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Month: October 2020

U.S. Transhumanist Party and Nevada Transhumanist Party Positions on 2020 Nevada Ballot Questions

U.S. Transhumanist Party and Nevada Transhumanist Party Positions on 2020 Nevada Ballot Questions

Gennady Stolyarov II


The United States Transhumanist Party and Nevada Transhumanist Party offer the following brief statements of position on the ballot questions currently before Nevada voters in the 2020 General Election.

Summary
Nevada State Question 1 – Removal of Constitutional Status of Board of Regents: Neutral
Nevada State Question 2 – Marriage Regardless of Gender Amendment: Support
Nevada State Question 3 – State Board of Pardons Commissioners Amendment: Support
Nevada State Question 4 – State Constitutional Rights of Voters Amendment: Oppose
Nevada State Question 6 – Renewable Energy Standards Initiative: Oppose

Note: There is no substantive Question 5 on the Nevada ballot; Question 5 was intentionally left blank.

Nevada State Ballot Question 1Removal of Constitutional Status of Board of Regents Neutral

Wording of Ballot Question: “Shall the Nevada Constitution be amended to: (1) remove provisions governing the election and duties of the Board of Regents and its control and management of the State University and require the Legislature to provide by law for the State University’s governance, control, and management and the reasonable protection of individual academic freedom at Nevada’s public higher education institutions; and (2) revise the administration of certain federal land grant proceeds dedicated for the benefit of certain departments of the State University?” (More information on BallotPedia.)

Position of the U.S. Transhumanist Party and Nevada Transhumanist Party: The U.S. Transhumanist Party and Nevada Transhumanist Party are generally neutral as to the structure of oversight over educational institutions and so are indifferent as to whether Nevada universities are overseen by a separately elected Board of Regents or directly by the Legislature. There is a favorable component of Ballot Question 1 which would mandate for the Legislature to provide by law for “the reasonable protection of individual academic freedom at Nevada’s public higher education institutions” – which would be in addition to any such protections for academic freedom that exist at the U.S. federal level. The U.S. Transhumanist Party and Nevada Transhumanist Party are supportive of strengthening protections for individual academic freedom; however, if Ballot Question 1 passes, it is not clear what form these protections would take or how substantive they would be. The U.S. Transhumanist Party and Nevada Transhumanist Party do not see any specific harms arising from Ballot Question 1 but would generally consider the issues involved to be outside the purview of specifically transhumanist political advocacy. Therefore, members are encouraged to vote their conscience on this ballot question by consulting their own individual understandings of the relevant matters.

Nevada State Ballot Question 2Marriage Regardless of Gender Amendment – Support

Wording of Ballot Question: “Shall the Nevada Constitution be amended to: (1) remove an existing provision recognizing marriage as only between a male person and a female person and require the State of Nevada and its political subdivisions to recognize marriages of and issue marriage licenses to couples, regardless of gender; (2) require all legally valid marriages to be treated equally under the law; and (3) establish a right for religious organizations and clergy members to refuse to perform a marriage and provide that no person is entitled to make any claim against them for exercising that right?” (More information on BallotPedia.)

Position of the U.S. Transhumanist Party and Nevada Transhumanist Party: The U.S. Transhumanist Party and Nevada Transhumanist Party support Ballot Question 2, which is essentially a recognition of the existing United States law, stemming from the U.S. Supreme Court 2015 decision in Obergefell v. Hodges. De facto Nevada already recognizes same-sex marriages, and for the sake of consistency, the Nevada Constitution should also offer this recognition de jure. Moreover, Article XII of the Transhumanist Bill of Rights, Version 3.0, supports the right of marriage for all “sentient entities of full age and competency” – without distinction as to the genders of the sentient entities involved.

Nevada State Ballot Question 3 State Board of Pardons Commissioners Amendment Support

Wording of Ballot Question: “Shall the Nevada Constitution be amended to: (1) require the State Board of Pardons Commissioners—whose members are the Governor, the justices of the Nevada Supreme Court, and the Nevada Attorney General—to meet at least quarterly; (2) authorize each member of the Board to submit matters for consideration by the Board; and (3) authorize the Board to grant pardons and make other clemency decisions by a majority vote of its members without requiring the Governor to be part of the majority of the Board that votes in favor of such decisions?” (More information on BallotPedia.)

