November 4th, 2008
04:50 PM ET

Change the way we elect the president?


Click the play button to see what Jack and our viewers had to say. (PHOTO CREDIT: AP PHOTO)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Record turnout is expected today for voters lining up to choose one new president as well as 35 new Senators, 435 Congressmen and 11 Governors.

For some, casting a ballot today means waiting in long lines, sometimes in cold, wet weather. Damp ballots were actually to blame for delays at a handful of polling places in Virginia and North Carolina today.

For others, voting means dealing with polls that didn't open on time.-did this day sneak up on some districts? Or broken or malfunctioning voter machines. At least three precincts in Kansas City received the wrong registration books. New ones had to be printed, holding up lines there.

Some people got their votes in early– more than 30 states allowed voters to cast their ballots either through the mail or at the polls ahead of Election Day. An estimated one-third of all voters took advantage of this, but that process wasn't exactly seamless either.

Watch: Cafferty: Change election?

The last 2 presidential elections were shrouded in controversy. In 2000, the Supreme Court in effect appointed our president, and in 2004 there were strong suspicions that some voting machines had been tampered with, affecting the outcome. And a lot of Americans don't trust that the election results this time around will be legitimate either.

Here’s my question to you: How would you change the way we elect our presidents?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Sarah writes:
There are many things that need fixing: campaign financing, the useless debates, the length of the campaign, the day we vote on, the Electoral College... the list goes on. The most important thing to fix is the shambles at the actual polling stations. Every other major democracy in the world has a uniform system for voting and the capacity to get all the voters through the polls. Why the hell can't we?

Susan from Bolingbrook, Illinois writes:
Voting should be on the weekend, using an electronic scan for quick counting, and a paper receipt for recounts.

Matt from Rockford, Illinois writes:
Shorten the campaign period, federally finance the campaign with private or corporate contributions so all candidates have the same campaign chest, and have real debates with issues discussed rather than fluffy platitudes.

Holly writes:
I can bank online, day trade online, file my taxes online, shop online–all securely– but people have to wait hours in line to cast a ballot in a federal election. Give me a break! If we can't even get our act together and set up a secure and functional voting method 4 years after the last election fiasco, then I have no faith that we will be able to turn the economy around.

Jim from Reno, Nevada writes:
What bothers me most about our elections is the negative campaigning: the lies, distortions, and just plain filth. I honestly don't know how to purge our elections of this muck and keep the political discourse on a high and dignified plane, but that would be the change I'd most like to see.

Paul from Columbia, South Carolina writes:
I would like to see dueling return. No recounts anymore.

Filed under: Election Process
soundoff (794 Responses)
  1. Sue -Idaho

    Jack, if there is one thing in this country that needs Federalized it's voting, I would make every State use the same voting machine method, with receipts, a full time staff at voting time to assure the machines are working and counting properly. Every single county would have to staff according to population, enough machines and back ups. This isn't rocket science, it's just common sense. If we can land a guy on the moon forty years ago, why can't we make voting a top priority!

    November 4, 2008 at 1:37 pm |
  2. John

    Jack: Have early voting in every state in America; process an ID card when a person registers to vote so they can vote at any polling place in a given county; and allow people to register at the polling place with a valid ID on election day. It can be done with computers and elected officials who want to see it done.


    November 4, 2008 at 1:38 pm |
  3. Stephen Casner, Monmouth Beach NJ

    Get rid of the electoral college....

    What would happen if Obama wins big on the coasts and in the upper midwest but does not hold on to Pennsylvania and loses by a hair in states that voted for Bush in 2004?

    It is a distinct possibility that Obama can substantially win the popular vote, (by 3 or even 5 million votes) but McCain eeks out an electoral college win.

    How could America promote freedom and democracy internationally yet have two of our last three presdiential elections won by the person who got the least votes?

    November 4, 2008 at 1:39 pm |
  4. Curtis from California

    Yes Jack!

    I think once you become elected you should take over that day. There shouldn't be this 100 day lame duck waiting period. There's no reason a President should have the powers to sign defense contracts and deregulation rules as he is on his way out the door. I think we need a complete restructuring of the system so that it's much easier to vote. People shouldn't have to choose between working and putting food on their family's table or standing in a 4 hour line.

    November 4, 2008 at 1:39 pm |
  5. Bob Turton in Brooklyn NY

    I would get rid of this lousy two-party system. People like myself that are more in the middle or "centerist" do not have a voice in either party. Both parties, Democracts and Republicans, have moved toward their polar bases which leaves 60 or 70 percent of the country in the middle with no voice. I would have one inclusive primary period where the top 3 or 4 vote getters would square-off in the general election.

    November 4, 2008 at 1:40 pm |
  6. Donna

    I find the whole election process very exciting. But I do beleive that my family wishes it was shorter. I have been so sucked in for the last 6 months. Never missing acouple of hours or more.
    Maybe just make it around 18 months.

    November 4, 2008 at 1:42 pm |
  7. garrick

    hi jack
    first we should get negative people out of the process,change the money control,both should only spend ONE DOLLAR and then have early voting everywhere,and last have both candidates in the same
    place the night the vote comes in.
    bay pines fl

    November 4, 2008 at 1:42 pm |
  8. Carol c.

    Popular vote!! Let the voice of the masses be heard. Why should big count more than smaller ones!

    Knoxville, TN

    November 4, 2008 at 1:42 pm |
  9. MBG (NY)

    We are lot smarter than the old farts who came up with electoral college centuries ago. Give us the right to pick our President – for real!

    November 4, 2008 at 1:42 pm |
  10. Kathryn, AZ

    First of all we should select Presidents and Vice Presidents by their intellect. This means that our Presidents and VP candidates have a solid general education. Palin taught us lesson in how dangerous it could be having un educated person at the highest in office. I have never seen such an uneducated, ignorant and incompetent person seeking a higher office. We also should place an age limit on Presidents for example after 65 a candidate can not run anymore. Afterall there is a minimum age when one can run. McCain is just an old, hard headed old school guy whom will not change with times. Nothing against him personally but he just is. Palin is the most scary one.

    November 4, 2008 at 1:43 pm |
  11. Natasha in Canada

    Have a ceiling fixed on how much each campaign can spend and make it speedy!!!! your process is crazy long!! we had an election called, campaigns, and completed said task in a matter of 6 weeks. Our election was on October 14th!

    Maybe the US should also consider electing a leader of each party long before the election. Those primary races go on forever!

    November 4, 2008 at 1:43 pm |
  12. joe providence R.I.

    hi jack , I would like to see every state have early voting, and go to the same ballots machines that also have a paper trail. so maybe we can have a honest election.

    November 4, 2008 at 1:44 pm |
  13. john,winter haven florida

    I think we should put more importance on voting day.

    declare it a national holiday.

    Require voter precincts be placed per every 1000 registered voters to eliminate the long waits occurring in our population centers.

    Aw ain't wishfull thinking great.

    Everybody do your duty. VOTE

    November 4, 2008 at 1:44 pm |
  14. Ken in NC

    Take the winning candidate from each party's primary to an Iowa farm. Have each reach into a bail of hay and the longest straw of hay wins. DONE.

    November 4, 2008 at 1:46 pm |
  15. Lois, Ont., Canada

    Elect him the same way that we elect our Prime Minister!!!!

    November 4, 2008 at 1:47 pm |
  16. Jay from PA

    I believe that the electoral college has outlived its usefulness. I also believe that campaigns should be limited to 3 months for a primary and three months for the general election. In addition, both canditates should get the same amount of money to spend with no outside advertising allowed.

    November 4, 2008 at 1:47 pm |
  17. Ken Heutmaker

    First of all, direct election makes sense. The electoral college made sense before instantaneous communication technology was available, but now it's just awkward and convoluted.

    Secondly, the presidential elections are disruptive, so it makes sense to hold them less often. Perhaps the second term for a president should be by referendum, rather than by election. So, shortly after the third anniversary of a president's inauguration, we vote on whether we want to keep that president for another 4 year term. If we vote yes, no election is held in November and the incumbent president serves a second term. If we vote no, an election will be held and the incumbent will not be allowed to run.

    November 4, 2008 at 1:48 pm |
  18. Frank from Peterborough

    Having been voting for over 40 years and in that time not seeing any problems or disputed results other than mandatory recounts I can't help but think if the U.S. copied our system of using paper and pencil to vote along with increasing polling stations to accommodate the electorate things could go along a lot smoother.

    Then after getting a system where everyone got a chance to vote without being suppressed by huge line ups etc. perhaps it might be wise to do away with the electoral system and elect the candidate who amassed the most votes country wide.

    November 4, 2008 at 1:48 pm |
  19. Dave Ryan

    Why change it Jack? It's worked pretty good for 230 some years. We just need to get the folks in Florida to figure out how to run an election. Now with Jeb and W gone maybe they can get it right this time.

    November 4, 2008 at 1:48 pm |
  20. Jerry from Monroe Co., WV

    Popular vote instead of electoral college, thus we would have had Gore instead of Bush. Primary campaigns for a maximum of 3 months, then election campaign for a maximum of 3 months. Why drag this out any more than necessary. Think of how many fewer attack adds we would be subjected to.

    November 4, 2008 at 1:50 pm |
  21. Crystal

    The electoral college is outdated. We need base our leaders on a true popular vote of the citizens.

    Green Bay, WI

    November 4, 2008 at 1:50 pm |
  22. Jim, from Las Vegas

    Number one, limit the campaign season to 180 days, period!

    Number 2, get rid of early voting, go back to absentee ballots with cause. Make election day a national holiday or have it span a weekend. But by all means stop this insane practice of voting weeks in advance.

    Number 3, get rid of same day registration/voting. This just begs for outright fraud.

    Last, require that candidates applications and supporting documents be placed in the public domain.

    November 4, 2008 at 1:51 pm |
  23. Carol in Northampton, MA

    It's not as civilized as the purple fingers were in Iraq! It's the 21st century in the United States- what a joke. Broken voting machines, chads, long lines in this highest of tech worlds? Ridiculous!

    November 4, 2008 at 1:51 pm |
  24. Bob D, Morristown, NJ

    I would make a number of changes:

    Public financing would be a requirement, not an option, but the period it covered would start on the same date for all parties (e.g. at the conclusion of the last convention) rather than at the conclusion of each party's convention respectively.

    I would outlaw all 527 committees ability to advertise at all.

    I would ban the contribution "consolidator" role. These are wealthy people who exceed the $2300 contribution limits by listing a lot of other people whom they claim they have consolidated contributions from. All contributions would have to be made directly to the candidates funds.

    I would require all voting machines to create manually auditable paper records. All computer driven machines would be required to have their programs "open sourced" and tested by independent laboratories.

    November 4, 2008 at 1:54 pm |
  25. Sigrid, Albuquerque, NM

    I think we should review the electorial college. Perhaps it's time we go with the majority of votes?

    November 4, 2008 at 1:54 pm |
  26. Ted O. (Canada)

    The campaign length should be shortened to one year maximum, and amount of money spent on the campaign should also be capped, however more important than this, it is the election tabulation that has to be fixed. It is embarassing to think that the greatest and wealthiest country on earth cannot conduct an election that has any integrity in the voter count due computer breakdown's. Are we going to have to get observervers from third world countries to make sure the counts are conducted above board?

    November 4, 2008 at 1:55 pm |
  27. John in Arizona

    Jack, every state should adopt the Nevada model for early voting and bring our country's election process into the 21st century.

    November 4, 2008 at 1:55 pm |
  28. Peri W.

    The entire campaign – primary and general – cannot exceed 1 year. PACS, good and bad, would not be allowed. Any television or radio station with an FCC license would be ordered to provide a certain amount of time for political commercials at no cost to the candidate. Campaigns should be funded primarily by small donors as Obama is doing. Government funds should be used to oversee elections and make sure voter disenfranchisement or outright vote stealing is not taking place. The government must have access to voting machines – the software cannot be proprietary. All machines must produce a receipt that could be deposited in a ballot box in the event a recount is required. Paper ballots should be encouraged. Mail-in ballots with a return receipt should be an option. If there is a line in place at a poll's closing time, the polling place must remain open until every vote is cast.

    November 4, 2008 at 1:56 pm |
  29. cyril andrews

    Jack; My belief is that every state should use the same voting equipment and methodology. The equipment and method should be mandated by the federal government . The states should be held accountable for ensuring that the equipment is maintained in good working order and that their staff are fully trained.
    Cost would be an issue but would be offset in some way by taxes paid by the thousands of new jobs that would be created.

    London, Ontario, Canada.

    November 4, 2008 at 1:56 pm |
  30. Anne/Seattle

    Just for a start . . . . . public financing, limited campaign seasons, universal mail in paper votes, no television ads and inaugeration one month after the election. Our current system in antiquated, corruptable and absurdly complicated. It's time for American elections to adopt a system that supports a great Democracy.

    November 4, 2008 at 1:57 pm |
  31. Karl in CA

    Do it like most of the rest of the world does, by popular vote. 50% +1, and get rid of this scandalous electoral college nonsense. Any system that overrules the popular vote with some shady accounting process is not fair. It's time has passed and it's time to CHANGE that, too.

    November 4, 2008 at 1:57 pm |
  32. John in Rohnert Park

    First off . . . I would make it "ILLEGAL" to launch a campaign that is more than six months out prior to the date of the election (also make it illegal for any network to even discuss it prior to six months). Second, I the results should be based on a straight popular vote instead of the electoral college nonsense. Finally, I would find a securely encrypted way for citizens to vote via computer or phone right from their home or office.

    November 4, 2008 at 1:58 pm |
  33. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    Have ballots available through both mail and pickup prior to election day, then only the need to drop off the ballots and check I.D. would reduce a great deal of time as this could be done at any polling place, secretary of state, or clerks office.

    Also, to reduce divisiveness and rhetoric, and increase bipartisanship how about those that choose to run for President do so with the understanding the loser will automatically become the vice-president.

    November 4, 2008 at 1:58 pm |
  34. Jay Hilgert

    I know it will be no easy task, but I would like to see the electoral college abolished. It's an antiquated system and it makes people feel like their vote doesn't count. For example, I'm in an overwhelmingly red state, so voting for Obama does nothing more than count towards the popular vote, which won't necessarily get him elected, as we've seen before *cough*. A strait popular vote would make more people turn out because every single vote would carry equal weight. Every single vote. I know abolishing the electoral college is essentially taking powers away from the states, but it's my belief that a national election should reflect the opinion of the people as a nation, not regions.

    Oklahoma City

    November 4, 2008 at 1:58 pm |
  35. richard a. winkler

    Limit the time of campaigning to six monts before the election.

    November 4, 2008 at 1:59 pm |
  36. Gregory

    Use the popular vote...Point Blank!

    November 4, 2008 at 1:59 pm |
  37. Jim from Chicago

    Jack, given the possibility of mischief and voter fraud, I would return the election of the President/VP to a paper ballot. And, because of the interest in the election, I would add another day for voting. Why not Monday and Tuesday?

    November 4, 2008 at 1:59 pm |
  38. james from texas

    go to poplur vote. no electoral votes

    November 4, 2008 at 2:01 pm |
  39. Domenic from Montreal, Canada

    Use paper balots and base the election on votes not electoral college.

    November 4, 2008 at 2:01 pm |
  40. G. Trueman in Toronto

    Jack, I hope you get a chance to read this:
    True proportional representation is impossible in America, as every election would be decided by either New York/California or Florida/Texas, ignoring the heartland.

    The best change I can think of is to hold candidates responsible for their campaigns and their attacks. Set up a Federal, non-partisan committee that operates like Factcheck.org, moderating the campaign by punishing untrue or misleading statements and attacks with demerits, strikes, or embarrassment. If Candidate A lies about Candidate B's tax plan implications, he loses 500 votes. Or, if Candidate B insinuates that Candidate A is a terrorist, he gets a very public flogging.

    The current American electoral system has ZERO accountability, and this election cycle has shown how that can be exploited in the ugliest way. It is humiliating for America in the eyes of the world and, as Sarah Palin has demonstrated, can incite rage by playing on people's prejudices and fears. Thanks to this campaign there will always be a segment of the population that thinks Obama is a terrorist; things like that are bad for the country.

    November 4, 2008 at 2:01 pm |
  41. Tripp, Dallas, TX

    In this age of technology and information awareness, we should move to the simple popular vote. This would effectively make someone's vote in Texas equal a vote in California. And someone in Maine's vote would count the same as someone in Mississippi.

    This will make candidates have to imploy a complete 50 state strategy and will help the electorate become more informed.

    November 4, 2008 at 2:02 pm |
  42. Judy Goebel Mesa AZ

    I would have all elections nationalized. I would encourage mail-in voting as the norm. And I would have presidents limited to one six year term with NO campaigning or fund raising. Way too much time is spent worrying about the next term.

    November 4, 2008 at 2:02 pm |
  43. SUSANM


    November 4, 2008 at 2:03 pm |
  44. QueenBeet-Monroe, LA

    I know the British came to the US to escape the monarchy, however I prefer the British election system. Elect a party and let them choose the leader. If they fail to perform, throw them out. If the leader is not doing his or her job get rid of them. This electorial system in the US bites. Whatever the outcome of this election, it is time for a change.

    November 4, 2008 at 2:04 pm |
  45. Richard, Enoch, Utah

    For one thing I would ensure there were plenty of voting machines with a paper trail. Another thing manitory early voting in every state. Last I would make Voting day a holiday to ensure all people have a chance to vote. Have more oversightt in the counting of the votes by Independants or people from both parties. The voting should be the same standards of voting throughout the states.

    November 4, 2008 at 2:04 pm |
  46. Anna - Santa Teresa, NM

    Federalize the voting process.

    November 4, 2008 at 2:05 pm |
  47. Al in Tacoma

    Roughly, how about voting for a resume/proposal submitted by candidates and we vote for the resume/proposal regardless of who the person is or looks like. He/she then has two years to accomplish half the promises outlined in the proposal. WE FIRE HIS/HER REAR for not achieving things accordingly at the two-year mark. After all, isn't this how you and I apply for, and get hired for a job?

    November 4, 2008 at 2:05 pm |
  48. Yvonne

    I would ensure that every state has that same type of voting machine with a paper trail.

    November 4, 2008 at 2:05 pm |
  49. Cookie in DE

    If we had to change it, I saw go to the system they use in Oregon, and also allow for early voting in all fifty states. It would probably allow for the election to run more smoothly and allow people to spend less time waiting in long lines.

    November 4, 2008 at 2:05 pm |
  50. Terry from North Carolina

    I would like to see the elimination of the electoral college, however in order to use the popular vote there would have to be a major overhaul of the present system.

    November 4, 2008 at 2:06 pm |
  51. Nancy from New Jersey

    1. Not one single tax dollar would go toward any candidate. Let them fundraise on their own.
    2. I would also like to see popular vote over the electoral college.
    3. A limited primary and election season.
    4. A candidate who takes the high road and tells us what he or she is going to do rather than what their opponent is not going to do. Use plain English rather than political speak please!!
    5.Secured e mail or web based voting over a several day period of time.
    6.An extension of the do not call lists to include politicians. I did not vote for Chris Smith in NJ because of the 3 robocalls I got from him over the past 72 hours!!!

    November 4, 2008 at 2:07 pm |
  52. Karen - TN

    Hi Jack,
    I think the way they are elected is fine. What concerns me is the quality of the people who are nominated. Why is it that you need more credentials to be a bus driver, school teacher, or even (heaven forbid!) a plumber than to run for president? Surely it's time for a change.

    November 4, 2008 at 2:08 pm |
  53. teri from Mi.

    I would prefer to have first weekend in Nov. set aside for voting. Why not make it easier for those who have to work? Also get rid of electoral college.

    November 4, 2008 at 2:08 pm |
  54. Brian Becker

    First, I'd make election day a national holiday. Its ridiculous that people have to wait in line for hours to vote and have to go to work or school the same day, possibly losing pay or missing a class. Second, I'd do away with all electronic voting machines and only use paper ballots. Third, I'd make the president be elected by the popular vote rather than the electoral college.

    November 4, 2008 at 2:08 pm |
  55. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: If we can put a robot on Mars; go to the moon seven times and return; we should be able to develop a voting process and machinery that makes voting a pleasant right and privilege and one that is fail-safe from corruption and fraud....Is that possible...If we can developed fail-safe nuclear weapons for destruction...we dam surely can develop a fail-safe voting machine for PEACE.

    November 4, 2008 at 2:08 pm |
  56. Meg Ulmes

    The electorial college needs to go–let's elect our president by popular vote. Second, I would like to see the Presidential campaign limited to one calendar year. This race was way too long. Third, get rid of public election funding and let the candidates raise their money from private sources.

    Troy, Ohio

    November 4, 2008 at 2:08 pm |
  57. ajks

    1.Divide the electoral votes according to congressional districts, so a state does not have all electoral votes going to one Presidential candidate. Being an Independent , who tends to lean Democrat and lives in a conservative state, I am tired of my vote not counting.
    2. Limit campaigning to one year.
    3. Return voting to paper ballots.

    November 4, 2008 at 2:09 pm |
  58. Connie Stefani

    Why cant any other states in our country adopt the "vote by mail" procedure like Oregon? Its so easy! You sit at your kitchen table in your jammies and take your time, read about the nominees and measures and vote!. Put the 42 cent stamp on and give it back to the stunning mail lady who brought it to you! There, you have voted and still in your jammies! Who should go first with this? FLORIDA!

    November 4, 2008 at 2:10 pm |
  59. Ken in NC

    Take the winning candidate from each party’s primary to an Iowa farm. Have each reach into a bail of hay and the longest straw of hay wins. DONE.

    November 4, 2008 at 2:10 pm |
  60. Jan Davis, Knoxville, TN

    The only thing I would change is to make them at least a year or so shorter. I'm surprised that the candidates have not suffered some major illness because of the long-term stress they have been under. I am especially worried for Barack Obama who looks very tired and of course is grieving the loss of his grandmother. Hopefully a big win tonight will make him feel much better–that's what I'm praying for.

    November 4, 2008 at 2:10 pm |
  61. Bob

    Congress needs to pass a comprehensive voting act that provides for the type of voting machines to be used in all the states and uniform election laws applicable to all states.

    The right to vote and have your vote counted is guaranteed by the Constitution. This is a fundamental right that should be protected by Federal laws and regulation and it should not be subject to the devious schemes of "two-bit" state and local politicians.

    Louisville, Ky

    November 4, 2008 at 2:10 pm |
  62. Donna

    Get rid of the electoral vote........

    November 4, 2008 at 2:12 pm |
  63. Don Gordon

    It is really quite simple. The popular vote should decide who becomes President.

    November 4, 2008 at 2:12 pm |
  64. Greg in Cabot AR

    Jack, how about all potential interested candidates for president take a written test similar to a college entrance exam, take the two highest scores from each party, play a game of rock-paper-scissors to determine which one is president or v/p for their party.

    Decide the final winner by a toss of a coin, we couldn’t do much worse than we did the last 8 years.

    November 4, 2008 at 2:13 pm |
  65. Brian, East Hartford, CT

    When I was in 5th grade, and my social studies teacher explained how the electoral college works, I asked him "What happens if one person gets more actual votes than the one who gets the most electoral votes?". His answer: "That can't happen". Well, it did (it has happened a couple of times, in fact). The electoral college was a necessity in its day – back when it was a day's journey to and from the polls. Today, our nation is smaller place. We can handle the logistics of a national popular vote (no, really, we can), but the political parties will never allow it to happen.

    I would like to see us implement a national voting procedure – whether it be optical scan, touch screen or bingo chips – and seriously consider opening the polls nationally for two or three days. I think we would see higher turnout if people knew they had more time to get to the polls. I was initially skeptical about early voting, but it seems to work great. Let's do it nationwide next time!

    November 4, 2008 at 2:15 pm |
  66. Roland

    I would change the process so that both the offices of President and Vice President are directly elected. Many states are set up so that their Governors and Lieutenant Governors are directly elected. Sometimes it turns out they are from the same party, but other times they can be from different parties. However, they work together. And at least when something happens to the Governor, the people know that the next person in line to take over is someone who they themselves elected...not someone who they were stuck with as part of the "this goes along with that" system that we have now.

    St George, UT

    November 4, 2008 at 2:15 pm |
  67. dee from Connecticut

    Limit the campaign to 12 months, it's to laborious and costly. Universal paper ballots and additional voting stations throughout every state , this would help eliminate the machine breakdown issues and less waiting time to vote. Extend the voting time deadline 3 more hours.

    November 4, 2008 at 2:15 pm |
  68. Gigi in Alabama

    The electoral college has out lived it's usefulness. Our communication in this country is such that we do not need it. We should be voting by popular vote.
    At least my vote in Alabama would count then. I am tired of being blue in a bleeding red state.

    November 4, 2008 at 2:15 pm |
  69. Judie from St. Augustine, Fl.

    Limit the time for campaigning. Have a United States Voter Service that oversees and regulates all voter requirements and registrations so that the same rules, regulations and methods apply nationwide. Everyone use the same method of recording votes. Have a National voter bank and have them process and validate each voter and issue a scanable photo ID card for each voter. Have all polls open and close at the same time nationwide with time zone adjustments. Wishful thinking.

    St Augustine, Fl

    November 4, 2008 at 2:15 pm |
  70. Elaina

    Go to mail in paper ballots across the nation. Triplicate copies so two could be counted by separate groups and third by machine. Discrepancies that make a difference in selection, recounted and rectified. That way both parties can reconcile differences. Also, do away with electoral voting system and go strictly with popular vote of people. No one county or state should decide the election; it should be the people throughout the land. That is true democracy.

    November 4, 2008 at 2:15 pm |
  71. Henry from Connecticut

    This is a no brainer. If I had my way, we would get rid of the electoral college. Even if there was a valid reason for it in the beginning, it no longer makes sense in today's world. If we can't get the electoral college changed, then maybe we could come up with some kind of formula that takes into account both the winner of a state and the percentage by which he or she won. So for example, here is one way it maybe could be done. Multiply the electoral votes by the winning percentage. So if 2 states both have 20 electoral votes, but candidate A wins state A by 55%, and candidate B wins state B by 60%, then state A produces 11 points for candidate A and state B produces 12 points for candidate B.

    November 4, 2008 at 2:16 pm |
  72. Paul Round Rock, Texas

    The popular vote, the popular vote, and only the popular vote! While we would be doing change lets get rid of all the congressmen and have only the senate one vote for each state no matter of population just one vote for one state. That would at least cut out 50% of the pork. Also why not change the vote to the first weekend in November start the election at 5pm Friday night and end at 8pm on Sunday that would be it longer time to vote and popular vote only wins.

    November 4, 2008 at 2:18 pm |
  73. Mark - Asheville, NC

    Number One: Find some way to shorten the campaign phase to just a few months. The way things are now, the 2012 campaign will probably begin tomorrow!

    Two: Have ONE national primary day, sometime in June. There is no reason to have dozens of different primary dates, which serves to string this out.

    Three: Have the media NOT recruit, push and install our nominees!!!!!!!!!!! How this would be accomplished I do not know, but it certainly did not used to be this way. Resentment towards what happened this time was another reason I finally voted for McCain.

    Four: Consider abolishing the electoral college, and allowing the popular vote to elect the President. This would result in campaigning to be spread through large population areas in most states, not just the usual battlegrounds.

    Of course, none of these proposals will happen, but it's a useful exercise to list them.

    November 4, 2008 at 2:18 pm |
  74. Roy - IL

    The tradition of November 4th goes back to the old farming days...
    -Have voting all weekend in early November.
    -Standardize voting machines and ballots
    -Shorten the election cycle, REQUIRE a set number of debates
    -Monitor and stop vicious attack ads, require 'truth in advertising'
    -Allow mail voting, especially for seniors and the disabled
    -Abolish electoral votes or revalue the electoral college votes by state every 4 years according to population shifts.
    -Encourage and assist more political parties, two is not enough.
    -If the popular vote winner is NOT the electoral vote winner, force a 'runoff' election.

    November 4, 2008 at 2:18 pm |
  75. Hugh coldwar vet ~ California

    Just find a way to make it shorter–too much drama for way too long!
    I'm taking a long political vacation after this election is over.

    November 4, 2008 at 2:19 pm |
  76. Lucille Coogen, BSN, Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: Why is it so important that everybody has only one day to vote. Why not extend the voting period for two days and have it on a Saturday and Sunday. Weare always rushing to judgement and rushing the time...and in the end we get and elected what we deserve.

    November 4, 2008 at 2:19 pm |
  77. D.A.Zivkovich

    I think we should eliminate the electoral college. As it stands, You'll most likely call the race by 11pm - while polls are still open in Hawaii - why should they bother to vote? The Electoral College was really a good idea in 1778 - there were 13 states, all on the East Coast and it took 2 1/2 days to travel 100 miles. But electronic communication now travels in nanoseconds. It's time to keep America's promise that every vote counts - even those not in EST.
    Monaca PA

    November 4, 2008 at 2:20 pm |
  78. Marty

    First, I think we should eliminate the electoral college and base the winner on popular vote. Second, we need to change the ballots to all paper and pencil, similar to what we did this year in Idaho. Third, the election season needs to be shortened dramatically and campaign finance should be looked at very closely. Fourth, we need to drop the two-party system and just have candidates. Last, and the most far-fetched idea, make a rule that prohibits candidates from mentioning their opponent(s) except during debates, giving the american people a better idea of what each candidate stands for, rather than what they don't like about their opponent.

    November 4, 2008 at 2:20 pm |
  79. Byron, Phoenix Az

    My opinion is ,( 1)shorten the campaign period to three months MAX , ( 2) cap the amount spent to $10 million each { the current amounts are disgusting }, (3) give each candidate one 30 min. period on five main TV channels one week before voting day, (4) have three televised debates for each position , and (5) get rid of that stupid electoral thing and have a fair popular majority.
    I am originally from the U.K. and the main reason I went for my American citizenship was to be able to vote.

    November 4, 2008 at 2:21 pm |
  80. Judy, Exeter, Calif,

    1. I would revise the laws to address voter suppression
    2. I would require a paper trail that can be audited. It amazes me that the banks can capture transactions accurately, but we can't audit our votes
    3. I would require all counties to accommodate early voting, and make election day a holiday
    4. I would want to know how well prepared the counties are to handle record numbers of voters.
    5. I would want accountability for all of the above
    Most of the above will be for presidential elections only

    November 4, 2008 at 2:21 pm |
  81. Steve of Hohenwald TN.

    Red and blue marbles, would be better than what we have now.

    November 4, 2008 at 2:21 pm |
  82. Annie, Atlanta

    Computerized social security or voter cards, used at ATM-type machines at central locations in every county, for a week up to and including election day. No purging of eligible voter lists. No electoral college. I could go on and on. Will we ever get this right?

    November 4, 2008 at 2:21 pm |
  83. Ryan from Indiana

    I think it's important (but probably not feasible) to have a universal election process that would include giving you a print-out of your voting selections that also includes a bar code so that if there is any discrepancies in your voting area it can be pulled up in a system. I'm sure that would be met with a lot of "Big Brother" conspiracy theories but it would still be nice to know that my vote was trackable.

    November 4, 2008 at 2:21 pm |
  84. Tim in Vero Beach Florida

    Dear Jack,

    I would love it if we went back to the popular vote.
    We always hear afer the elections how the popular vote went.
    I think we should have one vote for one person period.
    Think about it, it's the fairest way to go about it.
    Also, while we're at it, Banking online has proven to be very safe, I would like to have the option to vote online just like I do my banking.
    I could go online even after the election to make sure my vote was indeed counted and see how that vote was cast so there is no hanky panky going on like there has been with the current method which stinks.
    It only makes sense in this era of the information super highway.

    Write your represenatives people!

    Tim in Vero Beach Florida

    November 4, 2008 at 2:22 pm |
  85. Sandra -- Oklahoma

    Get rid of the electoral college!! Only then will the will of all of the people be heard. Last presidential election our electoral votes were cast for Bush/Cheney before the votes were even in let alone counted. I complained then and reminded the state house again when I called to congratulate our governor for endorsing Obama this year.

    November 4, 2008 at 2:22 pm |
  86. Paula in the middle of America--Illinois

    Voting should last a week and be available at our local malls and grocery stores. Everyone in the country should get a voter id and be able to present it anywhere in the United States and vote. The winner should be chosen by the majority of voters, no electoral college. Surely the greatest country on earth can develop a cheat proof, vote anywhere system that works honestly and efficiently. One man, one vote, one winner!!!!

    November 4, 2008 at 2:22 pm |
  87. Jack Toledo, Ohio

    Yes, something needs to be done when billions of dollars are spent lobbying to secure an executive position; but I think that there are much more pressing issues at this moment. Maybe, Obama and the Dems will choose to address that issue in the next cycle.

    Toledo, Ohio

    November 4, 2008 at 2:23 pm |
  88. Dick B

    I believe we should select our presidents on the basis of their brain scans. This would keep us from electing "stinkers" like Bush because clearly his brain does not function at all.

    November 4, 2008 at 2:23 pm |
  89. Rita, Illinois

    I think that in a society where people can now move from state to state to make their vote count more, it's time to get rid of the electoral college. Let the majority vote decide. I think it will demoralize the country if it happens again that the person in office is not the one the people truly choose.

    November 4, 2008 at 2:24 pm |
  90. Larry from Georgetown, Texas

    Only have two or at most three names on a piece of paper with a big box to mark X next to the persons name. Do not have three, four, or five pages. Elect the most important job in our country in a simple manner and then have a separate vote for all the other stuff. And have early voting in all of these "United States".

    November 4, 2008 at 2:24 pm |
  91. T J

    Voting should be mandatory like filing your taxes and be made a national holiday..

    November 4, 2008 at 2:25 pm |
  92. Frank, Canada

    I would instore an IQ test so that no more idiots gets to be commander in chief of the biggest army on Earth.

    November 4, 2008 at 2:26 pm |
  93. Tina (Texas)

    Get rid of the electoral college. Put everyone who wants to run on a ballot and have a paper trail and whoever has the most votes becomes the next president.

    November 4, 2008 at 2:26 pm |
  94. mitchell ,arkansaw

    primaries and general election should be based on popular vote, only[anyone over 18 should be able to vote regardless of identification. i like the put-the-thumb-in- the ink technique. everyone should recieve a 'certified' receipt.

