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In your opinion what is the one most necessary (best) solution to the Electoral College...

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techabell | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 18, 2010 at 9:15 PM via web

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In your opinion what is the one most necessary (best) solution to the Electoral College Problem?

In your opinion what is the one most necessary (best) solution to the Electoral College Problem?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted November 18, 2010 at 9:23 PM (Answer #2)

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This depends on what you think the problem with the Electoral College is.  To my way of thinking, the only real problem with it is the fact that the votes all of the voters who vote for the "wrong" candidate in a state are wasted.  I think that the best solution to that is to stop having the states' votes cast in a winner take all fashion.  Instead, I would have a winner take all system but base it on Congressional districts.

If this were done, there would be fewer people whose votes would not count.  For example, in my state of Washington, the votes of the whole eastern side of the state tend not to count because those areas tend to vote Republican while the population centers in the west vote Democrat.

In a system based on Congressional districts, the electoral vote of each Congressional district would go to whoever won that district's popular vote.  That way, here in Washington, Democrats would win the western districts, Republicans the eastern districts, and more people would have their votes count.

I think I would give the two electoral votes that go with the senators to whoever wins the state as a whole.  Not a perfect solution, but I like it.

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brettd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted November 18, 2010 at 11:19 PM (Answer #3)

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In my opinion, the Electoral College is a relic from the early days of the Republic, is actually quite undemocratic when you get right down to it, and the only solution I see for the problems it causes in Presidential elections is its outright abolition.

It should be impossible for a candidate to win the popular vote yet lose the election.  That is the antithesis of democracy.  The West Coast states have less motivation to vote (especially Alaska and Hawaii) since the outcome of the election is often already determined by the time the polls close in the western states.  Abolishing the Electoral College and going by a straight popular vote count would mean we would not know who won until California at least was counted.  This would give the east and west parity in terms of importance.

Small states resist the idea of abolition because they believe it would lessen their influence in elections.  The truth is that their influence is already marginal at best.  Candidates spend little to no time in states like North Dakota, Wyoming or Idaho, even with the Electoral College system.  Abolishing the EC would not make them more or less likely to receive attention from presidential contenders.

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mvymvy | (Level 1) Honors

Posted November 22, 2010 at 1:36 PM (Answer #4)

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This depends on what you think the problem with the Electoral College is.  To my way of thinking, the only real problem with it is the fact that the votes all of the voters who vote for the "wrong" candidate in a state are wasted.  I think that the best solution to that is to stop having the states' votes cast in a winner take all fashion.  Instead, I would have a winner take all system but base it on Congressional districts.

If this were done, there would be fewer people whose votes would not count.  For example, in my state of Washington, the votes of the whole eastern side of the state tend not to count because those areas tend to vote Republican while the population centers in the west vote Democrat.

In a system based on Congressional districts, the electoral vote of each Congressional district would go to whoever won that district's popular vote.  That way, here in Washington, Democrats would win the western districts, Republicans the eastern districts, and more people would have their votes count.

I think I would give the two electoral votes that go with the senators to whoever wins the state as a whole.  Not a perfect solution, but I like it.

 

Dividing a state's electoral votes by congressional district would magnify the worst features of  the Electoral College system. 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 less 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.

 

Under the present deplorable 48 state-level winner-take-all system, two-thirds of the states (including California and Texas) are ignored in presidential elections; however, seven-eighths of the nation's congressional districts would be ignored if  a district-level winner-take-all system were used nationally.

 

Also, a second-place candidate could still win the White House without winning the national popular vote.

 

 

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.

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mvymvy | (Level 1) Honors

Posted November 22, 2010 at 1:40 PM (Answer #5)

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In my opinion, the Electoral College is a relic from the early days of the Republic, is actually quite undemocratic when you get right down to it, and the only solution I see for the problems it causes in Presidential elections is its outright abolition.

It should be impossible for a candidate to win the popular vote yet lose the election.  That is the antithesis of democracy.  The West Coast states have less motivation to vote (especially Alaska and Hawaii) since the outcome of the election is often already determined by the time the polls close in the western states.  Abolishing the Electoral College and going by a straight popular vote count would mean we would not know who won until California at least was counted.  This would give the east and west parity in terms of importance.

Small states resist the idea of abolition because they believe it would lessen their influence in elections.  The truth is that their influence is already marginal at best.  Candidates spend little to no time in states like North Dakota, Wyoming or Idaho, even with the Electoral College system.  Abolishing the EC would not make them more or less likely to receive attention from presidential contenders.

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. Elections wouldn't be about winning states. No more distorting and divisive red and blue state maps.  Every vote, everywhere would be counted for and directly assist the candidate for whom it was cast. Candidates would need to care about voters across the nation, not just undecided voters in a handful of swing states.

 

The bill uses the power given to each state in the Constitution to change how they award their electoral votes for president.  It does not abolish the Electoral College, which would need a constitutional amendment, and could be stopped by states with as little as 3% of the U.S. population.  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.

 

The National Popular Vote bill has passed 31 state legislative chambers, in 21 small, medium-small, medium, and large states. The bill has been enacted by DC, HI, IL, NJ, MD, MA, and WA. These seven states possess  76 electoral votes -- 28% of the 270 necessary to bring the law into effect.

 

See http://www.NationalPopularVote.com

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mvymvy | (Level 1) Honors

Posted November 22, 2010 at 1:43 PM (Answer #6)

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In my opinion, the Electoral College is a relic from the early days of the Republic, is actually quite undemocratic when you get right down to it, and the only solution I see for the problems it causes in Presidential elections is its outright abolition.

It should be impossible for a candidate to win the popular vote yet lose the election.  That is the antithesis of democracy.  The West Coast states have less motivation to vote (especially Alaska and Hawaii) since the outcome of the election is often already determined by the time the polls close in the western states.  Abolishing the Electoral College and going by a straight popular vote count would mean we would not know who won until California at least was counted.  This would give the east and west parity in terms of importance.

Small states resist the idea of abolition because they believe it would lessen their influence in elections.  The truth is that their influence is already marginal at best.  Candidates spend little to no time in states like North Dakota, Wyoming or Idaho, even with the Electoral College system.  Abolishing the EC would not make them more or less likely to receive attention from presidential contenders.

 

The concept of a national popular vote for President is far from being politically "radioactive" in small states, because the small states recognize they are the most disadvantaged group of states under the current system.

 

In the 13 smallest states, the National Popular Vote bill already has been approved by nine state legislative chambers, including one house in, Delaware, the District of Columbia, and Maine and both houses in Hawaii, Rhode Island, and Vermont.  It has been enacted by the District of Columbia and Hawaii.

 

The 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 comes into effect, all the electoral votes from those states would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

 

The bill has been endorsed or voted for by 1,922 state legislators (in 50 states) who have sponsored and/or cast recorded votes in favor of the bill.

 

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 in virtually every state, partisan, and demographic group surveyed in recent polls.

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mvymvy | (Level 1) Honors

Posted November 22, 2010 at 5:50 PM (Answer #7)

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In my opinion, the Electoral College is a relic from the early days of the Republic, is actually quite undemocratic when you get right down to it, and the only solution I see for the problems it causes in Presidential elections is its outright abolition.

It should be impossible for a candidate to win the popular vote yet lose the election.  That is the antithesis of democracy.  The West Coast states have less motivation to vote (especially Alaska and Hawaii) since the outcome of the election is often already determined by the time the polls close in the western states.  Abolishing the Electoral College and going by a straight popular vote count would mean we would not know who won until California at least was counted.  This would give the east and west parity in terms of importance.

Small states resist the idea of abolition because they believe it would lessen their influence in elections.  The truth is that their influence is already marginal at best.  Candidates spend little to no time in states like North Dakota, Wyoming or Idaho, even with the Electoral College system.  Abolishing the EC would not make them more or less likely to receive attention from presidential contenders.

 

The concept of a national popular vote for President is far from being politically "radioactive" in small states, because the small states recognize they are the most disadvantaged group of states under the current system.

 

In the 13 smallest states, the National Popular Vote bill already has been approved by nine state legislative chambers, including one house in, Delaware, the District of Columbia, and Maine and both houses in Hawaii, Rhode Island, and Vermont.  It has been enacted by the District of Columbia and Hawaii.

 

The 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 comes into effect, all the electoral votes from those states would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

 

The bill has been endorsed or voted for by 1,922 state legislators (in 50 states) who have sponsored and/or cast recorded votes in favor of the bill.

 

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 in virtually every state, partisan, and demographic group surveyed in recent polls.

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mvymvy | (Level 1) Honors

Posted November 23, 2010 at 1:22 PM (Answer #8)

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In my opinion, the Electoral College is a relic from the early days of the Republic, is actually quite undemocratic when you get right down to it, and the only solution I see for the problems it causes in Presidential elections is its outright abolition.

It should be impossible for a candidate to win the popular vote yet lose the election.  That is the antithesis of democracy.  The West Coast states have less motivation to vote (especially Alaska and Hawaii) since the outcome of the election is often already determined by the time the polls close in the western states.  Abolishing the Electoral College and going by a straight popular vote count would mean we would not know who won until California at least was counted.  This would give the east and west parity in terms of importance.

Small states resist the idea of abolition because they believe it would lessen their influence in elections.  The truth is that their influence is already marginal at best.  Candidates spend little to no time in states like North Dakota, Wyoming or Idaho, even with the Electoral College system.  Abolishing the EC would not make them more or less likely to receive attention from presidential contenders.

 

The concept of a national popular vote for President is far from being politically "radioactive" in small states, because the small states recognize they are the most disadvantaged group of states under the current system.

 

In the 13 smallest states, the National Popular Vote bill already has been approved by nine state legislative chambers, including one house in, Delaware, the District of Columbia, and Maine and both houses in Hawaii, Rhode Island, and Vermont.  It has been enacted by the District of Columbia and Hawaii.

 

The 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 comes into effect, all the electoral votes from those states would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

 

The bill has been endorsed or voted for by 1,922 state legislators (in 50 states) who have sponsored and/or cast recorded votes in favor of the bill.

 

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 in virtually every state, partisan, and demographic group surveyed in recent polls.

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