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Norman Cressy Headshot

Primary Voting in The Future

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The recently ended Democrat Party primary campaign was a failure of democracy. One side said the choice should not be made by Superdelegates overruling the voters but the chosen one was the pick of the Superdelegates. NOT amazingly, both sides claimed its candidate won the most votes. Addition and subtraction depended on which candidate a voter hoped would win and which primary votes were "qualified" in some imaginary abacus.

Caucus voting has little to do with democracy and more to do with the ability to stay long and sometimes late with determined fortitude in non-secret balloting, with a nod to considering severe weather, cold or not, in getting to the place of standing up for one's choice of candidate. Sort of ballot by trial!

Having read a bit about how and why the proportional delegate process came into favor, no matter how fair it sounded, it was a mess. Some votes were more equal than others when comparing State tallies with other States, and even an In-State tally when both methods were combined to obtain a final result proved ridiculous. Texas is the poster child for that last observation -- the winner in total votes got fewer delegates.

Recently, I received in the mail a corporation letter asking me to vote in company matters.
I could return a letter with my choices marked off or I could go on the internet and vote at the company's website, the method I chose. The company provided me with a unique number to sign in -- there would be no doubt of my preferences. And if I wished, I could change my votes up to the start of the meeting. With this as a forerunner, I propose the following scheme for future primaries.

No more caucuses. No more Superdelegates. Each State shall have as many delegates to apportion as it has members in the House of Representatives OR SOME MULTIPLE THEREOF, THE SAME FOR ALL STATES. This will allow members of the Democrat Party to convene 4000 plus delegates at a convention, giving all the significant party workers a chance to fraternize. Primary delegates in each State shall be apportioned by percentage of the vote obtained by each candidate, rounding off a candidate's percentage to the nearest integer. This could produce a mathematical dilemma. Say a State had 10 delegates up for grabs with only three candidates contesting in the vote, all three getting nearly one third the vote, but none thirty-three and a half percent. Each State could choose it's own method to award. The simplest is to give any leftover delegate to the candidate that has the highest percentage -- it will be exceedingly rare for two candidates to get exactly the same number of votes. If a case arises where there are two delegates left over, award one to each of the two biggest vote getters, and so on
Everyone gets a Social Security number at some time in one's life. That is the number that person will use to identify access to a computer tallying the vote count. Upon entering that number at the computer's sign-in web page -- www.VOTE BOOTH HERE.gov -- where you can supply your email address as well, the web page will have another entry slot in which you are to type a Personal Access Code of, say, seven to fourteen case sensitive letters, symbols, and numbers. A voter will then click ok and register the PAC in the computer and when voting that is the number that now identifies you when you cast your vote. No one can duplicate that PAC for the computer will reject your choice immediately if identical to a previous one entered, and the person who chose that PAC before you will be sent an email to change what he/she had picked and why.

When voting takes place AND that can start DAYS OR WEEKS before the computer will not accept new entries, the voter will go to a website controlled by the computer, enter the PAC and select the ballot of the Party he/she wishes to vote in. After voting, the voter clicks ok and his/her vote is recorded. The voter will have the option to chose to get an email telling the voter what was recorded. The PAPER TRAIL.

If the voter wishes to change a previous selection and/or Party, the voter goes back to the website and re-enters the PAC which automatically clears the previous vote made. Now new choices can be selected on the voting page.

Because a computer can keep a running tally, results will be immediately made known, seconds after the voting computer is programmed-forbidden to accept any new entry. Just like closing time at the precincts.

What computer and back-ups, how they are guarded are mere details already known to those corporations on Wall Street that have confidence in vote tallies achieved over the internet. And since every voter is proven eligible by having gotten a Social Security number, no voter fraud can take place. Republicans will be pleased by that.

Oh, and I forgot to mention. The system can be expanded so that eligible voters who participated in the voting can somewhere down the line in time when something turns up that makes them think their choices were wrong, they can go back and change their vote, both Party and candidate. It might be named a National Repechage Time Period. The French would like that!

Please do not comment that everyone does not have a computer and/or an email address.
Party operatives will walk the back roads and the city streets with laptops getting people to vote. Cities large and small might open offices where people can go to vote. Friends will help those without access. What is humongously off-putting today are short time periods, long lines, and foul weather keeping voter participation down.

And there is no reason National and State Elections can't be done the same way. Just longer ballots, but nobody waits in line is a bonus. And it's cheaper also.