Improved Voting Systems

Desires exist for voting systems that enable voters to verify the correctness of their vote while maintaining anonymity. Any such system should also ensure voter eligibility through some means of voter authentication. Improved voting processes that function like a sporting event multi-stage tournament / knockout tournament through voter-determined rounds of voting is also desirable.

It is also important to eliminate timing inequities that facilitate manipulation of results. Current election systems that were designed prior to electronic communication now present problems in that the availability of partial reports can be exploited to alter election outcome. Partial results can impact voters through herd-mentality. Partial results can be used by interventionists to exploit electoral college “winner take all” state elections where partial results indicate a close election. Polling can achieve similar exploits. States with different election deadlines further exacerbate these exploits by widening the window for interventionists to operate. Intervention in an election is most often considered fraudulent.

Voting systems should be constructed and reviewed by multi-party reviewers that have never served in a public office and any funding from political candidates, office holders, or former office holders, or any estates. trusts, foundations, etc. formed from their assets, should be rejected. No form of relationship between a voting system supplier and any political body should exist.

Voting from secure, browser based, web-pages should enable users to vote from any device, at home, a library, at work, etc. where people may use non-personalized machines (even a friend or co-worker’s computer) to authenticate and vote similarly to online-banking. The URL should be a single publicly distributed url ending in .gov. At a later time, from any location, the voter should be able to authenticate and confirm vote correctness. The registration process must require a form of REAL ID and perhaps other identifying documents. During registration, which must be performed in-person, two secret codes A and B must be provided to the newly registered voter with no one else able to see them. In each election, the voter must be provided with election specific per-voter serial number codes C and D via a semi-secure means such as US mail in a manner that is similar to a ballot serial number. During the voting process, the voter must authenticate with secret code A and the election serial number code C.. Once authenticated, the election system displays secret code B and D to the voter so that the voter may know that the connection has been made to a legitimate election server that has code B and D. If the voter finds that secret code B and D do not match, the voter must report the incident and re-register. Voters must understand that they should never type in codes B and D anywhere. After proper bi-lateral authentication, the voter enters a PIN code and votes. All of this instructional information should be provided to the voter when completing registration. At any time a voter may confirm vote correctness from anywhere. Vote correctness authentication must require secret code A and the election serial number C, and again the voter should validate that the server properly shows secret code B and D and the PIN code so that the voter knows that the server is legitimate. If vote correctness is disputed within an election window period, an in-person dispute follow-up visit, similar to registration, must occur for the vote to be altered. Reports of disputes that surpass fraud detection thresholds should require the election deemed invalid and investigation / remediation / software / system review must occur. It is likely that most people not capable of following these instructions would have some trusted family or social affiliation that could assist them. Anyone not capable of following these instructions that can find no help from trusted contacts must vote in-person at a location where authentication assistance is provided under observers from all parties that ensure only authentication assistance is provided prior to entering a voting kiosk and that voters do not show their secret information. Some improved, more secure form of what is described herein should be developed immediately.

Candidates must be required to have websites that describe their policy goals. The multi-stage structure must incorporate candidate agreed-upon goal juxtapositions in each round of the voting. The voters will choose the candidate most aligned with their goals in each round. It is hoped that voters would eliminate candidates that do not address desirable issues. Triple or quadruple elimination would help de-polarize issues and help avoid single-issue voting.

Use of a multi-stage multiple elimination structure should provide such a vast improvement in the general selection process such that there would be little motivation for fraud, as all the final candidates would more likely be acceptable to the vast majority. It is likely that the multi-stage multi-elimination structure would produce better candidates that are less polarizing to the voting population and better approach the best our nation has to offer. Since the voting rounds tend to focus more on policy than personality due to the structure of the voting rounds regarding juxtapositioned policy goals, it is more likely to eliminate candidates which do not have strong policy proposals. Candidates with weaker documentation on their websites are also more likely to be eliminated as a smart-shopper eliminates poorly documented products when shopping online. We need to empower our people to be smart shoppers of their representatives, and strengthen our candidates products. The multi-stage multiple elimination structure serves as somewhat of a return policy. Only the most widely accepted candidates will survive the process. And the remainder will learn and possibly grow into a better candidate for a future election. Smaller / local elections may use a single or double elimination approach and could be decoupled from national elections while using the same infrastructure. The contests may become more interesting than sporting events in some cases. Especially when the candidates provide some very thought provoking and interesting ideas similar in nature to what you just read.