Requiring Majority Winners for Congressional Elections: Harnessing Federalism to Combat Extremism

54 Pages Posted: 11 May 2021 Last revised: 29 Jun 2021

See all articles by Edward B. Foley

Edward B. Foley

Ohio State University (OSU) - Michael E. Moritz College of Law

Date Written: May 10, 2021

Abstract

Congress should enact a law requiring a candidate for a seat in Congress to receive a majority of votes in order to win the election. Congress should let states determine what particular procedure to use to determine whether a candidate wins a majority, as there are significantly different methods of identifying a majority winner. While this simple piece of legislation might seem inconsequential—many Americans assume, erroneously, that elections already require majority winners—it in fact would cause states to undertake a form of experimentation in the details of electoral system design that would have the effect of counteracting the threat that anti-democracy extremism currently poses in America.

Keywords: election, majority rule, polarization, ranked choice voting, plurality, Senate, primaries

Suggested Citation

Foley, Edward B., Requiring Majority Winners for Congressional Elections: Harnessing Federalism to Combat Extremism (May 10, 2021). Ohio State Legal Studies Research Paper No. 616, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3843029 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3843029

Edward B. Foley (Contact Author)

Ohio State University (OSU) - Michael E. Moritz College of Law ( email )

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