On Election Day, the nation's largest state — California — left many voters cold and reduced voter participation, because of the "winner take all" rule for allocating electoral votes by states.
This rule led to a handful of states — the so-called "battleground states" — getting virtually exclusive attention from the presidential candidates and the super-PAC expenditures — the so-called "battleground states" — while the majority of voters across America were shunned, avoided and — de facto — declared irrelevant to the presidential selection process.
There is a better way, as demonstrated by Maine and Nebraska, which allocate electoral college votes based on which presidential candidate wins a majority in each congressional district. This is not only a fair way to allocate electors, but it will result in the presidential candidates campaigning in many more states where congressional districts are competitive, making the presidential campaign truly national in scope.
While Maine and Nebraska award the electors representing the two U.S. senators to the presidential candidate garnering the highest popular vote, it would be even more powerful — and force the presidential candidates to campaign in each state — if the electors representing the senators were allocated to the presidential candidate winning a majority of congressional districts in that state.
The U.S. Constitution (Article II, Section 1) establishes the electoral "college" as the method of selecting a president. But it is neutral on the method of allocating electoral votes, stating that electors shall be appointed by each state ... in such manner as the legislature thereof may direct ..."
If California were to follow the lead of Nebraska and Maine — award electors by presidential outcome in each congressional district — the presidential candidates would have frequented many parts of California. California would have seen them up close — and Romney/Ryan would have gotten electoral votes from California, making the presidential race closer, while stimulating precinct volunteers and increasing voter turnout.
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