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View Diary: If it is not stopped, the Republican war on democracy will tear this nation apart (264 comments)

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  •  I have a question (4+ / 0-)

    A number of states, including I believe California and Maryland, have elected laws providing that their electoral votes would be cast for whoever wins the national popular vote, regardless of who wins the state votes, once states totaling 270 electoral votes have approved this plan.

    Question:  What are the chances of enough remaining states approving this plan by 2016 to implement it?  What states have voted for this and what states might vote for this?  What are the states where Democrats hold majorities in each house of the state legislature, and the governorship, so that this plan might be approved?

    "We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals, now we know that it is bad economics." Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jan. 20, 1937

    by Navy Vet Terp on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 02:13:49 PM PST

    •  Really really bad idea (0+ / 0-)

      IMO -- there is no way I want electors from Rhode Island and Massachusetts and California to be forced to vote for the Republican, just because the GOP manages to suppress enough votes elsewhere to steal the national popular vote, or at least make it look that way on the day the Electoral College votes get counted.

      I think this would be a recipe for sheer chaos -- RI elects Democratic electors, but they are then required to vote for the Santorum/Ryan ticket? They wouldn't do it. Electors always have the option of voting their conscience rather than their instructions (that's one of the ongoing arguments against the whole Electoral College system) -- but in this instance they would be voting both their conscience and the conscience and opinion of the people in their own state. Since many of them serve in public office anyway, or are community leaders, they are going to vote the way their constituents want them to.

      Result: chaos, throwing the election to either the House of Representatives (which we know the GOP has gerrymandered its way into control of) or the SCOTUS (see: Bush v. Gore).

      This is a really, really, terrible idea, and I hope it goes away before more damage is done.

      •  Electors are Party Activists, Americans Support (0+ / 0-)

        The electors now are dedicated party activists of the winning party who meet briefly in mid-December to cast their totally predictable rubberstamped votes in accordance with their pre-announced pledges.

        If a Democratic presidential candidate receives the most votes, the state's dedicated Democratic party activists who have been chosen as its slate of electors become the Electoral College voting bloc. If a Republican presidential candidate receives the most votes, the state's dedicated Republican party activists who have been chosen as its slate of electors become the Electoral College voting bloc. The winner of the presidential election is the candidate who collects 270 votes from Electoral College voters from among the winning party's dedicated activists.

        The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld state laws guaranteeing faithful voting by presidential electors (because the states have plenary power over presidential electors).

        Opponents remain stuck on a misconception that the plan would “force” states to give their electoral votes to a candidate that may not have won their state, but this misses the point entirely. The National Popular Vote plan changes the Electoral College from an obstruction of the popular will to a ratifier in that it would always elect the candidate who has won the most popular votes in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Rather than states throwing their votes away, the actual voters themselves are empowered, as each and every one of us would have an equal vote for president – something we are sorely lacking under the Electoral College.
        http://www.fairvote.org/...

        National Popular Vote would give a voice to the minority party voters in each state.  Now their votes are counted only for the candidate they did not vote for. Now they don't matter to their candidate.

        And now votes, beyond the one needed to get the most votes in the state, for winning in a state are wasted and don't matter to candidates.  Utah (5 electoral votes) alone generated a margin of 385,000 "wasted" votes for Bush in 2004. 8 small western states, with less than a third of California’s population, provided Bush with a bigger margin (1,283,076) than California provided Kerry (1,235,659).

        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). Support for a national popular vote is strong among Republicans, Democrats, and Independent voters, as well as every demographic group in virtually every state surveyed in recent polls in recent closely divided Battleground states: CO – 68%, FL – 78%, IA 75%, MI – 73%, MO – 70%, NH – 69%, NV – 72%, NM– 76%, NC – 74%, OH – 70%, PA – 78%, VA – 74%, and WI – 71%; in Small states (3 to 5 electoral votes): AK – 70%, DC – 76%, DE – 75%, ID – 77%, ME – 77%, MT – 72%, NE 74%, NH – 69%, NV – 72%, NM – 76%, OK – 81%, RI – 74%, SD – 71%, UT – 70%, VT – 75%, WV – 81%, and WY – 69%; in Southern and Border states: AR – 80%, KY- 80%, MS – 77%, MO – 70%, NC – 74%, OK – 81%, SC – 71%, TN – 83%, VA – 74%, and WV – 81%; and in other states polled: AZ – 67%, CA – 70%, CT – 74%, MA – 73%, MN – 75%, NY – 79%, OR – 76%, and WA – 77%. Americans believe that the candidate who receives the most votes should win.

        In state polls of voters each with a second  question that specifically emphasized that their state's electoral votes would be awarded to the winner of the national popular vote in all 50 states, not necessarily their state's winner, there was only a 4-8% decrease of support.

         Question 1: "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?"

        Question 2: "Do you think it more important that a state's electoral votes be cast for the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in that state, or is it more important to guarantee that the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states becomes president?"

        Support for a National Popular Vote
        South Dakota -- 75% for Question 1, 67% for Question 2.
        see http://tinyurl.com/...

        Connecticut -- 74% for Question 1, 68% for Question 2.
        see http://tinyurl.com/...

        Utah -- 70% for Question 1, 66% for Question 2.
        see http://tinyurl.com/...

    •  National Popular Vote Bill - 49% of the way (0+ / 0-)

      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). Support for a national popular vote is strong among Republicans, Democrats, and Independent voters, as well as every demographic group in virtually every state surveyed in recent polls in recent closely divided Battleground states: CO – 68%, FL – 78%, IA 75%, MI – 73%, MO – 70%, NH – 69%, NV – 72%, NM– 76%, NC – 74%, OH – 70%, PA – 78%, VA – 74%, and WI – 71%; in Small states (3 to 5 electoral votes): AK – 70%, DC – 76%, DE – 75%, ID – 77%, ME – 77%, MT – 72%, NE 74%, NH – 69%, NV – 72%, NM – 76%, OK – 81%, RI – 74%, SD – 71%, UT – 70%, VT – 75%, WV – 81%, and WY – 69%; in Southern and Border states: AR – 80%, KY- 80%, MS – 77%, MO – 70%, NC – 74%, OK – 81%, SC – 71%, TN – 83%, VA – 74%, and WV – 81%; and in other states polled: AZ – 67%, CA – 70%, CT – 74%, MA – 73%, MN – 75%, NY – 79%, OR – 76%, and WA – 77%. Americans believe that the candidate who receives the most votes should win.

      The National Popular Vote bill has passed 31 state legislative chambers, in 21 small, medium-small, medium, and large population states, including one house in Arkansas(6), Connecticut (7), Delaware (3), The District of Columbia, Maine (4), Michigan (16), Nevada (6), New Mexico (5), New York (29), North Carolina (15), and Oregon (7), and both houses in California, Colorado (9), Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts, Rhode Island (4), Vermont, and Washington. The bill has been enacted by the District of Columbia (3), Hawaii (4), Illinois (19), New Jersey (14), Maryland (11), California (55), Massachusetts (10), Vermont (3), and Washington (13). These nine jurisdictions have 132 electoral votes -- 49% of the 270 necessary to bring the law into effect.

      NationalPopularVote.com

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