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Electoral College

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No Lifer
Sep 29, 2000
70,150
2
0
I think the electoral college is stupid, but I've not studied it that much. It seems like it amplifies the lack of power some voters already have. If you live in a state that's mostly one party and you vote against it, it's meaningless.
 

Rainsford

Lifer
Apr 25, 2001
17,515
0
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Originally posted by: chucky2
Originally posted by: eskimospy
Originally posted by: chucky2

There's nothing wrong with that IMHO...it counters out the wacked out ultra liberal nutjob areas that have high amounts of population. Mix it all together and it's even.

Chuck
Strange that you would argue specifically that certain people's votes should count more then others.
Ideally they wouldn't, and we'd just tally all the individual votes and be done with it.

The reality though is group think permeates. So when you have large groups - like large metropolitan areas - start leaning waaaaayyy towards one side, there's a problem there when you can go 30 miles outside of that area, travel another 1800, and that whole time, be in the center side or slightl left/slightly right of center mentality.

In short: I don't want wacko's from San Fran being able to choose the next Pres. because there's @ssloads more of them...anymore than I want some backwoods rednecks being able to. The current system, while imperfect, at least makes some effort to even that out.

If we were all either at the center, or just slightly to the left or right of center, then I'd say go one vote per person...unfortunately there's way too many polar opposites to do that. :(

EDITS: Sorry, please re-read only after my last edit time.

Chuck
I see what you're saying, but it's not really democracy if you tweak the votes various groups get to arrive at some predetermined "center". While you may personally disagree with the "wacko's from San Fran", if there are a lot of them, why SHOULDN'T they get a louder voice? The idea of representative democracy is that "the people" decide, doesn't the idea of separating people into groups of the wrong people and the right people and giving them a voice based on their group a little...non-democratic? In other words, it's not really democracy if the purpose of the system is to "even things out", because the "center" we end up with isn't the real center view...it's skewed one way or the other.

Besides, even if it was desirable to try and even out political views, the current system doesn't really do that unless you really buy into the idea that all political views are found on geographic boundaries. Despite what you might think, the electoral college does NOT average out the views of backwoods rednecks and wackos from San Francisco, it averages views between states with lower population and states with higher population...which is not at all the same thing. Texas gets the shaft as much as California does, and they are pretty ideologically different. Now the small population states tend to be more conservative, but if the idea is to balance between right and left, this is a poor way to go about it. To be honest, I'm not sure WHAT we're balancing out any more...are small states REALLY different enough from large states that the EC is even necessary?

And if we're searching for ideological balance, it's also worth noting that despite those stupid-ass "Bush Country" maps floating around after 2004, most states are pretty middle of the road. Even the "extremist" states like California and Texas have significant minorities of people on the other side...people who's views are completely ignored in Presidential politics. Which seems weird, given that there are more Republicans in California than there are in Nebraska (a very red state), and more Democrats in Texas than there are in my state of Maryland (a very blue state).
 

jonks

Lifer
Feb 7, 2005
13,918
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Originally posted by: FoBoT
Originally posted by: Mail5398
she seems to be up there with the antichrist.
yes, i would vote for the antichrist before hildebeast
You can't, his 2nd and final term ends next January.

See how easy that is?
 

piasabird

Lifer
Feb 6, 2002
17,168
60
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You have to win each state state by state. There is no such thing as a popular vote. Most states vote all of their electoral college votes for one and only one candidate. They are all or nothing. I may not agree with this method, but under the constitution this is the way it is. This was done to protect the state's rights back in the day.

If you want a popular vote then we have to count all the military votes and all the absentee ballots.
 

fskimospy

Elite Member
Mar 10, 2006
73,155
24,749
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Originally posted by: piasabird
You have to win each state state by state. There is no such thing as a popular vote. Most states vote all of their electoral college votes for one and only one candidate. They are all or nothing. I may not agree with this method, but under the constitution this is the way it is. This was done to protect the state's rights back in the day.

If you want a popular vote then we have to count all the military votes and all the absentee ballots.
The constitution doesn't actually mandate that at all. It just says the electors will be chosen as the state legislature directs. That means they could direct their electors to go to the winner of the popular vote if they so chose.

