Strategy- REFORM the Electoral College!

While we can not do away with the Electoral College, every one of us CAN work towards proportional awarding of electoral votes.  The problem with those votes is that in most cases they are winner take all. (I believe Maine and Nebraska are the two exceptions.)  So the large population centers steal votes from those of us in more rural areas. Let’s take a look – starting with my home state, PA.

PA Congressional Map

See the cluster of districts around Philly?

Now let’s take a look at the election results.

PA Election Results Map

Note the vast swaths of red?

Note also that ALL of our electoral votes went to teh fraud. In reality, not one vote counted in the red areas of the state.  By my eye, PA 3, 4, 5, 9, 10, 17, 15 and 19 all should have gone to Romney. There are others there as well. The Politico map is nice as you can hover over the counties and see the vote totals. You will see if you do so, that Romney won handily in almost every county in PA- and his margins were close even in some of the counties around Philly. Hover over Berks, Chester and Bucks counties.

So at least 8 out of 20 votes that were against Obama. What about in OH?

OH Congressional Map

OH Election Results

My eye says OH 3, 4, 6, 16, 17 and 18 all against Obama.

I don’t have time to go through all the state maps, but you get the drift. You can go to the links above and zoom out and in and look at any state.  Our votes are not being counted. And importantly, the PTB know they only have to cheat in the high population density districts to take the whole prize. They can ignore and mock the bitter clingers and they know the electoral college protects them.

Look. These are OUR VOTES! Bad enough ACORN and the Black Panthers cheat and steal and intimidate in areas like Philly. Worse is that they get our votes too without even working at it.

PA had a movement  to change the way our votes are awarded. It died a quiet death- mostly because of arguments that we needed to keep them all as one big prize so the campaigns would campaign and spend money here. Well, gee, that didn’t pan out now did it? I suspect there were other, high pressure movers and shakers behind that death.

The electoral totals this year were 332 to 206. Could we have gotten a different result? I would have to go state by state to check it out.  But just a quick check shows we could have shaved a few in even states like CA. YES! Even California has huge swaths of red. Add in a half dozen in FL, a few in VA, MI, WI etc- and we might be looking at a better, different future.

I want my vote to count. More than anything else, I want to know that my vote was not disregarded.

What say you? I am going to start hounding Harrisburg over this. My local and state reps are going to hear it until we get FAIR elections and FAIR awarding of electoral votes.

Let’s make the Constitution work FOR us instead of “agin” us eh?

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Bitter Hick clinging to the OLD Democratic ideals! Country before party!
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118 Responses to Strategy- REFORM the Electoral College!

  1. votermom says:

    PMM is on fire!

    And I completely agree – move to proportional!

    (I am working on a post about the margins in Philly – so gla dyou have this post PMM!)

    • An analysis of the whole number proportional plan and congressional district systems of awarding electoral votes, evaluated the systems “on the basis of whether they promote majority rule, make elections more nationally competitive, reduce incentives for partisan machinations, and make all votes count equally. . . .

      Awarding electoral votes by a proportional or congressional district [used by Maine and Nebraska] method fails to promote majority rule, greater competitiveness or voter equality. Pursued at a state level, both reforms dramatically increase incentives for partisan machinations. If done nationally, the congressional district system has a sharp partisan tilt toward the Republican Party, while the whole number proportional system sharply increases the odds of no candidate getting the majority of electoral votes needed, leading to the selection of the president by the U.S. House of Representatives.

      For states seeking to exercise their responsibility under the U.S. Constitution to choose a method of allocating electoral votes that best serves their state’s interest and that of the national interest, both alternatives fall far short of the National Popular Vote plan . . .”

      FairVote

  2. votermom says:

    And importantly, the PTB know they only have to cheat in the high population density districts to take the whole prize. They can ignore and mock the bitter clingers and they know the electoral college protects them.

    This is exactly what they did.

    • votermom says:

      Philadelphia county overwhelmed the rest of the state as usual.

      Philadelphia county report 558,158 votes for Obama and 91870.

      If you removed Philadelphia from PA, the results for the rest of the state are that Obama got 2,329,063 votes and Romney got 2,503,305, (Yes, Romney won popular vote of non-Philly PA)

      http://www.electionreturns.state.pa.us/

      • honoracarroll says:

        Don’t the American citizens that live in Philly deserve to vote?

        • votermom says:

          Of course they do, but why do they get to throw out GOP election watchers? I’m saying, limit the damage that voter fraud can do.
          Let Philly have whatever number of electoral votes it can hock to teh Dem machne, but don’t let them dictate the rest of the state.

        • Of course they do. They have their Congressional Districts, as do all citizens. They can vote as they please. My vote should NOT be negated by theirs.

    • Lulu says:

      I think that they did it in corrupt Democratic machine cities. Others not so much. States that try to run clean elections also had Dem majorities in their cities but they were not crazy numbers. I want to see clean elections so state and local governments can be made to work too not just to remedy electoral messes. These crazy precinct totals screw government up from top to bottom and these corrupt cities cost entire states money to deal with their messes. I don’t care if a city wants to be Democratic but run it honestly and pay for your own stuff instead of entire states citizens who don’t get the benefits. I’m tired of some voter’s vote being worth more than mine.

  3. Wish I was more talented with computer graphics- it would be very interesting (and helpful to my campaign in Harrisburg lol) to have an overlay of all the Congressional Districts with the red and blue.
    Hope everyone chimes in with what their state totals would have been had the votes been by district. Remember, we only need 63 votes shave anywhere and everywhere to make the difference. 6 here, 5 there- sooner or later we are talking REAL voting!

  4. honoracarroll says:

    National Popular Vote is trying to bypass the electoral college, they are half way towards making it happen. http://www.nationalpopularvote.com/ Here is how it works. Under the Constitution, states can decide how they want to allocate their electors. If states pass the legislation that is the foundation of the national popular vote movement, then that states electors are required to vote for the person who won the popular vote for president. The requirement does not kick in until enough states have passed the legislation to accomplish the goal. I know it sounds convoluted, but go to their website and let them explain it to you. They have half of the electoral college votes that they need and other states have the legislation moving through their systems. I have decided to do what I can to support this movement.

    Two points on the post. First, voting fraud and the security of our voting system must be fixed. Without that no voting method will work. However, my second point is that laying all of the unfairness of the electoral college to urban areas taking all the votes of rural voters is unwarranted. Every vote should count, period. Democrats in Texas are just as disenfranchised as are Republicans in Pennsylvania. The big urban areas have more people, so they will have more votes. Lets just count every vote and then make the person who gets more votes president. Lets get rid of ‘battleground states’ and bring back the United States.

