Winner-take-all electoral vote makes losers of everyone

The most significant flaw in our Presidential elections is not the Electoral College, but the states (all but Nebraska and Maine) that use a winner-take-all allocation of electoral votes. In Florida alone, more than 4.9 million votes - the majority of those cast - were unrepresented in the final tally. Nationally, that number is more than 62 million.

 

This can be fixed. Contact your state legislators today.

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Winner-take-all — which is no part of our actual constitution — is a state created rule for allocating electoral college votes that not only violates the principle of one-person-one-vote, but also fundamentally distorts the process of electing our President. In every election, presidential candidates focus exclusively on the interests of the battleground states. (In 2016, 99% of spending was in those 14 battleground states.) Yet those states do not represent America. There is no good reason — historically or democratically — for allowing that distortion to continue.

Some people say this is just what the Framers gave us. The electoral college, they say, was meant to benefit small states. That may not be equal, but that was their plan.

But the “battleground states” — such as Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin — are not “small states.” A couple are — New Hampshire, for example. But New Hampshire is on that list not because it’s small but because it is politically divided. Winner-take-all thus doesn’t advance the Framers’ objectives; it doesn’t achieve democracy’s objective. It is a bad idea whose time has gone.

You can read the incredible (and pro bono) work of the many lawyers who have put these arguments together on this web page. The firm of Boies Schiller Flexner has taken the lion’s share of the work, but Alston & Bird has done fantastic work in South Carolina. And we are grateful for the work of volunteers from Munger, Tolles & Olson and other firms as well. We are hoping for a quick decision from the district courts, so we can get to a Court of Appeals as quickly as possible.

 

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E-mail the commissioners

But one at a time, please!

 

For the most part, when recipients open an email that includes others they are less inclined to take it personally. Make sure your message resonates by sending it to each commissioner separately.

Scott Franklin - Stephanie Madden -  Sara McCarley - Chad Mcleod

Bill Mutz - Bill Read - Phillip Walker

Each of these noble citizens represents all the rest of us. The four geographic designations - Northwest, Northeast, Southwest, and Southeast, etc. - apply only to the residency requirements for commissioners, not to their constituents. Bill Read, for instance, lives in the city's northeast quadrant and is likely to be more in tune with the businesses and neighborhoods in that area, but serves us all as our representative to the city management and staff.

It will always help to send your message to City Manager Shawn Sherouse  because it's his job to implement whatever projects, resolutions, and ordinances the Commission proposes in response to our communication.

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State legislators representing Lakeland

Representative Colleen Burton

Senator Kelli Stargell