How We Should Elect Our President In 2020

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In a few short weeks, this bizarre, seemingly interminable election cycle will come to an end. And no matter who wins, one thing is certain: Our process for electing the president of the United States is ripe for disruption (Russian hackers notwithstanding). So we asked Fast Company’s influencer community to offer solutions. More than 50 of them weighed in with ideas. Here is a sampling.

“We need to move to a form of voter registration like Oregon’s—everyone is preregistered unless they opt out.” Jack Harrison-Quintana, director of Grindr for Equality, Grindr

“So many brilliant people don’t run because of the burden on personal lives, the hit one’s reputation takes, and it’s too expensive. If we can change at least the first two, that would be awesome.” Leslie Bradshaw, managing partner, Made by Many

“The process is way too long. It’s a holdover from when information and people traveled less swiftly. As a result, campaigns need to spend more and presidents need to begin running for reelection halfway through their term.” Hunter Walk, partner, Homebrew

“Have one independent candidate every cycle that receives public fi­­nancing and participates in the debates. That would allow for greater diversity of viewpoints and force candidates not to simply cater to their parties’ bases.” Andrew Yang, founder and CEO, Venture for America

“I’d prefer a parliamentary system where the chief executive is elected from the majority party in Congress. That would ensure that legislation could pass and voters would vote out administrations whose legislation they’ve seen fail.” Matthew J. Schmidt, professor, national security and political science, University of New Haven

“Dismantle the electoral college and go with the raw popular vote.” Olajide Williams, president, Hip Hop Public Health

“Fewer than 9% of citizens cast a primary vote for our two presidential candidates. There’s got to be a way to engage the majority right from the start.” —Tom Phillips, CEO, Dstillery

“Vote from our phones.” Moj Mahdara, CEO, Beautycon Media

“Have a bipartisan group develop a list of yes-or-no questions that cover major policy and social issues, and require all candidates to answer with a simple yes or no in order to get on the ballot.” Scott Belsky, partner, Benchmark

“Use public matching funds to boost the power of small campaign donations.” Daniel G. Newman, president and cofounder, MapLight

A version of this article appeared in the November 2016 issue of Fast Company
magazine.



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