We have an Electoral College to protect slave states

❝ Every four years, we elect a president in this country, and we do it in a strange way: via the Electoral College. The reasons for the Electoral College are unclear to most people. On the surface, it appears anti-democratic, and needlessly complicated.

Why not rely on a popular vote, as almost every other democracy does? If a popular vote makes sense for gubernatorial elections, why doesn’t it make sense for presidential elections? What did the American founders have in mind when they erected this ostensible firewall against majority will?…

Why does the Electoral College exist? Is it exclusively about federalism and slavery?

❝ There are several standard stories that I learned in school, and then there’s an emerging story that I find more explanatory. I learned in school that it was a balance between big and small states. But the real divisions in America have never been big and small states; they’re between North and South, and between coasts and the center…

So what’s the real answer? In my view, it’s slavery. In a direct election system, the South would have lost every time because a huge percentage of its population was slaves, and slaves couldn’t vote. But an Electoral College allows states to count slaves, albeit at a discount – the three-fifths clause – and that’s what gave the South the inside track in presidential elections. “And thus it’s no surprise that eight of the first nine presidential races were won by a Virginian. Virginia was the most populous state at the time, and had a massive slave population that boosted its electoral vote count.”

What’s the greatest argument against it?

❝ Again, it’s in tension with a basic idea of one person, one vote. The problem with most of the arguments for the Electoral College are that they prove too much, because if they were good arguments, every state is stupid, as no state has a mini-Electoral College. And if that’s good enough for the governorship of Texas or California, why not for the presidency of the United States?

History’s a bear, ain’t it? There is a current legal tweak circulating in an attempt to work around the Electoral College. The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact is what it’s called and only blue states have signed on. Republicans are confident the current Electoral College system favors them. No red states have supported the idea.

So, Congress ignores civil rights one more time. The mindset of slave-owners ain’t about to leave town.

National Popular Vote bill now has 61% of the 270 electoral votes needed to activate


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Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the National Popular Vote bill on April 15, making New York the 11th state to enact the law.

On March 25, the Republican-controlled New York Senate passed the bill by a 57–4 margin, and the Democratic–controlled Assembly passed the bill 100–32…

The National Popular Vote bill has now been enacted into law by 11 states possessing 165 electoral votes (61% of the 270 electoral votes needed to activate the bill)…

The National Popular Vote bill has been introduced in every state where it has not yet been enacted. One of the most important things you can do to support the National Popular Vote bill is to write your state legislators and statewide elected officials asking them to support the National Popular Vote bill. You can quickly and easily send an e-mail to your state legislators by going to http://www.NationalPopularVote.com/write. Our system will provide several suggested letters, which you can edit.

The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

The shortcomings of the current system of electing the President stem from state winner-take-all statutes…Because of these state winner-take-all statutes, presidential candidates have no reason to pay attention to the issues of concern to voters in states where the statewide outcome is a foregone conclusion. In 2012, four out of five states were ignored…Two-thirds of the general-election campaign events (176 of 253) were in just 4 states (Ohio, Florida, Virginia, and Iowa)…

State winner-take-all statutes have allowed candidates to win the Presidency without winning the most popular votes nationwide in four of our 57 presidential elections—1 in 14 times. A shift of 59,393 votes in Ohio in 2004 would have elected John Kerry despite President Bush’s nationwide lead of over 3,000,000 votes. A shift of 214,393 votes in 2012 would have elected Mitt Romney despite President Obama’s nationwide lead of almost 5,000,000 votes.

Like gerrymandering, both of the TweedleDeeDeumb parties always figure they can use corrupt systems to their own benefit when they’re in power. I hope, I feel that the average American would rather be guaranteed that each of our votes counts the same as anyone else’s vote.

Need more details? RTFA and/or go to http://www.NationalPopularVote.com.

Electoral college reform = 50 equal states


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The electoral college is a time-honored, logical system for picking the chief executive of the United States. However, the American body politic has also grown accustomed to paying close attention to the popular vote. This is only rarely a problem, since the electoral college and the popular vote have only disagreed three times in 200 years. However, it’s obvious that reforms are needed.

The fundamental problem of the electoral college is that the states of the United States are too disparate in size and influence. The largest state is 66 times as populous as the smallest and has 18 times as many electoral votes. This increases the chance for Electoral College results that don’t match the popular vote. To remedy this issue, the Electoral Reform Map redivides the fifty United States into 50 states of equal population. The 2010 Census records a population of 308,745,538 for the United States, which this map divides into 50 states, each with a population of about 6,175,000

Do I agree? Uh, nope. Just decide elections on the basis of one person = one vote. Get rid of archaic crap.

Thanks, Ursarodinia

Obama gets four more years – of dealing with Republican losers!

Heading off to bed, right now. In the morning, I’ll review what has been achieved.

The very old Party-formerly-known-as-Republican sounds like nothing will change. Karl Rove won’t let Mitt Romney concede the election – proving the neocons are still in charge of the money, the tea party in charge of religious ideology.

