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Comments about ‘Richard Davis: Ways to make the Electoral College more fair’

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Published: Wednesday, Jan. 23 2013 12:05 a.m. MST

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Tyler McArthur
South Jordan, UT

The electoral college is republicanism institutionalized and has a great moderating effect on American politics. It forces candidates to campaign in the center rather than appealing to the radical wings of both parties for votes. A popular vote for President would lead to greater polarization and fragmentation. What you are proposing is a proportional representation system a la the gridlocked and fragmented parliaments of states such as Belgium, Spain and Israel. I cast my vote for the electoral college - for level-headedness, bipartisanship and moderation.

rvalens2
Burley, ID

The current situation of winner takes all is, in my opinion, an abomination because it does disenfranchise voters in States that are either mostly Republican or Democrat. Dividing up the electoral votes, based on how a candidate did, would not only make for a more exciting Presidential race, but also make voters feel like their vote really does count.

atl134
Salt Lake City, UT

This would just encourage states to gerrymander their seats even more than they already do. It actually would've likely led to a Romney win (Democratic house candidates got more votes than Republicans but didn't win the house because of massive gerrymandering like in PA where it's 13-5 Republican in their House delegation despite Democrats getting more votes overall).

atl134
Salt Lake City, UT

"If it also reduces the likelihood of the public’s will being thwarted by the electoral vote, then that is even better"

It'd increase it. Obama probably would've lost the election had this been in place. Democratic house candidates nationwide got more votes than Republicans but didn't take the house. Presumably most districts would vote in a similar pattern. Obama could've won the popular vote by 4% and lost the election we just had. And I'm supposed to pretend this switch increases the likelihood of the popular vote selection winning? Hah, maybe if every state was mandated to have non-partisan district boundary maps so that neither side could manipulate the outcome. But they don't and Republicans (with 35ish governorships) had control over the redistricting this go around. Conservatives might find this appealing now but it can turn around if the 2020 census/redistricting were to be controlled by a host of Democratic governors.

Blue
Salt Lake City, UT

The facts are these: in the 2012 election President Obama received 4.97 million more votes than Governor Romney.

And even though nationally Congressional Democrats earned 1.1 million more votes than Congressional Republicans, state GOP gerrymandering of districts resulted in another GOP-controlled House of Representatives.

The plan Davis suggests would have given the electoral vote victory to Romney.

What Davis advocates is nothing less than a gerrymandering of the presidential election, and is a transparent attempt to subvert democracy in our nation. Shame on him!

liberal larry
salt lake City, utah

I have a very simple plan, toss out the electoral college and elect the man for president who gets the most votes.

Anytime one party proposes a complicated election plan it makes me nervous.

John Charity Spring
Back Home in Davis County, UT

For far too long, the Democrats of California and New York has manipulated the electoral college in order to discount all Republican votes. This is not only shameful, it is un-American.

Doug10
Roosevelt, UT

The literal one party system in Utah does okay for the local population.

If there were a single party in Washington each state could then hold their reps and senators personally responsible for the reprehensible fiscal mess the country is in.

Currently the 2 party system allows each party to blame the other while they each sit up to the trough at our countries expense.

One federal party with a max limit of 4 years for senators and congressmen and no expense account and $100,000 annual check and no retirement would attract people who want to make a difference instead of making a mockery of our election system.

Right now I would say the system is broke or the country is broke as a result of the system.

one old man
Ogden, UT

Funny. The GOP opposed any changes to the Electoral College.

Until they lost again.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

The closest thing for people to being represented in the affairs of government of this nation is the presidential election. The best way to enhance that representation would be to rid ourselves of the electoral college and elect the president by a simple majority of the popular vote.

The state and local governments, often touted as being closer to the people, are over powered by the size and power of commercial enterprises, and are actually the least controlled by their citizens.

It is extremely unlikely that the commercial politicians would give up their advantage and control over the voting. The only possible way to enhance the vote of people over commercial interests is to have a national referendum and even amend the Constitution.

JohnH
Cedar City, UT

The Maine-Nebraska allocation method is worth careful consideration. The trouble is that it's going to be hard to convince states that are solidly Democrat or Republican to go for it. The popular vote would result in the center of the country being even more of an electoral wasteland that it already is. We are pretty much ignored now, and we'd be ignored completely under a direct popular vote. Now THAT is real disenfranchisement.

