The current unresponsiveness of local government to its constituents and its inability to resolve urban minority problems could be greatly reduced by the "instant referendum," a two-way, CATV-based remote voting system permitting direct citizen participation in city council proceedings. Cable television would be the best medium for such a system because it would permit fast response time and would be convenient to use as well as inexpensive. A cable system can carry so many channels that some could be used at little cost to present political arguments to voters. A remote voting system is technically feasible now, and could be designed to handle the problems of voter identification, "ballot box" stuffing, and absentee voters. An instant referendum would undoubtedly benefit active minority groups at the expense of both the present elite and the majority of politically less active voters. (See also P-4604.) 34 pp. Ref.
This report is part of the RAND Corporation Paper series. The paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.
Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit www.rand.org/about/research-integrity.
The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.