The American Voting System We Do Not Have

5 min readAug 26, 2023

Thomas Jefferson devised a pure voting system.

Photo by John Bakator on Unsplash

With Thomas Jefferson devising a pure voting system, we have a voting system we can call an American voting system. However, none of our governmental levels are using the American voting system; our governments from Federal to local levels are all using an English voting system.

  • The difference between both voting systems?

No small potatoes, but it isn’t always obvious right away

To quickly show the difference between both systems, envision a group of 12 people for both scenarios. The dozen people have an issue to deal with and they decide to vote on it.

The American Voting System

  • An American majority is discovered with 7 out of 12 people voting in unison.

The English Voting System

  • There are two rounds in the English voting system. First, the decision is made who will be involved with making the decision. This is the first round of majority rule.
  • With 7 out of 12 on the commission to figure this out, we have a majority of folks involved. The next round is where the decision is made.
  • With the needed 4 out of 7 people, the majority is much smaller than in the American voting system.
  • An English majority is discovered with 4 out of 12 people voting in unison.

The English system is therefore elitist, or exclusive if you wish. Power is concentrated in the hands of fewer people or groups.

Note how the American voting system is pure, honestly based on all people.

Let’s find an example.

The 12 people have 8 sandwiches to share. How are they going to divvy that up?

The English System

  • 5 people get a full sandwich
  • 4 people get half a sandwich
  • 3 people share one sandwich

Naturally, it is no surprise that the four decision makers all received a full sandwich. The fifth sandwich is the surprise, fully given to one of the other people. As such, the four can claim that there are others who also got the full sandwich; not just them.

What is also needed to get the support of the 4 other people, each receiving half a sandwich, is that it could have been worse for them. There are 3 people who got nothing but one-third of a sandwich. As such, the 3 people are a warning for the 4 people to be happy with their share.

The American System

  • 2 people get a full sandwich
  • 10 people get 6/10ths of a sandwich

There will be reasons why some people need a full sandwich, perhaps because of health reasons, perhaps for pulling their weight more than others.

All other people share the remaining sandwiches fairly.

The big difference between both systems is of course the third level.

  • In the English system, the third level is treated poorly.
  • In the American system, there is no third level.

Sweden, the Netherlands, Spain, and several other nations in the world, have the American voting system. We, in the USA, we have the English voting system.

And it shows:

Map of income inequality Gini coefficients by country. Source: Wiki.
Based on World Bank data (%) ranging from 1992 to 2020.

Looking at Western Europe, we see two nations darker than the other nations: the U.K. and Italy. Meanwhile, the United States is even darker red.

Of all rich nations in the world, the United States gives most to the top in society and least to the bottom in society.


  • When we vote using the English system, more of our wealth goes to the top.
  • When we vote using the American system, just like many European nations already do, more of our wealth props up the bottom of society.

The reason is simple. In the American voting system, the bottom segment of the voters are represented. They are part of the group making the decisions. The bottom of society has actual influence. There is just one round in the decision-making process.

In the English voting system, the bottom segment of the voters are not represented. They got booted out during the first of the two rounds. In the second round, the elite pushes through its agenda.

This is statistically significant information. The science tells us that the kind of system in place does indeed influence the distribution of wealth in a nation.

The elitist voting system gives more to the elite (no surprise)!

The truly democratic voting system ensures all get more of their fair share (no surprise either).

It is called the American voting system because Thomas Jefferson devised it first.

The US Constitution only put the English voting system in place for the Federal level (making the nation strong).

The US Constitution demands the American voting system for State and local levels.

Did you know?

  • You can demand that the American voting system is used in your city or your county (and they have nothing to show in the US Constitution that allows them to refuse you this request; cities and counties did not receive any US Constitutional powers).
  • You can also demand that the American voting system is used in your State. However, that is a power struggle (because you and the State received US Constitutional powers and it is hard to press that arm down of an opponent of equal strength)

Try it. Talk about it. Demand it.

We can end up with the American voting system at our local levels for sure. We may get it for our State elections. We cannot get it for our Federal elections (unless we change the US Constitution, good luck with that).