Law prof: 'Votes of black Americans should count twice'


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The votes of blacks should count twice, contends an assistant professor at Washington and Lee University.

“Black votes in this country are worth less than white votes.” wrote Brandon Hasbrouck in a commentary for the far-left magazine The Nation. “Just imagine our country if our votes counted twice.”

He asserted the system is unfair because Wyoming, for example, with 580,000 residents and 93% white, gets three Electoral College votes, one for its House representative and two for its senators.

“By comparison, Georgia’s 5th Congressional District – which includes Atlanta, has 710,000 residents, and is 58% black – has no dedicated electors or senators and can only occasionally overcome the mostly white and conservative votes from elsewhere in the state,” Hasbrouck wrote.

He contended that black votes “in this country are worth less than white votes.”

“Joe Biden won the Electoral College because black voters in Atlanta, Detroit, Milwaukee, and Philadelphia turned out in significant numbers,” he said. “But even with overwhelming black support — 94 percent of Detroit voted for Biden! — the outcomes in Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania were worryingly close.”

Hasbrouck said the “devaluation of black votes allows our political system to ignore black lives, and the consequences are devastating.”

“Unequal representation has led to unequal health care outcomes, which the Covid-19 pandemic has only worsened. Without sufficient voting power, black communities receive substandard education, and politicians are free to appoint judges who sanction mass incarceration, abusive policing, and electoral disenfranchisement,” he wrote.

Hasbrouck claimed the Framers of the Constitution, written in 1789, set up the system to protect the “slave states.”

“Along with the Senate, the Electoral College was critical in the endurance of slavery and its continuation by other means,” he said.

The solution he proposed is to have black votes counted twice.

“One of the largest objections to monetary reparations is the impracticality of implementing them on a scale that would meaningfully address the injustices. Vote reparations, in contrast, would be a simple, low-cost way to begin to make amends,” he wrote.

“Vote reparations would empower us to replace oppressive institutions with life-affirming structures of economic, social, and political equality. And if our elected representatives did not prioritize this transformational work, we could vote them out,” Hasbrouck said.

“Because white votes currently count more than black ones, double-counting black votes would restore electoral balance. … We must transform how we choose our government.”

Constitutional scholar and commentator Jonathan Turley argued Hasbrouck’s idea would be one way to destroy the “one man, one vote” concept in America.

“Hasbrouck insists that ‘black votes in this country are worth less than white votes’ by primarily focusing on the Electoral College where smaller states have a higher percentage of white voters,” Turley wrote. “Of course, there are a host of classifications impacted by the Electoral College which was designed as a protection for smaller and less populated states, particularly out West. It favors rural and less industrial states. It favors Western over Eastern interests. Yet in the end, Joe Biden was elected by a sizable number electoral votes.”

Turley explained that while blacks could not vote until the 19th century, there were others who were excluded, including people who didn’t own property and women.

He noted Hasbrouck previously wanted the Supreme Court packed with “race-conscious justices.”

And Turley said the double-counting system would “allow for the manipulation of the voting by any majority.”

“Giving citizens twice the voting power of other citizens is neither consistent nor compatible with our constitutional system,” Turley argued.

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