Yes, this is a big topic, but I would like to deal with a small part of it.
In watching the TedEd video on Does Your Vote Count I was reminded that a lot of states (and provinces etc) are often known to always vote for the same party. While reading my twitter feed, I was reminded that this past week the Google searches for "Who is running for President" spiked. Those two together speak to a population (global, I'm sure) that votes for the party, not the person.
Reading my Facebook feed, I came across a friend who at least gave a reason why she would not vote for one of the candidates. Not a reason I would consider a reason to vote for the other guy, but a reason she is passionate about and therefore, a valid reason.
Therefore, my proposal for election reform is to have a separate piece of paper that you have to fill out that says WHY you voted for the person you did. Not for the party. Not why you didn't vote for the other guy. But why you chose the person you voted for. I have determined that this can not determine if the vote will be counted (Florida has proved that in the past), and judging for validity would cause issues beyond belief. However, a suggested, second paper that is not counted as a vote that says: I voted for _______ because _____. This provides good feedback on why people are voting the way they are. In the future this would help all candidates campaign to what people are thinking (ok, I'm not sure if this is a good thing) and be a good classification system for what people actually care about. I propose these forms are classified by independent people who can tag them with key words like policies, economy, human rights, jerk, religion, good hair or whatever other underlying reason is given.
The outcomes should force people into thinking about the reason for their vote, as hopefully the answer "well (s)he belongs to (my party)" will make people realize that that is not the best reason to vote for someone as the parties have (apparently) evolved over time. As well, it would be quite interesting to see why people vote the way they do. I wonder how many people would say things that contradict what the candidate said or what they say their policies will be.