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Gustafus Gideon S.


Dame Claudia Albertine Zelda L. Eastwood-Leibowitz

ENGL 102


Inquiry:​ What electoral system is the best for the United States of America?

Thesis​: I argue that, while some other methods to solve the electoral college issue (such as the

interstate compact) have merit, ranked choice voting is the best system overall and should be

instituted for all races, nation wide.

Daley, David. “Ranked-Choice Voting Could Help Dems -- and the Nation.”

RealClearPolitics​, 13 Sept. 2019, https://www.realclearpolitics.com/



This is not an academic, peer-reviewed source, however it is still timely and relevant. It is

from a widely regarded news site, R

​ eal Clear Politics​, a site that is known for and often

sighted by other more prominent outlets, such as CNN. The AP of political polling. It

specializes in polling and looks at how ranked choice voting is similar to the current

method of polling being done in the 2020 democratic primary, as well as it shows the
relevance of ranked choice voting not only to a general election setting, but as well as its

use in primaries, which would be far easier to implement that in a general election, as a

general election would require passage of laws through congress/state legislatures, yet the

use in primaries would only need to be approved by the federal/state party. It also

provides examples, based on polling data, that show how a system similar to ranked

choice voting would change who the frontrunner/victor would be. It brilliantly sums up

the point of ranked choice voting “Maybe everyone wouldn’t leave the convention happy.

But they would leave having been heard, and certain that the majority carried the day.”

Drake, Ian J. “Federal Roadblocks: The Constitution and the National Popular Vote

Interstate Compact.” P
​ ublius: The Journal of Federalism​, vol. 44, no. 4, Oct. 2014,

pp. 681–701.

This is a peer reviewed article from ​Publius​, which is a journal dedicated to federalism

therefore giving it credibility and relevance to this topic. This particular article discusses

the interstate National Popular Vote Compact which is a state response to trying to

change the electoral college. Essentially the compact would, after having a majority of

electoral votes have signed on, states would require their electors to vote for whoever

won the national popular vote, not who won the state’s popular vote. It is slightly dated

however as it is from 2014. The article states that proponents argue that this method is

easier than passing a constitutional amendment. However detractors state that this is an

oversimplification as this may not be as simple as it sounds, as some states may past

different laws and the supreme court may not support it as it relies on a relatively
untested piece of the constitution, the compact clause which may not be relevant. This

article provides an insight into the judicial aspect of the interstate compact and does a

deep dive into the actual hoops the compact would have to possibly pass through as it is

very out of the norm and unprecedented.

Durkin, Erin. “Ranked Choice Voting in NYC Gets Push from across the Political

Spectrum.” ​Politico PRO​, 19 Sept. 2019, https://www.politico.com/states/new-york/



This article is from the well regarded magazine “Politico”. Politico is a closer follower of

politics and is generally well regarded for its in depth, comprehensive, relatively

unbiased, though slightly liberal leaning. This article details how the support for ranked

choice voting is spreading. It also details how ranked choice voting is gaining support

from across the political spectrum. Being very recent, only a month old, it shows the

current state of ranked choice voting in america, as well as the most current arguments

for and against it.

Grey, CGP. “Politics in the Animal Kingdom: Single Transferable Vote.” ​YouTube​,

YouTube, 22 Oct. 2014, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l8XOZJkozfI&t=321s.

This is a popular media source that is not peer-reviewed, and it is a little bit on the older

side, it is still valuable. It is a very simple and easy to understand synopsis of the reasons

and methods in which a country could implement the ranked choice voting/single

transferable vote. It goes into reasoning as to why a country may seek to implement
ranked choice voting, as well as some of the criticisms and drawbacks that come with this

method of voting. Though this is dated a bit, the methods and reasoning have not

changed, and from the detailed scenarios he shows it is possible to extrapolate some of

the other challenges and concerns that might come with ranked choice voting, such as

things like how it will work in rural areas/states and how it may be susceptible to

gerrymandering. In all, though it is brief and simplistic, while still being in depth and

meaningful, making it very easy to understand and very useful as a source. One drawback

is, as often with youtube, it is biased towards the material/content it is presenting.