    • votermom says:

      First, voting fraud and the security of our voting system must be fixed. Without that no voting method will work.

      If we say “first we stop the cheating” we’re going to be stuck, imo. The system must not be well, based on an assumption that there is no cheating. The system must be reformed so that cheating becomes less relevant.

      • 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. A very few people can change the national outcome by adding, changing, or suppressing a small number of votes in one closely divided battleground state. With the current system all of a state’s electoral votes are awarded to the candidate who receives a bare plurality of the votes in each state. The sheer magnitude of the national popular vote number, compared to individual state vote totals, is much more robust against manipulation.

        National Popular Vote would limit the benefits to be gained by fraud or voter suppression. One suppressed vote would be one less vote. One fraudulent vote would only win one vote in the return. In the current electoral system, one fraudulent vote could mean 55 electoral votes, or just enough electoral votes to win the presidency without having the most popular votes in the country.

        The closest popular-vote election in 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?

    • Somebody says:

      If things were changed to a straight popular vote then the only campaigning that would take place would be in places like NYC and Philly.

      I do not agree with a straight popular vote. The electoral college was put in place to protect the more rural areas, but those areas, as well as some suburbs and exburbs feel like their vote doesn’t count.

      Apportioned electoral college would in many ways be more fair and in keeping with the founders ideals. I don’t think the dem machine would take kindly to apportioning.

      If the electoral college had been apportioned I still think Obama would have won the elections…….follow me here. Look at the house and assume Obama would win the blue districts and Romney the red. That would mean 195 EC for Obama to 234 EC for Romney, that’s your base. Then each state has an additional 2 EC, I’d presume those 2 extra would go to the person that won the popular vote in the state……that would put Romney at 258 (I didn’t go state by state and add up Obama’s I’m assuming he got the rest, LOL)

      The question is, if we had apportioned EC, would that change voter turnout? If people really thought their vote counted would say R’s in CA be more likely to go to the polls? Conversely would D’s in TX be more motivated??

      I don’t think it would necessarily change campaign too much. I think you’d see more campaigning in suburban areas, maybe middle sized cities, but I still don’t think you’d see rural campaigning except during primaries. Speaking of primaries the primary system in both parties needs to be changed…..shortened time span, have a series of super Tuesdays and be done……no more caucases either.

      • The current state-by-state winner-take-all method of awarding electoral votes (not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, but since 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. 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 elections. 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.

        None of the 10 most rural states (VT, ME, WV, MS, SD, AR, MT, ND, AL, and KY) is a battleground state.
        The current state-by-state winner-take-all method of awarding electoral votes does not enhance the influence of rural states, because the most rural states are not battleground states, and they are ignored.
        Support for a national popular vote in rural states: VT–75%, ME–77%, WV–81%, MS–77%, SD–75%, AR–80%, MT–72%, KY–80%, NH–69%, IA–75%,SC–71%, NC–74%, TN–83%, WY–69%, OK–81%, AK–70%, ID–77%, WI–71%, MO–70%, and NE–74%.

        In 2008, voter turnout in the then 15 battleground states averaged seven points higher than in the 35 non-battleground states.
        If presidential campaigns now did not ignore more than 200,000,000 of 300,000,000 Americans, one would reasonably expect that voter turnout would rise in 80% of the country that is currently ignored by presidential campaigns.

        A nationwide presidential campaign, with every vote 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 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 vote is equal, a campaign must be run everywhere.

        With National Popular Vote, when every vote 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.

      • Maine and Nebraska use the congressional district method. Maine and Nebraska voters support a national popular vote.

        A survey of Maine voters showed 77% overall support for a national popular vote for President.
        In a follow-up question presenting a three-way choice among various methods of awarding Maine’s electoral votes,
        * 71% favored a national popular vote;
        * 21% favored Maine’s current system of awarding its electoral votes by congressional district; and
        * 8% favored the statewide winner-take-all system (i.e., awarding all of Maine’s electoral votes to the candidate who receives the most votes statewide).
        ***
        A survey of Nebraska voters showed 74% overall support for a national popular vote for President.
        In a follow-up question presenting a three-way choice among various methods of awarding Nebraska’s electoral votes,
        * 60% favored a national popular vote;
        * 28% favored Nebraska’s current system of awarding its electoral votes by congressional district; and
        * 13% favored the statewide winner-take-all system (i.e., awarding all of Nebraska’s electoral votes to the candidate who receives the most votes statewide).

        &&&&

        Dividing more states’ electoral votes by congressional district winners would magnify the worst features of the Electoral College system.

        If the district approach were used nationally, it would be less fair and less accurately reflect the will of the people than the current system. In 2004, Bush won 50.7% of the popular vote, but 59% of the districts. Although Bush lost the national popular vote in 2000, he won 55% of the country’s congressional districts.

        The district approach would not provide incentive for presidential candidates to campaign in a particular state or focus the candidates’ attention to issues of concern to the state. With the 48 state-by-state winner-take-all laws (whether applied to either districts or states), candidates have no reason to campaign in districts or states where they are comfortably ahead or hopelessly behind. In North Carolina, for example, there are only 2 districts (the 13th with a 5% spread and the 2nd with an 8% spread) where the presidential race is competitive. Nationwide, there have been only 55 “battleground” districts that were competitive in presidential elections. With the present deplorable 48 state-level winner-take-all system, 80% of the states (including California and Texas) are ignored in presidential elections; however, 88% of the nation’s congressional districts would be ignored if a district-level winner-take-all system were used nationally.

        Awarding electoral votes by congressional district could result in third party candidates winning electoral votes that would deny either major party candidate the necessary majority vote of electors and throw the process into Congress to decide.

        Because there are generally more close votes on district levels than states as whole, district elections increase the opportunity for error. The larger the voting base, the less opportunity there is for an especially close vote.

        Also, a second-place candidate could still win the White House without winning the national popular vote.

        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.

        • This argument is the best I have heard in favor of popular vote. However, it still does not address the voter fraud and fixed elections in the big cities.
          Would candidates still not focus only on the urban body rich areas ans still ignore rural voters and concerns?

        • votermom says:

          I don’t understand the National Popular Vote – I went to the website. If all states adopt his, basically whoever wins the popular vote gets all the electoral votes nationwide, right?

