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Abolish the ELECTORAL COLLEGE (Without Amending the Constitution)

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liberalpragmatist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-12-04 05:24 PM
Original message
Abolish the ELECTORAL COLLEGE (Without Amending the Constitution)
Edited on Sun Sep-12-04 05:42 PM by liberalpragmatist
Basically, what is described below is a way to make the president elected by national popular vote - without actually amending the constitution.

Take a look:

http://writ.news.findlaw.com/amar/20011228.html

Basically, what these Law Professors (Vikram David Amar and Akhil Reed Amar) say is for a coordinated state action: states would declare that all of their electors would be awarded to the winner of the national popular vote. However, the law would only take effect if enough other states chose to do the same thing. If enough states adopted a law like this, so that their combined electoral total would be at least 270 electoral votes, it works! Thus, the 11 largest states, comprising a majority of the electoral college could effect this change.

The law would look like this:

This state shall choose a slate of electors loyal to the Presidential candidate who wins the national popular vote, if and only if other states, whose electors taken together with this state's electors total at least 270, also enact laws guaranteeing that they will choose electors loyal to the Presidential candidate who wins the national popular vote.

* Of course, they acknowledge there are likely to be some issues - however, they endorse a multistate effort then to set standards by which all the participating states agree to. This could be delegated to a non-governmental panel or to an interstate council. Potentially, even Congress could authorize it as an optional endeavor - however, it's likely that eventually, all states would take part and the EC would just become a meaningless vestigial institution with no effect, since it would just ratify the popular vote winner.

This is actually quite ingenius and though it sounds farfetched, since it would require fewer states to ratify this than the full 3/4 needed for an amendment, if popular-vote advocates actually pushed for this, it really could work.

*ON EDIT
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Catfight Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-12-04 05:31 PM
Response to Original message
1. Count me in.
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Massacure Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-12-04 05:45 PM
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2. Would States like Texas, Florida and Ohio go for it?
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unblock Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-12-04 05:47 PM
Response to Original message
3. very clever, but there are compliance problems...
Edited on Sun Sep-12-04 05:47 PM by unblock
for instance, let's say california votes overwhelmingly for the dem, but the repug wins the popular vote nationwide. now state law says all 55 electors must vote for the repug.

assume for the moment that california has a democratic gov.

now let's say that california decides not to comply. they send 55 dems, or some mix, or whatever, enough to ensure that the dem wins the electoral college.

this would be a violation of califorina STATE law -- other states have no recourse. so of course, california could choose not to prosecute, or the governor could pardon the whomever needs to be pardoned.

not only do other states have no recourse, but the democratic governor wouldn't even face retribution from the voters, because the gov would have been giving the white house to the people his state's voters chose.

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TahitiNut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-12-04 05:51 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. In that case, Congress could refuse to certify the electors ...
... since they were not selected according to state law. Would they? Well, if we were a "nation of laws" they would. Catch 22.
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