Please discuss this revised version.
The date for federal elections is hereby moved to the first Monday in May beginning with the second regularly scheduled election following the enactment of this amendment.
All those in elective office upon enactment of this amendment shall have their current terms of office shortened if necessary to conform to this new date.
The states must conform to this change in date.
The first election held under the requirements of this amendment must be within four years of its enactment.
Persons holding elective office for less than three years at the time of the enactment of this amendment shall not have those years counted towards term limits imposed by this amendment.
The first Monday in May in an election year is hereby set as both a federal and state holiday.
All federal and state elections shall be conducted using the Alternative (or instant-run off) vote beginning at the second regularly scheduled election following the enactment of this amendment. The state and federal governments are required to conduct public education campaigns on the procedures of an election using the alternative vote system.
A newly elected Congress shall convene at noon on the last Monday in May. A newly elected President shall take office at noon on the third Monday in June.
The Electoral College is hereby abolished.
Election campaigns for federal offices shall be limited to the months of January through April of an election year. No campaign funds may be spent outside of those months.
Political party primary campaigns for all federal elective offices shall be conducted in either January, February or March of an election year as outlined in this amendment.
The states shall be divided into five regions with as close to equal population as is reasonable and practical by the Federal Elections Commission. The Commission shall take into account geography, regional ties, and shared history in determination of these districts, which must be contiguous with the exceptions of Alaska and Hawaii and other overseas territories. Said regions shall conduct their primary elections campaigns in the following manner: Regions 1 and 2 shall vote on the last Monday in January; region 3 shall vote on the last Monday in February; and regions 4 and 5 shall vote on the last Monday in March. At all subsequent elections, the regions shall be rotated in order through the voting months in a similar manner as at the first election.
Congress and the state legislatures shall enact all appropriate legislation to conform with this amendment within two years of its enactment.
The whole electorate shall directly elect the President of the United States. A candidate must receive 50% plus one of the popular vote to be elected.
In the case that no candidate receives 50% plus one of the popular vote, a run-off election between the two candidates who received the most votes shall take place on the third Monday in May.
In that event, the third Monday in May shall be designated as both a federal and state holiday.
In the event that no candidate receives 50% plus one of the popular vote at the second election, or in the event that either the President-elect or the Vice-President elect shall not be able to take office due to death, resignation, or permanent mental or physical incapacitation, then the House of Representatives shall elect the President and the Senate shall elect the Vice President. They shall choose between the three candidates who received the most votes in the first election and who are also capable of serving as President or Vice President.
In the event that the House of Representatives must elect the President, or the Senate must elect the Vice President, each member of each state’s congressional delegation shall have one vote. All such elections are by simply majority.
The members of each state’s congressional delegation are required to cast their votes as proportionately matched to the popular vote of their state as closely as is possible and practical on the first ballot, with allowances for changes in candidates.
In the event that no candidate is elected President by noon on the third Monday in June, the Speaker of the House shall become Acting President for no more than sixty days. A new president must be elected within that time either by popular vote or by Congress.
In the event that no candidate is elected Vice President by noon on the third Monday in June, the president pro tem of the Senate shall become Acting Vice President for no more than sixty days. A new vice president must be elected in that time either by popular vote or by Congress.
The term of office of the President of the United States is hereby set at six years. No person may serve more than two terms in any twenty-four year period. No person may serve more than three terms.
The term of office of the members of the United States House of Representatives is hereby set at four years. No person may serve more than four terms.
The term of office of the members of the United States Senate is hereby set at eight years. No person may serve more than three terms.
If a person completes less than half of a predecessor’s term, that service shall not be counted in the term limit provision.
In the event that Congress cannot enact a federal budget by the start of the new fiscal year, Congress shall have sixty days to enact a budget. If no budget is enacted within sixty days, both houses of Congress are automatically dissolved, with new elections held on the forth Monday following dissolution. That date shall be designated a federal and state holiday. Those elected at the subsequent election shall complete the unexpired terms of their predecessor.
The states may adopt electronic voting devices, but any devices must produce a paper receipt for the voter and must institute the most powerful encryption and security software available.
