Linked by Howard Fosdick on Thu 8th Nov 2012 20:12 UTC
Editorial In the United States, state and local authorities are in charge of voting and the country uses more than a half dozen different voting technologies. As a result, the country can't guarantee that it accurately counts national votes in a timely fashion. This article discusses the problem and potential solutions to the U.S. voting dilemma.
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Electoral College FTW! [/sarcasm]
by saso on Fri 9th Nov 2012 00:18 UTC
saso
Member since:
2007-04-18

The electoral college actually does much worse than simply sometimes getting it wrong from a democratic perspective (although 4 out of 57, or about 7%, is a pretty horrific failure rate for elections to such an important office). The problem is in the winner-takes all principle that takes place in nearly all states. This mechanism results in candidates largely ignoring states that have a clear-cut preference of one party, and instead favors the undecided ones significantly. In effect it means that the most loyal supporters (at a state level) of a candidate are the ones most frequently ignored, while the ones that are just about on the knife's edge get all of their wishes granted. So ultimately, the campaigns, the rallies and the pushes for policy don't really take place across all of the country, but rather in only about 7 or 8 "swing states" that decide the national outcome. Switch to a direct-election system (or at least the proportional electoral college mechanism as in Maine and Nebraska) and all of these problems are gone - candidates will have to pay attention to what ALL Americans want, not just a select few who happen to live in a particular state of interest.
Oh and also lower the minimum number of electoral votes per state to 1. That way the vote of a citizen of Wyoming won't count for three votes of people from e.g. New York - call it "Vote Equality" if you will.

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