A Georgia Legislator Is Accused Of Voter Registration Manipulation
A legislator is running for Governor in Georgia. The Secretary of State, Brian Kemp, is running for the Governorship against Stacey Abrams and is accused of putting 53,000 pending voter registrations at risk. As CNN reports, a coalition of advocacy groups has launched a lawsuit against Kemp. Further, the Associated Press has found that nearly 70% of the 53,000 are African-American.
It’s a shocking circumstance and one that common sense would call for a swift and simple correction. Legislators should not, after all, control or put in place a mechanism that favors a bloc of voters over others. Fairness should prevail.
Presidential Elections Are Manipulated
In truth, the story is not really new or unusual. Every presidential election suffers from states setting aside (ignoring) large blocs of voters to favor the candidate capturing the state’s plurality of votes. It happens because of the winner-takes-all mechanism that prevents the Electoral College from delivering a fair election result.
Let’s look at 2016. Georgia set aside 1,877,963 popular votes cast for Clinton. These votes did not matter for Georgia. They were not represented by the 16 electoral votes Georgia cast for Trump. That’s more than 35 times worse than the story CNN recently reported.
Note:No legislator complained about this process.
It’s not only Georgia that suffers. To be fair, I’ll compare Georgia’s experience with voting that favored Clinton. Since no state with 16 electoral votes voted for Clinton, I’ll use a combination of states to make up the 16 electoral votes: Maryland (9 electoral votes) and my home state of Oregon (7 electoral votes).
Maryland set aside 943,169 popular votes cast for Trump while Oregon set aside 782,403 votes cast for him. That’s a total of 1,725,572 popular votes that were ignored. Every state is subject to this kind of egregious vote interference!
Again, no legislator complained about this process.
Lack Of Awareness And Reluctance For Change
The news story noted above by CNN and Associate Press attributes the problem to a nefarious attitude and/or action. In contrast, the common presidential vote interference emerging from the winner-takes-all practice is not considered criminal.
The reason no legislator complained about the process is because the winner-takes-all approach has become commonplace. This myopic view causes legislators to be unaware of the lack of election fairness, or they are reluctant to change the habit. Let’s briefly examine both.
I have reached out to many state legislators across the country and many are unaware of how the Electoral College actually works. They are unaware that the winner-takes-all removes popular votes from being translated into electoral votes in their state. Once reminded of the truth, however, they can quickly see the unfairness and wish it were otherwise.
Some who have voted for the National Popular Vote (NPV) bill, however, don’t see the issue quite so clearly. They fail to recognize the problem with the winner-takes-all approach. Since they don’t recognize the problem, they also cannot realize that the NPV bill does not nor promises to fix the issue. This is more than being unaware. This is, sadly, willful ignorance.
Many legislators recognize the problem and yet are reluctant to make the needed change. Changing how the popular votes are managed, on a state-by-state basis, requires a bit of political courage. Such a call can arouse political fears and a suspicion that a political advantage might be lost. It becomes a question of putting politics above voting fairness – politics above true voter representation.
No Complaints About A Common Problem
While the recent news focuses on one specific legislator, we should not forget that well over 7,000 state legislators across the country are complicit in nullifying presidential ballots. The 2016 election showed that over 63 million votes did not matter! Today, it’s a news story about 53 thousand while two years ago we ignored the 63 million votes suppression!
No legislator complained then about the process. That is, no legislator complained about the true problem: the winner-takes-all approach puts every presidential election in question.
Equal Voice Voting Removes Winner-Takes-All Problem
Equal Voice Voting (EVV) begins with the reality that we have a problem in our presidential elections stemming from the winner-takes-all approach. EVV removes that problem. It makes every vote count on a state-by-state basis. In so doing, it honors the original intent our Founding Fathers had for our Electoral College and makes every state matter.
Equal Voice Voting Simple Formula
Equal Voice Voting translates a state’s popular votes into a proportional Electoral College result via a simple formula:
State Popular Votes / State Electoral Votes = Popular Vote Value (PVV)
Candidate’s Popular Votes / PVV = Candidate’s Electoral Votes
Example of Oregon 2016 presidential election if EVV were used:
2,051,448 / 7 (Electoral Votes) = 293,064 (PVV)
1,002,106 (Clinton’s Popular Votes) / PVV = 4 Electoral Votes
782,403 (Trump’s Popular Votes) / PVV = 3 Electoral Votes
Consider The Legislator You Want
A legislator may not be aware of the true cause of the imbalanced voting process. Favoring political party dominance, a legislator will be reluctant to use a proportional splitting of votes.
Here’s the question:
Which legislator is willing to or is complicit in ignoring the voting voice of a large percentage of his/her constituents?
There are many issues to consider when voting in the midterm election. Considering the question above may not provide you with a clear answer. But will the legislator you vote for likely be satisfied with voting unfairness? Or will he/she be courageous enough to allow all votes to count in your state in 2020?
Inform others about the merits of Equal Voice Voting. Tell your state legislators they can make an honest voting difference as the nation prepares for 2020.