    November 4, 2008 at 2:27 pm |
  95. Mertis

    Jack, we need to spend some money to purchase voting systems that are consistant in all 50 states. Ones that provide a paper trail.

    If Diebold can make ATM machines, etc., that give you a receipt everytime you get $20.00 out of the bank, surely we can commission them (or some technology company) to make voting machines that can do the same.

    Mertis in Atlanta

    November 4, 2008 at 2:28 pm |
  96. Daniel Ambrose

    Jack –

    I agree with most of what the people have replied in this blog in getting rid of the electoral. It should be decided by the majority popular overall vote. Besides, isn't decided when each canidate wins a particular state he gets the electoral? This same rule should apply overall for the entire country as a whole.


    November 4, 2008 at 2:28 pm |
  97. Donna Colorado Springs,Co

    Someone really needs to figure out a way to shorten the whole process. It seems like it's been going on for years now! Most importantly, I feel that if EVERYONE in this country voted by mail-in ballots like I do, there wouldn't be the voter fraud and intimidation tactics that are going on right now. No long lines or confusing directions from people who really don't know what they're talking about half the time!

    November 4, 2008 at 2:28 pm |
  98. Mike in St. Pete Beach, Florida

    Shorten the campaign period. Right now all it does is fuel the anger and hate with which this country is replete starting halfway through the current president's term.

    November 4, 2008 at 2:28 pm |
  99. John, Fort Collins, CO

    I would change the primary process so everyone goes to the polls in one of four super Tuesday's in May. The order in which the states vote would drawn by lot. Whoever gets the most votes nationwide would be the presidential nominee for the party. The winner would then select their vice-presidential running mate. Finally, I would either eliminate the party conventions altogether, or hold them on Halloween.

    November 4, 2008 at 2:28 pm |
  100. Anita

    I certainly would hope we can change this process! We don't need 21 months to decide, any qualified person who can present a plan and state their qualifications and what their record shows, should be able to reach the voters in a month with internet and t.v. access. ! Save us all from the constant slurs and insults. Their records should speak for them selves. Away with the electorial college, popular vote would make more sense, that is if we can depend on an honest count. Here in Oregon we all have a paper ballot. Not that some of those ballots could be "lost" but at least it gives us a sense of counting.
    Anita, Oregon

    November 4, 2008 at 2:28 pm |
  101. Bernie from Tarpon Springs, FL


    There are a few changes I would make. First and foremost, do away with the Electoral College. This is a quaint idea whose time has come and gone. The person with the most votes wins...this would make the election more fair and force the candidates to campaign in more than 12 or 15 "swing" states. I would also limit the time for campaigning, start January 1st of the election year, not a day before. Third, I would make public funding manditory, any candidate who wants to be on the ballot would be forced to take public funds, and not a dime of private money. In the same light, no campaigning from organizations other than the candidates, No PACs, no national committees running ads. before each election, I would appoint a panel of 5 persons who would be given the task of exaluating each commercial from the candidates for accuracy, if the commercial is deemed inacurate, it doesn't appear. Finally, I would hold the election over a 3 day weekend. Saturday through Monday with the Monday a national holiday.

    November 4, 2008 at 2:29 pm |
  102. Mike Smith, New Orleans

    There is no reason to stand in line for hours to vote with all the techology we have available. If we can make internet transactions secure and fraud-proof, we can do the same for voting.

    And the electoral college must go. If get 300,000 more votes than the other candidate, you should win the election. It should be majority rule, and not "sort of majority" rule.

    November 4, 2008 at 2:29 pm |
  103. Byron

    I think increasing the size of the electoral college would be beneficial. I think it's inadequate that a million people may be only represented by one vote, but in other places the same electoral vote may represent closer to half a million people. I think this change may make it harder for a candidate to win a popular vote but lose the electoral college.

    I also think a direct vote methodology would be interesting. For example if a citizen could display a certain understanding of the events then you can vote directly, however this would create all sorts of problems. So it's really kind of out of the question.

    November 4, 2008 at 2:29 pm |
  104. Beartrack Truckee,CA

    i would like to see one month only for primary campaigning, then two months for general election campaigning to include more debates where we can see and hear what the candidates actually say. Limitations on the amount of TV/radio ads. Then at least two weeks of voting where all percents are open and we use a standard ( whole country ) paper ballot that can be audited if need be.

    November 4, 2008 at 2:29 pm |
  105. Kareem, Montreal, Canada

    – Regional primaries 2 weeks apart.
    – Federal agency to administer elections in order to provide uniform national guidelines for registration and identification at polls.
    – Ban e-voting machines. Paper ballots only. Marked with pencil, not punching.
    – Elections on Saturday or Sunday. Or make election day a national holiday.
    – Full disclosure of all campaign contributions, regardless of size.

    November 4, 2008 at 2:29 pm |
  106. Dave in MO

    Change nothing! The founding fathers were much smarter than any of us today.

    November 4, 2008 at 2:29 pm |
  107. JERRY, Illinois

    Election by popular vote and reduce the campaign to 90 days.
    Of course I'm living in a different world and still believe in the
    Easter Bunny.

    November 4, 2008 at 2:29 pm |
  108. Vinnie Vino

    They tell us all the time every vote counts, the best way to back up this statement is to allow us to elect the President by a popular vote.

    C.I., New York

    November 4, 2008 at 2:31 pm |
  109. Marie Ontario

    Since there hasn't been a machine or computer made that can't be hacked or programmed to cheat I would suggest paper and pencil then the worst thing that could happen would be the lead in the pencil could break so you could also throw in a pencil sharpner.

    Then if you took all the money saved on not buying voting machines and use it towards more polling stations so everyone could vote within a reasonable time frame it might just work.

    Of course all of this would take a Federal Law to put it in place.

    November 4, 2008 at 2:32 pm |
  110. Winton from Alaska

    Review and perhaps eliminate the electoral college system. President Bush was practically gloating when he learned he lost the election as far as the popular vote went but still won. He must have felt like a thief who was immune from the law. Also, voter fraud and voter intimidation (robo-calls, etc.) should be outlawed. Sure we have the freedom of expression but trying to hoodwink voters not to vote for the benefit of your candidate is unpatriotic and unAmerican, and surely the Republican party, the sponsor of such robo-calls should know that.

    November 4, 2008 at 2:33 pm |
  111. Will K from San Jose

    We need to switch to two round national runoff voting.

    Every candidate that can qualify nationwide makes it into the first round regardless of party. There are a minimum of three debates that include everyone on this ballot. Vote on the first weekend in September.

    The top two people, again regardless of party, from the first round move to the second round. There are a minimum of three debates that include only these two people. Vote on the first weekend in November.

    There is far more to be done with campaign financing, but at least a two round runoff would give third parties a chance at the national stage.

    November 4, 2008 at 2:33 pm |
  112. Price Midkiff

    Do away with the Electoral College. It is out of date and no longer represents the will of the people, but only that of those trained in manipulating the out come of the election.

    For gods sake, give the american voter more credit.

    It's time that Congress goes back to work and makes the change to the constution thats been out dated for over a hundred years.

    It's getting to the point where the rest of the world belives that the elections are fixed. Ever since 2000 and 2004, the majority of americans have doubts about the system. And with this record breaking turn out, lets hope it doesn't happen again.

    From a registered Republican,
    who voted for Change with Obama on Absent ballot

    November 4, 2008 at 2:34 pm |
  113. Keith - Ohio

    Jack, I think that the Electorial College has outlived it's original purpose. If it cannot be eliminated completely, at least count only the same percent of Electorial votes as popular percent. This would make it much more fair.

    I would also like to see limits put on the candidates because the pouring the most money into TV ads, usually wins.

    What could our economy do with $70M spent by Obama's campaign?

    November 4, 2008 at 2:34 pm |
  114. Alabama Angel

    I think each state should mail ballots to its registered voters three weeks before an election. The voters should mail those ballots back postmarked one week before the formal election day, so each ballot would be received and tallied by election day. Ballots would be kept for a period of time following the election in case of a dispute. This method would save energy, save time, save the cost of voting machines, ensure a better turnout and create a paper trail, should any questions arise.

    November 4, 2008 at 2:34 pm |
  115. william fitzwater

    If the US moved away from Electoal College sysytem the only alternative would be by majoity. This would make it silly for ally this campaining . It would just make the states with the most people the only players.
    Why give up all this political drama when a choice could be done that does not reflect the common will of the people.

    November 4, 2008 at 2:36 pm |
  116. Michael Blake


    The foundimental way in which the U.S. President is elected need to be change. For example, in the 2000 election the President elected did not refect the will of the people i.e. (the popular votes). The U.S. so called democracy is a complete hypocrisy. Your country election is a joke to the rest of the world.

    November 4, 2008 at 2:36 pm |
  117. Lacy

    I think there are several areas that need to be changed regarding the election for President/VP. I think we should do away with the electorial college, have a national time frame where people could vote prior to election day, use the same voting method nation wide with a verifiable paper trail, and at least two day election time frame so people would be able to vote either day.
    Last but NOT least, shorten the primary season. Good grief! I'm roo worn out to Christmas shop.

    Paducah, KY

    November 4, 2008 at 2:36 pm |
  118. Angela

    What security measures are in place to insure a vote has not been tampered with ?
    I think voting should strictly be a paper vote, one that can be scanned to count but not connected to software that can be altered. I also think we need to get rid of the electrol vote......and voting should be held Friday thru Sunday........a three day event, then there would not be this rush to the polls.
    The primaries should all be on the same day.
    Angela, Kansas

    November 4, 2008 at 2:36 pm |
  119. pete in hamilton ontario

    the candidate with the vost votes wins, jack it can't get any simpler than that.

    November 4, 2008 at 2:37 pm |
  120. Dennis in Albuquerque

    The first thing I would do is set up universal voter registration. When you turn 18 you will automatically be registered. Second, I would outlaw all the political committees that dish out the dirt. Third, all states would have the same early voting days and hours. And finally, the time for the whole election from announcing their candidacies to the election would not exceed six months.

    November 4, 2008 at 2:37 pm |
  121. Price Midkiff

    Registered Republican, living in Norway, I forgot to say where I was from.

    November 4, 2008 at 2:37 pm |
  122. Jerry - Johns Creek GA

    Place a legal limit on the amount that each candidate can spend. Eliminate the Electoral College and have the vote decided solely on the national popular vote. All contributions must be traceable. Remove all red and blue state maps from the media and replace them with pink and purple.

    November 4, 2008 at 2:38 pm |
  123. Charla in De Kalb, Texas

    Make an election week, not an election day. Require employers to provide time off without penalty for employees to vote. With an entire week to work with there should be no staffing issues. Nationalize the voting system, i.e. all states and counties and precincts use the same method. Require valid ID to vote, not just a voter registration card. Enact voter registration at all DMV, DHS, and Social Security offices, maybe even the Post Office...they already do Passports, why not Voter Registration? And lastly.....let's go to the popular vote. Let each person's vote truly count.

    November 4, 2008 at 2:40 pm |
  124. Mary - California

    Eliminate the Electoral Votes and fix the Voting Machines so they
    work and have a paper trail!

    November 4, 2008 at 2:41 pm |
  125. Susan H, Bolingbrook IL

    Voting should be on the weekend, using an electronic scan for quick counting, and a paper receipt for recounts.

    November 4, 2008 at 2:41 pm |
  126. Valerie

    I think it's time for the Electoral College to be eliminated! Centuries ago this system favored the landed gentry and proponents said that keeping the popular vote from the poor was critical in preventing the creation of a socialist or communist society.

    Gimme a break! Surely, we are past this now and the integrity of "one person, one vote" should be championed.

    I also think super delegates in the Democratic party and winner-take-all policies in the GOP in the primaries should be abolished.

    November 4, 2008 at 2:42 pm |
  127. Diane Glasser

    Elect by popular vote so ever vote will count. Cut the campaign to 6 months.

    November 4, 2008 at 2:44 pm |
  128. Michael Fermanich, Marinette, Wisconsin

    Jack before the next election I think suggestions should be made for some new legislation via the House and the Senate. Sure and have a vote on the changes to be made to make election activities fair and understanding to all citizens of the United States.

    November 4, 2008 at 2:44 pm |
  129. Cori from Colorado

    I would go with the popular vote. Here's a simple example: when students vote for their high school Prom King and Prom Queen, the most votes win! If the vote was decided say by the Principal, school pyschologist, or other staff members, then why bother having students vote? Give the power to the people, let OUR voices be heard!

    November 4, 2008 at 2:44 pm |
  130. Kevin ...................Boston

    The early voting is unfair and not uniform. If we can't handle the crowds maybe it is time for the polls to be open for two days. The electoral college may have been the way for our forefathers years ago before airmail,,internet and television but it too is not the will of the people. It's time to try the popular vote.

    November 4, 2008 at 2:45 pm |
  131. Hugh, Alabama

    I think the electoral college is outdated. As a Democrat in a "Red" state I don't feel it is fair that my vote does not count. I vote because I want people to know that we are here. We should elect the President the same way we elect Senators, Governors, etc. With all the technology available today we should be able to come up with a better system.

    November 4, 2008 at 2:46 pm |
  132. Karin from Illinois

    I think if we got rid of the different party system, and elected the most qualified person to serve in office, it would cut down on a lot of the nonsense. Also, we should cut down on the amount of time a candidate has to campaign for an office (2 months until primary; another 2 or 3 months to election). That's plenty of time to present their views to the country, and plenty of time to spend a small fortune trying to buy the votes! I also feel that we should ditch the electoral college and the popular vote should prevail. After the the election, the winning candidate should take office immediately. Why wait, when the person going out of office could really screw up the country all that much more. To cut down on voter fraud, nobody should be able to register without providing a copy of their photo I.D. and signature, and when they go to vote, they have to show that same identification. Also, why can't there be more polling places and more machines so the lines aren't so long. Why does all of this have to be such a big deal?

    November 4, 2008 at 2:46 pm |
  133. David,San Bernardino,CA.

    Restrict the campaign by law to October so we don't have our sanity impacted by the endless lies and the insane amounts of money that are spent on a thankless job.

    November 4, 2008 at 2:46 pm |
  134. Mari Fernandez, Salt Lake City, Utah


    November 4, 2008 at 2:46 pm |
  135. Roger (Dallas, TX)

    Encourage all states to participate in early voting. Do away with this electoral college which should have been done away with years ago. The horror of a candidate winning the popular vote by several million and yet losing the election because the electoral college favors the other candidate by just a few to put them over the 270 is beyond the pale. This is OUR election and the person with the MOST POPULAR votes should be declared the victor.

    November 4, 2008 at 2:47 pm |
  136. Raphael in New York

    Jack, first, in the primaries,the candidate from each party with the largest number of popular votes would become the parties Presidential Candidate, and the one with the second largest number his/her running mate. In the elections proper, the candidate with the largest number of popular votes would be President-Elect, and his running mate the Vice President-Elect. Forget about pledged delegates and the electoral college - let the voice of the people be heard!

    November 4, 2008 at 2:47 pm |
  137. Maggie Muggins From Selwyn

    Well Jack you could something unique like letting every citizen vote and then count every vote honestly. That may not make it as exciting for the news media but the public might appreciate it more.

    November 4, 2008 at 2:47 pm |
  138. Robert Leonard

    No state primaries – one election first to narrow candidates to top three. The next to pick the winner. 50% majority required to win.

    November 4, 2008 at 2:47 pm |
  139. odessa ohio

    i think that voting should be mandatory like filing taxes..we should elect our presidents by their education skills as well communication skills because having bush for eight years was a complete duh and this time if mccain gets in, we will have another duh for four years..

    November 4, 2008 at 2:48 pm |
  140. AndyZag Fairfax, VA

    I would utilize a game of chance similiar to MacDonalds game of Monopoly. I would have 8 winners who would compete against each other in events involving mental agility and physical skills. The winner would be allowed to run the United States any which way they saw fit (This taken from the current Bush adminiistration.) Till that wonderful day – two big Macs, a quarter pounder w/cheese, large fries, and a chocolate shake!

    November 4, 2008 at 2:49 pm |
  141. Doreen, Cornelia Georgia

    We could start by following the Constitution which states that the person with the most votes is President. The one with the second highest number is Vice President. This would definately get rid of the need for "party affiliation". Then – before you can become a candidate or even vote – there should be a test to make sure you aren't a dweeb. Do you think people know there were 7 Presidents before Washington (John Hanson being the first – who gave us Thanksgiving!)? And of course the most obvious of all – one vote equals one vote.

    November 4, 2008 at 2:49 pm |
  142. Sarah Louise

    There are many things that need fixing – campaign financing, the useless debates, the length of the campaign, the day we vote on, the electoral college... the list goes on. The most important thing to fix is the shambles at the actual polling stations. Every other major democracy in the world has a uniform system for voting and the capacity to get all the voters through the polls – why the hell can't we?

    November 4, 2008 at 2:49 pm |
  143. Janice in South Carolina

    Electing a person who has the intellect, temperament, and vision to restore our pride and confidence in the presidency and the nation is most important to me. That's why I voted for Barack Obama today! I'm overjoyed to think that in just a few hours, we can officially move past the incompetency and disgrace of the past eight years,
    South Carolina

    November 4, 2008 at 2:49 pm |
  144. Paul S. Columbia, SC

    Flip a coin. Either way we're screwed.

    November 4, 2008 at 2:50 pm |
  145. Marilyn from Louisiana

    Voting should be on the weekend. They should scan each vote and a receipt for every voter and/or possible recount. Get us out of the 1900 voting machines. Put us in the 2000.

    November 4, 2008 at 2:50 pm |
  146. Ray, Florida

    I would change election day to the first saturday of november instead of tuesday Jack.

    November 4, 2008 at 2:50 pm |
  147. LM from Fayetteville, NC

    We are supposed to have a good system – let's see if the popular vote equals the electoral college vote ...then we will know if it is a good system. This election will prove a lot of things about our country. I can hardly wait for this time tomorrow and see who had the "hanging chads this time around".

    November 4, 2008 at 2:50 pm |
  148. MB in VA

    I would make the campaign process a lot shorter. I think part of the reason why our candidates need so much money to run is the amount of time required to fulfill the campaign. Other countries elect their leaders in a matter of weeks!

    November 4, 2008 at 2:51 pm |
  149. Greg Hagfors

    Jack, we should abolish the current system of not just President, but Congress as well, and replace them with a Parliamentary system of government. Then whichever party received 50% + 1 vote out of all votes cast, they would select a Prime Minister to head the Executive Branch. If no party made it past that threshold they would have a limited amount of time to form a coalition among the parties. This would have a beneficial effect as government would have to work better to stay in power, rather than the current mess we put up with every 4 years.

    Minneapolis, MN

    November 4, 2008 at 2:51 pm |
  150. Jim in Washington

    Make election day a legal holiday , standardize voting, and allow the popular vote to decide said results.

    November 4, 2008 at 2:51 pm |
  151. Elle from Pullman, WA

    I would make mail-in ballots the requirement in every state... There's a paper-trail, no "hanging chads", no machine breakdowns, folks have two weeks to decide who they're voting for before mailing their ballot, and NO LONG LINES!

    November 4, 2008 at 2:51 pm |
  152. Andrew

    First, all primaries would be held in 3 days that are 2 or three weeks apart. We divide the country into 17 primaries on the first one, and 2 more at 16 a piece. Second, states are pulled from a hat 3 months prior to the first primary so candidates don't know where to start their campaign until then. Imagine the change when Iowa and New Hampshire are no longer hte stepping off block!

    November 4, 2008 at 2:52 pm |
  153. Marge in New Port Richey, Florida

    Obviously the voting system is very broken. This is so odd because we are so technologically sophisticated in most other areas but can't seem to get it together with voting. If we can't get the machines right and figure out how to make the process more efficient so that no one has to wait more than say, 1/2 hour, why not go to some kind of online voting? Boy, would that solve a lot of problems! And for those like John McCain who are not computer savvy, they could vote by mail.

    November 4, 2008 at 2:52 pm |
  154. Teasha, Florida

    Where do I begin? First and foremost, there should be a national standard for voting; the states have proven that they can't do this on their own. This national voting standard should include 4 election days not 1 and a voting machine that produces a hard copy of the results, in which; both would be tabulated and compared. Get rid of the Electoral College, it is out-dated and should have gone away with the horse and buggy. True democracy is when the President is elected by all of the people, the popular vote.

    November 4, 2008 at 2:52 pm |
  155. Landor Maiar from Sweden

    A majority vote across the country. Skip the electorates. And something got to be done about the machines. If they cant work right USA should go back to basic and use simple paper vote.

    November 4, 2008 at 2:54 pm |
  156. Sherrol in Canada

    Absolutely, the process is way too complicated. How can it be a true democratic process when it's the Electoral College that determines who the president would be.

    It should be based on popular vote!!

    November 4, 2008 at 2:54 pm |
  157. Matt Toohey


    Shorten the campaign period, federally finance the campaign with private or corporate contributions so all candidates have the same campaign chest, and have real debates with issues discussed rather than fluffy platitudes.

    Rockford, IL

    November 4, 2008 at 2:55 pm |
  158. Brenda

    I would prohibit any electioneering on Election Day such as John McCain is doing today. We voters can't do it near the polls, so why should he have access to us via the airwaves, etc? Seems totally illegal/unfair.

    ALSO, get rid of the touch screen voting machines that give you NO record of your vote. Paper ballots only that scan into the scanner.

    November 4, 2008 at 2:55 pm |
  159. Howard M. Bolingbrook IL

    I don't think there is anything wrong with system we currently have, it still works

    November 4, 2008 at 2:55 pm |
  160. Tim in Red Lion, PA

    We need standardized voting procedures (same machines, same format) based on population, with voting either on a weekend or make voting day a national holiday.

    November 4, 2008 at 2:56 pm |
  161. Scott - Wichita, Kansas

    Get rid of the electoral college, and move to direct popular vote. The way it's set up now, a president can win the popular vote by several million, but lose the election just because they didn't carry some of the big states. Would definitely help get out more people to vote, because their vote would count for more.

    November 4, 2008 at 2:56 pm |
  162. karen-phoenix

    We all should beable to vote by mail the way Oregon does or "early" voting the way Nevada does. A look at the electorial voting system would be a good idea!

    November 4, 2008 at 2:56 pm |
  163. Tom in Desoto, TX

    Popular vote will probably be the number one answer but that wouldn't solve how to "populate" Congress which depends upon districts. Working within the current system I would like to see all states split the electoral votes like Maine and Nebraska instead of the current "winner take all". Here in Texas McCain wouldn't get close to all 31 votes.

    November 4, 2008 at 2:57 pm |
  164. Bob Morrow, Everett WA

    I'm an American who lives most of the time in Brazil. Here voting is mandatory for everyone from 18 to 65, voluntary for 16/17 year olds and elders. It's all done electronicly, the polls close at 5.30 pm or so on the Sunday they vote, the results are all known by 8 pm.

    No Electorial College, no 50+ different types of voting, no waiting for hours to see who won.

    November 4, 2008 at 2:57 pm |
  165. wally Ruehmann las vegas nv

    i would greatly shorten the process, 2 years is nuts. the 2 party rule is nuts, when one person spends hundreds of millions of dollars for a 400 thousand a year job that tells me were all nuts.

    November 4, 2008 at 2:57 pm |
  166. Amilcar, Managua

    For starters, demanding greater accountability on spending. Put mildly, allocating over 1.5 billion dollars to this election alone is an absolute contradiction to the current economic crisis and underlying political platforms of both candidates. Spending should be capped, no ifs, ands or buts.

    November 4, 2008 at 2:57 pm |
  167. Dennis Chappel Oklahoma

    We need to take the money out of the process. As long as our representatives chase the money they will serve the money. We have become a country of special interest, for special inerest, by special interest to the demise of the people. Example; Lobbyist wanted the door opened so wallstreet could make more money and in 2000 laws were passed so they could and they did. 2008 Taxpayers have to bail them out with the support of the lobbyist of course.

    November 4, 2008 at 2:58 pm |
  168. Jan from Millsboro DE

    Yes, I would change the way we elect our presidents. I hate the electoral college aspect of it, especially when the results are different than the popular vote so I would do away with the electoral college.

    November 4, 2008 at 2:59 pm |
  169. Terry of Iowa

    #1 – Truth in advertising. Any candidate who blatantly lies, anyone who sends a piece of mail or publishes content on a website, any radio talk show host or political pundit that speaks untruths, risks both civil and criminal charges. We force advertisers to tell the truth, the campaigns should be held to that standard.

    #2 – No more public funding (tax dollars), but all funding must come from the public (donations). No PAC money, No Corporate money. All dollars must be tracked, and be able to be traced back to the person that made the donation, regardless of denomination.

    #3 – Shorten the campaigns. Campaigning can’t start before 60 days from the election. Two weeks prior to the election, all campaigning stops.

    #4 – Early voting for all. Two weeks prior to election, polls open.

    #5 – Traceable voting. All ballots are hardcopy (for recounts) and result in a receipt containing a unique secure pin number, where by the voter can check on-line that their vote was counted and it was what they intended it to be.

    November 4, 2008 at 2:59 pm |
  170. Dave, Brooklyn, NY

    I would change it completely. First it would be limited to no more than 2 or 3 months as it is in some other civilized countries like England. Then I would have each campaign funded entirely by the public – no private donations at all. Even the candidates them selves can not use their own money. The funding would be limited to a few million dollars spread equally among all the candidates. I would require at least one third party to begin with, then possibly add more. No ads, not paid for by the candidates from their public funding, would be allowed. The main purpose of this would be to save our sanity. But there might be a side benefit – the candidate who can most effectively use their public funding would probably win – and that is sort of what we want in a president – someone who can most efficiently and most effectively produce results.

    November 4, 2008 at 2:59 pm |
  171. Chuck in Sheboygan, WI.

    Without question I'd abolish the electoral college system. It simply does not function in this day and age. I would also make it absolutely manadatory that every citizen vote or they would forfeit any income tax refunds.

    November 4, 2008 at 3:00 pm |
  172. Kevin in Dallas, TX

    I say we go old school. The winner becomes President and the loser becomes Vice President. The government has too much influence on our lives these days for either party to be left out in the cold. We shouldn't get rid of the Electoral College because the sparsely populated bread basket needs a voice, or else we might run out of bread.

    November 4, 2008 at 3:01 pm |
  173. Jim Dunshee

    Vote by Mail Oregon does it no fuss ,no lines, very few problems
    Albany, Or

    November 4, 2008 at 3:02 pm |
  174. Christine, Baltimore

    The lines and enthusiasm are inspiring. But, this nation has been electing presidents for centuries. It is embarrassing that we are dealing with hour-lines, broken machines, and poorly planned polling stations. Come on...we must do better!

    November 4, 2008 at 3:02 pm |
  175. Duke, Sarasota

    Jack, I would change whatever criteria there is that allowed Sarah Palin to be THIS close to getting into the White House.

    November 4, 2008 at 3:02 pm |
  176. lee in tn

    Why not do away with the Electoral College?

    November 4, 2008 at 3:02 pm |
  177. Sherrol in Canada

    Every state should use the same method/process for casting one's vote and the Federal Gov't should make this into law. After all, it is a Federal election.

    Also, the Electoral College needs to go and majority of votes rule. It is not a true democracy having an Electoral College..

    November 4, 2008 at 3:02 pm |
  178. JD in NC

    Make voting part of filing your tax return. That would simplify the whole nonsense of registering voters and opening polling stations. You'd probably get a better response if voters had to jump that hoop to collect their tax rebate. Don't feel like paying your taxes like Joe the P? No vote for you.

    November 4, 2008 at 3:03 pm |
  179. J. Scott

    Change the system to allow those states under a certain population to vote according to the popular vote and allow those states with populations above a certain number to stay with the electorial vote. This would even the playing field and provide an equitable and fair system.

    November 4, 2008 at 3:11 pm |
  180. Susan/Bel Air, MD

    Federalize the national election: same voting method, same voting hours (allowing for time zones, of course) and above all, eliminate the Electoral College. It has become completely obsolete and it fact defeats its original purpose which was to keep large populations from too much influence. The entire election now hinges on a handful of 'swing' states. Isn't that too much influence?

    November 4, 2008 at 3:12 pm |
  181. SY, Oviedo, FL

    Follow the concept of federalism by continuing the concept of state totals but honor the one person-one vote basis of our democracy by eliminating the unit rule aspect of state totals; split the electors to reflect the popular vote.

    November 4, 2008 at 3:12 pm |
  182. Jean Ann Bollman

    It is time for the electoral college to go! I live in a state that predominantly backs one party's candidate, over and over again. So whenever I actually disagree with the majority party in my state, my vote simply doesn't count! I can't move.....but the reality is my vote doesn't count because of the electoral college. I want my vote to count! It is time for my vote to count!

    November 4, 2008 at 3:18 pm |
  183. Lenore in Kansas

    First, let's go back to paper ballots. Period.

    Next, outlaw all television commercials for candidates and supporters of candidates. (I think the British do this.)

    Third, all networks should provide equal free time to all major candidates to present their case to the people.

    Fourth, just as you have to pass a test to become a citizen, there ought to be some kind of test to pass– fair, objective, and non-partisan– to become a candidate for Vice-President. Instead of leaving the choice solely in the hands of the nominee for President!
    Otherwise, the Vice-President can be a completely political choice, with no recourse for the voters to have a say-so. We get to vote for a Presidential nominee– but not for the person who could also wind up as President. This is a serious loophole.

    Fifth, debates don't need moderators. They just screw things up worse than having no moderators. And their questions are phony a lot of the time, as well as unanswerable. Or else they are so simplistic that nobody learns a thing, anyway.

    November 4, 2008 at 3:18 pm |
  184. Richard, Syracuse, NY

    Maybe not change the process, but the tools of this process. How can we put a Man on the Moon and return them multiple times yet we can not develope a dependable voting machine to replace the mechanical one? If I can find someone to fabricate a piece for a 1950 ford why can't we find someone to repair the older and reliable machines?

    November 4, 2008 at 3:19 pm |
  185. Jeff, Massachusetts

    First, I would enact federal legislation mandating each state to adopt a unified voting machine that works. I would add to that law a stipulation that there be enough voting machines to accommodate ALL of the registered voters in each state. I would then like to abandon the Super Delegates (from the Democratic party) as this is suspicious in the minds of many voters as a way to circumvent the normal electoral college. Lastly, I would limit the campaign period to between 6-8 months which would keep elected officials available to represent the people who are paying their salaries.

    November 4, 2008 at 3:19 pm |
  186. Murf, Jackson, NJ

    Elections for President and Vice President should occur over a three day weekend period beginning on Friday morning and ending Sunday evening. The Presidency should be awarded to the person receiving the highest number of popular votes nationwide. The elector college should be eliminated.

    November 4, 2008 at 3:19 pm |
  187. Ed Reed

    I would not allow the presidential race to begin before January 1st. Campaigns would be publicly financed and given an equal amount of free air time. And the Electoral college would be done away with.

    Ed Reed
    Port Aransas, TX
    The Real America

    November 4, 2008 at 3:20 pm |
  188. Louise L.Gallone

    Jack, I want an election where the most popular candidate wins. Throw out the electoral college!!

    Louise IN

    November 4, 2008 at 3:24 pm |
  189. Barb New Port Richey Fl

    I think it should be by popular vote, not the electorial votes. The very word democracy defines that it is the freedom to decide, not be dictated to by how populous a state is. The state with less voters, shouldn't mean less of a say!!

    November 4, 2008 at 3:29 pm |
  190. tom, Madison, wi


    The two party system needs to be changed. It has become such a battle between them that the Democrats and Republicans have turned into the worst terrorist factions that our country faces.

    The economic damage they have caused is larger than any other group has inflicted. The people that have died because of the lack of good health care is far more than any war we have been in. The division between people they have caused is huge. And the examples go on and on.

    These two parties place their one-ups-man-ship over any commitment to the country. To see damn poor Americans just look at the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches of our government.

    November 4, 2008 at 3:30 pm |
  191. Ron in Oregon

    I would make the national presidential election, and all senate and house elections mail-in ballots, as we have here in Oregon for virtually all of our elections. No one ever hears for fraud, long lines, or any other problems here in Oregon. It is, by far, the best electoral system going.

    November 4, 2008 at 3:30 pm |
  192. Troy Smith

    Equal coverage of all candidates by the media. The Tancredo's and Gravels's should get the same amount of air time as the McCain's and the Obama's of the election. At least 2 non democrat or republican candidates should be in the major debates.

    November 4, 2008 at 3:30 pm |
  193. carol in Oregon

    How would I change the way we elect our president? Let me count the ways.

    1. No public funding (0) The one with the most dollars seem to win.
    2. No media campain ads. There discusting. Media facts only no comentary PLEASE.
    3. 3 primary "beauty contest" each candidates tells their plan only.
    4. primary kick-off, states to be decided by drawing and all states included in primary voting.
    5. No electrol college
    6. Voting registration cards given through DMV and could be a part of drivers license. Vote at public schools only and make it a holiday. No card No vote.
    7. Primary season 3 months.
    8. Presdent run-off 3 months
    9 no conventions
    10 3 debates, 3 town hall type

    November 4, 2008 at 3:30 pm |
  194. W B in Las Vegas

    it's a radical idea BUT I like the British/Canadian Parlamentary system where the vote is for Representatives and the party with the most people elected then forms a government with their leader as Prime Minister.

    the BEAUTY of the system is IF you get a total foul up like George W Bush or Jimmy Carter, a vote of "No Confidence" brings an election where the ruling party can be THROWN OUT and replaced with NEW leadership.

    would have saved America a LOT of PAIN when we have been stuck with an INCOMPETENT President until the end of their term.

    November 4, 2008 at 3:31 pm |
  195. Alan, Buxton Maine

    Abolish the electoral college and let the voters elect the president. The electoral college is obsolete. It was enacted in a time when few voters were educated or informed. Today we get information live and anyone not informed has chosen to be ignorant.

    November 4, 2008 at 3:31 pm |
  196. Dee in Florida

    I would do away with the electoral college! It is NOT necessary and is perhaps a procedure that keeps some away from the polls, since they think their vote might not matter.

