Saturday, August 7, 2010

Internet Voting can Support NONPARTISAN and COST FREE US Elections as the Framers Intended

Updated 11-25-11

See the reviews of my new book - Internet Voting Now!
Kindle edition:
In paper:

Internet Voting Now!
Here’s How. Here’s Why - So We can Kiss Citizens United Goodbye!

Now on Kindle – but coming out on paper in October, 2011

Notice the subtitle, “Here’s Why - So We can Kiss Citizens United Goodbye!”
The power of Big Money can be sidelined in all US elections. To understand how, lets look at how our politics was originally intended to work.

Chapter Two is entitled “The Original Intentions of the Framers for US Presidential Elections.” Believe it or not, the folks who wrote the Constitution envisioned that doc as a sure fire way to prevent the take over of our government by political parties. They also thought that presidential elections would be completely nonpartisan, and cost free to the candidates.

You’ll see the evidence for my claim. While the main evidence is taken from the Constitution itself, quotes from Adams, Madison, Hamilton, Washington, and Jay are provided, as well as Marshall and Jefferson. Other aspects of their original intentions were that the process would be as deliberative and orderly as a corporate personnel selection committee meeting (much like the Philadelphia Convention).

They loathed the circus-like chaos of campaigning. They uniformly agreed that such campaigning was beneath the dignity of any prospective president. (That belief prevailed until the 1890s, when William Jennings Bryan became the most active campaigner in US history up to that time.)

They also expected the presidential election process to be so inexpensive to officially conduct that no provision was made to pay for it. They envisioned that Electors in the Electoral College would defray the costs themselves.

In Chapter Three, I show the obvious – that is, how miserably the current two-party system is doing at fulfilling those original intentions. Surprisingly, these old intentions can be fulfilled by the new technology better than the two-party system has ever been able to do. In other words, Internet voting, rightly organized, is a natural fit with the aspirations of American voters and election integrity activists for truly democratic presidential elections, uncorrupted by Big Money contributors.

Chapter Four shows how this would work.

Imagine yourself watching a series of debates between presidential candidates online, or on TV. Two debaters, in a real debate, have one hour to show their merit. Then you watch a second one hour debate between two more candidates.

At the end of that debate, you turn to your PC or cell phone and log on to your county's secure election website. After it checks your registration, a ballot appears. You can then rate each debater from 0-9, not just cast one vote for one winner. Winning would depend on the ranking total.

In three evenings, the American people can sort through a dozen different candidates. Hearing all the ideas and arguments of those candidates would be far more of an education to the electorate than they now get from one Repub and one Dem.

Here is how the power of the superrich will be marginalized: Special interest advertising would have very little time or opportunity to interfere with the voter's decision making process. The voter will focus on the performance of the debaters, and base his or her ranking on that, rather than on some tricky ad that runs for weeks on TV. The voter will decide long before advertising could work its manipulative schemes. Let the corporations spend all of their shareholder's money. Internet voting, rightly organized, can neutralize all their pernicious efforts.

TV and online time for the debates can be free for the candidates. The people license the use of public air ways, and can require the time needed for debates from the broadcasting licensees. With that, the need for campaign contributions drops to nil.

Only 100 years ago the horse and carriage were the primary means of transportation in the US. The horseless carriage was an object of scorn and skepticism. Eventually, however, that new technology proved irresistible, and the car became our primary mode of transportation.

You can make the same happen with Internet voting. It can, and will, become our primary mode of voting, if you simply demand it from your local and state officials. Go to them because the Constitution gives them the authority for conducting elections.

Real democracy can be ours, if we only demand it!

William J. Kelleher, Ph.D.
Twitter: wjkno1

Internet Voting Explained on

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi William,

Thought you and your readers would be interested in checking out We are a hub for independent voting and non-partisan voting and have been working on non-partisan elections and open primaries throughout the country. Feel free to sign up for updates and I'd be happy to give you a call if you're interested in being in touch.

Gwen Mandell