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 requires a two-thirds congressional majority vote. That’s hard to accomplish with the gridlock experienced in Congress today. And, the decision would have to be ratified by 38 (3/4ths) of the state legislatures. However, if the national sentiment calls for an amendment in the future, it could happen. If so, Equal Voice Voting could still be used as a model for that amendment, giving equal representation to both the nation’s population and states.
An all-or-nothing 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 that does not win the majority in that state, the vote is not represented. This is vote suppression and all voters are subject to having their vote ignored in a presidential election. In 2016, for example, 63,071,987 votes (46%) were ignored in this way!
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 rural areas of the country that are less densely populated. For example, half the population resides in nine states. Another third lives in 16 states. That means that only 1/6th of the population lives in 25 states! Rural America would be largely ignored during campaigns and would not be equally represented.
While the National Popular Vote does not require a Constitutional amendment, it still fails to give representation to both the national population and state-by-state concerns. The most populated areas of the country would have an unequal (unfair) advantage. Potentially, it could create greater voter apathy.
More importantly, however, is that it would be nearly impossible to have all 50 states and Washington, D.C. convert to the National Popular Vote approach before a number of election cycles passed. In the intermediate elections (before the entire country uses NPV), vote suppression would be even greater than it is today. Voter turnout would most likely plummet with voters realizing their vote did not matter.
Click the button below to see a document discussing this point in detail.
Congressional district voting casts an electoral vote for any candidate winning a state’s congressional district. Two more electoral votes are cast for the state to represent its two senator seats for the candidate who wins the most votes within the state. Example: Nebraska casts three electoral votes for its three congressional districts and two electoral votes for the two senators, to provide a total of five electoral votes.
Congressional districts within many states are often drawn to give a reigning party an advantage (referred to as gerrymandering). Using this approach unfairly gives political parties an advantage in those districts. Today, the advantage would be clearly for the Republicans because they are dominant in more districts than are the Democrats.
Congressional district voting also uses the all-or-nothing approach for each district and causes many votes to be suppressed. The two electoral votes cast within the state are also cast on an all-or-nothing approach, further suppressing the voting sentiment.
Notice, too, that each vote is essentially counted twice: once for the congressional count and another for the state count. Congressional district voting, then, subjects votes to be suppressed twice in any presidential election.
No party has an advantage with Equal Voice Voting. In fact, Equal Voice Voting is the only method being suggested that gives representation to all viable candidates – a truly nonpartisan approach.
Minority party candidates can win electoral votes with the Equal Voice Voting approach, which is not possible in the current system. Nor is it possible for minority 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.
What happens if the candidate who wins the most electoral votes doesn’t capture a majority of electoral votes, if EVV is used?
It would be the same as it is today. The U.S. House of Representatives would decide which candidate wins. Each state would get one vote in the House. Therefore, whichever political party dominates the greater number of states within the House of Representatives in such a runoff would most likely determine who the next president would be.
Swing states (those electing a candidate with the narrowest of voting margins) distinctions would disappear. Almost every state would probably have close races. Notice that only North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming (all Republican); and Washington, D.C. and Vermont (Democrat) would have given all of their electoral votes to one candidate if Equal Voice Voting were used in 2016. The remaining 46 states would have awarded electoral votes to both candidates.
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.