Red State Protection Act

 

There is a proposal in Texas to require statewide offices to win the popular vote in a majority of Texas counties. Sort of an “electoral college” for the state. Personally, I think this is genius. It balances out the interests of the rural and urban populations. Urban populations can always tax themselves for urban needs, pass rules of local application. So why should rural populations be subject to those taxes and rules with remote benefits and application?

It also reduces (at the state level) one risk of open borders: flooding cities with illegal aliens who are then somehow able to vote and influence state policies. For the illegal aliens to have the same impact under the Texas proposal, they would have to be distributed throughout the state and not simply concentrated in metropolitan areas.

The article linked above complains that this would shut Democrats out of state power in Texas permanently. But that isn’t true. What it does is permanently end certain ideologies from becoming state law if there is no majority of counties wanting it. The Democrats are free to pursue policies that actually appeal to a majority of counties rather than simply buying votes in depressed but populous urban centers.

There is some criticism that the proposal violates the Voting Rights Act because it dilutes the power of racial minorities in urban centers. But minorities are free to move to rural areas to the extent they are not already there. And a recent SCOTUS decision kind of calls the game on racial gerrymandering, anyway.

I hope it comes about in Texas and that my state adopts it as well. And I can’t imagine any blue state adopting this approach as it would at least flip them to purple, if not red. (Californians outside of about 12 of the 58 counties would be absolutely thrilled to have the opportunity to influence state policies through their votes.) I know that the proposal would also result in smaller populations having disproportional power. But the alternative is what we have now, which can result in geographic disproportionate power.

The Electoral College made it so that a president had to appeal nationwide and not just to a handful of megacities. It’s time to apply that to the states as well.

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  1. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    I woke up this morning thinking about the county-unit system that was law in Georgia when I was growing up there. It was effective in keeping the Fulton County-Atlanta population from controlling all the state offices. It was banished in the sixties under the one man-one vote concept, a decision I think was wrong. The person voting in the county is getting one man-one vote for their representative. Votes for state offices are a separate matter.

    • #1
  2. CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill Coolidge
    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill
    @CarolJoy

    Thank you for bringing attention to this election reform situation in Texas. It gives me hope.

    Also giving me hope: Californians are now  fed up with the “run off voting situation” which was sold to us voters as being one thing and ended up being another.

    As it was being sold to us, Republicans and libertarians understood the in’s and out’s of this idea. But being a Democrat when this came to pass, I was given totally false info.

    We Dems were told it would broaden the ability of third party candidates and others to appear on the ballot. But if I had read the actual language of the bill, or talked to any Republican friends about it, I would have discovered it was much more dastardly than what was being  portrayed.

    In many cases these days, except for the offices of US Senator and the Oval Office, we end up with only two choices on the ballot for so many various offices – both of them being Democrats!

    • #2
  3. JoelB Member
    JoelB
    @JoelB

    What we need is less democracy. The founding fathers of the nation feared it. This requirement seems like a good anti-democratic step to take. Pennsylvania would be a better place if this could be done here.

    • #3
  4. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    JoelB (View Comment):

    What we need is less democracy. The founding fathers of the nation feared it. This requirement seems like a good anti-democratic step to take. Pennsylvania would be a better place if this could be done here.

    It took me a long time to realize why the county-unit system was in place in Georgia. It is exactly what needs to be done when big cities will not choose election integrity. Election integrity means no cheating.

    • #4
  5. CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill Coolidge
    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill
    @CarolJoy

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    JoelB (View Comment):

    What we need is less democracy. The founding fathers of the nation feared it. This requirement seems like a good anti-democratic step to take. Pennsylvania would be a better place if this could be done here.

    It took me a long time to realize why the county-unit system was in place in Georgia. I is exactly what must be done when big cities will not choose election integrity. Election integrity means no cheating.

    I was amazed – although I should not be – to discover that some of the bigger censorship efforts that Elon Musk has been calling out have labeled themselves as being outfits like “Election Integrity Awareness” or some such other such misleading terms.

    • #5
  6. Susan Quinn Member
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Sounds like a positive step, not just for Texas, but for many states. Go Texas!

