So, several Democratic primary candidates dropped out before Super Tuesday.
Yeah, but it’s not good for anyone who voted for them in the earlier states or who used eary voting or vote-by-mail to vote for them in a Super Tuesday state.
Those votes are basically wasted now.
And they’re not the only ones.
All the votes for candidates who got less than 15% in a district or state are wasted too, since those votes don’t contribute to delegate selection.
That’s messed up.
It’s almost like the system was designed to ignore the supporters of less mainstream candidates …
So, what needs to change?
Firstly, the goal is a fair system; one where everyone’s vote counts equally.
Just so we’re clear on that point.
Three things need to change for this system to be fair.
Fisrt, everyone should be voting at the same time because if the situation changes while voting is still going on then some earlier votes will be invalidated and some later voters will be unable to vote for their preferred candidate.
And both of those situations are unfair.
(Mail-in voting kinda messes with this, but as long as it’s optional and counts aren’t published before the actual election day then it’s not good but it’s still fair enough.)
Second, the “viability threshold” needs to go away. It’s pointless with modern voting systems and only serves to marginalize candidates with low or unevenly distributed support. It also forces voters to choose tactically, possibly making them vote for a someone other than the candidate they’d prefer.
Third, we need to switch to ranked-choice voting (RCV, which I discussed in No Spoilers: Ranked Choice Voting). I won’t get off into the details of that now; thats’ what the linked post is for.
Anything less than all three of these changes won’t be fair.
And what’s the point of a voting system that isn’t fair?