And what do military votes and absentee ballots have to do with anything? They are already counted. Just because they can declare a winner before every vote is counted due to the power of statistics doesn't mean that the votes don't count.
 

hellokeith

Golden Member
Nov 12, 2004
1,665
0
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Originally posted by: eskimospy
I don't see any problem with the person who the most people support being the president. It just seems reasonable. That and San Francisco is one of the most successful and wealthy areas on earth. Maybe we should be taking some tips from them... haha.
Then again..

Wikipedia
As an example, consider the 2000 election, in which the George W. Bush / Richard Cheney (Republican) and Albert Gore Jr. / Joseph Lieberman (Democratic) tickets were the primary contenders, with the Ralph Nader/Winona LaDuke (Green) ticket taking a small but noteworthy minority. In California, the approximate proportion of votes for these tickets was 41.65 percent Bush/Cheney, 53.45 percent Gore/Lieberman, and 3.82 percent Nader/LaDuke. Under the current system, all 54 electoral votes were for Gore/Lieberman. Under a simple proportional system, the votes might be distributed as 23 Bush/Cheney, 29 Gore/Lieberman, and 2 Nader/LaDuke.
People are always yapping about the Electoral College when it doesn't favor their candidate/party. Imagine the disgust of the democrats if, in a purely popular vote, the republicans won the popular vote because of the 3rd-party candidate siphoned enough votes off the dem. (And yes I know it would be criticized if the opposite happened, though the lib media wouldn't make it such a priority.)

There is nothing wrong with the Electoral College system. If individual states want to alter the way they award the electoral votes, more power to them.
 

BoomerD

No Lifer
Feb 26, 2006
57,421
5,762
126
Originally posted by: sirjonk
Originally posted by: FoBoT
Originally posted by: Mail5398
she seems to be up there with the antichrist.
yes, i would vote for the antichrist before hildebeast
You can't, his 2nd and final term ends next January.

See how easy that is?
QFT! I was about to post something very similar...America has had the anti-christ as President for almost 8 years...but fortunately, unless he "pulls a rabbit out of the hat" he will soon be gone...and we'll remember him with a bad taste in our mouths while the next 10 generations pay for his failed policies.
 

fskimospy

Elite Member
Mar 10, 2006
73,155
24,749
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Originally posted by: hellokeith
People are always yapping about the Electoral College when it doesn't favor their candidate/party. Imagine the disgust of the democrats if, in a purely popular vote, the republicans won the popular vote because of the 3rd-party candidate siphoned enough votes off the dem. (And yes I know it would be criticized if the opposite happened, though the lib media wouldn't make it such a priority.)

There is nothing wrong with the Electoral College system. If individual states want to alter the way they award the electoral votes, more power to them.
What you mentioned is not a problem to me at all. A lot of votes in Texas would have gone to Gore instead... in fact under the proportional system Gore would have won that election.

Or are you attempting to refer to the proposed ballot initiative in California being pushed by the Republicans to change just California's vote allocation to a proportional one? If so, no that's an incredibly stupid idea because it only deals with one state. Changing the system so that all the states that favor the opposing party award their votes proportionally and all the states that support your party are winner take all is hardly a democratic change, it's an attempt to steal an election pure and simple. Everyone knows this. (good thing that the ballot initiative A.) will fail miserably and B.) is almost certainly unconstitutional even if it somehow passed)

I would very much be in support of a measure/compact between the states that would require them all to abide by a proportional system, as that would be a fair application of the idea.
 

piasabird

Lifer
Feb 6, 2002
17,168
60
91
You need to go back and look at prior elections. Most states if the vote is not close do not even bother counting the absentee ballots. So you would not even know what the national populace vote actually is. I predict pandomonium at the polls when we vote. There will probably be all kind of court battles going on, protests, and lawyers foaming at the mouth.
 

teclis1023

Golden Member
Jan 19, 2007
1,452
0
71
Originally posted by: chucky2
In short: I don't want wacko's from San Fran being able to choose the next Pres. because there's @ssloads more of them...a
Those damned wackos and their demand for equal treatment of gays! Let them rot in their highly-educated, high standard-of-living, earth-friendly open societies.

