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Why should moving to a different state change the power of your political voice?

That's exactly the situation today with the US Senate. Because the Senate guarantees two seats regardless of population, one voter in Wyoming gets as much influence on lawmaking as 66 Californians. It's time to change this outdated structure.

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Imagine if Washington gave your politically opposite relatives vastly greater political power – 10, 20, even 70 times normal – simply because they lived in a small state.

You'd be outraged, and rightly so.

Yet that's exactly the situation we find ourselves in today with the US Senate. Because the Senate guarantees two seats regardless of population, the 563,000 people of Wyoming have as much influence in one-half of the federal lawmaking process as the 37 million people of California.

Yet folks in big states like California, Texas, and New York should consider themselves lucky. At least they do not have the double insult that we Floridians, 18.8 million of us, are forced to endure: having two senators on opposite ends of the political spectrum, both of whom claim to represent the values of Floridians.

The US Senate is said to be a product of the Founders' genius. But if the Great Compromise of 1787 that gave us a bicameral legislature helped the nation take shape, its legacy today is a democratic eyesore. The Senate disadvantages residents of large states while simultaneously holding out the prospect that voters will have their interests canceled out by a state's other senator. And that raises the question: In a modern, mobile America, should the value of our political voice really be defined by where we live?

The outdated origin of the Senate


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