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Thu Nov 8, 2012, 09:51 AM

Katrina vanden Heuvel: It's Time to End the Electoral College


from The Nation:



It's Time to End the Electoral College
Katrina vanden Heuvel on November 7, 2012 - 5:19 PM ET


America can be a strange place. Tuesday night, after learning that President Obama had won Ohio and thus (what a relief!) secured re-election, many of us went to sleep without knowing which candidate more Americans had voted for.

It turns out Obama won the popular vote too, averting a much-predicted electoral college/popular vote split. Some will argue that winning the popular vote as well as the electoral college gives Obama more of a mandate to govern—and it should. But this election—the latest to be fought out over a dozen counties rather than fifty states—should still offer an inspiration to fix how we pick our presidents.

Some argued in recent weeks that Obama wouldn’t score a “real” win if he secured the electoral college alone. But the real issue wasn’t the legitimacy of a victory—it was the integrity of our democracy. After all, this election was governed by the archaic rules we still use. Both campaigns knew this, and essentially wrote off efforts to win the popular vote for its own sake. A popular vote election would have been a very different election in all kinds of respects (consider the drop-off in Obama’s support in deep-blue states, which neither side had reason to care about).

(Facile comparisons to 2000 were inevitable, and of course that election also illustrated the inanity of the electoral college. But liberal rejection of that election’s legitimacy was based in other outrages: names expunged; voters intimidated; translators denied; recounts halted; malfunctioning machines.) .................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.thenation.com/blog/171115/its-time-end-electoral-college



13 replies, 1107 views

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Arrow 13 replies Author Time Post
Reply Katrina vanden Heuvel: It's Time to End the Electoral College (Original post)
marmar Nov 2012 OP
JustAnotherGen Nov 2012 #1
leveymg Nov 2012 #2
WhaTHellsgoingonhere Nov 2012 #3
sadbear Nov 2012 #4
exboyfil Nov 2012 #7
sadbear Nov 2012 #9
Romulox Nov 2012 #5
exboyfil Nov 2012 #6
CreekDog Nov 2012 #8
exboyfil Nov 2012 #13
patrice Nov 2012 #10
Marr Nov 2012 #11
LisaL Nov 2012 #12

Response to marmar (Original post)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 09:56 AM

1. First things first

Electronic machines that spit out receipts AND a way for the voter to verify that their vote was counted correctly.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 10:00 AM

2. Federalize voting procedures - give everyone, everywhere 21 days to vote. And a verifiable receipt.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 10:04 AM

3. yeah...do it!

The people are on our side.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 10:06 AM

4. One person, one vote.

As a Texan, I'm tired of being ignored. The electoral college needs to be heaped into the dustbin of history.

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Response to sadbear (Reply #4)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 10:11 AM

7. I angered a friend by pointing out

her vote for Romney in Mississippi means nothing while mine for Obama in Iowa is a pretty big deal.

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Response to exboyfil (Reply #7)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 10:20 AM

9. Yep. That's the point.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 10:07 AM

5. Agree with vandan Heuvel. nt

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 10:09 AM

6. Congressional District by Congressional District

with the bonus two going to the popular winner of the state. Iowa has way to much power now, but the extra two votes may help flyover country from being totally neglected. In addition Congressional district by district avoids a nationwide recount (that would be a zoo). Since it is very unlikely that the two votes will make a difference, then a statewide recount will be avoided most of the time as well.

Definitely need to make it direct and get away from the archaic electors. Every other election cycle we get faithless ones - that is unacceptable.

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Response to exboyfil (Reply #6)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 10:18 AM

8. no more gimmicks and half-solutions --get rid of it

amend the constitution to change it to popular vote.

we might actually see a presidential campaign speech in Los Angeles and New York City --we haven't and those are the two biggest!

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Response to CreekDog (Reply #8)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 10:43 AM

13. How many OECD countries have nationwide elections

for their chief executive? Would you want to see a 2000 Florida repeated on a national level? Winner take all by Congressional district at least limits the damage of a close election.

People are critical of 2000 Florida, and they are rightfully so, but think about 537 votes out of 5.8 million votes (0.01%). No human made measuring system is designed to accurately pick up this result.

Other close popular vote elections:

1880 James Garfield (0.09%)
1960 John F. Kennedy (0.17%)
1968 Richard Nixon (0.70%)
2000 George Bush (-0.51%)

Try to run a national recount under these conditions.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 10:28 AM

10. This issue must NOT be isolated from other voting issues, e.g. practically the ONLY source of

information is PROPAGANDA from MSM.

One of the side effects of the EC is that it does tell parties where to focus their information to counter whatever lies are being pumped by MSM.

Without the EC, we will have an even greater NEED for National Voting Guides of the sort that are used in Oregon.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 10:39 AM

11. The solution she describes seems problematic, doesn't it?

Individual state legislatures promise to commit all their electoral college votes to the winner of the popular vote. Once a majority of states have signed on, it goes into effect.

I expect states like California and New York would be the first to sign on to this, and southern and midwestern states would be the last. So the moment you achieved a majority of states, that majority would simply be opening themselves up to easier conservative victories, while the conservative states keep their electoral college in place.

Or maybe not... yeah, I suppose it would be even harder for Republicans to get a majority of votes in traditionally blue states. Hmm. Interesting idea.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 10:40 AM

12. So we had a hurricane that hit a number of democratic states, depressing turnout.

And yet we should get rid of EC? I don't think so.
And in close elections, it would be worse, not better, to go with popular vote.
A whole bunch of states haven't even finished counting their provisional ballots, etc.
So in close election we would still be waiting for those states to finish.
Could end up being a nightmare if we had to wait for a number of states to finish counting.

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