If you want everyone to vote, then make voting work for everyone


If everyone in the world woke up tomorrow with no memory or evidence of America’s electoral system, and we had to invent a new one from scratch, there’s zero possibility that anyone would, or even could, recreate what exists now. It’s so absurdly broken you couldn’t make it up.

The most powerful positions in the government are held by 100 members of the Senate, 435 members of the House of Representatives, the president, vice president and hundreds of appointed officials.  The elected seats are filled by hosting popularity contests between wealthy, professional campaigners who are matched against whichever other contestants live in the same geographical area as them. The presidency is a nationwide election, but everyone still votes with their state, and the winner of the state-wide election gets to vote on the national level. However, the state representatives don’t always have to vote the way the people do, and there are unelected super delegates who can vote however they want.

It’s debatable whether or not Americans’ votes matter at all, but if you’re a twenty year old gay black atheist socialist living in a county full of white, Christian Baby Boomers, there’s no doubt that your vote doesn’t count. It’s a cold, mathematical fact. Even if we stopped voting by states and made every federal election nationwide, the generation with the most people will still have the mathematical advantage.

Right now the Baby Boomers have the mathematical advantage, and thanks to the horrible economy they created, they’re also the most likely to have enough free time to go vote at one of the convoluted voting stations the system provides. So it should come as no surprise that the average age of Congress is 62.

With age comes wisdom, but it also comes with senility and obsolescence. Strom Thurmond had no business taking up one of the highest seats of power in the world, and neither does anyone who has never sent an E-mail. Age also comes with a shift in priorities. You tend to stick with the old ways and prioritize short-term security over testing radical ideas and looking far into the future.  As a result, the youth are forced to perpetually live in an archaic system that doesn’t represent their values or goals.

I can’t help but feel like there’s a more effective way to stock elected seats than by culling them from 50 arbitrary, gerrymandered geographical areas, and holding a popular vote within them between contestants who are old and rich enough to devote their life to being professional campaigners who work for one of two warring staffing agencies.

Any teenager could come up with ten better ways to staff the federal government. Here are a few that I would be satisfied with over the train wreck we have now. Assign a percentage of the votes and/or seats by age group, income bracket, IQ level, personality type or by the sector of the economy one works in. In addition, make all federal election national and online. Give voters the perpetual option to vote politicians out of office, and eliminate super delegates and anything resembling them.

Any of these ideas would put my vote in a pool with more people who share my interests. No matter what flaws these options may have, they aren’t worse than what America has now.

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2 responses to “If you want everyone to vote, then make voting work for everyone

  • John

    A big problem in our country is the divide between rural and urban thinking.
    People that are surrounded by masses of people tend to be more fearful than the more independent thinking of our country bumpkin brothers.

    People in cities want more protection and thus we get more laws which brings more police, military, and all the bureaucracy that go with it. And since there are many more votes from the cities, the country is losing the common sense that comes from those that live closer to the land.

    There are several things that could be done to save our system, but the powers that be aren’t going to let it happen. Those in power know how to keep themselves in the money.


  • Fred

    Some of the most ignorant people I ever met are baby boomers. So for me that “Wisdom comes with age” idea is very debatable.

    I was recently having a discussion with my dad about the Google Self Driving Car. I know it has a lot of kinks that need to be works out and all, but i am convinced that a computer can process data and react appropriately faster than any human brain.

    Well my dad was also familiar with this topic, but to my surprise he had a very negative perspective of it. He just could not fathom how a computer can ever at anytime in the future replace human drivers. Its the most absurd thing he ever heard of, even after I explained in detail how the computer is able to specify between objects and people and how it can read signs and how it can see potential hazards way before a human can.

    Even with all those details he still refused to accept it and continued to knock it down on irrational and illogical grounds. I was sitting there thinking “what is his problem?” Then it occurred to me that he is scared, Change terrifies him. He is an old man, how will he adjust to change?

    When I started thinking of it that way I began to understand why baby boomers tend to be so stuck in the same mind set and unwilling to budge, even in the face of hard evidence. They are just simply scared that things may be done a different way than they are accustomed to.

    So sure, senility and obsolescence play a role too, but when you really get down the root of it all you might discover that what we have is a bunch of old grouches who are scared to death of the notion of change.

    In about 20 more years the younger generations will have the opportunity to make a major overhaul to the system we now have. Lets try not to “F” it up. Lets not be afraid of change when are old grouches.


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