The electoral college is an anachronism from a time when the United States was a
republic that was wary of democracy. The American Revolution had been led by a
native aristocracy that included those who feared democracy was an open door for
rule by the mob. The founders were elitists before the term elitist took on the
pejorative connotations it carries today.Thank heaven the electoral
college has generally concurred with the will of the people. If the times it
hasn’t had been more numerous, it probably would have been done away with
by now. The electoral college is useless when it does its job and dangerous when
it does not. If only the majority of the founders had as much faith in the
people as James Madison did in 1787.
Proportionate allocation by congressional district is rigging the system because
of gerrymandering. Proportional voting based on percentage of popular vote
would be fine with me. Romney would have won the election with proportionate
allocation by congressional district even though he lost the popular vote by
several percentage points. How can any rational person think that is fair or
just? The current Republican proposal to have proportionate voting by
congressional district in states that voted for Obama, but not in states that
voted for Romney is an attempt at a naked power grab and the legislators trying
to do it should be ashamed of themselves.
I have no problem with either going to a popular vote, or allocating electoral
votes proportionately.But, it has to be done nationwide. Doing this
selectively in states strictly for an advantage in national elections is
unconscionable. We need fair elections, regardless of who wins.
What is being proposed is not fair.
I think this is foolish and short-sighted. The party that lost this time under
the current rules, could be the party that loses next time under a new set of
rules. Then what will the losing party propose? We have enough gerrymandering
now. The only way I personally would approve of a change to a split electorate
is if redistricting was done in a non-political way so that all districts were
randomly drawn solely based on population and not party. It is just plain
foolish to continue to try to game the system.
In 2008, of the 25 smallest states (with a total of 155 electoral votes), 18
received no attention at all from presidential campaigns after the conventions.
Ohio (with only 20 electoral votes) was lavishly wooed with 62 of the total 300
post-convention campaign events in the whole country. Now
presidential elections ignore 12 of the 13 lowest population states, that are
non-competitive in presidential elections. 6 regularly vote Republican (AK, ID,
MT, WY, ND, and SD), and 6 regularly vote Democratic (RI, DE, HI, VT, ME, and
DC) in presidential elections. Voters in states that are reliably red or blue
don't matter. Candidates ignore those states and the issues they care about
most.Support for a national popular vote is strong in every smallest
state surveyed among Republicans, Democrats, and Independent voters. Support in
smaller states: AK -70%, DC -76%, DE --75%, ID -77%, ME - 77%, MT- 72%, NE -
74%, NH--69%, NE - 72%, NM - 76%, RI - 74%, SD- 71%, UT- 70%, VT - 75%, WV-
81%, and WY- 69%.Among the 13 lowest population states, the
National Popular Vote bill has passed in nine state legislative chambers, and
been enacted by 3 jurisdictions.
With the current state winner-take-all system of awarding electoral votes,
winning a bare plurality of the popular vote in the 11 most populous states,
containing 56% of the population, could win the Presidency with a mere 23% of
the nation's votes!But the political reality is that the 11
largest states rarely agree on any political question. In terms of recent
presidential elections, the 11 largest states include five "red states
(Texas, Florida, Ohio, North Carolina, and Georgia) and six "blue"
states (California, New York, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and New Jersey).
The big states are just about as closely divided as the rest of the country.
For example, among the four largest states, the two largest Republican states
(Texas and Florida) generated a total margin of 2.1 million votes for Bush,
while the two largest Democratic states generated a total margin of 2.1 million
votes for Kerry.
Utah (5 electoral votes) alone generated a
margin of 385,000 "wasted" votes for Bush in 2004. 8 small western
states, with less than a third of California’s population, provided Bush
with a bigger margin (1,283,076) than California provided Kerry (1,235,659).
A desperate attempt by four white guys in rural Illinois to demean or outright
cancel the votes of a hundred black people in Chicago.
@Tyler Macarthur:"What you are proposing is a proportional
representation system a la the gridlocked and fragmented parliaments of states
such as Belgium, Spain and Israel."He is not proposing that.
Israel (the example that I am most familiar with) has a system where the
majority main party gets other parties to join their coalition to form a
majority coalition in parliament. That forces a major party whicn is closer to
the mainstream to pander to the extremist parties on the margins.I
agree with the proposal. I understand the small state vs large state reason for
the electoral college and I have supported the electoral college most of my life
for that reason. I think that it is time for a change. It would restrict
candidates from pandering to swing states. They would pander to all of us.
For far too long, the Republicans of Utah and other red states have manipulated
the electoral college in order to discount all Democratic votes. This is not
only shameful, it is un-American.
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.
re:JCSpringNow 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.
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.
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.
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.NationalPopularVoteon Facebook via
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 . . ." FairVoteA second-place candidate
could still win.
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!
I tend to favour one person one vote.
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.
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.
Funny. The GOP opposed any changes to the Electoral College.Until
they lost again.
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.
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.
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.
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!
"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.
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).
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.
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.