Proposed Constitutional Amendment on Electoral Reform v. 2.1

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Hi all, this document attempts to incorporate all of the feedback that was made on the 2.0 draft. I’m labeling it version 2.1. Italics indicate the additions or changes from the earlier version. I invite your additional feedback.

Constitutional Amendment #28 (PROPOSED DRAFT)

Every election in the land shall be purely publicly funded. No private funds shall be spent on any electoral campaign, of any kind, in any way. All candidates and individuals proposing ballot initiatives shall be given equal access to the same publicly-owned communication and travel resources, such that the only differences presented to the voting public between the candidates or ballot initiatives will be their ideas. Natural persons choosing to express their personal preferences regarding candidates or ballot initiatives in accordance with the foregoing provisions may not be interfered with or intimidated in any way. All other entities of any kind are strictly forbidden from expressing any opinion on electoral contests in any way.

Every citizen of voting age may petition for access to the ballot for themselves as a candidate or for a ballot initiative of their choosing upon the collection of the legal signatures of 1% of the resident citizens in each of the relevant electoral districts. Incumbents shall be subject to these signature requirements in order to pursue re-election. Every citizen of voting age choosing to cast a vote in any election is guaranteed an equal, counted vote. No election results shall be officially certified or otherwise made public until every vote cast has been counted. No voting system shall be used that does not allow both transparent tabulation of votes and also simple and independent verification of the certified results. All citizens residing in any given electoral district, without exception, shall retain full and unobstructed voting rights in each and every election held in that district, including all primaries.

No government official, whether elected or otherwise invested with official office of any kind, may be influenced by private financial interests as regards creation or enforcement of laws or regulations, or awarding of government contracts or employment. No individual representing such private interests in any form may hold any public office, and no government official may accept employment or enter into any financial relationship, either individually or via a related party, with private entities whose fortunes were at all affected by their work in government for a period of ten years after leaving government service.

Candidates, individuals proposing ballot initiatives, election workers, elected officials or any other individuals or entities found to be in violation of any provision herein shall be immediately and permanently disqualified from holding any elected office and also from having any involvement of any kind in the functioning of subsequent electoral contests. Any natural person, or the managing members of any other entities, involved in repeat violations shall be subject to criminal prosecution and punishment.

 

Work-shopped by:

POLITICAL & ELECTORAL REFORM WORKING GROUP

Contact: Patrick Conway, psconway@aol.com, 646.251.5385

4 Responses to “Proposed Constitutional Amendment on Electoral Reform v. 2.1”

  1. Mark [Formerly Nobody Important] Ferguson

    Patrick,

    I have already drafted three amendments that cover the status of “Created Entities” such as corporations, unions, etc…. You will not get publicly funded elections and ballot reform until you first remove Corporations from the equation.

    http://www.nycga.net/groups/political-and-electoral-reform/docs/amendment-28-status-of-created-entities

    The following Amendment is for public access to ballots.

    http://www.nycga.net/groups/political-and-electoral-reform/docs/amendment-29-publics-right-to-know

    Personally, I think voting day should be a national holiday so more people can more easily vote.

    http://www.nycga.net/groups/political-and-electoral-reform/docs/amendment-30-holiday-voting-act

    These are good starts for good amendments that speak to the very subject you are posting about. Patrick, have you read these or are they not what you are seeking to do?

  2. Eureka Springs

    I disagree, Mark. A constitutional amendment directing establishment of public campaign finance is just that. It would end money influence of corporations as persons in campaigns (though not other areas like lobby). Cit U is a court decision… An amendment is much more than that.

    Not that I would oppose ending corp personhood, but i think defining person as natural individual human beings, or something like that would be a much better tack. If we don’t accept corporations are persons,.. then let’s not be the first people to place the word corporation in the constitution with an amendment. (it’s not there now.)

    • Mark [Formerly Nobody Important] Ferguson

      “defining person as natural individual human beings, or something like that would be a much better tack” is covered in the following section(s)

      “SECTION 2. The words people, person, or citizen as used in this Constitution do not include corporations, limited liability companies and other private entities established by the laws of any State, the United States, or any foreign state.

      “SECTION 3. Such entities not identified as a “natural persons” in SECTION 2. of this Amendment, shall be prohibited from making contributions or expenditures to, for or against, any candidate for public office or to, for or against, publicly elected official or to, for or against, any legislation before the Congress, the Senate or the people.

      I should have used “natural persons” in Section 2 and then defined “natural persons” as “people, person, or citizen”. I will make that change. You might note that this precludes corporations from influencing legislation as well.

      I strongly believe that if we try to call a Constitutional Convention, try to have a publicly funded only electoral process that Corporations through the Courts will try to disrupt the effort and/or attempt to hijack the work.

      I also strongly believe that removal of Corporate influence completely is the only way that we will achieve any substantial changes like publicly funded elections. Also I added

  3. Mark [Formerly Nobody Important] Ferguson

    Amended:

    “SECTION 2. The words people, person, or citizen as used in this Constitution mean “natural persons and do not include corporations, limited liability companies and other private entities established by the laws of any State, the United States, or any foreign state.

    “SECTION 3. Such entities not identified as a “natural persons” in SECTION 2. of this Amendment, shall be prohibited from making contributions or expenditures to, for or against, any candidate for public office or to, for or against, publicly elected official or to, for or against, any legislation before the Congress, the Senate or the people.

    This should differentiate between a natural person and non-natural entities created by natural person(s).

    Comments…….