“Why Congress should require its members to be elected by a majority of votes”

New Ned Foley WaPo oped:

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Political polarization is spurring partisans to extremes, but there’s a simple change Congress could make to reverse this alarming trend: mandate that its members be elected by a majority of votes.

Americans probably think the law already requires this, given the Founders’ reverence for majority rule as an element of self-government. Yet all but six states permit plurality winners, meaning that federal lawmakers can be elected even if they do not secure more than 50 percent of the general election vote.

States are generally authorized to set their own voting rules. But requiring that a candidate win a majority in the general election is fully within Congress’s constitutional power. Article I, Section 4 empowers Congress to “at any time by Law make or alter” any “Regulations” concerning the “Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives.”


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