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[liberationtech] Turbovote (Net assisted) / New Democracy News.

David Majlak davidmajlak at
Sat Aug 4 06:52:33 PDT 2012

Posted message: Hi everyone,

A former classmate of mine has started an organization that attempts to
increase voter turnout by reducing the barriers to voting - if you're not
tracking, only 57% of eligible voters actually voted in 2008.  There are
lots of reasons why people don't vote, but forgetting to get yourself
registered, getting too busy to request an absentee ballot, and letting
deadlines slip by accidentally shouldn't be among them.

The deal is simple - you sign up on their website and they track primaries,
registration deadlines, election days, etc, and they send you the necessary
paperwork and reminders to get it all done.  They've got 25 universities
already signed up for this coming election and *are looking for more
partners* - please see the below and contact Sam Novey (cc'ed) for further

I just wanted to throw this out there, and let everyone know that such a
thing is possible, regardless of the fact that none of us will ever see it
in our lifetimes because of the struggle over power and a lack of morality
and foresight by our "superiors". Note, this is a message of decent length.
Stop now before your eyeballs begin to bleed and you get a stroke. However,
I can promise it will change your view of voting and money to a degree.

I have gone through dozens of iterations of this project/invention with
several think tanks and forums and people of numerous ideologies and
cultures etc. I know some of you will disagree, have opinions, or have
thoughts about it or something like it - you can save your words. Nothing
you say or mention will bring this thought any closer to existing or coming
true because it's just a wet dream, or a mirage. It's not worth wasting
effort over, except my own.

Congress as a whole consumes $100 million every year just to exist. In the
past, while performing estimates on the cost of voting each year, I came to
the conclusion that elections cost approximately $6 billion per year - how
funny it was that I was correct, after seeing a Mother Jones article
estimating the cost at $5.8 billion. My estimate included training staff,
lost job wages, paper, voting machines for each state, and so on.

In addition to the $6 billion we waste on elections each year, there is the
added insult of not having Congress follow their constituent's needs. I had
arguments about how the founding fathers had planned on including in the
original country documents that no more than 50,000 people should be
represented by one man. That number is currently well over 725,000. There
is a stadium in poland I think that can hold massive numbers of people -
fill two of them, drop a single senator in the middle, and ask yourself if
there is any possible way he could hold the same beliefs and have the same
needs as all those people. It's not possible - our system is inherently
flawed and continues to operate as such.

That being said, if Congress is supposed to represent many individuals, and
Congress makes decisions because we, the people have granted them this
power, then this means that the individual is really the one making the
decisions. We can therefore liquefy Congress, return the vote and decision
making to the individual, and retain checks and balances as intended. Could
you imagine a president that vetoed the will of 300 million people?

The only real consideration to be worked out is the problem of majority
rule/minority vote or some combination of the term/phrase. It was really
the only one I couldn't argue against in depth, but that's only because one
would assume that giving the vote to that many people, rules would already
be in place to prevent that kind of abuse from happening. If we give you a
gun, you can't carry it in public without a permit, etc kind of thing.

Let's quickly recap: $6 billion spent every year. 1 representative for
every 725,000 people, model based on ancient, ineffective technology. Abuse.

There are two methods of distribution for this idea. One is software that
can be placed on the computer and phones etc, (subject to vulnerabilities
in the hardware/software, etc) another is in the form of a highly secure,
custom manufactured "panel" (tablet) that would be placed in every
domicile, for the reason that renters move, homeowners move around as well.
The entire system (the panel and resulting network) has been covered
regarding security, voter fraud, bribes, abuses, redundancy, etc - this is
covered and does not need to be discussed. If you're thinking of a few
issues, nevermind them, the system is thoroughly protected from every angle
imaginable from being taken advantage of. The only consideration is how the
population as a whole will begin to use, and continue to use the idea and
how this will affect minorities and so on.

So we have this panel installed. I will talk about advantages soon. The way
it works, is that each person will have their finger scanned in the panel
(which can possibly be detached and carried around the house) to identify
individual voters within the house. This also allows voters of age to
register via the panel, saving time/money or whatever. People can submit
their own bills to be voted on by the public at large, search for bills,
save or follow bills that are going through the "pipeline", etc. In order
to submit a bill, the individual will make their "laws" (based by county,
town, state, etc) and if possible, upload supporting research documentation
for all participants to view. I know it will be messy at first, but imagine
things running smoothly. We're talking about a new form of
government/democracy after all. The "Civilization" game series converts
governments to anarchy for a turn, before converting to a new government.
This is expected.

Other viewers have the ability to upload research of their own in case
anything was missed, people can comment on the bill and rate these comments
so that new viewers to the bill can see the most important information
first, and this goes for the provided research as well. Cost estimates must
be included, or in other words, the bill must be as complete as possible.
Once finished, the bill can be voted on to get "signatures" - after enough
are gathered, the document is sent to a random third party law firm to
convert into legalese. The random law firm prevents pocketed firms from
being used. Firms found to be pocketed are banned from converting future
bills. After the bill is converted and resubmitted to be voted on, the
public can vote on individual lines of the bill. No more earmarks,
watermarks, piggybacking, porkbarrelling, etc. No more pushing bills as a
whole filled with crap. This is round 1 of the bill process. If voters
approve of a majority of the bill (i.e. the bill is structurally sound
after losing a portion of the original submission), it is submitted again
to another random third party law firm for finalization. This law firm will
also review the last conversion to detect any abuses inflicted by the
previous firm. As of round 2 of the bill, voters are given 2 weeks to vote
on the finality of the bill so they can allocate time to read information,
not miss a day of work and wages, and make an informed decision. The bill
is then either enacted, sent to the president to sign, and/or checked by a
supreme or circuit court and approved. The page of the bill on this panel
will have updates regarding the process of the bill and where it stands,

Advantages - Although we save the $6 billion from training, paper, lost
wages, new state machines, etc, we must pay a cost up front for the network
and the panels in each home, but only once. If we assume a minimum of 3
persons per household, we need 100 million panels, at an estimated cost of
$300, resulting in $30 billion up front, but let's make it $50 billion for
the network and IT training. The network pays for itself in 10 years, but
we must also consider the ability of voters to review old bills with
earmarks etc, and eliminate pork barrel spending. A quick google search
estimates current pork barrel spending at an average of $20 billion over
the last 7 years - So we can
easily see that the panel system will pay for itself rather quickly in
terms of savings.

On top of reducing legal abuse, excess spending, useless projects, we can
direct taxpayer funds directly at sorely needed areas of the country and
civic life. Projects that no longer function or exist can be removed and
funds redirected at something more productive, even sponsoring
"crowdfunding" for projects of a high level nature like DARPA's automatic
vehicles etc - or in other words, "public research". It would be akin to
the roman population directing their taxes towards discovering plumbing, or
something like that. Satisfying a modern need. More people will participate
if they understand that their involvement directly affects what happens to
their lives and their town, etc. We may even be able to require companies
to provide more days off, or vacations, like europe does in order to
facilitate the use of this panel more efficiently by the public as a whole.
The country also no longer goes to war frivolously. When wars do begin, the
population can end it directly. Search for terrorists, but if Saddam has no
nukes, we come home. I think it's safe enough to say that we can leave the
federal agencies like the FBI, CIA, NSA, etc to the president, minus
privacy concerns etc of course.

Additionally, this panel will provide and require thousands of permanent
jobs here in the country. Before I get to that, the panel is 100% handicap
accessible. It has a speaker, language processing, etc so that the blind,
deaf, etc can all use the panel just like anyone else can. That being said,
technical support will be required for people who need help - staff will
talk to people directly through the panel, even highlighting areas or
appearing on the screen if necessary. Installation contractors will be
required to install and replace units throughout the country on a permanent
basis. Manufacturers will have a permanent place in repairing and
refurbishing units as well as making new ones. Finally, there will be the
infrastructure staff, maintaining networks, antennas/towers, servers,
databases, etc.

To recap quickly: Thousands of permanent jobs, reduced spending, direct
community involvement, reduction in corruption and abuse, more accurate
public representation. Efficiency.

That being said, the higher level advantage here is that this idea prepares
humanity for the next evolutionary step as we enter an increasingly digital
world. Jobs are being replaced by robots, efficiency comes in the form of
upgrades, and people are being phased out as a whole (minus education and
research etc.). My point is that if proven successful, this new form of
democracy can support a larger and more advanced nation for the next 300
years as governments learn new ways to abuse the system, but the point is
that they won't be able to for quite some time. Congress is hundreds of
years old, and the abuse is easy to see - all the tricks have been found.

The more important point is that if successful, this panel can extend
itself to other democracies such as the UK and europe, starting
individually within each nation at first. It will be easier to convert
dictatorships etc to democracy with direct representation such as this.
Once additional nations adopt this kind of democracy, it sets the stage for
humanity to combine as a planet via the technology and internet
infrastructure. Entire nations can vote as individuals regarding "United
Nations" style laws. This will prove to be more and more important as
humanity reaches out to the stars and inhabits other worlds, and will serve
future generations as a support system for many hundreds of years into the
future. This result is simply not feasible with the current system we have
in place. It just won't hold together.

To recap: USA becomes more cohesive and cooperative, more "hive mind" so to
speak. It becomes successful in the US, spreads to the UK, Canada, and the
EU. Once successful in these countries, the infrastructure merges so that
people from the USA, UK, Canada, and the EU can vote on international law,
together, as this "hive mind" begins to establish a sense of ethics and
morality. Once overpopulation and efficiency surrounding farming techniques
reaches an apogee, we spread our new "government" to other planets like the
moon, mars, and begin working on terraforming and expanding ourselves into
space. Efficient government is mandatory in order to successfully branch
out into space. Imagine the government of mars conflicting with the
government of earth. A civil war in space? Come on. It will be easy to
allow mars for example to have it's own government, and still encapsulate
the two planets as a body in a similar fashion to the way we use the UN to
form international treaties between our governments now.

Whew. Thanks for reading! Too bad i wrote all this for nothing, and the
idea will just disappear anyway. Have a nice life. Yes, be upset with
today. Be very, very, upset. Go Occupy Wall Street!
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