Our Founders shielded government away from the passions of the people. The only
people we originally elected directly were members of the House of
Representatives. An amendment has since allowed us to vote directly for our
Senators. In my opinion the EC should either be tweaked or done away with
altogether. The EC could be changed to reflect the popular voting within
congressional districts. For example, Utah has four congressional districts = to
four of our electoral votes. The popular vote could be tallied within each
district, with the electoral vote going to the winner in that district. The
overall popular vote in the state could then be given our additional two votes =
to our senators. I don't think our current system encourages those who
understand the EC to participate in voting. Living in Utah, I'm not sure my
vote would really matter either way...It is already decided. I will however cast
The malarkey about "swing states" is just that - malarkey. The people
in those states are entitled to the same representation in the electoral college
as you and I. They get one elector for each member of congress that represent
them or their state in Congress.Just because the "news
media" have tried to convince us that some votes are more important than
others does not make it so. Just because the media misrepresented
"polls" to show that Obama was in the lead - when he was not - did
nothing but show their collusion.Each STATE gets one elector for
each member of Congress. The States are free to choose their electors. That's the way it works, no matter what detractors tell us.
Mr Lineback - according to your thinking a candidate would need 51% of the votes
of the total population but the total population is not eligible to vote only US
citizens that are at least 18 years of age and are registered as voters. So it
would take more than the 10 most populated states. BTW, your letter
still doesn't present a good argument for keeping the electoral college.
I understand the rationale(s) for the Electoral College and some have great
merits (stability, preventing a minority from taking power through forcing a
two-party system). And it might have made sense in its day. But our Founding
Fathers were also smart about making the Constitution pliable enough if
necessary to make changes. The Electoral College needs to be changed. What now
has happened is that only a small handful of "swing" states get any
attention. I know detractors of change will point to the fact that only large
city centers would get attention, but that is happening now in sense with only
10-11 of the 50 states getting attention at all. Have you heard of any of the
candidates spending time outside of these swing states in the last two months.
The rest of the states are ignored completely. Perhaps a proportional Electoral
College like they use in Maine and Nebraska may be something to look at. It
would force the candidates to look past the swing states because more
Congressional Districts would be in play then just 11 states.
Do states vote, or do people?
UltraBob: A state is the composite of its people.
Joe5.You said “We are voting for the President of the United
STATES, not the President of the PEOPLE.”If that is so, why do
we go to all the bother of campaigns and allowing people to vote in the
However, you cannot get rid of the electoral college until you have the same
rules for every single state regarding things like photo IDs, early voting
We are voting for the President of the United STATES, not the President of the
PEOPLE. The role of Federal Government is limited to a few specific, enumerated
things that can be best handled at their level such as defense and commerce. By
faithfully executing their duties, they establish a secure environment and
framework under which the states operate. The states are then unencumbered by
those federal issues and can effectively address the needs of the citizens of
their states such as welfare and education.Since the President is
supposed to be leading the collective states (not individual states and not
individuals), the electoral college makes perfect sense.Unfortunately, too many pseudo-philosophers of political science think they
are somehow smarter than those who framed the Constitution (who just happen to
be the most impressive group of political experts in the history of the world -
Thomas Jefferson's absence withstanding).There are also
practical problems with popular vote election. Just one example: The last few
elections have been very close. Imagine a national recount. We saw how expensive
and controversial it was in Florida in 2000. Multiply that by 50 times.
LDS Lib,why not move to CA, OR, WA, MA, NY, NY, NJ, IL, DE, CT, VT, etc?
Oh, that's right, you'd still be in what you define as a totalitarian
stateold man,no, you were not quoting from Fox, unless you
were watching MSNBC misquote Fox.Under a popular vote scenario, only
those states with large populations would attract the attention of the
campaigns. Utah would still see nothing, which is not really a bad thing.I recently spent three weeks in Virginia - we should be glad we
don't live in a battleground state.
Some small states are important. New Hampshire, Nevada, Iowa. Those matter.
Others like Vermont, Hawaii, Idaho, Utah... they don't matter under the
electoral college and would matter more with a popular vote since a Romney or
Obama would suddenly have to care about getting turnout in Provo or Salt Lake
Grundle.Actually, I was hoping for some details.
The only change to the Electorial College that I'd be in favor of would be
to apportion the Electors based on a percentage of the vote up to a certain
point. If a candidate won 80 % or more of the vote in a state, they keep all
the electorial votes. So if Mitt wins Utah by 80% he'd keep all the votes.
