Fixing Elections: The Failure of America's Winner Take All by Steven Hill

By Steven Hill

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Extra resources for Fixing Elections: The Failure of America's Winner Take All Politics PB

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If you wanted Bush to win, you focused on the vagaries of chad and the partisan leanings of Democratic Party 20 GEOGRAPHY IS DESTINY county commissioners, holding disputed ballots to the divining light, searching for dispensation for their candidate. Bush was declared the forty-third president, thousands of Florida ballots still sat in piles across the state, having never been tallied because the antiquated Votomatic punch card machines, for one reason or another, could not count them. The tragedy was that, as every pair of eyes quickly surmised, there could be no quick or clean resolution for partisans so bitterly at war.

In so doing, the votes of millions of voters, black, brown, and white, Democrat and Republican and more, would have counted toward something instead of nothing, particularly if each state had used a proportional allocation or some kind of runoff rather than a “Winner Take All plurality by state” allocation. Instead, we ended up with the five-week debacle that ensued in Florida and the polarizing impact that event had on national unity. It would have been far better to have avoided it. For even more ominous than the Hollywood noir finish, UnElection 2000 pulled back the curtain to reveal a molten fissure seething just beneath the surface.

We have already explored various ways we could change our presidential elections that, even without a constitutional amendment, would have provided distinct advantages over the current method. Now let’s try a little thought experiment regarding our legislative elections. ” What if…we did not use single-seat district elections in monopoly politics states like Idaho, Utah, Kansas, Nebraska, Maryland, California, or Massachusetts? What if…instead we combined three adjoining one-seat districts into a three-seat district?

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