re: Equal Access Amendment (solving all election issues)
Mr. Hartman, I would really appreciate any input you can spare on the writing of this amendment. Also anyone else that would like to contribute you are free to join. https://www.facebook.com/groups/152631684794770/
What we have so far:
I've been thinking about our election system. I know there are many groups working on different things Like getting Corporations to not be people. And lowering the signature count to gain ballot access. I think we must do something to elevate the voting system to our most paramount activity in the country. So here is what I have in mind it's just a start, not fleshed out but...
EQUAL ACCESS AMENDMENT
Whereas voting is the most important activity in a civilized society. Whereas the Declaration of Independence states we are all equal. Whereas the people need certain equipment to participate in a civilized society; those things being a truthful media and access to elections. Whereas the substance of life can cause us to be unequal such as our location, finances, education, it is necessary to set in motion boundaries to keep our elections equal for all citizens.
All citizens of adult age have the right to vote. (wanna talk about felons?) Participation in the election process must not be discouraged. A diverse society such as ours must take care to hear the opinions of it's citizens. We therefore declare the following provisions to be necessary to make each citizen's vote equal. Voting is the most important activity in a civilized society. Our forefathers declared that we should strive to make us all equal. (No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.)
1. Board of Elections: Need be established as the hub of all election activity. A central place providing information on all laws and bills, classes on civics, meeting rooms and control the collection and disbursements of donations.
2. Ballot Access: All citizens should have equal access (meaning the same requirements) to creating a political party and achieving a ballot line. The Board of Elections should accept applications for political party status requiring only proof of actually behaving as a political party. (Statement of Beliefs, 12 meetings per year, agendas, minutes and attendance sheets to prove the meetings took place.) The party will have a deadline, and then the candidates within the party will have a deadline to assign themselves as candidates under a party. All who meet the deadlines shall have a ballot line and attend debates.
[This years Ballot access requirements for everyone not Republican or Democrat (http://www.gp.org/committees/pcsc/2012/calendar/)]
3. Access for non party citizens: Citizen wishing to run without a party... must register at the BOE and meet candidacy requirements. They must convince people to write in their names on election day
4. Debates: The Board of Elections will schedule a certain number of debates for all parties who have achieved status by a deadline (same day in every state) and all citizens who have registered without a party. The debates shall be afforded the status of the Olympics in that it will not be some short one or two hour activity. Location of the debate can be done by raffle or bidding. In attendance of the live event will only be media personnel. Any media may attend. Citizens will not be allowed in audible distance of the debates. They are biased and can not be expected not to applaud.
Each Candidate will be given equal time to be used as they see fit. Let's say 90 minutes. After the question is placed on the screen candidates may answer. The candidate may speak as long as they like but they will be using their own 90 minutes. Any time a candidate speaks they must turn on their timer to turn on their microphone. If they run out of time before the debate is over they will no longer be able to speak.
The number of questions will be determined before hand. Candidates may know the questions beforehand. Candidates may use powerpoint or some such device to illustrate their answers. All powerpoint sources must be identified. After the question is placed on the screen candidates may answer. The order of the answerer will not be as important because all answers will be recorded.
5. Donations: (Reverse Citizen's United) No donations may exceed the amount that the poorest of our citizens can afford. At $20 a month for the four years of contributing time a candidate would have to request funds that is a total of $960. To make donations citizens must go in person to the Board of Elections office and donate to any or all candidates not more than $960 a piece in the election cycle.
(recent editing contributions have asked this to be reduced to $100 total)
The Board of Elections will check their voting status and deposit their donation in the candidates account. The board will inform the citizen when they have reached their donations limit. A candidate may donate to his own campaign at no more than $960. No other donations will be allowed for elections. Candidates will receive cards to access their funds. The board of Elections will be able to track purchases. Purchases for elections not made with card will not be allowed.
