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Innovator Devises Way Around Electoral College

 
 
Reply Fri 22 Sep, 2006 09:57 am
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BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Sep, 2006 10:02 am
Finally a way to reform the Electoral College
Finally a way to reform the Electoral College:

http://www.able2know.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=69849&highlight=electoral+college
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BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  1  
Reply Sat 31 Mar, 2007 10:14 am
Maryland Senate Advances Bill to Dodge Electoral College
Maryland Senate Advances Bill to Dodge Electoral College
By John Wagner and Ovetta Wiggins
The Washington Post
Thursday 29 March 2007

Maryland is poised to become the first state to agree to bypass the electoral college and effectively elect U.S. presidents by national popular vote under legislation moving briskly toward the desk of Gov. Martin O'Malley (D).

But the bill comes with a big caveat: It would not take effect until enough other states agree to do the same. "It's a long way from home," said Senate President Thomas Mike V. Miller Jr. (D-Calvert). "I don't know if it will happen in my lifetime."

The bill, which the Senate approved 29 to 17 yesterday, would award the state's 10 electoral votes to the presidential candidate who wins the most votes nationwide - not statewide. A similar bill was approved yesterday by a House committee and is expected to come before the full chamber today, and O'Malley signaled his backing.

Supporters of the measure, being championed by a national nonprofit group, say deciding elections by popular vote would give candidates reason to campaign nationwide and not concentrate their efforts in "battleground" states, such as Florida and Ohio, that have dominated recent elections.

Moreover, the supporters argue, such a system would prevent rare occasions, such as President Bush's 2000 victory over Al Gore, in which a candidate who wins the popular vote does not prevail in the electoral college, a fixture in U.S. elections since the nation's founding.

"Maryland could lead a national movement to popular election of a president," said Sen. Jamie B. Raskin (D-Montgomery), a freshman lawmaker leading the charge, after the hearing.

But even some of those who voted for the measure had doubts about how soon enough other states would come on board. The agreement would not take effect until states that cumulatively hold 270 electoral votes - the number needed to win a presidential election - sign on.

California lawmakers passed a version of the bill last year, but it was vetoed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R). This year, lawmakers in one chamber of the Arkansas, Hawaii and Colorado legislatures have approved such a measure, but it has not yet made it through the other chamber, according to National Popular Vote Inc., the California-based group pushing the idea.

Ryan O'Donnell, a spokesman for the group, said lawmakers in Maryland have been receptive because it is "the classic spectator state" in presidential politics.

"I think Maryland voters are tired of being ignored, and lawmakers are reacting to that," O'Donnell said.

O'Malley spokesman Rick Abbruzzese said the governor would sign the bill if it reached his desk. "He supports it, because every voter counts, and every vote should count equally," Abbruzzese said.

In another bid to become more relevant in presidential elections, Maryland lawmakers have passed legislation to move the state's 2008 primary to Feb. 12 from March 4.

Past talk about electing presidents by a national popular vote has centered on amending the U.S. Constitution, a cumbersome process that could take years. In theory, the nonprofit group's plan could be adopted more quickly.

Under the proposal, the electoral college would continue to exist but would function far differently.

Most states currently award all their electoral votes - a number equal to the size of a state's congressional delegation - to the candidate who wins the most votes in the state.

The proposal calls on states to award their electoral votes to the candidate with the highest vote count nationally. If enough states do that, the candidate with the most votes nationally would be guaranteed to win the election.

In addition to 2000, there have been three occasions when the winner of the popular vote did not prevail: 1824, 1876 and 1888.

Some lawmakers argued yesterday that a popular-vote plan could become unwieldy if the national count is close.

Sen. Michael G. Lenett (D-Montgomery) predicted "mass chaos" if a national recount were necessary. "While the electoral college is not flawless, the alternative might be worse," he said.

Lenett also said the system proposed could just switch the target for candidates from closely divided states to large cities with many voters - a scenario that would not necessarily empower Maryland.

Lenett was among three Democrats who joined all 14 of the Senate's Republicans in voting against the measure.

Sen. Andrew P. Harris (R-Baltimore County) told his colleagues that they were moving too hastily. "Sometimes it's good being the first on the bandwagon, sometimes it's not."

