Libertarian VP nominee sues Massachusetts over winner-take-all presidential election system

Gov. William Weld, the Libertarian Party’s nominee for vice president in 2012

2016 Libertarian vice-presidential nominee Gov. William Weld of Massachusetts is part of a coalition suing to overturn four states’ winner-take-all (WTA) presidential-election systems.

The lawsuits were filed in federal courts in Weld’s own state of Massachusetts, as well as California, South Carolina, and Texas, claiming that these states’ nonproportional method of selecting electors is unconstitutional.  U.S. News & World Report and the MassLive news site reported on the filings.

From MassLive’s article, “Former Gov. William Weld sues to overturn Massachusetts’ winner-take-all presidential election system,” by Dan Glaun (Feb. 21):

Weld is suing to overturn the state’s winner-take-all system for presidential elections, as part of a nationwide campaign to change how the United States chooses its chief executive.

The suit alleges that the system — in which presidential electors are legally obligated to support the candidate who receives the most votes in the state — disenfranchises supporters of losing candidates and is unconstitutional.

Weld’s suit is part of a broader effort to establish proportional voting across the 48 states which currently use a winner-take-all system.

“The predominant method in America for counting votes in presidential elections violates the United States Constitution; it also distorts presidential campaigns, facilitates targeted outside interference in our elections, and ensures that a substantial number of citizen voters are disenfranchised when their votes are tallied in early November, only to be discarded when it really counts in mid-December,” the suit claims.

“Their votes were completely irrelevant to how the Electors representing Massachusetts voted in the Electoral College. WTA thus treats Massachusetts citizens who vote for a losing candidate in an arbitrary and disparate manner in clear violation of the principle of ‘one person, one vote,’ ” the suit says. “In addition, WTA violates the First Amendment because of the burdens that it places on the right of association and on the right to have a voice in presidential elections through casting a vote.”

Read the full article at MassLive.com.

Read U.S. News and World Report’s coverage, “Lawsuits Challenge Electoral College System in Four U.S. States,” by Nate Raymond (Feb. 21).

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