In-Kind donations will have their value determined at the board of elections not to exceed the value of $960. (so basically if someone wants to let you use their room the rental cost would be listed as a donation) A business may make an IN-Kind donation by going to the board of elections office of the county where the item will be used. (a certificate will be issued verifying what was registered for use and the value) A business may not make cash donations.
6. Bills: Bills shall be single issue. Bills shall be addressed in the numerical order as presented. Bills shall not be set aside on a partisan basis. Bills will not wait to be addressed until the party in power supports it enough to bring it out to committee.
7. Voting: Instant Runoff voting shall be used to allow citizens the greatest opportunity to choose whom they want. Ballots shall be dot filled paper ballots that can be counted electronically and maintain a paper trail.
8. Media: journalists must be protected so that they can bring us the truth. If their stories can be proven true then they should not be prosecuted, or fired. (HOW or WHAT rule could enforce this)
9. Public Space/Protest Permits: As part of a citizen's first amendment rights to redress their grievances, a citizen who wishes to protest needs access to a street, and with everyone OWNING everything there is often not a place to protest. Some changes should be made to allow people to be close enough to the "action" to hand out a flier as in a retail store, but not insult or invade privacy as in a women's clinic.
re: Equal Access Amendment (solving all election issues)
Have we made remedies so that there are enough voting locations, machines, ballots,etc. so that voters don't have to wait 3 hours to cast a ballot on election day?
And another good law would be that states and local governments can't load the ballot with various initiatives in November elections, at least in even-numbered years. Maybe even disallow state and local elections for governors and legislators in November elections in even-numbered years.
re: Equal Access Amendment (solving all election issues)
We are contacting you as supporters of the National Popular Voting strategy, and Campaign Finance Reform, Instant Runoff Voting, and Ballot Access reform.
We The People are working on an Amendment which should solve all the issues regard voting at one time. Just imagine if Amendments 15, 17, 19, 20, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27 were all in one amendment.
We still need your help. We could use any editing notes you can spare. We only expect the time a teacher would give to a writing assignment. We are especially looking for anything that you absolutely disagree with, to be discussed and possibly removed. And anything you absolutely agree with that is not here, to be added. And any help in converting what we have into legal jargon.
We want to make this as easy as possible to say that your organization agrees with this. Later we intend to get an endorsement from all of you, just as you have endorsed pieces of this Amendment separately, already.
We intend to circulate a change.org petition asking the public to put pressure on our justice organizations to endorse this. Once we get enough of you we hope to create a whitehouse.gov petition. With 25,000 votes the petition has to get president time. We expect it will also get media time.
Once there we will have to see what we can do to go from there into the legislature. This is a different way of affecting policy, but please give it a chance.
8/23/12 EQUAL ACCESS AMENDMENT (The Right to Vote)
Whereas we the people are created equal, and
whereas we the people are endowed with certain inalienable rights, and
whereas we the people instituted a government to secure these rights, and
whereas we the people lay the foundation on such principles, and organize its power in such form, as to us shall seem most likely to effect the above objective, do require the following amendment to the constitution.
SECTION 1. Right To Vote:
All citizens of the United States, who are eighteen years of age or older, shall have the right to vote in any public election held in the jurisdiction in which the citizen resides. The right to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States, any State, or any other public or private person or entity.
SECTION 2. Right to Vote Equally:
The right of adult citizens of the United States to vote and to participate in elections on an equal basis shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State on account of political-party affiliation or prior condition of incarceration.
SECTION 3. Washington DC:
The District constituting the seat of Government of the United States shall elect Senators and Representatives in the Congress in such number and such manner as it would be entitled if it were a State.
SECTION 4. Representation:
The representatives shall be increased 100%. The first seating of these new representatives will be all women. Thereafter Congress shall vote on every census whether more representatives are needed.
SECTION 5. The Board of Elections:
It shall be established as the agency of all election activity. It shall establish National and State regulations narrowly tailored to produce efficient and honest elections. Representation from every party registered with the United States shall be represented in the Board wherever possible. The B.O.E. shall reconsider such election performance standards at least once every year to determine if higher standards should be established to reflect improvements in methods and practices regarding the administration of elections.
