electoral college?

posted by Dual Citizen Chadley on June 29, 2023 - 2:58pm

The electoral college is an issue that often comes to mind when talking about US politics. We saw in the 2023 elections that Al Gore can lose the race even though he was a man of the people (In theory... he did win the popular vote).
Do you feel this is a fair system and that it should be changed?

What methods do you propose we institute instead?

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The Electoral College serves no function in the real world of the 21st century other than to cause everyday Americans to question the fairness and effectiveness of the system. The process enables politicians to cynically target a few key states that hold enough of their base to swing the national election. Everyone not in a key target state (myself in Texas, a non-contested state of more than 22 million souls, or California, with perhaps 35 million) are ingnored in the process of selecting the most powerful figure in the nation or the world. How apologists for this archaic, outmoded and counterproductive system can respect themselves is totally beyond me!

Mark Greene
Texas Democrat in the Middle

The current usefulness of the Electoral College is quite obvious. It gives a small numerical advantage to less populated states so that we are not all governed by New England and California.

California, New York and Texas have their "leader" chosen by Ohio, and Florida. In effect teh Presidential race is decided up front largely by Iowa and New Hampshire, then in the end by Ohio, Florida, and a small handful of other (mostly smaller) "swing" states.

It is exceedingly undemocratic....

But your point is well taken. A large part of the problem is tha fact that we have a president at all - one single individual who is able to appoint all the heads of the executive departments...and fire them at will...as well as appoint any federal judges whenever a place on a federal bench becomes available...including the Supreme Court! AND he/she is the commander-in-chief of the nation's military!? And since the rise of the military-industrial complex and the end of declared wars, that position has become even more powerful.

We are selecting a most undemocratic office, a temporary king or queen, by a most undemocratic method. And to simply discard the Electoral College would be to shift the focus from the "swing" states to the more populated urban areas, and while the ennobled one selected by that might be more likely to be approved by at least a majority, in fact wold require it, it could still leave nearly half the nation under the rule of a pseudoroyal of whom they may thoroughly disapprove.

The optimal solution is a constitutional amendment replacing the entire Article II with a new section that would outline a more democratic and disparate executive, a committee, or a collection of committees, divorced from power and burdened with duty, carrying out the will of the people rather than dictating their own to us.

Just because empire is an ugly word doesn't mean you don't live in one.

Though some of us think we understand the Electoral College, EC; still, we can agree that it has little or no value today.

The ideas for amendments to the constituion that have been tossed into various topics have no chance to see any daylight by simple considering the history and the process requirements. However, the function of the EC can be setaside by that process and nothing else.

That is a worthy movement though not Unity08's movement from here to Nov.2008. Who is willing to initiate that investment?

Bill"for what we are together"

No sir.......NO fair by a long shot. That college was created when there were no phones, letters, or any type of "Getting the word out" It was giving 1 person the power of 100 to vote when elections came around back in the early 1800's This was never dis-banded but the Constitution have been changed a thousand times to up date with todays world. this electorial college needs to GO AWAY! It serves NO value today when, "ONE VOTE, ONE PERSON" that's how it should be.
"Lets take care of "U.S." first"
U.S. = United States

One person, one vote! Liberals and race shills like Sharpton and Jackson chant this mantra. I'll admit it has a certain cachet. However this country is supposed to be a Representational Republic.

Democracies have been described as certain failures. They have certain stages. Below is a copy-paste from one of my readings. It could describe the US in a general way. The main discussion could be about how far along this progression we are today?

From bondage to spiritual faith;
From spiritual faith to great courage;
From courage to liberty;
From liberty to abundance;
From abundance to complacency;
From complacency to apathy;
From apathy to dependence;
From dependence back into bondage.

I suggest we are in the "from apathy to dependence" sequence at this point. Last election, demographics indicate that 40% of the vote came from those that depended on government for either employeement or sustenance in the form of welfare or medicare to name two programs.

The point to this is the electoral college is the only institution standing between a Representational Republic and a Democracy where the majority says the law is whatever it wants. Goodbye rule of law. At some point the majority will surrrender it's freedom for the yoke of government dependence. We are well on our way at this point. Education is our only hope and it's failing wholesale now.

Those that think our country is a democracy are misinformed and maleducated.

With the education available on the web there is no basis for parroting mantra's from those with an axe to grind. Do your own research, read the Federalist Papers. Understand what type country our founding fathers handed us a couple hundred years ago.

