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

Not simply individual guards should answer for this tragedy – but the leaders of private security companies and the governments that employ them must also be held to account.

After a year in which destruction of the world's largest rainforest rose 29%, the new Alto Maues reserve has 1.6 million acres of mostly untouched forests that are not known to have human presence.

The banks have exclusive access to more than 214,000 federal inmates under exclusive contracts awarded by the U.S. Treasury Department about 15 years ago

Toss-up races like Kansas and South Dakota may be the ones that decide whether or not Republicans take control of the U.S. Senate.

Some critics say that the "militarization of the police" is happening right in front of our eyes – but if the Founding Fathers were so worried about a threat of domestic tyranny, how did we get here?

Florida has the highest foreclosure rate in the U.S. in the first quarter of 2014, and also has a "foreclosure king" who is now disbarred for his failure to oversee employees accused of carrying out wrongful foreclosures.

Posted 3 days 7 hours ago

Drug and device makers paid doctors $380 million in speaking and consulting fees over a five-month period last year – and saw a healthy return on their investment.

Posted 6 days 5 hours ago

As of September 19, 181 institutions and local governments and 656 individuals representing over $50 billion in assets have pledged to divest from fossil fuels.

Posted 6 days 6 hours ago

Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment (MORE) is a grassroots group taking the lead to combat systemic racism and build a people's economy in St. Louis.

Posted 6 days 5 hours ago

Punishing local cuts are leaving communities up in arms as the removal of vital school road patrol service – known as the lollipop ladies – could go into effect.

Posted 6 days 6 hours ago

Some critics say that the "militarization of the police" is happening right in front of our eyes – but if the Founding Fathers were so worried about a threat of domestic tyranny, how did we get here?

On Sunday, hundreds of people milled around a protest site in the gentrifying, densely-populated district Mong Kok, manning aid stations and sitting in small circles on the pavement.

Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment (MORE) is a grassroots group taking the lead to combat systemic racism and build a people's economy in St. Louis.

Coinciding with the National Day Against Police Brutality and Mass Incarceration, people in Santa Rosa, Calif., will hold a vigil and community potluck Wednesday to commemorate the teen's tragic death.

Florida has the highest foreclosure rate in the U.S. in the first quarter of 2014, and also has a "foreclosure king" who is now disbarred for his failure to oversee employees accused of carrying out wrongful foreclosures.

Sign Up