The Senate vote sparked almost immediate action from the House Ways and Means Committee, which had been holding the bill until the other chamber acted. The panel voted along party lines to send the bill to the floor.

House Speaker Michael E. Busch (D-Anne Arundel) said the legislation would pass by the end of the week. "It obviously gives Maryland more of a voice in a national election," he said. "The last couple of elections, the candidates have concentrated all their efforts in the two or three states that are going to decide the election."
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sat 31 Mar, 2007 11:32 am
I disagree that the Electoral College should be scrapped. The Constitution seeks to both protect the majority from the special interests of powerful minorities, and it seeks to protect minorities from the tyranny of mere majority. Were there no electoral college, the most populace states would consistently and predictably elect the President, and in any case where the winning candidate were not the choice of states with sparse populations--such as western states like Wyoming or Montana, and including farm states such as Iowa and Kansas--those minorities who constitute their populations would be marginalized and effectively disfranchised.

For an example, in 1876, Rutherford Hayes won the election in the electoral college, by a single electoral vote. Samuel Tilden, his Democratic opponent, polled more than a quarter of million more votes, but only won 17 states. Hayes won fewer popular votes, but won in 21 states. The majority of votes for Hayes came from sparsely populated states--"farm" states. Although Tilden polled well in some "farm states," these were entirely southern states who, only a decade after the Civil War, would not vote for any Republican, and who would vote for almost any Democrat. Indiana and West Virginia were the only agricultural states which voted for Tilden which were not southern states. The vast majority of Tilden's votes came from heavily-populated northern (principally northeastern) states. Had Tilden been elected strictly on a popular vote basis, his constituency would have been either urban or white racist. Not an appealing prospect as far as i'm concerned, and one which would have largely marginalized the western voters (only Texas, Arkansas and Missouri voted for the Democrat), and the voters in the farm states of the old Northwest territory.

Keep the electoral college--more equity could be gained by the several states enacting ordinances to apportion electoral votes by the popular vote result, with the two "extra" electoral votes going to the popular vote winner in each state.
0 Replies
 
BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  1  
Reply Sat 31 Mar, 2007 11:50 am
Setanta
Setanta, I don't agree that the Electoral College was created to protect the smaller states. I think that was the "wrapping in the flag" excuse to persuade the founders that the reason was noble, not racist. The size of the states were very different at the time of the founding than today.

Would you agree that a reading of the real history indicates that the Electoral College was approved in the Constitution to cause the southern states to ratify it for the purpose of maintaining slavery? In addition, "Negroes" were not given the same count as whites in determining state representation.

Isn't it time that we based our election system on today's world, not the slave issue at the time of the founding?

BBB
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sat 31 Mar, 2007 12:43 pm
The "big" states at the time of the Revolution were Virginia (a slave state), Pennsylvania (not a slave state) and Massachusetts (not a slave state). The "small" states were lead by New York and New Jersey. The creation of the Senate, the constitutional authority to approve executive branch appointments and to ratify treaties by the Senate, and the electoral college were all concessions made to "small" states, most of which were not slave states. The three-fifths compromise which allowed 60% of slaves to be counted for the purposes of determining the number of representatives to which a state was entitled was the sop thrown to the slave states for their adherence to the Constitution.

It is completely false to claim that the electoral college was created to appease the slave states. The electoral college and the Senate were the means by which the small states were convinced to accept the government created by the Constitution. In the Continental Congress, all states had had an equal vote, and the Senate and the electoral college were the compromises which convinced the small states to join the government created by the Constitution, despite the proportional representation of the House of Representatives. It also important to consider that originally, Senators were not popularly elected, but were appointed by the states. These shifts were the means by which the small states protected their "sovereignty."
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BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  1  
Reply Sat 31 Mar, 2007 01:03 pm
Setanta
Setanta, you identified the reason for Electoral College protection of the small states at the time of the founding. Those conditions are largely changed from those days as noted by you as New York and New Jersey.
Our populations have gown and shifted from the founding configeration.