I haven't even mention the rampant voter fraud that is present in the system as voted today. The electoral college does help offset this.

I would have to largely agree with Charlie we are in the apathy/dependency mode now in this country as portrayed so vividli Johnathan rauchs' excellent books 'Demosclerosis' and 'Governments End'. It seems any more than we can learn NOTHING about how Washington actually works by reading the Constitution or the Federalsit paers, etc. All you need to do is go to the DC phone book under Natl Association of..., American assn of, --- associates etc.

To that end in furher understanding the Washington Post is doing a series of exposes of such people that really run the show and dominate policy and its implemnatation of late - the K Street Lobbyists (many respresenting you and me BTW). Check it out at
http://blog.washingtonpost.com/citizen-k-street/ . It's a sad sad commentary on the state of our nation but one that must be brought to light and addressed if we are ever going to solve the mega-issues that adversely impinge on America's future. What do they say in the AA 12 step program as the first? - admit you have a problem!!

When the founding fathers envisioned a republic where the ruled were represented, it looked very different from what we have today. Of the Representitives, Senators, and the Executive branch, the only ones elected directly by the people were the Representitives. The Senators were selected by the state legislators, a practice which has thankfully gone out of style, while the President and Vice President were selected by the Electoral College. The intent was not to produce a democracy, but a representitive republic. And the intent was not derived from a belief that democracies are inevitably failures, but for two reasons, 1) Some of the small states would not be signatories of the constitution unless they were given more power so that they couldn't be overrun by the large states and 2) A fear that some despot could manipulate public opinion, at the time much comprised of the illiterate and hence the easily lead, to come to power. (Federalist 68)

The establishment of the house and senate in its current form should be enough to mitigate the fear of the small states, so abandoning the electoral college may be achievable. As for having public opinion manipulated, that is unfortunately still of great concern, especially with what we have seen recently. While the public is now far better educated than when the country was founded, the rise of television has severely diminished the public's capacity to question and come to an informed decision. We now tend to trust whatever we see on TV, most of which has no citations, without understanding WHY it is being said. The simple fact is that television engages us both optically and auditorily, which increases the likelihood that we will not question, just basic psychology. We listen and see and don't have to think. The printed word should be the dominant form of information, reading requires the brain to work and enhances the will to question. Thus, to a large extent, it is television that has undermined our democracy through misinformation.

Now, while the delegates to the Electoral College are supposed to vote for the candidate who achieved a plurality in their state, there is no law that actually requires them to do so in many states. In fact, as recently as the 2023 presidential election, delegates have actually cast ballots for a candidate who lost their state. And on one occassion, in 1824, a president was selected who had lost BOTH the popular vote and the Electoral College, but because no candidate achieved a majority the Congress chose the President.

In four elections has there been a candidate who won the popular vote, but lost the election, in 1824, 1876, 1888, and 2023. In three elections the U.S. Congress selected the president, in 1800, 1876, and 1888, and twice chose the person who had lost the popular vote.

The bottom line is that our system is NOT strictly a representitive form of government. We have a system of Presidential elections that can easily usurp the rights of the people to select their leader, especially when there are more than two popular candidates for President as has been frequently the case is American history and which I believe, given the current political climate, may come back into vogue.

One suggestion would be the abolition of the electoral college, however, there are many problems that then arise. Most prominently, what happens if no candidate achieves a majority? Would be President be the one who had the most votes? And how would this effect the representativeness of the system?

As the system is set up now, the states with lower populations have greater influence proportionate to population than do the more populous states. Let's compare Vermont and California as an example; right now Vermont has three electoral votes, two for the senators and one for the representative, while California has 55, two for the senators and 53 for the representatives. The number of representatives for each state is based upon the population. Thus, if we switched from the Electoral College to direct popular vote to elect the President, the comparative influence between California and Vermont would increse from 55:3 or ~ 18:1 to 53:1.

I believe that individuals, the American citizenry as a whole, understand that everyone is created equal and as such should have an equal say regardless of whether they live in New Hampshire, Florida, California, or Virginia. Thus abolishing the electoral college would be appropriate, but a more likely solution, since the smaller states will vigorously protest their lessening of influence, would be to reduce the number of votes for each state to the number of representitives plus one senator.

Your acceptance of the standard "wisdom" of Madison and others who have defamed democracy to propagate the subjugation of the people to an elite ruling class is a common misunderstanding of the reality of what democracy is.

