Is there a way to change Congressional apportionment in the House to make it “fair”? If yes, how? If no, why not?
Representation is a significant issue in the United States of America. Each state elects a certain number of representatives to the House of Representatives depending on the size of the state’s population, but there are several problems associated with this. For example, both Wyoming and Montana are each represented by a single representative, but Montana has a population of 1,050,493 while Wyoming only has a population of 579,315. Furthermore, the District of Columbia is appointed no representatives, and neither are any of the citizens of American territories like Puerto Rico and Guam.
Since 1910, the House has been capped at a total of 435 representatives. However, before this, the size of the House continued to expand relative to the growing population of the country. Since 1910, our nation’s population has grown exponentially and has almost tripled. The fixed number of seats is therefore causing significant disparities among state representation.
There are definitely feasible ways to adjust Congressional appointment in the House to make it more fair than it is now. First and foremost, there should be representatives for the District of Columbia as well as representatives for each of the American territories. Even though these areas aren’t necessarily considered states, they are comprised of American citizens and the actions of the United States government directly affect these territories. Therefore, they should have fair representation within our central government, just like a state would have.
There have been a few suggestions to fix the disparity of representation between the 50 states as well. One of them is called the “Wyoming Rule,” which would take the population of the 50 states and divide it by the population of the smallest state, which would then be the number of districts to be appointed. This rule would result in fairness of representation because the population of the smallest state would then also be the average population of congressional districts.
Another suggestion is the “Cube Root Rule,” which states that the number of seats in the House would always be the cube root of the United States population (minus 100 for the Senate). This rule would be very efficient and responsive to population changes within the country.
There would obviously have to be other factors taken into account, like preventing the House from becoming too large and tracking population changes, but either of these methods, or even a combination of these methods, would make voting more fair in the United States.