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Thread: New York does away with Electoral College

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    Re: New York does away with Electoral College

    Quote Originally Posted by Slyhunter View Post
    If we got rid of the electoral college candidates would only need to actively run in California, Texas, New York, and Florida. The rest of the country will no longer matter.
    The indefensible reality is that more than 99% of campaign attention was showered on voters in just ten states in 2012

    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!

    But 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 have included 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.

    In 2004, among the 11 most populous states, in the seven non-battleground states, % of winning party, and margin of “wasted” popular votes, from among the total 122 Million votes cast nationally:
    * Texas (62% Republican), 1,691,267
    * New York (59% Democratic), 1,192,436
    * Georgia (58% Republican), 544,634
    * North Carolina (56% Republican), 426,778
    * California (55% Democratic), 1,023,560
    * Illinois (55% Democratic), 513,342
    * New Jersey (53% Democratic), 211,826

    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. 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).

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    Re: New York does away with Electoral College

    Quote Originally Posted by Lutherf View Post
    It's not outdated.

    The result of dissolution of the electoral college will be the removal of one more hedge against federal supremacy. Little by little the states are ceding their power and their responsibilities to the federal government. In time the states will become nothing more than the answer to a trivia question and state governments will be strictly figurative. There will be no restraints on the federal government which will become more and more insulated from the people who will have less and less autonomy as we transition from a nation based on natural rights into one based on civil rights.
    National Popular Vote does not abolish the Electoral College.

    With the Electoral College and federalism, the Founding Fathers meant to empower the states to pursue their own interests within the confines of the Constitution. The National Popular Vote is an exercise of that power, not an attack upon it.

    The Electoral College is now the set of 538 dedicated party activists who vote as rubberstamps for their party’s presidential candidate. That is not what the Founders intended.

    During the course of campaigns, candidates are educated and campaign about the local, regional, and state issues most important to the handful of battleground states they need to win. They take this knowledge and prioritization with them once they are elected. Candidates need to be educated and care about all of our states.

    The current state-by-state winner-take-all method of awarding electoral votes (not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, but later enacted by 48 states), under which all of a state's electoral votes are awarded to the candidate who gets the most votes in each separate state, ensures that the candidates, after the conventions, in 2012 did not reach out to about 80% of the states and their voters. 10 of the original 13 states are ignored now. Candidates had no reason to poll, visit, advertise, organize, campaign, or care about the voter concerns in the dozens of states where they were safely ahead or hopelessly behind.

    80% of the states and people were just spectators to the presidential election. That's more than 85 million voters, 200 million Americans.

    Policies important to the citizens of non-battleground states are not as highly prioritized as policies important to ‘battleground’ states when it comes to governing.

    Since World War II, a shift of a few thousand votes in one or two states would have elected the second-place candidate in 4 of the 15 presidential elections

    The National Popular Vote bill preserves the Electoral College and state control of elections. It changes the way electoral votes are awarded in the Electoral College.

    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. When states with a combined total of at least 270 electoral votes enact the bill, the candidate with the most popular votes in all 50 states and DC would get the needed majority of 270+ Electoral College votes from the enacting states. The bill would thus guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes and the majority of Electoral College votes.

    States have the responsibility and power to make all of their voters relevant in every presidential election and beyond.

    Unable to agree on any particular method, the Founding Fathers left the choice of method for selecting presidential electors exclusively to the states by adopting the language contained in section 1 of Article II of the U.S. Constitution-- "Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors . . ." The U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly characterized the authority of the state legislatures over the manner of awarding their electoral votes as "plenary" and "exclusive."

    Federalism concerns the allocation of power between state governments and the national government. The National Popular Vote bill concerns how votes are tallied, not how much power state governments possess relative to the national government. 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).

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    Re: New York does away with Electoral College

    We've been attacked by the Popular Vote Robot.

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    Re: New York does away with Electoral College

    Quote Originally Posted by AliHajiSheik View Post
    You say that the founding fathers did not anticipate that the method we use today to select electors, then you reference Article II, section 1 which precisely assigns the task to each state legislature do decide how electors are appointed. That seems contradictory to me. Seems to me that pretty much any method, including this National Popular Vote proposal, selected by a state legislature is in compliance with the Constitution. The fact that I believe all had a winner take all and then 2 (NE and ME) decided to go to district voting tells me that the method was pretty popular. I have no idea how long that was the case, but whatever.