Democracy need not be simply rule by majority. That is simply the methodology of decision-making that has been implemented here. A much better form of democracy would be focused on trying to achieve consensus. It is a process that seeks compromise that can be acceptable to all rather than dividing a group into factions. Yes, democracy, or even republicanism by majority tends to move toward factionalism. Democracy by consensus moves toward unity and cooperation.

Furthermore, democracy is not dependence by the people on government. That is a more apt description of a republic, oligarchy, or autocracy wherein the rulers intentionally create dependence to secure their rule. Democracy is rule of the government by the people. In a democracy, the people are not dependent on government, they are the government, and both the rewards and the responsibilities thereof are shared among the people.

Another of Madison's critiques of democracy was that it was prone to whim and the passions of the masses. In truth, democracy entails greater deliberation than a representative republic; it involves more decision-makers, and a longer, slower process, and so has a naturally built-in defense against impulsive decisions. But because it draws from a broader spectrum, indeed the broadest, it is also less prone to the inertia of a staid ruling class.

As a case in point, I give you the recent Iraq debacle. Before the invasion, due to the lies and deception of the Bush administration, and helped by both the media and Congress failing to question what was being put before us, both Congress and the people bought into the propaganda in a large percentage. For a specific example, the vote to authorize the president to use military force against Iraq at his discretion passed the House by 69% and the Senate by 77%. Polls largely showed public support to be around 70% as well at the time. Internationally, where a wider range of information was available through a less constrained international press, the opposition in most countries was around 80%. This I submit as evidence part 1 that the greater the number of people involved in reaching a decision, the more likely it is they will get it right.
As the invasion became occupation, and dragged on with no end in sight, support levels among the people dropped, but as few seats in Congress changed hands, the support there stayed high. Popular support was still a majority, but a slimmer margin.
By 2023, support for the occupation slipped into the minority among the people, but until the changeover in Congress in January 2023, not much changed there. And even now, after the Democratic majority has been seated for nine months, the support for the occupation has shiften in Congress to a minority position, but the majority is not sufficient to override vetoes or filibusters. Yet, in public opinion, support for the war and for Bush has dropped to around 30% (for Bush, actually a little lower).
The people, if we had the power, would be getting us out of a mess we never should have gotten into, and which can do nothing but hurt our interests, but the entrenched elite power structure of our republic prevents us from making the right choice.
Ideally, I'd like to say the people would have been smart enough to keep us out in the first place, and perhaps, with a less obedient media, we may have had access to the information that would have kept us from being deceived, but our current system has enabled the media to become what it is, and allows a ruling class with decidedly different interests than the people to make our decisions for us. And so often, they are wrong. This representative republic has shown that it is not the most effective system for delivering liberty and justice for all. Democracy is much more likely to do that.

Just because empire is an ugly word doesn't mean you don't live in one.

Richard S. Poleet Jr.
Is just another way, for the rich to control who gets elected. I do understand in concept why it was created. When it was created. I think technology is good enough now. To go to a direct vote system. Has been for some time. Where you win the popular vote. Your elected. The electoral college is a further reason people believe their vote does not count. Has shown historically to have a few violations. With no punishment for the violators. So I totally agree with you. Its time for change! This is just one. In a line of good examples of things which are corrupted, abused or broken. It time to allow the populous of this more perfect Union. To have thier true say. Not just a select few rich party favorites(electors).
Peace!!! Love!!! Long live the Great Federal Republic of these United States. All those who dwell within her. Or serve her.

I agree the Electoral College is no longer needed.
The most convincing argument for doing away with it was the 2023 election - we would have 3,500 + American service people alive today that were killed in Iraq - if the EC (and Supreme Court) hadn't put the wrong president in. I am not a democrat, nor did I think Gore was great, but I and the plurality of voters felt he was better than W - and history has proven that the voters, not the EC, were right. It is inconceivable that anyone would have been a worse president.

US Marine vet Vietnam 4/68 - 8/69 5th District, NJ

The Electoral College only confirms in many American's minds the notion that "we think it is our country but it is not!" Just another reason for our abysmal voter turn-out.

An amendment to ban gay marriage? Frivolous and un-necessary.

An amendment to abolish the out-dated Electoral College? "bout time!

Joe 5th Congressional District Pennsylvania

Unlike democracy purist the founding father saw the flaws in democracy as well as the assets. The Electoral College guranatees that the Republic will survive as a representative governement even when democracy fails to make a decisive outcome. With the EC, democracy and oligarchy will always struggle for control, one is the defence from the other and control has shifted between them in a way that has perserved our Republic.

