Is a Fairer US Electoral System Possible?

Date01 April 2017
DOI10.1177/2041905817702737
AuthorOliver Muellerklein,Kevin Baas,Colin J. Carlson,Eric Dougherty,Wayne Getz
Publication Date01 April 2017
APRIL 2017 POLITICAL INSIGHT 33
It is surprising when the victors of
elections question the legitimacy
of the process that brought them
to power. Donald Trump, however,
having won the Presidency through
securing a majority of the Electoral College
vote in the 2016 US Presidential race,
has tried to explain away his 2.9 million
popular vote loss to Hillary Clinton in terms
of three to five million fraudulent votes
being cast (see Table 1). In 2000, George W.
Bush also lost the popular vote to Al Gore,
while still winning the Electoral College
vote and hence the Presidency. In a poll
conducted soon after Bush’s election, four-
fifths of Democrats regarded the election
result illegitimate, though only 12 per cent
of Republicans held this view.
Orderly democracies, however, must
accept the outcome of an agreed upon
Is a Fairer US Electoral
System Possible?
Donald Trump’s presidential victory has focused attention once again
on disparities within the US electoral system. Wayne Getz, Kevin
Baas, Colin J. Carlson, Eric Dougherty, and Oliver Muellerklein look
to community-based conservation (CBC) for lessons in how to build a
fairer election process.
electoral process or risk anarchy. In
addition, changes to electoral processes
must be not be biased in favour of the
individuals and political parties involved if
considerations of representation, fairness,
and justice are to remain paramount. We
address the latter issues here, not with
old paradigms and old tools, but with
new knowledge and new capabilities.
These approaches include improved
technologies for neutral redistricting of
state and federal districts, verifying results,
and ensuring cyber security.
The strength of the US polity is arguably
derived from the complex interplay of
power at local, regional and national levels,
as well as the separation of executive,

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