    My assertion is that the National Popular Vote is the worst method of selecting electors of all the Constitutional methods I've heard. I don't think any state's electors should be decided by voting that takes place in other states.
    Yes. Any method, including the National Popular Vote proposal, selected by a state legislature is in compliance with the Constitution.

    A majority of the states appointed their presidential electors using two of the methods rejected by the Founders in the nation's first presidential election in 1789 (i.e., appointment by the legislature and by the governor and his cabinet). Presidential electors were appointed by state legislatures for almost a century.

    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.

    States can, and have, changed their method of awarding electoral votes over the years.

    Massachusetts has used 11 different methods of awarding its electoral votes.

    Maine in 1969 and Nebraska in 1992 chose the district method.

    “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

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    Re: New York does away with Electoral College

    We have seen a move since 2010 from Republicans in Pennsylvania to move to the Congressional District method of alloting Electoral votes,
    as currently happens in small states Nebraska and Maine.
    Especially with their admitted Gerry-mandered Federal Remap from the 2010 election.

    Obama would have received less EVs than Romney in the 2012 election from PA.
    It is legal and the "nuclear" option of the electoral college .
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    Re: New York does away with Electoral College

    Quote Originally Posted by mvymvy View Post
    Yes. Any method, including the National Popular Vote proposal, selected by a state legislature is in compliance with the Constitution.

    A majority of the states appointed their presidential electors using two of the methods rejected by the Founders in the nation's first presidential election in 1789 (i.e., appointment by the legislature and by the governor and his cabinet). Presidential electors were appointed by state legislatures for almost a century.

    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.

    States can, and have, changed their method of awarding electoral votes over the years.

    Massachusetts has used 11 different methods of awarding its electoral votes.

    Maine in 1969 and Nebraska in 1992 chose the district method.

    “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


    Vikram and I disagree, a state that bases their electoral allocation using a method this is in disagreement with the majority of the citizens that state is inherently wrong. Some people hate that the states don't do what they want, I applaud the states.

    If 100% of a states votes are for candidate A but because the majority of a national vote count (that cannot be recounted if it is close) goes to candidate B, I can't think of a more abhorrent result for that state.
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    Re: New York does away with Electoral College

    Quote Originally Posted by mvymvy View Post
    National Popular Vote does not abolish the Electoral College.

    With the Electoral College and federalism, the Founding Fathers meant to empower the states to pursue their own interests within the confines of the Constitution. The National Popular Vote is an exercise of that power, not an attack upon it.

    The Electoral College is now the set of 538 dedicated party activists who vote as rubberstamps for their party’s presidential candidate. That is not what the Founders intended.

    During the course of campaigns, candidates are educated and campaign about the local, regional, and state issues most important to the handful of battleground states they need to win. They take this knowledge and prioritization with them once they are elected. Candidates need to be educated and care about all of our states.

    The current state-by-state winner-take-all method of awarding electoral votes (not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, but later enacted by 48 states), under which all of a state's electoral votes are awarded to the candidate who gets the most votes in each separate state, ensures that the candidates, after the conventions, in 2012 did not reach out to about 80% of the states and their voters. 10 of the original 13 states are ignored now. Candidates had no reason to poll, visit, advertise, organize, campaign, or care about the voter concerns in the dozens of states where they were safely ahead or hopelessly behind.

    80% of the states and people were just spectators to the presidential election. That's more than 85 million voters, 200 million Americans.

    Policies important to the citizens of non-battleground states are not as highly prioritized as policies important to ‘battleground’ states when it comes to governing.

    Since World War II, a shift of a few thousand votes in one or two states would have elected the second-place candidate in 4 of the 15 presidential elections

    The National Popular Vote bill preserves the Electoral College and state control of elections. It changes the way electoral votes are awarded in the Electoral College.