Hutterite
American Fork, UT

I tend to favour one person one vote.

dave4197
Redding, CA

Abolish the electoral college! In today's fast communication world, we can know which candidate won the popular vote (the vote that counts in a democracy) within hours of the last poll closing. Only in 2000 did the (attempted mis-)counting process take longer. We don't need to discuss the vote count. We don't need to convene a group to re-vote the popular vote count. We do not need the electoral college. If this requires an amendment, let's do it!
Attempts to make the electoral college vote more closely reflect the popular vote are good and worthy only if we cannot eliminate this dinosaur method altogether.

Next up, make the Senate a truly representative body. And I've got more good ideas!

oldgulph
VILLANOVA, PA

Dividing more states’ electoral votes by congressional district winners would magnify the worst features of the system.

An analysis of the whole number proportional plan and congressional district systems of awarding electoral votes, evaluated the systems "on the basis of whether they promote majority rule, make elections more nationally competitive, reduce incentives for partisan machinations, and make all votes count equally. . . .

Awarding electoral votes by a proportional or congressional district method fails to promote majority rule, greater competitiveness or voter equality. Pursued at a state level, both reforms dramatically increase incentives for partisan machinations. If done nationally, the congressional district system has a sharp partisan tilt toward the Republican Party, while the whole number proportional system sharply increases the odds of no candidate getting the majority of electoral votes needed, leading to the selection of the president by the U.S. House of Representatives.

For states seeking to exercise their responsibility under the U.S. Constitution to choose a method of allocating electoral votes that best serves their state’s interest and that of the national interest, both alternatives fall far short of the National Popular Vote plan . . ." FairVote

A second-place candidate could still win.

oldgulph
VILLANOVA, PA

To abolish the Electoral College would need a constitutional amendment, and could be stopped by states with as little as 3% of the U.S. population.

A survey of Utah voters showed 70% overall support for a national popular vote.

The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in the country, by state law.

Utah, along with 80% of states and voters that are ignored by presidential campaigns now, would not be ignored.

Every vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in every election. Political reality, that every gubernatorial or senatorial candidate knows, is that when and where every vote is equal, a campaign must be run everywhere. Candidates would need to build a winning coalition across demographics.

Every vote would be included in the state counts and national count.

The candidate with the most popular votes in the country would get the needed 270+ electoral vote majority from the enacting states.

The bill has passed 31 state legislative chambers in 21 states with 243 electoral votes, and been enacted by 9 jurisdictions with 132 electoral votes - 49% of the 270 needed.

NationalPopularVote
on Facebook via NationalPopularVoteInc

Pagan
Salt Lake City, UT

I am fine with changing the Electoral vote. I am a Democrat and I voted for President Obama both times.

In the 2012 election President Obama won the Electoral vote...

and, the popular vote.

UtahBlueDevil
Durham, NC

I am all for proportional distribution of electoral votes. This winner takes all stuff is a corrupting force in our politics. It is the only way that every vote counts. As the system runs today, only 50.01 percent of the votes matter.

One old Man... the funny thing, under the proposed changes Obama would have still won. The only thing this would have changed is that Bush would have lost to Gore. Now wouldn't that have spun things into a tizzie.

I actually think Bush did a good job responding to the events of 9/11.... it's what happened in Iraq that damaged our nations reputation for generations forward. Preemptive wars are ugly beast.

Truthseeker
SLO, CA

re:JCSpring

Now in CA redistricting is not done by the party in power. It is done by a panel--evenly split between Republicans and Democrats, plus 4 non-affiliated voters.

Additionally:
Each political party has the option of allowing decline-to-state voters to vote in their Presidential primary.

As of June 2012, California will start using the Top Two Candidate Open Primary system for statewide offices.

All candidates for a given state or congressional office will be listed on a single Primary Election ballot.
Voters can vote for the candidate of their choice for these offices.
The top two candidates, as determined by the voters, will advance to the General Election in November.

CA's process is significantly more "open" than UT.

VST
Bountiful, UT

Professor Davis, please note the intent of the Electoral College, as implemented by the Constitutional founders in the Constitution, was NOT to achieve fairness to each individual voter.

The intent of the Electoral College was to assure that larger more populous states do not gain an unfair power advantage over the smaller less populous states. It was for fairness to all States, large and small in selecting the President and Vice President.

red state pride
Cottonwood Heights, UT

I think atl134 made a valid point but I tend to agree with this concept. How many Republicans were frustrated by the importance of Ohio? I'm totally against a direct popular vote because it does make states like Ut and Wy basically irrelevant. The bottom line is that candidates who win a significant number of popular votes are still going to by and large win the election but ask yourself this- how much pork goes to Ohio (from both parties) to buy some "swing state" votes? I'm a conservative but I do think we need to either redraw State lines or make some changes to the electoral college.

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