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Bring U.S. Closer to a Real Democracy

Citation

Publication Date: 
April 19, 2011
Format: 
Op-Ed or News Article
Bibliography: Thomas C. Goldstein & Amy Howe, Bring U.S. Closer to a Real Democracy, Politico, April 19, 2011.

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President Barack Obama formally opened his 2012 campaign last week. Regardless of whom you’d like to see take the oath of office on Inauguration Day, 2013, we can all agree that it should be the candidate Americans actually elect.

Yet election rules now make it possible that the loser will win the presidency, because almost every state awards all its electoral votes to the candidate who wins the popular vote there. And given how electors are allocated, a candidate can collect a majority of electors, without a majority of the votes nationally.

These problems can be avoided, however, simply by changing the way that states allocate their electoral votes: States would agree to award their electoral votes to the candidate who wins the nation’s popular vote, not the state’s. So voters in every state would then become important to the final count.