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Fri Jan 25, 2013, 10:59 AM

let's assume that efforts to change the electoral college vote distribution succeeds in VA,PA & MI

Can the process be reversed in the courts - or does it have to fought at the ballot box in those states?


Pukes are acting like cornered ANIMALS .. and cornered animals are outright dangerous.

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Reply let's assume that efforts to change the electoral college vote distribution succeeds in VA,PA & MI (Original post)
srican69 Jan 2013 OP
wryter2000 Jan 2013 #1
Sekhmets Daughter Jan 2013 #3
BlueStreak Jan 2013 #4
Sekhmets Daughter Jan 2013 #6
Sekhmets Daughter Jan 2013 #7
srican69 Jan 2013 #8
Sekhmets Daughter Jan 2013 #14
BlueStreak Jan 2013 #10
Sekhmets Daughter Jan 2013 #13
BlueStreak Jan 2013 #19
Sekhmets Daughter Jan 2013 #23
BlueStreak Jan 2013 #27
Sekhmets Daughter Jan 2013 #30
BlueStreak Jan 2013 #31
LeftInTX Jan 2013 #25
wryter2000 Jan 2013 #15
Sekhmets Daughter Jan 2013 #16
BlueStreak Jan 2013 #20
Sekhmets Daughter Jan 2013 #2
BlueStreak Jan 2013 #5
Sekhmets Daughter Jan 2013 #12
legaleagle_45 Jan 2013 #21
Sekhmets Daughter Jan 2013 #28
BlueStreak Jan 2013 #22
Sekhmets Daughter Jan 2013 #26
BlueStreak Jan 2013 #29
legaleagle_45 Jan 2013 #9
srican69 Jan 2013 #11
BlueStreak Jan 2013 #24
alcibiades_mystery Jan 2013 #17
octoberlib Jan 2013 #18

Response to srican69 (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 11:01 AM

1. Kick

I'd like to know, too. Maybe it's different state-by-state.

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Response to wryter2000 (Reply #1)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 11:04 AM

3. The constitution leaves the design of the electoral college up to each state. n/t

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #3)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 11:26 AM

4. States are subject to the Voting Rights Act

I believe there could be an argument that these Gerrymandering tricks violate the Voting Rights Act.

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #4)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 11:29 AM

6. That might work...

Of course, Dems have benefitted from doing their own gerrymandering when they were in control...so it becomes another issue like the freakin' filibuster.

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #4)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 11:31 AM

7. Gerrymandering pertains to the districts,

the electoral college is a separate issue.

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #7)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 11:32 AM

8. I think the EC should be scrapped - it violates the one person one vote expectation

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Response to srican69 (Reply #8)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 12:06 PM

14. I have never understood the purpose of the EC...

The framers thought it would protect small states, but when you consider how electors are allocated, I don't see how. It has served no purpose since the early 19th century. It takes a constitutional amendment to scrap the EC, I don't see states ratifying it, do you? Its another one of those issues like gerrymandering and the filibuster...both parties have used and abused them when given the opportunity so neither party wants to end them.

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #7)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 11:38 AM

10. That is the point. The new ALEC effort makes Gerrymandering an EC issue

And that might be enough to challenge it under the Voting Rights Act.

With Gerrymandering 1.0, the districts are grossly distorted, but three is a "fair" election within that distorted district. The Representative who gets the most votes represents that district, such as it is.

What ALEC is pushing is a system where the Electoral College electors will we assigned based on the district results. You cannot do that exactly because each state gets two more electors than they have Congressional districts. Nonetheless, if the practical result is that a majority of voters cast their votes for Candidate A and the majority of EC electors go to Candidate B, this could be a voting Rights Act issue.

The issue is disenfranchisement. The ALEC law is no different than if a state said, "Henceforth, Democrats shall have only a 3/4 vote."

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #10)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 12:03 PM

13. I think we are talking at cross purposes here.

Yes, gerrymandering will now effect the electoral college process if the GOP machine changes the allotment of electoral votes in certain 'swing' states. However, the right of a state to determine how it will award its votes is one awarded by the constitution. Maine and Nebraska already use a proportional system. Can you honestly see this SCOTUS saying the constitution is wrong? The Voting Rights Act is currently under attack and if I remember correctly, the courts will hear arguments as to whether some states must still have their redistricting efforts reviewed by the DOJ. I wish I were confident the court will rule Yes...but I think that's a dim hope.

The entire electoral college needs to be abolished...but that would take a constitutional amendment and I doubt it would be ratified in our present climate.

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #13)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 12:49 PM

19. No rights are unlimited

States do not have the right to say, for example, that votes for Democrats shall be counted at 3/4 of a vote and votes for Republicans shall be counted at 1-1/4 pf a vote each, and this is exactly the practical effect of the ALEC laws.

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #19)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 12:53 PM

23. That is your interpretation of the effect of the prospective changes....

It may not be the court's

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #23)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 01:02 PM

27. You are correct, madam.

My point is we need to get busy challenging these things. All I see right now is Beltway Democrats going to parties, wallowing in the security of cushy jobs for another 4 years.

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #27)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 01:15 PM

30. Well, we have arrived at consensus!

While we went by way of our asses to get to our elbows, I think you and I are in complete agreement.

