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September 20, 2019
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Politics

Suit: Electoral system disenfranchises voters

The lawyer who argued Bush v. Gore prior to a U.S. Top court as soon as the contested 2000 presidential election appeared in federal court in Boston yesterday to challenge the manner in which Massachusetts allocates its Electoral College votes in presidential elections.

David Boies, who represented then-Vice President Al Gore if settled the disputed election favoring George W. Bush, said the winner-take-all system found in Massachusetts to choose electors who cast votes for president and vice chairman inside the Electoral College after the presidential election disenfranchises voters.

“It has a tendency to undermine the proper of individuals to … present an effective voice,” said Boies, representing former Republican Gov. William F. Weld, who ran for vp in 2016 for the Libertarian Party ticket. “We all know that the state might give its electoral votes on the Democratic candidate. …We’re becoming a nation of one-party states.”

A coalition this includes Weld and also a Latino membership organization filed federal lawsuits in February in Massachusetts and California, when a most of votes went along to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential election, plus South Carolina and Texas, states that went for Republican nominee Donald Trump.

Forty-four other states plus the District of Columbia utilize the winner-take-all system, under which the candidate who wins the widely used vote in the given state gets all of its electors. To win the presidency, a candidate must win at least 270 votes through the Electoral College’s 538 electors.

Critics complain that it system allows an applicant to win a presidential election despite losing the nationwide popular vote.

In 2016, Clinton won the popular vote by nearly 3 million ballots, but Trump won the Electoral College vote and so the presidency. From the 2000 election, Gore, a Democrat, got the best votes, but Bush, a Republican, won the presidency.

The only question in Massachusetts, Assistant Attorney General Amy Spector said, is actually the state’s technique are constitutional.

The Electoral College process was established in the Constitution to be a compromise between electing a president by way of a vote in Congress and popular vote of citizens.

“There’s no injury (into the plaintiffs) because there’s no constitutional straight to what they’re seeking,” Spector told Chief U.S. District Judge Patti B. Saris, who took the case under advisement.

Spector also disputed Boies’ suggestion that Massachusetts’ system has made it a one-party state.

“On occasion the Republicans have won, as well as at times the Democrats have won,” she said. “There’s no inherent unfairness within it.”

If Weld and his awesome co-plaintiffs dispute that, Spector said, they need to air their grievances for the state Legislature.

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