Changing Our Voting System For The Future Vote
By Zuzanna Wasiluk
The hybrid of the plurality and majority rule created the electoral system in America. The limited authenticity votes can be regained with a scoring system.
America’s Voting System Is Flawed
The electoral system and its supplementary Electoral College have been in a position of electoral power in the United States for centuries without radical amendments. Under this system, elections in America are a hybrid of a plurality and majority system. A plurality system rewards the candidate with the highest number of first-preference votes. A majority system makes voters select one preference on their ballot. The winning candidate doesn’t need the majority, as long as they have the highest number of votes.
The current system encourages strategic voting as part of the voting process. A voter abandons their preferred choice from the primaries or the third-party to vote for the candidate with convincing odds. Voters utilize displays of incomplete data such as polls, surveys, and graphs until Election Day to vote for the anticipated winner. As a result, voters will adjust their strategy as they receive new information which sustains the divide of news publications and their political bias.
Additionally, the Electoral College provides disproportionate voting power to favor smaller states. For example, each vote in Wyoming counts for nearly fourfold each vote in Texas despite Wyoming’s population of about 500,000 to Texas’ population of 29 million. Wyoming has an elector for around 200,000 people whereas Texas only has one for about 700,000 people. The Electoral College was originally established to bring a sense of security to political leaders by preventing uneducated citizens from voting. These days, every citizen is permitted to make their own assumptions about candidates after hearing their promised policies and plans regardless of their education. To have a successful and productive system of voting in the future, the electoral system and Electoral College must be replaced with a different system to accommodate the differences between voters in the current political climate.
A Scoring System
The current electoral system in America should be replaced with a scoring system to preserve the legitimacy of voting. This prioritizes preferences and personal benefit over strategy, an alternative to the electoral system in the United States.
A scoring rule is a combination of multiple voting systems which calculates a “score” for a candidate based on their position on a ballot and the weight of that placement. An example of this is the Borda Count, where each candidate is ranked and given a score based on their position in the ranking. For example, in the Olympics the winner is given three points, the runner-up is given two points, and the second runner-up receives one point. The winner is the candidate with the highest Borda score. A ranking of the available candidates is more revealing of their standing with voters than a ballot with a single candidate. With the Borda Count voters can indicate a certain “threshold of acceptance.” The candidates in the top three meet that threshold of acceptance, assuming the voter placed them in the top three because they approve of them the most. The Pacific Island states of Nauru and Kiribati utilize the Borda count in their elections.
A successful voting method should be robust to both candidates and voters. The result will not be affected by the whims of candidates in the presidential race. In today’s system, strong candidates push for weaker candidates to abandon their campaigns. With the scoring system, voters can vote honestly on their ballots. The current voting system has inescapable shortcomings that pervade the election process. Despite the long-standing presence of the electoral system in America, a scoring system would be a reliable alternative because it is similar to the current voting system in that one candidate is chosen whereas the difference lies in its expression of votes.
Efforts in the System
Changing the current and corrupt voting system in America enquires about a straightforward system of voting that could be adopted in American politics. The efforts behind The Ranked Choice Voting Act are motivated towards changing the age-old voting system. The RCV Act is used for congressional elections in Maine as well as state and local elections. The upcoming mayoral primary election in New York in 2021 will also use this system. The Ranked Choice Voting, RCV, Act is sponsored by a group of House colleagues and Rep. Jamie Raskin, making our future elections efficient as well as more representative for elections. To achieve this, the Act would necessitate that all U.S. House and Senate elections will be conducted with ranked-choice voting beginning from 2022 and replace all congressional runoff elections. To pass The RCV Act, people should ask their representatives to support the act.
This article was written as part of an internship with a website that published articles written by young students. The original piece was edited in the summer, but it was never published within the duration of the internship. The article was created from my initial interest in voting theory and the article explores the main concepts related to the voting system in America. When I showed the piece to my mentor, she encouraged me to refine the theoretical concepts to express my ideas effectively.
Zuzanna Wasiluk grew up in Greenpoint and had multitudes of pets in her early childhood. However, she’s been reduced to two kittens at the moment, Cricket and Felix. She attends high school in Brooklyn, NY, and a Polish school in Greenpoint to connect to her roots. She enjoys creative writing and painting as personal hobbies and joined Girls Write Now to develop as a writer in a more comprehensive direction in an inclusive environment.