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It's obvious from the latest U.S. election that our voting system could use some improvement in terms of both enabling and supporting voters and efficiently tallying and verifying a trusted result. Open source offers the technology, as well as the culture and community, to address these challenges, and it may be among the best solutions. Perhaps one of the biggest obstacles to more open, transparent and verifiable elections is public perception and attention.
Idea: Internet based voting (No specialized voting machines)
Reading about it gave me the idea that Bitcoin’s features could be adapted to voting.
The features to adapt: distributed ledger, encryption, open source code. In broad outline, when a voter registers, the person opts for e-voting and registers a single email address. For each election, only one vote is allowed from that address. At election time, a ballot is emailed, which can be lengthy and include data about each issue on the agenda. The voter uses the software to send his/her unique ballot to the election tally network, but like Bitcoin, not easily traceable to voter. Also like Bitcoin, the system is fraud-proof, and highly redundant in the recording, so results are entirely trustworthy, may be monitored world wide, in thousands of participating machines. This type of civil participation is by nature, transparent, and revolutionary.
As yet, no large scale democracy has ever existed. What has been done is to vote for representatives, who may be corrupted, and certainly will tend to put their own interests above their constituents. They can be eliminated by adding two new features to governance: Strict constitutional control of voter issues, and volunteer issue writers. Some issues which need to be included in the constitution are prohibitions against impossible or impractical options, (need balanced budget, cap on taxes, etc.) ways to “game” the system giving unfair favor to special interests, (e.g. lobbyists), tyranny of the majority (yes, the majority can be a special interest if you are in the 49%) etc. Such a system would be biased toward simplification. When representatives are in control, their bias is toward complexity. Open source software is provided by volunteers, and must be standardized world wide, like Bitcoin. The design must be tamper-proof.
Another idea to consider for future would be the “weighted” vote (not one person one vote). Similar to the way shareholders vote in a corporation according to how many shares they hold, a community ought to consider the value of each citizen’s contribution is not equal to all others. Values to consider might include time a resident, size of family, volunteer efforts, taxes paid, people employed, property maintained, burden to community, etc. I would be interested in your comment to the above thoughts.
See also Are We Ready for E-Voting? By Elizabeth Millard/ E-Commerce Times http://www.ecommercetimes.com/story/31972.html
Reading your article I could not agree with you more, For the passed 6 years I have been promoting Free Open Source Software. I'm sorry to have to say this, I find that the American population the most stupid dumbest uneducated idiot nation on the face of the earth, They are a nation split down the middle, it's either their way or no way,
Yesterday I was reading the news report on the worlds fastest computer, I then moved down to read the blog remarks, not one of 1100 plus comments made a decent remark, they didn't understand the report, They didn't know what a HPC is used for. They was arguing among themselves which operating systems was running on the HPC, of course none was right, So much for a supposedly well educated nation.