Electoral Votes Should Be Proportional

Electoral votes should be proportional to the popular vote in each state. This would help smaller states and third parties without allowing for a tyranny of the majority. Both the current system and abolition hurt smaller states, while the semi-proportional system in Maine and Nebraska is prone to corruption.

Republicans claim the Electoral College helps smaller states, but in reality: it just makes politicians ignore them in favor of swing states with large vote counts. Matter of fact: three states have decided the outcome of every presidential election since 1996!

Arkansas, for example, is safe Republican. This means Democrats won’t waste their time trying to increase their share of the vote, while Republicans won’t ever need to sure up their support. Vermont is the same way, with the parties swapped.

Democrats claim the solution is to abolish the Electoral College altogether and elect the President directly. This would hurt smaller states, since their voice would no longer be amplified.

Two states, Maine and Nebraska, chose a third option: allocate two votes at-large and the rest according to congressional districts. This is a step in the right direction, but puts the district-level votes at risk of being gerrymandered, and still allocates two in a winner-take-all manner.

I propose a fourth option: allocate each state’s electoral votes proportionally, based on the share of the vote each candidate got in that state.

Every state gets two extra votes, regardless of population, which means smaller states have a greater voice. The proportionality, meanwhile, incentivizes both parties to work on increasing their support in every state, for the chance of winning a few more electoral votes there — even if they’ll never win a majority.

Furthermore, this will help third parties, who will actually have a chance of getting a few votes — but they probably won’t win unless we implement more electoral reforms, like favorability voting.

Republicans might argue this will lead to a tyranny of the majority, but keep in mind: every state gets two extra votes, regardless of population — that hasn’t changed. Perhaps you could argue they should be given more, though.

Of course, no electoral votes are winner-take-all, but that doesn’t create a tyranny of the majority, it just prevents the swing state effect; a semi-proportional system would only moderate it.

Democrats might argue it’s undemocratic to give smaller states more votes, but it’s also undemocratic to elect representatives instead of letting everyone vote on every issue themselves; we have to moderate democracy with some undemocratic elements.

Furthermore, the Unites States is fifty states, not one. Each state deserves to be given more respect than a mere territory! They have their own cultures, dialects, and interests that would be crushed beneath the weight of a federal dictatorship.

Rather than abolishing the Electoral College, we should reform it to be proportional to the popular vote in each state. Unlike the current system, it’d actually help smaller states and third parties, and unlike abolition, it wouldn’t create a tyranny of the majority or a federal dictatorship.

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