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Note - Fixing United States Elections: Increasing Voter Turnout and Ensuring Representative Democracy


In the United States, the Democrats and the Republicans are the dominant political parties. When Election Day comes around, voters must choose between one of these parties. Under the first-past-the-post voting system, which nearly all states use, the winner typically has the support of less than a majority of voters. This dearth in viable choices and winner-take-all voting method leaves many voters feeling dejected. They feel that their votes do not matter and that their voices are not being heard. As a result, voter turnout decreases and, consequently, democracy suffers. When this happens, the United States ceases to be a truly representative democracy, and many voters are left with their fundamental rights to vote and associate abridged. Therefore, it is imperative that the United States shift to a multi-party system, and that states enact laws to adopt single transferable vote/ instant runoff voting systems. These voting systems allow voters the opportunity to rank candidates, with their vote automatically going to the candidate who stands the best chance of winning. Only then will the United States have a truly representative democracy, increased voter turnout, and guaranteed fundamental rights for voters.