In my last post I talked about what the concept of Hybrid Democracy actually was, and a bit about how we could consider votes under this system. Now I want to talk about one way I thought of which could be used to actually capture and provide a history of the votes being cast. I know there is a lot of discussion around the safety and integrity of internet-based voting systems, I’ve read many of the arguments and counter-arguments. I believe we have the ability to make it safe enough to be as reliable or more reliable than the current systems. I’ll write another post later that covers the concerns about using online voting and keeping voting records. This post is about the system I thought might work to give us a better view into our government, and more control over our political system. Right now, I call it Constituency.
I’ll dig into more details later, but basically – there is a portal for legislators to upload legislation, propose ideas to their communities, or review public opinion and there is a portal for voters to cast votes, browse open legislation, and browse current or upcoming election details.
This is a view of the voter portal:
This is a first pass so a lot of the info on here will probably change, but this is basically your dashboard. Gives you a quick view into the legislation and proposals you care most about, based on your profile settings. At the top you can jump into views of just your city (local), state, or federal legislation/proposals. In the image area you can see a picture of the voter, their name, location, salary (only when viewing your own page), and their political affiliation. On the right, based on the details you enter regarding your salary, you will see a breakdown of your tax liability by area and how much you should get to take-home after taxes, as a percentage. The bottom section is a filterable list of the legislation and proposals that are upcoming based on the area you’re viewing. This list can be filtered further if desired, but, this is where you see whats happening and you cast your vote. Since all legislation goes through a budget evaluation you can see right away how much money you’ll gain or lose based on the proposal, who wrote it, the actual document, the date it was posted, and a short description of what its about. On the right you can vote on how you feel about it. That’s it, pretty simple.
Next we can take a quick look at the legislator view. This view is more for the benefit of the voter, how they would view the legislator when navigating to their page, not so much what the legislator would see when they logged in:
Pretty straightforward. You can see the name of the legislator, what area they represent, their political affiliation, and what level of government they work for. On the right you see who their most common campaign donors are. At the bottom you see what they have up for proposal and on the right you see the proposals they’ve made that have already completed. This could be adapted to give a better view of their voting record and the types of proposals they’ve suggested/implemented.
To help legislators and other voters know who is voting and how they’re voting, there will be a demographics link for each proposal, you can click it for a quick popup of some basic voter info, something like what is shown below:
All of this info is in the application, so it is easy to pull together.
There are other pages for adding proposals, entering financial info, and performing other functions of the site, but those aren’t worth covering here. We can review more details later. This should give a pretty good idea of what I’m thinking we can do to allow voters to see whats going on around them and give their opinion on how the country should move forward on those topics. There is a ton of work to be done to get this ready for prime time, but its a good first step in my opinion. This is a web view, but we’ll get it on android and iOS too, that way its super easy to engage with any time you’re ready.