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Journal shanen's Journal: Elections with computers? Good or evil? 6

Regarding politics, is there ANYTHING that Americans agree on? If so, it's probably something negative like "The system is broken" or "The leading candidates are terrible" or even "Your state is a shithole." With all our fancy technology, what's going wrong?

Our computers are creating problems, not solutions. For example, gerrymandering relies on fancy computers to rig the maps. Negative campaigning increasingly relies on computers to target the attacks on specific voters. Even international attacks exploit the Internet to intrude into elections around the world. (But don't forget China, eh?)

Here are three of my suggested solutions, though I can't imagine ANY of today's politicians would ever support ANYTHING along these lines:

(1) Guest voting: If you hate your district, you could vote in a neighboring district. The more they gerrymander, the less predictable the election results.

(2) Results-based weighting: The winning candidates get more voting power in the legislature reflecting how many people actually voted for them. If you win a boring and uncontested election where few people vote, then part of your vote in the legislature would be transferred to the winners who also had more real votes.

(3) Negative voting: A voter could use an electronic ballot to make it explicit that the vote is negative, not positive. The candidate with the most positive or fewest negative votes still wins, but if the election has too many negative votes, then that "winner" would be penalized, perhaps with a half term rather than a full term.

What wild and crazy ideas do you have for using computers to make elections better, not worse?

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Elections with computers? Good or evil?

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  • You have managed to get a few of your JEs to the front page now as ask slashdot questions. I have never gotten one up there (and gave up a while ago on it happening).
    • by shanen ( 462549 )

      Don't recognize that name (BeauHD), but I'm pretty sure he was not the editor who approved my first recently approved submission. I was so surprised that I did look at the editor's name somewhere. I don't remember if I ever looked to see who approved the second one. I have submitted a couple that were rejected in between. Over the years, I've submitted a fair number, and almost all of them have been rejected, and I'd guess that about half of them were in "Ask Slashdot" form.

      No friend that I know of among th

    • by shanen ( 462549 )

      Oh, yeah and by the way. The journal versions were not promoted, but I submitted them separately. I can't recall when I started doing that, but it was probably a while back. I have regarded the journal as basically a private playground, though it does say something about making it visible there.

  • It seems I have digested the larger discussion, resulting in this outburst. Not sure what elements of this weird new idea came from where, but some of it obviously was the discussion on redistricting. In the form I'm going to describe it, there are components that don't involve computers, but maybe it could be more fully computerized to eliminate them...

    The basic idea is to REMOVE the government from involvement in the election process. The deepest problem is that the government has a strongly vested intere

"I'm not afraid of dying, I just don't want to be there when it happens." -- Woody Allen