But, President Obama has sufficient electoral votes right now – and will have more than enough by tomorrow morning – and even more when all the crap and legitimate problems [as well] are sorted in a couple of weeks. The same holds true for the popular vote.

CNN’s John King did a fine analysis that I hope they don’t hide – on young people, minorities, women, people with better than a high school education all voting for Obama. As an earlier post characterized it, Republicans and Romney relied on angry old white men – and got 72% of that demographic. Not enough anymore. A demographic that continues to diminish in political power and deserves to.

Something I figured out fifty-three years ago when I left the Republican Party. I was an angry young white guy then. Now, I’m an angry old white guy; but, what makes me angry is the same: bigotry, racism, sexism, superstitious people afraid to learn, to study, to change, people who turn their back on history, science, knowledge accumulated over centuries. The Democrats don’t have any enormous edge on all of that; but, they’ll listen to people like me once in a while. The Republicans would rather stop me from voting, from talking.

See you in the morning. Still another couple of scheduled posts coming before then.

Not all votes are equal in the Land of the Free

When it comes to voting for president, not all votes are created equal. Chances are yours will count less than a select few. Each state’s Electoral College votes are based on the size of its congressional delegation, not its population. Because of that, a presidential vote in Wyoming mathematically counts more than three times as much as a vote in Ohio, at least in terms of choosing electors…

A statistical analysis of the state-by-state voting-eligible population by The Associated Press shows that Wyoming has 139,000 eligible voters – those 18 and over, U.S. citizens and non-felons – for every presidential elector chosen in the state. In Ohio, it’s almost 476,000 per elector, and it’s nearly 478,000 in neighboring Pennsylvania.

But there’s mathematical weight and then there’s the reality of political power in a system where the president is decided not by the national popular vote but by an 18th century political compromise: the Electoral College…

When you combine voter-to-elector comparisons and battleground state populations, there are clear winners and losers in the upcoming election.

More than half the nation’s eligible voters live in states that are losers in both categories. Their states are not closely contested and have above-average ratios of voters to electors. This is true for people in 14 states with 51 percent of the nation’s eligible voters: California, New York, Texas, Illinois, Michigan, Georgia, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Indiana, Tennessee, Missouri, Maryland, Louisiana and Kentucky. Their votes count the least.

The biggest winners in the system, those whose votes count the most, live in just four states: Colorado, New Hampshire, Iowa and Nevada. They have low voter-to-elector ratios and are in battleground states. Only 4 percent of the nation’s eligible voters – 1 in 25 – live in those states…

It’s a terrible system; it’s the most undemocratic way of electing a chief executive in the world, ” said Paul Finkelman, a law professor at Albany Law School who teaches this year at Duke University. “There’s no other electoral system in the world where the person with the most votes doesn’t win…”

But Finkelman said his reading of history is that the compromise wasn’t about power between small and large states as much as it was about power of slave-holding states. He said James Madison wanted direct popular election of the president, but because African-American slaves wouldn’t count, that would give more power to the North. So the framers came up with a compromise to count each slave as three-fifths of a person for representation in Congress and presidential elections

No one in the Party-formerly-known-as-Republican will ever admit publicly to the bigotry that decides so much of their platform and policies. They even have to fiddle to alter the stupidity that would have them saying – it’s been this way a long time and that’s good enough. The sort of ideology that would keep buggy whip manufacturers in business while the rest of the world drives by.

Nope – just one more issue that needs to be sorted by voters having the backbone to push opportunist politicians out the door to seek an honest job. Replacing them with someone committed to knowledge, liberty, science and society moving forward.

Most Americans would toss the Electoral College on scrap heap

Nearly 11 years after the 2000 presidential election brought the corruption idiosyncrasies of the United States’ Electoral College into full view, 62% of Americans say they would amend the U.S. Constitution to replace that system for electing presidents with a popular vote system. Barely a third, 35%, say they would keep the Electoral College.

Gallup’s initial measure of support for the Electoral College with this wording was conducted in the first few days after the 2000 presidential election in which the winner remained undeclared pending a recount in Florida. At that time, it was already clear that Democratic candidate Al Gore had won the national popular vote over Republican George W. Bush, but that the winner of the election would be the one who received Florida’s 25 Electoral College votes…

Republicans have grown somewhat more amenable to adopting a popular vote system over the past decade. Now, for the first time since 2000, the majority of Republicans favor it. Independents are not quite as supportive as Democrats of the popular vote system, but the majority of them have consistently favored it.

Additionally, Gallup finds little difference in the views of Americans of various age groups on changing how the country elects presidents. Support for amending the Constitution on this matter is 58% among 18- to 34-year-olds, 64% among 35-to 54-year-olds, and 62% among those 55 and older.

From 1967 through 1980, Gallup periodically asked Americans about replacing the Electoral College with a popular vote system using different question wording, and each time, the majority favored it. The issue was particularly relevant during this period because the popular vote in the 1968 and 1976 presidential elections was so closely divided…

Next question? What do you think Congress will do about responding to the will of the people?

I thought so, too. They are truly useless.