Blue States To Eliminate Traditional Electoral College

by | Jul 20, 2010 | Headline News | 28 comments

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    In 2000, Al Gore would have won the Presidential election had we counted the national popular vote as opposed to using the electoral college. After the election democrats like Hillary Clinton voiced their displeasure with the electoral college and suggested that the system should be eliminated and that the US should switch to a direct election system.

    It was believed that making such a switch would require the support of at least 38 states in order to pass a new Constitutional amendment. However, the National Popular Vote organization may have a found a creative way to bypass the traditional electoral college and is heavily lobbying certain state legislatures to effect the change:

    A group called National Popular Vote (NPV) is pushing state legislatures to enter into a compact that calls for them to allocate their electoral votes in a particular presidential election to the candidate who gets the most votes nationwide rather than to the contender who gets the most votes in their state. NPV argues that the legislation “would reform the Electoral College so that the electoral vote reflects the choice of the nation’s voters” for president.

    However, Tara Ross, author of Enlightened Democracy: The Case for the Electoral College, cautions that under such a plan, the 11 largest states — with a total of 271 electoral votes — could band together and elect the president.

    “If you got those 11 biggest states to all agree to do that, you would be switching to a direct election system,” she explains. “By contrast, if you were to try to formally get rid of the Electoral College through a constitutional amendment, that would take 38 states, which is a much higher hurdle to climb and one they think they can’t climb, which is why they’re trying to do it through this kind of end-run around the constitutional process.”

    Ross has a suggestion as to why the NPV is pushing for this change. “What I think they must think is that they have strength in the urban areas and in the heavily populated areas,” she suspects. “So therefore, if you switch to an individual election, then they can just go focus on those people and rack up votes there, and it will end up helping their cause.”

    The political analyst notes that five states have already joined the compact — Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, and Washington (a total of 61 electoral votes). Five more states (California, Colorado, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Vermont) could join in the near future.

    According to Article 2, Clause 2 of the US Constitution, the power to determine how a State’s electoral college is to be appointed is reserved for the states themselves:

    Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.

    The NPV seems to have figured out a way to bypass the traditional assignment of the electoral college, which, in most states, assigns the electoral college based on a state’s popular vote.

    The new legislation would effectively leave a state’s decision of who is assigned to the electoral college to the national popular vote.

    If, for example, the residents of Hawaii overwhelming support a particular candidate, but the national popular vote supports that candidate’s competitor, Hawaii’s electoral vote would be assigned to the national winner, as opposed to the state winner.

    Because the Constitution allows for state legislatures to determine their own method of assigning the electoral college, no Constitutional amendment is necessary. While the changes may not be seen as a positive development for the state of our Republic and would likely leave many of the founding fathers shaking their heads,  they seem to be perfectly legal under the Constitution.


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      1. -facepalm… These idiots will get what they deserve. I just wish they wouldn’t drag the rest of us down with them…

      2. This proposal would actually make all votes equal and make the presidential election more balanced without giving any advantage to one party or the other.  Saul Anuzis was Chairman of the Michigan Republican Party for 4 years and was a candidate to head up the National Republican Elections Committee.  He 100% supports National Popular Vote as both a fair measure and a way to gain an advantage for Republican candidates. 

      3. @ Alex:

        it also means California alone could dictate politics to half the country based on population – legal or otherwise… do you think these things through?

      4. What they need to do is make each state apportion its electoral votes according to the actual vote tally.  This way, a state like Utah which has 5 or so electoral votes would probably end up with 4 going to the corrupt R party, and 1 going to the corrupt D party.  California on the other hand (with 40 something votes) would see it’s votes divided too.  The folks in the big cities vote for the D’s primarily, and the folks in the central valley vote for the R’s.

        This way, every state in the union would be a “battle ground” state with votes to be won or lost, and neither party could afford to only campaign in their (few) friendly states.