Position of the U.S. Transhumanist Party and Nevada Transhumanist Party: The U.S. Transhumanist Party and Nevada Transhumanist Party support Ballot Question 3 due to the provisions in Article VI, Section XIV, of the U.S. Transhumanist Party Platform and Article I, Section X, of the Nevada Transhumanist Party Platform: The United States Transhumanist Party [or Nevada Transhumanist Party] supports efforts to significantly reduce the massive incarcerated population in America by using innovative technologies to monitor criminals outside of prison. All mandatory sentencing laws should be abolished, and each individual should be sentenced based solely on the consideration of the nature of that individual’s crime, its context, and its severity.” More frequent meetings of the State Board of Pardons Commissioners would allow more frequent consideration of circumstances that genuinely justify releasing an individual from prison. This would allow opportunities to lower the excessive incarcerated population in Nevada. Furthermore, the ability to make clemency decisions by a majority of the votes of the State Board of Pardons Commissioners would also enable individuals to be released when the prevailing opinion of the Commissioners is that the facts of the situation justify such release – again contributing to the reduction of needless incarcerations.

Nevada State Ballot Question 4 – State Constitutional Rights of Voters Amendment – Oppose

Wording of Ballot Question: “Shall the Nevada Constitution be amended by adding a new section guaranteeing specific voting rights to all qualified and registered voters in the State?”

Per BallotPedia, “The amendment would provide qualified persons who are registered to vote with a constitutional right to receive and cast a ballot that is written in a ‘format that allows the clear identification of candidates’ and ‘accurately records the voter’s preference in the selection of candidates.’ It also would provide registered voters with other constitutional rights, including:

(a) to have questions about voting procedures answered and have voting procedures posted in a visible location at the polling place;

(b) to vote without intimidation, threats, or coercion;

(c) to vote during any early-voting period or on election day if the voter is in line at the time polls close;

(d) to return a spoiled ballot and receive a replacement ballot;

(e) to request assistance in voting if necessary;

(f) to a sample ballot ‘which is accurate, informative and delivered in a timely manner;’

(g) to receive instruction on how to use voting equipment;

(h) to equal access to the elections system without discrimination, including on the basis of ‘race, age, disability, military service, employment or overseas residence;’

(i) to a ‘uniform, statewide standard for counting and recounting all votes accurately;’ and

(j) to have ‘complaints about elections and election contests resolved fairly, accurately and efficiently.’”

Position of the U.S. Transhumanist Party and Nevada Transhumanist Party: While the U.S. Transhumanist Party and Nevada Transhumanist Party consider the intentions of Ballot Question 4 to be laudable – who could oppose transparency, clarity and freedom from intimidation? – some of the proposed constitutional protections could, as an unintended consequence, entrench an already-obsolete paper-based voting system which should, as soon as the technology is viable and deployable at scale, be replaced with an electronic, blockchain-based system using which people could securely verify their identities and vote from the comfort of their homes. The above-listed protections already exist in Nevada statute, which is adequate to the circumstances and would be more readily open to amendments as the technological possibilities would suggest to be proper, as contrasted with a Constitutional provision which would be extremely difficult to amend once enacted.

The argument of the opponents of Ballot Question 4, as published in the sample ballot provided to Nevada voters, is persuasive: “There is a reason that the voting rights listed in Question 4 exist in statute and have not been added to the Nevada Constitution: these voting rights, while vitally important, are not timeless in their structure or application, and the forms they take may change substantially as the ways in which we vote and conduct elections evolve. Future advances in technology will likely make several of the voting matters addressed by Question 4 – such as written ballots, polling places, and even in-person voting – obsolete.”

Nevada State Ballot Question 6Renewable Energy Standards Initiative Oppose

Wording of Ballot Question: “Shall Article 4 of the Nevada Constitution be amended to require, beginning in calendar year 2022, that all providers of electric utility services who sell electricity to retail customers for consumption in Nevada generate or acquire incrementally larger percentages of electricity from renewable energy resources so that by calendar year 2030 not less than 50 percent of the total amount of electricity sold by each provider to its retail customers in Nevada comes from renewable energy resources?“ (More information on BallotPedia.)

