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Change the System so Every Vote Matters

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A gray map of the United States on a black surface. A bucket of red paint and a bucket of blue paint with paintbrushes nearby.

One simple question highlights the dysfunction of our current system of choosing a president: which state in 2012 gave Mitt Romney the most votes? The answer, surprisingly, is California, where the Republican nominee drew nearly 5 million ballots. But he won no California votes in the Electoral College, which actually chooses the president. This means California Republicans, like citizens of other states that go reliably Democratic or Republican, can’t influence the outcome because of the winner-take-all system for awarding electoral votes.

There’s nothing Constitutional about this arrangement. Maine and Nebraska already award an electoral vote for each Congressional district a candidate carries, and other states should do the same. That would allow citizens everywhere to make a difference –even in states with lopsided statewide partisan preferences.  It would also force candidates to look beyond the handful of swing states that get all the attention because they alone determine the outcome.

 

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Comments (5)

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  1. Joy Otten  •  Sep 12, 2016 at 7:44 pm

    Michael, this is a great idea, but how do we go about changing the system?

    • Timothy  •  Sep 23, 2016 at 1:12 pm

      Each congressional district is best ! Thank you Michael

  2. Angus Podgorney  •  Sep 14, 2016 at 4:08 pm

    This idea is okay, but why not go all the way. Why not just count the votes, and whoever gets the most votes wins. That is how we did it in grade school. The Electoral College is outdated.

    • Shomari Smith  •  Sep 20, 2016 at 9:58 pm

      Though problematic the electoral college helps to limit recounts to a particular state. Imagine if any recent election had recounts across a dozen states instead of the 2000 election being just Florida. Also, a safety measure in case a large portion of any state suffers an election day disaster that depresses turn out.

  3. Shomari Smith  •  Sep 20, 2016 at 10:01 pm

    Electoral votes should be awarded in proportion to the results of the election. Awarding by county gives certain low population countries indie power.

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