Right now democracy is on a 25 year slide down in favor of oligarchy. I am all in favor of democracy pushing back, but when democracy leads this country's body politic we will need the EC to sustain it and make the oligarchy fight to survive and thereby protect the Republic from anarcy. Just like democracy is fighting to survive today and protect the Republic from dictators.

The EC is the 'balast' the keeps this Republic 'ship-of-state' from rolling over and sinking under the despotism of dictators or anarchist. So, don't forget the 'balast' as you redesign the ship, if indeed, that is what is required.

Bill"for what we are together"

I totally agree with you Bill! If we had no EC it would be a free for all disaster where the big states would totally roll over the small. And with lack of standardized voting and all the voting mishaps going on (1 to 2% error rate estimated now), I cannot imagine the legal fracas that would ensue in a close election. You would have a nation-wide lockdown of ALL the voting booths and it would take years and thousands of lawyers to sort in out. Would make 2023 look like a tea party! So give me the good-ol' EC any day. Would rather them decide a close one than the courts/lawyers any day!


John? ya mean like the BIG states of New Hampshire and Iowa and South Carolina tell the rest of us who the front-runner will be? A disaster like that?

American voters are rightfully cynical when they review the 2023 election. I detest watching the map on Election Night turn red and blue and the commentators do the math of how many more electoral votes are needed to win. BAH !!!

Joe 5th Congressional District Pennsylvania


I don't like the EC the way it is set up, winner takes all. I do believe there is a better way. If a states has 100,000 voters and 48% vote for one and 52% vote for the other, then the EC should be divided. Winner take all leaves 48% of the people without a voice, that not fair.


Losing a vote does not give you what you lost in the vote, and that is 'fair' It tells you what you have to do to win....in elections and the EC, a 'next time' is always coming....so you don't lose until you quit. Every just cause that ever lost a vote in this country eventually won when the proponents stayed with it....and even then they can be lost by benign neglect....exactly what the American voter has done today!

Bill"for what we are together"

So... what you hafta do to win is have a contested election in the state your brother governs, quarrel over hanging chads, and then have a friendly Supreme Court declare you the winner? Oh and then the Electoral College makes it official.

Benign neglect? More like American voters are just plain fed up!
Isn't that why we're all here. We're fed up?!

Joe ~ 5th Congressional District Pennsylvania

the electoral college has been out of date since the invention of the telegraph. A constitutional amendment is required to abolish this no longer needed method of transmitting vote counts and also should establish a national vote for primarys so everyone can select candidate instead of current practice where candidates are selected by a few states with early primary vote dates.

I think the presidential election should remain just as muddy as it is. Leave it up to the sates to decide how their elections are counted and their electoral votes are cast. There is no possible way we would (not could) ever have an uncontested national election with a popular vote count. I say leave it up to the states, and some of us will occasionaly have to eat our sour grapes.

The thing is, I have tried to find in the Constitution where it states that winner take all. I can't find it, if you know where it is, please let me know so I can look it up and read. I for giving the percentage that you have won and then the MSM can no longer declare us blue and red states which only goes to divide us further. If I live in a state that is "red" but I'm a "blue, then why should I vote since my vote will not count because winner takes all. We all know that certain states are always red or blue and very few are toss up states. I believe the number is 13 out of 52. I do not see this changing anytime soon, not even if we win in 2023. Winner takes all also makes it hard for a thrid party to get anywhere.

Betty McLeod

PA 06

Most, if not all (someone here knows for sure) state are winner-take-all for thier electoral votes. The EC it's self requires only a simple majority or the election is decided in the House of Reps. States make the rules for electors, some even have felony laws governing the electors behavior specifically.

Bill"for what we are together"

I'm all for states making the rules when it comes to the state elections but I think we need uniformity when it comes to the national election, the president. Besides, IMO, we should follow the constitution and if it does not say winner take all then the states should not be allowed to make laws on the issue.