The NATIONAL requirements will be as follows:
a) It shall provide information on all election laws, and bills up for vote
b) It shall provide classes on civics and the constitution, and provide meeting rooms for political parties.
c) It shall arbitrate all disputes and have the authority to settle disputes except for areas of illegality and unconstitutionality.
d) It shall determine rules for disputes, which are to be uniform throughout the states.
e) It shall survey the public for questions to ask during the debates.
f) It shall determine the amount and location of the debates and invite the media to attend.
g) It shall confirm all candidates for access to the debates. All candidates that meet the qualifications and deadlines WILL attend the debates.
h) It shall be responsible for all advertising for the candidates.
i) It shall post equal sized voting records for all candidates in print media.
j) It shall provide voting records to all citizens on all candidates, by mail.
k) It shall ensure that all citizens in all states have equal hours at the polling place.
l) Federal property shall be made available for campaign meetings/conventions
m) The votes shall be counted by hand.
n) It shall ensure that all election activity will be televised on C-Span/National Public Radio and Live Stream
No advertising for campaigns on television or radio, because it can not be distributed equally. Candidates may soapbox on any street corner.
Congress shall provide funds to accomplish this task.
SECTION 6. Campaign Financing:
The Elected Bodies of the United States are public office. They are not for Private gain. Bribery nor the appearance of bribery will be tolerated. Private money may not be used for public elections. No profit or favors shall be made by a candidate in the activity of elections. No profit or favor shall be made by an elected official in conducting their elected duties. No profit or favor shall be received by an elected official while conducting their duties.
Corporate and other private entities shall be prohibited from making contributions or expenditures in any election of any candidate for public office or the vote upon any ballot measure submitted to the people.
Congress will allocate funds to the Board of Election, to disperse candidate information to the public. Public locations will be provided by the taxpayer for large meetings and conventioneering. The Board of Elections will post billboard advertisements for all candidates equally. The Board of Elections will purchase newspaper space for all candidates equally. The Board of Elections will mail copies of an informational brochure to every citizen. There will be no "air" time of the candidates except the debates because it can not be divided equally. All advertising for candidates shall be in print. The debates will be aired on PUBLIC television/radio/Live stream.T
No profit or favors shall be made by a candidate in the activity of elections
The Board of Elections shall consist of members from every political party.
SECTION 7. Ballot Access:
All citizens of the United States, residing in all states, shall have equal access, (the same requirements), to creating a political party and achieving a ballot line. The Board of Elections shall accept applications for political party status requiring only proof of actual conduct as a political party. These proofs shall be:
a) Statement of Beliefs
b) 12 meetings per year
c) 12 agendas
d) 12 minutes
e) 12 attendance sheets
These proofs may be from anywhere within the state. Each state must achieve it's party's own ballot line.
The Board of Elections will institute a national deadline for parties to secure a ballot line. The Board of Elections will institute a national deadline for parties to chose their candidates. Non party candidates shall have the same deadline to become a write in candidate. The deadline shall be the same for every state.
SECTION 8. Ballot Access/non party:
Citizens wishing to run without a party affiliation, must register at the B.O.E. in each state in which they wish to run. After meeting candidacy requirements. They must use a petition to collect 500 signatures from other citizens. Then they must convince people to write in their names on election day. Spelling errors will be attributed to the candidate, as long as two candidates with the same name are not present. If so a designated letter or number will be given to each candidate.
SECTION 9. Debates:
The Board of Elections will schedule a number of debates (perhaps 12) for all persons who have achieved status by the deadline and all citizens who have registered without a party. Location of the debates will be determined by the B.O.E. Only media personnel will be in attendance of the debates. Any media may attend. Citizens will not be allowed to attend the debates. Citizens are biased and can not be expected not to applaud. Public Television, Public Radio, and Public Internet will air the debates.
