The "Russian Influence" Narrative Is An Important Scapegoat For The Electoral College

in politics •  last year

Battleground States.png

If our election was manipulated, then that has much more to do with the way it's set up as a game of all or nothing votes in each state than it has to do with anyone's actions. It is clearly designed to be easily manipulated.

They say Russia employed a company that used highly targeted ads strategically on an individual basis to influence opinion in a few key places that had outsize impact on the election results. For clarity, apparently a few hundred thousand dollars worth of ads and an organized bunch of internet trolls is the entirety of Russia's ad campaign.
What this tells us is not that Russia went to extraordinary lengths to manipulate our election; it shows us that our elections are extraordinarily easy to manipulate, because it looks like they achieved it with a budget easily under $2 million. North Korea could afford that. Iran could afford it 100 times over. If we're worried about our adversaries manipulating our elections, we should make them more resilient.

The problem is that we left ourselves completely vulnerable, likely because our rulers like to manipulate our elections, themselves. But if they don't do it best themselves, then other nations will control the outcomes. Either way, every citizen's electoral power is diminished by the electoral college. Remember: Trump lost the popular vote, and about 40% of people didn't vote at all because they know their votes don't matter. The problem isn't Russia, it's U.S.

Our only hope of restoring rule by the American people to the American people is in reforming our voting system to be less of a game and more of a representation of actual public opinion. What do you think? Let me know in the comments!

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Nevada: 2,940,058
Colorado: 5,540,545
New Mexico: 2,081,015
Iowa: 3,134,693
Wisconsin: 5,778,708
North Carolina: 10,146,788
Virginia: 8,411,808
Florida: 20,612,439
New Hampshire: 1,334,795
Ohio: 11,614,373
Missouri: 6,093,000 (not really a swing state)
Michigan: 9,928,300
Pennsylvania: 12,784,227

Total population of these swing states: 100,400,749

Population of the United States: 325,365,189

Assuming proportions of eligible voters are similar, 30.9% of the population matters.


Thanks for contributing! I will add that only 50.00001% of each of those populations is required, with no additional benefit for overshooting, so in some ways, only 15.46% of the population matters.

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Over 20% of Clinton's votes came from just 2 states: California and New York. Without them she would have lost the popular vote by over 3 million votes. You highlight 14 states that get more attention than the others because they come first, but votes in other states still matter greatly. With a straight popular vote you would have major population centers deciding the elections, and rural Americans being ignored, resulting in a situation of classes kind of like in the Hunger Games.