    • #6
  7. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    This is a good initiative. Anyone who has ever been involved in local, small-town government can see the wisdom in doing this. The state legislatures enact laws–including regulation and taxation–that may make some sense in densely populated metropolitan areas but that make no sense in suburban or rural areas. 

    It is completely unfair. 

    I hope this plan prevails. 

    • #7
  8. Ole Summers Member
    Ole Summers
    @OleSummers

    It is an example of what can be done, and should be done, at the grassroots level and the potential for genuine, effective change toward individual Liberty away from collective pandering. Hopefully Texas will continue on the path it has set itself over the last couple of years. Although the current speaker just won a run-off to return to the legislature, he might well have a hard fight to retain the speakership. He barely got 30 percent in the original primary and was able to get the nomination in the run-off with over 1000 dems crossing over to vote this past Tuesday. In the north Texas area all but one of those opposed to him either won the primary outright or won their run-offs. The only real disappointment I had was in the run-off for the nomination involving a state senate seat. 

    This all requires active individuals in it for the long haul. Something which might be heard from me again, you can not create or destroy power. You can only move it around. More and more, piece by piece power needs to flow back to the states, the counties and towns.

    • #8
  9. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda
    @RandyWeivoda

    MarciN (View Comment):
    The state legislatures enact laws–including regulation and taxation–that may make some sense in densely populated metropolitan areas but that make no sense in suburban or rural areas. 

    It wouldn’t effect the legislature, only state-wide offices like governor and attorney general.

    • #9
  10. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):

    MarciN (View Comment):
    The state legislatures enact laws–including regulation and taxation–that may make some sense in densely populated metropolitan areas but that make no sense in suburban or rural areas.

    It wouldn’t effect the legislature, only state-wide offices like governor and attorney general.

    There is an effect on the governing process that can have an effect on legislative outcomes.

    • #10
  11. Full Size Tabby Member
    Full Size Tabby
    @FullSizeTabby

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):

    MarciN (View Comment):
    The state legislatures enact laws–including regulation and taxation–that may make some sense in densely populated metropolitan areas but that make no sense in suburban or rural areas.

    It wouldn’t effect the legislature, only state-wide offices like governor and attorney general.

    There is an effect on the governing process that can have an effect on legislative outcomes.

    Legislative priorities often come out of closed-door meetings among legislative leaders and executive branch elected officials. Using New York as an example (I lived in western New York state for 18 years) no one from outside New York City was in any room at which state government priorities were being decided upon. The interests of the millions of state residents who lived outside New York City never came up when setting priorities. 

    I have heard the same complaint about Illinois, with everything in state government being decided by people from the Chicago metro area, and the state residents outside the Chicago metro area having essentially no voice in statewide government goings-on. 

    • #11
  12. Doug Watt Member
    Doug Watt
    @DougWatt

    From the “I may have been born at night, but it wasn’t night files”.

    Long term mass immigration to repopulate blue States that lost citizens to red states. Allow them to vote in local elections for school boards, mayors, state legislators, and county prosecutors. Protect and increase blue states Congressional seats and Electoral College votes. Lower the standard of citizenship study and exams by featuring Howard Zinn’s history of America.

    • #12
  13. Red Herring Coolidge
    Red Herring
    @EHerring

    The same rationale for the EC system would apply. They can’t argue it is unconstitutional. Genius. 

    • #13
  14. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda
    @RandyWeivoda

    Red Herring (View Comment):

    The same rationale for the EC system would apply. They can’t argue it is unconstitutional. Genius.

    With the Electoral College system, though, there is weighting based on population. Florida has a lot more electoral votes than North Dakota.

    If the Texas proposal is implemented as presented here, each county would have an equal say, right?  According to this web page, Texas has over 50 counties that have fewer than 5,000 people.  Should a county with 568 people have as much of a say about electing the governor as a county with over a million?

    • #14
  15. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Red Herring (View Comment):

    The same rationale for the EC system would apply. They can’t argue it is unconstitutional. Genius.

    The SC has in the past ruled against anything that elects members of the House other than on a strict population basis.  Maybe this is different in that it wouldn’t meddle with elections to state office.  The only thing I know for sure is that such a plan would be taken to court. 

