A Suggested Fix
There has been much discussion lately about how to determine our presidential election results and the Electoral College. The system needs fixing, for sure.
Here’s a suggestion and a simple, fair solution in which everyone can feel like their vote counts. Let’s take two candidates, John (Democrat) and Anne (Republican). Let’s take three states: California (blue-55 electoral votes), Texas (red-38 electoral votes), and a swing state Pennsylvania (20 electoral votes).
In California John wins the popular vote 65 to35 percent, so John gets 65 percent of 55 electoral votes, or 35, and Anne gets 35 percent of 55, or 19, which is better than nothing.
In Texas, Anne wins the popular vote 65 to 35 percent. So Anne gets 65 percent of 38, or 24, electoral votes, and John gets 35 percent, or 13 electoral votes, better than nothing. Now, in Pennsylvania, John wins 52 to 48 percent, a close race. John gets 52 percent of 20, or 10 electoral votes, and Anne gets 48 percent of 20, or 9, electoral votes, reflecting the closeness of the race.
The current all-or-nothing system is stupid. It doesn’t indicate the overall feelings of the voters in a state. Currently, the minority faction in a given state (red or blue) actually feels like their vote doesn’t or won’t count, and rightfully so.
What I have suggested encourages everyone to vote, even if their candidate will probably lose the popular vote. At least their vote can still help their candidate, he or she, a little.
I can’t think of a rational argument against this. It beats what we have now.
Note that fractions of votes have been dropped for the sake of simplicity, although they would have to be counted. If decimals scare you, multiply everything across the board by 10 or 100.
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