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Thu Oct 25, 2012, 11:05 PM

 

End around the electoral college

Presently, a 3/4 vote by the states is required to do away with the electoral college. Not gonna happen, right?

Well, as explained by Mo Rocca on L'OD tonight, there's an "end around" that would guarantee the candidate receiving the most popular votes wins the presidency.

Here's how it works. First, states have to enact the National Popular Vote Bill. Then, all of a state's electoral votes will be awarded to the winner of the popular vote. For instance, in 2000, Gore won the popular vote. As a result, states that had enacted the bill would award all of their electoral votes to Gore.

Here's how it differs. OH went for Bush in 2000. However, had OH enacted the bill, their electoral votes would have gone to Gore, winner of the popular vote.

As of now, 9 states representing 132 electoral votes -- that's 49% of the 270 needed -- have enacted the bill.

In 12 other states, the bill has passed either one (10) or both houses (2). These 21 states (that's 42% of 50) account for 243 electoral votes.

TX or FL alone would put it over the top. PA AND, say, CT would, as well.

As you can see, it *IS* possible that about 50% or so of the states can change the electoral process.

Sign the petition!
http://www.nationalpopularvote.com/


47 replies, 3522 views

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Arrow 47 replies Author Time Post
Reply End around the electoral college (Original post)
WhaTHellsgoingonhere Oct 2012 OP
hrmjustin Oct 2012 #1
Doc_Technical Oct 2012 #4
Astazia Oct 2012 #2
Drunken Irishman Oct 2012 #3
WhaTHellsgoingonhere Oct 2012 #5
Drunken Irishman Oct 2012 #7
WhaTHellsgoingonhere Oct 2012 #9
Beartracks Oct 2012 #6
ReasonableToo Oct 2012 #13
WhaTHellsgoingonhere Oct 2012 #14
Stellar Oct 2012 #39
Comrade_McKenzie Oct 2012 #8
onenote Oct 2012 #10
WhaTHellsgoingonhere Oct 2012 #11
onenote Oct 2012 #45
bhikkhu Oct 2012 #12
RudynJack Oct 2012 #15
WhaTHellsgoingonhere Oct 2012 #16
RudynJack Oct 2012 #17
WhaTHellsgoingonhere Oct 2012 #19
RudynJack Oct 2012 #20
WhaTHellsgoingonhere Oct 2012 #22
RudynJack Oct 2012 #23
WhaTHellsgoingonhere Oct 2012 #25
RudynJack Oct 2012 #26
CreekDog Oct 2012 #28
WhaTHellsgoingonhere Oct 2012 #32
CreekDog Oct 2012 #33
WhaTHellsgoingonhere Oct 2012 #37
RudynJack Oct 2012 #47
sorosland64 Oct 2012 #18
PoliticAverse Oct 2012 #21
WhaTHellsgoingonhere Oct 2012 #24
davidn3600 Oct 2012 #30
WhaTHellsgoingonhere Oct 2012 #36
CreekDog Oct 2012 #27
WhaTHellsgoingonhere Oct 2012 #38
CreekDog Oct 2012 #40
WhaTHellsgoingonhere Oct 2012 #46
davidn3600 Oct 2012 #29
WhaTHellsgoingonhere Oct 2012 #34
CreekDog Oct 2012 #44
AndyTiedye Oct 2012 #31
cthulu2016 Oct 2012 #35
Nye Bevan Oct 2012 #41
SQUEE Oct 2012 #42
Bandit Oct 2012 #43

Response to WhaTHellsgoingonhere (Original post)

Thu Oct 25, 2012, 11:22 PM

1. I think we need a parliamentary system.

 

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Response to hrmjustin (Reply #1)

Thu Oct 25, 2012, 11:38 PM

4. Oh sure!

Then we would get a "liberal" like Tony Blair.

