• This is a political forum that is non-biased/non-partisan and treats every persons position on topics equally. This debate forum is not aligned to any political party. In today's politics, many ideas are split between and even within all the political parties. Often we find ourselves agreeing on one platform but some topics break our mold. We are here to discuss them in a civil political debate. If this is your first visit to our political forums, be sure to check out the RULES. Registering for debate politics is necessary before posting. Register today to participate - it's free!
  • Welcome to our archives. No new posts are allowed here.

Sign the Voters Bill of Rights

bfeverish

New member
Joined
Nov 12, 2004
Messages
9
Reaction score
0
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
Here's something I think everyone can get behind.


http://stayinformed.org/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=480&mode=&order=0&thold=0

From: Global Exchange



The controversies surrounding the 2000 and 2004 election have revealed that our electoral system is broken.

Far too many people are still voting on outdated machines. Far too many voters cast their ballots on touch-screen machines that have no paper trail. Too many voters—mostly the poor and people of color—stood in lines that were hours long. And too many citizens remain cynical about the basic mechanics of our democracy, the result of partisan administration of the elections.

The time for reform is NOW.

Please act today and sign the Voters Bill of Rights, a 10-point plan for improving our democracy. We hope to gather the names of tens of thousands of citizens and then present them to Members of Congress before Inauguration Day to show that there is huge amount of support for electoral reform.

You can sign the Voters Bill of Rights petition at:

http://www.globalexchange.org/getInvolved/petition_voter_bill_of_rights.php

The list of reforms also appears below.

Thank you, as always, for your efforts on behalf of peace, social justice and democracy.

Global Exchange

VOTERS BILL OF RIGHTS

>From unreliable electronic voting machines and millions of uncounted ballots to partisan secretaries of state and 10-hour waits at the polls, it is clear that our electoral system is in dire need of an overhaul. To build a more just, secure and robust democracy, I support the following 10-point Voter Bill of Rights:

Provide a Paper Trail for Touch-Screen Voting Machines

It's essential that every touch-screen voting machine in the U.S. be equipped to produce and store a voter-verified paper record of every vote cast. Each machine must incorporate open source coding tested by an independent agency before and during the election to guarantee optimum transparency. In addition, corporations that manufacture machines should refrain from political involvement.

Create Independent, Non-Partisan and Transparent Oversight

Officials in charge of administering, overseeing and certifying elections should not be party affiliated, running for another office, or publicly supporting any candidates. Unfortunately, partisan secretaries of state are currently able to issue rulings that favor their parties and themselves. Electoral commissions at all levels of government should be independently financed and free of control by any political party. Administrators should help increase voter confidence by inviting non-partisan observers, both domestic and international, to observe all aspects of voting procedures.

Celebrate Our Democracy: Election Day as a National Holiday!

Working people should not be forced to choose between standing in a long line to vote and being to work on time. While 30 states have laws giving workers the right to take time off to vote, many workers and employers are unaware of these laws. Holding national elections on a national holiday will increase the number of available poll workers and polling places and potentially increase overall turnout while making it much easier for working Americans to go to the polls.

Election Day is already a holiday in Puerto Rico in presidential election years, and many Puerto Ricans celebrate and make Election Day a fun and festive party with a purpose. In 2000, Puerto Rico's voter turnout was 82.6%, as compared to 51.16% in the United States -- and Puerto Rico doesn't even have any Electoral College votes.

Maximize Voter Access

Many citizens are discouraged from voting by unnecessary bureaucratic hurdles and restrictions. Registration forms should be simplified, so no one is again disenfranchised for failing to check a superfluous box, as occurred this year in Florida, or for not using heavy enough paper, as occurred in Ohio. To ensure all qualified voters are able to vote, we should join states like Minnesota in allowing citizens to register to vote on Election Day itself.

Forcing people to wait up to 10 hours in line to vote is unacceptable and disenfranchises those who cannot afford to wait. To increase citizen's options and maximize convenience, all states must provide for more early voting and election-day polling places. Resources should be allocated based upon the number of voters per precinct to ensure equal access and minimize the wait at the polls. Partisan voter challengers at the polls disrupt and undermine the voting process and should not be allowed within or near any polling location.

Count Every Vote!

