Why We Need to Pass the Wyoming Rule

Why We Need to Pass the Wyoming Rule

Luca D'Agruma, Staff

On April 26, the Census results revealed which states gained and lost congressional seats in the House of Representatives. For the first time, California has lost a district. However, it is profoundly unfair and undemocratic. As the largest state, California is not proportionally represented in congress due to how representatives are apportioned.
Due to the Reapportionment Act of 1929, the number of house seats is fixed at 435. It is equally apportioned within the 435 seats, but constraints the largest states unequally while artificially inflating the smallest. How? Each state, however small, must have at least one house district, but since there is a limited number of seats, the largest states are not proportionally represented.
However, there is one simple fix that will drastically improve our democracy’s proportionality and fairness. It’s called the Wyoming Rule, and it would remove the cap so that the representative-to-representative ratio would be fixed at its smallest unit, which is Wyoming’s House seat. With the Wyoming Rule, residents of larger states will be just as represented as smaller states. In addition to proportionality in congressional districts, the Wyoming Rule will make the electoral college fairer.
Each state’s electoral college votes are tabulated by adding the number of house seats by its two Senate seats. With the Wyoming Rule, the electoral college will become much more fair and proportional.
Fairness is essential to democracy. The Wyoming Rule will not replace the inherent anti-democratizes of the Senate and electoral college. Still, it will soften the blow of the tyranny of small states over our government and help improve the responsiveness of our government for those underrepresented currently.