        • 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. A very few people can change the national outcome by adding, changing, or suppressing a small number of votes in one closely divided battleground state. With the current system all of a state’s electoral votes are awarded to the candidate who receives a bare plurality of the votes in each state. The sheer magnitude of the national popular vote number, compared to individual state vote totals, is much more robust against manipulation.

          National Popular Vote would limit the benefits to be gained by fraud or voter suppression. One suppressed vote would be one less vote. One fraudulent vote would only win one vote in the return. In the current electoral system, one fraudulent vote could mean 55 electoral votes, or just enough electoral votes to win the presidency without having the most popular votes in the country.

          The closest popular-vote election in 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?

        • When the National Popular Vote bill is enacted by states with a majority of the electoral votes– enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538), all the electoral votes from the enacting states would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states and DC. The bill would thus guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes.

          The bill has passed 31 state legislative chambers in 21 states. The bill has been enacted by 9 jurisdictions with 132 electoral votes – 49% of the 270 necessary to go into effect.

          NationalPopularVote

        • votermom says:

          I am suspicious of the NPV for sooo many reasons – one of which is that ppl coming over to comment about it can’t sum it up – smells like scam.

    • Sorry- I disagree- vehemently. Using popular vote is too easy to rig- by again- just concentrating on the high density, low info urban areas. They ALREADY get more votes- based on their population. They have their districts, we have ours- the votes should be cast accordingly.
      The only fair way is to award by CONGRESSIONAL district results.
      We vote for our own representatives in Congressional Districts. This business of cities being able to negate my vote has got to go.
      Using the popular vote is just and invitation to more cheating.

      • Somebody says:

        You’re disagreeing with honoracarroll not me correct? Because I said a straight popular vote would concentrate votes/campaigns in urban areas.

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

          Any candidate who ignored, for example, the 16% of Americans who live in rural areas in favor of a “big city” approach would not likely win the national popular vote.

          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.

          A nationwide presidential campaign, with every vote 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.

          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 vote is equal, a campaign must be run everywhere.

          With National Popular Vote, when every vote 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.

          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.

          Similarly, Republicans dominate Texas politics without carrying big cities such as Dallas and Houston.

          There are numerous other examples of Republicans who won races for governor and U.S. Senator in other states that have big cities (e.g., New York, Illinois, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts) without ever carrying the big cities of their respective states.

          With a national popular vote, every vote everywhere will be equally important politically. There will be nothing special about a vote cast in a big city or big state. When every vote is equal, candidates of both parties will seek out voters in small, medium, and large towns throughout the states in order to win. A vote cast in a big city or state will be equal to a vote cast in a small state, town, or rural area.

          Candidates would need to build a winning coalition across demographics. Candidates would have to appeal to a broad range of demographics, and perhaps even more so, because the election wouldn’t be capable of coming down to just one demographic, such as waitress mom voters in Ohio.

        • Correct Somebody! For exactly those reasons- it is very concerning to me that straight popular vote would leave us exaclty where we are- ignored in rural areas.

        • 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.

          Any candidate who ignored, for example, the 16% of Americans who live in rural areas in favor of a “big city” approach would not likely win the national popular vote.

      • 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. A very few people can change the national outcome by adding, changing, or suppressing a small number of votes in one closely divided battleground state. With the current system all of a state’s electoral votes are awarded to the candidate who receives a bare plurality of the votes in each state. The sheer magnitude of the national popular vote number, compared to individual state vote totals, is much more robust against manipulation.

        National Popular Vote would limit the benefits to be gained by fraud or voter suppression. One suppressed vote would be one less vote. One fraudulent vote would only win one vote in the return. In the current electoral system, one fraudulent vote could mean 55 electoral votes, or just enough electoral votes to win the presidency without having the most popular votes in the country.

        The closest popular-vote election in 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?

  5. DM says:

    But what do we need to do to change to a by district electoral vote distribution?

    • votermom says:

      Not sure how, except in the general get your state to pass the law – but here is the way Nebraska & Maine do it

      http://archive.fairvote.org/e_college/me_ne.htm

      Maine and Nebraska both use an alternative method of distributing their electoral votes, called the Congressional District Method. Currently, these two states are the only two in the union that diverge from the traditional winner-take-all method of electoral vote allocation.

      With the district method, a state divides itself into a number of districts, allocating one of its state-wide electoral votes to each district. The winner of each district is awarded that district’s electoral vote, and the winner of the state-wide vote is then awarded the state’s remaining two electoral votes.

      This method has been used in Maine since 1972 and Nebraska since 1996, though since both states have adopted this modification, the statewide winners have consistently swept all of the state’s districts as well. Consequently, neither state has ever split its electoral votes.

      Although this method still fails to reach the full ideal of one-man one-vote, it has been proposed as a nationwide reform for the way in which Electoral votes are distributed.

      • THIS!
        Each state gets as many electoral votes as they have Congressional Districts- plus two for the Senate seats.
        Award the electoral votes by district, with the two extra to perhaps the popular vote winner.

  6. honoracarroll says:

    The problem I have with allocating by congressional districts is that the districts are gerrymandered so badly. It used to be that the districts were geographic entities, now they are political monsters. Remember Delay and the mess with the Democratic state senators leaving the state so that Delay would not have a quorum to pass restricting that favored the Republicans. I know Maryland just did the same thing, in reverse, redistricting to get rid of one of our Republican congressmen.

    The congressional allocation would just make smaller pies of disenfranchisement. Guess that is why the National Popular Vote seems to be a better solution to me.

    • votermom says:

      here is a simpler alternative to national popular vote – just have the state allocate the EVs in same ratio as their popular vote. Obama got 52% of PA vote so he gets 52% of PA’s 20 electoral votes – 10.4 (or 10, since it rounds down).

      http://archive.fairvote.org/e_college/reform.htm#proportional

      Proportional Allocation of Electoral Votes :

      This system has been proposed with a number of variations, most recently in Colorado. As a popular alternative, it splits each state’s electoral votes in accordance with their popular vote percentages. This way, a candidate who come in second place in a state with 45% of the popular vote would receive 45% of the electoral votes from that state, instead of 0%.

      This system would greatly increase voter turnout and the representation of all parties in a state. It would also encourage candidates to campaign in all states rather than just those that are competitive. Though the majority, as always, would come out on top in each state, the minority’s supporters would not be effectively contributing to their candidate’s defeat when the whole of their state’s electoral votes go a candidate they do not support.