To encourage more participation in the electoral process, voters must know that their vote will count and make a difference. Unfortunately millions of "spoiled", "under-vote", "over-vote", provisional and absentee ballots--oftentimes ballots cast by people of color-- are not counted during each presidential election. It's basic: Voting precincts should be adequately staffed with sufficiently trained personnel and professional supervision; old and unreliable voting machines should be replaced; absentee ballots must with sent with sufficient time; and provisional ballots should count for state and federal contests regardless of where the vote is cast.

Re-enfranchise Ex-Felons

Why should ex-felons be excluded from voting? The permanent disenfranchisement of former felons, a practice that falls outside of international or even U.S. norms, is an unreasonable restriction that creates subcategories of citizenship. There are over four million American citizens in this category, particularly African American males, who are incarcerated at a disproportionately high rate. These lifetime voting prohibitions violate citizens' constitutional voting rights and must be repealed. Those states that permanently disenfranchise felons—Florida, Virginia, Nebraska, Mississippi, Kentucky, Iowa, Arizona, and Alabama—should amend their laws and practices to restore full citizenship to ex-offenders.

Implement Instant Runoff Voting (IRV)

Instant Runoff Voting allows voters to rank candidates in order of preference (first, second, third choice) and if no candidate gets a majority of first choices, a runoff count can be conducted without the need for a second election. IRV gives voters the opportunity to vote for those candidates they like the most without worrying that their vote will help candidates they like least. Instant runoff voting has been used successfully around the world: Ireland uses IRV to elect its president, Australia to elect its House of Representatives, and San Francisco to elect its major city offices such as mayor.

Provide Public Financing for Elections and Equal Air-Time

In a system where the amount a candidate spends is directly related to the likelihood of success, it is not surprising that voters think politicians are more concerned with big campaign contributors than with individual voters. We need to establish full public financing of campaigns and free access to public airwaves. Broadcasters must carry debates and provide free time for all candidates and parties as a license requirement to use our public airwaves.



Ensure Third Party Candidates Easier Access to the Ballot and Debates

In our two-party system, third parties face a host of institutional barriers, from getting on the ballot to being included in debates to broadcasting their views. This discourages people from voting because alternative voices help enliven the political debate that is at the heart of any healthy democracy. Prohibitive ballot access requirements should be dropped and debates should be open to all ballot-qualified candidates and should be organized independently of the political parties themselves.

Abolish the Electoral College It's time to end the safe state/swing state dichotomy and make all votes equal, no matter the state of the voter. The President should be elected by direct, popular vote. Since a constitutional amendment to abolish the Electoral College may prove infeasible, reformers should set their sites on amending their state laws to proportionally award their electors.
 

Schweddy

Benevolent Dictator
Administrator
DP Veteran
Joined
May 19, 2004
Messages
12,000
Reaction score
6,103
Location
Plano, TX
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Libertarian - Right
Thanks! :)

80% of this is excellent and job well done. But, I cannot sign this for 2 reasons.

1. "Administrators should help increase voter confidence by inviting non-partisan observers, both domestic and international, to observe all aspects of voting procedures."

It is OUR election and international folks should have no part of it.

Also, how on earth are you going to get "non-partisan" administrators to run the elections? That is just silly - there is no such thing as "non-partisan" - unless you waive your right to vote. Then it would cost millions to pay for these election officals.

2. "The permanent disenfranchisement of former felons, a practice that falls outside of international or even U.S. norms, is an unreasonable restriction that creates subcategories of citizenship."

It is within the states right. I could give a damn about international norms.
 

Pacridge

DP Veteran
Joined
Nov 14, 2004
Messages
3,918
Reaction score
9
Location
Pacific Northwest US
I like it! Solving this election mess should be a number national priority. I'm not sure I agree with everything contained within i.e. "Re-enfranchise Ex-Felons" not a big fan of the messing with the states rights to make their own rules. But this election stiuation has become such a nightmare and NEEDS serious overhauls, I'm honestly willing to settle for some bad to get a lot of good. I mean if we could ensure every voters vote counted I'd be as happy as a monkey with a new set of truck keys.:monkey
 

Schweddy

Benevolent Dictator
Administrator
DP Veteran
Joined
May 19, 2004
Messages
12,000
Reaction score
6,103
Location
Plano, TX
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Libertarian - Right
That monkey gets me everytime. :rofl
 

heyjoeo

Active member
Joined
Oct 31, 2004
Messages
380
Reaction score
1
Screw the states, I'm very republican on this issue. We need a federalized system of elections. And a fair one. We need e-voting machines not from Diebold, and that have a two copy reciept program (one for voter, one for recount records). Our election system is a joke, I can't believe we try to impose it on other countries.
 