In Kalifornia if he lost 55% to 45%, he'd get 45% of the electors. It
would make the elections far more interesting. And, candidates would have to
spend time in each state instead of 10.It would take a
constitutional amendment to accomplish this. Unless of course Obama makes a
presidential edict like he's fond of doing.
Grundle, I stand corrected. Sorry.I was quoting an item from an old
Fox News story.
Re:Ultra BobI thought your comments were brilliant. You summed up
in two succinct paragraphs exactly why we are on opposite sides of the political
spectrum."In today’s world, state governments are
obsolete. There is nothing that the state government does for citizens that
could not be done better and cheaper by the national government. And because the
state governments are generally owned and controlled by private interests the
services provided are tainted against the citizens. The main reason that
government costs so much is that we have too many governments.The
state representatives do not represent the people. The only chance for
representation of people in the national is with the election of the president.
The president should be elected by popular vote of all the American
people."I could not disagree with you more! Thank
you for posting!
Re:One old manMaine and Nebraska are the only two states that divide
their electoral votes based on the vote in congressional districts. One red
state and one blue state.So...I commend you on your accurate
statement "Most RED states do not."I would also add to your
comments...Most BLUE states do not.There...all better now.
This letter is goofy on several levels. First, it doesn't matter what the
total population of each state is. The more relevant figure is population 18 and
over (those who can actually vote, if they are registered).Second,
the percentage of those who vote is a lot lower than the total population of
those 18 and over.Third, how is any candidate going to get 100
percent of the vote in the top 10 most populated states? Totally unrealistic
scenario.Fourth, delegates to the electoral college are apportioned
roughly based on population.So, what does any of the stuff mentioned
in this letter have to do with the question being posed?
"Whatever happened to the idea of one man one vote?Simple, it
never was part of our nation. We don't live in a Democracy but a Compound
Constitutional Republic. That means, that elections are not dependent upon
Contrary to the wishes of the conservative element, we live in today’s
world and not in the world of 200 years ago. Our lives, our world is different
today than the world of 200 years ago. All the foot-dragging, fairy tales,
phony patriotism and ignorance will not change the fact. We are all
Americans and every American citizen is closer and more aware of the national
government than were the citizens of the various states to their state
government 200 years ago. In today’s world, state
governments are obsolete. There is nothing that the state government does for
citizens that could not be done better and cheaper by the national government.
And because the state governments are generally owned and controlled by private
interests the services provided are tainted against the citizens. The main
reason that government costs so much is that we have too many governments. The state representatives do not represent the people. The only chance
for representation of people in the national is with the election of the
president. The president should be elected by popular vote of all the American
@JoeBlow,I do not stomp on the Constitution. The Constitution lists
the way that a President is elected. The Constitution is the Supreme Law of the
Land. If enough electors choose Obama, then God help us; but, the law is the
While I can appreciate the intent of the letter -- [because I live in a
Totalitarian state, and my vote NEVER matters]I watched Al Gore
clearly win the popular vote, and GWBush win the Electoral by a hanging chad.And then watched from the side-lines in horror as Bush/Cheney spent the next 8
years trashing America.Agreed -- The GOP right-winger will go
ballistic if/when Karma comes around this time.Like I said 12 years
ago -Becare for what you wish for, you just might get it.
More to the point, getting rid of the Electoral College would require a
constitutional amendment. The Constitution is very hard to amend. And there
are more than 12 small states. Which means, there will never be a change to the
Why does anyone care if States are equal? People need to be equal. And for the
record, the relevancy of the system has been an issue since well before 2000. I
remember discussing it in high school civics - in 1971.
It MIGHT help if each state was required to divide its electoral votes according
to the percentages of its popular vote. Some states do that. Most RED states
Mike,I suspect that if Obama wins the presidency and Romney wins the
popular vote, you and Rifleman will be the first to scream that we need to do
away with the Electoral College.Just a hunch.
Each STATE chooses the person that that STATE wants as its representative to the
world. We, the people, are represented, not by the President, but by our
Representatives in the House. Senators represent the State in Congress.We don't elect the President by popular vote because the President
does not represent the people directly.When people don't
understand the fundamental operation of government, they demand from government
things that government is prohibited from giving. One of those things is
representation by the President.His duty is to protect our country
against enemies, foreign and domestic. We benefit indirectly from that
protection. Our city police departments, not the Presdient, are charged with
protecting the people.