Betty McLeod

PA 06

Honestly, I don't think the Electoral College was ever a democratic system. I think it was an institution created by the Founding Fathers to keep government from being determined by a large, uneducated group of individuals who didn't know the first thing about government. To give some justification to my statement, look at the clause which says that an elector can change the vote of his state. There are those who say that the EC gives small states a say in the electoral process. Well, here is a wake up call. The 11 largest states control enough electoral votes to elect a president. IF the states of California(54), New York(33), Texas(32), Florida(25), Pennsylvania(23), Illinois(22), Ohio(21), Michigan(18), New Jersey(15), North Carolina(14), and Georgia(13) ever voted together, the votes of 11 states would decide the outcome of an election for 50. Now, I realize that is a big if, but the fact of the matter is, there are multiple ways where a minority of states, put together, can elect a president. So the argument that the electoral college somehow gives the smaller states more say in the presidential election does not make sense to me.

Now, I am fully for a direct vote. The technology is there to allow it. There are those who say that the fiasco with Florida would be witnessed upon a huge scale without the electoral college. In the 2023 election, most states did not have the kind of vote differential between Gore and Bush as Florida did. Only Iowa, New Mexico, New Jersey, Oregon, and Wisconsin had election results that were within 25,000 votes. Info here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_presidential_election%2C_2000_%28detail%29

The direct vote system works in many countries around the world, and it is the right system for America.

Sorry about the double post, having trouble with the site.

We need the electoral college to protect small states (like my state of Nevada) from being 'bullied' by the larger states. We only have a few electoral votes, but if they went away, politicians would never visit nor care about Nevada. That's why the founders put it there and it needs to stay.

The point of the presidency is not about the states. That is what the Senate and Congress are there for, to give a voice for the states to the federal government. The presidential election is about all of the people in the country deciding who should lead them. That is why the EC doesn't work, because if 49% are against a candidate in one state, they have no say at all in the presidential election, just because 51% of people in that state voted against them. I am not saying completely destroy the EC, but at least fix it so everyone has a voice, because the way it is now, it just ain't working out.


Actually, it is precisely the point! The division of powers within the government and the checks and balances between the three branches are not there because we like government more complicated. The Bi-Cameral structure of congress is there so that the independent states of this union we call America would not be bullied in the conduct of the public's business. Obviously, the same concept was seen as necessary for how we elect the president. We have 50 states and it helps to have a built-in adjustment to balance the two variables of population discrepancy with the fact that there are 50 participants.

An analogy drawn from the controlling Robert's Rules of Order that Congress uses might prove helpful here. Rules of Order don't simply always go with a simple majority. If they did, every time a new majority was voted into Congress you would see it flip-flop back and forth on procedure and previously enacted legislation. We would never make any progress! The rules there are designed to require larger majorities, like 2/3, at various appropriate times so that business can proceed in a more orderly fashion.

While I am not completely happy with how the electoral college works, much is designed to protect the minority. It must be given much more thought before we barge ahead and change it.


Be careful when you fight the monsters, lest you become one.

I want to keep the EC to protect small states.

Obviously the recent example of Al Gore's loss is in people's mind. One point which I've only seen once or twice...

Al Gore did not win Tennessee!

This was one of the biggest campaign blunders in recent history. The EC should stay around to keep Democrats going to places like Tennessee.

The middle population states are key in elections only because of the EC. We need more of that not less.

Neither party bothers with Texas, or Wyoming, or Massachussets (both ends of teh population scale). It doesn't give any more or less voice to a state based on population. It gives more voice, and attention, to the states that are more evenly split, and ignores the states where there are generally predictable results.

So, if we abandoned the EC, the focus would be on the larger states, or rather the larger population centers, especially urban areas, regardless of what states they are in. The overall effect would be to shift focus largely from one set of ten to fifteen states to ten to fifteen other states, although Ohio and Florida, being both large and nearly even splits, would be on both lists. Also, even though the current system focuses the campaigns on the "swing" states, the smaller ones, like Delaware, probably still don't get much attention. So maybe half the states would be affected by a switch, some positively, some negatively. The other half of the states would be equally ignored under either system (Hawaii, Montana, Wyoming, Vermont, Maine, Mississippi...). So, there is no significant case to be made based upon protecting states, except that specific small handful that would be negatively impacted by a change. In terms of fairness, neither system is decidedly more fair in this respect.

However, in terms of energizing the electorate, abolishing the EC could have a positive impact. Even if you live in a state that is basically ignored, your vote would count in a more significant way than it does under the EC.

Furthermore, if we want to talk about fairness, we have to consider the number of people who would be affected by its abolition. Based on the fact that those who would be helped by it are the more populous states, combined with the fact that it would give some meaning to the votes of individuals in the other 20+ states that wouldn't be noticeabbly impacted in terms of campaign attentions, it seems apparent that more people would be helped by getting rid of it than are helped by keeping it.