    I would ALWAYS have a paper trail. You cannot trust the voting machines, they are too easy to hack and apparently just about any good IT person can do so. At least with a paper ballot someone might notice if large amounts of paper was trashed, or introduces into the election polling place.

    I would mandate EARLY VOTING in EVERY state for presidential candidates. And I would suggest that states have early voting for local elections. And I would make Election Day (probably the MOST IMPORTA NT day in any democracy, a national holiday!

    November 4, 2008 at 3:31 pm |
  197. bob lloyd

    Thats easy Jack, don't let Florida vote.

    November 4, 2008 at 3:31 pm |
  198. Sandi, Chicago

    Eliminate the Electoral College... let the people vote and their vote is what really counts! Change the day to vote to Saturday and/or Sunday for 12 hours each day. When you register to vote – we need a system of identification cards that has a fingerprint of the registered voter or scan the eye. Finally, establish one voting machine that can be used by all states, cities, counties across this great Country for voting.

    November 4, 2008 at 3:31 pm |
  199. Doug in New Mexico

    Do away with the electoral college. ONE MAN ONE VOTE!!!!!

    November 4, 2008 at 3:32 pm |
  200. Dan in Mo

    Jack, yes there are plenty of ways to change the way we vote. Here are my top two.

    #1. We should find a way to have live elections and votes. No more need for Electorial or Senate or House voting. It could all be done by the populace over a couple days time on a website or cable local government interactive tv when needed. We live in a time where technology allows us to do this. And this will completely eliminate lobbyist forever...

    #2. We need to stop the whole VP thing. The VP should automatically be the runner up in the presidential race.

    November 4, 2008 at 3:32 pm |
  201. Susan from Georgia

    I would want the entire country on the same kind of electronic machine that produced a paper record so that the Republicans can never again steal an election.

    November 4, 2008 at 3:32 pm |
  202. Bob H Rockford, Mi.

    We should elect presidents by popular vote. There is no reason to have the Electoral College in modern times.

    November 4, 2008 at 3:33 pm |
  203. Kim, Dodge City, Kansas

    When it comes to voting, there are several changes that could take us out of the horse and buggy era and into the 21st Century. If there was only one thing we could change, it would have to be getting rid of the electoral college. It is quite possibly the most inane and corruptable process man has ever devised, and it robs every citizen of having their vote matter. If the candidate with the most popular votes doesn't win this time, you can blame the electoral college for stealing our national dignity.

    November 4, 2008 at 3:34 pm |
  204. Ron in Indiana

    We should make the fourth of November during a Presidential election year a national holiday so people can vote. Or, make election day the first Saturday in November.

    November 4, 2008 at 3:35 pm |
  205. Kevin L. / Omaha, NE

    Doing away with the Electoral College sounds good but there are more of "those type of white people" still living in the "good old days" that they rest of the country would still be living in the past. Keep the same system, 1year to do it all, campaigne, register to vote, vote, and verify. With paper copies of what you did just in case. At least 4yrs to get it right.

    November 4, 2008 at 3:35 pm |
  206. Peggy Long

    By giving us more than one day to vote so what happened to me today doesn't happen to other Americans: My polling place informed me I was an 'inactive' voter and I had to cast a provisional ballot - even though I have voted in every election during my lifetime, and haven't moved. When I called my elections department, I was told that I was indeed an active voter, and they had no reason why I would be listed as an ineligible voter.

    I'd hate to think it was because I'm a life-long active Democrat in Arizona, a state that John McCain desperately wants to have a good showing in. Let's stop this nonsense once and for all, and ensure we have enough time so these polling "mistakes" can be corrected in a timely manner.

    As you know Jack, provisional ballots are worth about as much in this country as a hanging chad.

    November 4, 2008 at 3:35 pm |
  207. Allen from Pa.

    Make every state use paper ballots,It took me about about 3 minutes,color in the blocks and done,no guessing what to do next. Make it a crime to use Half Truths in negative advertising.

    November 4, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  208. Lee

    I think the most pressing change needed in voting for President is a return to the old-fashioned paper ballot. All of the computer security gurus have told us that hacking the vote using electronic machines can easily be done by political parties, foreign countries and even a malicious teenager. This is a no brainer. Of course, that is also a description of the majority of our representatives.

    November 4, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  209. Eileen Peabody

    Well Jack, since the Republicans are already crying about the amount of money Obama had amassed....I would guess we are going to see our future elections based on money.

    I don't think that is a good thing......but it looks like the future of US Politics.

    November 4, 2008 at 3:38 pm |
  210. Doris/St. Louis, MO

    No Federal Money for ANYONE. let each candidate raise his or her own money , fpr example; The way that Senator Obama raised his.

    November 4, 2008 at 3:39 pm |
  211. Holbrook

    The Presidential election is far too important to be dealing with all of these predictable "mishaps." The key word is SIMPLIFY. It might be easier if the Presidential nominees were on a seperate ballot. Troubleshooting is a must!

    November 4, 2008 at 3:40 pm |
  212. Paul S. Columbia, SC

    I would like to see duelling return. No recounts anymore.

    November 4, 2008 at 3:40 pm |
  213. leroy from houston

    The only change I would make would be to have a law passed that would require all the states to have a 3 (consecutive) day voting period. It would commence no earlier than the last week of October and each state would choose their 3 days and of course, all voting would end on the first Tuesday of November. This would ease the congestion we are hearing about today and ensure everyone the opportunity to vote.

    November 4, 2008 at 3:41 pm |
  214. Silas, Cameron, NC

    Popular Vote should win the election. Throw the Electoral College out and put it in the meat grinder. Have it available to vote online through the board of elections website instead of having to wait in line to fill in bubble sheets, or worry about other computer voting booths failing. Did I mention get rid of the electoral college?

    November 4, 2008 at 3:41 pm |
  215. Tom - Las Vegas, Nevada

    No, while the system we have is far from perfect I haven't heard any better suggestions yet. Our system and its flaws are a result of an evolutionary mix of money and influence developed over generations and power cedes nothing.

    November 4, 2008 at 3:41 pm |
  216. Tony (Michigan)

    1) Get rid of the electoral college.
    2) Use paper ballots only.
    3) Standardize voter registration and voting laws for Federal elections.

    Anything that muffles or alters the voice of the people is un-American and needs to go.

    November 4, 2008 at 3:41 pm |
  217. Paula in Whittier, CA

    First abolish the electoral college. I would also like to see widespread reform initiated in how we finance election campaigns. If they were wholly publicly financed and absolutely no private donations allowed either from individuals, corporations or PACs we would be able to draw from a wider spectrum of candidates and not just from wealthy persons or the darlings of special interest groups. Remember when TV stations were concerned about equal time? Maybe we could return to a much shorter (3 month) primary season, followed by a 2 or 3 day convention with delegates having a real choice in electing their nominee, and then an election in 2 weeks with all TV coverage provided free as a service to the nation.
    Pipe dream? Probably, but what a gift for the voting public.

    November 4, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  218. vern-anaheim,ca

    jack,they should do away with the electoral college and elect presidents by popular vote,electing a president by electoral votes is not fair and aganist the will of the majority

    November 4, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  219. ST

    We should do away with the Electoral College and actually have the people decide. We say we are a democracy, but we aren't.

    November 4, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  220. Dan in Tucson

    Simple, we need to elect via the popular vote. We are the United States of America. Not so unitied on Election Day, are we!

    November 4, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  221. Doris/St. Louis, MO

    Get rid of the Primaries, anyone who has the basic qualifications and can afford the race should be allowed to run.

    November 4, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  222. Sarah, 22 -Illinois


    The election should be held on a weekend and should be for two days versus one. Each state should vote by paper ballot (pen and paper, fill in the oval...basically idiot proof), and the candidate that wins the popular vote is in the White House. After watching the fiascos of today, there should be a test day like a month before to make sure that there are no issues with the vote reading machines and absentee ballots should be done over the internet (if we can do our taxes over the internet, we can absentee vote over the internet). The whole campaigning process should be no longer than 3 months long, and this includes primaries, campaigning for the general election and then having the election. There is NO need for this process to be over 18 months. Finally, the new President and VP should be sworn no more than a month after the election is over.

    Sarah, 22, Illinois

    November 4, 2008 at 3:44 pm |
  223. Joan from Guelph Ontario Canada

    Jack: Up here in the boonies (just below Alaska) , we elect our Prime Minister in 30 days, give or take a few days, use paper ballots, the same all across the country, hand counted by those of us who choose to work for Minumum wage (well, maybe plus a little). No fuss, hardly any muss and it works. Well sort of.

    November 4, 2008 at 3:44 pm |
  224. lynnej

    Get rid of the two party system and let others in. We need more choices and voices.

    The Electoral College is out dated and it has to go. The popular vote should be the main thing which would make each state important.

    Federalize the voting system where each state has the same set up and the rules aren't confusing.

    Let the polls be open around the clock 24 hours starting the last two weeks of October until November 4th through out the weekends. Let folk use the US Mail as an option if they work or don't have transportation to get to polls.

    And also simplify it like Michael Moore said by using a piece of paper and a No. 2 pencil If other countries can do it like that, we can. What's so hard about that?

    November 4, 2008 at 3:45 pm |
  225. Les in Toronto CA

    Hey Jack,

    How about having fair and equalized spending caps for the campaigns in both parties. It appears he who spends the most wins.... Equalized spending limits work here!

    You might want to get rid of the Electoral College, and have a standardized federal voting processes.

    In addition I wanted to congratulate CNN for being so openly biased even your friends to the North couldn't miss it. Obama could have saved all that money and truly spread the wealth, after all CNN alone may have gotten him elected...

    November 4, 2008 at 3:45 pm |
  226. Aaron B.; Champaign, IL

    Ask Nickelodeon... their "Kids Pick the President" initiative has been more accurate and more telling, over the past 20 years, than our actual, national vote.

    November 4, 2008 at 3:47 pm |
  227. Rodney Segers

    Since childhood relations were so much of a concern, as in the case of Senator Obama and Mr. Ayers. I believe no one would be satisfied with a new way to select our future leader. That is, unless we breed our candidates into the position, creating the master race. Oh wait, I believe Hitler already tried that.


    November 4, 2008 at 3:48 pm |
  228. Lyn

    We NEED to be able to elect the President by popular vote. For 37 years, I have lived in a state (Idaho) considered SO Republican that no one even campaigns here: I am a democrat, and my vote for President hasn't counted since I was 26-years old. If I have to pay taxes individually, why cannot I VOTE individually so I have some say in my taxes?

    November 4, 2008 at 3:48 pm |
  229. Dan from Kitchener

    What America needs are laws governing people like Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Rielly and Hannity Holmes who promote hatred and bigotry. This would simply mean they would have to stick to facts or simply choose not to talk about the facts.

    If people of this ilk continue to be allowed to go into slanderous and divisive rants all they are doing is creating fertile ground for another civil war. The 21st Century has long past these idiots by.

    November 4, 2008 at 3:48 pm |
  230. Rob CA

    We have to make it easier for citizens to vote. Too many can't overcome the barriers or become discouraged. It's a challenge for the elderly, disabled, etc. as it is now. No one should be excluded from their vote, no one.

    November 4, 2008 at 3:48 pm |
  231. Brady

    I would add a system of instant runoff voting for a more democratic result. Voters would have to rank the candidates by choice. If the top candidate had less than fifty percent of the popular vote, then the lowest candidate would be taken off the ballot and their votes would be transferred to the voters' second choice candidate. This would continue until a candidate received fifty percent of the popular vote.

    Brady from Columbus, Ohio

    November 4, 2008 at 3:48 pm |
  232. Emma, San Jose, CA

    Keep absentee balloting available and develop a unified method of voting. Including internet voting would also be helpful if it can be secure and accurate.

    November 4, 2008 at 3:49 pm |
  233. Brian from Eagle River, Alaska

    Yes. Standardized voting machines/methods. Get rid of the electoral college and go with the popular vote. Afterall, the race for the Presidency is nothing more than a national poularity contest. PALIN POWER TO THE PEOPLE!

    November 4, 2008 at 3:49 pm |
  234. Pat,Clearwater Florida

    Nationalize Elections cut the local partisians who seem to lose
    votes or don' count. Make it like a ATM with a receipt that
    you can call and verified your vote was tabulated. Live in
    Florida know about being lied to. Thank God Jeb is out of the
    picture this year!!!!!!!!

    November 4, 2008 at 3:50 pm |
  235. Bruce St Paul MN

    A ban on radio and television political ads. Televise lots of debates, town hall meetings, and make the candidates expose themselves to press conferences. No candidate can announce before January of the election year. Have regional primaries. Make voting a uniform experience everywhere. Same ballots, same number of machines, same wait in line for everyone. Allow early voting. Make election day a holiday. Throw a retirement party for Rush.

    November 4, 2008 at 3:51 pm |
  236. Munnabhai, Herndon, VA

    Learn from how the largest democracy in the world conducts its elections. They are completely electronic.

    It is a shame that all these voting issues come up at the last moment, and the country can't use the years in between elections to improve its voting system.

    November 4, 2008 at 3:51 pm |
  237. Turner, GA

    I think we should give the candidates telephone numbers and have everybody call in and vote just like on American Idol! Everybody votes on the same day at the same time and viola...Ryan Seacrest gets to announce the winner the next day!

    November 4, 2008 at 3:52 pm |
  238. Chris, Ottawa Canada

    Bring in a third party and have a 2nd round of voting. I’ll explain.

    Imagine three candidates: Bush, Gore and Nader. The first election round Bush gets 45% of the vote, Gore 45% and Nader 10%. Because Nader received the least amount of votes he’s eliminated. However, the 10% of Nader voters can change their vote in the second round. (People who voted for Bush or Gore in the first round will not be able to vote.)

    This might sound a little like American Idol but this idea allows you to vote for a third party candidate without the fear of throwing your vote away. Imagine if 90,000 Floridians who voted for Nader in 2000 could of had a second round to switch their votes.

    November 4, 2008 at 3:52 pm |
  239. Andrew from Los Angeles

    I've heard a lot of talk about doing away with the electoral college. At one point I agreed, but then I thought more into it. With a straight popular vote, it's true that the president would be picked by the outright majority of Americans. But then we'd see the candidates completely ignore the issues in most of middle America. They'd go straight to the coastal population centers where population density is highest. Our country is founded upon the principle of majority rule with minority rights. Doesn't the minority population in the central states deserve the right to be heard?

    November 4, 2008 at 3:53 pm |
  240. Frank - Pearland TX

    We should consider the process in Oregon. It seems the mail in process has the least compliants of fraud.

    November 4, 2008 at 3:54 pm |
  241. bruce camp hill,pa

    do away with the electoral college, base it on popular vote..and go back to how it was in the beginning of this country that the VP was the looser of the presidential election.
    That would remove the VP issue and would , in my opinion unite the country and perhaps get things done.
    I would also make it a 6 year term, no reelction, that way you get rid of the coming into office and begin worrying about getting reelected..6 years and done.
    Also would suggest the repal of the laws that allow all these other organizations to run ads...and also do away with public finiancing.let the candidates show that can raise money.

    November 4, 2008 at 3:54 pm |
  242. Ed from Durango, Colorado

    Several things, please get rid of the electoral college. It is waaaaay too antiquated. Next allow a much shorter time for primaries and the campaign. This election time table was beyond reason. End all the TV ads and robo calls. Let the candidates have equal time on the networks to state their cases and at least debates with questions from the people rather than some dopey moderator. And lastly.... all votes should be done be by mail. If that is too much to ask, have a three day weekend for voting rather than on a workday. How dumb is that anyway.

    November 4, 2008 at 3:54 pm |
  243. Barbara

    I used to really like you, Jack, but you have gone so very far to the left
    that I no longer respect your comments. Since when is there something wrong with two opinions. You rant and rave and carry on without even listening to someone else. You've lost me

    November 4, 2008 at 3:54 pm |
  244. Erik from Real PA

    The Electoral Colllege exists because, while Congress is elected by popular vote to represent the PEOPLE, the President is the executive of the collected STATES as semi-autonomous entities. This concept has fallen out of contemporary awareness, but is an important part of why the framers of the Constitution created the Electoral College. He/she is not the President of the individuals in America so much as he/she is the President of the federation of states that make up America.

    November 4, 2008 at 3:54 pm |
  245. Sherri from Canada

    We don't use computer voting in Canada and while I agree we have 1/10th the population and therefore would show as fewer problems, I have never heard of any voter fraud and we don't have the issues you do. Go back to the paper ballots, at least they are what they are and can't be hacked or manipulated and you will give people some security their votes are correct.

    November 4, 2008 at 3:54 pm |
  246. Tony from Boston, MA

    Get over yourself, Cafferty. It's been eight years. The Supreme Court didn't "appoint the president", the American people did via the Electoral College. If I've learned anything over the past eight years, it's that liberals are the biggest sore losers on earth. I'm hoping for four more years of their whining. Wait, what am I saying? They'll be whining regardless of whoever wins.

    November 4, 2008 at 3:54 pm |
  247. JIM

    Things have changed my buddy Jack Cafferty. Now it is the best predident money can buy. A good change would be to allow third party candidates to participate in at least one presidential debate regardless of poll numbers.

    November 4, 2008 at 3:55 pm |
  248. John

    If Americans can pay taxes by mail, why can't we vote by mail? It actually costs less because you don't have to spend money on machines and poll workers.

    November 4, 2008 at 3:55 pm |
  249. Daryl from Hawaii

    Hi Jack, I think we should get rid of blue, red, pink orange states. Also, we should just have one party. I don't agree with any one party, but I do think that both parties have beliefs that benefits all people. We should also get a more organized voting system that allows people to vote without hassles of names not exactly matching and polling places not equipped to handle large numbers of people voting. It's a shame that we are advanced in technology in many areas, but 3rd world when it comes to voting.

    November 4, 2008 at 3:55 pm |
  250. Jay in Texas

    I believe we should abolish the electoral college and I believe we should eliminate ALL electronic voting machines and return to old-fashioned paper ballots that are counted by real people. If it takes longer to determine the winners, so be it. If we must extend voting hours and days, that is fine too. At least we will have confidence that our votes were honestly counted and given to the candidates we voted for.
    Brownwood, Texas

    November 4, 2008 at 3:56 pm |
  251. Mark Cherry Hill, NJ

    Primaries should be held on the same day in every State. With television and the Internet, we no longer need the electorial college or separate primaries. Require all public and cable companies to set asside x number of minutes each month during primary season and election. We would see more than the two party system. The top two parties run off. Election would be either on-line or voting booth with a national numbering system – not social security.

    November 4, 2008 at 3:56 pm |
  252. susan from Idaho

    Shorten the running period and let the majority decide. If they had eight years ago we wouldn't be where we are now. Thanx a bunch, Bush, Cheney and Mccain.

    November 4, 2008 at 3:56 pm |
  253. NickNas San Diego CA


    HOW we elect the President means nothing as long as there are not iron clad very strict laws on these many methods of tricking voters and out and out voter fraud.

    Lawyers working behind the scenes to get people purged for no reason and they do not know they have been purged until the time they go to cast their votes and being forced to cast provisional ballots etc.

    Sending out fliers as a "Joke" that are designed to defraud voters. Strange it was considered s " Joke" when they used the states official seal on this flier. I thought that would move it up to at least Forgery.

    As long as these back alley ways exist to subvert our system HOW we vote is Meaningless.

    The Voter has no power, it is the person COUNTING the votes who has all of the power.

    November 4, 2008 at 3:57 pm |
  254. Docb


    1. Limit to a year of campaigning and inaugurate within 45 days of election....

    2. Make campaign ads/ candidates subject to litigation- if slanderous or patently false.

    3. Liabilty for poor ballot / voting procedures at the state level . Get rid of machines owned by private companies.. Have paper records of ballots cast...

    If Diebold can do it for ATM's they can do it for voting machines...

    November 4, 2008 at 3:57 pm |
  255. Stephen, Portland OR

    Jack, where to begin.

    Have an election week, ending on Friday, which is a national holiday that most everyone gets off work. If it were in the summer it would reduce weather-related issues. They should also shorten the election season dramatically (maybe June through August, voting in the last week of August?).

    We also need Federal laws mandating: 1) Paper trails on ANY software-based system and 2) A certain reasonable number of machines per expected number of people, nationwide, with federal money to enforce it.

    Of course, we vote by mail here in Oregon, which has been great. Maybe that's the way to go.

    November 4, 2008 at 3:57 pm |
  256. Joe in MO

    In the 2000 presidential election, I voted with the majority and lost my vote. That's because my state's electoral votes when to Bush. I would do away with the electoral college. One person, one vote.

    Joe in MO

    November 4, 2008 at 3:57 pm |
  257. Kevin

    It should be based on the popular vote. That way every vote does count. Kevin in PA.

    November 4, 2008 at 3:57 pm |
  258. Daniel

    One thing I would change is the way the ballot looks. Instead of voting for a name and a party. You would vote on two separate lists of issues and positions on the issue. We now get so hung up on the name and party of the canidate is from we forget that it is their position on issues that we are voting for. The average uninformed voter only gets a portion of the truth about the canidates positions. So the way we elect needs to be changed.

    November 4, 2008 at 3:58 pm |
  259. Oli Landwijt

    Hi Jack!

    I think we need federal guidelines for voting. Every state is different and we should judge which states have been most effective in registering voters and accurately counting the votes.
    We should have a designated campaign period. Two years is too long. Plus a shorter time period might cut down the enormous financial costs.
    We ashould open up the process to more parties. We do need change.

    November 4, 2008 at 3:58 pm |
  260. Bushwhacked in Eugene, OR

    I would do it the way we've done it in Oregon for at least 12 years now - by mail! For the 12 years I've been voting here, it has been a seamless, problem-free method and I've never heard a whisper of fraud.

    Our ballots are mailed to us a couple of weeks ahead of the voting date. We mark them at our convenience, then either mail them or drop them at an official ballot drop box. The envelopes have our name and address pre-printed and the signature on the envelope must match the signature on file. There is a privacy envelope inside so that whomever checks the signature and opens the outer envelope can't tell how that person voted.

    It's so easy, so simple. The only complaints I've ever heard is that some people miss going to the polls and voting on election day. They make that work for them by waiting until election day and dropping their ballot into a ballot box.

    November 4, 2008 at 3:58 pm |
  261. Sam In seattle

    The poll tax is ridiculous and is the most ant-american thing i have ever seen. Why is election day not a national holiday! Why is it not held on a weekend! Until this changes hard working people struggling to make ends meet will face a serious hurdle in this democracy. Last i checked hard times are upon us, and how many votes are lost due to people finding themselves unable to take work off to vote because ythey simply cant afford the tax. Dispicable.

    November 4, 2008 at 3:58 pm |
  262. Matt from NY


    #1) Move Election day to a Saturday. Why must we vote on a day were the majority of Americans have to go to work and tend to their children?

    #2) Since we are voting in a national election, make all 50 sates do it the SAME WAY! Why should some polls close at 7pm while others stay open until 9pm??

    #3) get rid of ALL electronic ballots. Nothing beats good old fashion pen and paper when it comes to record keeping. It may take a few hours longer but the butterfly ballots and tampering concerns would all be traceable.

    #4) Make stricter penalties for those who break the election laws. We send petty criminals to jail for 5-10 years but partisan people who are trying to skew the most important process in the land get a warning or less.

    Matt from NY

    November 4, 2008 at 3:59 pm |
  263. Max

    Voting day should be a national holiday, either that or everyone should have a week to vote. It is absurd that in the process of choosing the leader of the free world, there is such inequality in the ability to vote. It took me about 20 minutes to vote today, and I would have waited regardless, but there are many who won't/can't afford to wait that long. Hopefully when Obama wins and has a Democratic congress this will be the first thing he pushes through.

    November 4, 2008 at 3:59 pm |
  264. JW

    Two suggestions:
    1) Eliminate winner-takes-all electoral college votes in EVERY state. Electoral colege votes should represent the same proportions in the popular election.

    2) Switch to vote-by-mail, as Oregon does. It's much less messy.

    November 4, 2008 at 3:59 pm |
  265. Lori

    AndyZag Fairfax, VA November 4th, 2008 2:49 pm ET, you forgot the small diet coke. 🙂

    November 4, 2008 at 3:59 pm |
  266. Timothy M. Samoni, NJ

    Dear Jack,

    I suggest a new portion be added to the electoral process. Forget the debates and round table discussions, the stump speeches, and the innumerable appearances on major media outlets. I bring you: Feats of Strength and Stamina! I envision our candidates competing in such events as Dead-Lift Your VP, Bring-Your-Candidate-to-Work-Day (now every candidate knows what the average Joe goes through), and during election day weekend, "Survivor: Oval Office Edition (Two candidates enter. One President leaves)."

    November 4, 2008 at 4:00 pm |
  267. CR in Wisconsin


    There is no doubt that the election process could be systematically improved. We live in a technologically advanced society, yet we cannot plan and forecast this simple act of voting.

    I am all for a national standard for the type of ballot and the accounting method. We should also enact a minimum number of machines per voter in any given county. While we are at it, let's make it easy to vote, starting the saturday before, and ending on the 4th. Then we can sort all the issues out early, and ensure a fair election.

    Milwaukee, WI

    November 4, 2008 at 4:01 pm |
  268. midknight from indianapolis

    The only thing wrong with the election is the infused corrruption and vote fraud that always seems to come up this time a year. It is the most embarrassing thing of the American democratic process. with so many other countries using us as a model it would behooth us to have a universal and accurate voting machine and process on every town government or whatever the election is it makes no since that there are elections at risk of rigging in the 21st century america!!!!!!!!!

    November 4, 2008 at 4:01 pm |
  269. george Ennis from Toronto, Canada

    A short term solution would be to allocate all of the electoral votes (except for 2 ) by congressional districts. The two would be decided by whoever gets a plurality of the vote in that state.

    I believe most of this could be accomplished by simple legislation as opposed to amending the constitution.

    Secondly look at what the Canadians and Australians do in terms of voter registration and voting . Basically it sets national standards for both. It's simple and straight forward with not nearly the number of problems that the US experiences every election. Also ensure that there is a paper ballot so that an audit trail exists in case of the need for a recount.

    Third none of the votes should be counted until such time as every poll in the country has closed.

    Finally allow for mail in ballots. It only makes sense particularly when people also have to vote on various state wide propositions.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:01 pm |
  270. Don (Ottawa)

    Drop them off in the jungle with just a knife. The one that emerges on election day is the winner.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:01 pm |
  271. Chris

    Yes we have to. I fear for the country if Obama runs up large margins in California, New York, etc.. and loses because of the electoral college. Polls have him up by several points and a million people are desending on Chicago for what everyone has been told by the media will be a victory rally. I like Obama. I voted for Obama. I think Chicago will burn to the ground if McCain wins.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:01 pm |
  272. Dean Jutilla

    Jack, 4 things need to change in the campaign and election process:
    First, shorten the duration to 3 months.
    Second, cap an equal amount of money each candidate can on preset amounts of airtime.
    Third, require a neutral, fact-checking third party to "approve this message" before ads air on television, requiring candidates to be held to a higher standard around negative campaigning.
    Fourth, initiate repeated spot checks of voting machines, including those of Diebold in the wake of controversial elections in 2000 and 2004.
    This is just a start. Love your commentary.
    Dean Jutilla
    Sedona, AZ

    November 4, 2008 at 4:02 pm |
  273. Chris

    what if we allowed all those with ATM accounts and pin numbers to vote at an ATM and then did polling station voting for all those who didn't use ATM's? Wouldn't that reduce the load on polling stations and allow an existing infrastructure that many of us use every week to handle the load over a two week period?

    November 4, 2008 at 4:02 pm |
  274. Joe in VA

    Conspiracy theories about rigged elections aside, our system is about as good as one could expect for a nation of 300 million voting at places largely staffed by unpaid volunteers or underpaid civil servants. However, the campaign season is too long – by a mile or so. Frankly, I'm worn out and thank God it is ending today – I hope. Limit the campaigning to 4 months max and limit the total amount that can be spent.

    Joe in VA
    Chatham, VA

    November 4, 2008 at 4:02 pm |
  275. Misty, Fort Worth, TX

    What's the point of voting? I am a Democrat in a well known Republican state. Since Texas is going to go to John McCain, even if it's 55% to 45%, my vote doesn't count. Since Texas (like most states) is an all or nothing state, the entire electoral college of Texas will go to McCain regardless of how many of us vote Democrat. It's pretty depressing actually.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:03 pm |
  276. NANCY , Grand Ledge MI

    First, I would eliminate the electoral college, and allow voting by mail for everyone. If it's okay for some, it should be okay for all! I would also limit the amount of time to campaign. You shouldn't end one election by starting on the next.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:03 pm |
  277. Jo Ann, Washington State

    We voted 2 weeks ago by mail and until 14 days ago people could register. I would like to see everyone vote by mail and be able to register untill very close to the voting day. Hurray for everyone who is voting or has already voted. Thanks for your daily questions.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:03 pm |
  278. Pam

    My husband had a great idea. We could have a 4 year process in 4 stages, One an American Idol type show, then a Big Brother type show, then Fear Factor and finally Survivor! Anyone who wants to be a candidate signs up for each show. The American public gets to vote on the phone in the comfort of their own home. I think the shenanigans that went into this years election would be equally matched by the true way america enjoys making decisions.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:03 pm |
  279. Ed

    Keep the requirement that candidates shouldn't have a felony record and broaden that to no previous experience in politics.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:04 pm |
  280. Darren

    Get rid of the rigged voting machines would be a nice place to start.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:04 pm |
  281. Renee

    Voting needs to be consistent across the US and not have different rules and methods in different states. Questions about party involvement with voter suppression would no longer be a question. It has to be standardized.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:04 pm |
  282. mariel

    One day to vote is not enough. We need early voting for at least two weeks in all states, seperate voting lines for the elderly and disabled, and a general mail-in voting system to replace absentee voting would help all voters to be included in the election process.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:04 pm |
  283. Kay in WV

    First, paper ballots. Second, a prescribed campaign calendar. Third, free airtime on all networks to candidates that meet debate criteria. Fourth, real debates where the questioners needn't worry about access after the election. Fifth, a viable third party (longshot dream).

    November 4, 2008 at 4:04 pm |
  284. Dawna

    The election process should be uniform for all states voting. Why wasn't any of that earmark spending we hear so much about in government allocated to a working voting system in this country.

    Smyrna, GA

    November 4, 2008 at 4:04 pm |
  285. Willow, Iowa

    We live in the computer age. There is a public computer in every library, and internet cafes in big cities. A great majority of computers in homes. Why can't we register to vote, and have voting by computer, based on registration and zip code? You could even put a password in there. Everybody votes on their computer of choice, and bingo! We have an answer at 7 pm tuesday night. I would say get rid of the electoral college, but I found out the reason for that, so we should probably keep that. But by adding zip codes, we could identify states and areas. And there would be no standing in the rain or cold for hours at a time.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:04 pm |
  286. Sam in Carmel, IN

    I like the way Kansas and Maine do their elections. Give out electoral votes for the districts and some for overall. I think it would make the elections more compelling and make votes count more. People in conserative states like me have never seen a Democrat be elected, but in my district, there is a chance. I would like to see my area go blue!

    November 4, 2008 at 4:04 pm |
  287. Sue from KC

    Turn the problem over to Bill Gates – there must be a way to vote on line.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:04 pm |
  288. andrea from MA

    first i would put in a parlimentary system of government like england. everyone has a mp backing their interests by way of a party affiliation so your voice will be heard !!!!!!!!!!!

    if we are still forced into a 2 party bicameral form of government then the electoral college has got to go and a popular vote electorial should be the standard poste haste !!!!!!!!!!

    November 4, 2008 at 4:05 pm |
  289. George

    We could always go back to the way it was when the electoral college delegates rode horseback to where they met to cast their vote. If we don't slove the energy crisis soon, that may happen anyway.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:05 pm |
  290. Phil

    Get rid of the outdated Electoral College and go with one-man-one vote. (Yes, ladies, that includes you.). Limit the election campaign to 10 months – Jan. 1 through Oct. 31. Change the voting date to the entire first weekend in Nov. And, finally, make sure every voting machine/computer leaves a clear paper trail.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:05 pm |
  291. CaroleK in FL

    In this age of telecommunications, the Electoral College is a manual typewriter . Our President should be elected by the Popular vote. We should have one national system of voting which has a paper trail! Photo Ids on voter registration cards. All polling places must be handicapped accessible with fast access "lanes" for the elderly and physically challenged. As for the ballots, ENGLISH!

    November 4, 2008 at 4:05 pm |
  292. Jenny-New York

    Shorten the campaign season, have ONE national primary day; where whomever wins becomes the national candidates, have all states offer the same early voting schedule and have all states use the same unified method of voting.

    Get rid of the Electoral College and go by popular vote only.

    Hold Election Day on a Saturday or Sunday or else make the day a Federal holiday so everyone can vote and not worry about missing work.

    Staff all polling places with trained, literate, sober workers not like the dreck we have at many places here in NYC.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:05 pm |
  293. Dominic

    First we need to abolish the electoral college and let the majority rule. Second we need a national non-partisan group conducting every election nationwide to ensure elected and partisan powers do not disenfranchise voters.
    Third we need to get rid of voting machines and go back to paper to ensure that there is a paper trail. Voting machines leave too much room for fraud and manipulation.
    I hope the next president addresses these issues.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:06 pm |
  294. John WA

    All paper ballets (with acception to those with disabilities who can 't use them) Ballets should have three copies. Two go to different agencies for for cross reference, if needed. One is a receipt to the voter. In WA we have mail in as an option and I love it, but it takes a while to get it working smoothly, and there would need to be precausions against mail theft ot tampering. Again, there should be three copies -two going to seperate addresses. Postage should not be necessary. The third the voters copy.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:06 pm |
  295. Chut Pata

    Just get rid of the Presidential System and introduce Paliamentary System like the rest of the world. We should have a parliament of 500 deputies who would decide a prime minister with the option to kick him out of the office anytime he loses confidence of the house. The same way people should be able to kick out their rep thru a recall like Californians do to their governor.

    This is the only way to keep America under control of the Americans, not lobbyists.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:06 pm |
  296. Dave (Mt. Vernon, OH

    It may be time to discard the electoral college system. In all honesty, I don't see the point. Whoever gets the most votes wins the election...I mean, what's wrong with that? Also, shorten the campaign season to no more than about 15 months. Pick a specific date when campaigning officially begins. I don't know about everyone else, but this one was MUCH too long.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:06 pm |
  297. Pete, Fla.

