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Electoral College Reform


footmaster

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What gets me is how many people tend to believe that their vote still really matters in today's political environment. It doesn't carry much weight because of the stupid electoral college and all the gerrymandering of districts...

I can tell you that the election will be decided by states like Ohio, Florida and Pennsylvania again as always... If you don't live there, it's sadly almost a "why bother" situation. Ky will go Republican and so will Texas... California and New York will go Democrat, etc...

 

Electoral College has passed its usefulness IMO... Why do all of Ky's electoral votes have to go Republican when the popular vote is like a 60-40 split? Same in California, even a 51-49 split means all votes will still go to Democrats.. It's stupid...

 

This is exactly why as Spindoc pointed out, turnout to polls is really low... People feel helpless and that it's hopeless.

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I might not vote again until or if the Electoral College is ever revamped.

 

I don't think we have to literally go to a "popular vote" system entirely... But what's wrong with splitting electoral votes based on the percentages?

 

Why can't a State with 9 electoral votes be split 6-3 or 5-4?

Why can't 55 electoral votes be split 35-20 if that's how the State's population actually voted?

 

Heck in many States, the Electoral voter can vote for whoever they want, regardless of the population's decision... Rarely happens, but could and that's rediculous IMO.

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I would be all for a 1 County, 1 vote election. In every state, each candidate receives 1 vote for every County/Parish/Borough he or she wins. There are 3,144 of them, so theoretically, there could be a tie. I've no idea how we would solve that dilemma.

 

Coin flip?! :)

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I might not vote again until or if the Electoral College is ever revamped.

 

I don't think we have to literally go to a "popular vote" system entirely... But what's wrong with splitting electoral votes based on the percentages?

 

Why can't a State with 9 electoral votes be split 6-3 or 5-4?

Why can't 55 electoral votes be split 35-20 if that's how the State's population actually voted?

 

Heck in many States, the Electoral voter can vote for whoever they want, regardless of the population's decision... Rarely happens, but could and that's rediculous IMO.

 

Maybe another thread topic, but I don't see the need for the Electoral College. For those who do see the need, tell me why. Maybe I am missing something but in many states the presidential election is decided before it starts. In California a democratic guy named Charles Manson would beat a republican guy named Jesus Christ. Vice versa for Texas. Why would a politician even bother spending time or ad money in states like that??

 

As to UKMF's question, I am not to that point yet. However, I do see one party now as really bad and the other as just a little less bad...

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Election reform would be nice. Split the electoral college votes. Condense these primaries into 2 stages so all states' voices are important. Heck KY, Mizzou, TN could maybe give Rand a chance, but he will be out by that time. I'm not a Rand fan. He is just an example.

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The problem I see with condensing the primaries is that candidates evolve as the campaign goes on. If everything is decided too early, a guy like Jeb Bush, who got all the early press, could just walk away with the nomination and we would never see the candidate evolution process as the slate is whittled down.

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The problem I see with condensing the primaries is that candidates evolve as the campaign goes on. If everything is decided too early, a guy like Jeb Bush, who got all the early press, could just walk away with the nomination and we would never see the candidate evolution process as the slate is whittled down.

 

I think the better solution would be to rotate which states went first each primary year. It seems silly that Iowa and New Hampshire have such a big influence on our next president every primary season.

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I just don't think there's a very good argument to be made in favor of the Electoral College other than posterity. And it was designed to function much differently than it does now.

 

A straight popular vote with a runoff election between the top two if no candidate reaches 50% would be a substantial improvement. It would get more people invested in voting and it would weaken the two-party stranglehold on our democracy.

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I just don't think there's a very good argument to be made in favor of the Electoral College other than posterity. And it was designed to function much differently than it does now.

 

A straight popular vote with a runoff election between the top two if no candidate reaches 50% would be a substantial improvement. It would get more people invested in voting and it would weaken the two-party stranglehold on our democracy.

 

I don't like the idea for a straight popular vote because that isn't how our system was set up for president. The reason behind it is to limit mob rule. Congressional districts seems interesting.

 

Remember we aren't a democracy , we are a democratic republic.

