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Lawyer Loses Appeal Of Suit Challenging Winner-Take-All Electoral System

Acroterion / Wikimedia Commons
Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals courthouse in Richmond, Virginia.

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled against a Charlotte man's lawsuit that challenged North Carolina's "winner-take-all" electoral vote system.  The court upheld a lower court's dismissal of the federal suit by retired Charlotte lawyer Ronald Calvin Williams. 

Williams had sued the State Board of Elections and state officials a year ago, after Republican Donald Trump defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election. He wanted the court to order electoral votes to be awarded proportionally, according to the number of votes each candidate receives. 

Trump won about 49.8 percent of the popular vote, Clinton won 46 percent. But under the state's rules, Trump took all 15 electoral college votes.  Williams argued that the system is unconstitutional because it denies equal protection to voters on the losing end of the vote. He also said it violates the due process clause of the Constitution. 

Williams also argued that the same is true for Trump voters in states where Trump lost the popular vote, and got no electoral votes.  

A federal district judge dismissed the case last October. The Appeals Court found no reason to overturn the lower court's ruling.