Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Winner-Take-All Elections

So, watching Rachel Maddow tonight (Sept 21, 2011), she got to talking about three states: Nebraska, Maine, and Pennsylvania.  NE and ME uses a representative voting to cast their electoral vote ballots while PA does not.  Now, a history lesson about our electoral system.  We use representation to vote for President, so, popular vote only matters in states.  It doesn't matter nationally because nationally, the vote doesn't count.  But if your state votes 60/40 for Candidate A, then Candidate A gets all your state's votes. 

Say you're California.  CA has 52 votes in the Electoral College (maybe less now because of population adjustments).  Say that Democrats win CA's votes by 60/40.  Then per California law, The Democrat wins all 52 votes.  Now, you may say..."this is fair" but, what about the will of the 40% who voted for the Republican?  Well, in a winner-takes-all system, those 40% don't get ANY VOICE at all because they lost.  And if they were given a fair voice, then they would take 52 * 0.40 = 21 votes of that state. 

Maine and Nebraska have representative voting for presidential candidates.  One vote for each congressional district (a congressional district is the district a house representative represents.  And per the constitution, each state gets 1 vote per congressman, and 1 for each senator.  So for the smallest states, and the District of Columbia, they get 3 votes (one Congressman, and two senators) regardless of population.  Say Nebraska has 6 electoral votes, then if Democrats win in one district and Republicans win in three, and then Republicans win the Statewide popular vote and earn the two votes from the Senators, then that's how the votes would be divided up between the candidates. 

Republicans in Pennsylvania and in Nebraska are having a case of identity confusion.  Here's what I mean.  Republicans in Pennsylvania want to institute representative voting, giving 1 vote per district and the two senator votes for the state's majority.  Nebraska Republicans want to strip away the practice because they were appalled that two districts in Nebraska voted in favor of Mr. Obama in 2008.  Now, here's what I have to say to this mess.  "Seriously?  How petty." 

This situation is a serious matter, and here's why.  We should not have states delegating their votes in a different way for each state.  We need to choose one or the other.  Now, I personally prefer representative vote delegation.  Its the most fair and representative manner to vote and choose the office of president.

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