Election law

Next, we would modify the house. The entirely arbitrary number of representatives (435) could be left alone, but instead of congressional districts being left to the states to apportion (Lowi, Ginsberg and Shepsle), they would be assigned at the federal level in a manner to attempt to get people together by geography and political interests rather than by state. That way, if, for example, residents of eastern Arizona and western New Mexico had more in common with one another than residents of Phoenix and eastern Arizona, the district boundary lines would be drawn according to like interests.

This sort of gerrymandering was once ruled illegal as it was used to reduce the number of seats given to certain ethnic and racial groups, but the intent would be to assure that all groups would have an equal chance at representation and would be able to elect someone with similar values. Currently, some districts cover huge tracks of rural areas and then a smidge of suburbs to get the population base required. Since suburban residents tend to have different interests than rural America, we would assure that they are in different voting districts.

Once this might not have been a viable option, but with the constant polling and computer demographic information available, but now it would be a much more fair and equitable way to make sure that all the various interests of the country are equally represented. Then, we would have to change the election process for the president and vice president. As many people became aware after the 2000 and 2004 elections, the president and vice president are not elected by a direct vote of the populace.

Each state is given a number of electors in the Electoral College equal to the combined number of senators and representatives it has. Again, this gives greater weight to the vote of a person in a small state. And, with the revamped Congress, this approach wouldn’t work anyway. This plan is well-rooted in American history and election law, but is not the way it was done initially, because in the early days of the Constitution, the vice president and president did not run of a ticket.

The man with the second most votes would have been vice president. Though the process as it is assures the continuation of a policy if the president has to be removed from, I proposed doing away with the Electoral College and then assuring that the man with the most votes is named president and the man with the second most votes be named vice president. Yes, it could mean two different parties hold the highest two offices, but that might be a good thing given the major political dichotomy that is brewing in the United States.

The new process would call for open primaries and all the candidates going head to head for a manageable number, say seven, places of the national ballot. Then, each person would get one vote for the president. The guy who got the most votes would be president and the person with the second most votes would be vice president. Can you imagine Rudy Giuliani as President and Hillary Clinton as his vice president, or vice versa?

The process would probably spell the end of the two party system, allowing smaller political parties to rise up and make an impact on the political process. It would mean that the vice president and president would have to work together to form a sort of coalition government, hopefully reducing the extremes in partisanship. Without the influence and cash of the two party system, candidates might be forced to take more interest in what people actually thought and could be held more closely to their campaign promises.