Why The Every Vote Counts Amendment Hasn't Passed

In an effort to energize their supporters and bring them to the polls, politicians often tout the phrase that "every vote counts." Yet we know from the Electoral College, often criticized for being undemocratic and unfairly allocated, that that turn of phrase isn't exactly true. But there are some efforts to put the vote back into the hands of the people by electing the president and vice president based on popular vote, as opposed to the electoral college. One such repeated effort has been the Every Vote Counts Amendment, which has failed to pass. But why has it been so controversial when, theoretically, the democratic process promises that every vote counts?

The current Electoral College system, after all, has had its own set of major hiccups. The most notable, of course, was the presidential race between George W. Bush and Al Gore, when Bush beat out Gore by a mere 537 votes. The near 3 million Floridians who voted for the former vice president seemingly could have not turned out at all, considering that 537 vote difference made all of the difference. Per the electoral college rules, Bush pocketed all of the electoral votes, ultimately securing him the victory for the 2000 presidential election.


So after all of that, why would people want to prevent the Every Vote Counts Amendment from passing? For the most part, it comes down to a numbers game. If the process was flipped and the country chose its leaders based on a popular vote system alone, then many states' voting power would change significantly.

Small states, for instance, have disproportionate voting power to help balance out their small population size. This is done so that large states, such as California and Texas, don't completely overtake the election based on their population alone. If the Every Vote Counts Amendment were to pass, then these states would give up much of their voting power, effectively rendering their state useless in the grand scheme of the election.

Further, any new amendment requires a majority of states' support to be ratified. These small states, which take up a majority of the country, would likely never consent to losing their own voting power. Simply put, lawmakers just wouldn't go for it.

We are therefore stuck with the current system for the foreseeable future. And while it does have its flaws, perhaps the alternative would be even more undemocratic.