    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. When states with a combined total of at least 270 electoral votes enact the bill, the candidate with the most popular votes in all 50 states and DC would get the needed majority of 270+ Electoral College votes from the enacting states. The bill would thus guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes and the majority of Electoral College votes.

    States have the responsibility and power to make all of their voters relevant in every presidential election and beyond.

    Unable to agree on any particular method, the Founding Fathers left the choice of method for selecting presidential electors exclusively to the states by adopting the language contained in section 1 of Article II of the U.S. Constitution-- "Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors . . ." The U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly characterized the authority of the state legislatures over the manner of awarding their electoral votes as "plenary" and "exclusive."

    Federalism concerns the allocation of power between state governments and the national government. The National Popular Vote bill concerns how votes are tallied, not how much power state governments possess relative to the national government. 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).
    While your response is very informed and refreshingly unbiased I think you're wrong about this process preserving the electoral college. In fact I believe it pretty much obviates that function.

    That being said, I would agree that the current process is corrupted by party influence on the electors and especially by the "winner takes all" policies of a few states. We really can't (or shouldn't) mandate, at the federal level, that electors be independent but this type of legislation is contrary to the basic principles of proportionally representational government that we have guaranteed ourselves through the Constitution.

    In short, I see moves like this (and the 17th amendment) as attempts to nationalize the vote while undercutting the power of the individual voter.

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    Re: New York does away with Electoral College

    Quote Originally Posted by Lutherf View Post
    While your response is very informed and refreshingly unbiased I think you're wrong about this process preserving the electoral college. In fact I believe it pretty much obviates that function.

    That being said, I would agree that the current process is corrupted by party influence on the electors and especially by the "winner takes all" policies of a few states. We really can't (or shouldn't) mandate, at the federal level, that electors be independent but this type of legislation is contrary to the basic principles of proportionally representational government that we have guaranteed ourselves through the Constitution.

    In short, I see moves like this (and the 17th amendment) as attempts to nationalize the vote while undercutting the power of the individual voter.
    I don't think 20 farmers producing edible products in the Midwest on 20,000 acres of land should have their vote cancelled out by 20 people in a single apartment building in New York. There's more to it than one person, one vote.

    Population density and reproductive capability shouldn't rule alone.

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    Re: New York does away with Electoral College

    Quote Originally Posted by mvymvy View Post
    National Popular Vote does not do away with the Electoral College.

    In 1789, only 3 states used the "winner-take-all" system based on the statewide popular vote. Similar laws in other states only became prevalent decades after the deaths of the Founding Fathers. 2 states do not use the system.

    Fly over country is FLOWN OVER. Ignored. Politically irrelevant. That's what it means.

    The National Popular Vote bill would end the disproportionate attention and influence of the "mob" in the current handful of closely divided battleground states, such as Ohio and Florida, while the "mobs" of the vast majority of states are ignored.

    The current system does not provide some kind of check on the "mobs." There have been 22,991 electoral votes cast since presidential elections became competitive (in 1796), and only 17 have been cast for someone other than the candidate nominated by the elector's own political party. 1796 remains the only instance when the elector might have thought, at the time he voted, that his vote might affect the national outcome. The electors now are dedicated party activists of the winning party who meet briefly in mid-December to cast their totally predictable rubberstamped votes in accordance with their pre-announced pledges.

    If a Democratic presidential candidate receives the most votes, the state's dedicated Democratic party activists who have been chosen as its slate of electors become the Electoral College voting bloc. If a Republican presidential candidate receives the most votes, the state's dedicated Republican party activists who have been chosen as its slate of electors become the Electoral College voting bloc. The winner of the presidential election is and would be the candidate who collects 270 votes from Electoral College voters from among the winning party's dedicated activists.

    The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld state laws guaranteeing faithful voting by presidential electors (because the states have plenary power over presidential electors).

