The electoral process is severly broken in the United States at the national, state, and county levels. I've talked a lot about voting machine problems.
The other big problem, in my opinion, is that third party voices are actively prevented from speaking in the same forums as their major party counterparts.
Ever since the success of Ross Perot in the 1992 Presidential Election, the two ruling parties have done everything in their power to prevent third party candidates from getting on state ballots and from participating in televised debates.
In most states, the Secretary of State determines how elections are governed and implemented. Few people paid much attention to the Secretary of State position until two then-unknown politicians, Kathleen Harris of Florida in 2000 and Ken Blackwell of Ohio in 2004, abused their positions to influence election results in favor of their own Republican party candidates.
Now it is clear that an unscrupulous Secretary of State can subvert the elections process and deny many legitimate citizens the right to vote. A strong and impartial Secretary, on the other hand, could go a long way toward making a state's elections far more democratic.
The best candidate for Secreatary of State would be neither a Democrat nor a Republican. A candidate from a third party has much more motivation to make elections fair, to make every vote count, and to let every qualified candidate have a voice.
The accuracy of our elections will take a giant step backwards if either Bruce McPherson (R) or Debra Bowen (D) are elected Secretary of State. While the two candidates differ on various technical issues surrounding the certification of voting machines, both continue to support an open market for our votes controlled by private voting machine manufactures.
Since there are 58 counties in California, the potential number of voting systems in our state is large. No matter what safeguards Bowen or McPherson dream up, putting the integrity of our votes into the hands of a 'network' of private corporations is really a recipe for disaster.
If we are serious about assuring the accuracy of our vote we need a Secretary of State that will work with the local county registrars to create a 'single uniform system of voting' throughout the state, administered by a non-partisan elections commission.
As expected Forrest Hill has been locked out from debates with the Republican and Democratic candidates.
The deck is usually stacked against third party candidates. These days, the deck is even stacked against fair voting. The only cure for that kind of deck-stacking is to elect a third party candidate for Secretary of State.
Whatever your party affiliation, if you are a California voter I urge you to vote for Forrest Hill for Secretary of State on November 7th.