Tag Archives: electoral college

How states can fix the Electoral College and prevent future Trumps

If just two states had adopted runoffs to ensure that the winners reached 50%, as the Founders intended, we might have a different president.

Donald Trump amassed 101 Electoral College votes in states where he failed to win 50% of the popular vote. In each of these states, more voters voted for other candidates than for Trump, yet he received all the Electoral College votes. This windfall amounted to one-third of his total (304). Without it, he would have fallen 67 short of the 270 required to prevail.

Despite everything said about the 2016 election, insufficient attention has been paid to this basic fact. It means that while Trump technically achieved an Electoral College victory, he did so without genuinely receiving the support of the electorates in the states responsible for his Electoral College win. That is the opposite of what the architects of the Electoral College had in mind.

This point is different from the one about Hillary Clinton winning almost 3 million more votes nationally than Trump. That much-mentioned truth is irrelevant to how the Electoral College is supposed to work. It would matter if there were any realistic chance of replacing the Electoral College with something different, but there isn’t. And meanwhile, it blinds us to the problem that in 2016, the Electoral College did not function properly even according to its own logic. As long as we are stuck with the Electoral College, we should make it operate as intended.

This requires fixing the state laws that implement the Electoral College system. The good news is that each state already has the constitutional power to repair its own laws, without the need for three-quarters of the states agreeing to a constitutional amendment or some sort of multi-state compact that would not take effect until enough states sign on. If just a couple of states had adopted the necessary fix before last year, Clinton might be president now. To understand why, let’s review what went wrong, why it’s inconsistent with the Electoral College’s original intent, and how states already are empowered to remedy the defect.

Trump was able to win these states without a majority because there were more than two candidates on the ballot. Without Jill Stein and Gary Johnson in the mix, Clinton might have received more votes than Trump in some of these six states. If she had done so in just Florida and either Pennsylvania, Michigan, or North Carolina, that would have been enough for her to win the White House.

The Electoral College and majority winners

The Electoral College’s architects understood that an election with multiple candidates might produce a winner with under 50% of the votes, an outcome they wanted to avoid.  That’s why they insisted that to win a candidate must receive a majority, and not merely a plurality, of Electoral College votes. And if no candidate does, then a candidate must get the support of a majority, and not merely a plurality, of state delegations in the House of Representatives.

The Founding Fathers thought each state would take care to assure that a candidate could not receive its Electoral College votes without support from a majority of its voters. States initially complied with this expectation. In Massachusetts and New Hampshire, for example, if no candidate won a majority of the popular vote, the legislature would appoint the state’s electors. New Hampshire then switched to a runoff, in which voters cast a second round of ballots if no candidate received a majority in the first round.

Later, states moved to letting presidential candidates get all of a state’s Electoral College votes with only a plurality of popular votes. This was a mistake and inconsistent with the original vision.

Restoring majority rule

States can return to the original plan by adopting the same kind of runoff that New Hampshire had or, instead, a modern form of runoff that avoids the need for a second round of ballots. Known as instant-runoff voting, it enables voters to rank their preferences among multiple candidates. Had this been used last year, a voter could have ranked Stein first, Clinton second, and Johnson third (for example). These rankings make it possible to eliminate candidates with less support than others and then identify which remaining candidate is preferred by a majority of voters.

If just two states had adopted a runoff, it could have made the difference in which candidate became commander in chief. The highest reform priority between now and 2020 should be to convince battleground states — like Florida and Michigan, where voters can adopt reforms by initiative and thus bypass recalcitrant legislatures — to adopt whichever type of runoff they prefer.

The imperative is to prevent another president who wins the White House without really winning the support of the electorates in the states that determine the outcome. The Founding Fathers would see that as a subversion of the Electoral College system. So should we.

By Edward B. Foley/USAToday

Posted by The NON-Conformist

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Al Gore calls for an end to the Electoral College

Maybe we can get some real traction!!!!!!!!!!!

Former vice president Al Gore is calling for an end to the Electoral College — the system that cost him the presidency in 2000.

Gore said that many voters who live outside the dozen or so battleground states are cheated by the system that allocates delegates from the state level on a winner-take-all basis. He called for presidential elections to be determined by the popular vote.
“I’ve seen how these states are written off and ignored, and people are effectively disenfranchised in the presidential race. And I really do now think it is time to change that,” Gore said on Current TV, an independent cable network that he co-founded.
A dozen states are generally considered electoral battlegrounds where the 2012 election will be decided. They include Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin.

The Republican platform approved this week specifically opposes any change to the Electoral College process, constitutional or otherwise.

“We oppose the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact or any other scheme to abolish or distort the procedures of the Electoral College,” the platform reads. “We recognize that an unconstitutional effort to impose “national popular vote” would be a mortal threat to our federal system and a guarantee of corruption as every ballot box in every state would become a chance to steal the presidency.”

Gore said he supported the Electoral College even after the 2000 election, in which he won the popular vote but lost the Electoral College vote by 271-266 to George W. Bush. He has since had a change of heart.

“The logic is it knits the country together and prevents regional conflicts and goes back through our history with some legitimate concerns,” he said.

One proposal to change the system is through a constitutional amendment, which has been suggested numerous times but never gained traction. In the House, Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.) sponsored legislation that would provide for direct election of the president. It has attracted 29 Democratic co-sponsors but hasn’t made it out of committee.

Gore, on the other hand, said there is another route to take.

“It is always tough to amend the Constitution and risky to do so, but there is a very interesting movement under way that takes it state by state that may really have a chance of succeeding,” he said.

He appeared to be alluding to a system in which multiple states with a majority of electors could individually decide to allocate their votes to the winner of the popular vote, essentially bypassing the Electoral College.

The Electoral College is made up of 538 electors. A majority, or 270, of those electors are needed to become president.

Nine states have already enacted laws to allocate their electors to the winner of the popular vote, according to National Popular Vote, an organization that promotes the cause. They would only take effect after the bill passed enough states to hit the 270 threshold.

Former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer, who also appeared on the Current TV program, said he considered the proposal when he was governor. He said even if states took individual action, the compact could require a vote from Congress.

“The constitutional issue is would this be a interstate compact that would require congressional approval,” he said.

By Mario Trujillo/The Hill

Posted by The NON-Conformist

So Much Is Being Said, But Nothing Is Coming Out

As usual lips are moving  but nothing is coming out. It’s time for real citizens to stand up for justice. It’s time for the two-headed snake to be cut off. That’s a fanciful idea since so much of our government has been embedded and doubled down upon. The best organization of late has been the Tea Party aka tea baggers; the group that came together against the Repugnant party. It wanted and did get rid of establishment Repub politicians. Their record is quite impressive, they have elected around 60 or so officials to office. On the other hand Occupy Wall Street is a group that started with a roaring fire, now it looks like a flame. The difference between the two is that it’s one thing to voice your grievances but on the other hand you have to get involved in the process. You have to become a part of it. I think MSNBC’s Dylan Ratigan is understanding this first hand. He’s leaving his show, as he puts it, to “put into practice what he has talked about on TV.”

Another issue has to deal with definitions. Repubs are most apt at this game. Romney can make a comment that police and firefighters aren’t big government, and have peons like Scott Walker defend his statement. What sector do police and firefighters fall under: the public sector. Repubs can change the narrative to fit their description. The President can say the private sector is doing fine, which I believe for the most part, and it’s considered a gaffe. You have to ask yourself, what is the private sector? It is a quandary to define because of so many government kick backs and contracts. That muddies the definition a bit but the private sector has to do with no state control  and run by individuals for profit.  Corporations as well as banks are doing well, they have plenty of reserves that count into the trillions, while we as individuals fight to stay afloat.

It’s time for individuals to stop fighting against their own interests and to start fighting for them, even it means someone else may get a bigger piece of the pie. Is it fair to rig elections to benefit one group over another? Also it’s time for economists to stop being swayed by political affiliation. The country is more moderate than anything else. Right- wing radio has done more to fatten the pockets of the host and divide the country more than anything. The filth they espouse is insulting. The left-wing could be better. I’m tired of the whining, is CNN is the new upstart?

The problem is America is programmed Left or Right. The electorate has to get smarter, we have to stop mixing politics with religion. As much as it bothers me to bring up this outdated document, people need to follow it( the Constitution that is). We as whole need to get rid of the Electoral College. It made sense during its inception, the world was the size of a BB bullet not a beach ball.  Look at how politicians only go to states that they can win and throw the others away with no mention. The system is fucked up and till we acknowledge that, we will continue to go in circles. The system is rigged to benefit soulless creatures who feed on the small, they have convinced themselves they are doing the will of their God for the good of the people.

The NON-Conformist

WTF!

During the Nevada Presidential Debate Jon Huntsman decided to not show up but instead have personal protest about Nevada’s encroachment on New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary status. Count how many networks have held debates. I mean really count. Unless you lost your voice you are a quitter. You can’t sit(or stand in this case) on your behind for two hours, yet you want to run the country. This is another example of why the Electoral College should be absolved. Nevada is only worth six electoral votes and I’m still confused on the big deal of Iowa’s six and New Hampshire’s four except for the caucuses are being held there. Other than that the candidates should buy homes in swing states. Let’s get rid of this antiquated system once and for all; we can only hope-WTF!

Herm Cain wasn’t joking when he made the ignorant statement that got him in hot water. Don’t act so surprised by his comment. Every conservative wants to be the toughest on the borders. I’ve heard mention of putting alligators along the border. Isn’t it a coincidence Herm was meeting with Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Arizona. Notice the Sun/Mon conflict. Sunday the candidate says something stupid and Monday their base frowns and they recant what they said. Herm has single handily,in one swoosh, killed two voting bases. While in Arizona he pretty much said he was only apologizing for the ones he offended, “mea culpa, mea culpa, mea culpa”-WTF!

I like The Last Word‘s Lawrence O’Donnell’s comment on immigration. He said they built this country. Notice how immigrants want to come in today but are treated so harshly. That’s a bit disturbing. I’m speaking of people, I know personally, who have shown me their family and history, yet they are not for modern-day immigrants. They say it has to be done rationally and fairly-WTF!

QUESTION-What is a neocon?

The NON-Conformist

WTF!

Today is the launch of the new iPhone. The i in iPhone stands for i want one-WTF!

Herm Cain is a walking oxymoron, he’s a human contradiction. Sure he made it on his own during the time period in which he came up . Even the staunchest black Repubs acknowledge Affirmative Action was a tremendous help in their careers. Cain has been so white-washed he’ll say anything to fit in, to appeal to his base. Because of his own false humility, he will fall. To call black people brain washed is beyond ignorant, it’s downright stupid. Me, I’m more of a moderate/independent. I don’t like belonging to a party because I’m  more of an issues guy.  But it’s your choice what party you choose.  To say blacks voted for Obama because he was black is partly correct, we finally had a person to really represent us as well as all Americans; priceless. Herm the first real black president…LOL-WTF!

Rumor has it, Cain’s 999 plan is actually copied from the Grand Theft Auto Series-WTF!

Finally a group I can get behind(National Popular Vote). I’ve been saying this forever… GET RID OF THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE! When it was instituted it made perfect sense. It doesn’t make sense, however, in 2011 because what it does is ignore the small states with smaller electoral votes. Think about it this way. When you go to the polls to vote and your candidate loses, your vote didn’t count. Don’t you find it odd that the person with the most votes doesn’t win, but rather the person with the most electoral votes.-WTF!

The NON-Conformist