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The Democrats’ Plan to Destroy Our Electoral System

While most people aren’t aware of it, there’s a movement afoot to completely change the way we elect our president — and its success would have serious consequences for our nation’s future.

The plan is a National Popular Vote Interstate Compact that would neuter the Electoral College and give the presidency to the winner of the popular vote. Under this agreement, your state would award its electors to the candidate winning the most votes nationally — even if a majority of your state’s residents voted for a different candidate.

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http://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/politics/item/18087-the...

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Its not a "d" or "r"

Its not a "d" or "r" agenda.....

Either way..... doesn't really matter.

Your vote is and always will be meaningless if we continue using compromised Electronic Voting Machines.

"If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy." -- James Madison

None of it matters

until they stop rigging the system.

The law cannot make a wicked person virtuous…God’s grace alone can accomplish such a thing.
Ron Paul - The Revolution

Setting a good example is a far better way to spread ideals than through force of arms. Ron Paul

Garan's picture

Your Argument Has a Fundamental Flaw

I know this response will probably be unpopular, yet anyone arguing this point needs to make the argument clear.

Having a popular vote for one specific office of all the offices that get filled through electoral college votes, does not equate to eliminating the electoral college.

The vote for the united states president can be an isolated case that does not effect all the other electoral college votes.

What Other Offices Does the Electoral College Elect?

I'm only aware of the president and vice-president being elected by the State Electors.

Garan's picture

..Oh. Yeah.

I generally think of the problem of round-off error whenever voting is divvied-up into regions which creates a situation where your vote might never get represented in the outcome depending upon which region you are in and how that region is bent politically.

That's what I think of when I think of the electoral college, which is the same problem that exists in many other elections.

I guess one other problem with the electoral college is the idea of having an unfamiliar local representative cast the final vote which they may decide to change. At least that's the way I've always heard it explained. The potential for abuse seems unnecessary. Maybe there was a history reason for this?

When I wrote my comment, I realized I might not be quite right, yet submitted anyways.

Thanks for being polite.

The Electoral College Speaks for the States' Citizenry

This voting issue is based upon what the Constitution says is the method to be used to elect the president and vice president which is to say, not by popular vote but by State electors. The framers of the U.S. Constitution feared the choice of president would always be decided by the largest, most populous States with little regard for the smaller ones if the heads of the executive branch were elected by popular vote
(see: http://www.fec.gov/pdf/eleccoll.pdf - page 2). That is why they created the system of what is known as the Electoral College.

This is a somewhat nebulous but very important concept for the average American to grasp. The State electors are the voters that choose the heads of the executive branch as required by Constitutional law (see: Article II, Section 1). However they almost always cast their votes based upon the winner of the State’s popular vote election. For example in the 2000 federal election between George Bush and Al Gore, the electors of each of the States consistently cast their votes for either of the two candidates in accordance with the will of the people by the majority popular vote in their respective States
(see: http://www.fec.gov/pubrec/fe2000/elecpop.htm ).

The American people are being mislead into believing this new proposal is more democratic but it is in fact less democratic and certainly not indicative of a republic. The citizens of a State vote for their State electors and that vote is reflected in their State electors’ vote for president and vice president. However this new voting arrangement switches the electors’ vote to the candidate who won the nationwide popular vote. That is clearly a usurpation of the will of the people of each of our great and sovereign States by denying them their voter right of representative choice. It effectively strips away the authority of the States (especially those that have smaller populations) to determine the president and vice president.

Article IV of the U.S. Constitution (The States) is made up of four sections. Each section either distinguishes between certain right enjoyed by the people and those granted to State governments or to the federal government. Section four clearly states, “The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government ...”

Before the ratification of the 17th Amendment, States exercised their right to equal representation in the Congress through the appointment of two senators per State. So that affirmed that a republican form of government not only includes the right to be represented but also the right to chose their representatives. However the 17th Amendment stripped away that right to chose the senators and relinquished it to choice by popular vote of the State citizenry. That makes it a quasi-form of republicanism. It’s analogous to having the right to marry but someone else chooses the bride or bridegroom.

Many of us in the Daily Paul community are aware of a nefarious plan to create a one world government. As I study this new popular vote proposal, I see a connection between it and the global government agenda. I fear this legislation is a covert attempt (call it a conspiracy if you wish) to undermine and subvert our federal republic by changing it into a unitary government.