The Federal Election Commission is hereby empowered to recommend to the states the most secure electronic voting devices, and to publicize the security flaws in other devices.
Congress shall expand said commission as necessary to conform to this and other provisions.
The term of office of any person appointed to the federal judiciary shall expire upon reaching the age of seventy years.
The states shall be awarded a number of United States Senators in the following manner.
The states with the largest populations that together comprise fifty percent of the whole population shall elect four Senators each.
The states with the next largest populations that together comprise thirty-five percent of the remaining fifty percent of the population shall elect three Senators each.
The remaining states shall elect two Senators each.
The District of Columbia shall elect one Senator, beginning at the second regularly scheduled Congressional elections following the enactment of this amendment.
In consultation with tribal governments and appropriate federal agencies, Congress must provide for representation in both house of Congress for residents of Native American reservations in some manner within four years of the enactment of this amendment. Seats awarded to the native peoples shall not count towards the totals for each of house of Congress set by other sections of this amendment. Representatives elected shall have the full power of office.
The number of seats in the House of Representatives is hereby raised to five hundred and thirty-five, beginning at the second regularly scheduled Congressional election following the adoption of this amendment.
The federal and state governments must conduct a new census within two years following the adoption of this amendment, in order to reapportion the seats in the House of Representatives.
The District of Columbia is hereby authorized to elect one member to the House of Representatives, beginning at the second regularly scheduled Congressional elections following the enactment of this amendment.
The process commonly called “Gerrymandering” is hereby outlawed.
The power to design congressional electoral districts in each state is hereby granted to the supreme court of each state.
The state supreme courts shall create the new electoral districts on completion of the census required by this amendment, and all subsequent decennial censuses.
Said districts must cover roughly the same population size, and must be of regular shape and contiguous, taking into account state and natural borders. The courts may not consider race, religion, income, or prior voting patterns in creation of the new districts. Districts must be non-partisan.
Exceptions to these guidelines made in order to conform most closely to the intent of equal, fair, and proportional representation must receive the approval of the United States Supreme Court.
Voters of an individual district, or of the state as a whole, may petition the state legislature for redress if said districts do not conform to this amendment. The state legislatures are empowered to compel the state supreme court to redraw such districts if warranted.
If the state fails to offer redress, the voters may petition the Supreme Court of the United States.
The voters may dissolve either or both houses of Congress by referendum, in preparation for new elections.
Dissolution of one or both houses shall occur forty-eight hours following the passage of the referendum.
Subsequent elections shall be conducted on the sixth Monday following the enactment of dissolution. That day shall be designated a federal and state holiday. Those elected shall fill the remainder of their predecessor’s term. The new Congress shall convene forty-eight hours after the election.
In the event that the Senate is dissolved by referendum, all members of the Senate must seek re-election.
The voters may recall the President, the Vice President, or any member of the United States Supreme Court in similar fashion.
Recall elections for President or Vice President shall include the election of a new President or Vice President. The person or persons elected shall complete the unexpired term of their predecessor.
The President or Vice President shall remain in office until the recall election is conducted. If either the President or Vice President is removed from office by referendum, the term of office shall expire twenty-four hours from the certification of election results.
The voters may compel the President of the United States as Commander-in-Chief to withdraw the military forces of the United States from any conflict through referendum.
A majority of voters in two-thirds of the states must approve of such a referendum.
A majority is hereby defined as 50% of the whole vote cast plus one.
A conference of Congress and the state legislatures shall create a formula for the introduction and passage of such referenda, so that all states adopt the same formula. Said conference shall determine the specifics necessary to carry out this provision. Said formula must balance the rights and interests of the voters with issues of political stability. Proper legislation must be enacted by each state within three years of the adoption of this amendment.
The United States Supreme Court decision Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 558 U.S. 310 (2010), is hereby repealed.
No corporation may be granted the same rights as a human being.
Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex or sexual orientation, except to protect the reasonable health, safety and wellbeing of all citizens. Matters related to sexual orientation are restricted to relationships between consenting adults. The state and federal governments are empowered to limit marriage to two persons. Both Congress and the state legislatures are required to enact appropriate legislation to conform with this amendment within two years of its enactment.
