Streams

Destroying the Electoral College System

Tuesday, February 22, 2011 - 12:04 PM

Tom Golisano aims at the electoral college, something people like Hillary Clinton once embraced.

The electoral college system came under fire after the 2000 presidential vote - Gore won the popular vote; Bush won the electoral college, and thus, the presidency.

"We are already at 25% at the votes we need to aprove this bill," Golisano says. "If a majority of states adopt this policy, the candidate with the most votes will always win."

In 2008, the electoral college system was also one of the major hurdles facing Michael Bloomberg's almost-official third party run for the White House.

[h/t Celeste]

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Comments [9]

Luther

The public supports this based on the information it has available to it. Just like DDT and Nuclear Power in the '50 people would have supported them because they did not have all the facts, there were unintended consequences.

What often appears simple is not. The Compact being proposed would get around the requirement for a constitutional amendment. It would cobble the popular vote onto a system designed for the Electoral College. Such a system has largely unanticipated, but predictable consequences that are overlooked and glossed over by national organizations supporting the proposition similar to the situations when we focus on the national debt one week and lowering taxes the next.

While I understand the good arguments for the national popular vote and would support it, except there are some extreme risks to the Compact which attempts to force fit it onto our inaccurate state by state voting system.

There is no official national popular vote number complied and certified nationally that can be used to officially and accurately determine the winner in any reasonably close election.

There is no national recount available for close elections to establish an accurate number. Only in some individual states with close numbers in those states would there ever be a recount.

Currently the Electoral College limits the damage to states with close votes. With the national nopular vote errors, voter suppression, and fraud in all states would count against the national totals.

Feb. 23 2011 06:58 PM
TonyAndrade

I have filed the Congressional District Elector Initiative in California to copy Nebraska’s current system. California is ignored by candidates for president because Los Angeles dominates the popular vote. If passed 27 Electors will be Democrat and 26 Republican with $100,000,000 spent to campaign for voters.
It will give all California voters the right to vote for the candidate of their choice and to meet the candidates.

Feb. 23 2011 06:55 PM
mvy

In Gallup polls since 1944, only about 20% of the public has supported the current system of awarding all of a state's electoral votes to the presidential candidate who receives the most votes in each separate state (with about 70% opposed and about 10% undecided). The recent Washington Post, Kaiser Family Foundation, and Harvard University poll shows 72% support for direct nationwide election of the President. Support for a national popular vote is strong in virtually every state, partisan, and demographic group surveyed in recent polls in closely divided battleground states: Colorado-- 68%, Florida – 78%, Iowa --75%, Michigan-- 73%, Missouri-- 70%, New Hampshire-- 69%, Nevada-- 72%, New Mexico-- 76%, North Carolina-- 74%, Ohio-- 70%, Pennsylvania -- 78%, Virginia -- 74%, and Wisconsin -- 71%; in smaller states (3 to 5 electoral votes): Alaska -- 70%, DC -- 76%, Delaware --75%, Idaho – 77%, Maine -- 77%, Montana – 72%, Nebraska -- 74%, New Hampshire --69%, Nevada -- 72%, New Mexico -- 76%, Oklahoma – 81%, Rhode Island -- 74%, South Dakota – 71%, Utah - 70%, Vermont -- 75%, West Virginia – 81%, and Wyoming – 69%; in Southern and border states: Arkansas --80%, Kentucky -- 80%, Mississippi --77%, Missouri -- 70%, North Carolina -- 74%, Oklahoma – 81%, South Carolina – 71%, Virginia -- 74%, and West Virginia – 81%; and in other states polled: California -- 70%, Connecticut -- 74%,, Massachusetts -- 73%, Minnesota -- 75%, New York -- 79%, Oregon – 76%, and Washington -- 77%,.

The National Popular Vote bill has passed 31 state legislative chambers, in 21 small, medium-small, medium, and large population states, including one house in Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, The District of Columbia, Maine, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, and Oregon, and both houses in California, Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington. The bill has been enacted by the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts, and Washington. These seven states possess 74 electoral votes -- 27% of the 270 necessary to bring the law into effect.

See http://www.NationalPopularVote.com

Feb. 22 2011 08:44 PM
mvy

The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

The bill preserves the Electoral College, while assuring that every vote is equal and that every voter will matter in every state in every presidential election.

Every vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in presidential elections. Elections wouldn't be about winning states. No more distorting and divisive red and blue state maps. Every vote, everywhere would be counted for and directly assist the candidate for whom it was cast. Candidates would need to care about voters across the nation, not just undecided voters in a handful of swing states.

In the 2012 election, pundits and campaign operatives already agree that only 14 states and their voters will matter under the current winner-take-all laws (i.e., awarding all of a state’s electoral votes to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in each state) used by 48 of the 50 states. Candidates will not care about 72% of the voters-- voters in 19 of the 22 lowest population and medium-small states, and big states like California, Georgia, New York, and Texas. 2012 campaigning would be even more obscenely exclusive than 2008 and 2004. In 2008, candidates concentrated over 2/3rds of their campaign events and ad money in just 6 states, and 98% in just 15 states (CO, FL, IN, IA, MI, MN, MO, NV, NH, NM, NC, OH, PA, VA, and WI). Over half (57%) of the events were in just 4 states (Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania and Virginia). Candidates have no reason to poll, visit, advertise, organize, campaign, or care about the voter concerns in the dozens of states where they are safely ahead or hopelessly behind. Voter turnout in the "battleground" states has been 67%, while turnout in the "spectator" states was 61%. Policies important to the citizens of ‘flyover’ states are not as highly prioritized as policies important to ‘battleground’ states when it comes to governing.

The bill would take effect only when enacted, in identical form, by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes--that is, enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538). When the bill comes into effect, all the electoral votes from those states would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

The Electoral College that we have today was not designed, anticipated, or favored by the Founding Fathers but, instead, is the product of decades of evolutionary change precipitated by the emergence of political parties and enactment by 48 states of winner-take-all laws, not mentioned, much less endorsed, in the Constitution.

The bill uses the power given to each state by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution to change how they award their electoral votes for president. It does not abolish the Electoral College. Historically, virtually all of the major changes in the method of electing the President, including ending the requirement that only men who owned substantial property could vote and 48 current state-by-state winner-take-all laws, have come about by state legislative action.

Feb. 22 2011 08:43 PM
mvy

A survey of 800 New York voters conducted on December 22-23, 2008 showed 79% overall support for a national popular vote for President.

By gender, support was 89% among women and 69% among men.

By age, support was 60% among 18-29 year olds, 74% among 30-45 year olds, 85% among 46-65 year olds, and 82% for those older than 65.

Support was 86% among Democrats, 66% among Republicans, 78% among Independence Party members (representing 8% of respondents), 50% among Conservative Party members (representing 3% of respondents), 100% among Working Families Party members (representing 2% of respondents), and 7% among Others (representing 7% of respondents).

http://nationalpopularvote.com

Feb. 22 2011 08:42 PM

which one do you think is likelier to happen?

Feb. 22 2011 08:08 PM

thanks!

Feb. 22 2011 08:07 PM
Guest

You have a typo in your title.

Feb. 22 2011 07:53 PM

Absolutely. Next we need to reform the tax code.

Feb. 22 2011 07:30 PM

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