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #30)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 02:58 PM

31. :) That's not as bad as you make it sound. :)

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #7)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 12:58 PM

25. Not if the distribution of EV does not reflect the voters

If a Dem wins a state by 52%, but receives only 37.5% of the EV of that state I think this would fall under the VRO. Even in blue states. The districts would have to be redistricted so that the EVs are distributed properly.

In the EV rigged scheme even if the Dem wins the popular vote state, he always wins much less than 50% of EV.

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #3)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 12:26 PM

15. I assumed the OP meant state courts

I imagine state courts might have jurisdiction.

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Response to wryter2000 (Reply #15)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 12:31 PM

16. So you think a state court is going to overturn a provision of the constitution....

and get away with it? Do you think any ruling a state court would make on this issue would not end up in an appeals court?

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #16)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 12:49 PM

20. It would be a Federal court if it is brought on the basis of the Voting Rights Act.

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Response to srican69 (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 11:03 AM

2. No...

The constitution specifically gives states the right to design their own electoral process.

I think this is a very dangerous moment for the Democrats and Democracy because of Gerrymandering...which is not a constitutional issue, but a political issue. It appears to me, the most effective way to fight this is to sue to end gerrymandering.

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #2)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 11:27 AM

5. Absolutely. There have been successful suits in the past.

But we need an AG that will go after this stuff.

I can't recall a weaker AG that whats-his-name.

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #5)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 11:43 AM

12. Please give me an example of

a challenge to the allotment of electoral votes.... All I could find was a court case regarding "Faithless" electors.

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #12)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 12:50 PM

21. Gerrymander

Successful attacks have been made on gerrymandering, but only when their is a prohibited discriminatory purpose, such as diluting the vote of racial minorities. Diluting the power of opposing political parties is not a "prohibited discriminatory purpose" and is a time honored tradition in our political process dating back to the very beginning of our nation.

The terminology "gerrymander" is traced to Elbridge Gerry, who was a delegate to the Constitutional Convention in 1787. Gerry also signed of the Declaration of Independence and the Articles of Confederation and was vice president of the US under Madison. As governor of Massachusetts in 1810 he presided over a legislature which drew electoral lines for districts which had odd shapes and were dictated by politics. The shapes were mocked in a political cartoon of the day that had a picture of district that looked like a salamander and had the caption "Gerrymander". The term has stuck and been employed to describe it ever since.

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Response to legaleagle_45 (Reply #21)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 01:02 PM

28. Please...I am talking bout the way states allot their electoral votes...

My entire thesis is that the way to fight that is to fight gerrymandering....

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #12)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 12:51 PM

22. Search "court overturns redistricting"

You will find hundreds of thousands of hits and dozens of successful challenges.

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #22)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 01:01 PM

26. I am not talking about redistricting....I am talking about the way states allot their electorl votes

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #26)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 01:04 PM

29. Well, obviously there are no court challenges to the new ALEC laws because

none of those bills have passed into law yet. But they will and it sickens me to hear so many of the national Democrats act like there is nothing they can do, starting with this spineless AG we have.

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Response to srican69 (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 11:37 AM

9. Not prohibited by Constitution

Maine and Nebraska have had this for a very long time. An argument could be made about gerrymandering, but that would only go towards rectifying a discriminatory gerrymandering and will not eliminate the fact that some electoral votes will go to a Republican in states which otherwise had a majority vote for a Democrat.

Another approach would be to undermine the electoral college itself by supporting the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact... a description of which is found here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Popular_Vote_Interstate_Compact

It insures that the person who wins the popular vote in the entire US will win the presidency.

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Response to legaleagle_45 (Reply #9)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 11:41 AM

11. so there is hope .. I did not know about the NPVIC .. thanks for educating me

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Response to legaleagle_45 (Reply #9)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 12:56 PM

24. Yes, I think this is exactly right.

There is nothing that prevents a state from having proportional distribution of the electoral votes. But it has to be seen as fundamentally fair by the courts. If there is a finding that the system is rigged against the majority, states do not have that right and courts can intervene.

And fortunately, ALEC has had to pursue a 2-step process. Step 1: they Gerrymander the Congressional districts. Step 2: they apply these Gerrymandered districts to the Presidential selection.

The key point is that there is a time gap between step 1 and step 2, specifically 4 years. We already have a real-world body of evidence that the districts are drawn unfairly. We already have the evidence that we won by over a million votes yet are under-represented in the House by 16 seats. A court challenge does not have to argue a theoretical bias. The evidence is all right there.

That challenge might not be successful in states like Virginia that have not yet held an election under the new districts. But it should have a good chance in any state that recently did a redistricting plan that resulted in the minority winning more Congressional seats.

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Response to srican69 (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 12:38 PM

17. There's really much ado about nothing here

California already has an apportionment statute...that can only go into effect if all the other states change. That's key, because it's what gets around both the Voting Rights Act issues and the equal protection issues. Oh, what about Maine and Nebraska! What about the states having the right to decide, Constitutionally! Whatever. Ultimately, a court will look at whether specific voters in the state are being disenfranchised - which does not appear to happen in Maine and Nebraska (there's a very simple test here: has a statewide majority in either state ever produced a upside down electoral apportioning? No? No.) - or whether there's a general (federal level) violation of the equal protection clause.

This is nothing more than the Dem activists trying to whip up state level support for 2014. There will not be district-based EC apportioning in 2016 or any other year, unless it is nationally instituted (in every state). But by all means, get your FEAR on. If that's what it takes to get the voters out at the state level in 2014, I'm all for this silly set of ideas.

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