      One problem with this system is the question of how to allocate electors proportionally. Percentages will seldom be equal to a whole elector after being proportioned, and a single elector could not be evenly divided among two or more candidates. Some suggest that one way to patch this problem of uneven electors would be to increase the number of electoral votes by a factor of 10 or 100 or more to reduce the margin of error. Others suggest rounding to whole votes, tenth votes, and a whole variety of decimal places beyond this. However, each of these, though reducing the amount of error, would still permit error and not succeed as thoroughly in making each vote count equally.

      This would be difficult to pass on a nationwide basis and would most likely have to pass state-by-state. During this process, or even in the end if some states do not adopt the process, one party might gain an unfair advantage. This could happen if some states were dividing up their electoral votes while others were still giving all of their votes to the majority party. For instance, imagine California switching to a proportional allocation while Texas sticks with winner-take-all.

      • DeniseVB says:

        I’d give him the .4 which would truly make every vote count :)

        You’re on to something VM.

      • Working model! Though I distrust anything that is based on popular vote totals- as those of us in suburban and rural areas still get screwed when they rig votes in the cities.

      • 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.

        The proportional method also could result in third party candidates winning electoral votes that would deny either major party candidate the necessary majority vote of electors and throw the process into Congress to decide.

        If the whole-number proportional approach 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 vote 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 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.

    • Somebody says:

      I agree with you, good grief we a district in FL that stretches from Jacksonville to Orlando.

  7. honoracarroll says:

    Getting rid of the electoral college has always been a passion of mine… So sorry I have to go and cant continue with conversation now. I look forward to reading it later.

  8. DeniseVB says:

    Found a good chart (using VA here) showing how many voting precincts are in each House District.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/election-results-2012/state.shtml?state=VA&tag=contentMain;contentBody

    Maybe award the electoral vote based on party of rep who wins the District. Romney would have gotten Virginia !

  9. swanspirit says:

    Even in Maryland , which is considered a solid blue state , the results are surprising have a look !

    http://www.politico.com/2012-election/map/#/President/2012/MD

    • DeniseVB says:

      Noticing more and more that pockets of red are military communities and their votes should weigh more than hot pockets of entitlement. (and I’m looking at you Big Blues).

  10. yttik says:

    There’s some really good arguments in favor of the electoral system, but darned if I can remember a single one this morning, LOL!

    I do think that we are creating divisions within states, people who do not feel represented. Washington and Oregon for example, are huge chunks of red with one or two blue counties that rule the election, much like that graphic of PA.

    We also create a very divided nation. For example Romney just won 24 states and Obama won 26. So Obama only won by two states, meaning very close to half the country did not want to see him have a second term. Because of the electoral college, it is also possible to win a presidential election with only 11 states and completely disregard the rest of the country.

    • votermom says:

      The basic argument is that it’s in the Constitution. And I do not trust anyone to mess with the constitution at this point in time. No way, no how.

      • Lulu says:

        Me either. The states need to clean up their elections. I would go for national election rules if it meant that everyone had to play by the same rules but we have a hodgepodge of crazy. Over 70% want voter ID so why can’t we have it. Because some politicians like the rules as they are to be manipulated. Republicans like gerrymandering and Democrats like no voter ID. Both sides are assholes.

        • votermom says:

          National election rules make me think of Obamacare for ballots. Yikes!
          Imperfect as they are, I’d rather see state by state reforms.
          Laboratories of democracy.

        • Democrats do their fair share of gerrymandering when they are in control. It’s how they dominated the House for 40 years.

          As for voter ID, I suspect the Supreme Court is about to deal a death blow to the resistance here in a few months. They’ve been asked to take a look at the Voting Rights Act. http://news.yahoo.com/high-court-fresh-look-voting-rights-law-191026018.html

          Expect more screams of racism, even though the law was never intended to be permanent, and even though the issues it addressed have pretty much been solved. An entity, granted power and authority, is loath to ever give it up.

        • votermom says:

          I hope they look at it before Ginsberg quits and gets replaced by an another obot!

        • There is nothing incompatible between differences in state election laws and the concept of a national popular vote for President.

          Under the current system, the electoral votes from all 50 states are comingled and simply added together, irrespective of the fact that the electoral-vote outcome from each state was affected by differences in state policies, including voter registration, ex-felon voting, hours of voting, amount and nature of advance voting, and voter identification requirements.

          Under both the current system and the National Popular Vote compact, all of the people of the United States are impacted by the different election policies of the states. Everyone in the United States is affected by the division of electoral votes generated by each state. The procedures governing presidential elections in a closely divided battleground state (e.g., Florida and Ohio) can affect, and indeed have affected, the ultimate outcome of national elections.

          For example, the 2000 Certificate of Ascertainment (required by federal law) from the state of Florida reported 2,912,790 popular votes for George W. Bush and 2,912,253 popular vote for Al Gore, and also reported 25 electoral votes for George W. Bush and 0 electoral votes for Al Gore. That 25–0 division of the electoral votes from Florida determined the outcome of the national election just as a particular division of the popular vote from a particular state might decisively affect the national outcome in some future election under the National Popular Vote compact.

          The Founding Fathers in the U.S. Constitution permit states to conduct elections in varied ways. The National Popular Vote compact is patterned directly after existing federal law and preserves state control of elections and requires each state to treat as “conclusive” each other state’s “final determination” of its vote for President.

      • DeniseVB says:

        So is Election Day being held on a Tuesday thanks to some whiney farmers back in the 1800s who needed to get their work done on the weekends. It used to be a federal holiday, even closing the liquor stores.

        As this election proved, it’s not 1980 any more and definitely not the 1800s.

        Unions got a paid day off to vote. Most people with JOBS saw the long lines and had to skip voting altogether, so you wonder who they would have voted for?

        So maybe we can start with either moving election day to the weekend, make it a federal holiday or more flexible early voting/absentee changes. Here in VA we have no early/absentee voting unless you have a good excuse.

        There’s outrage in our state now about 2-6 hours waits to vote. Lots of blame going around. Voter i.d.’s required, but it seems 10 acceptable forms of i.d. is not enough for some people who still show up without one. Or my favorite, we sent you an absentee ballot so you can’t vote in person.

