Rule Changes Improve Voter Experience

NBA Rules Change in 2017

Rule changes are grabbing our attention as the 2017 NBA season gets underway. The NBA Board of Governors met to discuss how to improve the game by changing a few simple rules.

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If you’re like me, you enjoy the game already. Why would they change the rules? What could they possibly improve?

If you look through the list of rule changes, you see that most of them have nothing to do with action on the floor. In fact, most of the changes are focused on time spent off the floor. Huh? The number of timeouts is reduced. The length of time spent in timeouts also takes a hit with seconds shaved away. There are also guidelines for when the timeouts can occur. Why all the concern?

The focus is on fan experience. Byron Spruell, NBA President of League Operations, said, “Fewer stoppages and less time without action, especially at the end of a game, will further enhance the viewing experience for our fans.”

How The NBA Is Comparable to Equal Voice Voting

You may be asking why I’m bringing up NBA rule changes when this blog is generally focused on presidential elections. My goal is to encourage states to change how we count (include) all of the votes in our presidential elections. So why compare the NBA to Equal Voice Voting?

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There are parallels to consider. For example, the new NBA rule changes do not change how players dribble or pass the ball. Scoring remains the same. Offense and defense tactics remain intact. Likewise, Equal Voice Voting honors and retains the Electoral College as we have it today. The core ideas remain the same for both scenarios.

More importantly, however, the NBA rule changes are being adopted to change the game experience. Likewise, Equal Voice Voting promises a better voting experience. That is, more voters are included in the vote count.

Equal Voice Voting Improves Voter Inclusion

I’m often asked who would have been elected in a given year if the nation had used Equal Voice Voting. I can point to exact vote counts, on a state-by-state basis, for the past 15 elections in my book. And I can show who would have won if all voting had remained the same, regardless of the voting rule changes.

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However, there is absolutely no way anyone can confidently say that any given candidate would have won any of those elections. That probably seems odd. After all, I have the voting numbers and I know who won in each state and across the nation. I could even drill down to a county-by-county level to get more granular historical data.

But changing rules makes a difference! Consider the voters who usually identify with their state’s minority party. Often, many of those voters do not bother to cast a ballot. Given that non-voters often represent 30% to 40% of the registered voters, that represents a large voting bloc that’s never counted. It becomes a huge unknown and predictions are unreliable.

Rule changes also means that candidates and their campaigns would act differently, too. That further changes the predictability of the voting results.

But here’s a fact we can rely on: Currently, it takes three registered voters to get one viable presidential ballot in any presidential election. Why? Many registered voters don’t vote. And almost half of those who do vote don’t count because of the winner-takes-all approach. Combined, those two factors equate to around two-thirds of the registered voters not counting! They mean nothing! Nada! Zilch!

Who would have won or lost an election remains unknown. But we do know this: Equal Voice Voting means all votes count! It’s a better set of rules for everyone, regardless of political party. Let’s get on with it and include everyone when we vote!

Since I’m from Oregon and an NBA Blazers fan, let me simply close with, “Go Trail Blazers!” Let’s have a great season!

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