Our communication and travel is not the same as it was at the time of the founders. We don't need electorates because of the difficulty of large numbers of people traveling to vote. The small states can participate as well as the larger ones. In fact, it's easier and less expensive to campaign in small states than large. In more recent times, the small states made sure their interests were protected by having early presidential primaries. In fact, they have effectively decided each party's candidates leaving the large states with later primaries without a real influence in the choices. That's why some of the large states are moving their primaries forward. they are tired of small state (mostly conservative) domination of choices.

Each state, regardless of it's size, has two senators who are capable of attending to their state's interests and are much more powerful than the state populations base of the House. The protection of small state interests is no longer valid as the basis of the Electoral College. Why should voters in large states have less interest protection than small states? The Southern states used the Electoral College system to dominate the House and Senate and the Presidency. It's time to end the unfairness.

BBB
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sat 31 Mar, 2007 02:42 pm
I disagree with you that the protection of sparsely-populated states is no longer an issue. If the population centers of the Washington to Boston corridor, and the San Francisco to San Diego corridor, along with Chicago-Milwaukee and the many medium population centers of Ohio, as well as urban areas elsewhere control the election of the executive, it will take no time at all for states with rural and farming concerns to be disfranchised with regard to the Presidential election. Perhaps we should should just agree that we disagree.
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Baldimo
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Apr, 2007 08:21 am
Setanta wrote:
I disagree with you that the protection of sparsely-populated states is no longer an issue. If the population centers of the Washington to Boston corridor, and the San Francisco to San Diego corridor, along with Chicago-Milwaukee and the many medium population centers of Ohio, as well as urban areas elsewhere control the election of the executive, it will take no time at all for states with rural and farming concerns to be disfranchised with regard to the Presidential election. Perhaps we should should just agree that we disagree.


I... I... I... agree with you.

If we disbanded the Electoral College the elections would be won by the dense population centers. The smaller states would have almost no say in who was elected president.
0 Replies
 
BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Apr, 2007 09:22 am
[quote="Baldimo - If we disbanded the Electoral College the elections would be won by the dense population centers. The smaller states would have almost no say in who was elected president.[/quote]

That might happen only if the Electoral College remains. If presidential voting were based on one person, one vote, with the winner of the popular vote, each person's vote would determine the outcome instead of state by state majority, which steals the vote of the minority and undemocratically gives it to the majority. Why should the presidential election be different from that of Senate and House elections? How does that protect the interests of the small states? Their rights are protected via state by state Senate and House voting and county by county voting. That's what they need to protect their interests.

I was furious when my vote in the last two elections was given to the man I didn't want elected due to the Electrol College. To me, that means I was disenfranchised and my vote was stolen from me. The popular vote should determine the election outcome, not an out of date Electoral College.

Can anyone tell me what small state interests would not be protected by one person, one vote popular vote for president/vice-president? It wouldn't deprive them of the same options as voters in large states. In today's world, everyone in every state regardless of size, is inundated by election information. I now live in a smaller state and have never had a presidential candidate shake my hand while campaigning in it. I don't need that contact to decide whom to support. That excuse for maintaining the Electoral College is a sham in today's world.

BBB
0 Replies
 
McGentrix
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Apr, 2007 09:27 am
Bush won the popular vote in 2004.

Candidate Votes % States led National ECV
George W. Bush 62,040,610 50.73 31 286
John Kerry 59,028,444 48.27 19+DC 251
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BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Apr, 2007 09:44 am
McGentrix wrote:
Bush won the popular vote in 2004.

Candidate Votes % States led National ECV
George W. Bush 62,040,610 50.73 31 286
John Kerry 59,028,444 48.27 19+DC 251


I know Bush won the popular vote in 2004, McG. I can sadly accept that. It was my 2000 vote that was stolen from me that I object to. Gore won the popular vote. If the one person, one vote had prevailed in 2000, Bush's popular vote victory in 2004 would not have happened.

If the electoral College (and the Supreme Court) had not made it possible for Bush to be selected in 2000, we would not be at war in Iraq.

BBB
0 Replies
 
fishin
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Apr, 2007 09:48 am
BumbleBeeBoogie wrote:
McGentrix wrote:
Bush won the popular vote in 2004.