What is a unitary government? It is a central government (no longer federal) whose authority reigns supreme over sub-governmental units, i.e. sovereign States. Most governments today are unitary as opposed to federal republics (see:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unitary_state#List_of_unitary_s...).

We must not allow that to happen because it will completely negate the sharing of power between the federal government, the States and the people as prescribed by the U.S. Constitution.

With the current

With the current state-by-state winner-take-all system of awarding electoral votes (not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, but later enacted by 48 states), it could only take winning a bare plurality of popular votes in only the 11 most populous states, containing 56% of the population of the United States, for a candidate to win the Presidency with a mere 23% of the nation's votes!

The Founding Fathers in the Constitution did not require states to allow their citizens to vote for president, much less award all their electoral votes based upon the vote of their citizens.

The presidential election system we have today is not in the Constitution

The current statewide winner-take-all rule (used by 48 of the 50 states) is not in the Constitution. It was not the Founders’ choice (having been used by only three states in the nation’s first presidential election in 1789). It was not debated at the Constitutional Convention, and it was not mentioned in the Federalist Papers. ) It is not entitled to any special deference based on history or the historical meaning of the words in the U.S. Constitution. The actions taken by the Founding Fathers make it clear that they never gave their imprimatur to the winner-take-all method. The Founders were dead for decades before the winner-take-all rule became prevalent.

The bill preserves the constitutionally mandated Electoral College and state control of elections. It ensures that every voter is equal, every voter will matter, in every state, in every presidential election, and the candidate with the most votes wins, as in virtually every other election in the country.

Under National Popular Vote, every voter, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in every presidential election. Every vote would be included in the state counts and national count.

The powers of state governments are neither increased nor decreased based on whether presidential electors are selected along the state boundary lines, or national lines (as with the National Popular Vote).

We would still be a republic, in which citizens continue to elect the President by a majority of Electoral College votes by states, to represent us and conduct the business of government.

National Popular Vote would give a voice to the minority party voters in each state. Now their votes are counted only for the candidate they did not vote for. Now they don't matter to their candidate. In 2012, 56,256,178 (44%) of the 128,954,498 voters had their vote diverted by the winner-take-all rule to a candidate they opposed (namely, their state’s first-place candidate).

And now votes, beyond the one needed to get the most votes in the state, for winning in a state are wasted and don't matter to candidates. Utah (5 electoral votes) alone generated a margin of 385,000 "wasted" votes for Bush in 2004. 8 small western states, with less than a third of California’s population, provided Bush with a bigger margin (1,283,076) than California provided Kerry (1,235,659).

With National Popular Vote, every popular vote, everywhere would be counted equally for, and directly assist, the candidate for whom it was cast.

Candidates would need to care about voters across the nation, not just undecided voters in a handful of swing states. The political reality would be that when every voter is equal, the campaign must be run in every part of the country.

When and where voters matter, then so do the issues they care about most.

“The bottom line is that the electors from those states who cast their ballot for the nationwide vote winner are completely accountable (to the extent that independent agents are ever accountable to anyone) to the people of those states. The NPV states aren’t delegating their Electoral College votes to voters outside the state; they have made a policy choice about the substantive intelligible criteria (i.e., national popularity) that they want to use to make their selection of electors. There is nothing in Article II (or elsewhere in the Constitution) that prevents them from making the decision that, in the Twenty-First Century, national voter popularity is a (or perhaps the) crucial factor in worthiness for the office of the President.” - Vikram David Amar

I Don't Accept The Case for the National Popular Vote

As stated before, the American people to do not elect the heads of the executive branch of government; the State electors do, in effect they represent the State's interest and in accordance with the guarantee to the States of a republican form of government.

The intent of the National Popular Vote Legislation ("Compact") is to subvert Article II without changing it through the Article V amendment process. I already explained in my original posts how the current system works and have given references that show it is a balanced system for all State electorates.

You wrote, "The Founding Fathers in the Constitution did not require states to allow their citizens to vote for president, much less award all their electoral votes based upon the vote of their citizens."

That is a twisting of Article II. Your statement leaves an open ended argument and implies that States have some discretion by not requiring the people to vote but suggests they are not denied the right to vote which is incorrect. The people are prohibited from voting for the president as their is no provision in the Constitution for them to do so.

