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.