What Will Matter in November?

Making the news matter

Every news media and outlet feed us about the day-to-day news regarding the “Black Lives Matter” movement. We see the images and hear the stories, sometimes painful and shocking, and we note our own reactions. Are we empathetic or resistant? Are we encouraged or enraged? One message stands out: This is not the time to be complacent.

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What may matter to you may not matter to me. As the protests continue, we find our local leaders – state legislators, county commissioners, city mayors – quickly realizing something must change. It is not a time to be still.

And then there are the masks. You see them, don’t you? The Covid-19 cases spike where people have gathered and these next few days and weeks will usher in many more, and much more stress and panic and grief. What will matter then? What matters now?

Princeton professor, Eddie S. Glaude Jr. is quoted in Time:

The videos of George Floyd and Rayshard Brooks dying have combined with the vulnerability caused by COVID-19 and the feeling that the country is broken to bring us all to the brink of madness and, apparently, to the precipice of significant change,”

The November election will matter

In four months, the nation votes. What will matter then? These images and narratives we absorb will shift by then. New narratives will emerge and we will be either reassured that a crisis has passed or unnerved that we face others. How will we respond?

These are not idle questions because we translate our thoughts and feelings directly onto our voting ballots. A couple hundred million voters will make choices based on what they see, hear, feel, think, cherish, and fear. Spreading all of those reactions and reasons across this vast nation, it becomes perplexing to hazard a guess as to what the results will be.

Will your vote matter?

Where you live will matter for two basic reasons. One, we tend to vote similarly to how our family and friends and neighbors vote. We are influenced by local discussions and, in turn, we all influence others.

Second, your vote will matter if you live in the correct state. If you live in a state where your voting preference correlates well with most of the others in your state, your vote will matter. That means it will be translated by the Electoral College into electoral votes and will influence the mechanism that picks our president.

If you vote more in accordance with your state’s minority perspective, your vote will not matter. Because of the Winner-Takes-All (WTA) approach, it will be wiped away and will not even be considered by the Electoral College! Make no mistake, this is NOT because of a problem with the Electoral College. It is simply how votes are handled. Those opinions that don’t matter are discarded.

Only WTA will matter

Here are a couple of examples:

Suppose live in and are among those who gathered recently in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in support of Donald Trump. Since Oklahoma is a Republican majority state, only votes for Trump will matter. All other votes will be discarded because of WTA.

If you live in California, a Democrat majority state, only votes for Biden (the likely Democrat choice), your vote will matter but all others will not. Again, WTA interferes with the process.

What should you do?

One option is to move. Some states are rather predictable so, if you want your vote to matter, you can relocate. Trump did. Voting for himself in New York in 2016 did not matter because his vote was not represented in the Electoral College. New York overwhelmingly (59%) voted for Clinton and WTA whisked Trump’s votes away into the voting dust bin. Now, he has moved to Florida wherein the last election narrowly favored Trump. It can happen again and his vote for himself may matter in November.

Another option is to not vote. That’s hardly patriotic but many do not. I strongly advocate against this posture just on the principle of good patriotism. But WTA is a known factor and many know they are disenfranchised before they begin. Don’t be discouraged – vote anyway.

WTA is precisely why swing states (states wherein presidential elections are narrowly won or lost) become so important. Which way will the votes swing? Which way will WTA do harm? If you live in a swing state, your patriotic duty to vote becomes even more critical. Vote!

Your vote should matter

Your vote should matter. It’s a fundamental democratic principle we all should expect. Your vote is especially important in less crowded areas. If you felt disenfranchised before, change the mood of the conversations in which you participate. Get others to join you. Vote!

Here is an illustration showing how separated we are, put forth by ranker.com. The population in the red areas is actually greater than that found in the gray areas. We are vast, spread-out nation. Likewise, our opinions are vast and our reasons for our voting choices are diverse. All of us must vote!

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Equal Voice Voting makes ever vote matter

Every week I blog with an emphasis on presidential elections to explain why we must take the Electoral College seriously. It must be respected and preserved because of its ingenious ability to assemble all of this vast voting diversity and elicit a viable voting result.

Equal Voice Voting (EVV) is the only way we can remove WTA and allow the Electoral College do what was intended. It’s the only way wherein we can say every vote will matter.

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By Jerry Spriggs and the Equal Voice Voting Team