Skip to comments.(Vanity) Is there a threat to the electoral process?
Posted on 06/03/2010 1:02:32 PM PDT by the OlLine Rebel
I heard something on the talk-radio news today, but could not hear it completely. It sounded as if someone in Congress is sending up a bill to eliminate the Electoral College process for presidential elections? I cannot find this anywhere yet. Does anyone know of this or similar story?
I got really angry when I thought I heard they want to delete it and really are trying.
Yes there is but don’t worry, someone will be along shortly to tell you to go back to sleep with claims that its unconstitutional. (it is unconstitutional but I don’t see that standing in the way of much else these days)
Back in 2000, hellary came out for doing away with the EC.
LOTS of things are unconstitutional, starting with Income Tax. Hasn’t stopped anyone for a century of “progress”.
Much ado about nothing. It would take a Constitutional Amendment to get rid of the EC, and that’s just not going to happen.
The interstate voting compact is a sidestep of the constitution. Its done on a state level so the US constition doesn’t come into play.
Basically its an agreement between states to combine popular vote numbers and give the win to whoever gets the popular vote that way.
If one compact member votes one way and enough of the other members vote another, that first state’s electoral vote will go with the overall winner despite the way the people voted.
If it’s just these guys, they’re trying to do an end-run around the Electoral College by “guaranteeing” the Electoral College reflects the popular (i.e., numbers majority) vote.
Which means, they’re trying to undermine it. They’ll leave the “electoral college” in there, but in truth it’ll be completely moot.
So why not just work to eliminate it altogether?
Oh, I know - then it would look like we just ditched the Constitution again.
Always try to make it look acceptable.
Oh, I know how idiot communist MD changed its plans - to “vote with the majority in the nation overall”. This is asinine. So everyone will wait until the whole election is done before “committing” so-called electoral votes? The “wait & see” approach?
Always trying to make it look both ways - they’re not changing the Constitution (oh no!), just working within it.
The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).
Every vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in presidential elections. Candidates would need to care about voters across the nation, not just undecided voters in a handful of swing states.
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 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. The National Popular Vote bill does not try to abolish the Electoral College, which would need a constitutional amendment, and could be stopped by states with as little as 3% of the U.S. population. Historically, virtually all of the major changes in the method of electing the President (for example, ending the requirement that only men who owned substantial property could vote) have come about without federal constitutional amendments, by state legislative action.
The bill has been endorsed or voted for by over 1,885 state legislators (in 50 states) who have sponsored and/or cast recorded votes in favor of the bill.
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%, 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%, Maine — 77%, Nebraska — 74%, New Hampshire —69%, Nevada — 72%, New Mexico — 76%, Rhode Island — 74%, and Vermont — 75%; in Southern and border states: Arkansas —80%, Kentucky — 80%, Mississippi —77%, Missouri — 70%, North Carolina — 74%, and Virginia — 74%; and in other states polled: California — 70%, Connecticut — 74% , Massachusetts — 73%, Minnesota — 75%, New York — 79%, Washington — 77%, and West Virginia- 81%.
The National Popular Vote bill has passed 29 state legislative chambers, in 19 small, medium-small, medium, and large states, including one house in Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, 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 Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, Maryland, and Washington. These five states possess 61 electoral votes — 23% of the 270 necessary to bring the law into effect.
The current system of electing the president ensures that the candidates do not reach out to all of the states. Presidential candidates concentrate their attention on a handful of closely divided “battleground” states. In 2008, candidates concentrated over two-thirds of their campaign events and ad money in just six 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 four states (Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania and Virginia). In 2004, candidates concentrated over two-thirds of their money and campaign visits in five states; over 80% in nine states; and over 99% of their money in 16 states, and candidates concentrated over two-thirds of their money and campaign visits in five states and over 99% of their money in 16 states.
Two-thirds of the states and people have been merely spectators to the presidential elections.
Candidates have no reason to poll, visit, advertise, organize, campaign, or worry about the voter concerns in states where they are safely ahead or hopelessly behind. The reason for this is the state-by-state winner-take-all rule enacted by 48 states, under which all of a state’s electoral votes are awarded to the candidate who gets the most votes in each separate state.
Another shortcoming of the current system is that a candidate can win the Presidency without winning the most popular votes nationwide. This has occurred in one of every 14 presidential elections.
In the past six decades, there have been six presidential elections in which a shift of a relatively small number of votes in one or two states would have elected (and, in 2000, did elect) a presidential candidate who lost the popular vote nationwide.
Looking at your posting history you sure seem to support this?
“Candidates would need to care about voters across the nation”
They’d only “need” to go to the big (welfare) cities. Well, actually, no-one would need to do anything. Dems are safe there and Repubs can’t catch a break.
No other place outside big welfare cities would count.
THAT is why we have the electoral principle.
The population of the top five cities (New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston and Philadelphia) is only 6% of the population of the United States and the population of the top 50 cities is only 19% of the population of the United States.
If the National Popular Vote bill were to become law, it would not change the need for candidates to build a winning coalition across demographics. Any candidate who yielded, for example, the 21% of Americans who live in rural areas in favor of a “big city” approach would not likely win the national popular vote. Candidates would still have to appeal to a broad range of demographics, and perhaps even more so, because the election wouldn’t be capable of coming down to just one demographic, such as voters in Ohio.
You are assuming the population % is the same as the VOTER %.
Clearly it doesn’t hold water. Look at the “divided” national elections. See where all the “blue” is? All the cities. Tiny spots hold great power.
