Thursday, May 23, 2013

National vote plan making headway

In an Op-Ed on CT News Junkie, Andrea Levien discusses how there is a plan to make every voter's ballot count in presidential elections.

Simply put, the new system eliminates the Electoral College, and simply makes each citizen's vote count. The final number of popular votes decide the election.

For years I assumed the Electoral system was set up somewhere in the fine print of the Constitution, and would require an exhaustive campaign to convince 3/4 of the states (not to mention 2/3 of both houses of Congress) to amend the law.

But it turns out the Constitution allows states a lot of discretion when it comes to setting up their way of voting for the President.
Luckily, Connecticut lawmakers can pass a law that will make Connecticut voters as relevant in presidential elections as voters in Ohio and Florida. The National Poplar Vote plan is an interstate compact that states join by passing state legislation, committing to having all of their electoral votes be cast by the electors supporting the winner of the national popular vote in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The compact is only triggered once it has been adopted in states representing a majority of Electoral College votes (270), thereby guaranteeing that the White House to the winner of the national popular vote – and thereby, making every vote in every state matter.
So far the law has been approved in states totaling 49% of the 270 votes, so it is already nearly halfway there.

The idea of eliminating "swing states", "battleground states", the massive amounts of money that pour into New Hampshire every four years while Connecticut gets almost nothing, and the fact that we don't have to count on the fucked up system they have in Florida that prevents them even 12 years after the disastrous 2000 election from counting their votes properly, well, it makes me happy.

And the added benefit is that MORE citizens will vote in states that are predominately red or blue, because their votes WILL matter equally with everyone else's.

The details of the plan are at

Read the entire article over at CT News Junkie, and let me know your thoughts on this plan.

UPDATE: Jason Paul has an opposing Op-ed over at CTNJ worthy of consideration in this matter. Particularly in the case of Florida, who can't seem to get their shit together to count their votes in a timely and accurate fashion. A national vote recount could be an epic nightmare of year 2000 proportions.


toto said...

To abolish the Electoral College would need a constitutional amendment, and could be stopped by states with as little as 3% of the U.S. population.

The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

Every vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in presidential elections. No more distorting and divisive red and blue state maps. There would no longer be a handful of 'battleground' states where voters and policies are more important than those of the voters in 80% of the states that now are just 'spectators' and ignored after the conventions.

When the bill is enacted by states with a majority of the electoral votes– enough Electoral College votes to elect a President (270 of 538), all the electoral votes from the enacting states would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states and DC.

The presidential election system that we have today was not designed, anticipated, or favored by the Founding Fathers but, instead, is the product of decades of evolutionary change precipitated by the emergence of political parties and enactment by 48 states of winner-take-all laws, not mentioned, much less endorsed, in the Constitution.

The bill uses the power given to each state by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution to change how they award their electoral votes for President. Historically, virtually all of the major changes in the method of electing the President, including ending the requirement that only men who owned substantial property could vote and 48 current state-by-state winner-take-all laws, have come about by state legislative action.

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 bill has passed 31 state legislative chambers in 21 states with 243 electoral votes. The bill has been enacted by 9 jurisdictions with 132 electoral votes - 49% of the 270 necessary to go into effect.


Follow National Popular Vote on Facebook via NationalPopularVoteInc

toto said...

A survey of Connecticut voters showed 74% overall support for the idea that the President of the United States should be the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states. Voters were asked:

"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?"

Support for a national popular vote, by political affiliation, was 80% among Democrats, 67% among Republicans, and 71% among others.

By gender, support was 81% among women and 66% among men.

By age, support was 82% among 18-29 year olds, 69% among 30-45 year olds, 75% among 46-65 year olds, and 72% for those older than 65.


CT Bob said...

Thanks for the cut & paste info, but the article stated that the states had the ability to change the law without amending the Constitution. So what's the truth in this discussion?

toto said...

The National Popular Vote bill would change current state winner-take-all laws that award all of a state’s Electoral College votes to the candidate who get the most popular votes in each separate state (not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, but since enacted by 48 states), to a system guaranteeing the majority of Electoral College votes for, and the Presidency to, the candidate getting the most popular votes in the entire United States.

The bill preserves the constitutionally mandated Electoral College and state control of elections. It ensures that every vote is equal, every voter will matter, in every state, in every presidential election, and the candidate with the most votes wins, as in virtually every other election in the country.

Under National Popular Vote, every vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in every presidential election. Every vote would be included in the state counts and national count. The candidate with the most popular votes in all 50 states and DC would get the needed 270+ Electoral College votes from the enacting states. The bill would thus guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes.

CT Bob said...

So, it would be like each electoral voter represents a number of voters, sort of like the members of the House each represents a fixed number of citizens? If a candidate wins 60% of the popular vote, then 6 out of every 10 electors would be required to vote for that candidate?

toto said...

The candidate who wins the most popular votes in the country would get ALL the electoral votes of the states that enact the National Popular Vote bill, when states with the needed 270 majority of electoral votes enact the bill.

CT Bob said...

OK that makes it clear now. Thanks.