Each candidate will be given equal time to be used as they see fit. The candidates will be given a timer that counts their speaking time. After the question is placed on the screen candidates may answer. The candidate may speak as long as they like but they will be using their own time. Any time a candidate speaks they must turn on their timer to turn on their microphone. If they run out of time before the debate is over they will no longer be able to speak.
The questions will be determined before hand by the B.O.E. Candidates may know the questions beforehand. Candidates may use powerpoint or some such device to illustrate their answers. All powerpoint sources must be identified. After the question is placed on the screen candidates may answer. Rebuttals will be at the expense of the candidate's time.
SECTION 10. Instant Runoff Voting:
EC. 201. REQUIRING USE OF INSTANT RUNOFF VOTING FOR GENERAL ELECTIONS FOR FEDERAL OFFICE.
(a) In General- Notwithstanding any other provision of law and except as provided in subsection (b), each State shall conduct general elections for Federal office held in the State during 2008 and each succeeding year using an instant runoff voting system, and shall ensure that the voting equipment and technology used to conduct the elections is compatible with such a system.
(b) Exception for House Elections in Multi-seat Districts- Subsection (a) shall not apply with respect to any election for the office of Member of the House of Representatives which is held in a multi-seat district (as provided in title I).
(c) Definitions- In this title, the following definitions apply:
(1) The term `Federal office' has the meaning given such term in section 301(3) of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (2 U.S.C. 431(3)).
(2) The term `instant runoff voting system' means a system for the election of candidates under which--
(A) runoff counts of candidates are conducted in rounds;
(B) voters may rank candidates on the ballot according to the order of preference;
(C) if in any round no candidate receives a majority of the votes cast, the candidate with the fewest number of votes is eliminated and the remaining candidates advance to the next round;
(D) in each round, a voter shall be considered to have cast one vote for the candidate the voter ranked highest on the ballot who has not been eliminated; and
(E) the runoff counts are carried out automatically at the time the votes are cast and tabulated.
SECTION 11. Verifiable Votes:
All voters in all jurisdictions across the country should have reasonable confidence that their votes will be counted accurately. All ballots are to be counted by hand. The counting will be observed on c-span
SECTION 12. National Popular Vote
The candidate who receives the most votes in all 50 states, but only if states with a combined total of 270 electoral votes join the agreement. Just as in every other election, every citizen’s vote would count then equally. The election will be counted by individual votes. Using IRV the candidate with the most votes after all rounds will be President.
SECTION 13. Gerrymandering:
A non-partisan committee shall be created to draw the district lines. The creation of independent redistricting commissions will be used to draw legislative district lines.
SECTION 14. Media:
The fairness doctrine will apply to any media that wears the title NEWS. Journalists will be protected under the whistle blower statutes.
SECTION 15. Protesting:
Citizen's will be provided an area proportional to the area of the establishment by 1/8th and beginning 25 feet from the entrance, for controversial expression.
SECTION 16. Bills:
All legislative bills shall be single issue. Citizen's have the right to expect a "speedy trial" for their laws. To do this bills shall be addressed in the numerical order as presented. Bills shall not be set aside on a partisan basis. Bills will not wait to be addressed until the party in power supports it enough to bring it out to committee. Bills may be set aside ONLY for more information and for a specified period of time not exceed one week without a vote on the circumstances.
SECTION 17. Initiatives and Referendums:
Citizens may add a proposition or referendum to the national elections to amend the constitution. Citizens must collect signatures from ten percent of the population that voted in the previous national election in their state. This petition must be accepted by a congressional representative, who must submit the petition to congress to vote on whether to put the request for an amendment on the next national ballot.
SECTION 18. Voter ID:
Citizens will show a valid state identification when voting. One month in each year, not less than 180 days to an election, vital statistic documents will be free to the citizen
SECTION 19. Election day shall be a National Holiday
SECTION 20. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation and funding.
re: Equal Access Amendment (solving all election issues)
It would be extremely helpful if you could write your suggestions as it would appear in the amendment. It would be even better if you could post it on facebook.