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Safe Seats and Wasted Votes
The single seat district system used in the United States of America for electing our legislators excludes tens of millions
of voters from having a voice in government.
Because Members of the United States House of Representatives are elected from single
seat districts, people who did not vote for the winner in their district end up being "represented" in Washington DC
by somebody who opposes them politically. Votes not cast for the winner are called "wasted votes" because they do not help to
elect a representative and the voters are left without political representation.
If the winning candidate gets a large
percentage, he or she probably has a "safe district" from which they are unlikely to ever be defeated. Most congressional
representatives and state legislators enjoy the luxury of "safe seats", virtually assuring repeated re-election to office.
the district is considered "competitive" (as a few are), the winner may have gotten just over 50% of the vote, or less than 50% if
there were 3 or more candidates. Some people believe that more districts should be competitive so that fewer politicians are
protected by safe districts. But the problem with competitive districts is that they increase the percentage of wasted votes.
If a politician is elected from a safe seat with, say, 67% of the vote, then 33% of voters will be represented by someone they
voted against. But if only 51% of voters elected a politician from a competitive district, then 49% of voters will be represented
by someone they voted against.
Here is how the same votes can be drawn into different districts to produce very different
Many tens of millions American voters cast wasted votes in each election cycle and therefore are deprived
of any voice in government to represent their viewpoints on public policies.
This situation harkens back to the populist
slogan of the American Revolution: "Taxation without Representation is Tyranny!"
The solution is Proportional Representation to
provide a real voice in government for all voters. See more details about how to conduct meaningful elections using: