Lomaster. Breaking the electoral system
The modern electoral system used for elections to various government bodies (let’s leave it outside the scope of the conversation - how democratic and fair these elections are) - appeared in the 19th and early 20th centuries. It is clear that there were no modern computers (although special calculating devices are tabulators, the distant descendants of which are modern computers, the future IBM company developed just for the elections and population censuses in the USA). In those years, the means of communication were often limited to the possibility of sending the results of local elections by regular mail or by post, so the voting procedure was extended for weeks.
By the way, the current electoral system in the United States, where they first select delegates who already vote, is rooted in precisely those times, and it becomes clear that such strange procedures, in our opinion, were quite practical in those years. Electors were both transmitters of information and a supervisory authority to ensure that the votes sent were taken into account. Plus, sending several people instead of one implied greater security, both in terms of falsifying results and in a purely physical plane - then the open spaces of the Wild West were really wild, and a single traveler had very great chances of not getting anywhere.
So the weak points of modern elections
- Inability to check if your voice is counted correctly. A lot of problems come from here - from vote fraud to low electoral activity.
- In the general case, it is impossible to vote for several parties / candidates at once.
- One person - one vote.
- Opaque systems of post-election processing of votes - I mean all these passage barriers and what happens to spoiled and non-voting ballots.
The main difficulty in constructing an electoral system is the inconsistency of its requirements. The most obvious difficulties:
- The voter should have been certified as having the right to receive a ballot (that is, you need to check his documents and see if he is on the list, and whether he already voted), but at the same time it must be done so that this check could not provide information about the choice, which the voter did. Now this is ensured by making ballots the same, certifying them with signatures and seals and prohibiting their removal from the voting room. Thus, their number is determined, and the voter is anonymized.
- The voter usually has the right not to vote, but at the same time, the impossibility of “casting” the votes of those who did not vote must be ensured.
- The voter must be guaranteed the right to secretly vote, and the voter’s ability to document his choice will be hindered. This is important because voters often try to bribe and demand a “right” vote.
The second difficulty is the unreliability of all the main components of the electoral system. A voter, a member of the commission and the highest authority - may be dishonest and corrupt. It is necessary that the system be protected as much as possible from cheating and cheating at all three levels.
Here, of course, you have to choose priorities and lesser evil.
So let's get started.
It is necessary to immediately divide the planned improvements in the electoral system into two categories - changing the principles of voting and changing the procedure itself. Let's start with the principles.
I will propose several principles that can be applied both together and separately.
- Electoral deposit. Two weeks before the election, every citizen receives from the state a certain amount of money - say, the equivalent of 30-40 dollars. He must return this amount at the polling station before voting. If he cannot or does not want to return this amount, he does not take part in the vote. Thus cut off citizens with low social responsibility, alcoholics and drug addicts. And this happens on a voluntary basis - I didn’t want to spend money on elections, I spent it on myself - wonderful, your right.
- Voting points - this is not directly related to the electoral system, but I think that this idea should be voiced. All eligible citizens in have at least one voting vote. Moreover, there are certain conditions that allow you to get additional election points or lose pre-earned. For example, the state “rewards” citizens for the accurate payment of taxes, charity, parenting and “punishes” for having problems with the law.
- An opportunity to vote for several parties or give more than one vote to “your” candidate. Associated with paragraph 2.
- Installation of a "backup" method of voting in cases of the presence of an electoral barrier. This is to protect against "burning of the voice" in the event of voting for an impassable party. That is, the ability to indicate priorities in the newsletter.
These principles complicate the voting system, but at the same time sharply improve the quality of voting, clarifying the wishes of the population and reducing the percentage of irresponsible electors.
Regarding the voting procedure, I believe that it should be made as computerized as possible, online and transparent.
- The term of voting must be seriously extended. Now, in most countries, elections try to fit in one day whenever possible. This is done due to the fact that the election infrastructure is expensive, the likelihood of problems and information leakage increases with time. However, this also has a flip side - a huge volume of people who need to be processed in one day, the likelihood of errors, which then have no time to fix. If the lines of voting are extended to a month, then the number of people coming to the ballot boxes on one day will be much less.
- Each voting booth should contain - voting buttons and a computer screen that displays the current distribution of votes AT THIS PLOT. That is, yes, after leaving the booth, a citizen will know how many points each candidate has in this area. This knowledge, in principle, is nothing special - it is possible to obtain similar data by questioning the neighbors. Why do I need a results screen? The fact is that voting takes place online - by clicking a button, a citizen immediately sees the addition of a vote to the number of the candidate that he has chosen. The voter, making his choice, must notice the time on the clock - for which, I will write further.
- How is cheating protection implemented? Well, firstly - a complete record of the entire voting process with timing. That is, each voice entering the system is marked on the central server with the exact time the button was pressed. As a result, the attempts of "mass throws" are rather stupidly cut off. Well, a person cannot run into the cabin and make a choice in a tenth of a second. Even every second vote is already looking suspiciously. Moreover, after the end of voting, the entire protocol becomes publicly available through the same system of voting booths. There you can view it with any degree of detail you want, and check, for example, if your vote has been added (this is where the exact voting time comes in handy).
- The most difficult thing in such a system is the breeding of two electronic systems - voting and registration of voters. If you delete citizens from the global list at the time of voting (so that they could not use their votes for the second time), then the databases of both easily turn the secret ballot into an explicit one. Therefore, the system should be as follows - a citizen calls or comes to the polling station in which he intends to vote and attaches to it. At this moment, it is deleted from the general lists and left only in local ones. Which should be synchronized with large lists, say, once a week. This will protect the citizen from “identification”.
I’m not sure that now the state race agencies will run to realize the flight of my thoughts, but here the system itself is more important, but an attempt to rethink.