Candidate Votes % States led National ECV
George W. Bush 62,040,610 50.73 31 286
John Kerry 59,028,444 48.27 19+DC 251


I know Bush won the popular vote in 2004, McG. I can sadly accept that. It was my 2000 vote that was stolen from me that I object to. Gore won the popular vote. If the one person, one vote had prevailed in 2000, Bush's popular vote victory in 2004 would not have happened.

If the electoral College (and the Supreme Court) had not made it possible for Bush to be selected in 2000, we would not be at war in Iraq.

BBB


Based on the margin in the 2000 election we'd STILL be recounting ballots to decide who had won it. In a nationwide popular vote every single ballot would be recounted over and over again in any close race.
0 Replies
 
BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Apr, 2007 09:57 am
[quote="fishin - Based on the margin in the 2000 election we'd STILL be recounting ballots to decide who had won it. In a nationwide popular vote every single ballot would be recounted over and over again in any close race.[/quote]

If the election had been determined by the popular vote, the 2000 recount would not have happened. It only happened because of the Electoral College system.

Your argument is another sham offered by supportors of the unfair Electoral College to scare people. Only contested voting outcomes would require recounts. Some close vote recounts are required by state's laws. Other contested outcomes would occur under the Electoral College or the popular vote. Recounts would not be more common under a popular vote than under the Electoral College. In fact, there would probably be fewer because the stakes would not be so high as a dispute in one state determining the entire outcome.

BBB
0 Replies
 
McGentrix
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Apr, 2007 10:04 am
It was a bit more complicated then "If the electoral College (and the Supreme Court) had not made it possible for Bush to be selected in 2000, "
0 Replies
 
fishin
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Apr, 2007 10:18 am
BumbleBeeBoogie wrote:
If the election had been determined by the popular vote, the 2000 recount would not have happened. It only happened because of the Electoral College system.

Your argument is another sham offered by supportors of the unfair Electoral College to scare people. Only contested voting outcomes would require recounts. Some close vote recounts are required by state's laws. Other contested outcomes would occur under the Electoral College or the popular vote. Recounts would not be more common under a popular vote than under the Electoral College. In fact, there would probably be fewer because the stakes would not be so high as a dispute in one state determining the entire outcome.

BBB


Nonsense. You should think about what you are about to say before posting. You are arguing against your own position. If it is a close National popular vote then every single precinct becomes "contested".

The only reason they aren't now is because the total vote doesn't matter as long as the candidate takes the EC delegates. With the EC if they are close in NY or FL then that is where they'd want a recount. There is no point in asking for a recount in a state you've already won.

Under a national popular vote system, if a candidate is behind by 500,000 votes nationally then what prevents them from seeking a recount in every single precinct across the country in an attempt to find 500,001 missed votes? Absolutely nothing...
0 Replies
 
BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Apr, 2007 10:29 am
fishin
Fishin, it is you who are making up sham arguments of fantasy exaggeration.

Only well-founded contested votes are recounted regardless of the system.

BBB
0 Replies
 
fishin
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Apr, 2007 10:36 am
Re: fishin
BumbleBeeBoogie wrote:
Fishin, it is you who are making up sham arguments of fantasy exaggeration.

Only well-founded contested votes are recounted regardless of the system.

BBB


lol Really? Since we have never had a national popular vote for President how can you say that only "well-founded contested" votes are recounted? You are making things up out of thin air.

You entire concept rests on a popular vote that operates under an EC recount system. What possible rationale is there to assume that such a thing would work that way? No one in their right mind would come to that conclusion.

The sham here is your's. Your concept is pure delusion.
0 Replies
 
BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Apr, 2007 10:52 am
fishin
Fishin, what is the extent of your studying of the Electoral College system?

I, for one, have been studying it for many years.

BBB
0 Replies
 
fishin
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Apr, 2007 11:00 am
Re: fishin
BumbleBeeBoogie wrote:
Fishin, what is the extent of your studying of the Electoral College system?

I, for one, have been studying it for many years.

BBB


Great! You've been studying it for years. When are you going to start understanding it? And when are you going to start thinking through all of the implications of eliminating it?

Your comments reveal that you haven't done either.
0 Replies
 
 

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