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DOES THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE WINNER-TAKE-ALL SYSTEM SUPPRESS VOTES?

The Electoral College Winner-Take-All state statutes may well be the biggest voter suppression tool in existence:

  • Reliable data shows that living in a battleground state, encourages voter registration and turnout. If the whole country were a battleground state, as it would be in a National Popular Vote election, a voter who knows that his or her vote in Utah is as meaningful as a vote in Florida, would have a real reason to cast a ballot. 

  • The Electoral College can depress voter turnout due to the winner-take-all system that dominates it. Voters who live in politically "safe" states, know their votes don't count. And it cuts both ways: if you're a Republican in Utah, your vote is overkill, if you're a Democrat, Independent or a Green, it's a waste of time. Either situation can simply be discouraging enough to cause many people to not vote at all. 

  • The current system of winner-take-all can amplify the power of voter suppression, because even a small number of suppressed votes due to problems with weather, voter ID laws or voter registration requirements, can accumulate county-by-county and flip the direction of an entire state. In a national popular vote, where the pool of votes could be as much 136 million like the 2016 election, a like number of suppressed or even fraudulent votes would have little effect on a national outcome. 

  • The Congressional District Method (CDM) awards 2 electoral votes for the popular vote winner in the state and the remaining electoral votes to the winner in each voting district. In computer modeling by FairVote.org dubbedFuzzy Math,” CDM was applied nationwide for the 2012 election between Romney and Obama. In heavily gerrymandered states, the inequity in voter representation was exacerbated to the point where Romney won the electoral vote despite Obama’s 5 million nationwide popular vote victory.