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Question about the voting system in the US

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cybrsage

Lifer
Nov 17, 2011
13,021
0
0
Im a huge EC hater because it lets candidates ignore like 90% of the states while pandering to just a few. It also doesnt really represent states very well with all but 2 being winner take all. If KS for example was like 500,000 Dem and 500,001 GOP..all the EC points would go to the GOP while technically the state is split 50/50. But KS is not that close. It is pretty solidly a red state meaning if you plan to vote Dem you may as well stay home. This is actually how most states are. They totally favor one party historically and if you are the "minority party" you vote doesnt really count due to winner take all.

Popular vote all the way. its the only fair way for ALL of the US regardless where you live youre vote will count/
Imagine how much worse those less populous states would be ignored without the EC. Wyoming barely has more people than Lancaster County, PA. Why would anyone ever visit there for so few people that they can never matter in a presidential election? With the EC, they get at least 4 votes. Not much, but far more imporant than just their population.

My change to the EC would be to force all states to do a proportional EC instead of winner takes all like most states are. It is a good compromise, IMO.
 
Nov 29, 2006
14,686
2,502
126
Imagine how much worse those less populous states would be ignored without the EC. Wyoming barely has more people than Lancaster County, PA. Why would anyone ever visit there for so few people that they can never matter in a presidential election? With the EC, they get at least 4 votes. Not much, but far more imporant than just their population.

My change to the EC would be to force all states to do a proportional EC instead of winner takes all like most states are. It is a good compromise, IMO.
You do realize proportional EC is the same as popular vote right?
 

boxleitnerb

Platinum Member
Nov 1, 2011
2,597
1
81
Why is it so important that smaller states don't get overlooked? They are smaller and as such less important, that's an unfortunate fact. And they still get their 2 senators, regardless of size or population.
This is after all about the presidential election and the president and his/her government is a nation-wide thing, is it not? I don't understand why the presidential election voting system makes halt at state borders, so to speak.

When what soulcougher73 says is true, it makes no sense not to vote on a national level as if there were no individual states.
 

monovillage

Diamond Member
Jul 3, 2008
8,444
0
0
Why is it so important that smaller states don't get overlooked? They are smaller and as such less important, that's an unfortunate fact. And they still get their 2 senators, regardless of size or population.
This is after all about the presidential election and the president and his/her government is a nation-wide thing, is it not? I don't understand why the presidential election voting system makes halt at state borders, so to speak.

When what soulcougher73 says is true, it makes no sense not to vote on a national level as if there were no individual states.
It's just another part of the whole checks and balances structure that the Founding Fathers put into the Constitution. It's a guard against a specific group grabbing too much power and to make tyranny more difficult. We gain freedom at the expense of efficiency.
 

randomrogue

Diamond Member
Jan 15, 2011
5,462
0
0
You must be young to be asking this question since during the 2000 election we beat this one into the ground.

The Electoral College basically gives better representation to voters nationally. It's not perfect though. Either way without it, using a popular vote only, you could win an election with 11 states if memory serves me right. I think with the EC you need 14. Those are worst case scenarios. Don't quote me on the numbers, since it's been a dozen years since I looked at it, but what the EC really ensures is that candidates have to visit more than just the most populous states. If we didn't have the EC there would be very little reason for a candidate to visit say Wyoming since frankly their vote would be worth zilch.

The popular vote would be an election where only urban areas mattered. This country is the sum of all it's parts and there's way more to it than the big states and cities.
 
Nov 29, 2006
14,686
2,502
126
You must be young to be asking this question since during the 2000 election we beat this one into the ground.

The Electoral College basically gives better representation to voters nationally. It's not perfect though. Either way without it, using a popular vote only, you could win an election with 11 states if memory serves me right. I think with the EC you need 14. Those are worst case scenarios. Don't quote me on the numbers, since it's been a dozen years since I looked at it, but what the EC really ensures is that candidates have to visit more than just the most populous states. If we didn't have the EC there would be very little reason for a candidate to visit say Wyoming since frankly their vote would be worth zilch.

The popular vote would be an election where only urban areas mattered. This country is the sum of all it's parts and there's way more to it than the big states and cities.
See my 2nd video below to see why urban area myth...is ..well a myth :)
 

cybrsage

Lifer
Nov 17, 2011
13,021
0
0
You do realize proportional EC is the same as popular vote right?

It is not because it still protects the small states.

In PA, for example, if 51% of the people vote Democrat and 49% of the people vote Republican, all 20 EC votes go to the Democrat. PA is a winner takes all state.

There is a proposed change to the way PA does it. We have 18 EC districts. The change proposes that the winner in each district gets the votes from that district and the winner of the overall vote of the state gets the extra 2 EC votes ontop of the district EC votes. Two states already do something much like this (Nebraska and Maine). I think all states should do it.

It keeps the minimum number of EC votes to protect the very small population states, but also restores the power of the popular vote.
 

randomrogue

Diamond Member
Jan 15, 2011
5,462
0
0
That video is very misleading. To start when you visit a "city" you generally are visiting a metropolitan area.