        • votermom says:

          voter id required
          one day to vote
          make it a federal holiday
          no absentee voting without a reason
          purple finger
          no black box voting – only paper ballots

        • DeniseVB says:

          vm – I’ve always been a fan of the purple finger by virtue those people dodged machine gun fire to vote. True heroes, and their life still sucks :(

          But it would sure cut down on the traveling union buses district to district and casting the zombie votes :D

      • The presidential election system that we have today was not designed, anticipated, or favored by the Founding Fathers but, instead, is the product of decades of evolutionary change precipitated by the emergence of political parties and enactment by 48 states of winner-take-all laws, not mentioned, much less endorsed, in the Constitution.

        The Electoral College is now the set of dedicated party activists, who vote as rubberstamps for presidential candidates. In the current presidential election system, 48 states award all of their electors to the winners of their state. This is not what the Founding Fathers intended.

        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, and enacting National Popular Vote would not need an amendment. State-by-state winner-take-all laws to award Electoral College votes, were eventually enacted by states, using their exclusive power to do so, AFTER the Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution. Now our current system can be changed by state laws again.

        Unable to agree on any particular method for selecting presidential electors, the Founding Fathers left the choice of method 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.

        Neither of the two most important features of the current system of electing the President (namely, universal suffrage, and the 48 state-by-state winner-take-all method) are in the U.S. Constitution. Neither was the choice of the Founders when they went back to their states to organize the nation’s first presidential election.

        In 1789, in the nation’s first election, the people had no vote for President in most states, only men who owned a substantial amount of property could vote, and only three states used the state-by-state winner-take-all method to award electoral votes.

        The current 48 state-by-state winner-take-all method (i.e., awarding all of a state’s electoral votes to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in a particular state) is not entitled to any special deference based on history or the historical meaning of the words in the U.S. Constitution. It is not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, the debates of the Constitutional Convention, or the Federalist Papers. The actions taken by the Founding Fathers make it clear that they never gave their imprimatur to the winner-take-all method.

        The constitutional wording does not encourage, discourage, require, or prohibit the use of any particular method for awarding the state’s electoral votes.

        As a result of changes in state laws enacted since 1789, the people have the right to vote for presidential electors in 100% of the states, there are no property requirements for voting in any state, and the state-by-state winner-take-all method is used by 48 of the 50 states. States can, and frequently have, changed their method of awarding electoral votes over the years.

  11. yttik says:

    I guess this is off topic, but just thinking about how Romney won 24 states, which leaves us with a very divided nation, and all the focus is on how Republicans now have to change. But what about Dems? They just re-elected a very unpopular president with a terrible track record. Isn’t that something they should be concerned about?

    Democrats Better Start Soul Searching

    http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2012/11/11/democrats-better-start-soul-searching/

    • DeniseVB says:

      And those states Romney lost were by a thread. Well except for the Big Blues.

      The Dems own Obama, let them eat cake. ;)

    • Somebody says:

      Ha, in your dreams…..the dems don’t have to soul search because the media will tell us all so. What the media decides the national opinion should be is what the national opinion is……so it’s the R’s that need to soul search…..specifically with regard to illegal immigration.

      Note the word illegal in that phrase……just wanted to point that out.

    • angienc says:

      I like this comment to that post:

      To speak of a “personality cult” or a “cult of celebrity” without pointing to those influences that are daily engaged in creating the cult, by which of course I mean the media, is seriously confused.

      We have seen personality cults aplenty before 2012: Mussolini, Hitler, Stalin, Kim, Ceausescu, Castro, Chavez. Many, many different cultures, various ideologies, but just one thing in common: control over the media, who get to portray the Dear Leader or Der Führer or El Maximo Jefe for the public as well as to instruct it in the proper sentiments to exhibit towards him and his opponents.

      Here in the USA, the opinion of the media is approaching monolithic status. Without even having had to give it much thought really, members of the media across the journalistic spectrum, from cable news to broadcast news to film and entertainment reliably trumpeted every Obama success no matter how trivial or inconsequential, all but ignored every Obama failure no matter how serious or comprehensive, and applied exactly the opposite standards to Mitt Romney. They executed the same tactics, broadly speaking, for Democratic and against Republican candidates across the board.

      The truly execrable Howell Raines, late of the New York Times, called the media strategy I’m describing “flooding the zone”: run story after story after story, even if it means defying journalistic common sense and sound practice, attacking Republicans or praising Democrats, and you will get the political result you seek. But you must have the intestinal fortitude—or sufficient shamelessness—to keep at it long enough.

      Abu Ghraib is a fine and instructive example, the Plame affair another. In Abu Ghraib we had a story—a non-story really—that was not even the result of hard Investigative labor. The Department of Defense uncovered the mess at the prison, and it was the Department of Defense that alerted the media, including the Times, in a press release AFTER charges had already been brought and discipline sought against the offenders and MONTHS BEFORE the Times took an interest.

      Never one to let an opportunity for sleazy, Bush-bashing “journalism” go unexploited, Raines leapt into action and ran an above-the-fold, front-page story about Abu Ghraib for 70 DAYS IN A ROW! With lots of pics, naturally. That had NEVER happened before in the history of respectable journalism—though you could probably find smelly parallels in, say, the Star or Enquirer. Imagine it: 70 days! JFK’s ASSASSINATION did not get 70 consecutive days of front-page coverage in the Times. Apollo 11 didn’t. Neither the Normandy landings. Not even Watergate managed to do so well (the media Machiavellis were still learning in 1972). Needless to say, a 70-day story will get the attention of a heckuva lot of people, including the long dead and buried.

      In the case of the Times, of course, there is to this day the added benefit of something called the New York Times News Service being picked up by hundreds of subscribing newspapers. Talk about leverage! The fact that ALL the clueless network and cable anchors look to the same morning paper to tell them what’s news for the rest of every single day certainly doesn’t hurt the cause of press uniformity one bit either. As additional stimuli to “greatness” North Korea–style, breathlessly panting in the wings are the Pulitzer people and the Peabody folks and the MacArthur Foundation “genius” grantors: kudos, cash, all yours for the taking if you are a journalist unencumbered by a lot of passé scruples about balance, fairness, and accuracy—ESPECIALLY if you are such a scribbler, in fact. . . .