    Make it simple. Do away with the electoral college, candidate that gets the popular vote wins, and have everyone use the same method of voting, preferably "safe" electronic equipment.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:06 pm |
  298. Cliff, Front Royal,VA

    I believe in the popular vote, and that campaigns should have even financial resources.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:07 pm |
  299. Warren of Georgia

    We can put a man on the moon , and we cant come up with a safe and sure and almost immediate way to vote for president. I think its been part of the powers that be wanting to keep the power . Touch screen have been around a long time, hell even in the restaurant my wife worked in the touch screen for orders must has been working without problem like 3 years,and they cant get a voting machine to make it through the day.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:07 pm |
  300. Jack

    Make federal matters federal. i.e. vote for President, US Senators, and Congressmen. Retain the electoral college if you wish, but I believe it might make more sense to use the popular vote of the country for the office of President.
    Let States vote for State matters only, on a different day and a different ballot

    November 4, 2008 at 4:07 pm |
  301. Jeanine. New York City

    1) Get rid off the Electoral College. If we call ourselves a democracy then let the people speak!
    2) Standardized voting methods.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:07 pm |
  302. maggie from Oregon

    I think that a mail in only system like we have in Oregon is the perfect solution. No lines, no machines, no hanging chads!

    November 4, 2008 at 4:07 pm |
  303. arkangel3

    Baseball and the Constitution have a lot in common: don't mess with them and change the rules unless you really have to. While I somewhat agree with our Founding Father's logic behind the Electoral College, they could not have even dreamed of what this system has done and is capable of doing to our elections in the future.

    I would advocate allocating Electoral College delegates by Congressional district throughout all 50 states, the same way Nebraska and Maine do currently. It's much more representative of population and would literally force candidates to campaign in every county in America...and that's a darned good thing for democracy!

    November 4, 2008 at 4:07 pm |
  304. Rachel

    I'm not sure I like the electorial college myself. I realize you have to make good on popular votes to get those but somehow at the rate McCain was going with his mud slinging and all I wouldn't trust him as far as I could throw him. Palin is clueless so I can't drag her in on this except her big mouth was so slanderous! Dirtiest I've ever seen. Obama stuck to the issues down the line. Also those debates mean nothing to me. They are so controlled. I think the stump is the place with the technology of TV to let us know what is on their mind. If defaming the other person gets you elected it's a shame in our country. At the end McCain was just parroting all of Obama's ideas and twisting them so as to make Obama look bad. In other words put words in his mounth and throw out false claims. If we can't be civil in these processes we shouldn't have any of them. Fine example for our young people. Civility has gone out the window along with common sense and manners.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:07 pm |
  305. john/ma

    go the way massachuesttes does it...optical scan ..you just connect the arrows..put it in the machine and off you go...this country needs to have all the same voting machines across the board

    November 4, 2008 at 4:07 pm |
  306. Taylor L.

    To those of you who want the electoral college eliminated, you must all be from urban centers. Because, if the popular vote is all that counts, no presidential candidate will waste their time campaigning in the small towns.

    The electoral college, although a messed up system, should be altered, not eliminated. States exist for a reason, we should still honor that. However, we do need to come up with a better way of making sure that the popular vote matters somewhat.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:07 pm |
  307. Dan

    2 Points:
    Get Rid of the Electoral College
    Making Election day a federal holiday so there are no issues with people voting.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:07 pm |
  308. Traci in Seattle

    We make it so hard to vote... Why not make it easier? Why not hold the elections on a weekend? Why not have every state use the same ballots? Make it easier to register and let people vote where they want- not where they are assisgned. Lets get rid of the electorial college and let the people vote in the President by the popular vote.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:07 pm |
  309. Vincent X

    Unfortunately, this question will probably end unresolved and wont be mentioned again for a while after the election unless a catastrophe with the voting occurs. Please keep asking!
    We are to smart a civilization to be having this problem. There is no valid reason to vote on Tuesdays. There is no valid reason why a paper trail is not mandatory. The electoral college.....

    November 4, 2008 at 4:07 pm |
  310. Mary Pat in California

    Ditto, with Louise IN, one vote for each citizen. No exceptions, and all ballot's in English... "when in Rome do as the Romans. " Just common sense.
    And understanding the social issues are a must.
    We all had to make a very important decisions this election, including the President. I believe we are willing to take the chance of a relative unknown vs a repeat of the RNC- Karl Rove policy of the last eight years.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:07 pm |
  311. Christina in Austin, TX

    While I am a nostalgia sick history geek who appreciates to old-school romance of our electoral college, I think our nation long ago outgrew the system. Also, the two party system seems to disenfranchise more people than it represents.

    I'd suggest a complete overhaul of the system and process. Specifically, lets count the popular vote, have a multi-party election with a run off to determine the winner, install a federal voting system (computerized with paper receipts), provide a national voter photo ID that allows its holder to vote ANYWHERE, and lastly make election day a national holiday.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:07 pm |
  312. kathi austin

    yes ...we should have a national holiday every 4 yrs to allow EVERYONE a paid day off to go vote...my son went to vote this moring and was turned away because they said he did not show up on their list or a national database. He had his valid drivers license with him , but they told him he could not vote. This was in Missouri and if this state is close with votes, they should come up with some other process for those that this may have occured with. I am sure he can not be the only soul this happened to today. he is 31 years young.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:07 pm |
  313. Joshua Gray

    Jack, I think the most important thing is that voting day becomes a national holiday. That would clear up the time concern for all working people. If we can celebrate Washington's birthday, Christmas, Thanksgiving; isn't time we celebrated our Constitutional right to choose the people that will choose our future?

    November 4, 2008 at 4:07 pm |
  314. Matt

    I dont understand why, with the technology of today, popular vote isnt instilled as the basis for the decision for President. I can understand, the need for the present process when the caucuses had to send their reps by horse and buggy and every vote was counted manually... but our present technological capabilities could truly make the first step towards this becoming a true democracy and a government of, by and for the people. Just dont hire Katherine Harris to implement the process please!!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 4, 2008 at 4:08 pm |
  315. Keri

    The day has long since passed that we need an electoral college to cast our votes. If they believe that every vote counts, then make it count. The election should be a popular vote. It should last at least a week in all states, and voting procedures in each state should meet a minimum standard. The voting machines should be tested 6 months in advance of the election to verify accuracy (with a statistically valid sample), and they should be held under lock and key, offline, under armed guard if necessary, to prevent tampering.

    Why doesn't our government take tampering or fraud more seriously? How do they expect us to take our government seriously if they don't? There should be severe penalties for tampering with any election, no matter how small. It affects all of us. It isn't just taxation without representation that gets the attention of the Common Man.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:08 pm |
  316. L.M.,Arizona

    We should be able to start voting a month before the last day to cast a vote. A voter should be able to use mail,computer,or in person. Just like the IRS there should be hotlines,voting stations,and classes to help voters


    November 4, 2008 at 4:08 pm |
  317. Jerry from Jacksonville

    Eliminate the electoral collage, go to popular vote only

    November 4, 2008 at 4:08 pm |
  318. Taff

    Get rid of the electoral college and elect presidents on popular vote basis. It is absurd hat a president could get into office without the support of the marjority of the electorate.

    On the same note, the democrats need to look at their process in the primaries as well.Thsi concept of super-delegates is a total fuss. Their system is shambolic and it needs to change before candidates bribe their way to a win or kill each other even.......

    November 4, 2008 at 4:08 pm |
  319. Kerry

    All states should be regulated, yes regulated to use the same simple voting process that Virginia uses...

    November 4, 2008 at 4:08 pm |
  320. Regina

    The presidential campaign used to begin on Labor Day. Jimmy Carter kicked off his re-election bid at that time. I was there. So why do we need a year to pick a president? We have focused, as we always do, on the race and not the issues while we are on the brink of bankruptcy and nothing has been done by either party to shore up our confidence.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:08 pm |
  321. Larry

    I believe that the Electorial College has outlived its usefulness. In this day and age of instantaneous data transmission, the true concept of "one man, one vote" can be realized.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:08 pm |
  322. Daniel

    We don't all show up on the same day to get driver's licenses. Why do we all vote on the same day? We do our banking and stock trading online which is directly related to our personal income and source of money. Why can't we vote the same way?
    We file taxes through the phone, why can't we vote the same way?
    Lets vote over a weekend, so the majority of Americans don't need to miss work, or risk missing work to vote.
    For the "Leader of the World" we aren't setting a good example.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:08 pm |
  323. K. Fails


    Voting should be standarized across all the states and it should be declared a national, mandatory day off for the WHOLE country. The long lines often stop the the working class from doing their duty. When you choice is to feed your family or cast this ballot what do you think will happen?

    November 4, 2008 at 4:08 pm |
  324. David Keenan

    If America persists on its complicated, convoluted method of voting it may need to concentrate on the Presidential election on its own and take care of the "others" separately. The Presidential election is far too important to be just one of tens of other elections on the day.

    Too many things to go wrong.

    David, Westborough, MA

    November 4, 2008 at 4:08 pm |
  325. Annie Kraft Naples FL

    Needs to be uniform, easy, and on line voting

    November 4, 2008 at 4:09 pm |
  326. Troy, Birmingham Alabama

    If we took away the electorl college that would render the small states useless and the candidites would stop coming. Giving all the power to the larger cites and states.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:09 pm |
  327. Malcolm

    Most important issue:

    That Republicans demonstrate little truthiness!


    November 4, 2008 at 4:09 pm |
  328. Tom

    1. Get rid of the Electoral College. It was created originally to overcome the limitations of trying to coordinate an election with no means of rapid communication across the country. This limitation no longer exists.

    2. Work on a means to securely vote via the Internet. For the majority of us who have access to computers, it's a done deal. For those that do not, then polling places are equipped with computers instead of the current ballot system. Granted, coming up with a secure-enough solution may be a tough nut to crack, especially selling it to those leery of anything Internet related, but ultimately, it's as secure as any current voting process (who knows what happens to those paper ink-a-vote ballots once they leave your hands?!?)

    3. Bring back real debates. Not these Q&A sessions, but real honest-to-goodness debates. Establish a topic for the evening. Give one candidate 10 minutes to lay out their policy on that topic. Let the other candidate cross-question and then have 10 minutes to both lay out their policy and contrast with the first. Give the first an opportunity to cross-question, etc. These canned "debates" don't let us see beyond the prepared speeches and talking points.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:10 pm |
  329. Sandie

    Six weeks of campaigning. Same amount of federal funding. No other sources allowed period.

    One system implemented across all 50 states so that everyone voted in the same manner and time span. One national holiday would be great or over the course of a single weekend.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:10 pm |
  330. James, huntsville AL

    It seems ridiculous that we are the most advanced nation in the world yet we can't even run a smooth election. What would happen if every person in this country that could vote did? It would be a complete and utter disaster.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:10 pm |
  331. Andy

    Use the Oregon vote by mail system. It's convenient, has no long lines, has no dependency on mechanical or electronic voting machine failures, is not affected by the weather, places less burden on the ill or handicapped, and has a paper trail.

    Think also how much fuel can be saved if people vote by mail from home rather than driving to the polls.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:10 pm |
  332. Richard Guaraldo

    At the very least, a single day to vote is unfair, and amounts to a poll tax. I would have an election weekend, voting would start on Friday morning and end at 6:00 PM local time on Sunday. Why should people have to take time off from work, or work all day and then have to give up their entire evening to vote.

    I would also look at ways to eliminate the electorial college as I believe it makes votes unequal.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  333. Gabriel, Miami FL

    All elected officials in the US win their seats by getting the majority of the popular vote in their respective districts. Why do we the treat the president any different?

    Scrap the electoral college, and nationalize elections across all 50 states and territories. It's not that complicated!

    November 4, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  334. Judy Knight

    I hope we never go though this long time period again. My nerves are shot. I find it so hard to just voice my opinion on the computer. I need a mega phone to combat the lies. I am furious right now because the horrible ad about Obama and the pastor keeps running. It is on cnn and it is on all the channels here in my state ( republican state).
    Its dirty and we cant be proud of such actions from any party.
    J.K. In Boise, Idaho My vote was for Obama

    November 4, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  335. virginia

    Oregon uses the mail-in ballot system. It seems to work very well.
    The cost for postage would outweigh the cost for precinct workers.
    We have county elections offices which report to the state elections office. Pretty tidy. We also have drop-off receptacles at city police stations. People can mail in their ballots if they so choose. Absentee ballots are like all others - mail in. Just another money-saver.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  336. J. Weidenbach, NYC

    The campaigns start too soon (disrupting the public servant's real job), run too long and cost too much money. Lies should be called "lies" by the media; no soft-shoeing. Elections should be nationally standardized. I support tangible paper ballots, they can't be foiled by an electrical problem or a hacker terrorist. Everyone should be able to vote via mail.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  337. Kathy

    We need a standardized voting system across all States. Private companies all over the world have had systems for years that handle much more complicated information and the information is handled securely. There is no reason this can't be done with the voting system and with the voter registration system.

    It is also high time that we did away, completely, with the Electoral system. This system was obviously put in place because the difficulty in communications over long distances pretty much precluded getting a popular vote count in any reasonable amount of time. We no longer have that problem and I believe the popular vote should prevail – always.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  338. Ray from Arnold MD

    I am not sure if eliminating the Electoral College is needed but I do think this whole “winner take all” for each states votes is dumb. They should be tied to the congressional districts. You win the popular vote in that district, you get one vote. If you win the popular vote in the state you get two more. The number of EC votes is already the number of districts plus two so this should not be that hard. This would make the EC total more closely relate to the popular vote.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  339. Shelby Hobbs

    MY concern when I voted was the economy. And since I'm a widow, the fact that not paying any income tax if you make under $50,000 was definately a factor I was interested in. I voted for Hillary, but not I'm definately for Obama....I pray he wins. thanks.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  340. Jerry

    I think the time for going to a pooling place to cast a ballot for anyone is a relic of the past. In an age where you can conduct large financial transactions quickly online, what's the big deal deal with having to make a personal appearance to cast a vote??

    November 4, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  341. Grace Needed

    There should never be an unelected nominee for consideration. We should elect a President and then our Vice President from a group of nominees the President chooses whom he or she knows she could work with. The Constitution initially called for the person with the second highest number of votes to be Vice, but this was not practical, as they often worked at cross purposes and even wrote editorials challenging their President anonymously. Yet, now our system of electing a ticket based on the presidential nominee (elected from the primary) selecting their Vice has been shown to be flawed if the candidate does not vet and take seriously their responsibility. We cannot take that chance again.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  342. Steve in Las Vegas,NV

    Change the voting process? Of course! Too many different systems are a nightmare for everyone. It should be a standardized system, tested before every election.

    Why are there so many? Easier to tamper with,too many problems to worry about and is outdated. We need to bring it into the 21st century, and with early voting as well. The system here in NV really works very well..Early voting starts on 18 Oct, cutting down long lines. Other areas should check it out .

    November 4, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  343. Angie in West Kentucky

    Let the people decide! Get rid of the electrial college and put it back by popular vote. Total election process should only be 3 months with all primaries voted on the same day. Presidental Election Day's there should not be a single person working "national holiday" for all and no real reason not to vote.
    All states should use the exact same method and machines.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  344. Vegan Betty

    I agree, popular vote should decide, not electoral college! Also, we should not have any electronic voting machines that can easily be hacked. What should be electronic is a registered voter database so that someone can vote at any polling place in their state. Poll workers could have small handheld computers to check voters in. We should have only paper ballots that are optically read, but can be manually counted later. I also agree w/ someone else that mentioned all candidates should have to take a test of some degree. Not only was Palin scary with her lack of education and world view, but we have suffered for 8 years under someone who had Cs in school and basically flunked out of college.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  345. Rajiim Gross

    Here's the thing....
    The economy affects everything. Health care, can't afford it if you can't pay your bills. National Security.....you can't pay for the needed Military essentials if the money isn't there! Terrorism....Can't Fight it if you can't pay for the Military Needs. Etc... It all stems back to the economy! So What's the most important thing???? I Voted For Change. I Voted For Barack Obama. I Pray that This Election is Actually An Election By The People and not the usual Politics we are use to.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  346. Mark

    Oregon just sends us ballots in the mail a couple weeks before election and then you mail it back or drop it off. Pretty simple, no lines.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  347. Randy

    Make it illegal to use "Rove-rogue" tactics of character destruction and disinformation in the conduct of campaigns and get rid of the electoral college. We can put humans on the moon, construct a space station, fund bridges to nowhere, but we can't come up with a clean, efficient method of capturing a vote – what's up with that?

    November 4, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  348. Rohn Wagner - Flint, MI

    eleminate the eletoral college, it is outdated. no other demoncracy /republic uses it anymore. (there many onebut i do not remeber what country iit is.)

    standarize the ellection ballot federal electionsin all states (president, sentate, representative) if the stae want to do ther own thing for local elections that is there businesses but fereral need to be standards acrross the country, if a voting machine does not have a paper trail it shoul dnot used in a federal election.

    also give the terriories the rightto vote for president (PR, VI, Guam, Samoa) if there are american citizens they should have the right to vote for president,

    November 4, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  349. Bill

    Require proportional representation in the Electoral College. Personally, I'd use Single Transferable Vote to select the electors, which would make the Electoral College reflect the popular vote more closely, while still maintaining the compromise that the Electoral College is.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  350. Larry Appleton

    YES. Some of us work.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  351. Erik

    Jack- The process and the method are broken. If we can successfully execute a billion credit card exchanges a day, why can't we apply similar technology to the vote? It's done daily in grocery stores. A Social Security Card with a mag strip, and a simple touch screen. Universally. The fed should make this happen.

    And please, please, go with a popular vote. The general populace has access to enough information to be entrusted with selecting the President. The Electoral College is outdated, and generates nothing but controversy. It is "We the People", not "We the States", correct?

    November 4, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  352. Rachel, Illinois

    The fact that the Electoral College is still in place is absolutely absurd. Excuse my ignorance, but who decides on the number of electoral votes for each state? The popular vote should matter, period.
    Beyond that, the actual voting process can't improve until we work on eliminating the tampering going on. You can't tell me that in this day and age, we would have that many "malfunctioning" electronic voting machines. It's a shame that our system is this corrupt. Someone else mentioned voting through the mail. I like that idea.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  353. Rex

    The Electoral College has served the Republic well in the past 200+ years. Just b/c Al Gore couldn't win his home state in 2000 is no reason to abolish it. If Obama loses the electoral college but wins the popular vote, no doubt the call will come up to abolish it again, but I'm going with the founding fathers on this one as opposed to a bunch of people that couldn't pass a civics test if their life depended on it – and that includes you Jack.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  354. David - Arizona

    how come we have the technology to securely upload our taxes, with all the security required given the sensitivity, but can't vote online? I develope interenet stuff like this and it's not that difficult. Why force people into long lines, traffic, gas, weather when we should be able to do it from home in less then 10 minutes? THAT'S the direction voting should take.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  355. Charles Cady

    We need the electoral collage to remain.

    There were three reasons for the original electoral collage system.
    (1) The communication was too slow to get ballot returns validated and presented to the central government in a timely manner.

    (2) The founding fathers had a healthy distrust of the average male land owning voters. By having them, vote for “more” intellectually educated responsible electors we would have a higher quality of government.

    (3) The founding fathers did not want the president chosen by just Boston, Philadelphia and New York. They wanted to make sure any president was acceptable to the country in totality, not just the big city folks.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  356. Lary

    I would love to see an amendment to change voting tbulation to apportion Electoral College votes according to how each Congressional district votes. This is the way, I believe, one state does it. Our country has changed significantly from the time of the Founding fathers, when pretty much everything was somehow connected to agriculture, to today, where there can be huge disparities within even a small state. I believe that this method I mentioned above would truly give proportional representation.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  357. Diane-Florida

    Ahh, can anyone say ONLINE VOTING? It is absolutely amazing to me that we can do EVERYTHING online now (i.e. banking, buying, unemployment compensation, license renewals,etc.) but we still cannot vote online.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  358. lisa from FL

    Jack, I wouldn't change a thing. I am so proud of this country. The turnout is a sign of democracy at its best. Human error is always a concern and perhaps something that can be only monitored. I do wish for a mandate for Obama so we can put this election behind us and begin to heal this country. God Bless this country.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  359. Carl


    This is a good questions and every 4 years it's always the same.. If registration for College classes and filling out scantrons for standardized tests work, why can't the election system? I think scantrons are the best method and I think that sample ballots should be mailed out one month ahead of time to all voters so they can read the instructions and become familiar with the ballots. I also think election day should be a National Holiday and that according to your last name arrive at polling locations at different times to help minimize lines. These things, to me, seem very simple yet year after year here we are with long lines and contested races.

    Let's get democracy working again so that every vote will count.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  360. Julie Stockton

    I would figure a way out people can vote on thier computers so they don't have to stand in long lines in the rain etc. I would also elect people by popular vote.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  361. Tony from Ocala Fl.

    Jack, Election day needs to be modified to:
    1.A legal holiday.
    2.The process should limit a campaign to six months.
    3. Tighten the qualifing rules for voting

    November 4, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  362. Patel

    I don't understand the need to go high tech with voting. Scantron is the easiest and simplest method out there. No touch screens, no hanging chads, no resetting needed. Just fill out a circle. Even a monkey can do that. If people in Alabama can do that, why can't everyone else.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  363. Bob from Ontario Canada

    and who knows what elso to vote for. no wonder the lines are long it must take you a half hour to vote for enerything!!!!

    November 4, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  364. Autumn Hughes

    I live in Oregon; we have mail-in ballots that we manage to fill in correctly at home. No issues there.

    I do believe the electoral college system is outdated and allows for too much corruption. Districts seem arbitrary and I don't think it's beneficial to use this to count votes. The popular vote should be the only deciding factor.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  365. Mark, Champaign IL

    How about internet voting, like they do in Estonia?

    How about a preferential voting system, like in Papua New Guinea?

    How about a wide open election, with two rounds of voting if no one wins a plurality the first time around, like in many European countries?

    How about a progressive-elimination system, like how the International Olympic Committee selects Olympic venues, or we "elect" an American Idol? Sanjaya '08!

    November 4, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  366. Jay in Texas

    Americans should use the paper ballot "scantron" style ballots that have been used for ages on school standardized tests–"use a number 2 pencil, fill in the circle completely with a mark that is heavy and dark."

    Paper ballots lead to more security because they can't be simply deleted or switched with the press of a button or the change of chips or anything else.

    Use standardized paper ballots, fill in choices in pencil, run them through a scanner to count the votes. In the event of recounts, the paper ballots are available to be recounted.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  367. Pat in NC

    1. Go with only the popular vote (no more Electoral College)

    2. Establish online voting as an alternative

    November 4, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  368. Robert, Long Beach, CA

    Jack, I would require 3 things. A standardized ballot booklet, like I get here in Los Angeles county, early voting for all states with locations open within 2 weeks of election day and vote by mail, with no restrictions as to who can request a mail in ballot.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  369. Larry

    I don't understand why my previous comment is"awaiting moderation" while comments after it are not.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  370. Kevin


    I agree with a few others on here. I sincerely believe we should stick to the popular vote. After all it is us the people who are voting and want our voices heard. Get rid of the electoral college vote.

    2nd, it should be a federal law and requirement that all states vote on the same day. As well as all use the same method. There should be no reason a recount cannot be done because of no trail.

    3rd, I think we should go back to when we had a Dem or Rep. as president and the other the VP.

    Portland, OR.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  371. Jack

    The popular vote is the only honest and fair way to vote. This is not the 1800's where it took weeks to tally up the votes, and get them in to Washington. With modern communications we can have the results in minutes.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  372. Linda in Bisbee, AZ

    Thank God I live in a state where I can vote early by mail with an actual paper ballot. Making that available to everyone would be a good start. If you have to use those stinking machines, make sure there is a paper trail, and that all the machines are the same. Extend the time limits to a week of voting for anyone going to the polls. Abolish the electoral college. We need to do everything we can think of. The system is broken.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  373. John in IL

    When the system works, it works well and works fairly. The only thing we need is a reliable, standardized system for all states, more polling places to help reduce lines, and a dedicated, diligent staff.

    The problem with the election being based on the popular vote is that it unfairly skews to the densely-populated areas. The only thing I would change about the electoral system is the "one state, one candidate" system that all but Maine and Nebraska have and allow all electorates to place their votes based on their constituent districts rather than the trend of the entire state. That way both the popular vote and each district, urban, suburban or rural, is fairly represented.

    I'm an Obama supporter living in downstate Illinois, in an area that will likely vote for McCain - but since Chicago will doubtless carry the Obama vote for the state, my vote will go to Obama regardless. If electorates were allowed to vote by their districts, they will serve the interests of the majority of their constituents, effectively leveling the election process playing field.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  374. Richard, Henderson, NV

    Hey Jack, One person, one vote, cut out the crap which the electoral college is. Keep up the good work Jack, would love to see you and ORiley, and the rat Hannity in a debate. You would kick BUTT

    November 4, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  375. walt payerl

    Michael Moore has it right, lets vote on Saturdays, do it with paper, and have the results by 9 pm!

    November 4, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  376. Ted

    To all of those geniuses who want to dump the electoral college....Do you understand that we live in a Federal Republic? The States still have meaning and a candidate must win states, not just votes. Without the electoral college, we'll be ruled by California and the East Coast. Luckily, I think there are enough small states out there who will not amend the constitution. And what would happen if we had to recount the whole country??? It would take forever. Keep it the way it is.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  377. Renata Alves


    As somebody who was not able to vote because my absentee ballot never showed up and today I am out of the country, I can trully say that our voting process is frustrating.

    We need the voting process to be controlled by one entity, the federal goverment, with one system, one type of machine for all. We also need to offer voting in our embassies around the world for those Americans that are in my situation today: away from home, registered to vote, but who can't.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  378. Tiff of Lithia Springs

    I do think we need to issue receipt or some sort of paper trail. There have been politicians on both sides who do dirty deeds to get voted in.

    We have all of these expensive machines to deal with that quite frankly has too many loop holes to fanagal. A piece of paper with a no 2 pencil and a receipt number for the voter and the poll worker would work just fine.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  379. Peter

    All this talk about banning outside advertising sounds fine. But what about free speech? One six year term might allow a president to do more without having to worry about being re-elected. A weekend vote or national holiday is the most important change, however. The system now in place prevents some people from voting. Other countries must laugh at us.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  380. RobinM from IL

    If we did it by the popular vote, everyone would be a democrat!

    November 4, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  381. Carolina

    I am not American, so I don't quite know the whole process there...but I do not understand why each state has it's own laws to vote for the same president? One president, one country, one vote – simple is always best I say. Also, I think that people should have the president they vote for – if a candidate wins the popular vote, then that's it. No electoral college vote...I think it impedes on the right for people to choose.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  382. jp

    Every citizen over 18 should automatically be registered to vote. Felons or those who relinquish their citizenship can have their registration repealed. Many democracies have an opt-out system; the US has an opt-in system which was designed to limit voter participation. That should change.
    In addition, ever county in every state should be governed by the same voting rules, and should use the same voting process.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  383. Jeff from Minnesota

    I think making voting more than a single day event is the best recommendation. Voting over a two or three week period would likely work. Technically, you can do this in all 50 states regardless of whether or not they have early voting. In states without early voting, people can vote via the absentee ballot. Granted, there's likely a little 'white lie' in that they are not going to be absent from their precinct. But, I think that's a small price for getting the greatest number of people out to vote.

    There also has to be a way to vote safely, securely and accurately over the Internet. Getting that capability would make voting even better although the technology would have to be significantly robust to handle the volume, ensure security and limit the potential for fraud. With the advent of standardized State identification cards for drivers licenses and the like, ther has to be a way to use that in such an online voting system.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  384. Sherri

    Jack: We need to get rid of the electorial college – haven't we as a nation been messed around for the last 8 years by this process – let the people vote and decide who is the president – if we had figured this out after the 1st debokal with Bush in 2000 – we would not be in the mess we are in now. Facts are Facts – thank god we are done with the bushes!

    November 4, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  385. Eddie Zalez

    Next time, I want to be able to use the Intenet. No way I'm going to wait six hours to vote, even if it means missing to vote some clowns out of office.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  386. Dennis

    We need nationwide voting standards! It's pathetic how our voting methods and regulations differ from state to state and even district to district. If our government wants our votes, they should provide us with voting machines that actually work along with decent places to vote so we aren't standing in the rain waiting for three hours to fill out a ballot that takes 5 minutes. I think if this election becomes clouded with controversy, one of President Bush's final acts of office should be passing a bill for new voting standards.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  387. Zola

    Hi Jack,
    As one commentator said, I cannot align myself with both parties, this two parties system needs to be reviewed and I think that the french model is one of the best. They have two rounds of elections, the first round all candidates regardless of their parties are on the ballot. the first two in the first round get to go to the second round. Also, every vote count
    One person, one vote, there is no such thing as the electoral college.
    That's the best way to go and we the people have to work to bring this to pass.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  388. Steve

    If we can do absentee ballots, we can do online voting (the risks are similar). Think of how many lines would be saved and how much validation could be done.

    When I voted, there was a guy in front of me who voted for 6 presidents! Online validation could prevent that.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  389. yellowbmblbee, Boston

    I like John's idea....the ID card – something like a passport so you can vote anywhere. It doesn't have to be in your precinct. I also agree with universally comprising a voting method for all states – there are too many individual states that do not have the proper/enough voting equipment or polling places. Also, early voting should be across the nation as well...this will help voter turnout immensely.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  390. Charles Cady, Phx Arizona

    We need the electoral collage to remain.

    There were three reasons for the original electoral collage system.
    (1) The communication was too slow to get ballot returns validated and presented to the central government in a timely manner.
    This reason is now eliminated by modern communication technology.

    (2) The founding fathers had a healthy distrust of the average male land owning voters. By having them, vote for “more” intellectually educated responsible electors we would have a higher quality of government. Yea sure like we see that happening? So again this reason is no longer valid.

    (3) The founding fathers did not want the president chosen by just Boston, Philadelphia and New York. They wanted to make sure any president was acceptable to the country in totality, not just the big city folks. This reason is still very valid! Just think, would we want to allow a candidate that only appealed the center cites, and won big there, say 65%, win the election, if literally all the rest of the country voted for the other guy. We need an American President not just a big city president.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  391. TOM SHOOK


    November 4, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  392. Kina, A Veteran in NYC

    Jack, first of all, early voting for every state. Secondly, uniform voting machines for all states.


    November 4, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  393. Holly

    I can bank online, day trade online, file my taxes online, shop online – all securely – but people have to wait hours in line to cast a ballot in a federal election. Give me a break! If we can't even get our act together and set up a secure and functional voting method 4 years after the last election fiasco, then I have no faith that we will be able to turn the economy around!

    November 4, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  394. Mike

    There has got to be a better way to do this.

    One that is secure.
    One that is faster.
    One that cannot be defrauded by illegal offiicials or thugs.

    and One that allows only VALID voters to cast ballots and not a bunch of dead people of illegal aliens like are voting in todays election.

    1 person 1 vote.

    There has got to be a better way!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 4, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  395. Heather, Vancouver, BC Canada

    for a country that is supposed to be so progressive and a leader in the world it sure has the most backwards election system.

    simple answer to your question: the candidate with the most votes wins – end of story.

    as for the collection of votes, why is it so hard to mark an X with a pencil/pen in a box on a piece of paper? there are some things in life that are better in their simplest form.

    i'm befuddled by the US election....

    November 4, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  396. Nisey01

    Hey, Jack my thanks go out to the Obama campaign because they got my 3 kids (19, 21, 1nd 24) out to vote, when I have been trying like forever, right. Despite the rain here in Virginia, we made it happen. The rain here in Virginia was like showers of happy tears showering down upon us, so let's give thanks to the rain, too. Last, but not least, my baby boy beat me to the polls...Incredible! God Bless America!

    November 4, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  397. Curt W

    Voter registration needs to be more stringent in its verification. Identity and address should be mandatorily verified. The baloney of letting someone vote who lives on a park bench is ridiculous. That is not verifiable as required by the HAVA of 2002.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  398. Penny from Georgia

    Get rid of the electoral college – let the popular vote be counted vote for vote. I find it atrocious that We, the self proclaimed beacons of democracy in the world, can't seem to hold a fair election. Maybe we should ask UN reps to come oversee our elections to insure fairness – like we do to others? It feels like we have actually come to that. We should be ashamed.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  399. Drew in Hoboken NJ


    This is easily covered in three easy steps:

    1. move election day to the weekend or make it a national holiday.
    2. standardize the voting machines across the nation and ensure that they provide a receipt.
    3. provide digital IDs that serve as every American's main form of identification. Regardless of where they live, they can at least vote for the president at any voting station as long as they have one of these cards.


    November 4, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  400. Scott, San Francisco

    Jack: Election Day should be on a Saturday or Sunday so most people don't have to lose a day's work. The Electoral College should be eliminated so the candidate with the most votes wins. The entire voting system should be federalized so the standards are the same everywhere. Voters should be allowed to vote early in every state. Private companies should not be registering voters or analyzing voter background information – there should be a non-partisan committee for this. The head-of-elections person in each state should be NON-PARTISAN. People who are caught commiting election-related fraud should be tried in court and jailed and fined if convicted – including government officials (Florida 2000, Ohio 2004).

    November 4, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  401. Stefan Lang


    Get rid of the electorial college and have a true national election!

    I live in Alabama, a RED RED state, I'm voting for Obama...my vote won't even count under the present system!


    November 4, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  402. Tony

    For starters, make Election Day a national holiday so that everyone registered has a chance to get to the polls and participate. Additionally, standardized early voting procedures across all states, and standardize polling hours across all states.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  403. Diane, Lancaster PA

    First, automatic registration-you turn 18, you get your registration card. Second, every state uses the same system. And third, election day a National Holiday, and with that, everything except ESSENTIAL businesses are closed-we can all do without our BigMacs and CoolLattes for 1 day.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  404. Nizar Basma

    NO! Changing the way we pick our President is wrong. We've been doing this for God i dont know? Since the creation of Presidency? This is the ebst way to pick a President. Go OBAMA!

