In an op-ed piece about whether it's necessarily a good thing to have everybody vote in national elections, a Notre Dame professor takes a look at a provocative counter-proposal: an "electoral jury" system. The idea would be to randomly select a representative jury of several thousand people or so, and let them do the heavy lifting of poring over candidates' positions, watching debates, and so on, explains Gary Gutting in the New York Times. After weeks of intense, transparent deliberations, they'd vote to select a winner. Likely? Of course not. Unconstitutional? Maybe. Which is why Gutting floats a modified version.
"We could have an unofficial jury—chosen, perhaps, by a consortium of major universities or of television news divisions—that would meet, discuss in depth and vote several weeks before the actual election." If the system caught on, candidates would be clamoring to participate, and this mock vote would likely hold a good deal of sway over the actual voting to follow. "Such a jury might well be the best practical way toward more informed and intelligent voting," writes Gutting. Click for his full column. (Read more voting stories.)