  12. Good post, PMM. This is an idea I’m kicking around in my head these too.

  13. Glennmcgahee says:

    It will take a little time to decompress from this election but after a little while you will find that it is a good time to take a look and build a coalition between Democrats and Republicans for election reform. Take 2000, when Gore lost by a handful of votes, then 2004 when Bush was re-elected due to gerrymandering by Ohio’s Secretary of State. There’s already movements for voting reform in place mostly by Dems who were angry at those results. I have followed this issue for a long time. Now, dissastified Republicans may be more willing to listen and join the growing chorus about our disfunctional system and especially the voting machine problem. That has to be solved first and foremost. Without confidence in the process we’ll never have a country we can all trust in. Oh, and don’t get me started on the caucus system…….

    • DeniseVB says:

      Yes indeed, it’s a common ground between the two parties, leveling the playing field. I hope the looming 2016 Open election will have all the fixes in place by then with mandatory voter i.d.

  14. angienc says:

    EC reform to proportional award of delegates is a good idea but that’s not the real problem — the real problem is that we do not have a free & fair press anymore. If we did, Obama wouldn’t have gotten more than 30% of the vote and won the states of NY, CA, and IL and that’s it.

    Less than 350,000 votes in FL, OH, VA & NH combined determined this election (btw, WI & CO were “lost” by small margins as well and just like FL, OH, VA & NH I’m sure Romney won those states too). But is the MSM questioning that — nope, just like they ignored 5/31/2008 and all those claims of caucus fraud.

    Instead this last week after everything they have done to smear Romney* & boost Obama, they have had the nerve to obsess over “Why Romney Lost” in some kind of disgusting final smear that he should have *easily* won against Obama & he would have if he had been the least bit competent, but he wasn’t & he ran an completely incompetent campaign. Kind of what they did with Hillary after she “lost” the 2008 primary. And just like 2008, they are in full-out revisionist history mode claiming Romney was *never* ahead, that the DailyKOs/SEIU polls were more reliable than the campaign’s internal polls, that the first debate didn’t “change” anything & all those crowd sizes v. Obama’s doesn’t mean what they obviously mean.

    Until the MSM stops acting like PR for the politicians they “like,” it doesn’t matter what reforms are made to the EC.

    *And, btw, I do believe what the MSM & Team Obama did to Romney qualifies as slander (yes a public figure can be slandered) because they said things they KNEW to be false out of malice & it caused him harm.

    • DeniseVB says:

      I’d love to see a ban on media ads and robo calling. Force the media to cover the elections with facts not twisty (Romney killed my wife) little falsehoods.

      I blame the media for giving us the low information voter.

      • Glennmcgahee says:

        Yea, and why didn’t anyone explain to that Obamaphone woman that her free phone was actually courtesy of Ronald Reagan and George Bush.

  15. yttik says:

    I don’t trust numbers like this:

    In 59 Philadelphia voting divisions, Mitt Romney got zero votes

    http://mobile.philly.com/news/?wss=/philly/news/politics/&id=178742021

    And zero votes in 9 Cleveland precincts.

  16. t says:

    If we went to a proportional system, every state would be at least somewhat in play. Thus even more money would come into politics! The change might not bring the outcome we desire!

  17. Glennmcgahee says:

    This year, before the Presidential election there was a special election held and people were caught handing in hundreds of absentee ballots. Thats one person turning in hundreds of absentee ballots in the name of people who actually had not voted and whose votes were “voted” for them.
    In this case it was a Republican running for a Commission seat and his wife was handing in hundreds of ballots in people’s name who now claim they did not vote. Her husband won btw.
    Here’s the story, so if it could happen one way(Republican), it could happen the other way(Democrat)

    http://progreso-weekly.com/ini/index.php/home/our-pulse-florida/3515-florida-republicans-ballot-fraud-2012.

    • Glennmcgahee says:

      Our Supervisor of Elections said that problem would be fixed but after the Presidential election.

    • angienc says:

      It’s obvious to anyone with any critical thinking ability that voting fraud happened here. First, Obama’s track record (we know he’s engaged in untoward tactics before to “win” election, whether by disqualifying his opponent via lawsuit or unsealing of divorce records or caucus fraud, etc). Second, the behavior of the two campaigns from October 3 on — if it was merely Team Romney who only *thought* they were winning, why the fuck was Team Obama flailing around talking about Big Bird & Romnesia instead of acting presidential too & talking about big ideas to appeal to the moderates? Third, no fucking way Romney didn’t win FL, VA, NH and CO. Maybe he didn’t win PA, WI & OH, but he won FL,VA,NH & CO — I saw the rallies & the crowds.

      But — and I do have to hand TeamObama this — instead of just stealing OH, they went for all of them making the fraud basically impossible to pursue. Even with evidence of non-kosher activities in FL,for example, what good does pursuing it do for Romney when he needs more than just ONE state, he needs at least 4? Hence the small margins — its all TeamObama needed win the EC, so they did targeted fraud in critical counties across multiple states. Anyone who questions it is treated like a loon because “this is America.” Yeah, well, this is America & we objectively do not have a free & fair press anymore so that retort is bullshit.

      And Obama will get away with it, just like he did in his US Senate election & just like he did with the 2008 Dem. primary (and with the MSM on their side not only will it not be questioned, the entire focus is on Romney as I stated in my other comment). But it’s a shame– the more I got to see & learn of Romney I really became sure he would have been a great President & would have done a lot to bring this country back together with his leadership & by example once in office.

      • yttik says:

        There are people right now pouring over the numbers, investigating what happened in regards to election fraud. I don’t know if it will matter or not, but when you have so many precincts in Ohio for example, that cast zero, one, two votes, for Romney versus 500 for Obama, it raises suspicion. Exactly two people voted for Romney in dozens of precincts. Exactly two over and over again.

        • angienc says:

          The Electoral College votes on December 17. Too late after that.

          I’m not expecting a miracle here — Team Obama’s plan was high risk/high reward (although really, with the MSM working for them I’m not sure how high the risk even was). I doubt anyone will be able to *prove* anything — hell, during the 2008 Dem primary people not only filed complaints about caucus fraud, the took videos of Obama supporters locking Hillary supporters out, etc & the MSM ignored all of it. We saw the May 31, 2008 meeting on C-SPAN where they gave Obama *all* the MI delegates that represented the “undecided” vote in that primary plus 4 delegates that represented people who *actually* voted FOR her based on “exit polls” and I bet you a million dollars if you walk up to the average guy on the street he will know nothing about that (and, btw, that is why the former Hillary supporters at skyhating & RD are really shameful — they know *exactly* what happened in 2008 & now support Obama anyway).