    • #15
  16. Headedwest Coolidge
    Headedwest
    @Headedwest

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):

    Red Herring (View Comment):

    The same rationale for the EC system would apply. They can’t argue it is unconstitutional. Genius.

    With the Electoral College system, though, there is weighting based on population. Florida has a lot more electoral votes than North Dakota.

    If the Texas proposal is implemented as presented here, each county would have an equal say, right? According to this web page, Texas has over 50 counties that have fewer than 5,000 people. Should a county with 568 people have as much of a say about electing the governor as a county with over a million?

    My answer: yes. 

    • #16
  17. Old Bathos Member
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos

    The Reticulator (View Comment):
    The SC has in the past ruled against anything that elects members of the House other than on a strict population basis.  Maybe this is different in that it wouldn’t meddle with elections to state office.  The only thing I know for sure is that such a plan would be taken to court. 

    Yup.  

    Another problem is that while it is very expensive for rich liberals to fund maximum turnout in the cities, literally buying far fewer votes in very small “swing” counties might be easier to do.  A “rotten borough” of a couple hundred votes could suddenly have enormous power and a sizeable per capita income courtesy of Mark Zuckerberg for encouraging each other to vote.

    Unlike states, counties can be created, abolished, redrawn by the legislature (at least I think so but a state constitutional change may be required).  Changing a county (or chartered city) could have enormous voting rights implications with inevitable litigation.

    • #17
  18. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):

    Red Herring (View Comment):

    The same rationale for the EC system would apply. They can’t argue it is unconstitutional. Genius.

    With the Electoral College system, though, there is weighting based on population. Florida has a lot more electoral votes than North Dakota.

    If the Texas proposal is implemented as presented here, each county would have an equal say, right? According to this web page, Texas has over 50 counties that have fewer than 5,000 people. Should a county with 568 people have as much of a say about electing the governor as a county with over a million?

    Each state already has two Senators no matter what its population.

    • #18
  19. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):

    Red Herring (View Comment):

    The same rationale for the EC system would apply. They can’t argue it is unconstitutional. Genius.

    With the Electoral College system, though, there is weighting based on population. Florida has a lot more electoral votes than North Dakota.

    If the Texas proposal is implemented as presented here, each county would have an equal say, right? According to this web page, Texas has over 50 counties that have fewer than 5,000 people. Should a county with 568 people have as much of a say about electing the governor as a county with over a million?

    Each state already has two Senators no matter what its population.

    That was part of a compromise to get the new constitution enacted. In 1964 the SC ruled that state senates could not be elected that way. 

    • #19
  20. carcat74 Member
    carcat74
    @carcat74

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):

    Red Herring (View Comment):

    The same rationale for the EC system would apply. They can’t argue it is unconstitutional. Genius.

    With the Electoral College system, though, there is weighting based on population. Florida has a lot more electoral votes than North Dakota.

    If the Texas proposal is implemented as presented here, each county would have an equal say, right? According to this web page, Texas has over 50 counties that have fewer than 5,000 people. Should a county with 568 people have as much of a say about electing the governor as a county with over a million?

    Why not? Should a city of 1,000,000 have more say then a rural area of 10,000 people? What works in the city might not work at all in the rural area. The tax base isn’t there to support paying for programs that might be used by 10 people over the course of a year, while 1000 people might use them in the city. Our county can’t afford to mow the roadsides now; they used to be mowed once a month, now we’re lucky if it’s done once a growing season. Wonder how many car/deer accidents would be avoided? Our state is controlled by Topeka,  Lawrence, Wichita, Kansas City, and Hutchinson — all Democrat enclaves. Look at a map of Kansas and note the sea of red surrounding those blue cities and towns.

    • #20
  21. Red Herring Coolidge
    Red Herring
    @EHerring

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Red Herring (View Comment):

    The same rationale for the EC system would apply. They can’t argue it is unconstitutional. Genius.

    The SC has in the past ruled against anything that elects members of the House other than on a strict population basis. Maybe this is different in that it wouldn’t meddle with elections to state office. The only thing I know for sure is that such a plan would be taken to court.

    Local elections

    • #21
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