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Thread: The electoral college

  1. #201
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    Re: The electoral college

    for goodness sake, please stop spamming your cut and paste drivel.

    I understand what you are advocating and it is a way around changing the Constitution which you know can't happen. It is also subject to the fact that any state can change their mind at any point which is another opportunity to cause chaos in other states.

    I understand that you want a national referendum but there are 50+ state-level elections, not a single national election.

    As for your polls, *YAWN*

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    Re: The electoral college

    Quote Originally Posted by AliHajiSheik View Post
    for goodness sake, please stop spamming your cut and paste drivel.

    I understand what you are advocating and it is a way around changing the Constitution which you know can't happen. It is also subject to the fact that any state can change their mind at any point which is another opportunity to cause chaos in other states.

    I understand that you want a national referendum but there are 50+ state-level elections, not a single national election.

    As for your polls, *YAWN*
    One more time.

    National Popular Vote changes NOTHING in the Constitution.

    The bill preserves the constitutionally mandated Electoral College and state control of elections. We do and would vote state by state.

    Current federal law (Title 3, chapter 1, section 6 of the United States Code) requires the states to report the November popular vote numbers (the "canvas") in what is called a "Certificate of Ascertainment." You can see the Certificates of Ascertainment for all 50 states and the District of Columbia containing the official count of the popular vote at the NARA web site.

    "Prior to the time set by law for the meeting and voting by the presidential electors, the chief election official of each member state shall determine the number of votes for each presidential slate in each State of the United States and in the District of Columbia in which votes have been cast in a statewide popular election and shall add such votes together to produce a “national popular vote total” for each presidential slate."

    The National Popular Vote bill says: "Any member state may withdraw from this agreement, except that a withdrawal occurring six months or less before the end of a President’s term shall not become effective until a President or Vice President shall have been qualified to serve the next term."

    This six-month “blackout” period includes six important events relating to presidential elections, namely the
    ● national nominating conventions,
    ● fall general election campaign period,
    ● Election Day on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November,
    ● meeting of the Electoral College on the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December,
    ● counting of the electoral votes by Congress on January 6, and
    ● scheduled inauguration of the President and Vice President for the new term on January 20.

    Any attempt by a state to pull out of the compact in violation of its terms would violate the Impairments Clause of the U.S. Constitution and would be void. Such an attempt would also violate existing federal law. Compliance would be enforced by Federal court action

    The National Popular Vote compact is, first of all, a state law. It is a state law that would govern the manner of choosing presidential electors. A Secretary of State may not ignore or override the National Popular Vote law any more than he or she may ignore or override the winner-take-all method that is currently the law in 48 states.

    There has never been a court decision allowing a state to withdraw from an interstate compact without following the procedure for withdrawal specified by the compact. Indeed, courts have consistently rebuffed the occasional (sometimes creative) attempts by states to evade their obligations under interstate compacts.

    In 1976, the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland stated in Hellmuth and Associates v. Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority:

    “When enacted, a compact constitutes not only law, but a contract which may not be amended, modified, or otherwise altered without the consent of all parties.”

    In 1999, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania stated in Aveline v. Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole:
    “A compact takes precedence over the subsequent statutes of signatory states and, as such, a state may not unilaterally nullify, revoke, or amend one of its compacts if the compact does not so provide.”

    In 1952, the U.S. Supreme Court very succinctly addressed the issue in Petty v. Tennessee-Missouri Bridge Commission:
    “A compact is, after all, a contract.”

    The important point is that an interstate compact is not a mere “handshake” agreement. If a state wants to rely on the goodwill and graciousness of other states to follow certain policies, it can simply enact its own state law and hope that other states decide to act in an identical manner. If a state wants a legally binding and enforceable mechanism by which it agrees to undertake certain specified actions only if other states agree to take other specified actions, it enters into an interstate compact.