    National Popular Vote did not invent popular elections. Having election results determined by the candidate getting the most individual votes is not some scary, untested idea loaded with unintended consequences.
    The delegates to the Constitutional Convention feared concentrated power and intended the states to be a potent check on the national government. They included five provisions for this purpose:



    1. Enumerated powers, reconfirmed by the 10th amendment

    2. Equal state representation in the Senate

    3. Senators elected by state legislatures

    4. Limited national taxing authority

    5. An Electoral College

    When you look at that list, over the last 100 years all have been watered down or changed with the exception of the Electoral College which is now under attack. Unfortunately, few in Washington consider the enumerated powers (Tenth Amendment) a constraint. The 16th Amendment forever changed #3 and #4. Because of the 16th Amendment Congress can collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived and Senators are now popularly elected and have more allegiance to their party than their state. It is at the core of why we have an imbalance of power with an every growing authoritarian federal government. Now the Electoral College is under attack. To remove it would send us closer to a Democracy rather than a Republic.

    National Popular Vote Compact Law circumvents the Constitution. What it proposes amounts to rigging the Electoral College. One could compare it to the likes of President Barack Obama's abuse of the law through his extensive use of executive orders.

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    Re: New York does away with Electoral College

    Quote Originally Posted by mvymvy View Post
    The indefensible reality is that more than 99% of campaign attention was showered on voters in just ten states in 2012- and that in today's political climate, the swing states have become increasingly fewer and fixed.

    Where you live should not determine how much, if at all, your vote matters.

    The current state-by-state winner-take-all method of awarding electoral votes (not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, but later enacted by 48 states), ensures that the candidates, after the conventions, will not reach out to about 80% of the states and their voters. Candidates have no reason to poll, visit, advertise, organize, campaign, or care about the voter concerns in the dozens of states where they are safely ahead or hopelessly behind.

    Presidential candidates concentrate their attention on only a handful of closely divided "battleground" states and their voters. There is no incentive for them to bother to care about the majority of states where they are hopelessly behind or safely ahead to win.
    10 of the original 13 states are ignored now.
    Four out of five Americans were ignored in the 2012 presidential election. After being nominated, Obama visited just eight closely divided battleground states, and Romney visited only 10. These 10 states accounted for 98% of the $940 million spent on campaign advertising. They decided the election.
    None of the 10 most rural states mattered, as usual.
    About 80% of the country was ignored --including 24 of the 27 lowest population and medium-small states, and 13 medium and big states like CA, GA, NY, and TX.

    Policies important to the citizens of non-battleground states are not as highly prioritized as policies important to ‘battleground’ states when it comes to governing.

    With National Popular Vote, every voter would be equal. Candidates would reallocate their time, the money they raise, and their ad buys to no longer ignore 80% of the states and voters.

    With National Popular Vote, big cities would not get all of candidates’ attention, much less control the outcome.

    16% of Americans live in rural areas. None of the 10 most rural states matter now.

    The population of the top five cities (New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston and Philadelphia) is only 6% of the population of the United States and the population of the top 50 cities (going as far down as Arlington, TX) is only 15% of the population of the United States.

    Suburbs and exurbs often vote Republican.

    If big cities controlled the outcome of elections, the governors and U.S. Senators would be Democratic in virtually every state with a significant city.
    Hence the reason winner take all needs to go the way of the dodo bird. There are two things needed to clean up the presidential elections a bit and make the swing states no longer swing states but states the same as any other. That is get rid of winner take all. That means every district a say in electing the president including in the solid red and blue states. The red and blue states still get 2 extra electors for winning a state and the swing states are much less important in the grand scheme of things. National popular vote would exacerbate the problem of the swing states except instead of whole states being courted it would be just certain cities because that is were the people are. California is a prime example of why popular vote is not good idea especially nationally. California is both rural and metropolitan and has the needs and problems of both many of which are mutually exclusive. There are three cities that control California LA SF and SAC. They together have just enough population to cancel out the rural populations like Bakersfield, Fresno, Redding ect. That's why you here all the talk about the state separating into different states because Sacramento is dominated by the cities now, which means the rural areas are getting the shaft especially in tight years. Right now Sacramento is trying to ban fracking in this state even though the basic method was developed here over 60 years ago and has been in use for that long. Sacramento is also denying water to the farmers in the central valley. Oil and Ag are THE two major industries of central California, yet the cities representatives are doing their best to inhibit these industries by taking their water they paid for and denying them permits to drill or frack even though an agreement was supposedly reached.
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