chapter  11
8 Pages

Conclusion: Moving Toward a Model Electoral Democracy

In this concluding chapter, I summarize how the claims I made in earlier chapters are consistent with these four criteria for a model democracy and briefly look at the prospects of reform.

One Person, One Vote

Citizens must have equal opportunities to vote and their votes should be weighted the same. Again, central to this criterion is the notion of “one person, one vote.” Throughout the book I have argued in favor of reforms that are consistent with one person, one vote. Crucial to upholding one person, one vote is making sure that each citizen in a state is using the same voting machine. It is well documented that some voting systems (for example, punch card ballots) are less accurate than others (for example, optical scanners). While it is not possible to guarantee that the probability of a person’s vote being counted will be the same for each voter because of human error, it is possible to maximize the likelihood that such a goal occurs by standardizing voting machines throughout the state. If people voting in a U.S. Senate election in one city are using punch card ballots and people voting in that same election in another city are using optical scanners, then the votes of the former will more likely be counted than the latter. In other words, “one person, one vote” is violated.