Pacridge

DP Veteran
Joined
Nov 14, 2004
Messages
3,918
Reaction score
9
Location
Pacific Northwest US
heyjoeo said:
Screw the states, I'm very republican on this issue. We need a federalized system of elections. And a fair one. We need e-voting machines not from Diebold, and that have a two copy reciept program (one for voter, one for recount records). Our election system is a joke, I can't believe we try to impose it on other countries.
We don't ry to impose "it" on other nations. By and large the voting systems we impose on them is more fair and balanced. Huh, fair and balanced, I've heard that somewhere else but I can't seem to put my finger on it.

Screw the states is a republican stance?
 

heyjoeo

Active member
Joined
Oct 31, 2004
Messages
380
Reaction score
1
Strong central government is a republican issue. Abraham Lincoln, the first Republican, was part of the Whig party first.

States rights generally democratic. Mainly because the Republicans were for strong government.
 

CSA_TX

Active member
Joined
Jun 3, 2004
Messages
254
Reaction score
14
Location
TEXAS
HeyJoeo

Strong central government is a republican issue. Abraham Lincoln, the first Republican, was part of the Whig party first.

States rights generally democratic. Mainly because the Republicans were for strong government.
You must be smoking crack. For shits sake man. The democrats in the last 20 or so years have been trying to expand the federal governments role. Now I relize that it can be said that Bush has been expanding governments role with the patriot act, the encreased budgets expenses, etc. However the fact that you think the republicans want a stronger central government more so than the Dems makes me laugh. Wake up smell the coffee dude.:rofl
 

Pacridge

DP Veteran
Joined
Nov 14, 2004
Messages
3,918
Reaction score
9
Location
Pacific Northwest US
CSA_TX said:
HeyJoeo

You must be smoking crack. For shits sake man. The democrats in the last 20 or so years have been trying to expand the federal governments role. Now I relize that it can be said that Bush has been expanding governments role with the patriot act, the encreased budgets expenses, etc. However the fact that you think the republicans want a stronger central government more so than the Dems makes me laugh. Wake up smell the coffee dude.:rofl
But hasn't it been the GOP's stance that the feds should be able to dictate to the states regarding rules and regs? I mean the GOP practically goes bat shit crazy when states pass laws like medical marijuana, or assisted suicide.
 

CSA_TX

Active member
Joined
Jun 3, 2004
Messages
254
Reaction score
14
Location
TEXAS
But hasn't it been the GOP's stance that the feds should be able to dictate to the states regarding rules and regs? I mean the GOP practically goes bat shit crazy when states pass laws like medical marijuana, or assisted suicide.
That is a excellent point I had not considered to be honest with you. Shit now I'm going to have to think about this.:screwy
 

heyjoeo

Active member
Joined
Oct 31, 2004
Messages
380
Reaction score
1
I'm talking about the beginnings of the republican and democratic parties we know today.
 

Pacridge

DP Veteran
Joined
Nov 14, 2004
Messages
3,918
Reaction score
9
Location
Pacific Northwest US
See I think Heyjoeo is right. I think the States rights issue is Demo. The fact that the GOP has had a "smaller governemt is better governemnt" philosophy does not equate regarding the issue of States rights.
 

Schweddy

Benevolent Dictator
Administrator
DP Veteran
Joined
May 19, 2004
Messages
12,000
Reaction score
6,103
Location
Plano, TX
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Libertarian - Right
heyjoeo: I'm talking about the beginnings of the republican and democratic parties we know today.

If you look at history, you can see that values have switched sides several times. The beginning is not a reasonable place to look for current positions.

Pacridge: But hasn't it been the GOP's stance that the feds should be able to dictate to the states regarding rules and regs? I mean the GOP practically goes bat shit crazy when states pass laws like medical marijuana, or assisted suicide.

You are talking "conservative" values vs states rights here. Many people - regardless of political offiliation go bad shit over those ideas. One can be a Democrat and still be conservative. One can still be a Republican and have liberal values and want more federal expansion.


