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Representation

November 21, 1994

After 40 years of voting, not missing a single election, I suddenly realize the frightening truth. My vote doesn't count and never has! I live in Orange County. I'm a Democrat. I have voted in dozens of congressional, Assembly and state Senate contests. But there has never been a remote contest. Thus my vote doesn't count and never will as long as I live here. This is similarly true for Republicans in predominantly Democratic districts. It is true for minorities: blacks, Hispanics, etc.

Our system of winner-take-all is wrong. Only England, Canada, India, Pakistan and a scattering of former British colonies share this concept. Many alternatives exist to ensure the fair representation of minorities. The idea is that if, for example, Southern California has 10 representatives, then they should be divided according to the percentage vote. If 60% vote Republican, 30% Democrat, 10% Libertarian, the representation should be six Republicans, three Democrats, and one Libertarian. Latin America, Europe, and Ireland all have voting schemes designed to make each vote count.

Change the way votes are counted; maybe more people would vote and be less angry about the outcome. It would make the whole issue of redistricting and gerrymandering go away. It would be fair. One person, one vote that counts.

BYRON EDWARDS

Orange

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