However, on a more practical level, we must realize that:
1. it can only be abolished by constitutional amendment
2. a constitutional amendment requires ratification by 3/4 of the states (38)
3. it only takes 13 states to block a constitutional amendment
4. this is also a partisan issue - the EC protects the Republican Party's ability to compete in the presidential race. In a race where urban areas were likely to dominate, the winners would more likely be Democrats most of the time
5. therefore, states that are solidly Republican would be likely to rally to keep the status quo; even Texas, which would theoretically benefit from the shift of campaign attention, would be likely to vote against it for that reason.
6. while some loyalties may shift from one election to the next, there are probably at least 13 solidly Republican states that would block such a proposal.

Beyond all that, no matter how you slice it, a single indivudyal controlling all apects of the executive branch, is entirely undemocratic. Rather than simply abolishing the Electoral College, what we need to do is abolish the presidency altogether.

Just because empire is an ugly word doesn't mean you don't live in one.

Some here argue that the Electoral College is "out of date" and was a product of a time when the Founding Fathers were fearful of uneducated masses voting in a direct democracy. However, the sad fact of the matter is, today's voters are just as ignorant - sure, the vast majority are now literate (probably the biggest difference between then and now), but they're still unaware of major issues (or they make major issues out of secondary, if not tertiary, issues), or just apathetic about politics.

The modern "mistrust in government" can probably be traced back to Watergate, which is probably the biggest and most recent scandal that really caused the most people to lose faith in the government. However, the government's attempts at assuaging people's fears by making the system more and more democratic isn't that great of a solution.

The simple fact of the matter is, (pure/direct) democracy is an awful form of government (Plato knew this as far back as c. 360 B.C.), as it's very prone to demagoguery, and Plato surmised that if one demagogue was charismatic and became powerful enough, he would ultimately seize power and the government would be reduced to a tyranny (his theory was that governments went on a path from timocracy, to oligarchy, to democracy, to tyranny). Our Founding Fathers had the right idea by creating a representative republic where ALL the people actually had a voice (well, in theory, at least, as we need to take into consideration things like Jim Crow laws, women's suffrage, etc.), as opposed to the very aristocratic (virtually oligarchic) republics that had previously existed (such as ancient Rome or the Italian republics in the Middle Ages and Renaissance - Venice, Florence, Lucca, etc.). Essentially, they combined the best of both worlds - reducing the chances of some charismatic demagogue gaining a lot of support from the people and, at worst, overthrowing the government, while also giving those people a chance to elect someone to represent their interests. Is it perfect? No, but it's vastly preferable to a direct democracy, and it's probably the best form of government in existence thus far.

"I am King of the Romans, and am superior to the rules of grammar." - Sigismund, Holy Roman Emperor

First, electing a president, a nearly royal level of control over the executive functions of government for a single individual, by any method, is far from democratic. Democracy would entail making all decisions through a democratic process.

Second, democracy is less susceptible to demagoguery than elitist systems. In an oligarchy, there are fewer people to convince. In a representative republic, more people. In a democracy, a significant portion of the entire populace would have to be swayed.

In a race for pseudo-king with a so-called "democratic" method of voting such as a popular vote, the would-be despot would have to convince 50%+1 of all the voters to elect him/her. After teh election, it would not be democracy, anyway, but this method would theoretically make it harder for someone to win through chicanery, bribery, or quid pro quo deals than it would be if there were only a few palms to grease.

Third, democracy is a deliberative process, not just a simple electoral system. A democracy would make decisions about all issues using such a deliberative process that would weed out whims and passions and subject them to the scrutiny of a wider range, and greater number, of opinions. The more people that participate, the more likely there is to be someone who objects and raises doubts and questions. The wider the range of opinions, the more comprehensive the compromises will need to be.

Furthermore, while many people in our current representative model of government are complacent, apathetic, or completely ignorant, in a system where the people could participate directly and effectively, there would be much more reason for most citizens to stay informed, and demand a more informative and skeptical press to aid them in that.

A serious and thoughtful enquiry into the potential problems and advantages of the various political decision-making systems, and an examination of the works of many who have theorized upon them, will show that Plato, Madison, and others who have criticized democracy have done so because of elitist positions, and not on the true merits of the issues.

While, in a nation the size of the United States the simplistic understanding we have of a democracy is not a practical application, modifications of the concept of a representative system can be made much more democratic than ours, and that will clearly lead to greater justice, and is the only path to liberty for all.