You wrote, "The presidential election system we have today is not in the Constitution."

That is incorrect. It mostly certainly is as the Constitution allows States the discretion as to how the votes for president are to be counted.

The hangup with winner-take-all is that it is presented as being unfair and undemocratic but it is the Compact that is unjust as it denies the counting of the majority popular vote cast in each State by the people and reflected in the State Electors' vote as is done today. The Compact does not remove the winner-take-all swing but instead perverts it by designating the electors' votes to count for the presidential candidate who wins the nationwide popular vote which could be in direct opposition to the majority winner at the State level.

You wrote, "With National Popular Vote, every popular vote, everywhere would be counted equally for, and directly assist, the candidate for whom it was cast."

That is incorrect. What will happen is a State citizen who votes for his/her candidate of choice where such tally of votes State wide results in a majority for that candidate will be denied an electoral vote for that candidate because the Compact requires the electors to change the vote to align with the national popular vote winner. That is not a republican form of government as guaranteed to the States by the U.S. Constitution.

tasmlab's picture

We only cast a ballot for four people at the federal level

We only cast a ballot for four people at the federal level. Lets forget about them and concentrate on getting the other 4,000,000 government employees out.

Currently consuming: Gatto: "Underground history of education..", FDR; Wii U; NEP Football

How could this take effect?

In the manner the article states - that if states holding representing a
simple majority of EC votes agree to it then it is adopted? Huh?

It's hard to believe that Vermont and Rhode Island signed on to this since
small states tend to benefit from the current system.

I agree with BadgerStateDave - the problem with the Electoral College
system is basically that with the two exceptions he cites (Maine and Nebraska)
the system is winner-take-all at the state level.

Changing the system to chose electors proportionally would put the whole
country in play in a presidential election instead of it all being concentrated
in 10-12 swing states and minor parties would not be marginalized to the
extent they are now - they might end up deciding the outcome in a close race...

Any state that enacts the

Any state that enacts the proportional approach on its own would reduce its own influence. This was the most telling argument that caused Colorado voters to agree with Republican Governor Owens and to reject this proposal in November 2004 by a two-to-one margin.

If the proportional approach were implemented by a state, on its own, it would have to allocate its electoral votes in whole numbers. If a current battleground state were to change its winner-take-all statute to a proportional method for awarding electoral votes, presidential candidates would pay less attention to that state because only one electoral vote would probably be at stake in the state.

If states were to ever start adopting the whole-number proportional approach on a piecemeal basis, each additional state adopting the approach would increase the influence of the remaining states and thereby would decrease the incentive of the remaining states to adopt it. Thus, a state-by-state process of adopting the whole-number proportional approach would quickly bring itself to a halt, leaving the states that adopted it with only minimal influence in presidential elections.

The proportional method also could result in no candidate winning the needed majority of electoral votes. That would throw the process into Congress to decide.

If the whole-number proportional approach, the only proportional option available to an individual state on its own, had been in use throughout the country in the nation’s closest recent presidential election (2000), it would not have awarded the most electoral votes to the candidate receiving the most popular votes nationwide. Instead, the result would have been a tie of 269–269 in the electoral vote, even though Al Gore led by 537,179 popular votes across the nation. The presidential election would have been thrown into Congress to decide and resulted in the election of the second-place candidate in terms of the national popular vote.

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

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, which would require a constitutional amendment, 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.

A national popular vote is the way to make every person's vote equal and matter to their candidate because it guarantees that the candidate who gets the most votes in all 50 states and DC becomes President.

With National Popular Vote,

With National Popular Vote, when every popular vote counts equally, successful candidates will find a middle ground of policies appealing to the wide mainstream of America. Instead of playing mostly to local concerns in Ohio and Florida, candidates finally would have to form broader platforms for broad national support. Elections wouldn't be about winning a handful of battleground states.

Now political clout comes from being among the handful of battleground states. 80% of states and voters are ignored by presidential campaigns.

State winner-take-all laws negate any simplistic mathematical equations about the relative power of states based on their number of residents per electoral vote. Small state math means absolutely nothing to presidential campaigns and to presidents once in office.

