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I want to abolish the Electoral College - you may or may not want to.....
Why I have wanted to abolish the Electoral College since 1986 or so... And my Mom has wanted to longer than that....
How Trump won the presidency with razor-thin margins in swing states
Poll: More Americans believe popular vote should decide the president
A great discussion on C-Span: Electoral College and U.S. Elections John Koza and James Hulme talked about calls to end reliance on the Electoral College to determine the outcome of U.S. presidential elections and related efforts to base election results on the popular vote.
My take on the Electoral College. Your mileage may vary.
A Great way to look at the Electoral College! This Map Shows How America Voted in Every Election Since 1824
In 2012, Donald Trump agreed with me on this, Trump called Electoral College a 'disaster' in 2012 tweet
We have amended our Constitution to address the Electoral College before, THE TWELFTH AMENDMENT and
THE TWENTY THIRD AMENDMENT
Preface: I am writing this to share MY views on the Electoral College. A view I have had since around 1986 or so. I am NOT writing this in an effort to get YOU to change your mind on it if you have your own view of the Electoral College, but to explain why I feel the way I feel about it. My only hope in writing this is that you will have empathy for why I feel the way I do. And who knows, maybe you will change your mind? But if you don't, you will at least have given me the opportunity to explain my side without just dismissing me out of hand.
Did you know that we came close to abolishing the Electoral College in 1969!
I was 9 years old in 1969 and became a Cubs fan. President Nixon felt the same way I do about the electoral college. The House passed the resolution to Amend the Constitution to abolish the Electoral College. There was a fear that congress would choose a dangerous leader if no one hit the 270 number. Remember, in a race where no one gets 270 the top 3 electoral votes candidates are then eligible and The House, one vote per state delegation, then chooses the winner. The dangerous leader they feared? George Wallace - my governor in Alabama. Critics say the Electoral College is antiquated, undemocratic -- and, many fear, impossible to get rid of. But in 1969, it almost met its end.
Nixon trusted in Checks and Balances and I do. Some are marching the streets because they fear Trump the same way some feared Wallace. I trust the House and Senate to keep a president in check and I trust SCOTUS to keep both of them in check. In 1969 the Senate blocked this change - why? because Southern senators didn't want the change. A lot of ugly things happened in 1968. Two assassinations. The Electoral College had its place during the days of buggy whips and slavery but I live in a country where both of those are obsolete and in my opinion, others may vary, the electoral college is obsolete as well.
To understand why we have an Electoral College, we need to put our way-back hats on and go back to 1787.
Our new 'country' is struggling. We don't know that in 1814 our White House will be burned down, 1814 -
British troops set fire to the White House but we know we have issues with our Articles of Confederation and living together as thirteen different sovereign countries is not working, Articles of Confederation
We can't collect taxes. Can't raise an army. We have different currencies. We don't have a court system. What we do have is a mess.
Technically, July 4th, 1776 isn't really our nation's birthday. June 21st, 1788 is. 1788 - U.S. Constitution ratified “New Hampshire becomes the ninth and last necessary state to ratify the Constitution of the United States, thereby making the document the law of the land.”
There was a lot of negotiation going on to convince thirteen unique countries to become one nation. It takes a lot of 'horse-trading' to convince a country like Virginia or Massachusetts to go from being a stand-alone, all-powerful, country to being a part of a collective whole. There were a lot of issues, from large states versus small states to slavery.
Remember, in 1787 slavery is a huge issue, The Troubling Reason the Electoral College Exists
A lot of compromises had to be made or the new nation would never form (and we never know when Britain will want to come back for round two?)
Compromises you ask? Why do we have the bicameral legislature we have today? We start with a problem! Large states have one idea (Virginia Plan) , population decides representation, more people we have, more votes we get in congress. Small states yell not fair! (New Jersey Plan) We should get same number of votes you get! If we do not get a compromise we are never getting off the ground, so a man from Connecticut has a suggestion :
But now we have another problem! What about slaves? Do they count as part of the population? Some states have a lot of slaves. Some states do not have many slaves. Someone comes up with our second compromise, The 3/5th Compromise
The non-slaves states may one day get more people than slave states so the House may vote one day to outlaw slavery. If there are more non-slave states the Senate may vote to abolish slavery. We have to have another compromise, Slave Trade Compromise
So we are on the way. We need some marketing to get states to actually ratify the Constitution. Enter the Federalist Papers. James Madison will write about Factions in Federalist 10,
and Federalist 68 by Alexander Hamilton discusses the Electoral College,
Our country starts with a lot of wheeling and dealing to convince thirteen countries to become one.
Here is what I believe is the reason the Electoral College was enacted then and why I think it does not apply today. I will give you one example of how times have changed? Who could vote then and who can vote now?