Together the state and federal governments shall fund the political campaigns for elective offices.
Congress shall determine the amount of funding granted to candidates for federal office. The amount must be the same for all candidates for a single office. Monies dispersed shall be dispensed under the supervision of the Federal Elections Commission or other body designated by Congress.
No candidate or party whose platform advocates violence or racial or sexual discrimination are eligible for federal election funds.
The state legislatures shall set the amount of funding available for candidates for state office. The amount must be the same for all candidates for a single office.
No corporation, political action committee, public or private organization or foreign entity may donate any funds to any candidate for political office.
Personal donations to political candidates are hereby limited to five hundred dollars (adjusted for inflation every ten years). Individual donors are limited to full-time residents of the appropriate electoral district.
Congress shall require that broadcast and cable channels offer free airtime to candidates for federal office, with each candidate receiving equal time.
Candidates may not air campaign commercials or videos that attack an opposing candidate using free airtime.
Once a person leaves federal elective or appointive office, that person may not engage in lobbying for a period of ten years. Congress is empowered to lengthen this ban, but not shorten it.
The cultivation and sale of marijuana is hereby legal in all states and territories.
A citizen must have attained the age of twenty-one to produce, purchase or sell marijuana.
Congress and the state legislatures may tax the production and sale of marijuana.
The production and sale of marijuana shall be regulated by the appropriate agencies of the state and federal governments.
All those current incarcerated for the non-violent possession or sale of marijuana in federal or state prisons are hereby granted a full pardon. State or federal prosecutors may ask the appropriate court to consider the retention of individuals for the remainder of their sentence if such individuals pose a threat to public safety or for some other compelling reason. The courts may so order under appropriate circumstances.
Congress shall enforce “net neutrality” and the Federal Communications Commission shall immediately restore the Equal Time doctrine. The Equal Time Doctrine may not be repealed.
As investment in the education of each generation is an essential component of any society which values liberty, free and quality public education for all citizens is a legal right and an obligation of the state and federal governments.
The state and federal governments shall appoint a National Educational Reform Commission comprised solely of recognized experts in educational policy or related fields. The President of the United States shall appoint a chair and two other members. The United States Senate shall appoint three members. The United States House of Representatives shall appoint three members. Each state governor shall appoint one member, and each state legislature shall appoint two members. This commission shall hold hearings and design a proposal for the reform of public education in the United States, including the recommendation for appropriate state and national taxes to fund a quality educational system. This commission shall also consider the introduction of a national collegiate system, in place of or in partnership with the state public collegiate system, with free or reduced tuition. Said commission shall prepare draft legislation for consideration by Congress and/or the state legislatures. The recommendations of this commission must be given a vote in Congress and all state legislatures when appropriate.
For-profit educational institutions are legally inferior to non-profit educational institutions and may not enjoy any legal benefits provided to non-profit educational institutions. The federal Department of Education shall strictly regulate the cost to benefit ratio of for-profit educational institutions. No for-profit educational institution may be accredited by any traditional educational accrediting societies, and may not be accredited by any institution or body that accredits non-profit educational institutions.
All tax-paying citizens shall be empowered to allocate 50% of their total tax payments to both the federal and state governments.
Tax forms shall allow the taxpayer to choose to allocate up to 50% of their tax collected to one or more of the following categories: defense; education; infrastructure; foreign aid; social safety net; healthcare; and up to two more categories designated by Congress.
Congress and the state legislatures must allocate these funds as determined by the taxpayers as closely as is reasonable and practical. These allocations may be postponed during times of war or national emergency.
Congress and the state legislatures are hereby empowered to enact all legislation necessary to conform to the provisions of this amendment.
This amendment shall expire in twenty-five years if not ratified by two-thirds of the states by that time.
Congress is empowered to enact legislation to correct technical, systemic, or logical faults in this operational portions of amendment by a vote of two-thirds of both houses within ten years of the adoption of this amendment.