    November 4, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  405. Jihed

    The most powerful country in the world , trying to sell the "ultimate democratic format " having problems with broken poll machines, old equipment, wrong voting books, you name it. We should send 1000s of Jimmy Carter to watch the votes here....Great show by the way, a fan for many years.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  406. Jon in Omaha, NE

    I beleive this should be a National Holiday, like Canada and some European countries. This would make it easier for a large part of the population, where as they would not have to worry about getting off work or missing work to stand in these long lines. It's only every 4 years and is a major event in our country.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  407. Greg

    One Picture ID that is your social security card, work authorization and voter registration. One computer system that prints out a card of your votes. You verify the card and place it in an optical reader that cross checks the computer and leaves a paper trail. Voting should take place on a Monday and Tuesday. Your ID is linked to whatever your district is so you can vote anywhere in your state. It should be easy to change your address. No one should vote for any State or local Judges.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  408. Cassandra

    We have technology that no one ever dreamed of and yet our voting system is incredibly antiquated. This morning I stood in line at 7am for 30 minutes to vote in my small town of 10,000 people. The disorganization and chaos was unbelievable.

    Even worse, I wonder why I even bother, seeing as though my vote doesn't really feel like it counts. Why isn't the popular vote even considered in deciding the outcome of these elections?

    This, among a million other inefficiencies, just proves that our government is due for a MAJOR overhaul.

    Government: The most inefficient corporation in the world.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  409. Arthur in Ohio

    1. Limit the entire process to no more than FOUR months. Allow one month for the parties to choose their candidate, and three months for them to campaign.

    2. The voting machines should definitely be standardized. Use the same machines in every state.

    3. Have the same deadlines for registration and voting times in every state.

    4. ELIMINATE the electoral college. It's a leftover from colonial days when people couldn't get to the polls. There's no reason that the popular vote shouldn't decide the president.

    5. No negative advertising. Instead of focusing on your candidate, try focusing on what you're going to do.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:19 pm |

    I totally agree with a couple of the other comments, get rid of the electoral college which has been around since and before I attended any school. Why the heck do we vote if the vote goes by the electoral votes anyway, it seems like a waste of the American peoples time to vote.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  411. Virginia Meek (Mrs)

    We need to look for a way to elect a President by their background. And I quote: Someone whose ego isn't crushed like a rotten egg under a steamroller. Someone with ability to foresee the consequences of his actions and to show concern for misery and suffering he might bring to the world.
    They must have compassion, cares for the poor, care abt the health of the underclass, will not break down under the pressure and losing his contact with reality. Someone that doesn't believe in genocide.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  412. Dan Rivard from Illinois

    some form of the electoral college must remain to insure that the lower populated states still have an important say in the outcome. however, i propose adding 30 more points to the electoral college and reward them as follows: give 10 to the winner of the popular vote; give 10 to the winner of the most states; and give the last 10 to the winner of the most congressional districts. since we are adding 30, a candidate would need 285 to win the presidency, not 270. if this method were in place in 2000, gore wins.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  413. Jim From Indiana

    it's 2008 but we have technology for voting from the 1980's? This is embarrassing

    November 4, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  414. Douglas from Canada

    Paper ballots. By office first, then by candidate's family name.
    In alphabetical order.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  415. Gina in Racine, Wi

    For one.....the day we vote should be a National Holiday.....

    two....there should be a paper trail ALWAYS and at every polling booth.....

    three....any tactics employed to supress votes should be punishable by prison time and a hefty fine.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  416. Adam in Ohio


    Hell no! Don't change the way we vote!

    Here in Ohio, the only time we see the folks we elect is when they're running for office! We only see Presidents and candidates for President when they're asking for our votes.

    When farms are devistated - when towns are flooded - and when jobs are lost, the politicians are nowhere to be found. At least with the current way we elect out Presidents, every four years, we feel like someone in Washington actually gives a damn about us!

    November 4, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  417. Mary Kate

    I firmly believe three things should be done to change our election system. First, the outdated electoral college system should be abolished and the popular vote should rule. Second, all voting machines should be required to produce a paper record. Finally, early voting should be allowed in all 50 states or election day should be a national holiday, in order to allow people greater opportunity to vote. Any democracy worth it's weight should implement these changes.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  418. Keith

    It is time for a constitutional amendment requiring all elections to leave a paper trail.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  419. Lorie


    Enough of the electoral college.

    It is outdated and does NOT represent the opinions of American people. What if 49% of voters in one state vote for a candidate? Then that state's electoral vote is represented by only 51% of its voting population. That is ridiculous. I think it is high time our democracy reverts back to its historic roots: popular vote. It makes sense and gives the power back to the people.

    The electoral college is just another loophole to get certain candidates into office, as well as one more step in the voting process that can, and usually does, mislead the outcome.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  420. Peter Fern Park, Fla.

    For national elections I don't care what system is being used but it must be uniform across the states. For local elections local rules are fine. The same method of apportioning the electoral college. Not some winner take all and some approtioned by % who won what. Same mechanical process. Machine, electronic or paper. They all must include a paper trail. Limit the primary to a defined time and the "CAMPAIGN" to a defined time. Require all media outlets to give all candidates, including 3rd parties, an equal and substantial amount of free air ad time. Limit campaign spending to a realistic amount ($84M wont do it today). Limit all pac's and 527s to an overall spending cap not to exceed the campaign's limit.
    There's more but for now this would be a good start.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  421. Laura Johnson

    In my opinion, our entire election system needs an overhaul. Most importantly, American citizens need to feel confident that their votes are being accurately counted and represented, but beyond that I believe the system itself is flawed. Campaigns are far too long, administrations are more concerned with reelection than real issues, and a two party system does not constitute an effective democracy. Do I have the answers? No, but I'm hoping that electing Barack Obama will be at least a small step in the right direction by reversing the momentum of the last eight years and showing that Americans value intelligence, energy, and charisma over age, aggression, and religion.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  422. LBT - ID

    The electoral college is a dinosaur. Let our voices be heard. The popular vote is the way to go.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  423. Mike in NJ

    The electoral college is total nonsense.
    Elect by popular vote, may the best man or woman win.
    Early voting for everyone.
    Everyone should use the same machine/technology to cast their vote. Make it a national holiday, not everyone works for the Donald.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  424. John Treadway

    Internet for those who can access/want to vote that way – can be WAY more secure than any manual process.

    Keep it the same for those who want to stand in line.

    Don't try internet voting at polling locations - that's just asking the gods to smite you...;-)

    November 4, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  425. Working Mom in Illinois

    I would:
    1) Have one nation-wide Primary Day. The current system allows voters in a handful of states to decide who the rest of us get to even consider.
    2) Limit the campaigining period to the six weeks prior to election day.
    3) Get rid of the Electoral College
    4) Require some kind of paper trail that backs up the electronic voting systems. We need some kind of documentation to reduce the likelihood of hacking & stealing the election electronically.
    5) Have Election Day be a national holiday.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  426. Steve in NY

    The electoral college has got to go.

    We know longer think of our nation as a loose collection of sovereign states. We think of ourselves as one people and we want to elect our leaders as one people. The constitution mandates the electoral college, but it also mandates "one man, one vote."

    It's probably too difficult to change the constitution on this point, but it might not be too difficult to get more states to allot their electors proportionately, rather than unanimously. That would get us closer.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  427. Sharon

    Nationalize presidential elections. We should never hear of voter purging, caging, intimidation, fraud, etc. etc. Having it state by state puts the election in the hands of local officials who often have their own agenda to do whatever they can to slant the results. Since voting is our right, there has got to be a better way to register voters, maybe through the driver's license or social security system. Actually, if voting is our right by the constitution why can't registration somehow be automatic when a person turns 18? Lastly, lengthen the time given to vote – maybe 7 days and STOP ALL CAMPAIGNING the day voting starts.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  428. David

    I would change from the electoral college to a county based system electoral system.

    Each county in every state is given one elector. For the candidate to win that electors vote he/she would have to win the popular vote of that county.

    The results would then have to be certified by the county executives and the heads of the state party chairs no later then December 5th following the election.

    Only then would the secatary of each state certify the election once a meeting of all county electors met to give ther vote to the candidate whom won the county popular vote.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  429. Vivian

    As a country who believes in a strong democracy, it is abosultely necessary fo rus to change from the elctorate to a popular vote. I truly believe that many people don't vote for the simple reason that they don't believe their voice will make a difference if they live in a state that votes republican or democrat. I also think we need to have a longer period to vote, not just a day and why Tuesday? It should be a long weekend. We get long weekend holidays for occasions much less important than voting for our leader. We also need to find a better way to make it easier for people to vote, especially for the elders and disabled.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  430. Ellen Mullenix

    I would eliminate the electoral college....plain and simple.....let each vote truly count......we no longer live in the 1700's when our government felt that the common man was not educated enough to actually vote.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  431. Jennifer

    I voted by mail as soon as I got my absentee ballot and think it's actually the easiest way to vote.I think the voting process needs to universal for all the states (with receipts for the electronic booths) and we need to get rid of the electoral college. The popular vote should be the only way to win!!!! Go Obama!

    November 4, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  432. Eddie Miami, Fl

    We need to completely get rid of the Electoral College, this process got us president Bush in 2004 and this whole idea of the electoral college seems to be a way to leave the final say from the corporate elite. Why is the system not set up to where the people can speak and decide who their next president will be. Its the biggest sham un spoken of.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  433. D Williams, Canada

    Do away with the obsession over to having the most technologically advanced system and strive to have the most fair and accurate system. In Canada I show 2 pieces of ID, grab my pencil and ballot, go behind a divider and pencil in my choice with an 'X". I then put my own ballot into the box and Canadians STILL know the results in time for the 11 o'clock news or sooner. Nice and simple.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  434. Betty

    Eliminate the Electoral College! For those reds who live in a blue state or the blues who live in a red state, their votes simply do not count–utterly ridiculous! And for those who say it has worked for 200+ years, the answer is simple–it has not. Several candiates with the most votes have lost elections because of this archaic system. I thought the mess in 2000 would have been enough to move us away, but alas, nothing has changed.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:28 pm |
  435. Reenie Jacksonville. NC


    1. Get rid of the Electoral College and use popular vote.
    2. Time limits – most Americans would not get paid to be out on the campaign trial for almost two years, we would have lost our jobs.
    3. Voting the same in all states, machines, requirements etc...
    4. Move election day to a Saturday or make it a Holiday.
    5. Get rid of "Super Delegates"
    6. No results published until all citizens are done voting – yes, this means media giving us their opinion based on exit polls.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:28 pm |
  436. Rebecca

    The Electoral College needs to be abolished. It was created back when many Amerians were iliterate and simple and didn't have the means to learn about political candidates. It was created in a time when there was no mass media. It was created to make sure intelligent, educated men were electing officials who would serve our country well. That time has passed. We are ALL well-informed now.

    If we had a direct election, we have more power to actually elect a third party candidate. The two-party system isn't working. We preach unity and bipartisanship, but the fact is, the two main parties are more alike than different. I would love to see a direct election in this country and the opportunity for all leading candidates to take part in the debates. We have a country full of intelligent people (I'd like to believe) and yet McCain and Obama are the best we can do? I don't think so.

    It's time for America to trust her people to elect the president directly! DIRECT VOTE FOR AMERICA!!!!!

    November 4, 2008 at 4:28 pm |
  437. Geoff (Canada)


    In Canada, on election day the campaigning stops, actually it's illegal to campaign on election day. Instead of each province or county running their own election rules it is done by a central body,Elections Canada (dare I say Socalistic). East to west and North to South all the ballots are the same design just different names depending on the riding your in. Advance polls are set up only for a designated time. Ohhh by the way paper ballots work fine. Your election is fun to watch some places have paper ballots some machines, you vote for only so many in the congress this year and so many in 2 yrs time. You vote for judges and Sherrifs and school boards and other stuff that maybe you be voting on on a different time. Your issues like War Service, Who someone talked to 10 yrs ago, Health care??? no brainer!!!! Call it Socialistic but at least we don't have people losing their homes and going bankrupt over health care costs.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:28 pm |
  438. Jennifer Dale

    No early voting, absentee ballots only, more polling places.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:28 pm |
  439. Wes from Atlanta

    1. Require voting software and machine designs to be open source and make them secure.

    2. Punish through fines or other penalties any factually inaccurate statements made by politicians and political action groups.

    3. Prosecute voter fraud groups like gang or mob cases (RICO)– One crime can get the whole group in trouble.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:28 pm |
  440. Jansen

    Federalized voting!
    Keep everything consistent and promote accountability, too many failures in the system! Why does every state need to have their own voting methods?
    Get rid of the electoral college! It's a race between 2 people, the person with the most votes should count for something!
    Is there any reason to keep the EC system?

    November 4, 2008 at 4:28 pm |
  441. Howard Davis

    I think that first and foremost, everyone should be required to show ID when they show up to vote. Who are we suppressing? Who, above the age of 18, doesn't have ID? We don't want popular vote, because the major population centers would then ALWAYS decide the election. All a candidate has to do is win the big cities and the rest of us will never count. The electoral college should be re-tooled away from winner take all and be broken down into percentages.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:28 pm |
  442. Mike

    I believe making the day a national holiday and possibly setting it on a weekend. Also, how about allowing all the states able to vote early? A month in advance possibly setting 2 or 3 days a week out of a whole week each week for a month would work. For me, I wouldnt mind if I didnt know the results of the outcome for a month, but would be upset for waiting in a line for 2-6 hours. I definitely believe voting should take place on a piece of paper as well. Not just because most of the world uses this voting method, but because it seems to work in these areas. Granted the United States as a whole is a huge country as far as land mass. I still would not like to rely on computers to predict voting matters, I think for something as important as a vote shouldn't be relied on a machine.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:28 pm |
  443. Adam from Michigan

    Rid the electorial college, change voting day to weekend or make it a holiday. Adapt the fine for not voting and use a universal voting system such as all mail in or online (maybe wait a few years for the generation gap on this one)

    November 4, 2008 at 4:28 pm |
  444. Bob Sheldon in Austin, TX

    eliminate the electoral college. Popular vote with all electronic ballots. We can pay taxes electronically and many do, make electronic voting an option for 2012. For those of us that dont have a computer at home, almost every public library has community access PC's available, drive to a poll or to a library, whats the difference?

    November 4, 2008 at 4:31 pm |
  445. Sue - South Jersey

    1) End electoral voting, go to popular vote
    2) Use same machines in all states that print out 2 receipts with the name of who you voted for, one you keep, and one you turn in as you leave, for a recount if necessary
    3) Everyone should have the presidential election day off so they have the time to wait in line and not have to worry about jeopardizing their job

    November 4, 2008 at 4:32 pm |
  446. Craig

    Whoever gets the most votes should win.That would force hardheaded politicians to at least try and govern all the states.Ans will also cause America to be united

    November 4, 2008 at 4:32 pm |
  447. Kristin

    Absentee and early voting are two steps in the right direction, for sure. Not everyone has the luxury of taking time off or being away from work or having adequate child care for hours at a time to vote.

    Internet voting would be a great step in the right direction, too.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:34 pm |
  448. Suzanne

    Why could we not use a barcode system? Each person has bar code identifiers on their driver's license. That way we can verify each person voting and it will also prevent them from voting twice. We could also do this to transform the system from the faulty Diebold and other electronic voting machines into an Internet based system. We have the technology readily available.

    Furthermore, we need to either make Election Day a holiday, or hold our elections on weekends. People are being penalized by going to the polls, they have to take time off from work, sometimes an entire day just to cast a ballot that may, or may not, be counted.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:36 pm |
  449. Craig in Columbus, OH

    How come no one has mentioned Thunderdome?! Two candidates enter, one candidate leaves! The whole process would be done in less than a day!

    November 4, 2008 at 4:37 pm |
  450. Suresh Balasubramaniam

    Hey whatever happened to the Internet invention. Wake up politicians, if its anything we can get it done in the USofA.

    Lets resolve to get voting done via the internet.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:37 pm |
  451. KC

    To reduce the lines, only the president and Federal Congress election can be held on the same day. All the other proposal and state represantives can be put on the ballot during the midterm election.
    Make the voting system uniform countrywide. I dont understand why different rules are applied to select the country's president.
    The electral college system is not quite fair. needs to be rexamined.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:37 pm |
  452. Gregg

    We NEED the Electoral College! I'm from Nebraska, and we do split our electoral votes by our congressional districts. As a result, we actually have the interest (minor, but still there) of the candidates. Without the electoral votes, McCain and especially Obama would totally ignore the "flyover" states and their needs in order to cater to the 5-6 states that could supply them the needed popular votes.

    The Electoral College is old and confusing, but it ensures fair representation throughout ALL the states.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:37 pm |
  453. Yoni

    I can't agree more with a comment made by Sue in Idaho. If we can create a secure online banking system and protect our national defenses, we can create an online application (with receipts, federally regulated). Once we have that we need with enough resources for each county based on population. How will we pay for it? Perhaps use some of the money we are throwing away in Iraq.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:37 pm |
  454. S, Denver, CO

    Of course the electoral college is an anachronism and should be abolished, but it is unlikely that state political parties will ever agree on that. Four years ago, a Colorado ballot measure proposed dividing electors based on the popular vote. The measure was roundly criticized by both major political parties and defeated. Each party expected to benefit from ALL of the state's electoral votes. In the end, only the Republican party did. In a few hours we will know whether Republican opposition to that measure was a mistake.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:37 pm |
  455. Independent Florida

    As many other countries do, elections should be held on Sundays or declared a holiday so everyone gets to vote and Electoral College should be abolished.

    I find it immoral that this presidential campaign lasted 22 months at a cost of $2.1 billion is just idiotic.....!

    A campaign reform overhaul is absolute and necessary!!!!

    November 4, 2008 at 4:37 pm |
  456. Steve

    Mail everyone a ballot far enough in advance so they would have time to get a replacement if they need. Have ballot drop off centers instead of polling places. All they would have to do would be verify your ID and put the ballot in the ballot box.

    Every one would have a chance to vote without being rushed, there would be a paper trail and a lot less confusion on election day.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:38 pm |
  457. Ken from Vancouver Canada.

    The amount of money spent since the primaries started plus the costs on election day is mind-boggling and wasteful. Strike another Bipartisan Committee to study the whole thing and come up with an entirely new approach. The same as should be done to get us out of this financial fiasco. Obama is correct. We need CHANGE !!!!!!!!

    November 4, 2008 at 4:39 pm |
  458. Skiptothebeach

    Finger print driven voting devices in every home....
    The founding fathers did as best as they could for the times to ensure everyone was represented, but times have changed. We no longer need all the infrastructure of elected, housed, per diemed and fat catted in Washington; in its stead let every registered voter vote on any referendum/law from their home/electronic device. That is, if we can put an HD converter in every home then we can put a finger print driven voting device in every home. Doing so would be far cheaper than the corrupt, greed mongered system we have now – a simple device and beefed-up IT security would solve your premise. In fact, let Michale Dell and bill gates figure it out; they'd most likely love the challenge. And what of the uninformed voting on things they should not vote? Well, we already have plenty of that now, but America has proven it wants to vote.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:39 pm |
  459. Austin George

    I pay my bills online, I bank online, I use my credit card online. Isn't it time we are able to cast our ballots online?

    November 4, 2008 at 4:39 pm |
  460. Jim Cotreau

    Hi Jack,

    We need to have all the same voting machines in every community in every state.

    Secondly, we need to get rid of the Electoral College. Everyone gets one vote. Every vote is tallied and the candidate with the most votes is the winner.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:39 pm |
  461. Kyle Van Essen

    For one, dump the electoral collage, and simply go to a percentage-based system. We saw how Bush was handed the presidency in 2000 even though Gore had a lead in the popular vote.

    As well, I think it's a great idea to switch over to paper ballots only. This way any tampering that takes place leaves a paper trail, and hundreds, possibly thousands of votes aren't lost if a machine with no other backup fails. (Not to mention the badly "calibrated" machines that seem to enjoy flipping votes...)

    Finally, the federal government needs to create a nationwide, standardized polling system. Every state should have early voting at the same time, and everyone should be automatically registered to vote. Almost every other civilized country in the world does it, why not the US?

    November 4, 2008 at 4:39 pm |
  462. Angela

    There are a number of substantive changes needed.

    First, the electoral college is an antiquated idea that suppresses voter turnout. If you do not live in a battleground state, you do not hear from the candidates, either in person or on television. Second, your vote simply doesn't have the weight of the vote of a person who does live in a battleground state. We should just have direct voting; majority rules.

    Second, we really need to mandate a consistent and effective method of voting. I was appalled to see those people in Atlanta waiting 8 hours to vote. That is shocking! Why can't we all have mail in ballots, or electronic voting from our home computers, or our blackberries, or our cell phones? I realize not everyone has a computer or a cell phone, so maybe more than one system is required, but it is doable. When my driver's license expired this year, I received a notification from the state. I had the option to mail it in, go in person or renew online. Certainly we could implement something like that, on a federal level, for something as important as a presidential election! The myriad of difficult registration and voting processes seems designed to suppress voter turnout, which is a shame in our democracy.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:39 pm |
  463. GlennB

    Change the way the vote is counted...let's get rid of the Electoral Botes and go counting only the popular vote. That's the only fair way to count people's votes.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:40 pm |
  464. Barbara from Hollywood, CA

    I think I'd like to see Local and State issues decided on a regular voting day, and have voting for a President just a single issue... at a separate time.

    Voting for President is truly the most important issue for the well being of each and every single American; if we could have 7 days, with polls open 'round the clock to accommodate the many schedules of each and every citizen across these United States, then few (if any) would feel disenfranchised or be worn out from standing in long lines, in storms, and we would all be better off for the outcome.

    Oh... and when a voter's pamphlet is stamped with a Disabled Access symbol, it would be NICE to arrive and find that the appropriate access really does exist. Our precinct SAYS we can accommodate the Disabled, but I have yet to see the three older women come out and lift someone in a wheel chair up the three stone steps...

    November 4, 2008 at 4:40 pm |
  465. Curtis - Marietta, GA

    God Yes Jack!

    The fact that it is possible for someone to be elected as our president without receiving the support of the majority of Americans in 2008 is idiotic. Look what happened to Bush! He didn't have the support of the majority of the Americans and we wonder why he couldn't get us to agree on anything. We have the technology to send robots to Mars, but we can't do an election by popular vote?

    And please save me from this "every vote counts" crap. Are you telling me that the democrat who votes in Utah makes a difference in the overall election or the republican in California. It's almost if we "punish" people for where they live. They say that the electoral votes are reflective of the population, but when was the last time they changed? I can tell you, there are A LOT more people in GA today than there were 8 years ago and we still get the same amount of electoral votes.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:40 pm |
  466. Bob Cohn

    The Electoral College is a 1770's instiitution that needs to be abolished. It was created because the Founders knew that poor communications would not allow people to get enough information to make an intelligent decision. Therefore, they did not want to give the powedr to the people.
    Beyond that if my state, Georgia, goes red and I vote blue I'm disenfranchised at that point. That should not happen in a well informed Democracy today.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:40 pm |
  467. Mendz

    Revise the electoral college, don't abolish it. If a state votes 40% for Candidate A and 60% for Candidate B, split the electoral college votes to reflect that. The less populated states would still have a fair say and New York, California and Texas wouldn't elect every president.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:40 pm |
  468. Matt

    Use the Canadian system.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:40 pm |
  469. Mike Kirkpatrick from Anch., Alaska

    First, we need to ditch the electoral votes (I can't believe that this wasn't a top priority after the 2000 election).

    Second, the method should be standardized across the nation (paper if need be) and I would even like to see a system to match a person to their vote (to safeguard against fraud).

    Last, level the playing field for ALL candidates. How many times do you go to the polls and see all of these third-party candidates on the ballot that you never knew existed.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:40 pm |
  470. angie waylett

    Do away with the electoral college votes. Use the popular vote. If that had happened in 2000, Gore would have been our president and we wouldn't be in this god awful mess that GWB put us into.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:40 pm |
  471. wayne (surname in e-mail address)

    Wayne NB Canada

    In the US you have a 21 month Presidential election process. A bit of an overkill! Here in Canada, a federal election was called in early Sept 08. Five weeks later, on Oct 14th we elected (in this case re-elected) a Prime Minister.

    Your Primary process is exciting but extremely long and complicated. In Canada, parties set a convention date for selecting a leader, a few individuals "throw their hats into a ring" to seek leadership of the party. Several thousand party delegates from across the country subsequently gather for a convention . All the leadership candidates speak on Friday evening, and on Saturday several rounds of ballots are cast until a leader comes out on top.

    Your country is much larger (in population), and more complex, but I think that America could learn something from the Canadian process.

    On the other hand, we have some flaws in our democratic system as well. If both countries took the best of each other's systems, the resulting framework would be pretty solid. Canada might be the "little brother" here, but we can certainly learn from each other.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:40 pm |
  472. John Kern

    Here is an idea, how about we have voting take place over a period of 3 days instead of cramming it all into 1 day, that way everyone who can vote has a chance to. Our lines are 3 – 4 hours long in Pa., women with small children are missing out as they can't wait in line for hours in the rain with children. Those of us who have to work have to go at night and wait hours outside after work, this is insane. We can put a man on the moon but a simple thing like voting we can't seem to get a handle on.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:40 pm |
  473. Alan, PA

    Do away with the Electoral College. It may have once had a purpose in leveling the playing field among states in selecting a president. With a 21st century mobile populace, in a presidential election a voter is an American ciitizen first and a resident of a state second. One person, one vote – the majority of votes of citizens elect the president. It is incredible that a candidate could lose the popular vote yet be elected president.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:40 pm |
  474. Gia in Los Angeles, CA

    There definitely needs to be a uniform process across the country that everyone uses. It also should be by popular vote. The electorial system is so antiquated. It made some sense before everything was computerized, but makes no sense whatsoever now. I like Oregon's system of 100% mail-in voting, but there's also a sense of community by going to the polls and voting. I do like early voting, as it theoretically shortens any one line.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:40 pm |
  475. Joe

    A few things:

    Popular Vote is best

    All voting systems are the same nationwide-paper type. Easy for everyone. Instead each election they change the methodology. One year you fill in the arrows, this year you only draw one single line. I think my lines might have been too fat so my votes won't count. Simplify !!!

    Limit the season to 9 months for primary and general election

    Change election day to Saturday, so more people are off and available

    And finally, after waiting 2 and 1/2 hours to vote today, get rid of the poll workers who've been around since the 60s. I waited so long because a "great grandma type" was handling the "book". We had two lines. One book in each line. A thru L and M thru Z. Well there are more A-Ls than M thru Zs. So some of us waited in line for hours while others with M thru Z last names got escorted in as they arrived. This is really stupid and is what makes the lines. PUT THE LIST ON A COMPUTER. Then you can have several workers look up names, click that they have voted so there is no duplication which would happen with more than one book at each polling place, and you move the sign in line quickly. It only took 5 minutes to vote, but 2 plus hours to sign the book. Automate this and make the process more pleasant.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:40 pm |
  476. Dirk Dig

    Via the Internet!

    November 4, 2008 at 4:40 pm |
  477. Bill Kuffner

    The entire election process needs to be changed. Starting with the campaign process and funding down to the actual vote. Changing the voting process is the easiest. We should follow the european democracies and have voting take place over two days, Friday & Saturday or Sunday & Monday. But we really need to start with the campaign process. Who spends the most should never be a factor in determining who will lead the greatest country in the world. So the Goverment should fund the campaigns. Maybe 100 million each. There should be more debates. The process should not begin until June. Networks should be required to give each candidate, and I don't mean just the two major parties, 30 minutes of time a week to be used as the candidate wishes. We are in an electronic age let's use it. No more flying all over the country burning up all those fosil fuels. Maybe this will get the candidates to the issues, and get rid of the special interests groups. I am sure whoever wins this election will owe all the special interests big time. And we the voters, well we will get the left overs.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:40 pm |
  478. Brian B - Los Angeles

    The Electoral College is outdated and does not represent EVERY vote. Removing the college will in turn promote diversification of parties and change the way the candidates approach the election – making it about the people, not about the electoral votes.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:40 pm |
  479. Bob H.

    We have each candidate come to our homes and we give a rose to the one we like best. The one with the most roses wins.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:41 pm |
  480. Matt

    There is a reason we allocate the electoral votes as we do. States are completely free to allocate them in proportion to the State's votes. In fact, Maine and Nebraska already do that!

    The reason we do no do that is we are a Federation of States. That means the Federal government gives deference to the States and those States make those decisions. Keep in mind the States make those decisions using their state legislatures, which are elected democratically by citizens of the states.

    This is how a republic works!! If you want your state to change its way of allocating electoral votes then lobby your state senate. The electoral college absolutely must stay as it serves as a buffer between masses and a populist leader.

    I do find some of the proposals interesting though. The most intriguing to me is the National Holiday idea or voting on a Saturday. I will state that voting using the internet might be the most dangerous idea since communism! You want people who care about the issue enough to actually get off the couch and go cast a vote.

    If you let them vote online then you'll have massive turnout of a very large number of people who are completely uneducated, which would even further compound the problems inherent in a pure popular vote.

    We are a republic...NOT a democracy!

    November 4, 2008 at 4:41 pm |
  481. Rick - Gallatin TN

    Eliminate the antiquated Electoral College. Start the filing process and primary season no more than one year in advance. And give the Election Commission 10 years advance preparation time. Apparently, four years isn't enough to properly prepare for Election Day.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:42 pm |
  482. Sean

    1) Make it a holiday or move it to the date of an existing holiday.

    2) Spending limits for campaigns

    3) National voting procedures.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:45 pm |
  483. Chris Glover

    We definitely need to change the way we vote. We have automated banking, all sorts of testing systems for schools, licenses, etc... I don't want to hear anymore reports about unfair elections abroad until we fix our system.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:46 pm |
  484. Diane in Jersey

    The amount of money spent on this campaign is OBSCENE. There are people who are going to bed tonight cold and hungry in the richest country in the world, yet the campaign ads are still playing at how many hundreds of thousands per day!

    I think that no one should start campaigning until February of the election year. Then there should be a primary, nation-wide, in May. Then there can be conventions in August, after which nationwide campaigning can begin in earnest. If I were a constituent of anyone running for the Oval Office, I'd be mighty ticked that he or she spent half the time in office, ostensibly serving ME, campaigning for another job!!!

    November 4, 2008 at 4:46 pm |
  485. lisa

    With all the technology we have today, why are we still utilizing the electoral college? It would be so simple to go to a direct popular vote.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:46 pm |
  486. Peyton

    No electoral college!

    November 4, 2008 at 4:51 pm |
  487. Josh

    Couple of things.

    Make election day a national holiday (eliminating the need for early voting)
    Eliminate the electoral college (1 person 1 vote)
    Dont announce the winner of any state until all ballots are in a counted in all 50 states.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:51 pm |
  488. John Matsis in New York, NY

    Make election day on Sunday or a federal holiday to give more people the opportunity to vote. With more people involved, our candidates will be more abundant and better reflect their electorate.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:52 pm |
  489. John Schoenberger - Charlotte NC

    I would expect many people to respond that the elections should be held on a Saturday or Sunday when most people don't have to go to work, or that the day we elect the leader of our country be recognized as a National holiday. Supposedly we as a democracy want everyone to exercise their right and privilege to vote, right? That's what common sense would suggest, but as we all know after the last eight years, common sense and government are not generally used in the same sentence.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:52 pm |
  490. Sean in Chicago

    Keep the electoral college, but award points for that state proportionally – similar to how delegates are awarded during the primaries. This is a fair compromise that keeps the electoral college system in place, but makes every vote count. An "all or nothing" point system skews results too radically in the close states. Why run the point tracking system one way in the primaries and a different way in the general election?

    November 4, 2008 at 4:52 pm |
  491. Renee Moses

    The voting machines need to be handled by the federal govt, and the machines themselves should spit out a receipt like a bank ATM with your choice of candidate clearly printed!

    November 4, 2008 at 4:52 pm |
  492. Tim

    Lovelock, NV

    Once a person registers to vote and is verified as legal, they get an ID code. EACH election they use THAT code to get a one time ID number nad goes online to vote.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:52 pm |
  493. George from Tennessee

    The Electoral College should be abolished. It's antiquated, leaves our political system open to mass corruption and manipulation, and it's not truly representative. The popular vote should carry the day...

    November 4, 2008 at 4:52 pm |
  494. Julius


    1. Limit campaigning to 6 to 8 months.
    2. Limit resources that campaigns get.
    3. Allot electoral votes by portion of popular vote won.
    4. Voting should take place during a period of a month. Early voting for one month up to election day.
    5. Make voting atleast once every 2 elections mandatory.
    6. Improve technology as to help more people have access to voting, make it more efficient, make it faster and above all else make it more tamper proof!
    7 LIMIT THE BS! Impartial observers for all areas.

    God bless you all, let your voice be heard and use the rights soo many died for and would die for in many parts of the world today!


    November 4, 2008 at 4:52 pm |
  495. Jack

    I think the whole process is to long. I would also make political calls subject to the "Do Not Call" law.

    On another note, why are our cousins from the north commenting on our election? Canadians should worry about Canada and not the US process.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:52 pm |
  496. robert

    I don't see the complication. We've got internet and can limit how many times a social security # is allowed into a site as a log on name.To calculate all we need is a simple spread sheet and everything goes to 3 locations for calculation and comparison with each other. For the people without internet set something up at all the postoffices.I agree the electoral college is stupid. Its not one man one vote.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:52 pm |
  497. Donna Holler

    Do away with the electorial votes and let the people make the decision they believe they are making when they vote. The electorial vote can totally whipe out the peoples decision and that's not fair. That's how Al Gore lost his election. Americans wants fairness.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:52 pm |
  498. Forest Gump

    Stupid is stupid does !
    Electoral vote is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you gonna get !
    Switch to popular voting and multiparty elections

    November 4, 2008 at 4:52 pm |
  499. john smith

    the system needs to change!
    -the electoral college is distructive and leads to unproportional results. We need dirct voting to ensure that every vote counts
    -each state needs to follow the same voting system
    -campaigns need to be restricted to 1 year
    -more parties need be involved to better represent the diversity of America (I like Barack but I would also like to see more options-we can look to the Canadian system for many election changes)

    November 4, 2008 at 4:52 pm |
  500. David

    One of the major issues plaguing Election Day seems to be the long lines Americans endure. Why not consider stretching the voting period over two days?

