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Robert Silver
Vote by ATM Printer Friendly Version
Why not use ATMs as voting machines?
The 2000 presidential election turned into a national fiasco due mainly to the archaic manner in which we count votes. There is a solution using modern day technology so that this might never happen again. Through-out the US, Canada, and in much of the civilized world, there is already in-place a secure infrastructure for collecting votes. There are computer terminals in gas stations, banks, super markets etc. called ATMs (Automatic Teller Machines).
There are over a half a million ATMs worldwide. Everyday, billions of dollars worth of monetary transactions move through this system with a tremendously high degree of security. Some not-so-obvious benefits are that it would lessen the amount of absentee ballots. A U.S. citizen could vote from anywhere in the world where an ATM is located, with their selections tallied as easily, quickly and accurately as a person voting within the United States.
In addition, the voting would not have to be done all in one day, which could increase voter turnout. It could be done over a period of time preceding Election Day. The results from each state could be immediately tallied and presented to the media after all the votes are counted.
How would it work? Each state would issue a voting card in the same way some do now. Like a credit card, it would be inserted into any ATM. A voter card would give a person’s personal identification number, to assure the identity of the voter. Candidate options would appear on-screen, and the voter’s selection would be recorded. The card could either be destroyed or saved depending on the requirements of the state.
Reward: I would like to be the project manager to get this going at either a state or federal level. 

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Allen D Leftwich
New Tax Rules Printer Friendly Version
Some years ago, my college roomate asked me an interesting question about our current system of taxation. He was wondering if the democracy that we have would improve if the taxed citizens were allowed to choose where the money went. They would pick the important programs by giving a certain percentage of their tax money to different government agencies. A new tax form would have to be devised that would allow the paying public to allot a percent of their money to different departments of the government. There would be between twenty and thirty different categories. Examples would include National Defense, Department of the Treasury, Department of Agriculture, Department of the Interior, Research and Developement, NASA, welfare, foreign aid, National disaster relief and prevention, National Debt reduction and several other general categories where the Federal government spends your money. This would be like casting your vote in the most important way, with your dollars. I am quite sure that with the great diversity of National concerns nothing important would be left underfunded.
Included in the twenty or more categories would be a miscellaneous block. This is for the people that don't give a care where the money goes, or forget to make the percentages in the blocks add up to one hundred percent. This would also insure that if something important is underfunded, it can receive adequate resources. The legislators would then decide where that money would be spent. It is important that we not shoot ourselves in the foot by not putting an adequate percentage number in the categories that directly concern ourselves.
Reward: Just get it done. 

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A new and improved democracy Printer Friendly Version
As the color of democracy in the US changes from red, white and blue to green, it might be time to tinker with the design a little bit. Instead of letting money, power, charisma, lineage, etc... effect the outcome, why not give everyone a chance to lead the country by voting for anonymous slates of ideas (solutions to problems put forth by those who want to run for office). A primary would be run to pick the top 4 or 5 sets and then a runoff would be held with the authors of those ideas now being public. This would take away most of the negative influences that now infect our elections. It would also give the winners a huge pile of solutions to pick from during their administration. It might be a good idea to try this out on a small scale first, say at the town or city level.
Reward: None required. 

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