    Interstate compacts are supported by over two centuries of settled law guaranteeing enforceability. Interstate compacts exist because the states are sovereign. If there were no Compacts Clause in the U.S. Constitution, a state would have no way to enter into a legally binding contract with another state. The Compacts Clause, supported by the Impairments Clause, provides a way for a state to enter into a contract with other states and be assured of the enforceability of the obligations undertaken by its sister states. The enforceability of interstate compacts under the Impairments Clause is precisely the reason why sovereign states enter into interstate compacts. Without the Compacts Clause and the Impairments Clause, any contractual agreement among the states would be, in fact, no more than a handshake.

  3. #203
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    Re: The electoral college

    Quote Originally Posted by mvymvy View Post
    One more time.

    National Popular Vote changes NOTHING in the Constitution.

    The bill preserves the constitutionally mandated Electoral College and state control of elections. We do and would vote state by state.
    Please allow me to show you how it's done. Your walls of text are ineffective. It's better to identify your opponents points simple, and address them directly

    Proportional assignment of a states electors does not "go around" the constitution because:

    1) The constitution has no requirement that states assign all their electors to the candidate who gets the most votes in that state

    2) Assigning the votes proportionally not only does not "go around" the letter of the law, it does not "go around" it's intent. It is obvious that the Framers concern for a states sovereignity led it to allow the states to decide for themselves how to assign the electors. Requiring a "winner takes all" assignment would have been a restriction on a states ability to do as it wished.
    Quote Originally Posted by matchlight View Post
    Justice Thomas' opinions consistently contain precise, detailed constitutional analyses.
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  4. #204
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    Re: The electoral college

    Quote Originally Posted by mvymvy View Post
    The current state-by-state winner-take-all system of awarding electoral votes maximizes the incentive and opportunity for fraud, coercion, intimidation, confusion, and voter suppression.
    And you don't think a national popular vote would be worse? Amazing.

    With National Popular Vote, every vote 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.
    It's not about individuals, it's about states. That we are a UNION of states. When places like California and New York rule the nation, are doom is CERTAIN.
    "nah i think the way cons want to turn this into a political issue is funny though" - Philly Boss

  5. #205
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    Re: The electoral college

    Quote Originally Posted by sangha View Post
    Please allow me to show you how it's done. Your walls of text are ineffective. It's better to identify your opponents points simple, and address them directly

    Proportional assignment of a states electors does not "go around" the constitution because:

    1) The constitution has no requirement that states assign all their electors to the candidate who gets the most votes in that state

    2) Assigning the votes proportionally not only does not "go around" the letter of the law, it does not "go around" it's intent. It is obvious that the Framers concern for a states sovereignity led it to allow the states to decide for themselves how to assign the electors. Requiring a "winner takes all" assignment would have been a restriction on a states ability to do as it wished.
    1) Exactly. The choice of method was left exclusively to the states 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."
    The Constitution does not prohibit any of the methods that were debated and rejected. Indeed, a majority of the states appointed their presidential electors using two of the rejected methods 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 constitutional wording does not encourage, discourage, require, or prohibit the use of any particular method for awarding the state's electoral votes.

    2) By enacting National Popular Vote, states are deciding for themselves how to assign their electors. States are exercising their responsibility and power to make all of their voters relevant in every presidential election and beyond.

  6. #206
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    Re: The electoral college

    Quote Originally Posted by Gaius46 View Post
    But you're fine with Florida and Ohio doing so?

    Moving away from winner takes all does no such thing.
    They didn't make the decision for the whole country alone, it was a bunch of other states including Florida and Ohio that helped decided who the president is.
    "A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murder is less to fear"

    Cicero Marcus Tullius

  7. #207
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    Re: The electoral college

    I'm fine with staying with the EC system, fine with changing it. There are abuses possible either way. Just pick one and let us know so we know what to expect come election time.

  8. #208
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    Re: The electoral college

    Quote Originally Posted by Arbo View Post
    And you don't think a national popular vote would be worse? Amazing.

