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US Electoral System Suggests Democracy Died Long Ago

© Sputnik / Cassandra FairbanksEarly Voting Downtown Minneapolis
Early Voting Downtown Minneapolis - Sputnik International
The US electoral system contains a wide variety of arbitrary state rules and regulations, causing many to ask whether America is a democracy, or something else.

Amid early voting in Minnesota and the upcoming Monday presidential debate, Brian Becker of Radio Sputnik's Loud & Clear is joined by Richard Winger, publisher and editor of Ballot Access News, to discuss US election laws.

Winger compared early voting with a jury trial. "This early voting is like letting some of the juries cast their vote before the trial is over," he offered, "I think it should be limited to just three weeks before the election."

Requirements for submitting one's candidacy to be president differ widely from state to state. In North Carolina, for example, a prospective nominee must acquire 89,000 ballot signatures by June 9th, six months prior to the election. In Colorado, by contrast, a person can get on the ballot for the presidential elections in November by simply paying a $1000 fee. Currently Colorado has 23 presidential candidates on the ballot.

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According to Winger, the US Electoral College suppresses democracy in the sense that the opinion of the Electoral College takes precedence over the popular vote. Although the majority of the US population would prefer direct popular elections, the Electoral College continues to exist, to the frustration of most Americans.

The system of "each state has one vote," comprising the House of Representatives is "very tilted toward the Republicans," suggests Winger.

He remarked that, "It would be overwhelmingly funny if Donald Trump gets more popular votes but Hillary Clinton gets more electoral votes. It's not likely to happen. It's conceivable, and that would be a lesson for the Republican Party they should have changed the system."

Historically, the popular vote has been superseded out of a fear that the black population in the US would influence the election. Winger suggested that the fear persists. "The only jurisdiction in the US with a big majority of non-white people is the District of Columbia. We are the only country in the world that has this absurd policy that adult citizens living in the national capital have no voting representation on the national legislature."

Loud & Clear host Becker agreed, stating that, "it really is the negation of democracy."

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