          This is what happens when there is no free & fair press — the ones controlling the press can do anything they want. Obama owns the “truth” now.

  18. myiq2xu says:

    Here’s how to do it:

    Every congressional district in the country represents one electoral vote. Give that vote to whoever wins the district. Each state also represents two electoral votes, one for each Senate seat. Award those votes based on who wins that state.

    Get most or all states (especially the biggest ones) to agree to that plan and no constitutional amendment would be necessary.

    • myiq2xu says:

      Here is what the congressional districts look like:

      http://www.politico.com/2012-election/map/#/House/2012/

    • THIS! (I wish I could have been that succinct in my writing of this post!)

      • DeniseVB says:

        I mentioned that too up thread, just not as clearly as Myiq.

        I also liked VM’s suggestion of the winning percentages in each state be used to divvy up the electoral votes.

        Now who do we contact first ? State AG ? <—–mine's Ken Cuccinelli gonna run for Gov in '14 :D

        • LOl yes you did! Sorry!
          I am going right for my state rep- a wonderful woman and also to the Governor!

        • DeniseVB says:

          Don’t be sorry ! Glad he approved. So this needs to be a state issue, better find who my rep is :P Also probably a good idea to check out our states for any Electoral College reform that may be already in the works and climb on board …..

    • Maine and Nebraska use the congressional district method. Maine and Nebraska voters support a national popular vote.

      A survey of Maine voters showed 77% overall support for a national popular vote for President.
      In a follow-up question presenting a three-way choice among various methods of awarding Maine’s electoral votes,
      * 71% favored a national popular vote;
      * 21% favored Maine’s current system of awarding its electoral votes by congressional district; and
      * 8% favored the statewide winner-take-all system (i.e., awarding all of Maine’s electoral votes to the candidate who receives the most votes statewide).
      ***
      A survey of Nebraska voters showed 74% overall support for a national popular vote for President.
      In a follow-up question presenting a three-way choice among various methods of awarding Nebraska’s electoral votes,
      * 60% favored a national popular vote;
      * 28% favored Nebraska’s current system of awarding its electoral votes by congressional district; and
      * 13% favored the statewide winner-take-all system (i.e., awarding all of Nebraska’s electoral votes to the candidate who receives the most votes statewide).

      &&&&

      Dividing more states’ electoral votes by congressional district winners would magnify the worst features of the Electoral College system.

      If the district approach were used nationally, it would be less fair and less accurately reflect the will of the people than the current system. In 2004, Bush won 50.7% of the popular vote, but 59% of the districts. Although Bush lost the national popular vote in 2000, he won 55% of the country’s congressional districts.

      The district approach would not provide incentive for presidential candidates to campaign in a particular state or focus the candidates’ attention to issues of concern to the state. With the 48 state-by-state winner-take-all laws (whether applied to either districts or states), candidates have no reason to campaign in districts or states where they are comfortably ahead or hopelessly behind. In North Carolina, for example, there are only 2 districts (the 13th with a 5% spread and the 2nd with an 8% spread) where the presidential race is competitive. Nationwide, there have been only 55 “battleground” districts that were competitive in presidential elections. With the present deplorable 48 state-level winner-take-all system, 80% of the states (including California and Texas) are ignored in presidential elections; however, 88% of the nation’s congressional districts would be ignored if a district-level winner-take-all system were used nationally.

      Awarding electoral votes by congressional district could result in third party candidates winning electoral votes that would deny either major party candidate the necessary majority vote of electors and throw the process into Congress to decide.

      Because there are generally more close votes on district levels than states as whole, district elections increase the opportunity for error. The larger the voting base, the less opportunity there is for an especially close vote.

      Also, a second-place candidate could still win the White House without winning the national popular vote.

      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.

  19. tommy says:

    The head of the BBC (a left-leaning organization) resigned after they did a hit piece on a former tory (conservative) minister, accusing him of paedophilia. Turned out to be untrue. There is atleast some semblance remaining of journalistic ethics there. Good for them. In the US, that type of accountability would be sneered at.

  20. DM says:

    Has anyone figured out how many of the 538 districts would have gone to Obama and how many would have gone to Romney? I’m not so up into the the apportionment of the electoral college by district. I agree with Angienc that the problem is that the media is not working, and in our Founding Fathers equation for democracy, the media was one of the legs holding the system.

      • DM says:

        I don’t want to figure out how many districts went to Obama and how many went to Romney because I’m not into this method. Like I said below, there will be inequality always because even if we do it by district, a district that goes for a candidate by as many as 100,000 votes will have the same weight as a district that chooses a candidate with fewer votes because it’s a more equally divided district.

    • DM says:

      It may seem like a good idea to allocate the electoral college by district, but that method takes away the idea of a state, e.g. CA, IA, AL, electing the president. A district takes away the right of a state. I’m not sure I’m explaining very well what I mean. But think of us as a federation. We should look at our own state government as being the ultimate government that have the ultimate power to change the union (federal) government. It’s one of the reasons I don’t see Lincoln as the great president that history makes him out to be. He did much harm to the federation by wresting powers away from the states and enhancing the federal government.

      • I understand your point. But the federation/state we belong to no longer represents us- at all. We have nothing but our votes- and ours do not count in the current system. TPTB know it too. They can and do ignore all the rural areas – bitter clingers if you will.
        I broke out the vote totals by District somewhere around here.
        As to your point on the votes of 100,000 vs 1,000- well there is this-
        If our district has huge turnout percentage wise and Philly’s is poor- they still get to negate our votes.
        It still comes down to we get ignored- or worse- our votes are essentially thrown out- so long as Philly gets to over ride the rest of the state.
        Sooner or later, people in the rural areas have got to be woken up to the fact that our votes don’t count. No matter what we do- our votes do not make a difference.

  21. Myiq provided a very good link – to the Congressional Districts map- repeating here

    http://www.politico.com/2012-election/map/#/House/2012/

    So go take a look! THAT map shows 233 R 194 D.
    Then add in the Senate seats- giving those to the Pop vote winner of each state- and we would have an additional 24 x 2 =48 for R and 26 x 2 = 52 for O giving a total of 281 for R and 246 for O.
    Do DC, Puerto Rico and Guam get any electorals?

    Anyway, imo, using that map and awarding electorals by district winner is way more equitable than this only count the cities crap.

    • Good resource for reasons to change the system.
      I still vehemently disagree with awarding based on popular vote totals as it leaves us in the same predicament. TPTB need only steal the votes of the major urban areas to steal the election.