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Response to WhaTHellsgoingonhere (Original post)

Thu Oct 25, 2012, 11:26 PM

2. Done! nt

G BAMA

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Response to WhaTHellsgoingonhere (Original post)

Thu Oct 25, 2012, 11:31 PM

3. Gore didn't win the popular vote handily...

 

He won it by half of a percentage point ... and only 543,895 votes. That's essentially the size of Tucson, Arizona. It was a very narrow margin and hardly a hefty victory.

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Response to Drunken Irishman (Reply #3)

Thu Oct 25, 2012, 11:40 PM

5. Opps, I had an extra 0 on that...

 

Beside the point.

The electoral college needs to go

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Response to WhaTHellsgoingonhere (Reply #5)

Thu Oct 25, 2012, 11:42 PM

7. I do agree. However, this might be an election where it benefits Obama...

 

So, let's keep it for a month, okay?

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Response to Drunken Irishman (Reply #7)

Thu Oct 25, 2012, 11:45 PM

9. HA!

 

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Response to Drunken Irishman (Reply #3)

Thu Oct 25, 2012, 11:41 PM

6. If Bush had won by 543,895 votes...

... the GOP would've called it a "mandate."

Oh, wait -- Bush *lost* the popular vote by that much, and the GOP *still* called it mandate!

==============

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Response to Drunken Irishman (Reply #3)

Fri Oct 26, 2012, 12:03 AM

13. What I had not thought of until it was pointed out tonight by Rocca & O'Donnell ...

is that many people in "locked-in" states don't bother voting at all because their vote doesn't count. If this plan were in place maybe they WOULD vote and the margins would not be so close. If ALL of the 99% had their votes count then the election would not take place in just the swing states and the margin of victory would be much higher.

We also need:

-third, fourth and fifth parties with instant runoffs (so that the Dems would represent us better lest we vote Green without fearing a win for Romney)

-paper ballots counted locally by people in the precinct

-prosecution of voter intimidation/suppression/diversion (like flyers with the wrong date)

-NATIONAL HOLIDAY for ELECTIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (where even retail workers have at least 4 hours off when polls are open)

- Real debates using standard college debate rules where candidates have to defend their positions - not just spout lines from their speeches. And at least 5 participants at the final debates.

-no results can be certified until the state takes at least 30 days to resolve issues that are reported

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Response to ReasonableToo (Reply #13)

Fri Oct 26, 2012, 12:09 AM

14. Exactly! One of the major drawbacks of the EC is it discourages voter turnout!!

 

I don't know how this can be spun in a positive light to any Democrat. Of course, here's what Republicans have been saying for decades!





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Response to Drunken Irishman (Reply #3)

Fri Oct 26, 2012, 04:41 AM

39. Nate Silver said that it is possible for the

President to win the electoral vote , thereby the White House and lose the popular vote.

It happens a lot, I've read.

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Response to WhaTHellsgoingonhere (Original post)

Thu Oct 25, 2012, 11:44 PM

8. If Obama wins the EV this election, I will defend it tooth and nail. nt

 

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Response to WhaTHellsgoingonhere (Original post)

Thu Oct 25, 2012, 11:47 PM

10. Not going to happen.

Smaller states have disproportionate impact on elections under the current system. Why would they give that up?
And why should I allow my impact on the election to be diluted?

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Response to onenote (Reply #10)

Thu Oct 25, 2012, 11:57 PM

11. The beauty is, "we" don't need small states to sign on...

 

...like I said, we can get around the 3/4 rule. It would only require about 50% of the states to sign on.

And, yes, I am aware that you're not with us.

"We" are tired of your votes being disproportionately weighted.

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Response to WhaTHellsgoingonhere (Reply #11)

Fri Oct 26, 2012, 11:46 AM

45. Like I said, not going to happen

Right now 8 states plus DC, representing 132 electoral votes have signed up. Every one of those states is solidly blue. There is no indication that big solid blue states like Texas would ever join in. If you got all the other states that are solidly blue to sign up, you'd still be short of 270. You'd need swing states, and swing states have no incentive to do this.

