There is a prohibitive political impediment associated with the adoption of the whole-number proportional approach on a piecemeal basis by individual states. Any state that enacts the proportional approach on its own would reduce its own influence. This was the most telling argument that caused Colorado voters to agree with Republican Governor Bill Owens and to reject, by a two-to-one margin, the ballot measure in November 2004 to award Colorado’s electoral votes using the whole-number proportional approach. This inherent defect cannot be remedied unless all 50 states and the District of Columbia were to simultaneously enact the proportional approach. This inherent defect cannot be remedied if, for example, 10, 20, 30, or even 40 states were to enact the whole-number proportional approach on a piecemeal basis. If as many as 48 or 49 states allocated their electoral votes proportionally, but just one or two large, closely divided battleground winner-take-all states did not, the state(s) continuing to use the winner-take-all system would immediately become the only state(s) that would matter in presidential politics. Thus, if states were to start adopting the proportional approach on a piecemeal basis, each additional state adopting the approach would increase the influence of the remaining winner-take-all states and thereby decrease the chance that the additional winner-take-all states would adopt the approach. A state-by-state process of adopting the proportional approach would bring itself to a halt.
If the proportional approach were implemented by a state, on its own, it would have to allocate its electoral votes in whole numbers. If a current battleground state were to change its winner-take-all statute to a proportional method for awarding electoral votes, presidential candidates would pay less attention to that state because only one electoral vote would probably be at stake in the state.
If the whole-number proportional approach had been in use throughout the country in the nation’s closest recent presidential election (2000), it would not have awarded the most electoral votes to the candidate receiving the most popular votes nationwide. Instead, the result would have been a tie of 269–269 in the electoral vote, even though Al Gore led by 537,179 popular votes across the nation.
If no candidate wins a majority of electoral votes, the presidential election would be thrown into Congress to decide. In 2000 that would have resulted in the election of the second-place candidate in terms of the national popular vote.
A system in which electoral votes are divided proportionally by state would not accurately reflect the nationwide popular vote and would not make every vote equal.
It would penalize states, such as Montana, that have only one U.S. Representative even though it has almost three times more population than other small states with one congressman. It would penalize fast-growing states that do not receive any increase in their number of electoral votes until after the next federal census. It would penalize states with high voter turnout (e.g., Utah, Oregon).
Moreover, the fractional proportional allocation approach does not assure election of the winner of the nationwide popular vote. In 2000, for example, it would have resulted in the election of the second-place candidate.
A national popular vote is the way to make every person's vote equal and matter to their candidate because it guarantees that the candidate who gets the most votes in all 50 states and DC becomes President.
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