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One person, one vote?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Another argument against the Electoral College: How Much Is Your Vote Worth?
Quote:
In House races, 10 eligible voters in California, a state with many residents who cannot vote, represent 16 people in the voting booth. In New York and New Jersey, 10 enfranchised residents stand for themselves and five others. (And given that only 60 percent of eligible voters turn out at the polls, the actual figures are even starker.) Of all the states, Vermont comes the closest to the one person, one vote standard. Ten Vermont residents represent 12 people.
In the Electoral College, the combined effect of these two distortions is a mockery of the principle of “one person, one vote.†While each of Florida’s 27 electoral delegates represents almost 480,000 eligible voters, each of the three delegates from Wyoming represents only 135,000 eligible voters. That makes a voter casting a presidential ballot in Wyoming three and a half times more influential than a voter in Florida.
post #2 of 18
There are pros and cons to the electoral college. I'm undecided about it myself. Here's a pretty good pros and cons article:

http://www.uselectionatlas.org/INFOR...ege_procon.php

That's an excerpt from a very long article that includes a lot of interesting history with regards to the electoral college. I have it saved off someplace. I can dig it up if you are interested.

To an extent, the "distortions" in the first article are kinda the goal of the electoral system as discussed in the above link. I question the conclusion that a candidate could win with as little as 22% of the popular vote. I'll have to do some pencil scratching to see how such a think might actually happen. Could be it is theoretically possible but how likely is it?
post #3 of 18
From an opinion piece, no less. And we all know that you can make statistics say whatever you want them to say.

Of course we all know that the lower the voter turnout, the more your one vote counts. That's just basic common sense. Yet people still don't vote. And even in this election where there has been so much made of it shaping the future of the country, there will still be people who decide not to vote.

The biggest reason I've seen for ditching the Electoral College is because either people don't understand it, or because Dems are still mad because they lost on Electoral College votes in 2000 and 2004. Somehow I would almost place money on that push going away if McCain wins the popular vote but loses the Electoral College and Obama is put in office because of that.
post #4 of 18
The rain on the East Coast tomorrow should make voter turnout interesting. Dropping popular vote totals usually reflects better on the Republicans.

The Electoral College gives equal voting strength to lower populations. Without something to balance it, we'd just have the big cities votes cancelling out the rest of the Country, and its bad enough as it stands with that already being the case. Winning the NE and Cal. pretty much gives a candidate 3/4 of the necessary total, all due to high populations equalling more electoral votes.
post #5 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by neetanddave View Post
The rain on the East Coast tomorrow should make voter turnout interesting. Dropping popular vote totals usually reflects better on the Republicans.

The Electoral College gives equal voting strength to lower populations. Without something to balance it, we'd just have the big cities votes cancelling out the rest of the Country, and its bad enough as it stands with that already being the case. Winning the NE and Cal. pretty much gives a candidate 3/4 of the necessary total, all due to high populations equalling more electoral votes.
except isn't it somewhat based on population?
personally, i'd like to see it eliminated altogether, especially for presidential elections...
post #6 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by laureen227 View Post
except isn't it somewhat based on population?
personally, i'd like to see it eliminated altogether, especially for presidential elections...
Yeah, it makes the lower populated states at least count in the grand scheme of things. States with low populations would just blend into the popular vote otherwise, with the large densely populated cities of the East and CA basically deciding things with the rest of us along for the ride.
post #7 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by neetanddave View Post
Yeah, it makes the lower populated states at least count in the grand scheme of things. States with low populations would just blend into the popular vote otherwise, with the large densely populated cities of the East and CA basically deciding things with the rest of us along for the ride.
they do that, anyway, what w/the primaries, etc.
i said today i'd like to see just 1 candidate for president [no VP candidate] w/the 2nd place person becoming the VP... that'd be true bi-partisanship!
post #8 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by laureen227 View Post
they do that, anyway, what w/the primaries, etc.
i said today i'd like to see just 1 candidate for president [no VP candidate] w/the 2nd place person becoming the VP
it used to be that way.
post #9 of 18
Reforming the electoral process should start on the local level, where it is apparently all screwed up. There was an interesting discussion last week on The Bill Sebastian Show about early/absentee voting and whether or not those people could change their vote, or even vote twice, after turning in their early ballot. This discussion got pretty scary: the show received calls from at least half a dozen different people who were involved in the voting process as poll workers or poll watchers, and someone who contacted the local clerk of courts, and everybody had something different to say -- nobody could agree on whether or not someone who had already voted early could vote again by rescinding their early ballot or even by just showing up at their polling place.

I think it's time to institute a system that works quite well in many other countries: when you vote, your thumb gets died with an indelible ink. So it's easy to see that someone with a blue thumb has already voted.

How can we reform the Electoral College when we can't even be sure that all voters are represented by one vote and one vote only?

And here's something else -- when a judge says they have to register people without a fixed address or proof of identity, then I wonder how many illegal aliens are voting?
post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by coaster View Post
And here's something else -- when a judge says they have to register people without a fixed address or proof of identity, then I wonder how many illegal aliens are voting?
Or legal aliens, for that matter. I've heard a few uncorroborated tales of resident aliens voting.

I really hope that election laws are revised some time in the near future. I'd not only like to see the Electoral College abolished as too antiquated in this age of quick communications and almost universal literacy, but also a law requiring a photo ID to vote, automatic registration for citizens at 18, and Election Day on the weekend, perhaps with two days of voting, as in Italy.

Early voting is at least a start.
post #11 of 18
I all ways thought that one vote meant one vote. For YEARS! Damn am I ignorant.

Live and learn.
post #12 of 18
I would like to see it go to a popular vote. But the electoral college isn't so bad, except that it is winner take all, by state. That's the part that bugs me. If my state goes the opposite way from my vote, I would feel like my vote was just thrown away. I don't have that problem, because my state usually goes my way, but I would think the people here from the other party have to feel frustrated every 4 years. Their vote never really counts. And that isn't right. If we need the college, can't it be changed to where the votes can be split or something?
post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcat View Post
..., and Election Day on the weekend, perhaps with two days of voting,....
I agree with that!! I first heard just this morning the story of why the election is held on Tuesday. This person said that it was decided to have it on Tuesday because at that time it could take a person a whole day to travel to their polling place. They didn't want to have to travel on Sunday, so Tuesday would give them Monday and Wednesday as travel days.
post #14 of 18
I can explain the Electoral College very simply.

It would be possible (but highly improbable) for a presidential candidate to collect all the votes in California, Pennsylvania, New York, and Florida, and win the popular vote. All the rest of the states combined would not have enough votes to counteract that number, yet they represent the vast majority of the farms, business, etc. in the country.

The Electoral College is there to ensure that no candidate could play to certain populations and win that way. He has to make a much wider appeal.
post #15 of 18
I'm not in favor of abolishing the Electoral College, but certainly, some changes could preserve the safeguards while eliminating the "winner take all" that's an anachronism. Perhaps proportional assignment of each state's electoral votes?
post #16 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrblanche View Post
I can explain the Electoral College very simply.

It would be possible (but highly improbable) for a presidential candidate to collect all the votes in California, Pennsylvania, New York, and Florida, and win the popular vote. All the rest of the states combined would not have enough votes to counteract that number, yet they represent the vast majority of the farms, business, etc. in the country.

The Electoral College is there to ensure that no candidate could play to certain populations and win that way. He has to make a much wider appeal.
TY Mrblanche. The more simple the better. I did understand that. If it is still effective today, I will let you other politically smart kitty people hash it out.
post #17 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrblanche View Post
I can explain the Electoral College very simply.

It would be possible (but highly improbable) for a presidential candidate to collect all the votes in California, Pennsylvania, New York, and Florida, and win the popular vote. All the rest of the states combined would not have enough votes to counteract that number, yet they represent the vast majority of the farms, business, etc. in the country.

The Electoral College is there to ensure that no candidate could play to certain populations and win that way. He has to make a much wider appeal.

That was sort of my understanding of it, too.

Would it work if there wasn't a candidate for vice president? The winner is the president, the runner up being veep. I don't know.

When the founding fathers were putting our government together one of the models they used was that of the Roman Republic, hence Congress and our country being a representative republic. The Roman Republic didn't have one leader, they had two consuls that shared equal power. I have no idea where I was going with this, I just wanted to ramble a little history.
post #18 of 18
And to take it one step further, during the Roman Republic, dictators were elected to a term of one year when the Republic faced a serious crisis that the regular government couldn't solve. Just an interesting factoid that I was surprised to learn.
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