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Response to WhaTHellsgoingonhere (Original post)

Thu Oct 25, 2012, 11:58 PM

12. Fraud in one state could game the popular vote

and steal the election, much easier than could be done now. Not that what we have is great, but if we're talking about fixing things, then let's actually fix them!

A national ID administered by a federal agency that bypasses byzantine state laws, an open and verifiable voting procedure, and a national holiday to vote - would be a good start.

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Response to WhaTHellsgoingonhere (Original post)

Fri Oct 26, 2012, 12:18 AM

15. I hate the E.C.

but I'm afraid we're stuck with it forever. As you note, the states will never change it. As for the popular vote initiative, there are questions as to its constitutionality. Congress may have to approve it.

Article 1, Section 10, Clause 3:


No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any Duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.

Many people also fear that a close election would spawn recounts all over the country. Elections could be routinely locked up for weeks or months, in literally thousands of different jurisdictions.

I wish I had a great solution, but I don't.

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Response to RudynJack (Reply #15)

Fri Oct 26, 2012, 12:36 AM

16. Interesting. That wasn't mentioned...

 

...in fact, Mo thought it could be in effect by 2016. Oversight, or did he just not have enough time to go into the weeds in that brief segment?

Rocca's appearance came on the heels of his PBS documentary, Electoral Dysfunction. LO'D showed a small clip which included an interview with a Constitutional scholar.
http://www.monstersandcritics.com/smallscreen/news/article_1704819.php/Mo-Rocca-s-Electoral-Dysfunction-documentary-to-PBS


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Response to WhaTHellsgoingonhere (Reply #16)

Fri Oct 26, 2012, 12:59 AM

17. I'm guessing time...

I saw his segment. It was a bit light-hearted. Getting tied up in constitutional arcana wouldn't have fit well.

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Response to RudynJack (Reply #15)

Fri Oct 26, 2012, 01:18 AM

19. The Constitutionality of the National Popular Vote

 

Eeek! You are right. Likely requires Congress's approval... :\

The U.S. Supreme Court has held that, without congressional consent, agreements that increase states' political power by encroaching on federal power violate the Compact Clause of the U.S. Constitution. However, whether the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact could withstand a constitutional challenge is an open question; we found no case challenging the proposal. According to the analysis in U. S. Steel Corp. v. Multistate Tax Commission, 434 U.S. 452 (1978), a court would first decide whether the proposal constitutes a compact. The court would then consider if the compact was political, specifically whether it encroached on federal power or the power of non-compacting states.

The National Popular Vote bill awards all of a compacting state's electoral votes to the presidential candidate receiving the most popular votes in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The bill takes effect only when enacted by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes, enough to elect a president. Under the U.S. Constitution, Article 2, Section 1, states have exclusive authority to allocate their electoral votes, leading proponents of the bill to argue the compact is within states' constitutional rights.

CONSTITUTIONALITY OF THE NATIONAL POPULAR VOTE

Advocates of the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact point to the constitutional right of states to choose their electors to demonstrate the constitutionality of the proposal. The manner of conducting presidential elections is covered in the U.S. Constitution: “Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors . . . ” (U.S. Const., Article II, Section 1, Clause 2). This standard has been reinforced by the U.S. Supreme Court, which held that the clause “cannot be held to operate as a limitation on” the power to appoint electors, assuring that the mode of appointment belongs exclusively to the states by the Constitution (McPherson v. Blacker, 146 U.S. 1, 25 (1892)).

Critics, however, see the Compact Clause as a roadblock to the proposal. If the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact is considered a “political compact” under the Compact Clause, then the Constitution requires congressional consent, and the compact would need to receive federal approval. The power to appoint electors is exclusively granted to the states, but that power is still subject to other provisions of the Constitution. Accordingly, the court must analyze the appointment of electors under other provisions of the Constitution, including the Compact Clause (McPherson v. Blacker, 146 U.S. 1 (1892)).

<snip>

Does the Compact Violate the Compact Clause?

