Electoral Vote Reforms

This past week in North Carolina, state legislators were working on a plan to change the way the state allocates its electoral votes. Instead of awarding the winning presidential candidate all electoral votes from the state, the votes will be allocated based on the winner in each Congressional district. The legislators who pushed this plan – all Democrats – suggest that this will make the state more competitive and will serve as an incentive for more candidates to spend time in the state.
Unfortunately, North Carolina – home to the most infamous gerrymandered district in the country – is the wrong place to experiment with this kind of electoral vote allocation. In some places, North Carolina's 12th Congressional district, for example, is literally no wider than the highway it follows from one end of the state to the other. It is such an extreme case of political gerrymandering that the Wall Street Journal called the district "political pornography." As a result, the district's constitutional legitimacy has been challenged countless times and has bounced around various state courts and even the U.S. Supreme Court.
New Jersey, however, would be a good place to change the electoral vote allocation system – we should move from a winner-takes-all system to awarding by congressional district. We have successfully moved our primary to be relevant, but so have 17 other states. The chance of winning some electoral votes would bring both parties into the state not only just to raise money, but also to discuss issues, making New Jersey an important part of the 2008 campaign.

Electoral Vote Reforms