In a world of real time information why is our voting system so arcane? Why for example are election results held until after all voting is over? We have polls that suggest how we are going to vote, but in the 2012 election we learned that there are D+8 and R+2 models that reflect how many Republicans or Democrats are going to to vote. Why don't we provide the real answer in real time:
- Tally Results as they Occur: If the election is on a single day, or months long with early voting, the results should be posted in real time. People should know immediately which way the vote is headed. Based on that information, they can decide if they need or want to vote.
- Open Source the data: Provide a common "Open Source" XML schema that provides constant update of # of registered voters in each district, compares it to residency, reflect the number of provisional votes, etc. Show every bit of "Meta Data" that reflects on key trends. Let third parties (Democrat, Republican, Media, etc.) mine this data for fraud.
- Change your vote: Voters should be able to elect to change their vote. This reduces elements of privacy, but if a voter wants they should be able to change their vote back and forth up and until midnight of the election. Everyone already knows how I vote because of political donations and other demographics. There is no privacy. We should be able to go a step further and actually secure a voting profile with 2 factor authentication to determine if someone has voted in my place.
- Voter ID: When I get a loan or make an on-line transaction, some times the systems ask me a question for which only I would know the answer - "What kind of car did you have in 1995 - Jeep, VW or GMC". Its a variation on voter ID, but perhaps easier than assuring photo id's for everyone (why photo IDs are hard is a whole other question).
- Registration Plus: People are all worried about voter ID leading to suppression or violating someone's rights. Alternately, if you offer an advanced form of registration you can incentivize people to strengthen voter ID. If you develop a program like TSA PRE (A program where TSA checks your back ground and stream lines you through security) its possible to motivate people to reduce voter fraud. For example, if you are willing to use Voter ID that is double checked, then you can vote on-line, vote early, re-vote up until poll closing, etc. By electing a higher level of registration and disclosure, you get services that make it easier to vote.
Please post this on Facebook/Twitter so we can get other peoples thoughts/support.
We started a petiton for this on the White House web site - we need 25K signatures