America Needs Election Reform:
The Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law recently declared Florida to be "the
most hostile state in the nation to new voters--particularly in traditionally underserved communities that might
otherwise see record-breaking participation in this presidential election year." The number of registered voters
in Florida has actually dropped seven percentage points since 2004, to only 65 percent of those eligible
Roughly one-third of all eligible Americans, 64 million people, are not registered to vote. This percentage is
even higher for African-Americans (30 percent) and Hispanics (40 percent). Shockingly, for those between the
ages of 18 and 24, it climbs to 50 percent. Registration rates are directly correlated with income: about 80
percent of those who make $75,000 or more a year are registered to vote, while only about 55 percent of those
who make between $15,000 and $24,999 are registered. It's unacceptable for this country's registration rate to
be so low.
The United States is the only democracy in the world that strips the right to vote from citizens who have done
time in prison
Many Americans who are registered to vote don't make it to the polls. With only a single day on which to cast
their ballot, working people often find themselves without the time to participate in the most basic ritual of our
The Democrats' use of proportional representation in their nominating process gives a sense of what it means:
every vote counts, no matter how lopsided the result might be in any district or state.
The American Process of Selecting a President:
The US was the first country to have a chief executive selected through an electoral process
distinct from the election of legislators.
The US has continued to use its electoral college, while elsewhere the trend has been
unmistakably toward methods that are not only popular but direct.
Indirect methods raise the possibility that one candidate could win the popular vote yet not
be selected president, as happened in 2000 in the US.
There is also a trend in the decision rules away from the plurality method, because of that
method’s vulnerability to so called spoilers.
A spoiler is candidate with no realistic chance of winning the election outright, but whose
presence in the race may affect which of the other candidates does win...
In a third trend, the US has been the pacesetter. More countries are joining the US by
using primary elections to select parties’ presidential nominees.