Kazin, Michael. “Sorry, Donald Trump. Presidents Who Don't Win the Popular Vote

Seldom Recover.” ​Chicagotribune.com​, Chicago Tribune, 11 May 2019,



“The Pros and Cons of the Electoral College System” C

​ ongressional Digest​, vol. 96, no. 1,

Jan. 2017, pp. 18–31.

This article in from a long standing peer reviewed article known for being objective and

non-partisan journal ​Congressional Digest​. In it contrasts the opinions of conservative

Professor Richard Lempert and liberal Senator Dianne Feinstein. It is limited in the fact

that it only presents partisan efforts for and against the electoral college, but that can also

be a benefit as it can provide the standard republican/democrat arguments about the

electoral college. It also has no independent views as it is just a reprint of previously

stated opinions. However it is very timely in that it was printed immediately after the
election of 2016 which reignited debate in the electoral college. Therefore its opinions are

new and current. It is also limited in that the format is slightly confusing as it alters

opinions on each page and that is not directly clear at first.

Lindsay, Nielson. “Ranked Choice Voting and Attitudes toward Democracy in the United

States: Results from a Survey Experiment.” ​Politics & Policy​, vol. 45, no. 4, Aug.

2017, pp. 535–570.

This is also a peer reviewed article from P

​ olitics & Policy ​which was published roughly a

year after the 2016 presidential election which renewed interested in electoral reform. It

is a rather dense article which makes it harder to read and comprehend, but still has

valuable insights inside if you can get through the complexity and confusing format as

well as an overview of how ranked choice voting works as well as graphic examples.

This may have been written in response to the 2016 election however it is obviously not

for public consumption. It discusses how ranked choice voting could be implemented in

the United States and how effective it might be after implementation. It provides detailed,

cited references to various papers on the topic of ranked choice voting in the United

States of America. It provides evidence and references to studies for and against ranked

choice voting. There is not a very clear point here as it just seems to be an overview on

the current state of ranked choice voting studies and support in the United States of

America rather than a detailed argument for or against it, however it seems to side with

ranked choice voting, but it is not clear.

Pavía, Jose M. ​Political Quarterly​, vol. 82, no. 3, 2011, pp. 435–447.

“Presidents Elected Without a Majority.” ​Infoplease,​ Infoplease,



Santucci, Jack. “Maine Ranked-Choice Voting as a Case of Electoral-System Change.”

Representation​, vol. 54, no. 3, Sept. 2018, pp. 297–311.

This is a peer reviewed article published in ​Representation​ in September of 2018, right in

the midst of the midterms of that year, so obviously there was more of an interest than

there would be in an off-election year. It is a look at the history of the ranked choice

voting in Maine, the only state to have implemented ranked choice voting for all offices.

It examines how ranked choice voting helps in what cases and how and why some groups

have opposed it. It is very valuable as it provides insight into the largest use of ranked

choice voting in America as well as why and how it was implemented. It is very clear in

its argument and documentation so this is a very valuable source. It also contains polling

data on different groups to show who supports and opposes ranked choice voting. It

contains several graphs for easy understanding of the data it's presenting

Silberstein, Steve. “How to Make the Electoral College Work for Everyone.” Washington

Monthly, vol. 49, no. 3-5, Mar. 2017.

This is a scholarly, peer reviewed article published not long after the 2016 presidential
election, giving relevance and closeness to the topic it is discussing. It is one of the voices

arguing that instead of throwing the baby out with the bath water and start a long chaotic

process to remove the electoral college instead let it go through the states using the

National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. It is relatively brief however, being just six

pages and half of that is graphics. It also underplays the controversy and complicatedness

of National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, insisting that it is ultimately “up to the will

of the people”.