Position of the U.S. Transhumanist Party and Nevada Transhumanist Party: The U.S. Transhumanist Party and Nevada Transhumanist Party opposes Ballot Question 6. While the U.S. Transhumanist Party and Nevada Transhumanist Party support economical renewable energy and the acceleration of efforts to develop technologies to render as much of our energy supply renewable as possible, the ability to affordably generate 50 percent of the total electricity through renewable energy resources is ultimately a technological challenge, not a political one. If the technology is ready, and the market is robust and competitive enough to deploy it to consumers at more attractive prices than fossil-fuel energy, then a 50-percent or greater renewable proportion of electricity will be achieved by 2030 without the need for a mandate. If, however, the technology cannot yet render renewable energy competitive with fossil fuels, then the only effect of the mandate would be to push up costs and constrict supply of electricity to consumers. The surest way to bring about a future of greater renewable energy in Nevada is to repeal the NV Energy monopoly which has been standing in its way. Through competition, both technological and marketing innovations will thrive and will deliver renewable energy solutions to consumers.

Gennady Stolyarov II is the Chairman of the United States Transhumanist Party and the Chief Executive of the Nevada Transhumanist Party.

This post may be freely reproduced using the Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike International 4.0 License, which requires that credit be given to the author, Gennady Stolyarov II. Find out about Mr. Stolyarov here.

Where to Write In Charlie Kam for President of the United States – and How to Make Sure Your Vote Counts

Where to Write In Charlie Kam for President of the United States – and How to Make Sure Your Vote Counts

Support the U.S. Transhumanist Party’s Endorsed Kam-Parrish 2020 Campaign! Write Them In!

The United States Transhumanist Party (USTP) offers this guidance to its members and to other interested persons among the general public who wish to support the USTP-endorsed ticket of Charlie Kam for President of the United States and Elizabeth (Liz) Parrish for Vice-President of the United States.

Because the Republican-Democratic duopoly set up formidable petition-signature barriers to ballot access, and then effectively prohibited the gathering of petition signatures during the COVID-19 lockdowns, the USTP considers the ballot-access process to be rigged and fundamentally unjust. Besides, the USTP could not, in good conscience, risk the safety and health of its valued volunteers in order to gather in-person petition signatures during a deadly pandemic. We are, after all, a party that prioritizes healthy life extension. Instead the USTP encourages as many U.S. registered voters as possible to write in Charlie Kam and Liz Parrish in every state where write-in options exist pursuant to law.

Find your state among the five categories listed on the map below. If you support the Kam-Parrish 2020 ticket, you are then encouraged to follow the guidance pertaining to that category of states.

During the 2021-2024 time period, the USTP hopes to collaborate with other alternative political parties and advocacy organizations to lower as many barriers to ballot access as possible, in as many jurisdictions as possible.

States That Allow Automatic Write-In Access and Do Not Limit Ballot Pictures

States That Allow Automatic Write-In Access – But Prohibit Ballot Pictures

States That Allow Write-In Candidates and Do Not Limit Ballot Pictures – But We Need to Count the Votes

States That Allow Write-In Candidates – But Prohibit Ballot Pictures – But We Still Need to Count the Votes

States That Disallow Write-In Candidates

Why Vote Transhumanist in 2020?

 

States That Allow Automatic Write-In Access and Do Not Limit Ballot Pictures

Iowa, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Wyoming

Actions Recommended: Write in Charlie Kam as your Presidential candidate of choice. If there is space for a Vice-Presidential candidate, write in Elizabeth Parrish.

E-mail us a picture of your marked ballot or simply let us know that you voted for Charlie Kam. Send your e-mail to ustranshumanistparty@protonmail.com

These states will probably count your vote, but we want to count your vote as well and do it sooner! Also, we have no guarantee that these states will publish known vote totals for write-in candidates, but we certainly will.

States That Allow Automatic Write-In Access – But Prohibit Ballot Pictures

Alabama, New Jersey

Actions Recommended: Write in Charlie Kam as your Presidential candidate of choice. If there is space for a Vice-Presidential candidate, write in Elizabeth Parrish.

