February 17, 2020

Letter: Winner-take-all system is unfair and unmotivating

Winner-take-all system is
unfair and unmotivating

In this presidential election year, it seems appropriate to comment on our history of low voter turnouts. One likely cause is the tacit acceptance that — realistically – one vote could not possibly influence the outcome.

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Due to growth in the population, the relative weight of my own vote has diminished by about half (since 1960). Yet, that significant loss of influence pales in comparison to the gross inequity of winner-take-all election laws.

Enacted in nearly every state, winner-take-all laws have effectively voided millions of votes for other candidates (even when the winning margin has been statistically insignificant – or the win by a mere plurality).

Before winner-take-all laws, some states were divided into districts, either using pre-existing congressional districts or creating new districts specifically for the presidential election. Voters elected one or multiple electors from their district.

Not only was that system far more equitable, but – since the district’s vote mattered — it provided more incentive to vote. There is none when your choice has no weight.

Jerry Meyer
San Jose

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Source:: The Mercury News – Politics


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