In the 25 smallest states in 2008, the Democratic and Republican popular vote was almost tied (9.9 million versus 9.8 million), as was the electoral vote (57 versus 58).

In 2012, 24 of the nation's 27 smallest states received no attention at all from presidential campaigns after the conventions.- including not a single dollar in presidential campaign ad money after Mitt Romney became the presumptive Republican nominee on April 11. They were ignored despite their supposed numerical advantage in the Electoral College. In fact, the 8.6 million eligible voters in Ohio received more campaign ads and campaign visits from the major party campaigns than the 42 million eligible voters in those 27 smallest states combined.

Now with state-by-state winner-take-all laws (not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, but later enacted by 48 states), presidential elections ignore 12 of the 13 lowest population states (3-4 electoral votes), that are non-competitive in presidential elections. 6 regularly vote Republican (AK, ID, MT, WY, ND, and SD), and 6 regularly vote Democratic (RI, DE, HI, VT, ME, and DC) in presidential elections. Voters in states that are reliably red or blue don't matter. Candidates ignore those states and the issues they care about most.

Kerry won more electoral votes than Bush (21 versus 19) in the 12 least-populous non-battleground states, despite the fact that Bush won 650,421 popular votes compared to Kerry’s 444,115 votes. The reason is that the red states are redder than the blue states are blue. If the boundaries of the 13 least-populous states had been drawn recently, there would be accusations that they were a Democratic gerrymander.

Support for a national popular vote is strong in every smallest state surveyed in recent polls among Republicans, Democrats, and Independent voters, as well as every demographic group. Support in smaller states (3 to 5 electoral votes): AK -70%, DC -76%, DE --75%, ID -77%, ME - 77%, MT- 72%, NE - 74%, NH--69%, NE - 72%, NM - 76%, RI - 74%, SD- 71%, UT- 70%, VT - 75%, WV- 81%, and WY- 69%.

Among the 13 lowest population states, the National Popular Vote bill has passed in nine state legislative chambers, and been enacted by 4 jurisdictions.

Wait a second....

...we elect a president?

The Electoral College system is a sham to begin with


Who here really wants to defend the travesty that it the Electoral College system?

No other Election in our own Country is even decided that way, and no other non-communist Nation or non-dictatorship is ever decided that way.

The Electoral College system put a total loser in the White House, and gave us George W. Bush, (and the PNAC-Sept 11 madness, and endless Warfare that followed).

We should get rid of the Electoral System, but it will never happen because only a Constitutional amendment will get that to happen.

Is that really the fault of the system...

Or was that really the fault of each major party giving us Bush and Gore to choose from?

Yes, Bush ended up being a very, very bad President for us. No argument. Gore could possibly have been worse for all we know. Hard to say, since it never came to be.

I do know this, though. It's not the entire Electoral College system that's flawed, but there are ways to improve it. And I think Maine and Nebraska have it right. I do know NPV is a bad idea, though. I know Bush was a bad President. I do know Gore would likely have been as bad as Bush, and quite possibly even worse somehow. I also know those two shouldn't be the reason we scrap entirely a system we've used since the 12th Amendment was passed.

We just need either better candidates, or maybe just entirely give up on elections and hope for the best with principled non-participation.

Yes


When a false result is produced (2000), the system is at fault.

The fact that Elections (and only Presidential Elections), can be gerryrigged around by corrupting the output at just one State here or one State there to fudge the Electoral math -- proves that this system is an absurdity to begin with.

Elections by definition are supposed to reflect the will of the people in the Country, or who got the most votes -- not who won some special, "magic configuration" of States.

And it is much harder to corrupt an entire Election, then it is to corrupt just one key State.

Nobody else is the entire World has this system, and the reason is because it does not reflect the will of the people. It literally takes the power away from the people, and puts it into the hands of appointed "Electors" (in other words... only the votes of Elites count, and they replace your own vote).

It's a bad system (and nobody else in the World wants it).

A president being elected with less that a popular vote majority

(or even less than a plurality if there are more than two candidates)

Is only automatically a "false result" if you accept that the
system which was intended to give some equalizing bias
to small population states is itself invalid.

There were and continue to be valid reasons for it. In any case
the smaller states insisted on the provision and would never have
ratified the Constitution without it.

In which case we wouldn't be having this discussion...

