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 "Never underestimate the power of a small group of people to change the world.
In fact it is the only way it ever has." Margaret Mead
 
Universal Suffrage via iVote  The wave to come!
Social Change: Why just vote? When you can iVote!


Section One: What it is

Section Two: Political Benefits

Section Three: Overview

Section Four: Clarifications

Section Five: Technical Notes

 Section One: What it is.

.....iVoting is a system of conducting polls which are done of, by, and for the people at all levels of social organization, the precinct for example, as well as for towns, cities, states, provinces, nations - even globally thus finally giving the people a voice. It is different from all current polling systems in that the questions would be sourced from the people. The system would provide direct results very quickly and as needed: hourly, daily, weekly or monthly depending on the import of an issue or concern, any updates due to new information, research, or as the status of an office holder, public official, person of notoriety, or infamy might demand. The polling would be dynamic. People could respond over time and alter their response in accord with developments. This would be the heart of a social revolution, as it would promote social change on a global scale.

..... The theory is that if we, the people, owned our own perspective, had access to our own truth, and could promulgate our opinions or perceptions; if we, the people, knew, at any given moment what our thoughts or opinions were upon a given issue, it would have game-changing effects on the political realities in ways that are just not currently possible. Social change would proceed apace with such a system in place - no matter what governments or the usual mass media outlets might say.

Details

..... iVoting, or polling, could occur at locations agreed upon by groups such as families, neighbors, precincts and so forth, although it wouldn't necessarily require meetings all the time, once trust is established between individuals and with the system. Although the meet up places could be homes, business, schools, parks, a place of worship, or café, these places could change easily enough because the system will have a built in "flash-mob" capacity for the convenience of those taking part in the polls. Once someone is an established iVoter, he or she could respond to a poll via a cell phone, laptop, desktop, by phone, mail, or via another iVoter.

..... Initially a person would join the system by virtue of people they know well, friends, family members, coworkers and so on. This "hands on" or "hand shake" factor is the key so establishing the system's security in that those attending iVoting meetings could verify each others' identity in multiple ways while having complete privacy as to how they respond to a poll.
..... The system would have near complete transparency, one would have access to one's own record of polling, the voting record of their precinct, of their neighborhood, town, city, state and so on. It would always be possible to check and cross check iVoting records at any time. People could also share their records, should they wish to do so individually, as a group and so on as a means of verifying results.

Section Two: Political Benefits

 

.....Once established as a viable entity, the polling would become a ubiquitous and integral part of the social fabric at all levels and a raft of profound changes will then be possible.

..... iVoting will be a polling of, by, and for the people. We, the people, will ask the poll questions, find our own answers, and become self-informed on any issue of the day. In this way we, the people, will know what we, the people, believe, think, want, like, or dislike. Because the questions are sourced from the people, we will finally have a work around all governmental and corporate media. No longer will we be prey to manufactured perceptions. Having our own access to our own truth and being able to promulgate our own opinions would affect the political realities in ways that are currently impossible.

..... The iVote system will provide people with a "zero degrees of separation" network. The people will be able to coordinate action plans, organize, lend support to those struggling for justice, and undertake direct actions as they see fit including but not limited to boycotts, strikes, divestments, positive investing and more.

..... On a personal level, it would enhance a given person's self-perception as it would encourage social networking, the discussion of issues, raise political consciousness, and allow individuals to quickly and easily take action to address issues of concern to them or society.

..... Social activism would be easier to organize and the people could hold corporations and influential individuals accountable by tracking their own poll numbers, and using the system to organize.

..... Grassroots organizations would interconnect nationally and internationally in order to promote a new economy where the corporate behavior is monitored and guided into doing better and better, this, of course, would certainly affect politicians.

Section Three: Overview

Part A:

..... Practically speaking, the development of the iVote system could be similar to what organizations such as Yahoo, Facebook, Twitter, EBay, or Craig's List do an much more. However, if those organizations, along with others, an alliance of technical experts, both governmental or not, as well as activist organizations and other stakeholders, could work together to create an iVote system. What will differentiate iVote from those systems is that it will foster neighborly, face-to-face, social networking for persons who, though proximate to one another, in the "walking distance" or "very short drive" range, would, ordinarily, ever meet, much less get know one anther or lend each other assistance. Although there will be the usual kinds of security involved with transactions, the interpersonal connection, the handshake, will make a comeback as people reconnect with each other, literally.

