The problems created by our presidential election system are intensifying:
- Outside of the small group of swing states, voters don’t matter to the presidential campaigns.
- The risk of a 2nd place candidate winning has shifted from “black swan” to systemic.
- The Supreme Court may rule that presidential electors are free to vote as they choose.
- We continue to ignore other major risks like another Florida-style recount, or an election getting “thrown to the House,” which could create a stalemate or give final say to the minority party in the House.
The leading solutions wont necessarily work:
- The National Popular Vote Compact effort has made commendable progress but could fall short in purple and red states, and could be opposed by the Supreme Court. It is also politically divisive currently and potentially unstable.
- Maine/Nebraska-style allocation of electors by district injects gerrymandering into the presidential election and does not create a true national campaign.
We need new ideas:
Election Reformers Network is helping to promote a Top-2 Proportional Allocation Amendment:
- To end winner-take-all (which causes most of the problem and is not in the Constitution), states are required to allocate their electoral votes proportionally to the top two vote-getters in the state.
- The proportional calculation is carried out to the right of the decimal point – this means fractional electoral votes are available in every state for every candidate, creating a true national campaign.
- Significantly reduces the impact of a “spoiler candidate.”
- Elections remain state-based; there is no pooling of results across state lines, and states can easily add in ranked choice voting or other innovations as they see fit.
- No change in the number of electors per state.
- Fixes “black swan” problems like “Thrown to the House” and the time-frame for resolving disputes.