 

Pacridge

DP Veteran
Joined
Nov 14, 2004
Messages
3,918
Reaction score
9
Location
Pacific Northwest US
Yes, but I think it's been the Dems position all along that if the people of the State want to pass this law or that law then fine. It tends to be the GOP interested in interjecting when they find the laws to their disliking. As always, I could be wrong.


Keep in mind I'm in no way weighing in on those right or wrong. As I honestly have no idea which philosophy makes more sense.
 

heyjoeo

Active member
Joined
Oct 31, 2004
Messages
380
Reaction score
1
Popular Soverignty - My main man the "Little Giant" Stephen Douglas' idea. A democrat.
 

Pacridge

DP Veteran
Joined
Nov 14, 2004
Messages
3,918
Reaction score
9
Location
Pacific Northwest US
heyjoeo said:
Popular Soverignty - My main man the "Little Giant" Stephen Douglas' idea. A democrat.
Not really. A guy named George Dallas came up with the concept. He was Vice President from under Polk and served from 1845-1849. Then a another guy named Lewis Cass used it a lot in his Presidential campiagn in 1848, he lost. But Douglas did like the concept and was a big fan.
 

Argonaut

New member
Joined
Nov 17, 2004
Messages
8
Reaction score
0
Location
Extreme Northern California
Pacridge said:
But hasn't it been the GOP's stance that the feds should be able to dictate to the states regarding rules and regs? I mean the GOP practically goes bat shit crazy when states pass laws like medical marijuana, or assisted suicide.
Honestly, no offense intended Pacridge, but you are either very young, and/or very misinformed. While it is true that the Republicans (or conservatives more accurately) are occasionally hypocritical on the issue of "State's Rights" (depending on the "right" being considered and in context), It is relatively common knowledge that the entire existance of the modern Democratic Party (since at least FDR in 1932)and the "progressive" movement in general, has been based upon and has generally favored a strong centralized National government over power being dispersed to the states/people. Back then. the only major issue that the old Democrats favored State's rights on was the race issue (segregation)and ironically, the (national) civil rights laws/rights would never have passed without the support of the Republican Party.

So while in a very few single issues like legal medical herb (which I fully support) and others, the "conservatives" may stumble over and abandon their own "State's rights" rhetoric frm time to time, your implied notion, that the Dems/Progressives are "for" smaller/less intrusive/less controling National government and more "local control" is a very bad joke with no punchline or foundation or set-up. Of course, you probably think that the overwhelming influence in the news media, television, film, and academe (higher education)is "right-wing".
 

Argonaut

New member
Joined
Nov 17, 2004
Messages
8
Reaction score
0
Location
Extreme Northern California
Pacridge said:
Yes, but I think it's been the Dems position all along that if the people of the State want to pass this law or that law then fine. It tends to be the GOP interested in interjecting when they find the laws to their disliking. As always, I could be wrong.


Keep in mind I'm in no way weighing in on those right or wrong. As I honestly have no idea which philosophy makes more sense.
Oh really? You mean like state laws that restrict/abolish abortion? How about Federal minimum wage laws? So the next time Teddy Kennedy and the Democrats propose raising the Federal minimum wage over and above what the "states" (and the people in them) support, you are going to stand in principle with most Republicans against the Democrats in Congress?
 

Pacridge

DP Veteran
Joined
Nov 14, 2004
Messages
3,918
Reaction score
9
Location
Pacific Northwest US
Argonaut said:
Oh really? You mean like state laws that restrict/abolish abortion? How about Federal minimum wage laws? So the next time Teddy Kennedy and the Democrats propose raising the Federal minimum wage over and above what the "states" (and the people in them) support, you are going to stand in principle with most Republicans against the Democrats in Congress?
Well I'm not young, Although rumor has it I used to be, so I must be, as you put it, really misinformed. Though in your arguements you gave examples where each party used the federal control over States rights to their own choosing. I.E. medical marijuana for the Dem's and abortion limits for the GOP. But overall you seem to be saying that it's the Dems that favor the feds being able to control the States. I'm willing to accept that, as I've said all along, I could be wrong. I honestly didn't know what the parties outlook was on this issue.

For the record, No I don't think that the media, news and certainly not higher education (there's a reason the most popular B.A. degree in America is call a liberal arts degree) is bias to the right wing. Personally I feel it's really a lot more even then either side's willing to admit. What I do think though is that the right side of that balance spends a whole lot of time screaming about the left wing media bias. Where as the left seems to says the same thing just- not in a scream.
 
Top Bottom