Garan's picture

Yes. The Electoral System is being Gamed.

..to the detriment of the represented.

And what do you suggest to

And what do you suggest to replace it with?

Conventional Voting

Everybody gets one vote, and there is only one Total.

Maybe that will be acceptable

when it becomes the United State of America.

For now, that "S" in USA still stands for "States"...

Might be a catalyst to lead the less populous States to separate

from the Union.

Glad to hear that we at least

Glad to hear that we at least have an honest republican party. The last election really showed that

LOL

The world is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good things is my religion. Thomas Paine, Godfather of the American Revolution

This is why popular vote isn't better

There would be less attention to the smaller states under popular vote, and then in the bigger states like California, candidates will only have to "win" the big cities like Los Angeles and Sacramento, and so the rest of the state will receive less attention -- if any.

The Electoral College is not a perfect system, but it is the best system for how this country is constructed. The Electoral College is the reason why places like Iowa and New Hampshire generate so much interest among candidates. In a close race, 1 electoral vote can make a difference. So even those swing states with small populations get national attention. And that's a good thing. Iowa will be forgotten under popular vote and the big cities will dominate.

In 2012, 24 of the nation's

In 2012, 24 of the nation's 27 smallest states received no attention at all from presidential campaigns after the conventions.- including not a single dollar in presidential campaign ad money after Mitt Romney became the presumptive Republican nominee on April 11. They were ignored despite their supposed numerical advantage in the Electoral College. In fact, the 8.6 million eligible voters in Ohio received more campaign ads and campaign visits from the major party campaigns than the 42 million eligible voters in those 27 smallest states combined.

Even in California state-wide elections, candidates for governor or U.S. Senate don't campaign just in Los Angeles and San Francisco, and those places don't control the outcome (otherwise California wouldn't have recently had Republican governors Reagan, Dukemejian, Wilson, and Schwarzenegger). A vote in rural Alpine county is just an important as a vote in Los Angeles. If Los Angeles cannot control statewide elections in California, it can hardly control a nationwide election.
In fact, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose, and Oakland together cannot control a statewide election in California.

A nationwide presidential campaign, with every voter equal, would be run the way presidential candidates campaign to win the electoral votes of closely divided battleground states, such as Ohio and Florida, under the state-by-state winner-take-all methods. The big cities in those battleground states do not receive all the attention, much less control the outcome. Cleveland and Miami do not receive all the attention or control the outcome in Ohio and Florida. In the 4 states that accounted for over two-thirds of all general-election activity in the 2012 presidential election, rural areas, suburbs, exurbs, and cities all received attention—roughly in proportion to their population.

The itineraries of presidential candidates in battleground states (and their allocation of other campaign resources in battleground states) reflect the political reality that every gubernatorial or senatorial candidate knows. When and where every voter is equal, a campaign must be run everywhere.

With National Popular Vote, when every voter is equal, everywhere, it makes sense for presidential candidates to try and elevate their votes where they are and aren't so well liked. But, under the state-by-state winner-take-all laws, it makes no sense for a Democrat to try and do that in Vermont or Wyoming, or for a Republican to try it in Wyoming or Vermont.

A popular vote wouldn't not

A popular vote wouldn't not remedy the current problems of the Electoral College system. It would make them a little worse. Big cities would have slightly more influence on the outcome.

Plus, the whole issue about the two systems is pretty dumb anyways. Considering almost every President has been elected by popular vote, only a couple have won the Presidency without getting the popular vote. American people should be more concerned about Diebold than the Presidential voting system.

Disagree


Why should basically just two States Iowa and/or New Hampshire (and then the money that follows) determine who becomes President of the entire Country?

This is not fair. And it also makes it easier to corrupt Elections -- because if you can derail a candidate in an early key State then his whole campaign is derailed and doomed.

Elections, like sporting events, should be based upon equal access and equal chance:

1. Take the money (bribery) out of the system, and use public airwaves.
2. Everybody gets one vote, and that vote is directly part of the final Total.
3. Neither voters nor candidates are disenfrachised because of wealth, or the ability to be seen and heard.
4. No one State has the power to tip anything one way or another. Only the will of the people can do that.


Garan's picture

Don't Forget Corporations

They should get a vote too. ;)

Couldn't agree more.

Couldn't agree more.