In any case, this is just an end-run around the Constitution. You’re simply trying to eliminate the Electoral College by default (let’s say, “castrate it”) while being able to say you didn’t change the Constitution. Even though the concept of Electoral College is in there. In your way.
The Founding Fathers only said in the U.S. Constitution about presidential elections (only after debating among 60 ballots for choosing a method): “Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors . . .” The U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly characterized the authority of the state legislatures over the manner of awarding their electoral votes as “plenary” and “exclusive.”
Neither of the two most important features of the current system of electing the President (namely, universal suffrage, and the 48 state-by-state winner-take-all rule) are in the U.S. Constitution. Neither was the choice of the Founders when they went back to their states to organize the nation’s first presidential election.
In 1789, in the nation’s first election, the people had no vote for President in most states, Only men who owned a substantial amount of property could vote.
In 1789 only three states used the state-by-state winner-take-all rule to award electoral votes.
There is no valid argument that the winner-take-all rule is entitled to any special deference based on history or the historical meaning of the words in the U.S. Constitution. The current 48 state-by-state winner-take-all rule (i.e., awarding all of a state’s electoral votes to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in a particular state) is not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, the debates of the Constitutional Convention, or the Federalist Papers. The actions taken by the Founding Fathers make it clear that they never gave their imprimatur to the winner-take-all rule.
As a result of changes in state laws enacted since 1789, the people have the right to vote for presidential electors in 100% of the states, there are no property requirements for voting in any state, and the state-by-state winner-take-all rule is used by 48 of the 50 states.
Massachusetts has exercised its power to change its system of awarding its electoral votes on 10 different occasions. In 1789, the Massachusetts legislature, in effect, chose the states presidential electors. In 1792, the voters were allowed to elect presidential electors in four multi-member regional districts. Then, the voters picked electors by congressional districts (with the legislature choosing the states remaining two electors). Shortly thereafter, the legislature took back the power to pick all the presidential electors (excluding the voters entirely). Later, the voters picked electors on a statewide basis using the winner-take-all rule. Then, the legislature again decided to pick the electors itself, followed by the voters using districts, followed by another return to legislative choice, followed again by the voters using districts, and, finally, the present-day statewide winner-take-all rule.
Will you please stop just copying & pasting from your website?
There is a REASON for Electors. Otherwise, it would be a DIRECT DEMOCRACY already, specifying that the president shall be elected by popular vote at large, which is really what you want to do. Without saying so, of course.
BTW, I love how that site side-steps the issue. The issue is NOT “winner-take-all” electoral votes. It is electoral college at all.
National Popular Vote has nothing to do with whether the country has a “republican” form of government or is a “democracy.”
A “republican” form of government means that the voters do not make laws themselves but, instead, delegate the job to periodically elected officials (Congressmen, Senators, and the President). The United States has a “republican” form of government regardless of whether popular votes for presidential electors are tallied at the state-level (as has been the case in 48 states) or at district-level (as has been the case in Maine and Nebraska) or at 50-state-level (as under the National Popular Vote bill).
National Popular Vote did not invent popular elections. Having election results determined by the candidate getting the most individual votes is not some scary, untested idea loaded with unintended consequences. This bill does not eliminate the electoral college. It does not overlook any state, it does not disenfranchise voters. It does not ignore votes. It gives a voice to the minority party in those states where elections are seen as a foregone conclusion.
It adds up votes of all voters and the candidate with the most popular votes wins, as in virtually every other election in the country.
You’re doing it again. I’ve already read your website talking points.
Exactly - it doesn’t OFFICIALLY eliminate the electoral college. It just castrates it and makes it moot.
the EC has worked for 200 years, no need to change it.
is Gore still pissed or something??? :)
In the EC system, every state counts...a few small states EV’s can add up and be crucial in a tight race.
In a popular vote system, it will simply become a race for the high population centers (New England, Great Lakes, East Coast, Texas, California) While the small states get the shaft (mostly blue states).
The income tax is a lot of bad things, but unconstitutional is not one of them.
The EC is a Constitutional issue. States can not simply circumvent via compact or back room deals. You can’t claim the 10th amendment in an attempt to circument the Constitution. The States must respect Constitutional laws and Federal powers.
Simply pass an amendment changing the EC....that will do the trick.
I smell a court fight.
Oh really? Tell me how.
Frankly I don’t care what the SC at the time thinks. The Founders did not intend for such travesty, because it smacks of “equalizing” and punishing people for producing.
First off, what the Founders thought is irrelevant, because the Constitution was amended in 1913 by the 16th Amendment. Second, as a matter of history, several of the states had income taxes as early as the 1780s, and James Madison, the "Father of the Constitution," proposed a federal income tax to pay for the War of 1812 (the war ended before Congress voted on that proposal).
I don’t think what they thought is irrelevent at all! That is the thinking of the “Living Document” fools. They want to interpret it any way they wish and disregard the context in which it was written. They made sure they included many things and excluded others for a reason.
States having IT is another matter for debate. Federal is different - and IIRC what you state was supposed to be “temporary” (as if that would really happen, but one never knows), as I believe was also proposed/instituted several times over the decades.
The Constitution was amended in 1913-- that's why the Founders' thoughts on this topic are irrelevant. The "living document fools" are the ones who want to change the Constitution without amending it.
I know your premise. Sorry, but just because an amendment managed to pass, and some SC members thought it was OK (much as so many today think various communist policies are fine & dandy), doesn’t make it truly “constitutional” in the spirit of the document.
So slavery is still legal? And John McCain is the Vice president?
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