A Practical Solution
Our claim is simple. The needed technology to run a national election already exists. Not only does it exist, it is already in place. And it better be secure enough to administer and process a national election, because the technology is our national banking system. If it is not secure enough please tell me. My money is wrapped up in one of those.
Smart people can determine what it should cost to run a Presidential election. For the sake of this example let's say they decide the amount is $800 million dollars. They can also decide how much each of the political parties receives. Of course there will be third and fourth party candidates, but for this example let's say the Republican and Democratic Parties each get $400 million. But that's all they get. When the money is spent, that's it. No more.
No PAC money, no special interest money, no union money, no church money, no foreign money, even rich candidates cannot contribute out of their own pockets to their own campaign, or anybody else's. This is a national election and is paid for by the Nation.
Each party gets a Federal Election bank account to run their campaign. All financial activity from any office in any state runs through one master bank account. One bank statement. Easy audit. Complete accountability. They won't like it. Lobbyists won't like it. We like it a lot.
So far so good. But now for the fun part ...
Each registered voter also gets a Federal Election bank account. Their voter registration number is their bank account number. They will be able to access this account online, from any ATM, by telephone, or in person at any American financial institution at home or abroad. Any bank, savings and loan, or credit union. And this is how they will vote:
On election day the Federal Election Board will deposit $10 into the account of each registered voter. The voter can do one of three things with the ten bucks. They can ignore it. Any balance at the end of Election Day will revert back to the election fund. They can withdraw the money and spend it. Buy a cheeseburger. Or a nice garden salad. Some folks will do this but that's ok, its good for the economy. Or they can deposit the ten bucks into the election account of one of the candidates. That's their vote.
Counting these votes will be easy. You can do it with a five dollar calculator. If you passed fifth grade math you can probably do it in your head. Take the total amount of money in each candidate's election account and divide by ten. There's the votes. Nothing to it.
Now what would prevent voters from having a giant cheeseburger party instead of actually electing a President? Well for one thing the Parties would need to run candidates that folks would believe to be worth more than a cheeseburger dinner. Candidates would become less extreme and more inclusive. Focus more on issues that unite, instead of rhetoric that divides.
But the true caveat would be to repeal the 22nd Amendment. Then if no candidate received a simple majority, the incumbent would stay in office. Now if you really don't want the sitting President to stay on for yet another term, you're going to need to vote in a replacement. Eat later.
Notice there is no longer any need for the electoral college. Nope. None at all.
Some will argue that this is a radical departure from the status quo. Some will say the whole idea, this practical solution, is way out there. Well if you think about it, this solution is no more radical than putting your paycheck in the bank on Friday evening, and stopping off at the burger joint on the way home.