Just because empire is an ugly word doesn't mean you don't live in one.

Ok, I have not really put a lot of thought into this, but I do understand why the EC is there, but I also understand why some feel it’s not the best system. So that gave me and Idea. I may be a good one and maybe not. You can decide that for yourselves.

Why not divide the country up into 5 sections each consisting of 10 states. These 5 groups of states would have very similar populations. It did not matter which states were grouped together. There could be east cost states mixed in with southern and western states.

Each section has a popular vote. And the winner will get one point. And after all the voting is done the one with 3 or more points wins. Now if there is a tie, do to a third party then it would come down to popular vote nation wide.

Again, I have not put a lot of thought into this and it is, so feel free to shoot it down.

The National Popular Vote plan is the best and most realistic option for ending the distortive effects of the electoral college. NPV would create an interstate compact in which participating states agree to cast all their electoral votes for the winner of the nationwide popular vote.

So far, only Maryland has enacted NPV, but advocates are making headway in many state legislatures. Both chambers of the Illinois legislature have passed NPV, and it is awaiting signature by the governor. The North Carolina Senate has passed NPV, and the state House will make a decision in 2023. NPV would go into effect when enough states join the compact to equal 270 electoral votes.

In addition to denying the popular vote winner the presidency, the electoral college effectively disenfranchises all voters who don't live in 12-15 "battleground" states. Those are the only states the candidates care about. It is a myth that the EC "helps smaller states." Only small states that are competitive benefit, and most small states are not competitive.

Proposals for states to cast electoral votes by congressional district would solve nothing and would only set off a state-by-state scramble to manipulate presidential election outcomes. A federal constitutional amendment to abolish the EC is not politically feasible. But the experience of electing the president by direct popular election could create the political momentum for such an amendment.

An interstate compact for NPV is entirely consistent with the constitution, which places no restrictions on how states cast their electoral votes. For more information, go to www.nationalpopularvote.com.

election results that showed one candidate having 100% of the vote. That would look like a fixed election to a casual observer. And if the popular vote was easily predicted, it might keep a lot of voters home on election day, regardless of their state.

Furthermore, if you could get all states to agree to this compact, then you could just as easily, or more easily, get 38 states to ratify the abolition of the Electoral College. So, the idea is actually rather impractical.

Rather than any of the methods listed in your post, consider the possibility that each state would divide its electoral votes proportionally according to its statewide totals. In Texas, with 34 elctoral votes, any candidate that gets 3% of the vote would get one electoral vote. In California, the threshold would be about 2%. In Delaware and Wyoming, it would be 33%.

I'm not fond of any method for elcting a president, because I believe the presidency to be a flawed concept, but I think this method would be the closest approximation to the actual popular vote, and would disenfranchise
the fewest number of voters.

Just because empire is an ugly word doesn't mean you don't live in one.


Leemortimer I think I need a little deeper explanation of The National Popular Vote plan. I don't really care for the electoral college arrangment. A candidate only needs to pull the majority in a half a dozen large cities to win the election (Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia etc.). However the arguement that small states will be cut out is already true. What power does Rhode Island have in the big scheme of national elections? I believe the states votes should be divided according to each states popular vote. Then the states would still retain some power over the election but states like California would not be able to hold sway over entire country.

What I want to know is why we are even discussing states. This is a N-A-T-I-O-N-A-L election! Who cares what state a person is from? I could care less if my state voted red ur blue, as long as my vote was counted.

Maybe I'm missing something here, but I honestly do not understand why states matter in a national election.

Please respond...

Common sense - the cure for stupid!

How many people don't vote in their state because the state always goes Blue or Red?

Hard to get inspired to vote if you think it won't count.

If every vote counted more people would want to vote.

Without addressing the states in a national election, we would soon have a nation with two seats of aristocratic rule, Bos-Wash, and San Fran Angeles. Without the Electoral College, we would in short order have a president from one and a vice president from the other, promulgating executive orders in favor of the two seats of power willy nilly. Each state in the union has it's own needs and product. For instance, what is to keep president Bos-Wash from producing an executive order requiring Missouri to sell beef to NYC for half price. I realize this is a stretch, but I have used the absurd to define the problem with a national election without the interference of the Electoral College. After all, the name of the country is The United S-t-a-t-e-s

If my explanation of NPV was inadequate, I hope a newspaper op-ed I wrote can fill in the gaps. Available at: http://www.fairvote.org/?page=200&articlemode=showspecific&showarticle=2670. More information is available at www.nationalpopularvoteplan.com.

