Commentary & Analysis

Donor Spotlight: Investing in Efficiency

CES Donor Jordon Kalilich
CES Donor Jordon Kalilich

Hours turned into days and then weeks. All eyes were on Florida, as people around the country waited to learn whether George W. Bush or Al Gore would secure the victory in the closest race in the history of presidential elections. Growing up, Jordon Kalilich tinkered with computers in Broward County, Florida. Jordon noted that while computers and software were rapidly evolving, the way we voted was not. And it was leading to terrible inefficiencies.

“What America has experienced over the past few decades is worse than any government shutdown: it’s a political shutdown, where holding power and keeping it from others is more important than actually using it,” Jordon said.

That passion for finding more efficient ways of doing things led Jordon to a career as a software engineer and to interests such as the easy-to-learn language of Esperanto and voting methods.

After reading about various methods, Jordon learned that approval voting was superior to our current choose-one method, was easy to understand and implement, and that a new organization called The Center for Election Science was fighting for its adoption.

“Approval voting is the latest in a long line of things I’ve found to be both pleasantly logical and potentially world-changing,” Jordon recalled.

With approval voting, Jordon thinks that local elections in his home of Seattle would result in candidates more representative of voters and that issues like copyright reform would be taken more seriously. “Old copyrights are usually extended by law when they’re about to expire, and so the public domain, a rich source of inspiration for creative works, rarely grows,” Jordon explained. “Over the years, [these] have been extended repeatedly at the behest of big media companies that bankroll congressional candidates.”

Several close presidential elections later, Jordon can’t believe that more people aren’t curious about ways to innovate in this area. But, Jordon believes that with CES leading the charge, that there is an opportunity for us to fix the way we vote.

“CES is the only organization I know of that advocates for approval voting, and America needs to know about it,” Jordon said.

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