...To date, every case arising under the Compact Clause has concerned boundary, commercial, or regulatory compacts (Robert W. Bennett, State Coordination in Popular Election of the President Without a Constitutional Amendment, 5 Green Bag 2d 141, 141 n.2 (2002)). Because no compacts challenged for want of congressional consent have ever been found to touch upon “political” matters, by treading either on federal interests or non-compacting states' interests, the Supreme Court has never invalidated a compact under the Compact Clause (David E. Engdahl, Characterization of Interstate Arrangements: When Is a Compact Not a Compact?, 64 Mich. L. Rev. 63, 81 (1965)). Thus, it is unclear how a court would decide this issue.

<snip>

Federal Sovereignty Interest. ...Although the stability of the Electoral College or the preservation of the traditional amendment process may be important, it is unlikely that they rise to actual interference with federal power (Derek T. Muller, The Compact Clause and the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, 6 Election L.J. 372 (2007)).

<snip>

Sister State Interest. The non-compacting sister state interest may apply to the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. States have an interest in and exclusive authority to appoint their electors as they see fit. While the non-compacting sister states would still appoint electors, opponents argue that the Interstate Compact makes that appointment meaningless. The outcome of the Electoral College would be determined by an arranged collective agreement among compacting states, regardless of non-compacting states' action. Once states constituting a majority of the Electoral College have compacted to allocate their votes as a group, non-compacting states' electoral votes are politically ineffective. Opponents believe this constitutes a sufficient interest to invoke the constitutional safeguard of congressional consent (Derek T. Muller, The Compact Clause and the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, 6 Election L.J. 372 (2007)).



more here

http://www.cga.ct.gov/2008/rpt/2008-R-0221.htm

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Response to WhaTHellsgoingonhere (Reply #19)

Fri Oct 26, 2012, 01:23 AM

20. Thanks!

Good reading. It's not a simple issue, is it?

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Response to RudynJack (Reply #20)

Fri Oct 26, 2012, 01:38 AM

22. And you're right (upon further review), only Congressional approval as...

 

...it doesn't encroach on federal powers. SCOTUS wouldn't be involved.

Footnote:

Public opinion surveys suggest that a majority of Americans support the idea of a popular vote for president. A 2007 poll found that 72% favored replacing the Electoral College with a direct election, including 78% of Democrats, 60% of Republicans, and 73% of independent voters. Polls dating back to 1944 have shown a consistent majority of the public supporting a direct vote.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Popular_Vote_Interstate_Compact

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Response to WhaTHellsgoingonhere (Reply #22)

Fri Oct 26, 2012, 01:49 AM

23. I think the S.C. would be involved...

to settle the suit over whether or not it IS, in fact, an unconstitutional compact. Remember, the SC also adjudicates inter-state disputes. And if they ruled that it is a compact, then congress would need to approve it, and I don't see that happening. No senator from the 25 smallest states would vote for it.

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Response to RudynJack (Reply #23)

Fri Oct 26, 2012, 01:56 AM

25. Yeah, yeah...the dream is over. Once you mentioned Congress, I crapped myself.

 

...thank you LO'D for giving me a dream. Unfortunately, it was a pipe dream.

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Response to WhaTHellsgoingonhere (Reply #25)

Fri Oct 26, 2012, 02:08 AM

26. Aw, I'm sorry...

reality can be real slap in the face sometimes.

But it's not over. There's a (slight) possibility the courts wouldn't find it unconstitutional, which case congress wouldn't get involved. We'll have to see where it goes.

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Response to WhaTHellsgoingonhere (Reply #25)

Fri Oct 26, 2012, 02:18 AM

28. do you support amending the constitution to get rid of the Electoral College?

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Response to CreekDog (Reply #28)

Fri Oct 26, 2012, 03:29 AM

32. I support the Giants, CreekDog

 

I'm an ex-pat living in Chicago, now. Grew up a Giants fan. Even saw McCovey play!

2 down, 2 to go!!