        The problem with this is that our elections have been rigged for so very long that no one really knows what the electorate looks like.  The best guesses are that there are about 25% of the population in the camp of each major party, with the remaining 50% being swing voters.  DON’T BOTHER ME WITH YOUR FANTASY ABOUT EVERY ONE BEING WITH THE REPUBLICANS RIGHT NOW.  The definition of a swing voter is that they don’t pay enough attention to belong to either camp, and anyway, there are just as many people happy right now as there are pissed off.

        Even if large numbers of swing voters were totally pissed off, that is no guarantee that they will go and vote, and even if they do, it for sure is not a guarantee of any particular outcome.

        We are being manipulated to feel loyalty to these parties, and in the end the parties are the ones selling us down the river.  Each party racing to try and enslave more of us than the other.  Every time one party totally fucks over a colossal number of Americans and sets the new record, the other party comes back with an even more diabolical scheme to ass rape an even more titanic number of Americans.

        Proof Positive:  During the Bush years, laws were passed that made the trademarking of life legal.  So much for “the sanctity of life”.  The Rehnquist Supreme Court upheld these laws.  This makes it the constitutional law of the land for Monsanto to run farmers out of business with huge fines and legal costs if the wind blows the pollen from a Monsanto field onto a field planted with other seeds.  You read that right.

        Today, with the nomination of Elena Kagan clearing the Judiciary committee, here appointment to the Supreme Court is assured.  She will be the SECOND lawyer (that worked for Monsanto) on the Supreme Court.  The first was Clarence Thomas.  These two would seem to be at the opposite end of the spectrum from each other, but they’re not.  You’re just being steered.  They don’t give a damn what you think about it, and they don’t give a damn if you can even feed yourself.

        The whole system is a gigantic lie.

      5. @Johnny V….I could not have said it better myself BRAVO!!!!

      6. The 11 most populous states contain 56% of the population of the United States and a candidate would win the Presidency if 100% of the voters in these 11 states voted for one candidate. However, if anyone is concerned about the this theoretical possibility, it should be pointed out that, under the current system, a candidate could win the Presidency by winning a mere 51% of the vote in these same 11 states — that is, a mere 26% of the nation’s votes.

        The political reality is that the 11 largest states rarely agree on any political question. In terms of recent presidential elections, the 11 largest states include five “red states (Texas, Florida, Ohio, North Carolina, and Georgia) and six “blue” states (California, New York, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and New Jersey). The fact is that the big states are just about as closely divided as the rest of the country. For example, among the four largest states, the two largest Republican states (Texas and Florida) generated a total margin of 2.1 million votes for Bush, while the two largest Democratic states generated a total margin of 2.1 million votes for Kerry.

        Moreover, the notion that any candidate could win 100% of the vote in one group of states and 0% in another group of states is far-fetched. Indeed, among the 11 most populous states, the highest levels of popular support , hardly overwhelming, were found in the following seven non-battleground states:
        * Texas (62% Republican),
        * New York (59% Democratic),
        * Georgia (58% Republican),
        * North Carolina (56% Republican),
        * Illinois (55% Democratic),
        * California (55% Democratic), and
        * New Jersey (53% Democratic).

        In addition, the margins generated by the nation’s largest states are hardly overwhelming in relation to the 122,000,000 votes cast nationally. Among the 11 most populous states, the highest margins were the following seven non-battleground states:
        * Texas — 1,691,267 Republican
        * New York — 1,192,436 Democratic
        * Georgia — 544,634 Republican
        * North Carolina — 426,778 Republican
        * Illinois — 513,342 Democratic
        * California — 1,023,560 Democratic
        * New Jersey — 211,826 Democratic

        To put these numbers in perspective, Oklahoma (7 electoral votes) alone generated a margin of 455,000 “wasted” votes for Bush in 2004 — larger than the margin generated by the 9th and 10th largest states, namely New Jersey and North Carolina (each with 15 electoral votes). Utah (5 electoral votes) alone generated a margin of 385,000 “wasted” votes for Bush in 2004.

