The Equal Voice Voting Formula
Equal Voice Voting (EVV) is a voting method that leverages the wisdom of our Founding Fathers and incorporates the popular vote for a state-by-state representation of our presidential vote allocation. Equal Voice Voting eliminates the winner-takes-all approach, makes every vote count, and makes every state matter!
The Electoral College is comprised of 435 votes, one for every member of the House of Representatives. It also adds three votes for Washington’s District of Columbia for a total electoral vote count of 438. Finally, 100 votes are then added to the 438 to correlate with the members of the Senate, giving us a total 538 electoral votes. Thus, our Electoral College has one electoral vote for every national legislator plus three for Washington, D.C.
Each state is allocated a portion of those votes according to their respective populations and Senate representation (each state has two Senators). For example, my home state of Oregon currently has seven electoral votes. Five of those votes correlate with our five Representatives and two for our Senators.
The following is a description of EVV for allocating electoral votes. It is designed to give greater representation to everyone across the nation and to every state. Hopefully, it will encourage a greater voting turnout.
The EVV formula:
Step 1: Determine the Popular Vote Value (PVV)
Total the state’s popular votes.
Divide by the state’s electoral votes.
The result is called the Popular Vote Value (PVV). The PVV is rounded to the nearest whole number.
Example (New Jersey 2016)
- Total the state’s popular votes for the election. The total state popular vote (all ballots for all candidates) was 3,874,046.
- Determine the state’s Popular Vote Value (PVV). Divide the state’s election’s popular votes by its electoral votes. New Jersey has 14 electoral votes.
Step 2: Determine Each Candidate’s Electoral Votes
Divide the state’s popular vote for each candidate in the current election by the state’s PVV. Electoral votes are rounded up or down to the nearest Popular Vote Value.
Note: Neither Johnson nor Stein captured enough votes to be awarded an electoral vote in New Jersey.
So, instead of New Jersey awarding 14 electoral votes to Clinton in 2016, she would have won eight electoral votes and Trump would have won six.
Sometimes an adjustment to the number of electoral votes a candidate receives in a state is needed. This occurs in two instances: First, if there are third (and more) party candidates and/or there are several votes cast for write-ins, there won’t be enough electoral votes awarded within a state. One or two votes may need to be added to a candidate’s total. Second, one of the adjustments (see below) causes the vote percentage to be rounded up to the next electoral votes. Candidates can accrue too many electoral votes this way and one or two votes may need to be removed.
The following rules are required to ensure the aggregate total of electoral votes equals 538 and is correct for each state:
- A candidate’s popular votes must at least equal the PVV before rounding can be used. For example, if the PVV is 250,000 and a candidate’s popular vote within a state is 150,000, no rounding can occur, even though the typical rounding rules would round up to equal one electoral vote. That candidate would receive no electoral votes.
- Each state’s electoral vote must equal the allocated votes established by the Electoral College. For example, if a state has 10 electoral votes (such as Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, and Wisconsin) and either fewer or more electoral votes are won by that state, an adjustment must be made. To make an EVV adjustment, do the following:
- If the electoral vote count for a state is too many (more than what has been allocated to that state), remove one electoral vote from the candidate who has won the fewest electoral votes in that state.
Note: No such examples occurred in the 2016 election.
- If the electoral votes for a state are too few, add one electoral vote to the candidate who has won the most electoral votes in that state.
Note: Typically, this is only a one-vote adjustment for a given state. However, some rare situations may require two votes to be added or subtracted.
For example, Pennsylvania’s popular vote (all ballots for all candidates) in this past election (2016) was 6,166,698. Dividing that number by 20 (Pennsylvania’s total electoral votes) reduces the result to 308,334.9. That number is rounded to 308,335 as the PVV.
Pennsylvania’s popular votes for Trump were 2,970,733. This number divided by 308,335 gives a result of 9.63. This number would be rounded up to the whole number of 10 for the candidate’s electoral votes. The popular vote for Clinton was 2,926,441. Dividing that number by 308,335 (PVV) results in 9.49. The number is rounded down to 9 electoral votes.
Note: Neither Johnson nor Stein captured enough votes to be awarded an electoral vote in Pennsylvania.
Obviously, something is wrong here because Pennsylvania has a total of 20 electoral votes and only 19 of them are allocated in this scenario. An adjustment needs to be made. Since Trump won more popular votes than Clinton, one additional electoral vote is added to Trump’s share. The count then would be:
Trump = 11 Electoral Votes
Clinton = 9 Electoral Votes