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.