      • DM says:

        If fraud is the problem, I think that voter ID is simpler and we should push for that.

        • Somebody says:

          I don’t think you’ll find anyone here that disagrees with voter ID. In fact there are polls that reflect 70% of Americans believe in voter ID.

          The problem seems to be with the courts, they keep stiking down laws that we the people put in place……yet no pitchforks.

      • 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. A very few people can change the national outcome by adding, changing, or suppressing a small number of votes in one closely divided battleground state. With the current system all of a state’s electoral votes are awarded to the candidate who receives a bare plurality of the votes in each state. The sheer magnitude of the national popular vote number, compared to individual state vote totals, is much more robust against manipulation.

        National Popular Vote would limit the benefits to be gained by fraud or voter suppression. One suppressed vote would be one less vote. One fraudulent vote would only win one vote in the return. In the current electoral system, one fraudulent vote could mean 55 electoral votes, or just enough electoral votes to win the presidency without having the most popular votes in the country.

        The closest popular-vote election in 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?

  22. DM says:

    Unless we move to one man one vote, the electoral system will be unequal in the eyes of many (not me). A district that votes for one president by 100 votes and another who votes for the other president by 100,000 votes will have the same weight. People will again complain about the anti-democratic way of electing the president.

    Again those who complain about the electoral college, I think, are missing the point that we are a federation and each state elects the president. That’s what the Founding Fathers intended and I see much wisdom in their thinking. I’m for states rights.

    • Again- I understand your point, But then what is the solution for those of us whose votes no longer count in the current system? Keep moving farther away from the urban areas until we are in a State where populations are low enough that our votes count?
      Why the hell should Philadelphia- which is politically, culturally and economically unrelated to us out here in NW PA- get to throw my vote out?

      • DM says:

        I think that any time we vote for the loser we feel our vote didn’t count. I live in a very blue state and I never felt my vote didn’t count until 2008. But that was another matter because it was the Democratic Party that ignored my vote. I see your point of view, but if we look at the past elections when the country elected a Republican, big states like NY and CA didn’t make a difference. I object to fraud and not having a fair independent media. But if we had that, I’m okay with states electing the president and the one with the most electoral votes wins it.

        • catarina says:

          I think that any time we vote for the loser we feel our vote didn’t count.

          that is such a pile of bullshit.

          is that really what you think is driving this discussion?

          so many of your comments dismiss concerns and inhibit discussion of topics you don’t agree with.

        • angienc says:

          so many of your comments dismiss concerns and inhibit discussion of topics you don’t agree with.

          Spot on catarina.

        • DeniseVB says:

          There’s something wrong with a system that doesn’t make me trust it. We’re just trying to make it fair for everyone, the voters, the candidates, exhausted bloggers …. I’ve been on the losing side with the Dems and Repubs, something just didn’t feel right.

          I’d like to have a good sense of trust by 2016 when we have another open election. Will I go D ? Or R? I don’t know yet.

    • 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 dedicated party activists who vote as rubberstamps for their party’s presidential candidate. That is not what the Founders intended.

      The current state-by-state winner-take-all method of awarding electoral votes (not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, but since 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. 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 elections. 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 13 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 vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in every presidential election. Every vote would be included in the state counts and national count. The candidate with the most popular votes in all 50 states and DC would get the 270+ electoral votes from the enacting states. That majority of electoral votes guarantees the candidate with the most popular votes in all 50 states and DC wins the presidency.

      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.

      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).

      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).

  23. DM says:

    Photos of demonstrations against austerity. We may see that here too.

    http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2012/11/austerity_protests.html

  24. Somebody says:

    I honestly and truly think if we had true and fair elections the divisions in the country wouldn’t be as sharp.

    Stuffed ballot boxes, missing ballots, non-citizens voting, people voting in more than one state, questionable vote turn out/results. It’s all really quite third world.

    • True that. sigh
      It appears right now that PA’s voter id law goes forward from now on. I expect there will be additional challenges of course- as the cheaters will be screaming disenfranchisement and racist forever!

  25. tommy says:

    Things are going from bad to worse. My cousin sis wants to fly in for dental surgery, which is efficient and reliable at where I am stationed (yeah, a third world country with a booming economy). Everything has got so damn expensive.

  26. OT- but made me laugh

    http://news.yahoo.com/humans-becoming-less-intelligent-173400651.html

    “A hunter-gatherer who did not correctly conceive a solution to providing food or shelter probably died, along with his/her progeny, whereas a modern Wall Street executive that made a similar conceptual mistake would receive a substantial bonus and be a more attractive mate

  27. kmrod says:

    “So the large population centers steal votes from those of us in more rural areas”

    and if romney won then the large urban population centers would complain that you “stole votes from people who live in cities.” i know you’re probably thinking “that’s why we need proportional voting!” but that’s not right. looking back at 2010, no difference – http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2010/may/10/proportional-representation-general-election-2010

    • Thanks for the input- but unlike the UK- we do not have second preference voting here. As demonstrated above- awarding electoral votes per congressional district takes us much closer to the actual will of the people.
      As for the urban centers complaining we stole their votes- not sure how that would be possible under the system I envision. They would ge their vote from their districts. They would also, if they got out the vote, win the two extra votes for the popular vote total. We could never out vote them.
      As it stands now, those of us out in the bitter clinger lands might as well just stay home as our votes DO NOT COUNT. We can never have an equitable say under the current system. ONLY the city votes count.
      I am not cool with an option that tells me to sit down and STFU. Which is what the current system says. Unless I live in an urban center, I don’t count.

  28. westcoaster says:

    waaay off topic- Elmo puppeteer accused of pedophilia:

    http://seattletimes.com/html/entertainment/2019667041_apustvelmoactoraccused.html

  29. votermom says:

    Phew. I’m tired. Running around all day for an errand it turns out is not needed after all. Ah well.

  30. cynic says:

    In 2010, our Gov. of IL, Pat Quinn, only won in three counties. The Republican, Brady won in 99 counties. We’re stuck with Chicago/Cook County and Pat Quinn. sigh

  31. catarina says:

    Thanks for the post and the links in comments.
    Lots to read and think about
    I really hope this discussion continues.

    • DeniseVB says:

      I can’t get enough of it either. It’s a bipartisan concern, not, ugh, sour grapes and bitter clingers.

      Myiq and votermom’s math convinced me. :D

Comments are closed.