Good riddance!

Okay, now back to Mordor, where we've got things RIGHT!
 

ElFenix

Elite Member
Super Moderator
Mar 20, 2000
101,581
5,837
126
Originally posted by: eskimospy (good thing that the ballot initiative A.) will fail miserably and B.) is almost certainly unconstitutional even if it somehow passed)
why would proportional delegation of electors be unconstitutional? two states already do it. the democrats were ready to do it in (south carolina?) last year, until howard dean called them and told them to stop because it would make them look bad when they opposed the same thing in california.
 

Arkaign

Lifer
Oct 27, 2006
20,646
1,154
126
Everyone's vote should count equally. The Electoral College system is antiquated and worthless.
 

Fern

Elite Member
Super Moderator
Sep 30, 2003
26,907
173
106
Originally posted by: Moonbeam
Originally posted by: blackangst1
Originally posted by: Rainsford
Originally posted by: glenn1
Sure, why not, I can see it happening. However, it's not like the rules aren't clear, or the standards would be changed to benefit one party or the other - Electoral College votes are what counts, not popular.
Well, electoral college votes actually DO benefit the Republican party, but you're right in the sense that it's not like the rules aren't clear from the start.
How do electoral votes benefit GOP and not Dem's? Just curious.
They give a disproportional number of delegates to low population, read hick republican, states.
Like New Hampshire, Delaware, Vermont, DC and Rhode Island etc?

Fern

 

Vic

Elite Member
Jun 12, 2001
48,531
9,508
126
Originally posted by: dguy6789
Originally posted by: Arkaign
Everyone's vote should count equally. The Electoral College system is antiquated and worthless.
QFT.
Everyone's vote does count equally -- within your own state. That's the distinction people miss.
 

Fern

Elite Member
Super Moderator
Sep 30, 2003
26,907
173
106
Originally posted by: Perknose
The President is the leader of ALL the people. While I have no problem with the Senate favoring less populated states, for our President I say, ONE MAN ONE VOTE.

Why shoiuld one American citizen's presidential vote count for more than another?

ONE MAN ONE VOGTE.

(Watch the veritable tsunami of bleating, ad homs, and red-faced apoplexy now.) :roll:
It's rather difficult to imagine, but at the founding of the country it basically was the states electing a President. At least that's my POV.

The states at that time were like soverign countries. We now think of the system something like this: US>citizens. At the founding of the country is was more like this: US>state>citizen. The Constitution (bill of rights etc) were seen as guaranteeing state's rights against the federal government, not individual citizens' rights. Thoose were guaranteed under the various state constitutions. That changed with the 14th Amendment in about 1868.

In order to get the small states to go along in forming a union with the larger states, the electoral college slighty skews to small states.

But things have changed so much the original purpose has largely been lost.

Now instead of our state governments dominating individuals' lives, it's the fed gov. For that reason I now agree with a popular vote, or just prorationing state electoral college votes (no winner take all stuff).

Fern
 

Mail5398

Senior member
Jul 9, 2001
400
0
0
I agree with the above poster who said there will be about a million lawsuits if it is close. In the 2004 election a bus pulled into my great grandmother's nursing home and drove her without a family member's consent(she is senile, doesn't recognize her own kids most of the time) and took her and quite a few others and gave her a card telling her who to vote for and instructed her how to vote. My mother about crapped a brick when she found out.




 

Corn

Diamond Member
Nov 12, 1999
6,389
29
91
Originally posted by: eskimospy
.........Changing the system so that all the states that favor the opposing party award their votes proportionally and all the states that support your party are winner take all is hardly a democratic change, it's an attempt to steal an election pure and simple. Everyone knows this. (good thing that the ballot initiative A.) will fail miserably and B.) is almost certainly unconstitutional even if it somehow passed)
Please explain why you would think that would be "almost certainly unconstitutional" given that Maine and Nebraska currently split their electoral votes among district results and instead of all their electoral votes going to a single winning candidate. :roll:

Edit, looks like ElFenix beat me to it. :eek:
 

Arkaign

Lifer
Oct 27, 2006
20,646
1,154
126
Originally posted by: Vic
Originally posted by: dguy6789
Originally posted by: Arkaign
Everyone's vote should count equally. The Electoral College system is antiquated and worthless.
QFT.
Everyone's vote does count equally -- within your own state. That's the distinction people miss.
It counts towards the national election if you vote for the winning candidate. If you vote for a candidate that doesn't win your state, you may as well not have voted at all.