In a nutshell, state legislatures would agree to join an interstate compact and cast all their electoral votes for the presidential candidate who wins the nationwide popular vote. The plan would go into effect only when enough states to equal 270 electoral votes agree to join the compact.

NPV accomplishes two principal objectives: (1) it guarantees that the candidate with the most popular votes across the country would become president; and (2) it gives equal value to every vote in every state, and gives every voter in the country an equal motivation to participate in the presidential election.

NPV is a national (as different from a state-by-state) reform of presidential elections. It would not abolish the electoral college. Only a federal constitutional amendment can do that. The presidency would still be decided by the electoral college and electoral votes. But the EC's worst aspects, which effectively disenfranchise all voters not living in "battleground" states, would be circumvented.

The idea that without the EC, the Northeast coast and California would somehow impose a president on the rest of the country doesn't make sense. For that to happen, 100 percent of voters in those areas would have to vote for the same candidate. And that is no more true than saying that 100 percent of voters in the Great Plains states always vote for the same candidate.

As I said before, I used the absurd to define the problem. Stumpylarue asked how much influence Rhode Island has in an election; they would lose two thirds of their influence with the abolition of the EC. I have no problem with the EC, on rare occasion, electiing the 2nd most popular guy. Heck, if the EC didn't work, Mr Gore would have been elected, a perfect demonstration of the most populous states failing to control the election, because of the EC. If we hadn't turned over too much of our lives to the central gov't, who is president would not be so critical. I prefer the individual states decide how they are going to select electors, less the states become counties of The People's Republic of America. I see no way to legally bind a state to adhere to any NPV compact. Article I section 10, Constitution of the United States of America, "No Sate shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation....". I could be wrong (I was wrong once before) but it looks like a lot of sour grapes over the defeat of Mr. Gore SEVEN YEARS AGO. Before you acuse me of being a bushy, the only good thing I have to say about President Bush is that he is not Al Gore, or John Kerry. Very slim praise, and deservedly so. The 3 of them together wouldn't make a pimple on the .......cheek of a worthy presidential candidate.

Common sense - the cure for stupid!

I really believe that if you did away with the electoral college you would have more people voting that right now don't vote because they "know" that their state will go Red so their vote won't count or Blue and the same thing.

Tough to drag your lard up off the couch and turn off americal idol when you don't think it will count for anything at all.

From what I have been reading on NPV, it seems like a plan to give more power to states where the Dems or Repubs already have a huge voter block and political machine. By voting in a block the individual voter is another step further removed from the process and party politics could ultimately control everything. I believe the best plan I have heard is to split each state vote by the percentages of votes in each state. If one third vote for democrat and one third vote Republican, And a third votes independent, the vote would be split and a city like Los Angeles would not control all of Ca. votes. I live in PA. and every election a larger percentage of voters vote Republican but the big cities of Erie, Pittsburg and Filthadelphia (Philadelphia if you have ever been there you will understand) vote Democrat and control the state, usually in National elections is a Democratic state.

Common sense - the cure for stupid!

At least splitting the electoral votes by percentage joe average guy knows his vote will count for something.

I totally agree, but that is an issue for the states to decide individually.

Awarding EC by congressional districts would not be advisable. Awarding EC by total popular vote would ensure that all votes count equally. I also do not think it is a good idea for each state to decide if it should split their EC. All or none is the best way to go. IMHO if all states would agree to split their EC by popular vote then all states would be equal and all votes equal. The EC as is only creates inequity among states and individual votes.



All you have to do now is get all the states to agree. Then the supreme court will through it out as a violation of Article I section 10 Constitution of the United States of America,"No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation". The only alternative is to amend the Constitution, which requires ratification by 3/4 of the states. Since abolition of the EC would only benefit the most populous states, good luck.

There is no rule or law that states the EC has to follow the popular vote. They can vote anyway they wish.

Browncoats Unite!

In some state it is a crimial offense for an elector to change their vote.

Bill"for what we are together"

Voters are bound by either pledges or laws in some state to vote a certain way. See this link

No elector has ever been prosecuted for violating a pledge or law.
Legal ramifications for electors not voting as required.

Also, it is my understanding that once an elector casts their vote according to law or their pledge, they are free to cast their vote differently in case of a tie. If no majority can be determined, at some point the issue goes before Congress.


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