What I Support

       I am in favor of a push to change the way officials are elected in the lower chamber of a state’s legislatures from a first-past-the-post electoral system to a proportional representation (PR) electoral system. The benefits of the lower chamber switching to a PR electoral system would include the following: it would eliminate gerrymandering, accurately reflect the will of voters, put a dent in the two-party system, and help to distinguish the lower chamber from the upper chamber.

       The specific system I am in favor of is a three-vote single-district PR electoral system. In this system, a voter would be given three votes to distribute amongst qualified parties. All three votes could go to one party or they could be divvied up. By letting voters split their vote 2-1 or 1-1-1, voters can better represent their political party preferences, especially for those who support more than one party or for those who don’t have a strong tie to any one party. This system would allow for more ideological or job specific parties to emerge (Teachers Party, STEM Party, Pro-Union Party, Pro-Life Party, Americans for Responsible Gun Ownership Party, Minimum Wage Workers Party, Civil Rights Party, etc.) as it would be possible for them to initially win a seat or two. The more options we have, the more accurate our representation will be.

 

Implementing this System

       The only realistic way a state would adopt a PR electoral system at the moment is from a citizen-initiated constitutional amendment (CICA). This is because Democratic and Republican legislators aren’t going to willingly give up power to minor parties. Of the 49 state legislatures that have two chambers/houses, 17 allow for CICA’s. Those states are AZ, AR, CA, CO, FL, IL, MA, MI, MS, MO, MT, NV, ND, OH, OK, OR, and SD. The first few states that adopt a PR electoral system in the lower chamber of their state’s legislature will almost certainly come from this list of 17.