"I moved to Texas 26 years ago and have never had a single vote for president count. I have often felt like not voting at all. I wish we had an Electoral College change like Colorado is talking about. It is just not fair. My son is a 17 year old senior who will not not turn 18 before the presidential election. He has done nothing but complain about not being able to vote. He is a Kerry supporter. I haven't told him that his vote wouldn't count anyway. I don't want to possibly make him lose interest in voting in the future. He tells me that announcing that he is a Kerry supporter at school gets him ridiculed and attacked. I was very thankful to have heard about votepair.org this morning. It gives me some hope and I will certainly be passing this information on to others who feel as helpless as I do. Tired of being left out of the process."
-Barbara & Family
More Stories from Participants
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.