    It's not about individuals, it's about states. That we are a UNION of states. When places like California and New York rule the nation, are doom is CERTAIN.
    80% of the states have been merely spectators to presidential elections. They have no influence. When and where states are ignored, then so are the issues they care about most.

    Anyone who supports the current presidential election system, believing it is what the Founders intended and that it is in the Constitution, is mistaken. The current presidential election system does not function, at all, the way that the Founders thought that it would.

    Supporters of National Popular Vote find it hard to believe the Founding Fathers would endorse the current electoral system where 80% of the states now are completely politically irrelevant. 10 of the original 13 states are ignored now. 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. In 2008, presidential campaigns spent 98% of their resources in just 15 battleground states, where they were not hopelessly behind or safely ahead, and could win the bare plurality of the vote to win all of the state’s electoral votes. Now the majority of Americans, in small, medium-small, average, and large states are ignored. Virtually none of the small states receive any attention. None of the 10 most rural states is a battleground state. 19 of the 22 lowest population and medium-small states, and 17 medium and big states like CA, GA, NY, and TX are ignored. Once the conventions are over, presidential candidates now don’t visit or spend resources in 80% of the states. Candidates know the Republican is going to win in safe red states, and the Democrat will win in safe blue states, so they are ignored. States have the responsibility and power to make themselves relevant in every presidential election.


    The closest popular-vote election count over the last 130+ years of American history (in 1960), had a nationwide margin of more than 100,000 popular votes. The closest electoral-vote election in American history (in 2000) was determined by 537 votes, all in one state, when there was a lead of 537,179 (1,000 times more) popular votes nationwide.

    For a national popular vote election to be as easy to switch as 2000, it would have to be two hundred times closer than the 1960 election--and, in popular-vote terms, forty times closer than 2000 itself.

    Which system offers vote suppressors or fraudulent voters a better shot at success for a smaller effort?

    With the current state-by-state winner-take-all system of awarding electoral votes, it could only take winning a bare plurality of popular votes in 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 include five "red states (Texas, Florida, Ohio, North Carolina, and Georgia) and six "blue" states (California, New York, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and New Jersey). The fact is that the big states are just about as closely divided as the rest of the country. For example, among the four largest states, the two largest Republican states (Texas and Florida) generated a total margin of 2.1 million votes for Bush, while the two largest Democratic states generated a total margin of 2.1 million votes for Kerry.

    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).

  9. #209
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    Re: The electoral college

    Quote Originally Posted by clownboy View Post
    I'm fine with staying with the EC system, fine with changing it. There are abuses possible either way. Just pick one and let us know so we know what to expect come election time.
    I am against changing it, as we see more and more examples of uninformed voters... no way in hell I want them in charge of things. DC is bad enough now.
    "nah i think the way cons want to turn this into a political issue is funny though" - Philly Boss

  10. #210
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    Re: The electoral college

    Quote Originally Posted by jamesrage View Post
    They didn't make the decision for the whole country alone, it was a bunch of other states including Florida and Ohio that helped decided who the president is.
    Follow the money.

    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 that decide the presidency have become increasingly fewer and fixed.

    Because of the state-by-state winner-take-all electoral votes laws (i.e., awarding all of a state’s electoral votes to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in each state) in 48 states, a candidate can win the Presidency without winning the most popular votes nationwide. This has occurred in 4 of the nation's 57 (1 in 14 = 7%) presidential elections. The precariousness of the current state-by-state winner-take-all system of awarding electoral votes is highlighted by the fact that a shift of a few thousand voters in one or two states would have elected the second-place candidate in 4 of the 15 presidential elections since World War II. Near misses are now frequently common. There have been 7 consecutive non-landslide presidential elections (1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, and 2012). 537 popular votes won Florida and the White House for Bush in 2000 despite Gore's lead of 537,179 (1,000 times more) popular votes nationwide. A shift of 60,000 voters in Ohio in 2004 would have defeated President Bush despite his nationwide lead of over 3 million votes.

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