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Vote in elec­tions | Wiki­media

Texas Democrat Beto O’Rourke joined the growing list of pres­i­dential hopefuls eager to abolish the Elec­toral College this week, calling it an out­dated system com­pa­rable to “slavery.”

“Yes, let’s abolish the Elec­toral College,” he said at the annual We The People Mem­bership Summit in Wash­ington, D.C. “This is one of those bad com­pro­mises we made at day one in this country. There are many others we can think of and they are all con­nected, including the value of some people based on the color of their skin. There is a legacy and a series of con­se­quences that have per­sisted and remain with us to this day.”

O’Rourke’s com­plaints against the elec­toral process aren’t unusual: Sen. Eliz­abeth Warren, D-Mass., Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., have made similar com­ments. And Col­orado Gov. Jared Polis recently signed a bill that added Col­orado to a growing list of states apart of the National Popular Vote Con­tract.

The argument is the same: Every vote matters, so the popular vote should out­weigh the indirect rep­re­sen­tation the Elec­toral College pro­vides.

“If we get rid of the Elec­toral College, we get a little bit closer to one person, one vote in the United States of America,” O’Rourke said.

Abol­ishing the Elec­toral College would be dis­as­trous. Oppo­nents of the insti­tution claim it’s out­dated and no longer fits American gov­er­nance. But its checks on the election process and human nature are both timeless and nec­essary.

The Founders under­stood that man has the right to govern himself, and that he can do so badly. The Elec­toral College serves as a check on man’s worst ten­dencies, placing a barrier, or a rea­sonable body of electors, in the way of the mass’s pas­sions.

The Elec­toral College guar­antees that less pop­ulous states still have a say in national elec­tions. Without it, can­di­dates would cam­paign heavily in large states and highly-par­tisan cities — more than they already do. It’s true: Even with the Elec­toral College’s guidance, flyover states still hold less sway than pop­u­lated swing states. But abol­ishing the Elec­toral College would elim­inate this influence com­pletely, fur­thering the divide between urban and rural America.

The country’s longevity is largely due to the sta­bility the Elec­toral College pro­vides. Abol­ishing it would put at risk America’s values and well-being. O’Rourke and the rest of the Demo­c­ratic gang would be wise to remember its purpose before calling for its dis­so­lution.

 

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    In 1969, The U.S. House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives voted for a national popular vote by a 338 – 70 margin. It was endorsed by Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, and various members of Con­gress who later ran for Vice Pres­ident and Pres­ident such as then-Con­gressman George H.W. Bush, and then-Senator Bob Dole.

    • Alexan­derYp­si­lantis

      The Founding Fathers were vehe­mently opposed to a direct Democracy, because in history they have never lasted very long. Like it or not, the majority of voting cit­izens lack the knowledge and edu­cation to properly run a nation-they vote on the basis of emo­tions-of-the-moment and appeals to their gut instincts. Hardly an endorsement of direct Democracy!

      The Founding Fathers knew all about this, that’s why they gave us a Republic-a Rep­re­sen­tative Democracy and that includes the Elec­toral College. The folks making the biggest noise about doing away with the Elec­toral College are today’s Democrats-because Team Clinton found enough ballots in Cal­i­fornia (hardly sur­prising) to give her the per­ception of an actual majority.

      If you think Ballot Fraud is bad now, give us a direct election and then watch for illegal Ballot Har­vesting to go through the stratos­phere! No thanks, I’ll stay with the Elec­toral College.

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    Voters in the biggest cities in the US have been almost exactly bal­anced out by rural areas in terms of pop­u­lation and par­tisan com­po­sition.

    16% of the U.S. pop­u­lation lives outside the nation’s Met­ro­politan Sta­tis­tical Areas. Rural America has voted 60% Repub­lican. None of the 10 most rural states matter now.

    16% of the U.S. pop­u­lation lives in the top 100 cities. They voted 63% Demo­c­ratic in 2004.
    The pop­u­lation of the top 50 cities (going as far down as Arlington, TX) is only 15% of the pop­u­lation of the United States.

    The rest of the U.S., in suburbs, divide almost exactly equally between Repub­licans and Democrats.

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    With the National Popular Vote bill, when every popular vote counts and matters to the can­di­dates equally, suc­cessful can­di­dates will find a middle ground of policies appealing to the wide main­stream of America. Instead of playing mostly to local con­cerns in Ohio and Florida, can­di­dates finally would have to form broader plat­forms for broad national support. Elec­tions wouldn’t be about winning a handful of bat­tle­ground states.

    Fourteen of the 15 smallest states by pop­u­lation are ignored, like medium and big states where the statewide winner is pre­dictable, because they’re not swing states. Small states are safe states. Only New Hamp­shire gets sig­nif­icant attention.

    Support for a national popular vote has been strong in every smallest state sur­veyed in polls among Repub­licans, Democrats, and Inde­pendent voters, as well as every demo­graphic group

    Among the 13 lowest pop­u­lation states, the National Popular Vote bill has passed in 9 state leg­islative chambers, and been enacted by 5 juris­dic­tions.

    Now 70 – 80% of states and voters are ignored by pres­i­dential cam­paign polling, orga­nizing, ad spending, and visits. Their states’ votes were con­ceded months before by the minority parties in the states, taken for granted by the dom­inant party in the states, and ignored by all parties in pres­i­dential cam­paigns.

    State winner-take-all laws negate any sim­plistic math­e­matical equa­tions about the rel­ative power of states based on their number of res­i­dents per elec­toral vote. Small state math means absolutely nothing to pres­i­dential cam­paign polling, orga­nizing, ad spending, and visits, or to pres­i­dents once in office.

    In the 25 smallest states in 2008, the Demo­c­ratic and Repub­lican popular vote was almost tied (9.9 million versus 9.8 million), as was the elec­toral vote (57 versus 58).

    In 2012, 24 of the nation’s 27 smallest states received no attention at all from pres­i­dential cam­paigns after the con­ven­tions. They were ignored despite their sup­posed numerical advantage in the Elec­toral College. In fact, the 8.6 million eli­gible voters in Ohio received more cam­paign ads and cam­paign visits from the major party cam­paigns than the 42 million eli­gible voters in those 27 smallest states com­bined.

    The 12 smallest states are totally ignored in pres­i­dential elec­tions. These states are not ignored because they are small, but because they are not closely divided “bat­tle­ground” states.

    Now with state-by-state winner-take-all laws (not men­tioned in the U.S. Con­sti­tution, but later enacted by 48 states), pres­i­dential elec­tions ignore 12 of the 13 lowest pop­u­lation states (3 – 4 elec­toral votes), that are non-com­pet­itive in pres­i­dential elec­tions. 6 reg­u­larly vote Repub­lican (AK, ID, MT, WY, ND, and SD), and 6 reg­u­larly vote Demo­c­ratic (RI, DE, HI, VT, ME, and DC) in pres­i­dential elec­tions.

    Sim­i­larly, the 25 smallest states have been almost equally non­com­pet­itive. They voted Repub­lican or Demo­c­ratic 12 – 13 in 2008 and 2012.

    Voters in states, of all sizes, that are reliably red or blue don’t matter. Can­di­dates ignore those states and the issues they care about most.

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    Now, the Elec­toral College would not prevent a can­didate winning in states with 270 elec­toral votes from being elected Pres­ident of the United States

    Now 48 states have winner-take-all state laws for awarding elec­toral votes.
    2 award one elec­toral vote to the winner of each con­gres­sional dis­trict, and two elec­toral votes statewide.
    Neither method is men­tioned in the U.S. Con­sti­tution.

    The electors are and will be ded­i­cated party activist sup­porters of the winning party’s can­didate who meet briefly in mid-December to cast their totally pre­dictable rub­ber­stamped votes in accor­dance with their pre-announced pledges.

    The current system does not provide some kind of check on the “mobs.”

    • Alexan­derYp­si­lantis

      Agreed, the current system is not perfect and is open to cor­ruption. But direct democracy is NOT what our founding fathers gave us and for good reason-direct democracy does not work. It quickly descends into a Tyranny of the Majority.

      The Elec­toral System has served us well for many years. The Dems had no issue with it until Hillary lost the election in 2016, then it became intol­erable for them. For­tu­nately, we’re not reliant on the self-sat­is­faction of a bunch of whiny Leftists to establish policy in this country.

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    In Gallup polls since they started asking in 1944 until the 2016 election, 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 (not men­tioned in the U.S. Con­sti­tution, but later enacted by 48 states) (with about 70% opposed and about 10% unde­cided).

    Support for a national popular vote for Pres­ident has been strong among Repub­licans, Democrats, and Inde­pendent voters, as well as every demo­graphic group in every state sur­veyed. In the 41 red, blue, and purple states sur­veyed, overall support has been in the 67 – 81% range — in rural states, in small states, in Southern and border states, in big states, and in other states polled.

    There are several sce­narios in which a can­didate could win the pres­i­dency in 2020 with fewer popular votes than their oppo­nents. It could reduce turnout more, as more voters realize their votes do not matter.

    After we vote, we want to know “Who won the pres­i­dency,” not who won in their state. Now, a Democrat in Cal­i­fornia is not pleased when a Repub­lican wins the pres­i­dency, despite winning in Cal­i­fornia. Now, a Repub­lican in Texas is not pleased when a Democrat wins the pres­i­dency, despite winning in Texas. In either case, their indi­vidual vote didn’t matter to or help their can­didate in any way. They need not have bothered to vote.

    Most Amer­icans don’t ulti­mately care whether their pres­i­dential can­didate wins or loses in their state or dis­trict. Voters want to know, that no matter where they live, even if they were on the losing side, their vote actually was equally counted and mat­tered to their can­didate. Most Amer­icans think it is wrong that the can­didate with the most popular votes can lose. It under­mines the legit­imacy of the elec­toral system. We don’t allow this in any other election in our rep­re­sen­tative republic.

    The National Popular Vote bill was approved in 2016 by a unan­imous bipar­tisan House com­mittee vote in both Georgia (16 elec­toral votes) and Mis­souri (10).
    Since 2006, the bill has passed 37 state leg­islative chambers in 23 rural, small, medium, large, Demo­c­ratic, Repub­lican and purple states with 261 elec­toral votes, including one house in Arizona (11), Arkansas (6), Maine (4), Michigan (16), Nevada (6), North Car­olina (15), Oklahoma (7), and Oregon (7).
    The bill has been enacted by 15 small, medium, and large juris­dic­tions with 189 elec­toral votes – 70% of the way to guar­an­teeing the majority of Elec­toral College votes and the pres­i­dency to the can­didate with the most national popular votes.

    When enacted by states with 270 elec­toral votes, it would change state winner-take-all laws (not men­tioned in the U.S. Con­sti­tution, but later enacted by 48 states), without changing any­thing in the Con­sti­tution, using the built-in method that the Con­sti­tution pro­vides for states to make changes.