    November 4, 2008 at 4:53 pm |
  501. Lawrence

    Republicans dont want to count all votes. They would always lose if everyone voted and had their vote count.

    The Democrats should make this a top priority once they have filibuster-proof majority. No more questions about validity.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:53 pm |
  502. George S. - Florida

    Get rid of the Electoral College. If we can elect our representative in congress via popular vote, we can use this same method for electing our President.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:53 pm |
  503. Rita Dralus

    I think voting should be over a weeks span, including weekends, then tallied at the end of the week. trying to vote in this short span, even with early voting did not do the job.


    Bradenton, Fl.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:53 pm |
  504. cathy

    The want-to-be President would have to take an IQ test for starters! After years of Bush and the campaign of McCain and Palin, that should be a minimum prerequisite. When one does not know the basics of the American Constitution, i.e. Palin for starters, for the highest and second highest offices in the land, what messages are we sending around the world?
    God help us if they win this election. How in the world have we gotten to this point where we embrace stupidity?

    November 4, 2008 at 4:53 pm |
  505. KP

    Here are my thoughts to make the election process easy and fair:

    – Make it a popular vote – no electoral college
    – Allow people to vote from anywhere in the country
    – Allow early voting everywhere in the country
    – Let ATM cards be voters' ID and use the secure banking network
    to process votes. If we can trust the network with our money,
    why not trust it to collect and report citizens' votes
    – Let ATMs be re-configured to act as voting machines
    – The banking network has the paper trail built-in and is
    fully auditable – every transaction is recorded
    – Pay a voter $10 when she/he votes

    November 4, 2008 at 4:53 pm |
  506. John - Colorado

    Either scrap the electoral college completely or have the state electoral votes split based upon the state popular vote.

    Also, consider a voting method similar to one used in other countries, where you could have multiple nominees in one party running in a final election, and voters could vote for their top three choices in order of preference.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:53 pm |
  507. Len CT

    Eliminate the Electoral College and go with the results of the Popular Vote. Eliminate the unfair politician salaries, pensions and Medical Coverage and make them (Like most Americans) pay Social Security taxes. Then see how quick the Social Security Program will be back in the black.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:53 pm |
  508. Donna

    November 4th, 2008 4:52 pm ET

    Do away with the electorial votes and let the people make the decision they believe they are making when they vote. The electorial vote can totally whipe out the peoples decision and that’s not fair. That’s how Al Gore lost his election. Americans wants fairness.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:53 pm |

    i don't know what all the fuss is about. the republicans stole the last two elections and obviously, they will steal this one. i feel that my vote was wasted. it probaly won't be counted because i voted for obama.

    this is the last time i will vote period. we need to eliminate the electoral college. it is an antiquated, outdated method of choosing a president. we also need individuals that are willing to do what ever it takes to stop the vote tampering of the republicans.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:54 pm |
  510. Cheryl from Makawao, Maui

    1) Give us a month to vote either in person or by mail. We get 4 months to do our taxes!

    2) Federalize national elections so the process and oversight are consistent and non-partisan.

    3) Consider moving from electoral college to popular vote.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:54 pm |
  511. Sue from Modesto

    Get rid of the Electoral College and standardize the voting process nationwide.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:54 pm |
  512. Fred

    By secured mail or secured online system.
    we have the technology, Jack.


    November 4, 2008 at 4:54 pm |
  513. Willie, Sugar Land, TX

    The short answer is, YES!

    As said by many before me:
    – make voting the same everywhere in the country
    – with the scheme more uniform and automated, tallying the popular vote won't be difficult. Get rid of the arcain Electoral College

    November 4, 2008 at 4:54 pm |
  514. Jesse

    I would refine the electoral college to make it more closely reflect the popular vote... More importantly, i think it should be required that each state use one standard optical scan voting machine.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:56 pm |
  515. Vince

    Hi Jack,

    We need to have standardized methods for voting for the general election with adequate staffing across all states. With the 2000 Florida election coming down to a couple of hundred votes, and knowing that far more than that were unfarily turned away from the polls.

    And the electoral college is way past it's prime. There is the potential for candidate A to WAY exceed candidate B in popular vote, but because of a slim margin in a few states B is elected. That potential being there always seems to inflate the importance of "battleground" states. And also it ignores the MILLIONS of Democrats in states like Texas, and MILLIONS of Republicans in states like California. In solid red or blue states like those, perhaps a very large minority gets ignored. Which in the end reduces voter turnout in those types of states as they feel like their votes will go to waste.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:56 pm |
  516. Mike in Virginia

    Pass a Constitutional Amendment taking Florida out of the Federal voting process!

    November 4, 2008 at 4:56 pm |
  517. Travlyn Russell

    Like many countries, we need a national holiday for voting. I waited two and half hours to vote, worried the entire time about the work I was missing!

    Having a back up for the ONE broken optical scanner the registrar allocated to our precinct would have been nice too!

    November 4, 2008 at 4:56 pm |
  518. Tiff

    1) Federalize the voting system using mail-in ballots (example Oregon). This voting is done with a simple paper ballot, filling in the square with black or blue ink. Therefore, a person may vote early, or drop their ballots off up until election day.
    2) If we do insist on voting in person, change Election Day to Saturday, and at least federally institute early voting.
    3) Get rid of the two-party system. How is either side supposed to adequately represent 300 million diverse people? They don't, it is a myth.
    4) Allow convicted felons who have served their time to vote.
    5) If at 18 teenagers can start receiving credit card offers in the mail, then why not voter registration forms? Along with making sure that we have the ability to check our registration status and current address online.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:57 pm |
  519. Roni in Jacksonville, FL

    Many people agree it is time to put the Electoral College to rest so why not vote on it? Put the vote to the people and if they decide we should go to the popular vote then the government should find a way to make it happen.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:57 pm |
  520. pdx jack

    The state of Oregon votes by mail. There are no polling places. We use paper ballots so that there can be recounts. We have never had a controversy with this system. Maybe it's because people are just more reasonable on the west coast.

    Calm down. It's just an election. The rich people will still run the country. It's always been that way.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:57 pm |
  521. Rita Dralus

    I think the electoral college should be abolished. There should be voting over a weekend, then there would not be this rushing to the polls after work only to stand in line for hours.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:57 pm |
  522. che

    Y'all know the electoral college ain't going no where since the small states want to make sure their voice is somehow heard.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:57 pm |
  523. Sherry Curtis

    Every state should use the same voting methods.

    Secondly, we should get rid of electoral college and determine winner by person receiving the majority vote.

    Finally, every voter should receive a receipt which details their exact choices.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:57 pm |
  524. Ben Sioux Falls, SD

    In South Dakota we have thousands of video lottery machines that are always on and receive a lot of abuse on a daily basis, yet they still work. How is it that we cannot come up with a machine that works just as well? We can have electronic voting machines that would print out 2 receipts. 1 for you and one for the ballot Box. The votes can be tallied immediately and then verified by running the paper copies through over the next few weeks following the election. Popular vote could then be used and we can get rid of the electoral college

    November 4, 2008 at 4:57 pm |
  525. David

    Implement the process that we have in Oregon...Nationally.

    I sat at my kitchen table a week and a half ago and was able to work through the entire ballot. No waiting in line etc...I was even able to work my way through a frosty malt beverage at the same time.

    Seems like this method would create a more educated electorate ie: being able to research issues and ballot measures prior to submitting a ballot or punching a button on a touch screen.

    Do they have the internet at polling booths so that voters can research an issue that they may have overlooked in their voters pamphlet?

    November 4, 2008 at 4:57 pm |
  526. Ryan C in Waynesboro, VA

    How about doing away with the whole Primay circus? Let anyone from any party who wants to run do just that. That would lead to more and better choice so nobody can complain their candidate didn't get the shot at the Oval Office he or she deserved. Of course, that would also mean doing away with the Electoral College, but would that really be so bad?

    November 4, 2008 at 4:57 pm |
  527. Kevin

    Oregon has the right idea. All this nonsense about a voter's holiday and early voting could be resolved by switching to a vote by mail system. With every ballot tied to a registered address and the elimination of public polling centers, fraud and intimidation could be greatly minimized.

    November 4, 2008 at 4:58 pm |
  528. Trevor Ycas

    There are two issues with this (and future) elections:

    1) They are not fair; A candidate may win the popular vote but not the Electoral College. Therefore, we should dump the Electoral College proxy system. Make Democracy Direct!

    2) Our election system is terribly inefficient and unprepared for mass voting. Therefore, some critical changes to streamline the elections in the USA are outlined below:

    Nationwide 'Vote by Mail' & 'Early Voting',
    Nationalized (Federalized) standards for registration,
    On-the-spot registration,
    Regular, (albeit expensive) certification/testing of all voting systems.

    If we can spend billions on foreign wars, why can't we spend a few billion to correct, update and streamline our national elections?

    Let's declare a 'War on Crappy Elections', to run parallel to our 'war on terrorism', 'war on drugs', etcetera.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:07 pm |
  529. aab from Pa

    Go with popular vote not electoral college

    Standardize voting machines that actually work

    Set up bypartisan fact check for ads and not air those with lies or
    misleading editing. Equal funding for candidates.

    Time to return ethics to the election process

    November 4, 2008 at 5:07 pm |
  530. Catherine

    We need run-off elections or ranking elections so that all parties get a fair shot and we eliminate the spoiler effect.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:07 pm |
  531. Jamie Alexandria, VA

    I would really like to be able to vote from the comfort– live and digitally either via computers or through television. If we can send a man to the moon, clone animals, and be able to talk to someone across the world through the internet, we should be able to find the technology to make interactive voting possible.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:07 pm |
  532. Cleusa

    By mail. Could it be a simpler way?

    November 4, 2008 at 5:07 pm |
  533. Chris in Nevada

    First I think standardize the voting machines, and whichever machine becomes the standard should leave an auditable paper trail.

    Second go after all forms of election fraud, from voter registration fraud, to vote fraud, to voter intimidation and supression....they are all equally bad for democracy.

    Finally, when the above items are accomplished, we need to take a serious look at eliminating the electoral college. Do we really still need that???????

    November 4, 2008 at 5:07 pm |
  534. Gloria - Indiana

    I think the electorial college is outdated. I also think there should be term limits on all political offices. The days of old timers keeping positions for a lifetime, is very outdated. Presidents can only stay for 8 years, should be the same for Congress, Senate, Judges etc,

    November 4, 2008 at 5:08 pm |
  535. Robbyn

    The first person to tell a lie is out!!! That means no presidency or politicians.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:08 pm |
  536. Chris Jones

    All states should have more that one day to vote and or early voting to prevent long lines and a mad dash to count all of the ballots in one night.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:08 pm |
  537. Richard

    As a European, it's hard to believe that the country that rates itself as the world's greatest marketing forum only gave the the electorate a no-brainer election – an old man with no appeal to the 'mass' young market against a great orator. with great middle-market appeal. A forgone conclusion – welcome Obama to the 44th Presidency.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:08 pm |
  538. Lynda

    No one should make assumptions about those of us posting from Canada. I, and many others, are American citizens and we have voted.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:08 pm |
  539. Geoff In Toronto

    hey Natasha in Canada – as a fellow Canadian I have to point out two things: (1) we have had TWO federal elections in TWO years, which is ridiculous and (2) At least in America, the people get to actually put an X beside the leader they like (sort of, thanks to the Electoral College) - but at least a whole lot better than the Canadian system.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:08 pm |
  540. tom moriarty pueblo, colorado

    first thing is do away with the elector college. it served its purpose years ago when a rural population could not physically go to the polls. technology has changed that. technically we won`t know until the 20th of december how the electoral college will vote. standardize all voting machines and make sure they are reliable.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:08 pm |
  541. BbShay

    Why do the electoral votes get distributed by winner take all in the states? Why not do it by district in the states? All of the congressional and senate seats are decides in this way. It does not make any sense that my district in Indiana could go for one candidate while the "winner take all" rule will give my district’s vote to the one that did not win my district. Electoral vote by district truly will make every vote count.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:08 pm |
  542. Demos

    Yeah, Voting power to the public!! The electorial vote method is way outdated. It made sense back in the days before internet, but now, I say we vote by public majority. I also want to see open government, so that I can vote on each issue in congress. Why is it taking so long to come up with a website where citizens of the country can vote on each issue???

    November 4, 2008 at 5:08 pm |
  543. John Pengel

    How is it possible that John McCain is running for president despite the fact that he was born in Panama? According to the US Constitution a person running for president should be a natural born citizen.

    John Pengel

    November 4, 2008 at 5:08 pm |
  544. Susie in oklahoma

    Election day SHOULD be considered a National Holiday for one. Early voting in all states. You'd think after so many years of voting for a President that it should be easier then it is. On Halloween I early voted because I simply wanted to get it done. Just that day it was only open for 6 hours and 415 showed up to vote. When I had talked to the ladies at the Election board they were confused, stressed out and half the time forgot what to do and how to get ppl moving. The workers that are doing this need more training then they apparantly have.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:08 pm |
  545. Raffaello

    number two pencils and paper – that's all you need – get rid of any machine that can be hacked
    Make election day a national holiday, or have it on the weekend, like other enlightened democracies.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:08 pm |
  546. Elliott

    Get rid of the electoral vote, go only with the popular vote.

    Limit spending. Candidates spend millions and millions of dollars to get a "job". Think about what that money could be used for....education, recycling programs, health care, etc. Money and power have gone hand in hand too long.

    Shorten the process. It drags on far too long. Most people don't pay attention until the end anyway.

    We also need another party. Too much time, money and effort are spent with Republics fighting Democrats and vice versa while real issues get ignored. There are so many important issues that I believe there is room for another party.

    Educate yourself as Americans. Research the candidates for yourself. Informed voters are good voters.

    S.E. Alaska

    November 4, 2008 at 5:08 pm |
  547. todd

    i hope that mccain gets elected i think that obama is not the right candidate for this time in history. it does not matter what the candidates really promise anyway because they can only do what congress allows them to do

    November 4, 2008 at 5:08 pm |
  548. Vince Luberto

    Voting should be held for 1 week, only 180 days to campaign for the President. 3 debates, all parties should pay for and have their own TV station just for election and show the debates on their and also any campaign message each canidate will be allowed to put message on each other station and a partial federal judge will determined if the add or message is a FACT and true and will decide if it can be aired no exceptions, no appeals. Campaigns are only allowed to have 5 Million dollars to campaign no more no less from their own party.
    any more spent will be determined by the judge and be final

    November 4, 2008 at 5:08 pm |
  549. Mary, Texas


    21 months of political politics is way too much. I think all candidates for president should have 60 days to make their case – Jan. and Feb. We vote the two candidates, 1 from each party. The two duke it out for 8 months and the one with the most votes on Nov. 4th wins. So simple. Forget the electoral vote. We would save time, money, and all the sillyness.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:08 pm |
  550. jloome

    The electoral college is required to take into account the differences in lifestyle between urban and rural americans. It's based mostly on proportional representational, with minor percentile swings in less populous states to ensure they have a voice.

    Popular vote only works in a two-party system, and the US - following global trends –won't be a two-party system for much longer. It doesn't represent a broad enough ideological spectrum and discounts the middle ground.

    As soon as you have more than two parties, popular vote counts make the situation worse: your party could conceivably get less than 35% of the popular vote but still win the election, because the remainder of votes are spread across multiple parties. Doesn't work in Canada - where prop rep is now a hot issue - and it wouldn't work in the U.S.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:08 pm |
  551. Jamie Alexandria, VA

    I would really like to be able to vote from the comfort of my own home– live and digitally either via computers or through television. If we can send a man to the moon, clone animals, and be able to talk to someone across the world through the internet, we should be able to find the technology to make interactive voting possible.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:08 pm |
  552. Kurt- Arizona

    don't allow the media to forcast anything until west coast has closed its polls.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:09 pm |
  553. Barbara

    I have TWO words for you, Jack: 'POPULAR VOTE'

    Lauderdale Lakes, Florida

    November 4, 2008 at 5:09 pm |
  554. jh

    It is time for the 12th amendment to be repealed, and an amendment should be added whereby the President and Vice President are both elected by popular vote.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:09 pm |
  555. John (not McCain), cincinnati, ohio

    To begin with, I would get rid of the electoral coledge.
    Than I will move the election during weekend and have early voted extended.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:09 pm |
  556. bobby boucher

    They should start some sort of system where you can vote before the actual election day.

    I'm not sure what you could call it, some sort of early voting system.

    Unfortunately, this might actually require people to be somewhat responsible and not register the last day possible.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:09 pm |
  557. Christine

    Is it possible for a country to listen to its people? What incentive would I have, for instance, to vote for a Red candidate if I live in a (dark) Blue state or vice versa? None, absolutely none. In order for the people to elect their representatives, each voice must be heard. The archaic electoral college must be done away with in these times of 'advanced' technology and mass voting.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:09 pm |
  558. JB from Vancouver, Canada

    I'm schocked that you guys don't have a federalized authority to run a uniform election across the country. Up here, we have Elections Canada, and it works. Ban e-voting. You need a paper trail. Next, keep the electoral college, but make it proportional like the Democratic primary. None of this win by one vote, take all of the seats nonsense. You guys trumpet yourselves as the grandest democracy on Earth, it's amazing how you can't hold a simple election.

    The rest of us in the free world are counting on you guys to make the clear and correct choice.

    Don't let us down.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:09 pm |
  559. Paul

    1. Presidential Election Day should be a national holiday.

    2. If 1 is "not possible" then require every state to allow early voting, and back this up with resources from the federal government to the states to make this happen.

    3. Eliminate the electoral college. One person, one vote and I mean one equal vote. People who vote Republican in California or Democratic in Texas are effectively disenfranchised. If you disagree please give three reasons in favor of the electoral college system. In my view it is a relic that should be eliminated. Yes it will take work, but it is worth it. No electoral college means that every vote counts equally, isn't that democratic?

    November 4, 2008 at 5:09 pm |
  560. Lamont Green

    Personally Jack, I don't think that there was one issue which carried presidence over a another, they all were important, that would be similar to think that one person matters more than other, when clearly that's a notion that intelligent people know is false, in the end sir, I firmly believe that the american people will select the person that they feel will best be able to respond to the "ISSUES"

    in Atlanta

    November 4, 2008 at 5:09 pm |
  561. Barbara

    A topic behind but.....I was truly an undecided voter until this morning. After reading in my local newspaper's business section that many of the financial institutions we have just paid our tax dollars to bail out (Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs Morgan Stanley) are setting aside BILLIONS of dollars for bonuses to be paid to executives. I saw in black and white why we need change and that distance is needed from the current administration and it's policies.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:09 pm |
  562. Cathy Wichita, Kansas

    Our reputation and standing in the world is the most important issue for me. Obama's diplomacy strategy is the answer we need to gain back the world's respect. McCain's fight, fight, fight strategy is the same as Bush's and will never get us out of Iraq. Our reputation in the world will continue to sink if McCain/Palin are in the White House.
    McCain's age is the most important issue for me.
    The fact that Palin could be President is the most important issue for me.
    Oh, well.....there are just so many.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:09 pm |
  563. Sheree- British Columbia

    I would think Bill Gates or someone at Microsoft could design a voting system that could be used in every state.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:09 pm |
  564. Rick C, St. Louis

    We shouldn't do away with the Electoral college.

    Can you image the mess that would occur is a candidate asked for a popular vote recount in a very close national race? Think Florida 2000 times 50.

    It seems the more we try to use technology to streamline voting, the more problems occur and the longer they last. Nothing will ever replace the good old-fashioned pencil and paper.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:09 pm |
  565. Rob - Houston, Texas

    Early voting available in every state and by mail in as well. Still vote in your area. Every voting place cannot have every ballet as some would like.
    Do away with the Electoral College. It is antiquated and no longer serves its purpose.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:09 pm |
  566. Ashley Page

    I think that the presidential campaign should be pencil to paper, and all other election (local and state) should be held separately so the lines aren't long.

    One other thing, when I voted early here in North Carolina, no one asked for my I.D., I just had to give them my physical address. I could easily have voted for any number of people whose mailing address I know. Thought it was odd.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:09 pm |
  567. AJ

    I agree with many of the comments. We need a majority vote of the population and not the outdated electoral college. If we went to this system, then people would know that their vote really does count.

    Also, we need more options for candidates. Just about everything else in life has multiple options, but for President we have two.


    November 4, 2008 at 5:09 pm |
  568. Shaun, Canada

    It's sad that in the most fascinating election in recent memory, election officials are dropping the ball.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:10 pm |
  569. Joe

    at this point, we need to do something different, our current method is a bit antiquated

    November 4, 2008 at 5:10 pm |
  570. Brandon in Fl

    It's a simple process : "Here are two names, pick one." And yet our country, one of the most powerful and advanced societies in mankind's history, is using a process that is a true embarassment in modern society. I'm sick of people saying : "More people should vote" without fixing the problem. Recall a commonly used definition of insanity... repeating the same actions and expecting a different result. People have shared many good suggestion here.. Reduce the length of the campain, require only the same amount of public money.. no outside contributions, federalize the system so that everyone votes the same way thoughout the country.
    And for all that is sacred... replace the electoral college. The fact that our current president did not receive the majority of the courtry's votes, but was still allowed to run this country into the ground because the electoral college allowed him into office should be a HUGE wake up call the our system is broken.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:10 pm |
  571. Hector Rojas in New Albany, IN

    This is 21st century America, with over 300 million people, not the 18th century with less than 3 million colonists.

    Get rid of the electoral 'college', what's wrong with popular vote in the land of the so called 'beacon of democracy'?

    Every other office that is elected, is done so by popular vote, so what gives?

    I mean c'mon....this is like the chinese and rice axiom (1 billion chinese can't be wrong by ating rice), likewise, 99% of the rest of the democracies in the world can;t be wrong either by using popular vote.

    That, and using a standardized method, I mean, are you kidding me with these touchscreen machines always out of calibration...or the scanners that can't read wet sheets in a rainy day...or the 'in person absentee ballot'...or the few jurassic lever machines still in use in poor/smaller counties?

    good luck to us all!

    November 4, 2008 at 5:10 pm |
  572. Maureen S

    Get rid of the electorial college, day off on voting day, one voting system that works for all the states.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:10 pm |
  573. Mike

    I find it funny that America goes into other countries in Africa and the Middle East to supervise elections and yet our own elections are a debacle. This needs to be fixed!

    -Mike Hunt

    November 4, 2008 at 5:10 pm |
  574. Dennis Kelley-Jones

    Elections need to be held on a Saturday.

    Polls in all time zones should be open the same hours; say 4am Pacific to 7pm Pacific or 7am Eastern to 10pm Eastern so that the exit polling is done everywhere simultaneously.

    Voting should be done on-site, with ID, with the obvious exceptions granted an absentee ballot (one would have to apply and receive dispensation).

    Provisional Ballotting should only be allowed for any that demonstrate they live within the precinct area. For example, they have a Driver's License or State ID card that demonstrates their new address.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:10 pm |
  575. Lee


    I have a novel idea for electing a President......how about a system where the people that participate in it actually understand how it works. You could probably fill a phone booth with the amount of people that really grasp how their vote is counted and applied.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:10 pm |
  576. Tara Z. Miles

    One of the most important factors in today's election is that no matter who wins (or who is elected) we will be a different "United" States of America. I hope for the better for our country and hope that the excitement doesn't stop at this one day. We need to continue to come together to make a change. This is a historical moment in everyone's life. The problem with us "Americans" is that we are too stubborn to see and understand that it is not always about us today but for our children and grandchildren tomorrow.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:11 pm |
  577. Jemma

    I live in Pittsburgh,Pa had no problems voting I went about 9:30 a.m. I feel this election is diffrent then others i've witnessed and not just because this is my first my ancestors fought for the right to vote but much less for a black president in 2008. I pray Obama wins tonight its time for real change America needs to get over the racism, tricks and games!!!! God Bless America!!!
    First time voter!

    November 4, 2008 at 5:11 pm |
  578. Glenn Hayhurst


    ~ We should get rid of the electorial college.
    ~ We should have 4 regional primaries that take turns voting first. ~ Candidates should be forced to take government money for campaigns and not be allowed to spend any more.
    ~ Political action comittees should not be allowed to advertise.
    ~ Campaigns should only be 1-yr or less.
    ~ Presidents should serve one 6-year term.
    This may all sound radical but lets get real with this process, it's entirely out of hand.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:11 pm |
  579. Gerard

    Use encryption to send your vote to a server that will then create a website that will report back to you (using your encryption keys) the way your vote got counted so there is a CHECK on the system.
    Get rid of the electoral collage and put single term limits on congress.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:11 pm |
  580. Tom Cole


    Let's do away with the popular vote and let the state legislatures choose the electors. That would cut back on campaign costs, voting lines, and recount disputes. Plus, folks might pay more attention to whom they elect to their statehouse!

    Manassas, VA

    November 4, 2008 at 5:11 pm |
  581. Nikki from Montana

    I think they should get rid of the elecorial voting. I am sure others feel that when we vote, our votes don't really count when it supposed to matter.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:11 pm |
  582. Pat Bomke

    get rid of outdatted electorial votes
    make it a national holiday
    make voting manditory like filing taxes
    limit campaining to 6 months with free tv time
    make adds truthfull or else
    winner to take office next day...lame duck president OUT immediately!

    November 4, 2008 at 5:11 pm |
  583. Eddie from Raleigh, NC

    The electoral college could still work if states modify how they assign their electors. Take NC for example. We have 13 congressional districts (10th most) and 2 senators (same as everyone else). I think each "district elector" should go to the winner of the popular vote IN THAT DISTRICT, and the 2 "senate electors" should go to the overall popular winner of that state.

    We should also have instant runoff or preferential voting, and a much shorter campaign season.

    Voter id by thumbprint would go a long way to ease fears of voter fraud, you'd only be disenfranchising the thumbless - which is far fewer than the homeless.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:11 pm |
  584. Peter

    As the self-proclaimed "greatest country on earth" I think you would realize the importance of this vote and prepared for this turnout. It's disgusting to make people wait 3-plus hours to do their civic duty.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:12 pm |
  585. John Spanks

    Stop the madness it's 2008! Weekend voting, electronic identification and the ability to vote anywhere in your area. If Visa can process millions and millions of transactions everyday, we can't count a few hundred million votes?

    November 4, 2008 at 5:12 pm |
  586. Stephen

    I would like to see a method that allows for more than a two-party system. Maybe some type of run-off for the top two spots, or we could vote in order of preference, where more 'points' would be awarded to the top spot. There are some very bright and capable people out there who will never have a chance because they aren't a party insider. Just my 'two cents'.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:12 pm |
  587. JT

    I think that the system itself is sound. It is the manipulation by the parties, not the system, that is at fault. Americans need to step back, take the time to read and listen, and make an informed choice. It is an important decision which should not be taken lightly or decided by anyone within an instant.
    Instead of candidates doing 30 second sound bites, one minute for answer and 30 seconds for rebuttal, they need to sit down and discuss the issues at hand at length.
    We also need inclusion, not exclusion of people in the process. Whether it is candidates from "other" parties or the ordinary voter, the process should be easy, open and accessible.
    The League of Women voters should be placed back in charge of conducting debates and they should be conducted when and where they decide, with a standard format, not by the two major parties best negotiators.
    And last but not least, the media needs to take a position of reporting the news, not becoming the news. Time to ask hard questions, not ones for the benefit of ratings.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:12 pm |
  588. Gasha Gataric

    1. Get rid of electoral votes – 1 person = 1 vote so that other parties candidates get their chance.
    2. Standardize voting machines with mandatory paper trail.
    3. Change the election day to Saturday or Sunday
    4. Mandatory early voting in all 50 states to avoid long lines
    5. Limit the length of a campaign to something reasonable (three months perhaps?)
    6. Have a number of mandatory TV debates. TV debates are the best and the most efficient way for candidates to present their ideas to public.
    7. Ban all TV and radio adds that are not approved by candidates (no swift boat veteran crap).

    Dayton, OH

    November 4, 2008 at 5:12 pm |
  589. Alex

    The electoral college should not operate on a winner-takes-all system. It should be split, as it is in a couple of states right now. It should not be abolished altogether, because it's an integral part of the republican system of government.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  590. Samantha BAY AREA

    I am a firm believer that states should abolish the electoral system where each state has a certain number of electoral votes. I believe that each district should count as one vote therefore forcing politicians to campaign in districts rather then just swing states. Politicians would be forced to really get to know the people around this country and focus better on their needs. Instead of a candidate wining all electoral votes within a state its done based on congressional districts. Each district = 1 vote without regards to where the district is.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  591. Kristen

    Pencil, paper. Tabulate.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  592. Molly Dunton

    Being able to vote via the internet would be ideal.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  593. Austin Gill

    The electoral college has got to go. It was instituted due to the lack of coverage and informed people way back in the beginning of our nation's history. With all the mass media coverage now, what purpose does it serve? It killed us in 2000 by altering the popular vote from Gore to Bush. People want to vote directly. We want a true democracy with votes that are more meaningful. Why have middlemen? A direct vote is the right vote.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  594. Jean flora

    Make voting standardized, and go back to the popular vote.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  595. DanB in Cary, NC

    A national direct vote. Standardized paper ballots (that can be electronically read). No-excuse early and mail voting in all states.

    We have all the answers. We just need the will to implement it.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  596. Scott

    We are not a democracy, we are a republic, so keep the electoral college, but instead of winner take all per state, allocated the electors by congressional district. In addition, each state gets 2 at-large electors, who vote based upon who won the overall vote in the state. This would encourage the candidates to campaign not in swing states, but in the United States. It may also encourage 3rd party candidates, since each congressional district would have an electoral vote.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  597. Trevor Ward

    Hold the presidential contest on a day during which no other elections are allowed to take place. This would eliminate confusion. Use only paper ballots with two choices, so there would be no room for interpretation. Elect county judges and small town mayors on a different day.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  598. Matthew Meltzer in New York, NY

    I think that the most important thing we have to do to reform the election process is to do away with electoral college system. I beleive that it is not fair that certain people's vote count more than others. As a republican from New York, I always feel that my vote dosent count. The point of democracy is that the more popular candidate should win. Therefore I dont see why we dont use the popular vote.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  599. Joe

    Eliminate the electoral college. Public funding ONLY for all candidates.
    Constitutional ban on special interest funding.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:18 pm |
  600. Maddy

    We can pay our utility bills online, we can have payments automatically debited from our checking accounts, we can apply for credit online, apply for jobs, purchase music and holiday gifts from vendors around the world, transfer news around the world in seconds with the click of a button, the list goes on...but why can't we vote in our local, regional and national elections from the convenience of our home computers?

    November 4, 2008 at 5:18 pm |
  601. Anna W

    We should definitely change the way our vote is counted. each state's vote should have the same weight. That way the President will be elected by Majority vote, the was its supposed to be.. Everyone should also be able to vote early. And if we can register to vote at school or in the grocery store, why can't we vote their too? we'd still have to show the same ID.. Obviously voters convenience isn't a concern.

    Minneapolis, MN

    November 4, 2008 at 5:18 pm |
  602. Errin

    Get rid of the electoral college! It is an outdated system that was put in place to safeguard against what was perceived as an ignorant or uninformed public by a young democracy. One vote for one person, regardless of what state you live in should be the right of every person living in the UNITED states of America. The information is abundant and accessible, we should be allowed to exercise our rights to find out for ourselves and make an informed decision.

    in transit, USA

    November 4, 2008 at 5:19 pm |
  603. Matthew James

    Firstly election day should fall on a weekend, we are the one of the only western countries which has an election on a weekday. Secondly, the whole country should have a standardised system where every booth has a plain form sheet, and a plain pen... No need for these complicated voting computer systems. Canada uses this plain voting method, so i cant see how this couldnt work here.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:19 pm |
  604. Elizabeth Saunders

    How should we change how we elect a president?

    What burns me is that partisan secretaries of state have complete control over who gets to vote and who doesn't and over whose vote counts and whose gets chucked in the trash. Power to disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of voters without oversight is not just irresponsible, it is a national disgrace. Voter registration should be nationalized and automatic. If you have a social security number, you are registered upon turning 18 and you never get purged until you die. Provisional ballots are not the answer. I want to know when I walk away from the polls that my vote will be counted and my voice is heard.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:19 pm |
  605. Michelle P

    I waited for over 4 hours today to vote in St. Louis. As a college student I have flexiblity in my schedule but I can't imagine being a working parent and trying to set aside the time to vote.

    I am from the unique state of Oregon where we have 100% mail-in ballots. It works great because if you have time to pay the bills, you have time to vote. Plus the is the added bonus of being able to research what you are voting for and stress of needing to hurry up because there is a huge line outside waiting for you to finish.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:19 pm |
  606. Jacqueline Duncan

    I would make it where all states have the same voting system, with the same requirements and regulations. i stood in a line this morning at 7:15am in Sierra Vista, AZ and left the Polls at 9:30am, it wasnt that bad I met a couple in line with their two children and we talked al the way through the line. Other than that it was a very nice morning and the weather wa great. I feel sorry for what I am seeing on CNN, over the country where people are waiting 3 and 4 hrs to vote. I am just praying for CHANGE!!!..Im praying


    November 4, 2008 at 5:19 pm |
  607. Jib Jab

    do NOT use broken voting machines!

    Greetings from good old Germany

    November 4, 2008 at 5:19 pm |
  608. Cooper Kweme (Queer-me)

    Like the ATM Machines, voting machines should be strategically located. Like an ATM Card, each registered voter should be given a voter's card for say $5.00, renewable in two years.

    The presidential campaign should last for only six months. Within that six-month period, voters may cast their votes for the candidate of their choice. The rest of the process can be determined by the Elections Commission.

    Campaigning and voting should be fun and easy.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:19 pm |
  609. Alex Zima Newark, CA

    I would decrease the number of electoral college units by 1 per state. Instead of having 538 there would then be 488. Just in doing this, 2 of the 3 Electoral College problems since the civil war would have been properly resolved by having the candidate with the most popular votes get enough electoral votes for president.
    It would have saved Gore in 2000, but not helped Grover Cleveland in 1888. But then again, Cleveland from New York did not carry his own state with 36 electoral votes at that time.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  610. Princeton

    We may not like it, but the system works. I'd rather have a system that two parties hate, than one unequal one.

