Katie's post on election day prompted some e-mails. Here's part of one, with some concrete suggestions on reform:
Here is one citizen's proposal to reform our electoral process:
First, pass a Constitutional amendment that guarantees EVERY citizen, aged 18 and over, to RIGHT to cast a ballot. In addition to this, Election Day will be made a national holiday, and all businesses (with some exceptions for hotels, motels, restaurants, etc.) will be closed.
Second, all elections, whether they be local, state, county or national, will be publicly funded, with no corporate funding permitted. Individual contributors to a campaign will be permitted to spend no more than 10% of their annual income or $100,000.00, whichever is the LESSER amount on any given campaign. These contributions will be placed in a discretionary fund and tapped equally. Campaign spending will cease one month prior to the election.
Candidates for office will be allowed to campaign for no more than six months from the date of their announcement to run (this to apply at ALL levels, including the Presidency), and must cease campaigning one month prior to the election. During this period, voter education seminars will be held at regular intervals to apprise the electorate of the issues and to ensure the highest possible turn-out.
Finally, one month prior to Election Day, every citizen aged 18 and up will receive, by mail, a three-part ballot. This ballot will be filled out in black ink. The original is to be retained by the voter as a receipt and held until the next election. The second copy will be sent, in a post-paid envelope, to a central counting location. The third copy will be sent, also in a post-paid envelope, to the voter's local Board of Elections. These ballots will remain sealed until 5pm on Election Day itself, at which time they will be opened, verified, and counted, along with votes cast manually at polling locations set up on Election Day. The exact same paper ballots will be used at polling locations on Election Day as those mailed. Duplicate ballots, of course, will be discarded. Ballots will be verified by the voters' Social Security Number and signature. Once all the ballots have been counted, the count will be verified by an independent, non-partisan (note I didn't say "bipartisan") accounting firm, certified, and the winners announced. In the event a re-count is requested, a second accounting firm will be hired & the votes counted again. If a quorum is not present in the voting totals, all votes are discarded and the election re-run within 48 hours.
Meantime, there's still time this
election day. Get out and vote.
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