Off Topic: My Vote Is For Change, Change of the Electoral College

Thursday, November 06, 2008

I voted Tuesday. I voted apathetically. I honestly put limited thought into my vote and voted on the principal of A) It doesn't matter who I vote for anyway because I live in Connecticut and a Democrat always wins and B) I really really really don't want to hear Palin talk ever again. So I voted Obama. Yes, pretty much the lamest reasoning ever but I don't care because again it doesn't matter. The last time Connecticut voted republican was 1988 when everybody and their mother voted against Dukakis.

I don't think in my lifetime we will ever see Popular Vote actually decide the election, but at the very least I think its time for States to follow in the footsteps of Maine and Nebraska and utilize the Congressional District Method. Sure its never amounted to splitting the electoral votes in Nebraska or Maine yet and chances are it wouldn't do anything in CT but at the very least by splitting up the state your vote would seem more relevant. And by splitting the electoral count up by region the election will not be solely decided by swing states like Ohio, Florida etc. It's evident every single time they zoom in on Ohio that Cleveland, Cincy and Columbus vote democrat and the rest of the state votes Republican. It seems ridiculous that one way or the other a candidate wins the entire electoral vote of Ohio despite there being such differing opinions in two distinct settings.

It's obviously still not perfect, but at the very least it would make me feel like my vote somewhat mattered rather than voting with the distinct knowledge that no matter what I say Connecticut is blue.

Posted by Simon at 2:22 PM   Digg! submit to reddit BallHype: hype it up!


Dividing a state's electoral votes by congressional district would magnify the worst features of our antiquated Electoral College system of electing the President. What the country needs is a national popular vote to make every person's vote equally important to presidential campaigns.

If the district approach were used nationally, it would less be less fair and accurately reflect the will of the people than the current system. In 2004, Bush won 50.7% of the popular vote, but 59% of the districts. Although Bush lost the national popular vote in 2000, he won 55% of the country's congressional districts.

The district approach would not cause presidential candidates to campaign in a particular state or focus the candidates' attention to issues of concern to the state. Under the winner-take-all rule (whether applied to either districts or states), candidates have no reason to campaign in districts or states where they are comfortably ahead or hopelessly behind. In North Carolina, there are only 2 districts the 13th with a 5% spread and the 2nd with an 8% spread) where the presidential race is competitive. In California, the presidential race is competitive in only 3 of the state's 53 districts. Nationwide, there are only 55 "battleground" districts that are competitive in presidential elections. Under the present deplorable state-level winner-take-all system, two-thirds of the states (including North Carolina and California and Texas) are ignored in presidential elections; however, seven-eighths of the nation's congressional districts would be ignored if the a district-level winner-take-all system were used nationally.

A national popular vote is the way to make every person's vote equal and guarantee that the candidate who gets the most votes in all 50 states becomes President. The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC). The National Popular Vote bill would take effect only when enacted, in identical form, by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes—that is, enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538). When the bill is enacted in a group of states possessing 270 or more electoral votes, all of the electoral votes from those states would be awarded, as a bloc, to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC). This would guarantee the White House to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

The National Popular Vote bill has been approved by 21 legislative chambers (one house in Colorado, Arkansas, Maine, North Carolina, and Washington, and two houses in Maryland, Illinois, Hawaii, California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Vermont). It has been enacted into law in Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, and Maryland. These states have 50 (19%) of the 270 electoral votes needed to bring this legislation into effect.


S said...
7:45 PM  

I agree with the national popular vote because it does make everyones voice equal. The current system makes it irrelevant how many votes you receive in a state as long as you have more than your opponent. Thus diluting the voting power as simone stated because voting in CT is basically pointless.

If you are going to continue the current system, why not have your party nominate their canidate based soley off their performance in the primary of swing states. Example: We can assume this year that no matter if Obama or Clinton had won the primary that they would carry the typical Democrat states regardless. Thats why by nominating the canidate that performed well in tradionally nondeomcrat states they would be at an advantage.

Frank the Tank said...
7:43 AM  

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