America Votes Today. Will You?

By Steve Hill
Published November 5th 2002 in New York Times

"Tuesday Night's Script" (editorial, Nov. 3) was astute to point out how much the Democrats and the Republicans conceal their differences from voters. But this electoral gaming is what we should increasingly expect from our "winner take all" electoral system.

This system allows party leaders to oversee the political map like military generals, funneling resources into the close races and ignoring the rest. Then, in those close races that determine who wins control of Congress, both sides use polls and focus groups to figure out which messages will motivate the undecided swing voters.

Consequently, most voters and their issues are sliced right out of the political process, contributing to low voter engagement and turnout.

Oddly, for a national election, a handful of swing voters in a handful of districts determines who wins Congress.

Steven Hill
San Francisco, Nov. 3, 2002