We ignore facts in plain sight
The facts we ignore during presidential elections are in plain sight. They’re not something that some people hide or suppress. They’re simply not mentioned.
I’m going to show you what we ignore, but let’s start with what we know.
Some people say that Hillary Clinton won the last presidential election by almost three million popular votes. That’s true. Some people ignore the fact that Trump won the nation’s popular vote by about 1.5 million votes if California is not included. That’s true too.
These facts are not what we ignore but you’re getting closer. You now know it has something to do with the popular vote totals.
Electoral College frustrations
People are very frustrated with the Electoral College. Many of those who wished Hillary had won are adamant that the Electoral College must be broken, out-of-date, and pretty much useless. But it’s not true. The Electoral College is an ingenious election system that serves us well.
This negative perception about the Electoral College is not what we ignore either.
Most people know we exercise a winner-takes-all approach to our presidential elections. We accept that. We even like it because it gives us 51 separate contests (50 states plus Washington, D.C.). The suspense of the election becomes entertaining 51 times in one evening.
That’s not what we ignore either, but we’re getting closer.
What we ignore affects every presidential election
I’ve written before how the winner-takes-all approach is like a cancerous tumor (see A Cancer Is Attacking Our Presidential Elections). This doesn’t get near enough attention and slips past us, right under our noses, and we ignore the consequences.
Now we’re getting to it. The fact we ignore is:
The wrong popular vote totals are used for the Electoral College.
Revealing what we ignored in 2016
Consider, again, the popular vote results. Imagine the winner-takes-all approach as a filter that sifts through the votes, sorting out some to keep and others to discard (almost half are discarded). What is the popular vote count after the sorting is done? It’s nearly half of what it was in the beginning.
In 2016, the Electoral College counted more than 7.4 million total popular votes for Trump than what it counted for Hillary!
The winner-takes-all filter (or cancerous tumor, if you prefer) discarded more than 32 million votes cast for Hillary (over 65.6 million votes were cast for her). The winner-takes-all filter also discarded more than 22 million votes cast for Trump (over 62.8 million votes were cast for him). Almost half (46%) of the popular votes were tossed aside in 2016.
A voting remedy is needed
In other words, the Electoral College was handicapped before it was even engaged. Have you ever heard of the saying, Garbage In = Garbage Out? We put garbage (the sorted—and reduced—popular vote totals) into the Electoral College hopper and wish for accurate results. Then we fool ourselves into thinking we understand the problem. We don’t because we ignore this undisclosed fact.
Wouldn’t it be wiser to want our Electoral College work as it was intended? Wouldn’t it be smarter to do a little election process surgery and rid us of this winner-takes-all tumor? We can do so on a state-by-state basis without any U.S. Constitutional amendment. And, we don’t need to coordinate what we do in our respective state with any other state. There’s no need for an interstate compact.
Equal Voice Voting eliminates the secret
Equal Voice Voting allows any state that so chooses to skip the winner-takes-all approach and ensures:
- Every vote counts.
- Every state matters.
It’s simple, really. No more cancerous tumor. No more election filters. Voting is all out in the open and there is no dirty little undisclosed fact to ignore that silences anyone’s voting voice.
Tell others you know a little secret about presidential elections. Tell them the secret of what we ignore about the 2016 presidential election and see what they say. It might even be good for a bet, if you’re into that sort of thing.
Beyond the fun trivia question, though, continue the discussion to let others know something can be done in your state. Tell your state legislators you want everyone’s vote to count in the state in which you live. Explain that you want accurate results when the electoral votes are allocated for your state.
One more thing: Now that you are aware of the undisclosed fact, how will you view the next presidential election results? Will you accept with a should shrug and a mumbled, “Whatever?” Or will you be a bit more outraged? Or will you have made a difference?