In a true democracy, citizens being actively involved in governing should not be made unnecessarily difficult.
The invention of the printing press made representative democracy a more viable form of government by expanding literacy (and access to knowledge and information through literacy) and by making written materials less expensive.
The technological developments of the past few decades, particularly the Internet, have made it possible to make direct democracy a more viable form of government by making it much easier for citizens to share information, engage in political discussions with other citizens all over a country (or even the world). We can now get a real feel for the candidates who are seeking our support by hearing and seeing them speak in videos posted online. We can visit their websites and learn whatever information they want to share.
A safe, secure system can (and should) be put in place where voters can set up accounts that enable them to sign petitions, assign and reassign proxies, and vote online in referendums. Such a system is obviously possible. An online system for initiative petitions is already in place and being utilized in the European Union. Allowing citizens to sign petitions securely online would be a major victory in our efforts to make America a more perfect democracy.
The security of an online system for signing petitions, assigning and reassigning proxies, and voting would be enhanced by legislation providing for stiff penalties for hacking into the system or compromising the system in any way. As John Locke noted, people who commit various acts of fraud within a true democracy should be heavily penalized with both fines and jail time. Penalties should be substantial enough to seriously discourage bad actors from engaging in any form of fraud with regard to petitions, proxies, referendums, or elections.
We need to take full advantage of all of the opportunities for more active engagement being presented by technology.
If you want to get involved in our grassroots efforts to make America a more perfect democracy, please provide your email address. You will receive occasional emails with calls to action and updates regarding our progress. You will never be asked for a financial contribution. Your contact information will not be shared.