E-mail us to let us know that you voted for Charlie Kam. Send your e-mail to ustranshumanistparty@protonmail.com

However, please do not send pictures of marked ballots.

These states will probably count your vote, but we want to count your vote as well and do it sooner! Also, we have no guarantee that these states will publish known vote totals for write-in candidates, but we certainly will.

These states unfortunately prohibit “ballot selfies” or pictures of marked ballots, so please only tell us that you voted for Charlie Kam but do not send us actual pictures. We will believe you and count your vote.

States That Allow Write-In Candidates and Do Not Limit Ballot Pictures – But We Need to Count the Votes

Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia

Actions Recommended: Write in Charlie Kam as your Presidential candidate of choice. If there is space for a Vice-Presidential candidate, write in Elizabeth Parrish.

E-mail us a picture of your marked ballot or simply let us know that you voted for Charlie Kam. This will be important to ensure that your vote is counted, because the state will likely not publish the official totals.

States That Allow Write-In Candidates – But Prohibit Ballot Pictures – But We Still Need to Count the Votes

Alaska, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, Wisconsin

Actions Recommended: Write in Charlie Kam as your Presidential candidate of choice. If there is space for a Vice-Presidential candidate, write in Elizabeth Parrish.

E-mail us to let us know that you voted for Charlie Kam. However, please do not send pictures of marked ballots.

E-mailing us to simply let us know you voted is highly encouraged, since this will be important to ensure that your vote is counted, because the state will likely not publish the official totals.

States That Disallow Write-In Candidates

Arkansas, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota

Actions Recommended: Vote your conscience for the candidate / ticket appearing on the ballot whom you most prefer.

The above nine states above unfortunately disallow write-in candidates altogether, and therefore you would not have the option to write in Charlie Kam for President. The U.S. Transhumanist Party encourages you to vote your conscience based on which of the other candidates on the ballot would most closely reflect your personal views and policy preferences.

Note that the Libertarian Party ticket of Jo Jorgensen and Spike Cohen is on the ballot in all 50 states. Spike Cohen has been gracious in engaging with the U.S. Transhumanist Party and articulating many shared goals in the USTP Virtual Enlightenment Salon of September 13, 2020. Jo Jorgensen participated in the Free and Equal Elections Foundation Open Presidential Debate, co-sponsored by USTP Chairman Gennady Stolyarov II, in Chicago on March 4, 2020.

The Green Party ticket of Howie Hawkins and Angela Walker is on the ballot in Arkansas, Hawaii, Mississippi, New Mexico, and South Carolina. Howie Hawkins participated in the Free and Equal Elections Foundation Open Presidential Debate, co-sponsored by USTP Chairman Gennady Stolyarov II, in Chicago on March 4, 2020.

The American Solidarity Party ticket of Brian Carroll and Amar Patel is on the ballot in Mississippi. Brian Carroll participated in the Free and Equal Elections Foundation Open Presidential Debate, co-sponsored by USTP Chairman Gennady Stolyarov II, in Chicago on March 4, 2020.

Why Vote Transhumanist in 2020?

In case you need additional persuasion to write in Charlie Kam and support the Kam-Parrish ticket, here are some basic reasons.

  • Your one vote will not decide the outcome of the Presidential election, even in battleground states. But it can send a message that the status quo is broken and a dramatic refocusing of American politics is needed. We can do better than the duopoly! The disgraceful Trump-Biden debate of September 29, 2020, clearly showed that America deserves far better spokespeople on the political stage.
  • Let the political establishment know that ignoring science and technology is no longer palatable. Technological progress, particularly in medicine, is urgently needed to overcome the numerous crises of our time.
  • Support dedicated life-extension advocates such as Charlie Kam and Liz Parrish. Enable them to reach new audiences and show the public that radical life extension is feasible and desirable.
  • Help us build public awareness for policy discussions that the U.S. Transhumanist Party routinely engages in, regarding emerging technologies and how to accelerate innovation and progress. We have had a legislative success already! (Nevada, May 2019)
  • Help grow membership of the U.S. Transhumanist Party for future activism, outreach, and societal change – building toward an immortal culture that embraces continuous progress and improvement and removal of barriers to these aspirations.