Re: ELECTION: problems/solutions

From: Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Date: Mon Nov 13 2000 - 11:06:31 MST wrote:
> Brian Williams writes:
> > PROBLEM: The media may have influenced the outcome of the vote.
> >
> > SOLUTION: Ban all media from polling places, ban all media
> > discussion of election results till all polls have
> > closed.
> Isn't the notion of the "media" becoming obsolete in this day of user to
> user communications? I don't think we can usefully distinguish between
> the media and ordinary people, when anyone can publish and share his
> observations via the Internet.
> I would not support banning discussion of elections by individuals. In
> the first place such a limitation would be almost impossible to enforce.
> In the second place it sets a precedent for further erosion of freedom
> of speech, one of the most important principles in guaranteeing freedom.

I think the solution is twofold: First, Internet voting; second, Internet
revoting. Let any Internet voter change their vote as often as they like,
over the course of a week, after the initial results start coming in. That
way, everyone can vote their conscience for Browne or Nader first, then switch
their vote to Bush or Gore when it becomes clear that the third parties are
not going to win... *if* third parties don't actually start winning, under
such a system. It would maximize voter turnout... I think... especially in
closely disputed elections. How many Floridans would turn out for a revote?
80%? 90%? Of course, there's also the possibility that people won't bother
to vote unless it looks like the election is close or that their
favorite/unfavorite candidate is losing/winning.

There's also the possibility of most voters holding their vote till the last
minute, like auctions on eBay. I'm not quite sure how to handle that.

-- -- -- -- --
Eliezer S. Yudkowsky
Research Fellow, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence

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