Referendum 2.0 or All power to the people

    You may say I'm a dreamer
    But I'm not the only one
    I hope someday you'll join us
    And the world will live as one

    -John Lennon-

    The Constitution of Russia, article 3.2 , says that “The people exercise their power directly, as well as through state authorities and local governments”

    But, in practice, this “directly” is virtually nonexistent. People choose some deputies, some parties, and then they vote in a completely different way than the people want, and this is for five or six years in a row, and nothing can be changed.

    I propose to discuss technology that will help the people of Russia exercise power directly.


    So, article 3.3 of the Constitution: “The highest direct expression of the power of the people is a referendum and free elections”

    Why not use referenda to address key issues in a country's life? So that everyone can express their opinion on important issues that concern him. A referendum is what I need, I think so.

    How to hold a referendum? You can, of course, allocate a certain number of billions, print a megaton of blanks, put ballot boxes, assign a specific day (one), then collect pieces of paper and plant a new forest , count them manually, transfer the information above.

    Stop! We live in the 21st century, we need to use information technology, they are everywhere, and just for this purpose. We will use what works well, costs little and is ubiquitous: the Internet and cell phones.

    Action plan

    We create a site on which we register all citizens of Russia with the right to vote. We give out logins and passwords. You can send them by registered mail (as they send letters from the Pension Fund).

    For each person who is registered on the site, we add to the base his cell phone number. This information can be obtained from mobile operators. We send an SMS with a request to log in and enter a code from SMS, confirming that this number is really in the hands of this person. If a person has several numbers, let them use any of them.

    If a person does not have a phone, he should be able to contact a mobile operator and get a simple Nokia 1202 phone with a SIM card for free. Phones can be paid by either the state (if you think that it is expensive, then keep in mind that AvtoVAZ has already taken more from every Russian citizen, moreover, you can buy phones at a large batch at a discount, or buy a line for their production, and assemble here, so will be much cheaper than in the distribution network ), or a mobile operator. The operator, if he has normal tariffs, is still profitable, because there is a high probability that the subscriber will remain for a long time.

    The rest is simple.

    Everyone has the right to create a new topic for the referendum on the site. In order to bring this topic to a general referendum, it must receive the necessary number of votes in support of how many there are now under the law - no less than 2 million in different regions, if we are talking about an all-Russian referendum. As soon as the topic gets people's support, the question is put to the vote.


    Voting in our system is also very simple and convenient.

    Pay attention to the picture: each referendum has its own unique identifier, UUID, you can consider it a unique tag. When you click on it, a search page opens that returns results by ID. So you can quickly see the materials on the topic marked with this tag - people's opinions, discussions, etc.

    In order to vote, a person logs in to the site using an encrypted connection. Click on the button "Get SMS". A code arrives on the phone, 3-4 digit number. After that, he enters the code in the code field under “For” or “Against” and presses “Vote”. All. You don’t have to go anywhere. You can vote for a week or two - you need to choose a period empirically.


    Thus, on the most pressing issues, one can very quickly (instead of several years - several weeks) receive the opinion of the people and be guided by them for further actions (referendum decision - the law). No intermediaries are needed in the form of deputies and parties, everything is decided directly.

    Implementation details

    I think it’s obvious from my description that the SMS code is valid only within the encrypted session. Thus, even knowing who received which code by phone, you cannot use it, because the connection is encrypted, and the code is one-time.

    It seems to me that in order to be sure of the final software for voting, it’s worth creating a LiveCD source with a minimal Linux distribution, which, when loaded, launches a browser and crawls to the voting site. Anyone who does not have a computer or the Internet can vote, for example, by mail, in the same way using a specially selected computer with LiveCD. Reindeer herders can be given satellite phones with netbooks and stoves that generate electricity (it’s cheaper than flying around in helicopters).

    Possible problems and solutions

    I would like to hear the opinion of respected technically savvy people, who are many on the hub What pitfalls can come out here? Voting for money, of course, this method does not prevent.

    The transfer of SIM cards to other hands can be controlled by checking the IMEI code (one IMEI votes only 1 time on behalf of one person).

    Voting results should be available so that everyone can make sure that his vote has not been changed. Voting results should be available in real time, and not after "counting", because here the votes are counted immediately. The results are only general, the voting is closed, otherwise everyone can see who voted how, and this can be used in the trading of votes. Of course, because everyone has access to his own voting history, a screen can be made - but a screen can be faked, it’s not the same as viewing information directly from the site, there is no guarantee that a person took the money and voted as it should.

    For people with disabilities should be provided with the ability to work with the system. For visually impaired / blind, you can provide the function of reading the text SMS aloud and, of course, provide themdevices like this . For those who are unable to act independently, of course, the help of special assistants will be needed.

    To summarize

    In general, it seems to me that such a system could solve many problems, make our society more free, active and responsible. The technical implementation is extremely simple and cheap, the question is small - is it interesting to the public?


    Yes, the system is simple to disgrace and obvious, no rocket science. Moreover, I (and maybe not only me) wonder why nothing of the kind has yet been created.

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