Issue: Election Reform
There is a consistent disparity in the opportunity for early voting among the different states. The Forum initially proposes that the following procedure be considered for federal elections. It is proposed that early and absentee voting in person would be allowed for a period of seven (7) days, but would have to be completed prior to 7:00 pm (locally) on the Saturday preceding the Tuesday National Election Day. Voting by mail would be allowed for a period of two weeks, with the outside envelope being post-marked not later than midnight (locally) of the Thursday preceding the Tuesday National Election Day.
It is proposed that for federal elections within the Continental United States; a) In Person Voting be conducted for four (4) hours on both Saturday and Sunday afternoons preceding the Tuesday National Election Day (within the local hours of 1:00 pm and 5:00 pm), and b) In Person Voting be for a total of twelve (12) hours on the Tuesday National Election Day, with separate but not necessarily consecutive four (4) hour increments beginning at 7:00 am local time, and with the last four (4) hour increment ending at 10:00 pm in the Eastern Standard time zone, and with the ending time of the last four (4) hour increment ending across the continental U.S. adjusted to end also at 10:00 pm EST. Outside of the Continental U.S., the same Saturday and Sunday time zones would apply, and the 12 hour election time would be from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm. It is recommended that every State adopt a similar timing pattern for non-federal State elections; local elections could also follow a somewhat similar pattern (at the discretion of a decision of local voting population).
We live in a society, with freedom of speech and easy distribution of spoken and written words and visual imagery, where anyone has the power to say anything about anyone else. Because of this, good people are choosing not to run for public office. They face the risk of abuse of themselves, abuse of their families, damage to their reputations, damage to their current and future career opportunities, and damage to their current and future community service and religious participation. We need to find a way to eliminate these attacks, and/or to develop a way to turn the tables on the attackers. If we do not do so, only those who are independently wealthy or inherently of bad character will be willing to run for public office. This topic looks for recommendations on how to deal with this problem.
For primary elections, the registered person would have to demonstrate an affiliation with a political party, if that is required by the rules of the party and that election jurisdiction. Otherwise, the following rules would apply.
In the general election for President of the United States, every citizen would be able to vote anywhere there is a poling place or method (physical or electronic). As long as the electoral college system is in place, the vote would have to be electronically transmitted when made to the State which is declared as the residence. After the system is changed by constructional change, there would be no need to identify a state when voting for President of the United States. Election would be by popular vote.
If a person wanted to vote in any Statewide election, they would have to declare and demonstrate (physically or electronically), any time prior to the 10th day prior to an election in that State, that they were residing in that state.
If a person wanted to vote in any Senatorial or Congressional District election, they would have to declare and demonstrate (physically or electronically), any time prior to the 10th day prior to an election in that State, that they were residing in that Senatorial or Congressional District.
If a person wanted to vote in any other jurisdictional election (County, City, designated or special district), they would have to declare and demonstrate (physically or electronically), any time prior to the 10th day prior to an election in that jurisdiction, that they were residing in that jurisdictional district.
There is an ongoing discussion of whether or not limits should be placed on the length of time that an individual can serve in a given elected office, at any and all levels of government. It is the position of the NewUSA Issues Forum that no person should serve in any office, at any level of government, for more than twelve (12) years. For example, no person should be allowed to serve more than 6 terms in an office where each term is of two (2) years duration, or four or three terms where each term is of three (3) or four (4) years duration (respectively), or for two (2) terms, where each term is of six (6) years duration. These term limits would be in place whether the terms served were sequential or not. Where these term limits cannot be set by legislation within a level of political organization, it is suggested that the term limits be set for support of any individual by political parties, where the office is partisan.