@a bit of reality"According to the federalist papers, the
purpose of the electoral college isn't to "give the small states a
chance." The purpose is to allow a small group of wise leaders to choose the
president, because the judgment of the population as a whole can't be
trusted to choose the right guy."===============Absolutely! However with nearly every State (if not every state) having laws
that guarantee their electors to the winner of the State, its purpose has been
I have been a long time supporter of the electoral college because of the small
state vs large state idea. At one time that was a great idea.But
times have changed and I support getting rid of the electoral college. At this
point in time, a voter in Ohio has way more clout than a voter in Texas or Utah.
If we get rid of the electoral college, then the candidates have to campaign to
everyone. They won't saturate Ohio voters and they can't pander to
groups like seniors in Florida. They have to go out to everyone.
"A candidate would only have to campaign in these 10 states and they'd
have won the election." As has already been pointed out, the candidates are
only campaigning in a handful of states already as a result of the electoral
college. It's completely arbitrary. It's just states whose
populations happen to be divided about 50/50 between democrats and republicans.
These states who happen to be swing states have undue influence over the
country's politics. They don't deserve the influence because of a
demographic quirk. How does the electoral college help a small state like
Utah? They know which way we're going to vote. Spending any time here is
a complete waste. If it were a popular vote, at least they could come here in
the hopes that they could pick up a few votes.
According to the federalist papers, the purpose of the electoral college
isn't to "give the small states a chance." The purpose is to allow
a small group of wise leaders to choose the president, because the judgment of
the population as a whole can't be trusted to choose the right guy.
Actually, the small states matter very little in the current system. I voted
for Obama, but could you imagine how much more the votes for Mitt Romney in Utah
would matter if we were on a popular vote system? Romney is going to win Utah so
whether he wins by 1 vote or 1million votes the payoff is still the same. If it
was a popular vote election they would have the incentive to get EVERY single
vote they possibly could from places like Utah.
Whatever happened to the idea of one man one vote?"The total
population of these states equals 166,755,220 which is above the requisite 51
percent needed.A candidate would only have to campaign in these 10
states and they'd have won the election. That is the genius behind our
system."This argument only works if every person in each of
these 10 states voted for the same person. Traditionally California and Texas
have very different political views. Contrast this with today where
only a handful of states are evening being campaigned...the "Battle
ground" States. I would like very much for my vote to count as
much as a vote in Ohio, but when 70% of the State votes one way, does it really
matter for whom I voted, be it Romney, Obama or my next door neighbor since the
entire State will be counted as "Romney"?? Under the popular vote it
Utah does get more voice as a result of the electoral college than it would get
otherwise. In my mind this is good enough reason to keep it.
For all practical purposes, the candidates are already campaigning in less than
10 states. But we should be grateful that we are not among the competitive
battleground states, and don't have to endure the barrage of campaign ads
that inundate Ohio, Florida, Colorado, Virginia, etc. It's bad enough here
already. Thank goodness it will be over in a week.
Not really sure that you made a good case.Electorally, if a
candidate wins the states you mention, they have a virtual lock anyway. (256 of
the 270 electoral votes needed)And in those states, with a total
population of 167 mil (your numbers) you could lock up all of those electoral
college votes with under 70 million votes.So, the EC does not change
your concern that a candidate can campaign in only 10 states.The way
for a state to be "relevant" is to be fairly evenly split so that
candidates need your vote. Utah is irrelevant in any presidential election (as
are many other states), except for the money donated to the national
campaign.There is a very real possibility this year that Obama wins
the presidency and loses the popular vote. That will send the right into a
I'm dense, so maybe that's why I'm not following your reasoning
here. What on earth makes you think that everyone in those 10 states is going to
vote for the same candidate? Since electoral votes are apportioned
according to a state's number of congressmen (itself a rough measure of a
state's population), your argument makes little sense. The small states
still have very little voice. Why do you think they're obsessed with Ohio?
A swing state with a large number of electoral votes. And anyone voting against
popular opinion in a state like Utah or California is essentially chucking their
vote in the dumpster. I'd frankly like to see the electoral college go
Right now they're only campaigning in nine states. The other states, large
or small, are irrelevant. I have a prediction though: If Romney wins
the popular vote while losing the electoral college, everyone will reverse their
position on the issue.