      7. Good work Toto.

        Jonny V like your suggestion for splitting electorial college to reflect the voter’s choice.   Make it so!

      8. Toto’s essay hits it right on the spot with regards to turnout and margins.  Remember, these are the numbers that have been fed to you by TPTB, and so this is what people expect.  Only somewhat interesting is that under the idea I floated, none of those votes would have been “wasted”.

        DK-There is no way for me to make it so.  Any effort in this direction is likely to land me as a statistic in an article that Mac runs about wrongful police home invasions where the homeowner got killed.  Don’t laugh, it happens thousands of times per year in the USA for reasons a lot flimsier than raising hell about election fraud.  The police don’t answer to anybody, and they know it.

      9. In 2008, Obama had one of the more lopsided victories ever for a candidate in California and he got about 60% of the vote.  That means 40% were still Republican, and don’t forget they have a republican governor.  Yes, theoretically the 11 largest states could make up a tiny bit more than half of the national popular vote and elect a candidate-if they all voted 100% for one candidate.  In reality, those largest 11 states are dead split between the two major parties.  California? 60% Democrat, more or less.  Texas? 60% Republican.  No one group would be dictating anything, it would be the candidate with the broadest NATIONAL support that won the election. 

        Right now, the existence of swing states means Ohio and Florida dictate the terms of every Presidential election.  That’s unbalanced.

      10. Not to mention the lopsided primary system where a few states decide who will be the nominees. Why not have regional primaries so that certain states do not the deciding factor on who will be the nominee.

      11. If voting mattered do you think the powers that be would let you do it? Get a grip folks, just more sideshow action to keep the sheep confused and divert attention from the most serious problems facing our country by making the dumbed down people believe they can really make a difference by voting in the next election. If there is an election in November, it will more than likely be the last rigged on for the country.

      12. The founding fathers set it up the way it is for good reason.
        They founded a Republic.   The only way they could get  the colonies to unite was to form a way that the highly populated states could not control the elections.  The electoral college did and does that task.
        Leave it alone.

        Imho,  National elections should be decided by County.   The winner in each county takes one vote.  Most votes win.    This way every county in the country would make voting mean something again.

      13. Like lostinmissouri above, I’ve held that one EC vote by county would be for the best.

      14. A system in which electoral votes are divided proportionally by state would not accurately reflect the nationwide popular vote and would not make every vote equal.

        Every vote would not be equal under the proportional approach. The proportional approach would perpetuate the inequality of votes among states due to each state’s bonus of two electoral votes. It would penalize states, such as Montana, that have only one U.S. Representative even though it has almost three times more population than other small states with one congressman. It would penalize fast-growing states that do not receive any increase in their number of electoral votes until after the next federal census. It would penalize states with high voter turnout (e.g., Utah, Oregon).

        Moreover, the fractional proportional allocation approach does not assure election of the winner of the nationwide popular vote. In 2000, for example, it would have resulted in the election of the second-place candidate.

      15. Electoral votes are based on the number of congressional districts in a state, not at the county level.

      16. See…it’s working!

      17. One vote, each county? Alaska has no counties, only boroughs. How can they vote? Hawaii has a tiny county, Kalawao, which has maybe 250 people who are descendants of the lepers father Damien brought up. Does it get a vote too?

      18. Comments….. **GiveMeAForkingBreak**   AMEN !!

      19. This is an abomination and just one more attempt to trample states’ rights. Worse, it’s states giving up their sovereignty, voluntarily. The intent was for the states to elect the President individually, not wait to see what the national decision was, then elect based on that. Blatant undermining of the Constitution.

      20. Leave well enough alone.  Don’t fix what isn’t broken.. what needs to be fixed will hopefully be started to be fixed this coming November!

      21. This plan by NPV will encourage more voter fraud.  With their system in place my vote will count the same as a fraudulent vote cast in another state where I have no control over preventing that fraud.