After all, it's for the national leadership position of the federal government. I can't see any logic to the electoral college in the 21st century. I've heard the argument that it causes the candidates to focus more on states that might otherwise be ignored, but come on, these are politicians we're talking about. When has any President ever focused on the issues of a single state after taking the office. After all, his (her?) duty is to the union, not individual states.
 

BoomerD

No Lifer
Feb 26, 2006
57,421
5,762
126
http://www.therestofus.org/electoral_college/FAQs.htm

Frequently Asked Questions About the Electoral College

Q: Why do we have the Electoral College in the first place?

A: The framers of the U.S. Constitution arrived at the Electoral College as a compromise between those who wanted direct popular election and those who wanted Congress to elect the President. They still saw our young nation as a collective of independent states, so they created a process of electing the nation's leader which reflected that view.

Also, the framers were concerned that voters would not have enough access to sufficient information about the candidates to make an informed decision, and that voters would generally vote exclusively for a candidate from their state, thereby weakening the cohesiveness of the young nation.

Q: Don't those concerns still exist?

A: Basically, no. The United States has matured into a great united country over the last 200 years, with national interests and beliefs that cross all state boundaries. We go to war and pay taxes as a country, we should vote as a country too.

Newspapers, television, radio, and the internet all provide American citizens with enormous opportunities to become informed about the presidential candidates. We are now just as well informed as the electors we vote for, so there is no need to have intermediaries to cast votes on our behalf.

Regional differences may still exist, but a candidate's home state is not a guarantee of the votes of even his or her home state, as Al Gore and the people of Tennessee will attest. Americans vote for the president they think will do the best job, not the one that hails from a particular state.

Q: What efforts have been made to change the Electoral College?

A: Several attempts have been made to get rid of the Electoral College, the last significant effort coming in 1969, when the House of Representatives passed 338-70 an amendment abolishing the Electoral College. The amendment died when it only received 54 votes in the Senate, 13 short of the required two-thirds. While this effort was ultimately unsuccessful, the overwhelming vote in the House shows that getting such an amendment passed is possible. Adding further proof that such an amendment is not only possible, but is favored by the great majority of Americans, a 1966 Gallup poll found that 63% of Americans favored a direct population of the president; a 2000 poll found that 61% did.

Q: Doesn't the Electoral College contribute to the unity of the country by requiring a distribution of popular support to be elected president?

A: No. The Electoral College actually undermines the cohesiveness of the country by creating the possibility of minority rule over the majority and by creating a system of safe states and swing states. A system which encourages the presidential campaigns to ignore two-thirds of the country is hardly one which contributes to our country's unity.

Q: But doesn't the Electoral College ensure that presidential candidates must pay attention to small states?

A: Because a state's representation in the U.S. House of Representatives is determined by its population in the census, larger states have more votes in the Electoral College than small states. However, small states end up having a greater representation in the Electoral College per capita than larger states because of the two electoral votes allotted for each state's Senators, which are not linked to population. Thus, Wyoming has one electoral vote per 164,592 residents, while California has one electoral vote per 627,253 people. This creates a situation in which a person standing on the Delaware side of the Delaware river has more than double the say of a person standing on the New Jersey side in who gets elected president.

Supporters of the Electoral College point to this as evidence that the Electoral College is working, that small states are protected from the large states. A look at the electoral map in the United States debunks this theory. We are no longer a nation in which the political divide runs along the lines of small states and large states, but one in which California, Delaware, and Maryland go one way and Texas, Georgia, and South Dakota go another.

The small-state/large-state argument is an anachronism. The truth is that the United States is a much more cohesive nation now than it was 200 years ago. We are attacked as a nation, not as a group of states. We go to war as a nation, not as a group of states. We pay taxes as a nation, not as a group of states. In picking the president, the person who would lead us on all these issues, we should vote as a nation too.


