Is Your Future Congressman A Machine?

RealClear Staff

            

And why it may not be that bad.

Congressional approval has never been lower, yet reelection rates among incumbent candidates are at historical highs. So how do we get the country back on track? Software startup PlaceAVote.com thinks that it has the solution with a crowdsourced voting system that allows constitutents to vote on legislation in real-time. 

While constituents won't technically be voting for a machine to act as their representative come the next election cycle, they will be voting for software entrepreneurs and programmers. If elected, these congressmen will vote according to the results of a public poll that all registered constitutents will be able to vote on. The hypothetical senator or representative will then vote strictly according to the most popular opinion.

Other features of PlaceAVote.com include an open forum in which voters can discuss legislation, a real-time tracker of the support that a bill has garnered, and simplified summaries of key laws, among other things. Additionally, the founders of the startup guarantee that the elected representatives will be unable to be effectively 'purchased' by special interest groups. 

Though the two proposed candidates, John Catano (California 22nd District) and Job Melton (California 16th District), were defeated in their June primaries, there are currently plans to bring the project into an additional 15 districts for the 2016 elections.

What do you think? Is crowdsourced, real-time voting on legislation the way of the future? Or is there a better solution to reform a clearly failing system?

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