      22. The NPV compact isn’t a plan to change actual voting procedure, just what we do with the vote totals once we have them. If you have such a problem with voter fraud, you also have that problem with the system as it is now, since nothing will be changed.

        If anything, vote fraud is more of a problem under the current system. Consider it in terms of the size of the totals. If you somehow add 10,000 votes for a candidate in one state to the national total under NPV, that’s bad- but it is nowhere even close to affecting the very large margins you get when the significant number is the full national vote total. However, if those 10,000 votes were to be added to the state total under the Electoral College system, that is much more statistically significant because one state’s total is obviously far smaller than the national total. And, due to the “winner take all in each state” nature of Electoral College votes currently, that actually could unfairly swing a significant number of Electoral College votes to one candidate.

      23. Alex - Let’s assume that “somehow” 10,000 votes are added to the Democrat candidate in Illinois.   In the current system it probably has NO effect on who is elected President as Illinois would probably favor a Democrat by more than 10,000 votes and all of thier electoral votes would have gone to the Democrat anyway.  However with the NPV compact these 10,000 votes in Illinois now offset the Republican votes from another state therefore impacting who is elected President.

      24. It is apparently still working! By the looks of recent comments, yall just don’t get it! The system has been broken for decades…but go ahead and vote, then when you get the same results that you got when you voted for Obummer, maybe then, just maybe, you’ll finally understand that voted DOESN’T matter.

        Democracy is two wolves and a sheep deciding what to have for dinner.

        Beans, bullets and band aids…that’s where you need to concentrate!

      25. The point of this argument is, we have a Constitution that stipulates how the president is to be elected.  And that system clearly revolves around the states casting votes individually, not pretending to do that after waiting to see the results of a national popular vote.  The Founders created a system that was a federation of independent states, and what is being proposed is a perversion of that system.  If you don’t like that system, then amend the Constitution.  The people that say the current system is ‘unfair’ because a candidate can win the popular vote without winning the electoral vote don’t understand the system.  The system was DESIGNED that way for a reason.  This is not a Democracy.

      26. @kwiebe…while I would agree that the Constitution stipulates how a President was to be elected, I would contend that the Constitution has been dead since Lincoln. We now live in a corporatocracy, or to be more precise a fascist state – as it is owned and run by the corporations, in particular the banks, that own the ‘members’ of CONgress, and the usurping presidential messiah himself. The government that was intended by the founding fathers to be one of the people and by the people died in the civil war, when Lincoln decided that the confederacy could not secede from the ‘union’. The civil war wasn’t about slavery, but rather about money. Amending the constitution would be an exercise in futility, as there is no one inside the District of Criminals that even begins to honor their oath of office to uphold and defend the constitution. The US was founded as a republic – not a democracy – but the republic died with Lincoln, and the final nail was hammered into the coffin in 1913 when the Fradulent Reserve Act was passed, enabling the bankers of the world to finally complete their grasp on the slaves of this nation. It’s all over but the crying now, so debate all you want about how voting in the election will solve everything, or how it was designed that way for a reason.

        Get yer beans, bullets and band aids gathered…yer gonna need’m before you know it!

      27. @GiveMeAForkingBreak…yes, I understand and agree w/you about the futility due to the ruling class, corruption, and the sheeple.  I was just pointing out a fact that the original, elegant system the Founders designed is not to blame. This is true not only for the Electoral College, but the other perversions either in the pipeline or already accomplished by those who hate our Constitution and attempt to subvert it at every turn. I am with you also in the belief that elections by themselves are not the answer. I guess bottom line for me is that Adams and Jefferson were right; the system is dependent on a moral & righteous people (Adams), and it is ultimately the people’s right & duty to throw off a despotic government (Jefferson). If not us, then whom?

      28. @kwiebe

        “When injustice becomes law, rebellion becomes duty.” – Thomas Jefferson

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