What if your vote actually mattered?

Posted 4 years ago

When is the last time you felt like your vote mattered?

We have all sat in silent horror, jaw hanging open watching the Presidential campaign slowly evolve into something out of midday talk show. Much like a car accident with bloody bodies strewn across the roadway knowing we shouldn’t look, but unable to help ourselves. Each debate escalates and we sit appalled thinking- did they really just say that? And each development has been like another log with a bucket of fuel thrown on the fire, creating more heat and intensity.

How do we live in a world where we can see video of earthquakes in Ecuador in real time, yet we get further removed from being relevant in the political process an our votes actually mattering? The reasons are many; complacency, a rigged political process, a short attention span, the undue influence in money, the insulation of the political process…the list is endless.

But, what if there was an easy way to re-engage? What if you could actually have input into the political system, where your vote mattered and your elected representative actually cared what you thought and actively sought your opinion? What if that involvement was actually used as a basis for their decision, rather than the political parties and special interests deciding the course of our country?

What if a U.S. Senator set up a website where every registered voter had a secure portal? Each bill coming before the Senate would be listed with the pros/cons, costs and benefits, allowing voters to make an informed decision and cast their virtual ballot. Instantly they would see where it was polling statewide.However the majority vote of Californians is how it would then be voted in the U.S. Senate. Totally transparent and accountable representation.

If that sounds appealing, then I am the candidate for you! That is the entire platform for my campaign for the U.S. Senate! This is a no-donation campaign, so I am not beholden to anyone other than the voters of California. As an 8th grade teacher, I am not a politician. Rather I see it as my patriotic responsibility as a citizen to stop complaining and come up with a solution. Some may doubt this can work, so let’s take a look at the feasibility of this idea. The website, dubbed Democracy 2.0 is coming online and should be active prior to the primaries.

Won’t it be open to manipulation? We buy things through the internet regularly, and feel comfortable putting our financial information out in the vastness of the web, and mostly it works. For the website, you’d need Driver’s License number, address and date of birth. Most voter’s information is easily attained and validated. Voter Identity fraud is an issue, but there are ways to confirm the information. Matching it against the Secretary of State’s Election roll is straightforward. The website dubbed “Democracy 2.0” is being tested now. Since this will not be a government website, it is not bound by the same regulations which allows for efficiency.

Aren’t “People” too uninformed to vote wisely? This assumption is based on the fallacy that our elected representatives are thoroughly analyzing the bills and voting in the best interest of their constituents. The sad reality is that their vote is usually guided by special interests, donors or party orthodoxy.If the bills are put in understandable language. People want what is best for the country and the process is hidden from them. If the bills are in understandable, people will generally make the right choice. Not everyone is going to want to vote on every issue. The website will have an initial login that allows one to choose issues which they care about greatly. Anytime a bill regarding those issues comes before the Senate, an email or text will notify those voters to have their voice heard. These tend to be voters more educated on those specific issues.

Won’t we just get a liberal vote every time? I firmly believe the Democrats represent the far left 15% of the population while the Republicans represent the far right 15%. The other 70% are in the middle and vary liberal or conservative depending on the issue. This vast majority currently does not have representation. When we vote, we aren’t voting for the party or person who truly represents us. Usually we choose the one that will do the least damage? Or we are voting against the other party! Yet the elected representative takes it as a mandate, and votes party lines almost every time. Under this model, the vote in the senate will be more representative of the actual “will” of the People of California. Isn’t that what an elected representative is supposed to do?

You don’t have any political experience? True. I also don’t owe any political donors or groups. And every decision will be done with complete transparency and accountability. Clearly the voters are dissatisfied with our government and the system, as shown by the strong support for Trump and Sanders. This idea brings the vote back to the people, not once an election cycle, but as often as they want to participate. It also bypasses the influence of the Parties, PACs and Special Interests. I ask that you consider this unique campaign, as I am running with a solution to being voiceless in our government. I won’t tell you how I will vote; I want YOU to tell me how to vote! Isn’t that the job of an elected representative?

For more information or to endorse this campaign, visit von4senate.com or @von4senate. Your Voice. Your Vote. Your Senator.

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