    Personally, the most important thing to me would be to federally mandate EVERYTHING related to voting, and modernize the voting process, because the less chances for fraud, the better.

    Columbus, OH.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:22 pm |
  611. Jim Wiedeman

    Jack: The Electoral College is obsolete! So is a "two party system". Far tooooo many personal and special interest agendas! Have at least three candidates in contention, cast a ballot, and the "popular vote" decides the presidency. No one should be allowed to serve more than two terms whether you are a Member of Congress or one of the two Executives! Way tooooo much abuse of position and power!!!!
    Jim, Manassas (North VA)

    November 4, 2008 at 5:22 pm |
  612. Joe

    We should elect our President and politicians with the British System.
    They are light years ahead of us in the manner they control their country and the institutions that serve the people. And further more
    it is not a socialist democracy. They just do things better than us.
    I am an American with dual citizenship. I go to England for my medical needs. My children go to school there.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:22 pm |
  613. Dan Brown in Lincoln, Nebraska

    If I could just wave a magic wand and change whatever I wanted, I'd switch from the electoral college system to straight up popular vote. In reality, however, that would require a constitutional amendment and therefore isn't likely to happen. A more practical solution would be for all states to adopt the system we have here in Nebraska: where we split our electoral votes by congressional district. It's not perfect, but it would probably prevent a re-occurrence of what happened in 2000 when Al Gore won the popular vote but lost the election.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:22 pm |
  614. LT

    Jack – Vote by mail. No lines – no mess

    November 4, 2008 at 5:23 pm |
  615. Matt

    i would make an online ballot then send it in it saves headches for voter and more important might prevent disasters like the 2000 election from happening agian

    November 4, 2008 at 5:24 pm |
  616. Dan

    First and foremost we must make it illegal for Congressional and Presidential Candidates to accept any monetary funding for their campaigns. This country must be returned to the concept of "By the People and For the People" which is almost completely gone. It will still be very easy for them to get their attack messages, lies and fear tactics out via debates, press and internet. It's most important that our Congress can no longer be bought and sold to the highest corporate or lobbyist bidder.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:24 pm |
  617. Ingrid

    Pencil, paper, weekend, uniformity.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:27 pm |
  618. Vern Tkach

    Hi Jack, I and many Canadians I'm sure are very interested in your elections for a number of reasons.
    Although I will not give you any suggestions on how to change your elections to vote for a President, I'm sure you may be aware of how we do it up here.
    For example, we were given approxiamately 2 months notice of our elections, within these 2 months the respective parties campaigned, voters lists ,polls etc. established/documented, and the citizens who were registered voted.
    No line ups or problems experienced with vote counts, just the party that was ultimately elected as a minority government!
    Vern Tkach, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
    PS. Good Luck with your new President !!

    November 4, 2008 at 5:37 pm |
  619. Melanie

    I live in Tucson, Arizona, and I am so thankful we have the opportunity to vote by mail. Those of us who requested mail-in ballots, were able to vote several weeks ago. After reading about long lines, poor weather conditions, and voting machines breaking down, I wish every city in the United States would offer this method of voting. I also believe we need to revise the Electorial College system and standardize voting machines. Katharine Seelye's comments about Florida are sad but so true! "The drama in this state, which has become synonymous with electoral dysfunction, may be in the new and creative ways in which voters might be foiled from casting their ballots." The right to vote is a precious freedom and, personally, I want every Obama vote to count! McCain/Palin have been so negative and vicious, I hope Arizona bleeds blue today!

    November 4, 2008 at 5:37 pm |
  620. Rich

    If you can get lotto numbers on your cell phone I think we can figure out a better way to vote. I will say it's time to ditch the Electoral College though imho...sooner or later it will be done online anyway.


    I am in Philadelphia, PA. The wait at 7AM was 30 minutes. Got a free cookie too.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:41 pm |
  621. Philip R

    Paper ballots which can be optically scanned and counted by computers which do not have some secret software on them. And bar codes both on the ballot and the receipt given to the voter.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:41 pm |
  622. Yassy

    The electrol process is seriously broken and flawed. What's wrong with a simple majority popular vote that seems to be working in most western democracies?? It's time to get rid of the old outdated electrol college and make sure EVERY vote counts.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:41 pm |
  623. Chad Burnell


    Firstly, I'm watching CNN in Melbourne, Australia where I am taking leave from work to watch the election results come in. It is such an important election not just to America, but the world as a whole, that other countries cannot sit back and not take notice.

    I think one of the major flaws with any election is the introduction of technology. Australia has never moved from the paper ballot marked with a pencil and we have never had an election disputed on the counting of ballots.

    Given the size of our population the results generally come through on the same night. While it may take longer to count the number of votes that are cast in American wouldn't Americans rather wait for the right decision rather than a quick one?

    November 4, 2008 at 5:41 pm |
  624. roy from washington

    The electorial college has kept the east and west coasts from electing our president. So, how about something completely different. Each state hold an election. Winner gets 1 vote. When all 50 states and d.c. have voted, then majority wins. Also like the idea of loser becoming v.p. Would make an interesting 4 years.
    Voting day, a national holiday. Provide your employer with an I voted receipt and you get paid. Don't have a receipt, you don't get paid. Polls open from midnight to midnight. Public finance only. No individuals or corporations allowed to donate. Election season starts 6 months before election.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:41 pm |
  625. Greg Meyer

    The popular vote is the correct way to elect a president. The electoral college is an outdated system meant to make sure uneducated voters making an awful decision could be prevented. However, now that we are much more educated with much better communication, this is not required. I believe it has even backfired. Democracy was created so that the people could be the government. If the people's views are not respected, the whole point of a representative democracy is spoiled.

    From Barcelona, Spain

    (but I live in Vermont)

    November 4, 2008 at 5:42 pm |
  626. George

    I think voting, while 300 million Americans have to go to the voting boots, should be made a little more simpler. Have all the 50 States use the same voting machines and have those electronically connected so that votes could be counted faster....with only 2 candidates to choose Dem.Party or Rep. Party. Why do we make it so difficult for ourselves? Early voting is also great way to avoid all these long lines, while others may not even vote because of closings of these Voting Offices.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:42 pm |
  627. michelle

    If we can pay and file our taxes electronically, we should be able to vote electronically!

    November 4, 2008 at 5:42 pm |
  628. Miguel


    Thanks for asking, during this elections cycle, some of the questions that offer somber realizations to what we all think.

    Two points:

    1st. November 4th should be a non-working day. It's the most important right we exercise yet employers have a greater right to our time than we do to that civil right.

    2nd The voting process should have minimum standard requirements of accountability and reporting federally. The association of Secretary of states should meet annually.

    The chaos every two years is ridiculous!

    November 4, 2008 at 5:42 pm |
  629. Daryl from Canada

    I agree with Ted O from Canada but would add that Canadians would not stand in line for 5 hours to vote.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:42 pm |
  630. mike

    Obviously getting rid of the electoral college would be the smartest thing to do. Citizens should wake up to the fact that when your president is elected on electoral college votes and not the popular vote...you have been disenfranchised

    November 4, 2008 at 5:42 pm |
  631. John

    This election has much to do about the pessimism that middle class america is experiencing concerning the economy and how our leaders are trying to do anything in a bipartisan way to fix it. On a personal note concerning Iraq ,my nephew was killed last year on his third tour of duty.,I want us to stop trying to prop up the Iraqi military.Enough is enough!

    November 4, 2008 at 5:42 pm |
  632. I. B., Rocky Mount, North Carolina

    Elections in this country should have uniform laws, rules, standards and regulations that apply to every township, city and state government. Every election should be administered and monitored by the establishment of a new Federal Elections Commission that reports to the U. S. Supreme Court.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:42 pm |
  633. rick cornelius

    Are you suggesting that we standardize a system that works for the benefit of all, and is run by the government? Something to eliminate confusion and have accurate results. To actually unite the states. ?How socialist of you.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:42 pm |
  634. Texas Mom

    What if we could vote for a "Neither of these" selection. If the majority of Americans didn't like either the Republican or Democrat nominees, then both parties would have to put up new candidates for us to choose from.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:42 pm |
  635. Peter Tufts

    Dear Mr. Cafferty;

    As an outsider I am astonished at the confusing and convoluted ballot system that America uses to elect a president.
    In Canada we recently had a federal election to choose a govering party. It was one paper balllot, a pencil to mark an X , stuff the ballot in a box, and the votes are then added by the party's representative at the various polling stations. A simple yet effecitive and very democratic method.
    I am afraid that the U.S. has tried too hard, to be too democratic, on too many issues all at the same time. Sometimes the simplest way is the best.
    Good luck America.

    Peter in Nova Scotia

    November 4, 2008 at 5:42 pm |
  636. Ingemar Svensson

    It seems like there are too few places for people to vote which is causing long queues. The places should be split up so that not as many has to go to the same place to vote.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:42 pm |
  637. Cipora

    Hi Jack,
    This country had 4 years to prepare for the election day and the machines are broken? People cant vote because all of a sudden they dont appear in the books? And most of the problems are in the crucial states.
    Popular votes!!!!!!! Count the actual votes and select a president!!!!
    Also, every citizen should vote anywhere in the country providing a valid ID. Keep it simple!!!!!!
    And PLEASE don't alowe somebody like Palin to run for anything.
    A minimum intellect should be requiered.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:42 pm |
  638. Jim Barton

    Jack, at least the public is not faced with the risk of getting shot or murdered for their vote. – Jim Barton Malta, NY

    November 4, 2008 at 5:43 pm |
  639. Joe in California

    Have a National Voting Day every 4 years. Only National offices will be on the ballot, President, Senators, Representatives. Declare a National Voting Holiday to celebrate our voting right and those who have fought to preserve it. It will be Federally funded with some funds from each political party in proportion to registrations. This will shorten ballots, speed up voting, reduce fraud, and focus the people on the significance of the vote. Also, change terms of representatives to 4 years, senators to 8 to reduce the time in campaigns.
    Here in California, we had 12 propositions, A-Z initiatives, numerous local offices. It takes too long and leads to mistrust in National results.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:43 pm |
  640. Patricia Magalhaes

    I think Congress needs to revamp the "rules and regulations" for running for President. We already require that anyone running for President must be at least 35 years of age and a natural-born citizen of the country. What about an age limitation? I believe the age breakoff should be no older than 65 years of age. Even if a 65-year-old person should be elected President, he/she will be 69 at the end of their first term! I'm sorry but 72 is too old to start a presidency. Judging by the toll the presidency takes on any person, chances are that at 72 year old might not even see the end of the first term. John McCain is too old in body and mind, already has health problems, and I definitely don't want a Sarah Palin running this country.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:43 pm |
  641. Jim

    Why on earth can't we ever learn from our mistakes?? I say "we" because our outrage is only kept to the watercoolers and coffee shops. We need to demand a better system. The Canadians have it figured out, why can't we.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:43 pm |
  642. Stephanie

    Oregon has it right.
    Our lines are 2-20 minutes, drive, bike or walk to give to the volunteers waiting outside of the drop off locations.
    You can bring spouse/friend/ect. ballot's to make sure voting happens.
    Paper trail.
    Make informed choices for all measures and candidates.
    Fast results tallied.
    And for CNN, exit interviews can be conducted by phone.

    Every year my friends comment on why more states do not do this...I hope early polling is the beginning of change.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:43 pm |
  643. Daniel Williams

    I live in Boulder County, Colorado. This year we had both mail-in and early voting. I believe that early voting is a great idea. It lets the majority of people vote ahead of time. We could vote at the County Clerk of Court, the Courthouse, and a few other locations. I voted early, and then wondered what else I could do. So I volunteered with our local get out the vote drive. I believe that early voting helps take some of the pressure off of election day, particularly when people can vote on weekends.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:43 pm |
  644. Erik

    Remove the electoral college. It was made for a reason at the time. Times have changed and information is almost instant today. There's no need for it anymore.

    And, STANDARDIZE the ballots. I don't trust electronic voting one bit. You just need to work in an Information Security department for a few days to figure that one out. Agree on one easy system. Can't be that hard can it?

    November 4, 2008 at 5:43 pm |
  645. Tom from Wheaton, IL

    Let's devise some kind of "moron test". If you're not a moron, you can vote. If you are, you have to stay indoors on election day.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:43 pm |
  646. gc

    Yes. But unfortunately one person one vote will not work given the uninformed nature of the electorate.

    EACH House District should elect one rep to the electoral college. The winner of the state should get the electors that account for the Senators. This would require that gerimandered districts be outlawed based on some geographic length/width measure.

    Unfortunately this approach is Too simple and representative to be adopted by parties vying to retain power at all costs.

    GC in Lubbock

    November 4, 2008 at 5:43 pm |
  647. Pam-Oregon

    In Oregon we vote by mail and have weeks to do so. I like having the comfort of my living room and time to read the voters pamphlet as I am voting. What a convient way to vote, the whole country should do this.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:43 pm |
  648. Elliot Andrews

    Easy as 1-2-3
    1. Get rid of the Electoral College process NOW. Because all Americans have access to real-time information about the candidates and the US population is more transient, the popular just makes sense. Make every vote count.
    2. #2 pencil + paper ballot = paper trail
    3. Optical scanners to read votes – to automate the tabulation process.


    November 4, 2008 at 5:43 pm |
  649. sdavis

    Hi Jack

    1) change the voting date(s) to first Saturday & Sunday in November
    2) popular vote, no electoral college
    3) condense the time frame for campaigning

    November 4, 2008 at 5:43 pm |
  650. Kevin Jr.

    I think there should be on line voting the same way they use the internet for surveys. Your driver's license number or your social security number as your identification and after you finish your picks you hit submit and you have voted. They can make it to where you can only put your number in once.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:43 pm |
  651. Amy Noir

    My voting machine gave error, am not sure my vote was counted our not. Let do confirmation note once vote has been accurately registered. How about online voting. The polling station were chaotic, better organization can easy cut time.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:44 pm |
  652. Pam

    If I had an opportunity to change the way we vote I would like machines that give a receipt with a random generated number and you could later use that number to verify against a database that your vote really went toward your candidate.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:44 pm |
  653. Roland Rick

    Let's end the grip of the political parties. I propose we have a joint primary election, take the top 5 candidates to the general election, let everyone vote for their 1st, 2nd, and 3rd choice, and then use a simple algorithm for figuring out who the people have chosen. It pains me every 4 years trying to choose between a far left and a far right when most people like me want someone in the middle.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:44 pm |
  654. Karen from rural Arizona

    1 Standardized voting machines WITH paper trail and independant/bi-partisan oversight.
    2 Multi-day voting including at least one weekend to accomodate working/student voters in all states.
    3 Split the electoral college votes as follows: each district would vote as the majority in that district votes with the two senate votes to go to the majority in the state. For example in AZ we have 10 electoral votes, 8 congressional districts and two senate seats. If my district votes for Obama and the rest of the districts vote for McCain, 1 electoral vote would go to Obama and the other 9 would go to McCain.
    4 Limit the primary and general campaigning to a specific number of months. (I have been wondering since these campaigns have been going on for 21 some months...how have the senators/governors been doing the regular jobs? They seem to have been put on the back burner. Isn't running the country still their first obligation?

    November 4, 2008 at 5:44 pm |
  655. Steve Williams

    I like the idea of natiolized voting machines. Paper printed ballot trail for recounts. Open Source code of voting machines for public review.

    Mostly, I would like to propose a return of "equal air time for each and every candidate". I have listened and watch both the left and right wing "talk" show hosts and they are worst than 527's. They provide "their" chosen candidate thousands of hours of "free" airtime.
    The propaganda generated by these "programs" have no accountability and is nothing short of brain washing.

    The most critical evidence of this effect is that unfortunate woman who called Sen. Obama an Arab at McCain's rally a couple of weeks ago. She was mislead and misinformed, not by McCain, but by right wing propaganda programs. The *left* is just as guilty as the *right*.

    I do not believe we should silence these voices, but we (America) should hold the stations responsible to provide equal airtime.

    I know this might be impossible, but I'd love to have these propaganda programs held directly responsible for misinformation by having them retract false or misleading statements and broadcast corrected information (not just once, but just as many times as they broadcasted the wrong statements).

    November 4, 2008 at 5:44 pm |
  656. brandon

    first thing i would do limit spending to the amount that you would make during your term in office second make the primary elections a lot shorter have all states hold primaries on the same day not spread over a year or longer. finally all machines the same in every polling place


    November 4, 2008 at 5:45 pm |
  657. Roberto Huezo (Nuremberg, Germany, American Abroad)

    Change to multi-day voting, perhaps the first weekend on November. The electoral votes should be awarded percentually to the candidates based on the actual votes, like in Nevada.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:45 pm |
  658. Reed "Luke" Lucas

    I would have a "National Vote By Mail" similar to what we have here in Oregon. Ballots go out 2 to 3 weeks before election day with plenty of time to return them via U. S. Mail! The procrastinators can drop off their Ballots at designated drop off points (libraries, schools, polling places and county election offices) up until poll closing time election day.

    Reed "Luke" Lucas
    Rhododendron, Oregon

    November 4, 2008 at 5:45 pm |
  659. Jim

    I think the crowded polls discurage voting especally among the undecided working class.

    Some possible solutions:

    Election Day be made a national holiday
    Move election day to a Weekend day
    Extend voting to 2 days
    Early voting possible in all states

    November 4, 2008 at 5:45 pm |
  660. Philip R

    And what's wrong with a popular vote as opposed to this antiquated and perverse electoral college?

    November 4, 2008 at 5:45 pm |
  661. Sioux

    If we can pay our taxes via mail, why not vote the same way? There is a final date to pay taxes, and the same can be said for mailing in your vote. Have the deadline well enough in advance of election day, so the votes can be tallied in time.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:45 pm |
  662. Branden


    We recently held an election in Canada and I found the process to be remarkably simple. I went to my polling station where I was handed a pencil and a paper ballot. I then proceeded to the voting booth where I placed an 'X' beside the candidate of my choice. Next, I dropped my ballot in the ballot box and I was on my way.

    The introduction of voting machines and computers unnecessarily complicates something that doesn't need to be complicated. The USA needs to conduct their elections old-school, pencil and paper. Done.

    Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

    November 4, 2008 at 5:46 pm |
  663. Ben Harvey

    Here in the UK, at a general election we are given one question only: Who do you want to vote for? We answer that by marking a piece of paper with an X against the candidates name and political party.

    Surely during something as important as a presidential election, voters need to concentrate on the main issue, not other important questions such as abortion rights.

    Also, with our old fashioned method, there are no queries about whether a machine has cut a hole in a piece of paper!

    November 4, 2008 at 5:46 pm |
  664. Steve Burdette

    Add more polling sites in the areas where there is a higher population density. Instead of waiting to open the polls, and start counting the ballots all on one day we should open the polls for a two week period or longer. That way we would have longer to get are votes in, and we would not be in doubt whether or not our early absenty ballots are being counted.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:46 pm |
  665. Larry Algaze

    #1 – get rid of the electoral college

    #2 – offer online voting

    #3 – have all states require the same burden of proof for indentification at their polling place

    #4 – a national holiday for voting (presidential elections only)

    November 4, 2008 at 5:46 pm |
  666. Sebastien L.

    Same as we do it here in Canada, we are the 2nd largest country in the world, some folks have to ride their dog sled to vote, some have to paddle in their canoe to the polls to write an X on a black and white sheet with 4 names on it and yet we manage to know the results before the end of the evening.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:46 pm |
  667. Marie NC

    They need to omit the electoral votes, have all machines the same with a paper trail to back up the votes of the voters. There's a lot of distrust in this voting system

    November 4, 2008 at 5:46 pm |
  668. Melissa

    The electoral college doesn't work, but I'm not sure a popular vote is the way to go either. If states could split electoral votes, it might help with the problems that have come up in the past two elections, and in the meantime, we should figure out something better.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:46 pm |
  669. Conrad

    The Electorial College was not created because of difficulty of communication; but because the United States is a federation not a democracy. The Electorial College was developed as a method of allowing the States to elect Federal officials (i.e. the President).

    November 4, 2008 at 5:46 pm |
  670. Mark

    Absolutely not. Partly becasue I am republican and my party is dwindling away....

    November 4, 2008 at 5:46 pm |
  671. John

    1. Get rid of the outdated Electoral College.

    2. Go to a standard federal web-based voting system. Federal ID can be used as a CAC (Comman Access Card) which is used today for computer security for military personnel can be used ensure voter Identification and enable voters to vote from home with no lines with quick results.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:46 pm |
  672. Jon

    We don't need to change the way we elect a President we just need to equalize and standardize the methods we use.

    Paper/ink stick ballots are the most reliable method to date.
    It is accountable, auditable, and can be confirmed by eye if needed.

    Electronic voting is open to far too many unregulated 'problems'. Computers are programmable. And, when companies like DieBold refuse to allow open source coding to the public it should scream BEWARE to anyone who knows anything about software.

    Paper and ink Jack, it's the only way.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:47 pm |
  673. Fran, Reno , NV

    The Electoral College is archaic. The president needs to be elected by the popular majority. Limit campaigning to the year of the election only - starting January 1. No negative campaign ads. Hold campaigns accountable for presenting facts only about themselves and their own ideologies. If there are to be debates, make them true debates and hold the candidates to the rules of the debates. The conventions need to be held during the same week for all parties. There needs to be a cap on dollars spent for campaigning. And if we can get a space craft to the moon, we certainly ought to be able to create a tamper-proof, nationwide voting system that works!!!!

    November 4, 2008 at 5:47 pm |
  674. James E. Heim

    It seems to me that in this day and age there should be a relatively easy way for us to vote "online".
    Those who can't (or don't want to) vote that way should be able to vote anytime within one whole week.. Then inclement weather and any other tempoary 'deterent' would most likely be eliminated.
    As soon as voting starts, campaigning should END!!

    November 4, 2008 at 5:47 pm |
  675. Mary

    This election I have a back injury and wouldn't be voting if I had to go to the polls. Fortunately, we vote by mail in Oregon! When we switched to mail voting, immediately voter participation went up. Weather is not a factor, and people who are older or handicapped have no problem voting. You can take as much time as you need to fill out your ballot at your kitchen table. Now that I've experienced it, I feel sorry for all those people in other states standing in line at the polls.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:47 pm |
  676. Bud Kanitz

    Voting for presidential elections should be changed in three ways: [1] the electoral college should be abolished so the President is directly elected by popular vote, [2] voting should be held on Saturday and Sunday rather than Tuesday, and [3] all states should allow "early voting". NOTE: The first two would require a constitutional amendment.

    Bud Kanitz
    Appleton, Wisconsin

    November 4, 2008 at 5:47 pm |
  677. Alessandra

    In a real democracy the popular vote counts. That said, we should get rid of Electoral College. There is no need for a middle man between the people and its President. Also Election Day should fall in a Sunday or if falls in a week day then it should be made a holiday. The government should make easier for more people to go out and vote. Many other countries do that, why can't we?

    November 4, 2008 at 5:48 pm |
  678. Joyce Berra

    Yet more comments after reading others – we really should vote on a weekend – that wa a great comment.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:48 pm |
  679. Nick

    Have a central election commission that is run by a career civil servant who bears no party affiliation. At least there will not be any nonsense indulged into by the secretary of the states of the 50 states. Case in point Florida in 2000. No electronic machines. Only paper ballots which check boxes against the candidate names. Then of course, only the popular vote should count. No electoral college votes.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:48 pm |
  680. Robert

    The entire country should VOTE BY MAIL the way Oregon does. There are no lines or time lost at work, there is a paper trail with a paper ballot that is optically scanned, every signature is verified, and election workers are not stressed.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:48 pm |
  681. Mason Wallace (Tuscaloosa, Alabama)

    Hello Jack,

    It is quiet simple. PENCIL and PAPER!!! That way a shortage of trees would be the only thing that would keep people from voting correctly.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:48 pm |
  682. Conor in Chicago

    The main thing that nees to change is the lack of a national holiday. Also, I think that a uniform code for presidential elections in every state is needed.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:49 pm |
  683. Daniel from Milwaukee

    I would take party names off the ballot and eliminate the party primary system. Parties are fine and should nominate candidates, but the ballot should be limited to individuals. A primary about three months before the general election could limit candidates for the general election to some fixed number, like four. Straight party tickets should be abolished as well since there is no requirement for a candidate to follow the party platform. If you don't know who you are voting for, you shouldn't be voting.

    I'd keep the electoral college because it requires candidates to have substantial support in multiple states to win. A nationwide popular vote would allow candidates to coalesce substantial support in small geographic areas to win the election.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:49 pm |
  684. Alfred Golluscio

    We have to limit the time and govern the amonut of money each candidat can spend on a campaign. We now get to vote for the people who can afford to run not the people who are qualified to run

    November 4, 2008 at 5:49 pm |
  685. Justin Brown

    My answer. If American Idol can vote by phone, then yes. We need to utilize a system similar to a merchant service account utilized by the credit card and banking industry. Each eligible individual voter receives a pin number and calls in to touch phone vote. Once activated, the voter is no longer available on the system to vote again until the next election. A paper confirmation or email (like a bank statement) is mailed to the voter and a audit trail (a banks transaction detail) is retained for verification.
    J. Brown
    Los Angeles, CA

    November 4, 2008 at 5:49 pm |
  686. Jack Tragic

    the actual act of voting should simplified to a paper ballot and a number 2 pencil. Start there then get into the other discussions about getting rid of the electoral college later.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:49 pm |
  687. Nancy Manali-Leonardo

    I think the way this great country votes for the most powerful office in the world (President of the United States of America) is in fact non-democratic. Where is the fairness? Where is the consistency? Where is simplicity? This great country is like the Bell Curve. Some of us are well educated and some of us are not; so make the voting ballots easy to read and understand. Some of us are young and can stand in 3 or 4 hour voting lines; but some of us are old and cannot. The right to vote and the access to vote needs to be the same for ALL AMERICANS. I think we therefore need to appoint a blue ribbon panel of diversified voters across this great country to research how to make voting equal and easy for all Americans. That would be true democracy.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:49 pm |
  688. brendan

    Easy popular vote, it works in most european countries. Problem then is that you have then what they call in europe " the dictatorship of the majority". They way I see it the way the US elections now tend to look like the rotten/pocket borough in 18th/19th century england.

    Most countries in europe and other countries just vote on their party biggest party wins and supplies the prime-minister or president, but has to form a cabinet for a majority with the other parties so changes can be made. So it's not only the presidency which has to change, but also congress and the senate.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:49 pm |
  689. Dave Rountree, Upstate NY

    The 2012 presidential campaign will begin tomorrow. Geeeeez. Early voting should be mandatory. Get rid of the electoral college. Make election day a national holiday.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:49 pm |
  690. Cheryl

    Voting is so backwards in our country. Each state has a different way of voting. There should be one method of voting. I suggest that we use a fingerprint identity system. When registering for voting or driver's license a finger print could be scanned. No instances of voter fraud. Then when voting you could just scan your fingerprint and vote. Simple right. Maybe we should take the millions of dollars both campaigns spent on advertising and buy new voting machines for each state.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:49 pm |
  691. Sam Muriesh

    To Gasha Gataric
    Add one more to your 7 seven points:

    8. move election dayS to early October to insure better weather.


    November 4, 2008 at 5:49 pm |
  692. Michael

    Make it mandatory that a candidate has actually ran something unlike Obama who has really never done anything but run for office.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:49 pm |
  693. wale

    Declare election day a public holiday, assign I.D cards to registered voters, switch back to paper ballots, let each voter thump print after voting, and most importantly, let popular vote choose the president.

    Corona, CA

    November 4, 2008 at 5:49 pm |
  694. Tabitha from Minneapolis, MN

    I'm not sure, but I think that we should look at how we can make it more unified. A set of standards for the whole country. There are too many rules that vary all over the country. It creates confusion and suspicion.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:49 pm |
  695. Nathan

    I would like to see elections be more about the issues and less about the cult of personality. Instead of voting for a man, take a 10 question test about current issues, and in the end the gentleman most in synch with the population would be elected. I’m just sick and tired of folks voting who have no idea what their candidates will actually do as opposed to how they look and sound.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:49 pm |
  696. Stephanie

    President's day...I mean come on...shouldn't that be changed on the calender to the day people would actually vote for a president! it is ridiculous people have to wait for 5 hours after they get off work...

    November 4, 2008 at 5:49 pm |
  697. Ashima Gupta

    A bunch of things needs to be done:
    1. Ban negative ads – you're only allowed to talk about what YOU would do, not allowed to spread falsehoods about what your opponent might do. Registered non-profits like factcheck .org can do the debunking of the claims of each candidate. This would eliminate dirty, slandering campaigns as well as reduce the number of falsehoods that have to be kept track of by voters.
    2. Caps on campaign spending
    3. Upper age limit, just like minimum age
    4. Have the election season be shorter
    5. Make voting easier by
    making election day a federal holiday

    November 4, 2008 at 5:49 pm |
  698. Dan in Memphis

    President by popular vote. I want to cast a vote for a president, not recommend to an elector which of the two dominate polictical parties gets all of my state's electorial votes. If a single vote really counted and could change who would represent the people, voter turn-out would be greater. Make me feel like this is my government and my neighbor's government, not controlled by money-driven political machines.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:50 pm |
  699. Troy Broderson Sioux City,Iowa

    We would vote by an 1-800 number over a three week period, people would have to punch in there social security number they would get a voter ID number if they are US citizen of voting age,they would be mailed there election ballot which would have its own state ID number,they would fill out there ballot canidates or parties would have there own numbers so this would be the paper trail which would be mailed to there county election facility after you vote by phone,which would be received by Federal election computers,and result would sent in when the polls close.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:50 pm |
  700. Trish Goldman

    We are arguably one of the wealthiest,most technologically advanced countries in the world and yet we cannot guarantee our citizens their most basic right: the promise that they can cast their vote certain that it will be protected and counted. Let's make voting a federal, uniform process and invest serious money in advancing the technology we use to guarantee that each and every citizen has an equal voice in the electoral process. Until we safeguard this most basic of all our rights, we fail to live up to our role as the most powerful voice of democracy in the world.

    May I also say I am proud of the campaign Sen Obama has waged. His calm, thoughtful, compassionate and intelligent demeanor reflects well on himself, his family and on the nation that will elect him President today.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:50 pm |
  701. Len Morris

    If we want to change the voting system we first need to accept that the way it's set up now, it's skewed to the either privileged or the determined.

    Most blue color / factory workers (a major portion of our society) are "working" during voting hours. How difficult is it to:

    1. Nationalize the voting system, so that voting is the same across the nation?

    2. Create a system similar to the one that governs a driving license, whereby once you are licensed to drive, you can drive anywhere in the country. Once you are registered to vote, you can vote anywhere in the country and your vote will be counted in the district in which you live.

    3. Make voter registration a requirement to receive a high school diploma, GED included.

    4. Keep the polling sites open to include a Saturday and Sunday.

    Dare we say that to do any of the above may increase voter turn out and shorten waiting times to vote?


    Len Morris

    November 4, 2008 at 5:50 pm |
  702. Carole - California

    First, I would make the voting process uniform across the country: the same voting machines, the same type of ballots, early voting in EVERY state and in more than one polling place per county. I cannot believe Los Angeles County, with its millions of residents and hundreds of miles of geography, only had one place to vote early.

    Second, and this to me is almost as critical as the voting process itself: Educate the poll workers on the importance of neutrality toward the voting public. If you are willing to volunteer to work at a polling place, you should be willing to welcome everyone in the same manner, no matter the party affiliation. I had an experience today at my polling place that galled me and my Registrar of Voters will be hearing from me shortly.

    Third, change the process in which we register, again, so the process is uniform across the country. I'm really distressed at what I'm reading and hearing from voters who have been denied their right to vote due to "glitches" in the system. Shame on us for allowing this to happen.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:51 pm |
  703. Mark

    Even though wet paper is causing problems with some of the machines (perhaps they should not be distributed in the rain), I believe this is the best way to vote. The paper ballots leave a paper trail that cannot be faked, and the machines offer speed and accuracy that can't be matched by human hands.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:51 pm |
  704. Joe the Non-Plumber

    Since we are all watching CNN, Let's watch it on T.V. and Vote through CNN by a hand held device.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:51 pm |
  705. Michael Zambrano

    In Washington state, in all but 2 counties, we mail in our ballots, no lines, no expensive voting machines, a permanent hard copy for recounts, privacy to vote in your own home, and early voting. We laugh at other states and wonder what special interest are in play to prevent this simple, inexpensive, fool proof (or as close to it as you can get) way of voting.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:51 pm |
  706. Mark......in Houston

    How about this

    Limit elections to a 6 month time frame, no mas.

    Place a strict limit on campaign expenses

    Boot the electoral college

    One standard of voting machines for every state,not electric and not computerized.

    Deport all political operatives, to some island for a period starting two days before voting through the time the polls close.

    Ground all Enron aircraft.

    Limit election news to 30 mins. 2 times daily (hey yuou guys do good work but enough is enough)

    Maybe hire officials from Canada or Great Britain to oversee the voting process.since we can't seem to do so

    mark......in Houston

    November 4, 2008 at 5:51 pm |
  707. Donavette

    Brillant Question!

    In the modern age of pass words, pin numbers and satelites, there is simple solution.
    Wall street is a perfect example it keeps record of every tranaction as they occur. There should be a national database following every vote in real time. When I vote I should receive verification of my vote in the form of receipt. Alone with a confirmation code that I can track to confirm my vote not only that my vote counted but an actual number that place me in the total count. With this code I should be able to track my vote and for whom I voted.


    November 4, 2008 at 5:51 pm |
  708. Angel Abundis, The Real OC, California

    I think we should eliminate the Electoral College and go to Popular Vote system, everybodies vote should count. We should all use the same voting method preferrably the voting machines with the printed tape to avoid fraud and technical glitches.

    We should be allowed to register up to the day of the election with the proper identification and we should eleminate the two party system so the rest of the 60% of the population who is neither on the hard left or right can be heard.

