Monday, October 14, 2013

Count My Vote vs Flyover Counties and Towns

Utah's Neighborhood Elections force candidates to pay attention to rural areas of Utah. Direct primaries encourage candidates to ignore rural areas and communicate only by paid advertising. A direct primary would create fly-over areas of Utah that will rarely get to meet their candidates face to face.

Utah's Neighborhood Elections work to create a balance between population and Counties, similar to what the US Presidential Electoral System is designed to do.

See also:

Why keep the US Presidential Electoral System:

The US Constitution provided for a balance between small population states and large ones. This is one of the reasons for the Senate having 2 per state and the House being divided based on population.

The current US Presidential Electoral System keeps part of that concept so that voters in California, New York, and a few others do not decide who is elected, ignoring the rest of the country.

The original system was designed so that the electors nominated two candidates, one not from their state, and unless there was a candidate nominated by the majority of electors, the voting for president out of the top 5 nominees was done by the US House of Representatives, one vote per state. If two candidates received a majority of electors, the House would decide between just the two. Basically, the loser of the top two became the Vice President, who would take over if something happened to the President. The elector college system protected every state from being ignored.

By 1796 and 1800, partly due to political party influence, and because the public didn't want the US House to decide the election a movement to change happened and under the 12th amendment this was changed. One reason was to make sure the President and the Vice President could run together. The change made it so the electors would almost always reach a majority and therefore cast the final vote, and because of that, most states have now required that the elector vote based on which party they represent. Utah requires that an elector be replaced if they do not vote per party. See

Under the current system, Utah having 6 votes instead of 4 gives us a slight edge over population. Utah has decided to have a winner take all system. If Utah were to split our vote, it would carry less weight in the national election, but it would put Utah more in play.

While the current system doesn't work as originally intended, there is still some balance favoring smaller states, just barely enough to encourage candidates to campaign throughout most of the country. Without the
US Presidential Electoral System , I believe that would be eliminated and I also believe the cities with the most population would be the locations where campaigning would occur, making the situation of ignoring parts of the country even worse.

Some information: