Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Bypassing the Electoral College?

A bill is working its way through the Massachusetts state legislature that would bypass the electoral college and give all electoral votes to the candidate who won the national majority. Illinois, New Jersey, Hawaii, Maryland, and Washington already have this kind of legislation.

Is it any wonder that these states are the states among those that most approve of Obama's performance?

This is another way that Progressives are chipping away at the Constitution and the vision of our Founders. Our Founders believed that the people should not elect the president directly, so they set up the electoral college whereby the people of a state would vote for an Elector who would have pledged to vote for a specific person for president.

Obviously, we are already a long way from this method (I can't help but think of the 17th Amendment here, but that's another story). These laws will further erode the Republic. A candidate who was not supported by the citizens of a state could easily win the state's electoral vote.

There is a reason Progressives, Communists, Marxists and their ilk like to call the United States a Democracy, not a Republic. Our Founders warned about democracies. A democracy is the enslavement of the minority by the majority. Venezuela is a democracy.

If you live in Massachusetts, please be vocal in your opposition to this.

11 comments:

  1. A survey of 800 Massachusetts voters conducted on May 2324, 2010 showed 72% overall support for the idea that the President of the United States should be the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states.

    Voters were asked

    ‘How do you think we should elect the President: Should it be the candidate who gets the most votes in all 50 states, or the current electoral college system?’

    By political affiliation, support for a national popular vote was 86% among Democrats, 54% among Republicans, and 68% among others. By gender, support was 85% among women and 60% among men. By age, support was 85% among 18-29 year olds, 75% among 30-45 year olds, 69% among 46-65 year olds, and 72% for those older than 65.

    Massachusetts voters were also asked a 3-way question:

    “Do you prefer a system where the candidate who gets the most votes in all 50 states on a nationwide basis is elected President, or one like the one used in Nebraska and Maine where electoral voters are dispensed by Congressional district, or one in which all of the state’s electoral votes would be given to the statewide winner?”

    The results of this three-way question were that 68% favored a national popular vote, 16% favored awarding its electoral votes by congressional district, and 16% favored the existing statewide winner-take-all system (i.e., awarding all of a state’s electoral votes to the candidate who receives the most votes statewide).

    http://nationalpopularvote.com/

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  2. The current system of electing the president ensures that the candidates do not reach out to all of the states and their voters. Candidates have no reason to poll, visit, advertise, organize, campaign, or care about the voter concerns in the dozens of states where they are safely ahead or hopelessly behind. The reason for this is the state-by-state winner-take-all rule (not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, but now used 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.

    Presidential candidates concentrate their attention on only a handful of closely divided "battleground" states and their voters. In 2008, candidates concentrated over two-thirds of their campaign events and ad money in just six states, and 98% in just 15 states (CO, FL, IN, IA, MI, MN, MO, NV, NH, NM, NC, OH, PA, VA, and WI). Massachusetts and 12 of the 13 smallest states were NOT included. Over half (57%) of the events were in just four states (Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania and Virginia). In 2004, candidates concentrated over two-thirds of their money and campaign visits in five states; over 80% in nine states; and over 99% of their money in 16 states, and candidates concentrated over two-thirds of their money and campaign visits in five states and over 99% of their money in 16 states.
    Two-thirds of the states and people have been merely spectators to the presidential elections.

    Another shortcoming of the current system is that a candidate can win the Presidency without winning the most popular votes nationwide. This has occurred in one of every 14 presidential elections.

    In the past six decades, there have been six presidential elections in which a shift of a relatively small number of votes in one or two states would have elected (and, in 2000, did elect) a presidential candidate who lost the popular vote nationwide.

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  3. The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

    Every vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in presidential elections. Candidates would need to care about voters across the nation, not just undecided voters in a handful of swing states.

    The bill would take effect only when enacted, in identical form, by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes–that is, enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538). When the bill comes into effect, all the electoral votes from those states would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

    The bill uses the power given to each state by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution to change how they award their electoral votes for president. The National Popular Vote bill does not try to abolish the Electoral College. Historically, virtually all of the major changes in the method of electing the President (for example, ending the requirement that only men who owned substantial property could vote), including current state-by-state winner-take-all laws, have come about by state legislative action, without federal constitutional amendments.

    The bill has been endorsed or voted for by 1,922 state legislators (in 50 states) who have sponsored and/or cast recorded votes in favor of the bill.

