This website is devoutly dedicated to all of Larry's friends and associates, both early and late, who have influenced and mentored him. However, it also should be noted that, being who they are, a majority of them have been late most of the time.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Tom Crouser on Electoral Justice (and eating steak)

Thanks, Tom.
Aptly put.
Let's all eat steak!


For whatever it is worth, I thought I'd give a try at Charlene's question to you (Why does single delegate districts more accurately represent West Virginia constituents?):

Having single-Delegate districts represents the people best because we, as individuals, have more influence over who is voted in as a Delegate.

In a single-Delegate West Virginia district, I am one of 18,500 people.

In a two-Delegate district, I am one of 37,000 people, so my concerns are more easily ignored, regardless of how many Delegates for whom I get to vote. As a result, those Delegates are less pressed to listen specifically to my individual concerns.

In a single-Delegate district, campaigns are less expensive (about $8,000 on average during the last election vs. $50,000 in Kanawha County's seven member 30th Delegate District). Thus, there is less tendency to need special interests (good ol' boys) to raise money for campaigning. Also more regular people can participate as candidates. That's because the campaign expense is lower, the territory is smaller, and a candidate can more effectively communicate personally with voters in that smaller district.

Historically, multi-Delegate districts have been used to disenfranchise
minority voters ("Jim Crow" voting districts, which are now illegal).

For example, if there were 10,000 steak eaters in a district of 18,500; then the steak eaters would have a great influence over the election of the Delegate in that district.

However, when you pack that district with just one additional Delegate, you reduce the steak eaters' influence to 10,000 out of 37,000.

With three Delegates in a district, that influence is reduced further to 10,000 out of 55,500.

So, the more Delegates in a district, the less influence any voter has over the selection of Delegates.

Now, aren't each of us a minority of one?

And, don't we have the most influence when we are in a single-Delegate district?

Hope this helps

Thanks for your email updates. They're great!

Tom Crouser,
Kanawha County, West Virginia

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