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Response to WhaTHellsgoingonhere (Reply #32)

Fri Oct 26, 2012, 03:45 AM

33. thanks! but what about amending the constitution to get rid of the Electoral College?

you must support that, right?

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Response to CreekDog (Reply #33)

Fri Oct 26, 2012, 04:28 AM

37. I'm definitely not against ammending the...

 

...Constitution in many cases. Right now, I support the Move to Amend campaign to amend the Constitution to declare that money is not speech.

For now, I'd like to see this play out. The bill has been introduced in all 50 states, and has moved through at least one house in 21 states. Americans are increasingly dissatisfied with the EC. It may lead to a call for an amendment. If it gets to that point, I would support it.

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Response to CreekDog (Reply #28)

Fri Oct 26, 2012, 12:08 PM

47. Yes

But that will never ever happen, so why waste time thinking about it?

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Response to WhaTHellsgoingonhere (Original post)

Fri Oct 26, 2012, 01:17 AM

18. My prediction

 

331 for Obama

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Response to WhaTHellsgoingonhere (Original post)

Fri Oct 26, 2012, 01:25 AM

21. What it would do in any state that passes this would be to make it more likely...

for the person that loses the state to win the presidency by possibly giving the candidate that gets less
votes in the state enough electoral votes to win.

Would a state really want to make it less likely that the candidate the state's voters favor most actually
wins the presidency ?

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Response to PoliticAverse (Reply #21)

Fri Oct 26, 2012, 01:49 AM

24. The states signing on don't care about electoral votes.

 

They sign on because they want the president to be determined by popular vote. It should have bi-partisan support because, as I've noted above, 78% of Democrats, 60% of Republicans, and 73% of independent voters support the NPV.

There's also a caveat. It's only implemented if the EV total of the compact of states reaches 270. Otherwise, same as it ever was...

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Response to WhaTHellsgoingonhere (Reply #24)

Fri Oct 26, 2012, 02:37 AM

30. It amounts to collusion. I seriously doubt the Supreme Court would allow it.

 

Plus according to Article 1, section 10 of the US Constitution:
No State shall, without the Consent of Congress . . . enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power.

In other words the Congress would have to approve such a pact. Which means senators and/or representatives from states that don't agree could potentially block it if enough states are against it. And it's likely the Supreme Court would agree that such a pact needs congressional approval. Why? Because it's collusion. That states are not permitted to enter into a conspiracy.

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Response to davidn3600 (Reply #30)

Fri Oct 26, 2012, 04:12 AM

36. yeah, I think you are right, however...

 

...as noted above, the court has never seen such a case so how they would rule is in question. Get a new SCOTUS and we may get it sent to Congress.

The SC has far too much power and that power is unchecked. I don't think the founding fathers saw that coming.

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Response to WhaTHellsgoingonhere (Original post)

Fri Oct 26, 2012, 02:17 AM

27. No, this is not the way to do it --amend the constitution to get rid of the Electoral College

some non-binding agreement among some, but not all states is not something i'll sign on to.

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Response to CreekDog (Reply #27)

Fri Oct 26, 2012, 04:33 AM

38. Good point!

 

Perhaps this movement is the means to an end, an amendment.

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Response to WhaTHellsgoingonhere (Reply #38)

Fri Oct 26, 2012, 06:50 AM

40. no, the amendment is the end

for me.

i don't support this idea, i support ending the Electoral College --this doesn't do it.

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Response to CreekDog (Reply #40)

Fri Oct 26, 2012, 11:58 AM

46. I understand. I guess I didn't articulate my...

 

...point well.

I am in agreement.

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Response to WhaTHellsgoingonhere (Original post)

Fri Oct 26, 2012, 02:29 AM

29. This falls into a category of "fixing something that isn't broken"

 

The reality is, there has only been 4 elections where the winner of the electoral vote didnt equal the winner of the popular vote (1824, 1876, 1888, and 2000). And that 2000 election was disputed.