..... Investor interest would be based upon iVote's comprehensive potential for more traffic than the older systems mentioned above as iVote would do everything they do yet add in the vital thing: the hardware and software will complimented, and activated by, "people ware" those essential aspects of the system involving interpersonal meetings, handshakes and gatherings.

..... Users would benefit as members lowered each other's cost of living through trading, bartering or the exchange of goods and services. There could be a "Barter-buddy" portion of the system, which would help neighbors exchange goods and or services and "Neighbor-net" a function helping people to coordinate activism on the precinct, neighborhood, zip code or higher levels.

Part B:

..... The system would allow the exchange of goods, services, currency and more to be done via cell phones, blackberries, web sites, other social media and so forth. This is possible now that banking and a wide variety of financial arrangements can be done via cell phones or other capable devices.

Part C:

..... Although conducting of polls is the ultimate purpose of the whole project, the social networking and its benefits would come first in order to establish the platform, that would support polling and have it become a ubiquitous, functioning part of the social fabric on all levels.

..... The source of the polling would be questions asked by people themselves in a system that would begin with ideas originating in the grass roots, sourced from individuals at precinct or neighborhood levels. The questions would then percolate their way up to the city, county, state, national and international level as acceptance, controversy or need allows. At first, the polls may well be local but as the system gains in popularity, by proving itself practicable, it would, by encouraging grass roots, crowd sourced political awareness, effect polities around the world.

..... Membership would be based on participation and dependent, at some level, on face-to-face recognition by other members. For polling a "chipped" token or specially encoded thumb drive, could be used at a location where witnesses would insure each person gets one chance to enter poll data. We do this sort of thing already with voting machines and credit cards.

Section Four: Clarifications

Notes:

How would a person join in?

..... People would join iVote via friends, family, coworkers, and acquaintances, there could be a set number of persons required to "invite" a given individual. This would make the system interpersonal, and, essentially, based on face to face meetings, handshakes both real and virtual, in the form of exchanged data between friends. This would make the system interpersonal and provide a basis for security.

How would someone get a polling question placed before the community?

..... The queries by people would be sourced at the precinct or neighborhood level. Poll questions, which garner support, meaning a requisite percentage of total responses, whether negative or positive, are then sent on to higher levels, meaning larger regions or groupings of people. There would have to be an aggregating function so that similar questions are grouped or combined. Of course persons in government or media could also propose a polling question but it would have to proceed in a like manner. A polling question will rise through the levels in accord with the interest the people have in responding, again, whether negative or positive.

..... This would, by encouraging grass roots, crowd sourced political awareness, affect polities around the world.

Will this supplant the usual kind of voting?

..... iVote, it is really not meant to supplant voting, but rather it will be an important supplement to it. A parallel system, if you will. iVote's purpose is to change the way the people, on all levels, and as often as needed, make their opinions known. In an iVote world the role of the media and government would be different than it is today.

..... What this means is that iVoting would evolve to create a three-part cycle to public discussion on any issue. First, an issue would rise to importance via iVote polling, second, public figures would rise to the occasion and, through debates and discussions, analyze the issue from various points of view&emdash;so as to inform the people, third, the role of the media would be to cover these events and add the contributions of those who have expertise to share. The media would function as one means to disseminate those discussions, debates, research, and information so that the public at large could then amend their response to the polling question over time, via iVote. Thus would we all be part of a system that creates a true vox populi. Therefore, while it is not really voting, per se, despite its name, I chose it because the moniker has a marketable "cool factor."

How will polling be done?

..... The essential aspect of this system, which sets it apart from all the others, is that to join and or participate you will be need to meet your neighbors and shake hands, or the cultural equivalent.

..... Activities, meetings, and poll taking could take place at all manner of centers as long as they are very local, the corner store, neighborhood school, firehouse, a neighbor's home or local business, religious place or community hall. All of these places could be possible locations to meet your neighbor, engage in business to verify the taking of any poll, they can be changed by mutual agreement.

..... The polling would be via chipped "tokens" or encrypted thumb drives, used in concert with a chain of trust, friendship, neighbors and so on, so that polling could be done easily, conveniently. One would "load up one's token" or thumb drive with iVote data, take it to the local meeting so that witnesses could verify you used you responded to a poll by exchanging data with the system. Any number of issues could be covered at one time.

..... A model for consideration might be Estonia's electric voting system, perhaps with a national ID card with encryption key and a card reader in computer so you can verify your polling and audit, your groups or localities could do so as well.

What would be a "good result?