Who gets to vote in our first presidential election? White men who own property. Who Voted in the First Two American Presidential Elections?
Who gets to vote now?
Here is me trying to look into what they were thinking back then:
The property owners feared being outvoted by non-property owners. They are outnumbered about 19-1 after all.
They do not trust a state to turn in an accurate popular vote. Keep in mind some states did not even use popular vote to decide their electors.
Why the mistrust? If someone from Virginia is running and someone from Massachusetts is running Virginia may 'fudge' the popular vote numbers to give their candidate more votes and the other person less votes and Massachusetts may try to do the same thing. Can not 'fudge' the number of electors.
No way to actually get an accurate count of the popular vote or to communicate the results in a timely manner.
Back to #1, our forefathers did not have trust in the general population to elect a leader so they took a paternalistic view and decided to use the electoral college as a buffer to make sure someone could look over and take care of the voting public.
Here is my response to that and why those concerns do not apply:
Every citizen now has the right to vote. Owning or renting is no longer a factor.
We are in the 21st Century. We can count votes. We do it for mayor races. We do it for US Senate races. We do it for Presidential races.
The level of any voter fraud will never rise to be a factor in swaying the popular vote.
Myth of Voter Fraud
We have the internet now. We get results fairly quickly.
We trust our citizens to choose their Mayor and their US Senator, why not THEIR President.
There are lot of misconceptions out there! David, if you abolish the Electoral College the Big Cities will decide the President. A study of the US Census immediately dispels that thought.
MOST of us DO NOT live in our 100 largest cities...
Check out the US Census, Add up the top 100 cities - 61,325,698 live in cities from New York City to Birmingham, Alabama The largest US cities: Cities ranked 1 to 100
324 million people live in America - U.S. and World Population Clock
About 1 in 5 of us live in a large city. A lot of people do not realize this. Please watch this video:
Problems with the Electoral College: And an Update:
This chart illustrates this well:
Op-Chart: How Much Is Your Vote Worth?
Someone suggested we use Metro Areas instead of just cities' limits, U.S. Population – Metropolitan Statistical Area Population
181,795,762 out of 324 million. 29th ? Kansas City, Missouri. 33rd? Indianapolis, Indiana. Nashville, Tennessee is 38th. 41st largest metro area? Memphis, Tennessee ? 48th Birmingham, Alabama. 60th? Omaha, Nebraska. 67th? Baton Rouge, Louisiana. 73rd ? Knoxville, Tennessee. 85th? Boise, Idaho. 93rd? Jackson, Mississippi. A lot more people live in places other than New York or Chicago.
What about States?
New York 19,795,791.00
North Carolina 10,042,802.00
174,137,154.00 out of 324 million, a little over half – so the other 40 states votes will make a difference because of these ten states, California, New York, Illinois and Pennsylvania have been Blue since 2000 and Texas, Georgia have been Red since 2000.
Lets look at what have been Red states and Blue states and the popular vote the past few elections cycles. First, what a blowout looks like:
1972 Presidential Election
Now, when a lot of people will tell you the issues of presidential elections became a hot topic,
2000 Presidential Election
George W. Bush Republican 271 50,456,062
Albert Gore, Jr. Democratic 266 50,996,582
Third Time in History (not counting 1824 where congress decided, not the Electoral College) where winner of popular vote did not win the Electoral College vote. (We will see the fourth in 2016)
A great friend asked me to compile a list of states that flipped from Red to Blue or Blue to Red in the 2008 Election
So – 2004 Presidential Election vs 2008 Presidential Election
States that went from Red to Blue for Obama?
Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico, Iowa, Indiana, Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina and Florida
Blue to Red? None.
How about from 2012 to 2016?
Blue to Red? Iowa, Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida.
Red to Blue? None.
12 States have been Red States and 1 has been a Blue state since 1980.
Since 2000, 21 states have been Red States and 19 have been Blue States – 10 states in 5 elections have had more than one winner. 40 have not. Blue or Red Since 2000
Some of my friends use the Alexander Hamilton argument, that using the popular vote is like letting 2 wolves and 1 sheep vote. I counter-argue by asking why let me vote if you don't trust me to vote?
In closing, I am not writing this because I am crying over the 2016 outcome. The rules are the rules. I ran a write-in campaign for president because I could not and would not vote for either Clinton or Trump. This is not a new issue for me. My mom has complained about this since I can remember.. In 40 states, mine and your vote has not mattered since 2000. I want my and your vote to count. If it can count for a mayor, an alderman or a US Senator, why can't it count for our president? I am not trying to convince anyone I am right and they are wrong. I am just trying to share with people why I feel the way I feel about the Electoral College. I made it a major plank in my 2016 presidential campaign platform, http://www.limbaughlooper2016.com/platform.html
Thank You for your time,
Someone agrees with me! Is the Electoral College Doomed?