New York: 19,750,000 people.
Los Angeles: 15,250,000
Chicago: 9,461,105
Dallas: 6,371,773M
Philly: 5,965,343
Houston: 5,946,800
DC: 5,582,170
Miami: 5,564,635
Atlanta: 5,268,860
Boston: 4,552,402
San Fransisco/Oakland: 4,335,391
Detroit: 4,296,250
Riverside-San Bernardino: 4,224,851
Phoenix: 4,192,887
Seattle: 3,439,809

I don't really know if I need to go on, and neither one of us is going to figure out how many of those people are voting age and likely voters, but I went through the numbers 12 years ago and it was very clear that you could win the popular vote by going to a very limited part of the USA. The video proved that you can manipulate the EC as well. I agree that they are both flawed but coming from a big state I am ALL FOR the little states getting their voice heard. Popular vote is critically flawed since you can win with a very small amount of states/metropolitan areas. Smaller than with the EC.
 
Nov 29, 2006
14,686
2,502
126
That video is very misleading. To start when you visit a "city" you generally are visiting a metropolitan area.

New York: 19,750,000 people.
Los Angeles: 15,250,000
Chicago: 9,461,105
Dallas: 6,371,773M
Philly: 5,965,343
Houston: 5,946,800
DC: 5,582,170
Miami: 5,564,635
Atlanta: 5,268,860
Boston: 4,552,402
San Fransisco/Oakland: 4,335,391
Detroit: 4,296,250
Riverside-San Bernardino: 4,224,851
Phoenix: 4,192,887
Seattle: 3,439,809

I don't really know if I need to go on, and neither one of us is going to figure out how many of those people are voting age and likely voters, but I went through the numbers 12 years ago and it was very clear that you could win the popular vote by going to a very limited part of the USA. The video proved that you can manipulate the EC as well. I agree that they are both flawed but coming from a big state I am ALL FOR the little states getting their voice heard. Popular vote is critically flawed since you can win with a very small amount of states/metropolitan areas. Smaller than with the EC.
But you have to remember just because you live in an urban area or in the country does not automatically make you a Dem or GOP. I live in KS currrently and if i were to vote for Obama id be wasting my time and my vote unheard. KS is firmly in red hands. Same goes for CA being firmly in blue hands. I know plenty of republicans in SF alone. But there are still millions of people in both states that vote for the non-majority party whos vote goes unheard. Winner take all is horrible. At least Nebraska and Maine are on the right track.

And proportional voting while a very good step in the right direction and id be all for that, still is too close to just straight popular voting to matter. Id rather have smaller government and eliminate the EC waste in that case. We dont need no invisible middlemen between us and voting.
 

HomerJS

Lifer
Feb 6, 2002
26,715
12,050
136
It's not like we don't have quite some similarities with our system over here in Germany, but in the US it seems much more pronounced, so I'm curious:

Why do these PACs and Super-PACs exist? Isn't that essentially bribery, buying into someone's campaign and then expecting special treatment when this person is in office, be it governor, president, judge...?

Why is there a need for electors? There are (albeit few) cases where one candidate gets the overall popular vote but the other one gets the electoral vote. That is simply not right, isn't it? Why not make it simple, ditch the electoral college and middle-men altogether and just count the votes. Who has the most, wins.
And especially no "winner takes it all". What purpose does that serve aside from skewing the will of part of the electorate, treating them as if they had never voted in the first place?
Because a few rich people hate the fact that millions of others gets to vote.
 

Fern

Elite Member
Super Moderator
Sep 30, 2003
26,907
173
106
Actually that rule doesnt exist. They could in theory vote opposite popular vote of the state. But in practice i do not believe it has happened very often if at all.
Alright, you made me go look it up:

Are there restrictions on who the Electors can vote for?

There is no Constitutional provision or Federal law that requires Electors to vote according to the results of the popular vote in their States. Some States, however, require Electors to cast their votes according to the popular vote. These pledges fall into two categories—Electors bound by State law and those bound by pledges to political parties.

The U.S. Supreme Court has held that the Constitution does not require that Electors be completely free to act as they choose and therefore, political parties may extract pledges from electors to vote for the parties’ nominees. Some State laws provide that so-called "faithless Electors"; may be subject to fines or may be disqualified for casting an invalid vote and be replaced by a substitute elector. The Supreme Court has not specifically ruled on the question of whether pledges and penalties for failure to vote as pledged may be enforced under the Constitution. No Elector has ever been prosecuted for failing to vote as pledged.

Today, it is rare for Electors to disregard the popular vote by casting their electoral vote for someone other than their party’s candidate. Electors generally hold a leadership position in their party or were chosen to recognize years of loyal service to the party. Throughout our history as a nation, more than 99 percent of Electors have voted as pledged.
http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/electoral-college/electors.html#selection

Fern
 

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