No one would dispute that Alabama is a Republican-leaning state, but an electoral reform group contends the current voting system distorts GOP dominance. Presently, six of seven members of the U.S. House of Representatives are Republican. But the state is not 85 percent Republican. The Maryland-based Center for Voting and Democracy, in an analysis of the upcoming 2014 election issued last month, puts the Republican percentage at 63 percent. In “Monopoly Politics 2014 and the Fair Voting Solution,” the center details how gerrymandered districts and winner-take-all elections have reduced the number of competitive districts across the country to a handful. The group also argues that the system encourages polarization and increases the number of voters with virtually no chance of electing representatives of their choice. “In contrast, fair representation voting systems provide nearly everyone with a real chance to elect a preferred candidate in every election and make it likely that large groups of like-minded voters (those who vote for similar candidates) will win seats in proportion to their share of the vote,” the report states.
The center has produced an interactive map of the United States, showing the current partisan breakdown of each congressional district and an idea of what the country would look like if voters chose three or more congressman per district.
The idea seems radical, but multi-member districts have been used in the past and still are in place in some state legislatures. It could be done at the federal level without a constitutional amendment. All that would be needed is for Congress to repeal a 1967 law mandating single-member districts. Each state then would be free to enact its own changes.