    Also place a cap on the amount of money used and elliminate the bad ads which only damage the credibility of the campaign managers who placed them. We are a great country with good people who deserve better from our elected officials. What will our future generations think about our time when they look bad and see that people voted and it didn't matter since our system was glitched and a biased court had to decide for them........

    GOD bless America!!!!!

    November 4, 2008 at 5:52 pm |
  709. Eugene Jacksonville, Florida

    I think we need to set up scaning devices for all polls throughout the usa and we need early voting for 9 days before the election.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:52 pm |
  710. Joseph


    We must keep a paper copy of every vote somewhere, before we send them to China for recycling. We just can not rely on computer programs for double-checking the votes. Even Microsoft can not their codes to behave! We can rely on the computers for "early counting" then proceed to double-check the results against the paper copies.
    I think mailing-in the votes is a robust voting practice. If one did not have time to mail it in, you can walk up and talk to the machines on the last day.

    Joseph, Denver, CO

    November 4, 2008 at 5:52 pm |
  711. chris_GA

    I like the idea of (Glen H) a 6-year term. I think we would all agree that 4 years is just not enough time to make significant progress. However, I would say that the option to run for a second term should still be on the table.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:52 pm |
  712. Reed "Luke" Lucas

    I would have a "National Vote By Mail" similar to what we have here in Oregon. Ballots go out 2 to 3 weeks prior to election day with plenty of time to return them by U. S. Mail. The procrastionators can drop them off at designated drop off sites, (libraries, schools, polling places or county election offices), up until poll closing time. There's also a "Paper Trail" of Ballots should a recount be necessary to verify results.

    Reed "Luke" Lucas
    Rhododendron, Oregon

    November 4, 2008 at 5:52 pm |
  713. Cindy

    Here's what I think we should do:

    1. Election day should be changed to the first Saturday of November.
    2. There should be standard election day hours: 6 a.m – 11 p.m. for every state.
    3. Results should not be released until the last polls close.
    4. All states should be allowed to have early voting for the Presidential election – preferably two weeks before the election day.
    5. There should be a standard voting machine.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:52 pm |
  714. Francis from Jamestown, MO

    Instant RunOff Voting... I have been very disappointed that it didn't become a national topic this year.

    I expected that at least the Ron Paul people would very loudly support this concept as it is the only reasonable way to get beyond the 2 party system in this country.

    Once we design a way to elect a person that truly represents the voters, then those persons will be able to design a government that truly respects the voters.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:52 pm |
  715. Ron

    The problem with the current system is it does not ensure that the most qualified, competent person is elected to the most important job in the nation. Polularity and money can trounce competence in the current system. Outlandish as it may sound here is a way to ensure this : Borrow the model that American Idol uses ! : Start with a general contest open to anyone qualified (citizen minumum age etc). Adminster a battery of qualifying tests that test a candiate on intelligence, basic knowledge of the most important issues, understanding of the economy, foreign affairs. The ones who pass move to Round 2 – which has even tougher testing and so on till only 4 or 5 of the best candidates are left. ( so we would never have people like Palin or even Bush go past round 2). Then have a series of public debates, speeches by the candiates to present their cases to the public and then have a General Election – the one with the most popular vote wins and is the President.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:52 pm |
  716. Jeff in Virginia

    I think several changes are warranted that incorporate some of the ideas below. First, presidential candidates register to enter the race between election day the year before the general election and the end of the year. Some criteria for registering would have to be developed, but once the candidate meets the criteria he/she is registered in all 50 states without having to file with individual states. No one can start campaigning or run commercials before January 1st of election year. Divide the states up and have three primary dates – the first Tuesdays in April, May, and June. The three candidates with the most votes go on to the general election. (I'm sure there are people in the business of running campaigns will say this time schedule is too compressed and can't be done. However, my view is if we decide these are the rules, they'll figure out how to make it work.)

    November 4, 2008 at 5:52 pm |
  717. Dave Wilburn

    Oregon has had mail in ballots for years, put a dark line across for your candidate or ballot measure, drop it in the mail or a box, no long lines, no electronic screwups, no chads. no problems. We even have a process for picking up ballots if you can't get out of your home.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:52 pm |
  718. stefi bellingham in tigard oregon

    Change only the way 49 states vote. It's more than I can bear to watch the problems some voters are going thru. Voting by mail here in Oregon takes 42 cents (as in stamp). No umbrellas, no transportation, no time off from work, a paper trail and an excuse for a Voting Party! Previously, I said it's so easy a caveman can do it but.....allow me to correct myself, he would need that stamp and he'd need to be an American caveman!

    November 4, 2008 at 5:52 pm |
  719. Joe

    First, I would promote voting by mail, along the lines of absentee ballots, but based on a uniform national standard, with national standardized policies for voter registration.
    Second, I suggest an option of voting via the internet. If we can accomplish corporate proxy voting via the internet, why can't the same system work for polictical elections – or are we to assume that all corporate shareholder elections are fraudulent and manipulated?

    November 4, 2008 at 5:53 pm |
  720. Bill

    We could manage to keep the electoral college. But with one change. Based on the percentage of popular vote the electoral college would be didvided accordingly. As it stands now, when a candidate recieves a minority of the popular vote, there are no electoral votes for that candidate. Thus that means that all the people who voted for that candidate just had all their votes not counted toward the presidential election. It's as if all their ballots were tossed into the trash. Divide the electoral votes and give the minority voters a fair voice.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:53 pm |
  721. Dave Stallan

    I am a local councillor here in the UK, and interested in politics. I am amazed that one of the biggest democracies in the world has such a confusing system of voting.
    Here the voters list is produced monthly, with monthly updates to ensure people who move can get on the register to vote. The whole of the UK has the same times when voting can take place, (although i accept with so many time zones as in your country it could be difficult to have) and apart from elections where new methods of voting are trialed we all vote the same way.
    Have one system of voting, try and arrange one time of voting, it seems unfair that one part of the country is still voting when the other is declaring its results.

    Despite this, i find your whole system of voting interesting. Good luck

    November 4, 2008 at 5:53 pm |
  722. THeGAME

    Vote on a weekend and make it a national holiday.

    Get rid of the Electorial College. If it was doing what it was supposed to do, representing the voters, then the popular vote would always elect the President. We dont need it anymore. Its out dated and some times, down right fraudulent.

    For gods sake, outlaw smear campaigns and negitive ads.

    Only allow the same amount of campaign funds per canidate.

    And the best by far idea!!
    Get more third party people into the debates!!
    Roos Perot was lucky to be in one, even if it was bias. there are things out there better than the big two!!

    November 4, 2008 at 5:53 pm |
  723. George

    Yes, we should standarize all states to be the same ie; voting machines, paper ballots available, hours open for voting. Also why can't everyone have the option for absentee ballots? This would sure alleviate the standing in line problems that have occurred everywhere. At this age of computers, etc. it's ridiculous that we have problems voting for presidential candidate's. As you noted we talk about the problems that occur everywhere but noting is done to correct these problems prior to the next election. This should be one of the new president's priorities to make voting easier and accessable to the american voters. What good is it to have a democratic society which is of the people, by the people and for the people when the people can't get to the polls or have to wait in lines for hours on end. Our voting process is outdated and should be revamped in this 21st century.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:53 pm |
  724. Sheri

    We have to get rid of the electoral college. There should be no way that someone can be elected by the popular vote and not win the presidency. The electoral college is dated. How do we change this?

    November 4, 2008 at 5:53 pm |
  725. Steven in Missouri

    First, get rid of Electoral College. We now have the technology for every vote to count. Second, PAPER BALLOTS with optical scan in every state (as we have in Missouri). While electronic voting would be great, there is a risk for fraud or malfunction. With paper, every vote could be hand-verified if needed. Third, verify voters with a state-issued ID with a unique ID number. Also require states to issue an ID without cost to the voter. No more utility bills to verify address. I could go on forever, but I won't.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:53 pm |
  726. Ed

    I have an idea...make sure evey vote gets counted! Whoa, too radical?

    November 4, 2008 at 5:53 pm |
  727. Jerry, Los Angeles

    This is a powerful time in history for America. With that said I would like to see weekend elections from now on, people would have Saturday and Sunday to vote and I think that way more would join the process.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:54 pm |
  728. Lori


    The election process should be standardized across the board, POPULAR VOTE should be used, NOT the electorial college. I agree w/ Sue from Idaho & Gasha Gataric.

    If it is 1 vote for 1 person, then EACH vote would TRULY COUNT. You hear so many people say, " my vote doesn't count". . . .

    And that is NOT a lie . . . It has been PROVEN OVER & OVER. As far this goes all the way back to the Goldwater- Kennedy election.


    November 4, 2008 at 5:54 pm |
  729. George Spiller

    I'm Canadian, we're all watching your election with great interest up here.
    As I watch the ever growing list of problems people are having casting their vote, I am forced to ask: what is it about a paper and pencil that eludes Americans?
    Machines might save some work and give a faster answer, but is it worth it if they give you an answer you can't trust?

    November 4, 2008 at 5:55 pm |
  730. Cindy

    Jack, we in Oregon have the sweetest deal. Mail in ballots. No lines, no rushing, no intimidation at the polls. You name it. It makes the best sense for the disabled & elderly. I have never heard of any fraud issues either. If you have mail in ballots, maybe the tv ads would go away sooner!!!

    November 4, 2008 at 5:55 pm |
  731. Mike in OHIO


    Today I am in line to vote at 6:00 am, 30 minutes before the polls open and I have about 60 Seniors in front of me all fired up and ready vote. They each take about 15 minutes voting and it seems every other one pop's their silver heads out of the both and ask a question or two.. I get out around 9am, I go to work, they head over to the post office.

    Seniors should have their own voting days or months !!! Get me an ATM Drive Through Voting Machine, I can figure it out.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:55 pm |
  732. Mitch

    First , there should be a uniform hard copy voting system with a simple bubble sheet (darken the bubble next to the ticket you choose) to make electronic tampering more difficult. Second, there should be a national voting holiday, so that every person who wants to vote has the chance to do so without losing pay. And third, instant run-off voting should be implemented (where you rank the candidates and if the top candidate on your ballot loses, your vote still counts for the one who fits your ideal next best).

    These three simple steps would make drastic improvements in our voting system with little extra cost.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:55 pm |
  733. Emily

    The question shouldn't be how would we change the way the president is elected, it should be why we changed the way elections worked in the first place. When I first voted, almost every state used the paper scantron sheets to vote. Why we stopped using scantrons and started using electronic voting machines is beyond me. As far as I'm know the scantrons were almost impossible to mess up. Why did government feel the need to fix something that wasn't broken in the first place?

    November 4, 2008 at 5:55 pm |
  734. Barb in Arizona

    Honor the popular vote.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:56 pm |
  735. Dom (CT)

    Of course. I am not a engineer but I am sure that with minimal help I can come up with a simple ballot and counter system to facilitate voting. These companies are ripping of the american people and doing happily. The federal government need take to complete control of the voting process and impliment one system, one set of rules that most be adhere to under penalty of law, and a make election day a holiday so all citizens can participate. National elections should not be this difficult.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:56 pm |
  736. Phil Skrobacky

    Make sure every vote is counted and that voters are able to very their vote. You can put a man on the moon but you are unable to guarantee this basic human right.

    Phil Skrobacky
    Thornhill, Ontario, Canads

    November 4, 2008 at 5:56 pm |
  737. Bill

    We could manage to keep the electoral college. But with one change. Based on the percentage of popular vote the electoral college would be didvided accordingly. As it stands now, when a candidate recieves a minority of the popular vote, there are no electoral votes for that candidate. Thus that means that all the people who voted for that candidate just had all their votes not counted toward the presidential election. It's as if all their ballots were tossed into the trash. Because Arizona is primarily a Republican state, my vote never gets counted in the presidential election. And people wonder why so many people don't turn out to vote. What's the use. Divide the electoral votes and give the minority voters a fair voice.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:56 pm |
  738. NORA, Gainesville, FLORIDA


    In all 50 states, there need to be a uniformed way of voting with a paper trail ballot.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:56 pm |
  739. Mike from Scottsdale

    Vote by Mail. That's what I did here in Arizona.

    I didn't have to wait in line. I could take all the time I needed to research all of the items on the ballot. Just popped it in the mail after I was done.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:56 pm |
  740. Brandon

    No parties. Divide the country into states the size of counties/districts. Throw out the electoral college. Expand the government to reflect how the constitution and BoR mandates it to be. Mandate that ANY politician that does not uphold the values and needs of those he represents would be summarily executed for crimes against the people – that would make sure only those with the intestinal fortitude and conviction to serve the people get into office.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:56 pm |
  741. Michael

    The US is the greatest country in the world. As evidenced by the past 8 years, if we want to elect sociopaths to our highest offices, we can do it, by the will of the people. Then we can identify our mistake and get rid of them!! It's awesome! I would limit campaigning to 18 months, standardize voting "technology" across the 50 states including a paper trail, eliminate the electoral college, and make candidates do their own fundraising. Los Angeles County has the simplest little voting machine and paper ballot, it' s completely intuitive, lightning fast & robust. The "bubbles" punch out clean as a freakin' whistle and that's that, then into the ballot box. It inspires confidence in the process.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:57 pm |
  742. Skip Johnson from Stoneham, MA

    FIrst, one method of nomination of candidates for all states. No more popular vote by party in one state, by caucus in another, and people in another being able to cross party lines to muddle with the process of opponents.

    Second, one method of funding for all candidates. Either public funding, or private. But one method available to all, with no loopholes.

    Third, one vote per person rather than fifty different state elections. Do away with the electoral college. Wire all those voting machines to report automatically through a single clearing house for running tally, with paper back ups at all locations to confirm what has been reported electronically nation wide.

    Fourth, clarity on where the polling locations are well in advance. I've heard that up to half of people move in any given neighborhood nationwide every two years. Simply making certain everyone knows where to go to vote would be very helpful to a sizable chunk of the population. Locations should be near where people live, particularly non-drivers, like college students.

    Fifth, confirmation of the results of one's recorded vote to ensure the voter knows they weren't disqualified for some unknown reason.

    Sixth, a neutral "fact check" organization that all political ads must be cleared with, or at least graded by, before being aired. Free speech is fine, but slander during elections as protected free speech is a disservice to the electorate. Movies are rated. Why shouldn't political ads be rated for how much of what they say is actually fact, and how much is spin? I've noticed some magazines and programs doing this after the fact. Why not before? Keep them honest, or at least grade them on whether they are being entirely truthful in their statements.

    Seventh, a national day of prayer shortly before the election for the purpose of praying for whoever is elected in advance–not prayers that one's own chosen candidate be favored by God above their opponents. For those who do not subscribe to "In God We Trust", a moment of respectful silence might do as well.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:57 pm |
  743. SpiceofLife

    I think voting day should be a national holiday.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:57 pm |
  744. Gilbert Thomas

    Keep the electorate. No one complains if the team that looses a playoff series in baseball or basketball actually scored more points than the other side. What matters is the number of games won not the number of points scored. The votes in my state are representative of the population as a whole. I think it is great that presidential candidates are forced to visit small states and towns to earn their vote, that would never happen if we got rid of the electorate.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:57 pm |
  745. toni d'ambrosio

    we need to do away with the electoral college and just use the popular vote. the primary needs to be at most 3 months and the campaign at most 3 months. maybe then there would not be so many long months of nasty, hurtful campaigning on both sides. there should be a ceiling on campaign contributions. both sides should have exactly the same. three mandatory debates would be a good idea with better more in depth questions and answers that only answer the question not saying something bad about the other candidate. a third , more center party is needed.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:57 pm |
  746. RD Runner

    1. Ban all attach ads
    2. If a candiate lies in an ad, he is disqualified from the race.
    3. Get rid of the electoral college – Popular Vote Wins.
    4. All parties get equal time – No more two party system
    5. Standardize voting machines with mandatory paper trail.
    6. Extend the voting to more than one day.
    7. Keep the press from running the campagines and hiding information. Full exposure and if caught, they pay hefty fine and have their license suspended.
    8. All debates are hosted on PBS and let the public submit questions.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:58 pm |
  747. Randy

    Simple Jack. All the time is spent voting on everything from "should we change the schooldistrict water fountains" to the President. Use the mail in or electronic voting for all the rest, but election day should be about voting for the President, Senator or Congressman. Instead of needing an hour to fill in all the propositions, in and out in 5 minutes. Look at the people who get their votes kicked out because the machine refuses them if one proposition was missed, and then have to find which one was missed.
    Also, limit the election campaign. Look at Canada. By law, the election campaign has to be 37 days from calling the election to the vote. Maybe then the candidates would stay on message and forget the negative stuff, they wouldn't have time for it.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:58 pm |
  748. Deuce

    The Electoral College needs to go, it may have been a necessity 100 years ago, but in today's world it's outdated. Candidate with the highest popular vote wins, no question.

    On to voting methods, their needs to be a nationwide standard. None of this crap with different counties doing things differently...this just encourages the issues we've had over the last few elections. Have it supervised by a third party, such as the U.N., to ensure that their isn't any funny business going on. Allow online voting, if it's secure enough to pay bills and maintain our bank accounts, it's secure enough to vote with. Scale the number of voting machines available according to the number of people of voting age in a particular area.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:58 pm |
  749. MIchael

    Simply "modify" the way to elect the President. A paper ballot....two names...and a simple pencil. Then, either have a half million volunteers count them manually, or resort to hi speed scanning...simple....It's about the only political process that actually works well in Canada....Just think of the paper trail, but don't tell the tree huggers.


    November 4, 2008 at 5:58 pm |
  750. Ashima Gupta

    A bunch of things needs to be done:
    1. Ban negative ads – you're only allowed to talk about what YOU would do, not allowed to spread falsehoods about what your opponent might do. Registered non-profits like factcheck .org can do the debunking of the claims of each candidate. This would eliminate dirty, slandering campaigns as well as reduce the number of falsehoods that have to be kept track of by voters.
    2. Caps on campaign spending
    3. Upper age limit, just like minimum age for candidates
    4. Have the election season be shorter
    5. Make voting easier by
    -making election day a federal holiday
    -having all states use the same voting mechanism and machines and databases
    -could use IRS or other government agency data to verify citizenship/voter eligibility
    – ensure that all voting machines and mechanisms are tested thoroughly during the 4 years between the elections instead of sleeping over it!
    – have early voting in all states

    November 4, 2008 at 5:59 pm |
  751. Ruth Serrao

    Americans should take a quick course on elections organization with Brazilians' electoral authorities. In our country the entire process is done by computers and there are thousands of precincts eliminating long lines and time waisting in cues. They work continuosly, not only on election years. Couple of weeks ago I voted for Rio's new mayor; despite being a city of ten million, I was done in 10 minutes.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:59 pm |
  752. Dan

    Does Oregon have problems with mail-in ballots? If not, why not vote their way. My wife voted early and with a mail-in ballot. Seemed much easier.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:59 pm |
  753. Chavdar, Sofia, Bulgaria

    I am shocked by these waiting lines. Now I realize that the US, which lectures the world on democracy and pronounces itself on every election there carried out in other countries has not even provided the voting capacity for all of it’s citizens to cast a ballot on Election day.
    As a standard in Europe, elections are arranged on holidays, so all social categories have an equal chance to participate. Making them on a weekday discriminates the laboring classes.
    The voting machine and voter registration scandals America has been having for the last three elections would be inconceivable in Europe, even in the post-communist countries. Maybe now is the time to stop lecturing and to start showing America has the courage for reform.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:59 pm |
  754. Guy Long

    We need a system that opens up our electoral process to include viable independent and third party candidates. Our crazy system effectively shuts out alternatives to help rid ourselves of the same old corrupt politics perpetuated by the Republicans and Democrats that is ruining our nation. We need to drastically shorten the process and force the candidates to participate in a series of debates without pre-conditions that allow them to dodge questions on issues that are important to us.
    We could also save millions of tax payer and campaign contribution dollars by parking the jets the candidates fly all over the country making the same stump speeches over and over. We all have TV's.
    If Britain can elect their Prime Minister in 4 weeks, then surely we can elect our President in a far shorter period than what we are tormented with!

    November 4, 2008 at 5:59 pm |
  755. Linda

    Do as Oregon does. Very simple. Vote by mail.

    November 4, 2008 at 5:59 pm |
  756. Pat

    Though the element of pressing buttons or pulling levers to cast a vote may be taken away, I firmly believe in the way our state (Oregon) votes...by mail!
    I think it is absurd that each state has different types of machines and different laws. Yes there are times there are only state elections, but if each state had the SAME FORMAT and voting laws, all these discrepencies would not happen. I have never heard of a problem in our state.
    We can mail in our ballot or drop in the ballot box, and we get our ballots about 10 days before the election so we can drop them off at our leisure and never have to deal with the horrendous lines like we are seeing on TV today.
    While the 'psychological' effect may make a person feel better to physically be there to pull that lever, but I think turnout would be higher if it were by mail/dropoff.
    pat in OREGON

    November 4, 2008 at 5:59 pm |
  757. Jeff San Diego, CA

    We need to make things idiot-proof. Don't expect everyone (voters and government workers) to be smart enough to figure out how to vote electronically.

    All kids, smart and dumb, at some time learn how to fill in a bubble with a number 2 pencil. People know what a pencil is and how to use it.

    We are all reduced to waiting in line at the DMV to take a multiple-choice test.

    Lowest common denominator, Jack! That is the unfortunate state of the US.

    November 4, 2008 at 6:00 pm |
  758. Dave

    I don't see why this is so hard. ATMs produce accurate results millions of time every day and produce a paper receipt. Print a paper receipt that the voter can check and the official vote is deposited in a box in case of a recount.

    November 4, 2008 at 6:00 pm |
  759. Mark from Toronto

    I recommend Canada's national electoral standard – across 3.5 time zones, everybody uses the same supervised, paper-based, hand counted method that is quick and accurate. It is rare for voting to take more than 5 minutes, even with new photo-ID proof of identity requirements. Polling stations are both plentiful and barrier-free. Our issues are often less interesting.

    The USA is filled with very smart people! Figure this out...

    November 4, 2008 at 6:00 pm |
  760. Larry Jacoinski

    I would agree that we should have some form of online voting. It not only decreases lines and conjestion it also give the people not capable of traveling to the polls an alternative. The issue with online voting is the possibility (certainty) that the data will be compromised.

    November 4, 2008 at 6:01 pm |
  761. Zach Fite

    I think that the country should find a way to make sure the voters are educated. There are way to many people voting because of misleading commercials, racism, or thinking of one canidate as cool, or an icon. A small quiz should be given while waiting in line to vote to make sure you are educated about the canidates.

    November 4, 2008 at 6:01 pm |
  762. Gary

    My beef is that the electoral college in its current state is more of an auction. They [the electors] should follow the wishes of the constituents in their state. We saw this 2000 with Florida. Why do we spend hours in line at the poll when in actuality our voice is not really being heard. Electors are technically free to vote for anyone eligible to be President, but in practice pledge to vote for specific candidates and voters cast ballots for favored presidential and vice presidential candidates by voting for correspondingly pledged electors. It should be in practice, it should be mandate by law.

    November 4, 2008 at 6:01 pm |
  763. Cath Done

    I am a British Canadian and have voted in both Canada and England. Your actual voting system is a shambles. Forget computers etc.! Have a paper system- paper ballots don't break down!

    In both England and Canada you are sent a voter's card which you take with you to the polling station. If you don't have a card you can show valid photo ID and a bill with your name and address on it. There are plenty of polling stations so the lines are not like the ones I have seen on TV today.

    Having said all that, I do like your democratic system and I wish America well. I hope, for the world's sake and your standing in the world, that Senator Obama will be elected your new President

    A friend from North of The Border

    November 4, 2008 at 6:01 pm |
  764. Elizabeth

    Shouldn't we at least have a federal voter list to prevent people from voting multiple times as has been purported to have happened in Ga?

    November 4, 2008 at 6:01 pm |
  765. Rebecca from Virginia

    Make Election Day a holiday. This would allow people to have time to vote and perhaps encourage them to vote. Of course, you might not want to vote on a Tuesday, to prevent long vacations.

    November 4, 2008 at 6:01 pm |
  766. Lindsay

    Two words: ONLINE VOTING. Welcome to the digital age, America, we've been here for a while! Please come in!

    November 4, 2008 at 6:01 pm |
  767. Simon

    I can't frankly understand why there's such a drive for machines.
    After all, technology clearly isn't doing you folks much good.

    Do yourselves a favour and dumb it down!
    Pencil and paper with a big 'ol "X" works just fine, really.

    Toronto, Canada.

    November 4, 2008 at 6:02 pm |
  768. Kevin Lowe

    I saw you on CNN reading some emails left for you and one was questioning how to rid negative campaining.

    I have family that lives in Spain. In Spain if you make a negative comment about your opponent you are kicked off the ballot.

    That would sure cut down the negative comments......

    November 4, 2008 at 6:02 pm |
  769. bill-pennsylvani

    Get rid of electorate college.... Archaic!

    November 4, 2008 at 6:02 pm |
  770. Brynn

    I would make Election Day a national Holiday so that everyone could vote.

    November 4, 2008 at 6:02 pm |
  771. Bill

    Making the presidential election day a national holiday would eliminate many problems. We wouldn't have what is basically 2 hours in the morning and 2 or 3 hours in the evening. I got to my polling place at 2:30 and was the only person there. I just drove by and the lines are out the door.

    November 4, 2008 at 6:02 pm |
  772. Fritz Waldow

    Abandon the winner-takes all rule so that the popular vote determines the president and more accurately.

    Get rid of ... uhmmm, actually we should forbid the influence of lobbyists at all. Quite naive, I know, but doesn't lobbyism support companies rather than our people? And don't they 'forbid' our elected representatives to decide by their own conscience/values?

    Allow a multi-partisan landscape, but install a 5% hurdle to avoid too many parties in Congress. Coaltions can bring a country forward. Example could be the immigration law. A big issue among the a lot of people but neither GOP nor Dems touched it being afraid of losing many (mexican?) voters. A third party could have brought this on the election table, would probably part of the future government and finally produce a working immigration law.

    Vote on Sunday! It must be illigal for employers to prevent people to go to vote.

    November 4, 2008 at 6:02 pm |
  773. Mark from Toronto, Canada

    I never understood why the American electoral system is so convoluted. Just do what we do up here in Canada, mark an x on an old fashioned piece of paper next to the candidate of your choice. It worked fine for us in our federal election a few weeks ago.

    November 4, 2008 at 6:02 pm |
  774. Commandrea

    We should have one president for each party (and not just Democrats and Republicans) and they should all have to come to a consensus. If 51% of the country is represented by the president, that still leaves 49% feeling like their leader isn't one they can follow, and that doesn't seem like a true democracy.

    November 4, 2008 at 6:02 pm |
  775. Mike Smith

    With all of the complaining about the electoral college and the desire to go to a popular vote, I have to wonder if any of these complainers have realized that under a strictly popular vote only the votes from California, New York, Texas, Florida, and Illinois would really count. If you live any where else too bad because those four states have enough population to control most elections.

    That would also mean that the candidates would only need to focus on those populous states and could ignore most of the country. In fact, under some scenarios a candidate would only have to be on the ballot in a few key states in order to get elected. If you think the current system is flawed how about a president getting elected that wasn't even on the ballot in most states. Sound ridiculous? It is possible in a strictly popular vote system.

    People just don't realize how concentrated our population is in some areas. We aren't like many countries where the population is spread more evenly.

    November 4, 2008 at 6:02 pm |
  776. brent strickland

    It's unacceptable that in 2008 someone can win the popular vote but lose the election. No one's vote should count more than another's, but that's what happens under our archaic electoral college system.

    November 4, 2008 at 6:02 pm |
  777. Josh

    The electoral college needs to be tweaked or left alone, definitely not removed. Online voting would be way too easy to tamper with, as if we don't have enough online identity fraud. The system does need to be unified though, a good-solid ballot machine needs to be made that has fail-safes. Votes are then turned in and checked against the system. Registration needs a make-over as well, how the hell did they get Jay from Josh?

    November 4, 2008 at 6:02 pm |
  778. Tim Roane

    Would it not be possible for a group to organize and systematically delay the polls by taking as long as possible when casting their ballots. This would essentially shrink the voter turnout as people would leave due to extremely long lines. If this is not happening already, it is something to be very concerned about and needs fixing.

    November 4, 2008 at 6:03 pm |
  779. Pablo

    Jack – I'm an African American social conservative who voted for Bush the last two terms. In the primary I voted republican.
    In the genral election I voted for Barack Obama on the merit of his economic policies. I abandoned my social conservative issues because I dont have confidence in either candidate to deliver. Even though McCain is running as a social conservative he as been slightly left of center for the last 8 years that I've been observing him in he senate.

    November 4, 2008 at 6:03 pm |
  780. Ernest C. from San Diego, CA

    1. Seek to set aside the 1st day before our national election as a "Day Of Prayer" to our God or "Higher Power".

    2. Seek to make our national election day a national holiday. Ok to open polls up to seven days prior to election day as is felt needed.

    3. Seek to incorporate a mandatory uniform federal guidelines on Presidential ballots and hours of voting to insure an equal voice.

    4. Prohibit Presidential campaigning on day of election either in person, by phone, or media. State & local campaigns to be regulated by respective states.

    5. Seek to make our Social Security number as the primary source for voter registration and kept in national database.

    6. Seek to make voting a constitutional birth right, not subject to interpretation, abbreviation, or denial outside of mental competance.

    November 4, 2008 at 6:03 pm |
  781. Casey Casperson

    Make Popular votes count. Don't break it down state by state. Take all of our votes as ONE country and elect the beneficiary of the most votes. Eliminate the electoral college. Additionally, online voting can be done securely and accurately. There is too much church in my state and too much private money in public pockets that prevents real change.

    November 4, 2008 at 6:03 pm |
  782. Michael in Rocky Mount, NC

    Jack, It's high time the U.S. do away with the Electorial College system in favor of a popular vote. The US is the richest and most high tech country on the planet and we are still electing our highest office using an election system that goes back to the medieval period. We no longer need couriers on horseback to deliver election results to Washington. If I can safely purchase a plasma TV on line from Amazon (except for being to poor because of this econimic meltdown) We should be able to vote online and have instant tallys.

    November 4, 2008 at 6:03 pm |
  783. joanne

    i think we should vote on the weekends. i also think we should have one uniform system. today i took senior's to the poles for the obama campaign and waited in lines for as long as 3hrs. the youngest voter i took was 79yrs old and it was very difficult for them to wait that long.though not one of them wanted to leave. it was a very emotional day for them as well as me. they were all african-american and one of the gentleman actually cried because he never thought he would be voting for a black man in his life time. he was so grateful to me for driving him.he thought he was going to miss this historical day without being able to vote. it was a beautiful day to be a american today!! i think we should have special sections for the elderly and disabled.

    November 4, 2008 at 6:03 pm |
  784. Angie

    I think the Presidential Election should be a popular vote only, do away with the electoral college.

    The Presidential Campaign should be done American Idol style so the Americans can see what these candidates are really like.

    November 4, 2008 at 6:03 pm |
  785. Kellie

    Changing the polling would be a huge help! It seems ridiculous that people are standing in line for hours on end waiting to vote in this historic election. Perhaps we should go to a ballot set up like absentee ballots. We all would have to mail in our ballots by a specific date to ensure our vote. It is more paper work, but tampering might diminish and standing in line.

    November 4, 2008 at 6:03 pm |
  786. Scott

    We need to do away with the electoral college. It was created for a situation that does not exist any more. We should do away with political parties but that's just wishful thinking. How about the loser of the presidental race becomes the VP for the winner. Maybe that would keep them all honest.

    November 4, 2008 at 6:03 pm |
  787. Jessica

    I really don't agree 100% with the electoral college. If it is supposed to reflect popular vote, it technically contradicts itself as a process. This election was all about VOTING, period. If we are trying to say that every vote counts, and you need to vote, then living in a state with only 2 electoral votes doesn't seem very important. No matter who actually wins my state of South Dakota, thats only 2 votes under that candidate's belt. Influential? Hardly.

    November 4, 2008 at 6:03 pm |
  788. Mike , LA,CA

    Get rid of the Electoral College. As a Republican in California my Presidential vote does not count.

    November 4, 2008 at 6:03 pm |
  789. Amy

    I think in the year 2008 EVERYTHING can be done online! Besides that issue why dont they hold the elections at the same time in all time zones or the day prior for Pacific/Central time zones nationwide to avoid the media influencing voters opinions prior to going to the polls with preconceived results that are not official!

    November 4, 2008 at 6:03 pm |
  790. Doug

    Did someone honestly just write they think it is a good idea to vote online. Newsflash, you may think you're shopping securely online, but there is no such thing as a secure connection on the internet if a hacker decides he wants to mess with you. An online election would be the biggest joke ever.

    November 4, 2008 at 6:03 pm |
  791. Simon

    A few things need to be changed. Give all candidates equal TV/Media time and budget, so it becomes more about the actual issues. Get big money out of campaigning, as that blurs everything into the disgusting lobbyist phenomena that has made politics less about "we the people" and more about "them, big business." Candidate promises are their contract with the American people who vote them into power. Whatever promises made when campaigning should be by law part of the new president's mandate. That might make them think more about what they say, shorten the campaign and simplify our choices.

    November 4, 2008 at 6:03 pm |
  792. victoria

    I myself think that we as a country have become lazy and we are all talkers...We need to demand that things change...Not just sit back and take it. if we buy something in the store and we don't like it we take it back....return it!
    But the most expensive part of our life we sit back and take it. I myself am sick of having a few people control everything that concerns me.

    November 4, 2008 at 6:03 pm |
  793. Kevin

    I can't believe I'm reading some of these comments. How can you seriously complain about the time it takes to vote? Even if it takes 2 hours or more to cast your vote, its not a huge sacrifice for something as important as this and something that you're only asked to do once every four years...ridiculous!

    November 4, 2008 at 6:04 pm |
  794. Mo Jay

    Perhaps the largest democracy in the world: India can be a guide to the oldest democracy when it comes to running a smooth and uniform federal election process. The election commission of India is an unbiased independent authority which ensure a free and fair poll for each and every Indian citizen eligible to vote including the illiterate. The US authorities can study the EC and apply what they feel are suitable ideas for the US.


    November 4, 2008 at 6:04 pm |