What is the best way to elect the US President?

Our current Presidential election system is doubly broken. I will use EC for Electoral College, WTA for winner take all, and PV for a national vote.

  • WTAEC + FPTP: The status quo.
  • WTAEC + IRV: This is perhaps doable and seems to be gaining momentum. Still has problems with CA/TX having to centrally count a huge election.
  • Proportional EC + STV: Here, unlike usual STV, candidates can win multiple seats (electoral votes). This is unlikely to get used for the same reason that 96% of states choose to use winner-take-all.
  • WTAEC + Score or STAR: This could get used, and it would turn into BetterVotingAdvocacy’s concern.
  • Proportional EC + RRV or some other similar method: Wastes many of the properties of Score/Approval; unlikely to get used.
  • National single winner methods. All have the problem that they MAY require either a constitutional amendment or a change to the NPV compact. Otherwise you can have e.g. some states using Score, some using IRV, etc. However, suppose by some miracle all 50 states adopt the same method…
    • IRV: This is a HORRIBLE idea, but the Green Party is pushing for it. :frowning: The current momentum seems to be approaching either this, “state IRV” (each state computes IRV until one candidate gets >50%; final totals are then added up), which is even worse, or IRV for senate/governor and FPTP for president.
      Technically this is compatible with FPTP.
    • Score/Approval: Also compatible with FPTP. This could potentially work, and voters will pressure states with coarse scales to adopt finer ones until everyone is on 0-9.
    • STAR: This is not really compatible with Score even though the ballots are the same.
  • I think that apart from letting FPTP coexist with another method, and letting Approval and Score mix, compatibility rules just make everything more difficult. They have to be agreed on, and a state could still cause chaos by adopting a new method (e.g. Majority Judgement) that has no compatibility rules at all.

One of the issues here is that because the Electoral College forces separate elections, it will be very difficult to have a compromise candidate win, i.e. even proportional EC would mean at best, a majority-preferred candidate wins. That too, within only a two-party framework. Ultimately, that may be the compromise necessary to make; most Americans are unlikely to acquiesce to a parliamentary model, and a popular vote is far out of reach. Perhaps when voting reformers go to the statewide level, ballot measures could be used to unilaterally allow Approval/Score Voting to be counted alongside FPTP within the NPVIC?

There’s also Proportional EC + D’Hondt or Sainte-Laguë, which would not need to be counted centrally. (Not to suggest that they would be better overall.)