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

Ferguson

The full extent of the racial persecution of black residents in Ferguson, Missouri, by the city’s overwhelmingly white law enforcement authorities was disclosed on Wednesday in 

Trans-Pacific Partnership, corporate trade deal, TPP, outsourcing, fast track authority, fast track legislation

A fast-tracked TPP would lock in a rigged set of economic rules, lasting potentially forever, before most Americans — let alone some members of Congress — have had a chance to understand it thoroughly.

Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act, SNAP, USDA

The Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act created anti-hunger programs by cutting food stamps by $5 billion.

Romanian corruption, kickbacks, Elena Udrea, Dorin Cocos

Big-time corruption and small-fry bribes have brought the whole country to a state of moral metastasis.

By taxing progressively, respecting worker rights, and rethinking economics, we could make a great start at creating a more equal world.

Occupy.com's New Original Series: Act Out! Premiers March 4th, Watch the Trailer Now!

Posted 4 days 11 hours ago
public banking, public banks, Bank of North Dakota, Ellen Brown

New bedfellows are writing what may be the next chapter in the story of our democracy: a network of public banks to facilitate a lateral, collaborative distribution of affordable credit that challenges Wall Street's control.

Posted 4 days 11 hours ago

"Under The Dome," which relates a mother's concerns about the effect of the country’s filthy air on her child, has been compared to Rachel Carson's seminal work "Silent Spring."

Posted 3 days 7 hours ago
Charlie Hebdo, ISIS killings, LGBT threats

A human rights commission report warns that anyone believed to be LGBT under the Islamic State control is likely at imminent risk of death.

Posted 4 days 11 hours ago
Boris Nemtsov, Russia repression, Russia protests, Russian opposition movement, Alexei Navalny, Vladimir Putin

"If political views are punished this way, then this country simply has no future," Sergei Mitrokhin, an opposition leader, said of Nemtsov's murder.

Posted 4 days 11 hours ago
Stephen Harper, Bill C-51, constitutional erosions, constitutional rights, anti-terrorism legislation, tar sands, environmental protests

Bill C-51 represents a clear erosion of constitutional rights – if the bill becomes law, blocking a pipeline or organizing a protest without permission from authorities would be considered terrorism.

In-Q-Tel, intelligence outsourcing, Total Information Awareness, Palantir, Peter Thiel, surveillance programs, military-intelligence complex

Palantir – with its carefully honed image as a countercultural spy outfit committed to privacy in the pursuit of national security – is a monstrous government snoop, mining our most intimate data.

Charlie Hebdo, ISIS killings, LGBT threats

A human rights commission report warns that anyone believed to be LGBT under the Islamic State control is likely at imminent risk of death.

Black Lives Matter, #BlackLivesMatter, Black Panthers, Black Panther Party, Ferguson protests, Michael Brown, racial injustice, police killings, police violence, police brutality, Huey Newton, Bobby Seale, Fred Hampton

A half century ago, activists were demanding not only the recognition that black lives matter but also the right to black power.

union busting, Scott Walker, right to work, Madison protests, Wisconsin AFL-CIO, Wisconsin Citizen Media Cooperative, Wisconsin Jobs Now

Wisconsin unions bussed thousands of workers from around the state on Saturday to demonstrate against the impending adoption of a law to ban private-sector workers from being required to join a union or pay dues.

Sign Up