection movement has been born. It's finally forced the issues of mass disenfranchisement and hackable electronic voting machines into the mainstream.

And it's emerged from this election with a must-do list of things that need to be accomplished--soon--if we are to retain any shreds of American democracy.

The flaws in our system allowed the theft of the presidential elections of 2000 and 2004, and threatened to do it again this year. They've allowed the theft of countless other races for Congress, governorships, state offices, judgeships, referenda and more.

This cuts to the core of our democracy. But as we've seen so many times before, we can change all this.

Money out of politics: Corporations are not people and money is not speech. We cannot afford a system of "one dollar, one vote." Citizens United must be overturned and workable limits placed on campaign spending. This will require a Constitutional amendment. Move to Amend is working on it and needs our support.

The Electoral College: This useless anachronism was meant to empower slaveowners through the 3/5 bonus granted for their slaves. It has allowed the theft of elections in 1800, 1824, 1876, 1888 and 2000. It's time the candidate who gets the most votes actually wins. It will require a Constitutional amendment. But the Electoral College has repeatedly flunked the test of time, and must be abolished.

A guaranteed right to vote: Nowhere in the Constitution does it say all American citizens are guaranteed the right to vote. It must.

Universal automatic voter registration: All U.S. citizens should be automatically registered at the age of 18. Forms should be sent in the mail and made readily available at schools, motor vehicle bureaus and elsewhere. Only a signature should be necessary to then get a ballot and vote. This will have to be won on a state-by-state basis.

Universal hand-counted paper ballots: Germany, Japan, Canada, Switzerland and Sweden stage their elections entirely on hand-counted paper ballots. Electronic voting machines are perfectly designed to steal elections. Ireland has just thrown out its voting machines and moved to paper ballots. We must do the same. This will also have to be won on a state-by-state basis.

A four-day weekend for voting: The first Saturday-Sunday-Monday-Tuesday in November should constitute a national holiday for voting. High school and college students should be given credit for working the polls and counting the ballots. Early voting in general should be expanded, as long as it's done in person and not over the internet or by smartphone.

Washington D.C. wants to become a state. It's long overdue. D.C. has the same population as Vermont. It deserves full representation in Congress and the rest of our government. This will have to be done over the vehement opposition of the Republican Party. The option should also be available to Puerto Rico if it wants.

Winning all this will require the usual blood, sweat and tears of a long, grinding national grassroots campaign. Since Florida 2000 and Ohio 2004, we have made strides in exposing the corrupt nature of an all-too-vulnerable electoral system.

But the hard work has just begun. If we are to live in a democracy, we have no choice but to win.

So let's do it.

Article Tabs

The fight for net neutrality, like the fight for an open and free Internet, is a clarion call for Internet users and content creators to defend what has made the the web one of the world’s greatest enablers of social and economic progress.

Keystone XL pipeline, carbon emissions, tar sands, Oceti Sakowin people

The Oceti Sakowin people are mobilizing a resistance that could be the game changer in the fight to stop the proposed Keystone pipeline and help shut down the tar sand projects in northern Alberta.

Occupy was brilliant in getting a message across, but these protests are specifically and deliberately setting out to disrupt the functioning of the city until attention is paid to their grievances.

Britain’s colonial legacy is a living one – no one is born prejudiced, but in Britain all of us are born into racism.

Most Americans are unaware of the true financial value of solar today.

Powell Memo, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, total boycott, economic alternatives, worker-owned businesses, student debt, student loans, banking alternatives, move your money, Strike Debt, Rolling Jubilee

This is a strategic memorandum to all movement organizers, social justice organizations, and free citizens disgusted with a corporate state that has systematically extracted our wealth and resources while giving back nothing in return.

Posted 4 days 35 min ago

The annual conference features globalization’s "Mafiocracy" of bankers, industrialists, oligarchs, technocrats and politicians who promote common ideas and serve common interests: their own.

Posted 5 days 2 hours ago

The left-populist party headed by Alexis Tsipras is positioned to win Greece’s elections Sunday on a progressive platform to reverse austerity cuts imposed on the country over the past half decade.

Posted 3 days 24 min ago
The Davos class run our major institutions, know exactly what they want, and are well organized, but they have weaknesses too.
Posted 5 days 2 hours ago

The newly launched organization Commonomics USA is among 15 groups calling for the U.S. Postal Service to initiate low-cost financial services to end "prey-day" lending.

Posted 6 days 16 min ago
warrantless spying, NSA, illegal spying, Fourth Amendment Protection Act, OffNow coalition, Patriot Act, metadata collection, William Binney

Efforts to stop warrantless NSA spying are off to a fast start in the 2015 legislative session, as lawmakers in four states have already introduced bills banning material support or resources to any federal agency engaged in illegal spying.

The pay ratio between the highest- and lowest-paid worker-owners in cooperatives is between 3:1 and 5:1, compared with a ratio of roughly 600:1 in traditional corporations.

Portland residents are up in arms about what they believe is a cronyism-driven plan to kill the elegant, gravity-fed, open water reservoir system that has reliably served their city safe, clean drinking water for more than 100 years.

Five "unelected, unaccountable kings in black robes" are systematically stripping Constitutional rights from real, live human beings and giving those rights to corporations and a very small group of plutocrats.

Rising inequality is dangerous. A concentration of wealth capturing power is leaving ordinary people voiceless.

Sign Up