..... I would say that any polling question meeting a threshold, say 75% of the public approval or disapproval could well require the government's consideration, morally - certainly, legally - eventually but all those who run the political systems would subject to an ongoing evaluation by the people without a doubt.

However, if it is only a poll, how will that really change anything?

..... iVote is a system of polling and yes, it is only a poll, but it allows something that, at this point in human history, has not ever existed before and is only now, in this day and age, possible, which is to say the ability of the people to formulate their own questions and do their own polling of, by, and for themselves. This will allow them to know for certain what they think, want, like, dislike, approve or not approve of - without any intermediary. It allows intimate and national polling done by and for the people and is a run around the government, the 1%, the mass media and so on and so forth.

..... The heart of iVote is a system allowing "anytime polling" on issues great and small. The people will no longer be told what they think, want, believe and so on. It would be a game changer.

What about people who do not have connections or have other problems?

..... iVote could include persons voting via a trusted friend, phoning in, even using a written note or simple, printed form, which could be marked using a pencil or pen. A computer would not be needed in all places at all times because trust, handshakes, friendships and more could allow anyone to participate via community connections.

What about repressive governments or similar situations?

..... As long as voting is done in centralized, controlled, locations, the authorities can monitor everything, control what is on a ballot, make determinations as to what any result is, control who and who cannot vote, prevent groups from gathering, or local functionaries from enacting legislation counter to "national interests."

..... In addition, a repressive government could resist establishing iVote but the world would still be able to weigh in on that government's actions and or inactions.

..... iVoting can take place at anytime and in any place, there will be no polling places centrally controlled by governing agencies. People could gather at homes, local buildings, backyards, Café's at parks, on street corners, you name it. The proverbial one percent will not be able to have their minions everywhere, nor shut down all web activity, phoning, friends meeting up, folks talking in the parks or as they stroll along. It will be very difficult to stop the dissemination of polling results. The genie is out of the bottle. Social evolution will proceed.

..... In addition, it may well be that, eventually, voting could be done in a way very similar to this.

What about members doing business with each other?

..... There would be the notion that any agreement could be witnessed, and verified by members agreeing to act as witnesses and or mediators when such is needed. There are many existent community arbitration organizations, certainly a protocol would be established for handling complaints.

Couldn't this be done much more simply?

..... Yes, the large scale website is not absolutely necessary. If all that is really needed is the means for taking polls, a far simpler website structure would be possible. This would be less expensive, far easier to set up and it could be set up in a much shorter time period. What would make that possible is people organizing to support the concept and then the creation of the web access for iVoting.

Section Five, technological Notes

How would it be set up?

..... There would be no new technology needed. Everything necessary for this system to be put in place or ready to be taken "off the shelf."

..... After talking with a computer programmer as to what would be needed to set something like this up, I was told that some dozen or so programmers given room and board for 8 months or so could create the code for the system I have attempted to describe. It would be scaled up using cloud computing and so reduce the costs of expansion.

..... The participation, at the polling place level, will be dependent on face-to-face recognition by other participants as well as real and virtual handshakes. One could use a token or software program in a flash drive to publicly respond to a poll. Those present, the witnesses would insure that each person gets one vote. We do this sort of thing already with voting machines and credit cards.

..... It does require planning but I've been assured the technical aspect requires nothing that does not already exist in terms of software or hardware and that security would be sourced at the individual user level.


But what do others think?
The initial research has not found a comparable system. What I will do is find systems that may be close. It may come to that. We shall see

This talks about the
simple fixes that could make voting in the US better, but it is still the ordinary and the "same old."

From Stanford we have an outline of the different ways people vote,
the advantages or disadvantages of the differing methods

The New Republic uncovers problems exposed by the successful Obama campaign of 2012.

In Estonia a large portion of their voting is done online, and this is close to what I am thinking about but it is still, not instant, not sourced from the people and it is a scheduled event but they do call it i-voting, with is eerily similar to what I call iVoting.

The Washington Post asks if Estonia can do it, why can't we?

However good the system might be iVoting as it is in Estonia may not be the answer, there are
hacking issues according to the Telegraph

There are differing views regarding internet voting!


..... I am intent upon problem solving and, in association with Creative Ideas Consulting of San Francisco, I am embarking on another means of affecting the warp and woof of our social fabric so as to promote a healthy change in the evolution of the human civilization or community on Earth.

..... Much more is coming but this note provides notice that help is on the way, in the meantime, to make inquiries, see the following link: Email Dan!