Q: What about recounts? Doesn't the Electoral College make it easier to do recounts?

A: It might, but a better way to solve the problem of recounts is to make sure up front that all eligible voters are registered and that their votes are cast and counted correctly. It's also the case that the popular vote winner could be quite clear in some elections, but the electoral vote quite close thus requiring recounts in some states, as with Florida in 2000.

Q: Wouldn't abolishing the Electoral College require amending the Constitution?

A: Yes. Abolishing the Electoral College requires a constitutional amendment, which by design is not an easy thing to do: any amendment must pass two-thirds of both houses of Congress, after which three-fourths of the states must agree to it.

Q: Shouldn't we defer to the framers of the Constitution when it comes to our elections?

A: Absolutely not. Despite the wisdom of the framers in crafting the U.S. Constitution, Americans have amended the Constitution five times to correct problems or unfairness relating to voting or our elections, including the following amendments: 15th - government can't deny the vote to a person based on color (minority suffrage); 17th - popular election of Senators; 19th - government can't deny the vote to a person based on gender (women's suffrage); 24th - no poll tax; 26th - 18 year olds can vote.

The framers recognized that values and people change; that's why they created a process by which the Constitution could be changed. In the same way Americans changed the Constitution to reflect our beliefs that women and minorities must be allowed to vote, that we can handle the responsibility of electing our Senators, or that paying a tax to vote is un-American, we should change the Constitution to place the responsibility of electing our president directly on the shoulders of the American people.


The way the electoral college is set-up, residents in small states get a disproportional vote in the Presidential election. When Wyoming gets 3 electors with 515004 people and Kahleeforneeya gets 55 with 36,457,549 people, that means that Wyoming residents get 3.86 votes for every one of Kahleeforneeya's residents.
WHY should the voters in one state get almost 4 times as much say as the voters in another?

Want to make this truly fair? Let's change it so that there is one electoral vote per 50,000 people, or one per 100,000. That would increase Wyoming's electoral count to 5, and Kahleeforneeya's to about 365. MUCH more fair...
 

fskimospy

Elite Member
Mar 10, 2006
73,155
24,749
136
Originally posted by: Corn
Originally posted by: eskimospy
.........Changing the system so that all the states that favor the opposing party award their votes proportionally and all the states that support your party are winner take all is hardly a democratic change, it's an attempt to steal an election pure and simple. Everyone knows this. (good thing that the ballot initiative A.) will fail miserably and B.) is almost certainly unconstitutional even if it somehow passed)
Please explain why you would think that would be "almost certainly unconstitutional" given that Maine and Nebraska currently split their electoral votes among district results and instead of all their electoral votes going to a single winning candidate. :roll:

Edit, looks like ElFenix beat me to it. :eek:
It's not unconstitutional to proportionately divvy up the electors, its the process by which these people are attempting to do it that is likely unconstitutional. The constitution clearly states that the electors will be chosen in a manner as the legislature will direct. A statewide ballot initiative is not an action taken by the legislature, and so it is likely unconstitutional. This was actually part of Bush v. Gore in respect to the idea that the FSC could not monkey around with the election rules as it was the legislatures sole responsibility.

There is an argument that the backers of this plan will try to make in that the population of California is acting as a legislative body when they pass these ballot initiatives, but they are not the legislature clearly alluded to in the Constitution and therefore it seems unlikely that this argument will prevail.
 

hellokeith

Golden Member
Nov 12, 2004
1,665
0
0
Originally posted by: Fern
prorationing state electoral college votes
I have no problem with that, so long as the state and its citizens are the entities championing the change to that state's electoral vote distribution.

There are heavily-entrenched encumbents in states within both policital parties that have no desire whatsoever to change the way it works in their respective states. California, for example, would see huge opposition from the democrats to change, and Texas opposition from republicans. And neither is likely to change if the other won't change at the same time.

The federal govt cannot force states to change the way their electoral vote system works. If one state wants to stay "winner takes all" while others want to use the Maine method or some other "pro-rationing" system, more power to them. But it's up to the state and its citizens.
 

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