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I don't like the idea for a straight popular vote because that isn't how our system was set up for president. The reason behind it is to limit mob rule. Congressional districts seems interesting.

 

Remember we aren't a democracy , we are a democratic republic.

 

That's like saying "it's not a car, it's a Toyota Camry." :lol2:

 

At any rate, I've made this case on here before, but here goes again.

 

The main problem with the Electoral College is that it obscures the popular will of the citizens for no good reason. Many claim the Electoral College is good simply because the Framer’s designed it, but there are two problems with that reasoning. The first is the Electoral College doesn't function the way it was designed any longer.

 

The second is the assumption there was a grand intentionality behind everything in the constitution, and thus we ought not to tamper with it, is misguided. Like most things in the Constitution, the Electoral College was born of compromise between competing ideas, particularly ideas that were specific to that time period. Madison also notes that the system was created in a bit of a rush, and perhaps suffered because of it (He later goes on to label this part the “faulty part of the Constitution”):

 

The difficulty of finding an unexceptionable process for appointing the Executive Organ of a Government such as that of the U.S. was deeply felt by the Convention; and as the final arrangement of it took place in the latter stage of the Session, it was not exempt from a degree of the hurrying influence produced by fatigue and impatience in all such Bodies, tho' the degree was much less than usually prevails in them.

 

However, its intention of being a mechanism of indirect election is clear. Hamilton wrote in Federalist 68 that the Electoral College would allow people to have some say, but the electors would be the wise men who made the final choice:

 

It was desirable that the sense of the people should operate in the choice of the person to whom so important a trust was to be confided. This end will be answered by committing the right of making it, not to any preestablished body, but to men chosen by the people for the special purpose, and at the particular conjuncture.

 

It was equally desirable, that the immediate election should be made by men most capable of analyzing the qualities adapted to the station, and acting under circumstances favorable to deliberation, and to a judicious combination of all the reasons and inducements which were proper to govern their choice. A small number of persons, selected by their fellow-citizens from the general mass, will be most likely to possess the information and discernment requisite to such complicated investigations.

 

Thus it is clear from Hamilton that the idea of the Electoral College would be to allow the intelligent and objective among the citizens to choose the president, rather than have the citizens choose the president themselves. Yet, the Electoral College has not functioned this way since the first few elections, or for almost 200 years. (There's even some evidence that many from the founding period expected no one would win a majority in the Electoral College, thus the House would appoint the president and the Electoral College would simply serve as a nomination tool.)

 

Additionally, Madison also reasons that the Electoral College solved a problem brought on by slavery, saying that the system allowing electors to choose the president made the most sense because of the disparity between suffrage in the North and the slaveholding South:

 

The people generally could only know& vote for some Citizen whose merits had rendered him an object of general attention & esteem. There was one difficulty however of a serious nature attending an immediate choice by the people. The right of suffrage was much more diffusive in the Northern than the Southern States; and the latter could have no influence in the election on the score of the Negroes. The substitution of electors obviated this difficulty and seemed on the whole to be liable to the fewest objections.

 

Today, these things are most certainly changed. Again, Electors are no longer the wise who decide amongst themselves who should be president, but are simply the rubber stamps of the votes of the people of each state. And universal suffrage has been achieved, thus the Electoral College no longer needs to balance the disparities between the North and the South on that measure.

 

So, the essence of the Electoral College is gone as the president is nearly directly elected at this point. The Electoral College now simply masks the popular will of the people by dividing it along state lines. Jefferson’s critique of the system is still relevant today: “The contrivance in the Constitution for marking the votes works badly, because it does not enounce precisely the true expression of the public will.”

 

It was never a perfect system, it's reasons for existence are archaic, we admit that citizens are perfectly capable of choosing their representatives, and thus there are surely better and simpler ways of electing the president.

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We might've hit on a subject here that many on the Right and the Left can agree on... The Electoral College system needs to be revamped...

 

Question is: in what way?

 

I think as I stated before... At least split some Electoral votes... One party shouldn't get a sweep of a State unless they actually swept the State IMO...

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