"My fundamental belief is that third party candidates should be included in all elected office debates in which they wish to participate. In the 2000 election I paired with a voter from Virginia...I truly wish 600 more Independents in my state had done the same. We would be looking at a much different world today. The 2004 Votepair effort will once again free my conscience from the difficult choice of principle or pragmatism. We (independent thinkers) can have both!"
ŚMichael S. Caruso
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The Electoral College and winner-take-all voting are flaws in our electoral system that can be exploited by strong parties to exclude new third-party voices and resist democratic change. Votepairing is one way to work around these flaws until a system that more accurately reflects voter preferences is adopted.
The 2000 presidential election results illustrated the critical role of the Electoral College. Under the Electoral College system, Electors are selected based on winner-take-all statewide contests. These Electors cast the ballots that finally elect the president. Because these contests happen at the state level, there is little chance that the preferences of Democratic voters in strongly Republican states or Republican voters in traditionally Democratic states will affect the final tally of Electoral votes. On the other hand, small numbers of voters in states where the presidential race is very close can have major impacts on the final election results. More on the Electoral College
One way to avoid all kinds of winner-take-all elections would be to adopt instant runoff voting (IRV). IRV allows voters to rank candidates in their order of preference. If a candidate receives a majority of first place votes, they win. If not, the last place candidate is eliminated and ballots that ranked that candidate first are counted instead as votes for the second ranked candidate. IRV eliminates "spoilers" and vote-splitting and more accurately reflects voter preference.