    In Gallup polls since 1944, only about 20% of the public has supported the current system of awarding all of a state’s electoral votes to the presidential candidate who receives the most votes in each separate state (with about 70% opposed and about 10% undecided). The recent Washington Post, Kaiser Family Foundation, and Harvard University poll shows 72% support for direct nationwide election of the President. Support for a national popular vote is strong in virtually every state, partisan, and demographic group surveyed in recent polls in closely divided battleground states: Colorado– 68%, Iowa –75%, Michigan– 73%, Missouri– 70%, New Hampshire– 69%, Nevada– 72%, New Mexico– 76%, North Carolina– 74%, Ohio– 70%, Pennsylvania — 78%, Virginia — 74%, and Wisconsin — 71%; in smaller states (3 to 5 electoral votes): Alaska — 70%, DC — 76%, Delaware –75%, Maine — 77%, Nebraska — 74%, New Hampshire –69%, Nevada — 72%, New Mexico — 76%, Rhode Island — 74%, and Vermont — 75%; in Southern and border states: Arkansas –80%, Kentucky — 80%, Mississippi –77%, Missouri — 70%, North Carolina — 74%, and Virginia — 74%; and in other states polled: California — 70%, Connecticut — 74% , Massachusetts — 73%, Minnesota — 75%, New York — 79%, Washington — 77%, and West Virginia- 81%.

    The National Popular Vote bill has passed 30 state legislative chambers, in 20 small, medium-small, medium, and large states, including one house in Arkansas (6), Connecticut (7), Delaware (3), Maine (4), Michigan (17), Nevada (5), New Mexico (5), New York (31), North Carolina (15), and Oregon (7), and both houses in California (55), Colorado (9), Hawaii (4), Illinois (21), New Jersey (15), Maryland (10), Massachusetts (12), Rhode Island (4), Vermont (3), and Washington (11). The bill has been enacted by Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, Maryland, and Washington. These five states possess 61 electoral votes — 23% of the 270 necessary to bring the law into effect.

    See http://www.NationalPopularVote.com

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  4. The Founding Fathers only said in the U.S. Constitution about presidential elections (only after debating among 60 ballots for choosing a method): "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."

    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 rule) 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.

    In 1789 only three states used the state-by-state winner-take-all rule to award electoral votes.

    There is no valid argument that the winner-take-all rule is entitled to any special deference based on history or the historical meaning of the words in the U.S. Constitution. The current 48 state-by-state winner-take-all rule (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 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 rule.

    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 rule is used by 48 of the 50 states.

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  5. A "republican" form of government means that the voters do not make laws themselves but, instead, delegate the job to periodically elected officials (Congressmen, Senators, and the President). The United States has a "republican" form of government regardless of whether popular votes for presidential electors are tallied at the state-level (as has been the case in 48 states) or at district-level (as has been the case in Maine and Nebraska) or at 50-state-level (as under the National Popular Vote bill).

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  6. Lovely of the folks from NationalPopularVote to stop by and post their entire mission on my blog. I wonder "toto", are you paid to do this?

    Another quick visit to their website reveals that they are supported by:
    -The League of Women Voters: www.lwv.org (go look)
    -Illinois Governor Rod R. Blagojevich
    -Fairvote.org

    You know what, "toto" since this is my blog, let me address this in another post.

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  7. Toto, thanks for the detailed information.

    Too bad states do not choose to count votes that come from educated people (maybe high school?) with some length of citizenship (maybe 10 years?) and/or some property investments. These things help to make a vote be "vested" in sound thought, experience and economics. Very likely these ideas were bantered about by the founders. What can you tell me about this?

    I do not want an elititist system, but I have grave concern for how quickly our system can be erroded through votes "found" through amnesties of illegals and through just plain ignorance. We already have an age requirement (i.e. experience), why not some more carefully thought-through requirements? By the way, I do not believe individuals currently in the legal system, serving their time or on parole, should be allowed to vote.

    Keeping the Presidential vote strong at the state level, I believe, can reinforce the idea of states' rights within the national framework. When we destroy state uniqueness through National Popular Votes we may lose the "grass-roots" so necessary to true citizen mandate. Yes, I am a states righter.

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  8. Kristiin, I agree that the NVP information posted was way biased and like a filibuster.

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  9. "sniff, sniff"...

    Why does that odor remind me of cattle ranches in the midwest?

    Just saying...

    -LTB

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  10. The Electoral College was design to give the states more power. If we ever give up the Electoral College system we will be in a world of hurt.

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  11. I agree Trestin. There are progressive forces afoot to shift more power from the states to the feds. It it appears they prefer mob rule.

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