Congressional District Method

Following the unusual 2016 presidential election, many democrats and Trump haters who were very much upset at the result suggested that the nation moves to a national popular vote to decide presidential elections. The issue this suggested solution brings is that a few major coastal population centers will be able to decide the politics of our country. Another issue presented by a winner-take-all system is that it could discourage voters and ultimately decrease public involvement. Our current system certainly isn’t perfect,  but its institution has sensible logic behind it. The electoral college was designed to protect the interests of all types of Americans. After all, a man living in an apartment in New York City does not understand the realities of a man who owns a farm in Wyoming. Nor does the rural man understand the realities of the urban man. The electoral college certainly was structured to protect the realities of all states, but the nation has grown too large for even this method to remain effective. In order to protect the interests of the individual, an alternate method is required….

The National Popular Vote plan requires changing the constitution. This would be a difficult reform to bring about, and would probably take a couple decades to push through all three branches of government. Despite winning the popular vote in the 2016 election by nearly 3 million votes, Clinton only managed to win a majority in 487 counties well Trump won majorities in 2,626 counties. Clinton only squeezed away with the major urban centers well Trump managed to steal suburbs and rural areas that encompass most of the nation. Well, in this case, the voice of those in the cities lost, It is clear that if the nation were to switch to a national popular vote the voices of individuals would be drowned out.

In order to encourage involvement in elections, increase voter turnout and accuracy in results, a Congressional District Majority plan should be tested out by the states. At current, each state gets 1 electoral vote for each congressional district, and 2 to represent its senators. If each state were to cast its electors based on congressional districts, like Maine and Vermont already do, it would destroy the winner take all system and more accurately represent the popular vote of the people. Each congressional district contains roughly 700k inhabitants. These 700k inhabitants would get to decide how to allot their 1 vote and feel more important. The effectivity of this can perhaps be illustrated through an example. Take for instance my home state of Arizona, a state that despite being about a sixty-forty split gave eleven presidential electors for Trump. Had the congressional district method been used in Arizona seven votes would have been to Trump and four to Clinton.

The Congressional District Majority method is not the perfect method, but it is the perfect compromise. It perhaps gives a greater chance to the third party candidates. It certainly will increase competition by creating hundreds of swing districts instead of a few swing states. Most importantly it will allow the individual voter to feel that his vote matters, eliminating any winner take all system on a large level and representing the interests of each district. I always consider plan C to be worth considering, and this is a plan C the U.S. should certainly check out. If you would like to read a more comprehensive argument for the congressional district method read this chapter from James Leonard Park’s book.

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