Frequently Asked Questions
The following questions and answers address common concerns that are asked about why Equal Voice Voting provides a level of fairness and equality to the presidential election process that is unseen in our current Electoral College method and in the National Popular Vote bill.
Abolishment of the Electoral College requires a constitutional amendment. It can be done, but it requires a two-thirds congressional majority vote. That’s hard to accomplish with the gridlock experienced in Congress today. However, if the national sentiment calls for an amendment in the future, it could happen. If so, the Equal Voice Voting process can still be used (the Electoral College is not really needed) and would form a viable process for giving equal representation to both the nation’s population and states.
A winner-takes-all approach means that some votes cast within a state are not represented in the Electoral College. If a voter casts his/her vote for a candidate who does not win the majority in that state, the vote is not represented. Remember, 43.7% of those who voted in 2012 were NOT represented in the Electoral College.
A popular vote approach would require a constitutional amendment. If the Constitution were amended to allow a popular vote, it would fail to give representation to areas of the country that are less densely populated. For example, 50% of the population resides in just nine states. Another 33.3% lives in 16 states. That means that only 16.7% of the population lives in the other 25 states! Rural America would be largely ignored during campaigns and would not be equally represented. These less populated areas include many states that produce much of our nation’s food and natural resources, and contain many of our national parks and recreation areas.
While the National Popular Vote bill does not require a constitutional amendment, because states who adopt it will still grant all of their Electoral votes to the winners of their state, it still fails to give representation to both the population and to rural American concerns. The most populated areas of the country would have an unequal and unfair advantage. Potentially, it could create greater voter apathy.
Click the button below to see a document discussing this point in detail.
Congressional districts within many states are often drawn to give a reigning party an advantage. Using this approach would unfairly give candidates an advantage in those districts. Today, the advantage would be clearly for Republicans because they are dominant in more districts than Democrats. Congressional district voting also uses the winner-takes-all approach for a district and causes some voters to be disenfranchised (not counted).
No party has an advantage with Equal Voice Voting. In fact, Equal Voice Voting is the only method that gives fair representation to third-party candidates.
Third-party candidates can win electoral votes, which is not possible in the current system. It is not possible for third-party candidates to earn electoral votes with any other voting method being considered.
- Count the state’s popular vote.
- Divide the state’s popular vote by the state’s electoral votes (For example, Oregon has seven). This provides a Popular Vote Value (PVV).
- Divide the number of votes each candidate receives by the PVV to determine the number of electoral votes won.
As it is today, voting ties are decided by Congress. The same rules would apply for Equal Voice Voting if two candidates tie for the most electoral votes.
What happens if the candidate who wins the most electoral votes doesn’t have a majority, if EVV is used?
Congress would have to select the winning candidate. This situation would only be possible if third-party candidates won a significant number of votes and if the leading two candidates were close in their respective vote totals. While rare, this can happen and probably should be a strong consideration if the constitution is amended in the future.
Swing state distinctions would disappear. Every state would probably have close races. Notice that only Wyoming (Republican) and Vermont (Democrat) would have given all of their electoral votes to one candidate if Equal Voice Voting were used in 2012. All other states awarded electoral votes to both candidates. The two leading candidates won a significant number of votes in all of the other states in 2012.
Some people have voiced concerns that the Equal Voice Voting method could erode a political party’s control of a state’s voting results. The opposite, in fact, is true. The proportional basis for awarding votes using Equal Voice Voting ensures that all candidates will be awarded at least a few votes from any given state without losing all opportunity for representation as is the case in our current Electoral College system.
Click the button below to see a document discussing this point in detail, complete with graphs for each of the 50 states showing the percentage of the popular vote awarded to the Democratic and Republican parties over the last 40 years.