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Dmytro Taranovsky
December 25, 2000

Electing Presidents

The following constitutional amendment will improve the way United States Presidents are selected:

The President of the United States of America shall be elected by popular vote.  In each of the States, the qualification to vote for the President shall be the same as the qualification to vote for a Senator.  The Congress shall by law provide qualifications for voting for the President on the territories of the United States not belonging to any of the several states provided that the qualifications are the same on all of the territories and the qualifications would be legal if the territories were a state and the election is for the United States Senate.

In addition to the first choice, each voter may provide on the ballot the second choice for the President.   For each voter, if the first choice is not for one of the two candidates having the largest number of first choice votes but the second choice is, then the second choice shall be counted as if it was the first choice.  Each Presidential candidate shall announce the corresponding vice-Presidential candidate before the election.  The vice-Presidential candidate shall become the vice-president of the United States if the corresponding presidential candidate is elected.  The presidential candidate with the most votes wins the election.  The only requirement to be a presidential or vice-presidential candidate is United States citizenship.  The only additional requirement to become President after winning the election is pledging of the oath or affirmation described in the Article II of the Constitution.

The presidential election in each of the states shall be conducted by the state under such appropriate regulations as the Congress may provide.  In the territories that are not states the Congress shall by law state who will conduct the election.  Presidential election will be conducted in November once every four years.  All ties will be resolved randomly under such laws as the Congress may establish.  The election may not be contested in court after inauguration of the declared winner.  The amendment becomes effective on the first of September following its passage.


This amendment is beneficial and necessary for the following reasons:

  1. The Electoral College is not a deliberating body.  It simply "rubber-stamps" the popular vote counted in a strange way.
  2. The Electoral College does not distinguish whether a candidate received 51% or 80% of the vote in the state but distinguishes between 49% and 51% in a two way race.  The "winner take all system" in each of the states is unnecessary and causes inaccurate measurement of the will of the people.
  3. Since the USA is a democracy, people in its territories should be allowed to vote for the President.
  4. Number of people per presidential elector in a small state is larger than in a large state.  (Each state has 2 electors corresponding to its Senate seats.)  The amendment above follows the principle of "one person, one vote".
  5. Currently, third party candidates hurt the major candidate with views similar to the third party candidate by drawing away votes.  The ability to make a second choice will eliminate the problem.  (For example, Ralph Nader took more votes away from Al Gore than from George Bush.  Ideally, Nader's candidacy should have helped Gore's candidacy because both were advocating similar policies.)
  6. Special qualifications (such as age) for the President are undesirable since they prevent potential best Presidents from being elected.