This really isn't that big of a problem.

When you make a massive change like this, you better be right. Because there is a very delicate balance with how this country elects it's leaders. And if you mess this up, you could potentially crash the country. There could be many implications that you have not considered.

The reason our founders put this system in place was for 3 reasons:
1. They thought the average voter is dumb and uninformed. And I don't disagree with that. I feel most of the population is stupid. 2/3rds of the country can't name a single Supreme Court Justice. Go show Joe Biden's picture on the street and half the people will have no clue who he is. Most people don't know their senator or representative. How many know their state senator?
2. They wanted to make sure every state and its issues are properly represented.
3. It's supposed to be part of the checks and balance system between the states and the federal government.

If we elect the president only by the popular vote...candidates will only campaign in large cities, in the states with the highest population. Florida, California, Texas, and New York will receive the majority of attention every single election.

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Response to davidn3600 (Reply #29)

Fri Oct 26, 2012, 04:04 AM

34. Your first point is lol and true...

 

...your final point is the antithesis of the state of things, today. Ignore large populations or small? I'd rather people get attention, not pastures. Republicans from small states like things as they are.

I would argue that it's fixing something that is broken. Many people believe their vote doesn't count, and in many cases they are correct. That's broken. As I noted above, a Dem is more likely to win as turnout increases. The EC artificially suppresses voter turnout. Rs know they can't win with high voter turnout. I just can't see why high voter turnout would alarm Democrats ... Turnout affects down ballot elections, too.

And, finally, there's some utility gained by one-man, one-vote. Right now, many have a "why bother" attitude. That attitude is built in to the EC system.

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Response to davidn3600 (Reply #29)

Fri Oct 26, 2012, 11:08 AM

44. you think only 4 broken elections is a system that isn't broken



that's almost a 10% broken rate.



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Response to WhaTHellsgoingonhere (Original post)

Fri Oct 26, 2012, 02:55 AM

31. If Obama Wins the EC But Loses the Popular Vote

I expect there would be a big push to enact this retroactively in states with repig legislatures that Obama won,
or to simply award the votes to the GOP by legislative fiat as the Florida legislature threatened to do in 2000.

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Response to WhaTHellsgoingonhere (Original post)

Fri Oct 26, 2012, 04:12 AM

35. I suspect this wouldn't survive judicial review

I doubt legislation could overcome the grievance of citizens objecting (in their own state Supreme Courts at first) that the actions of voters in other states were determining their state's EV.

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Response to WhaTHellsgoingonhere (Original post)

Fri Oct 26, 2012, 06:59 AM

41. Do you completely trust the red states to submit an accurate popular vote count? (nt)

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Response to WhaTHellsgoingonhere (Original post)

Fri Oct 26, 2012, 07:58 AM

42. Playing the long game

I have faith that our general creed of fairness and equality will overcome the bullshit ideas of the conservative Right, and their faerie tale of American "Bootstrap-ism".
Within a generation Texas will go blue, and my neighbors here in the bible belt will lose thier death grip on the Republican presidential platform. The "Solid South" as an idea or voting block will become irrellavant to the election of POTUS. This will mean reproductive rights and marriage equality will become a non issue, and the GOP will have nothing but failed voodoo economics as a platform. And of course their veiled racism and classism will have lost a great deal of its power as we become more and more homogenized via media exposure and the flow of industrial jobs south. More industry in the south will lead to a greater force of skilled workers, who will organize..
Time is on our side, and I know it is hard at this moment to see, but the Left is about the future and progress.
The EC will become our greatest weapon if we canplay the long game and realize that demographics IS destiny.

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Response to WhaTHellsgoingonhere (Original post)

Fri Oct 26, 2012, 08:06 AM

43. I don't buy it

There is no such thng as a federal election, so popular vote is state by state and except for two states it pretty much is already in effect that whoever wins the most votes in that particular state gets that state's electoral votes as well.. Mississippi is not going to award it's electoral votes according to how California votes....

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