How to Implement a Fair Voting System

    The main problem with the state and national election system in the United States is that it isn't easy to verify that one's vote, or lack of vote, was properly tallied in the election, and also for anyone to check that the overall votes match the tally. Although this page is mainly a placeholder for future thought, I would like to put down my central ideas for a better election system based on my experience with the success of open source software (i.e., Linux).

    As with many functions of today's government that historically depended upon central control, the function of voting can and should be overseen by the public itself, because now we have the technology to do it. Suppose that instead of going down to a polling place, you log into a website and cast your votes using a private, uniquely identifying number similar to the social security number. Immediately you should be able to see your votes post online, alongside all votes cast by everybody else, and also including numbers for everybody who is eligible to vote but has not yet cast their vote. Each voter's line of data should also give an indication of the region in which the voter resides. As part of this system I also imagine a census system that lists all people eligible to vote along with their physical address. Privacy could be addressed by listing only the number of voters at a given address.

    My proposal for the public vote record would look something like this:

Unique Identifier                  Region                    Vote for President              Vote for Vice President
5468349876843                      Dallas, TX                  Mickey Mouse                      Minney Mouse
5468349876844                      Sacramento, CA        Winnie the Pooh                    Christopher Robin
5468349876845                      Seattle, WA                NONE CAST                        NONE CAST

    Advantages of this system over the current system are that any of the three above voters can go online to verify that the vote, or lack of vote, on the record matches what they cast, or didn't cast. So if I go online and see that the vote is not what I cast, I can complain and have it fixed, and if that happens much it will be easily proven. Anyone can add up the votes in the voting record to verify the totals and the outcomes of the election. Finally, to prevent "stuffing of the ballot box", anyone can see that the number of voters in the voting record matches the number listed in the census database, and can also easily spot check the census database for its accuracy.