Sunday, November 05, 2006

A Modest Proposal: Designate a "Save Election Day"

I recently saw the terrifying and fascinating HBO documentary Hacking Democracy. I was already aware that our election system was a sham. I didn't realize it was a sham and a mockery.

Every impartial observer who examines voting technology says it can be hacked in minutes or seconds by anyone. The manufacturers (Diebold chief among them) claim the hacking can't be done in a real-life election situation.

Before every election, armies of lawyers mobilize to challenge the results. It's become as much a part of Election Day as baby-kissing.

Meanwhile, a growing number of Americans believe that their votes don't matter. That the fix is in.

It's clearly out of control.

So here's my idea: a one-time Federal holiday called Save Election Day.

On this day, the Federal Government could call for a mock election, of sorts. Every mechanism that goes into a real election will be in place. The public could vote on anything... A vs. B, or Plain vs. Peanut, or Dave vs. Jay, or IE vs. Firefox, or whatever. Doesn't matter. The only requirement is that there only be two choices on the ballot, with no write-ins.

Then the Government should designate a "shadow candidate"... let's say "Robinson Crusoe" or "Marie Curie" or "Godzilla" or "Fakey Fakerson" or whoever... and guarantee immunity for anyone who hacks the system in favor of that candidate.

When the votes are counted, if Godzilla gets, like, six percent of the vote, spread out over ten states, we will know we have a serious problem. Proof. End of discussion.

Isn't that worth one day out of our lives?

Just a suggestion: We could make it December 11th, the day Washington began his march to Valley Forge in 1777. The day Germany declared war on the United States in 1941. The day the Libertarian Party was formed in 1971.

The day the Supreme Court heard Bush v. Gore in 2000.

1 comment:

JMR said...

Awesome idea. December 11 is indeed an important date in US history. I watched "Hacking Democracy" and was appalled. Even more so that election officials in my home state were so cavalier about the election, the machines and ballot integrity. I understood the woman who started crying after witnessing the tape print out from the machine. It couldn't even count 8 votes accurately. This was a great documentary. I hope more people get the opportunity to see it.