Skip to comments.Changing the method of awarding electoral votes in swing states
Posted on 11/09/2012 7:17:46 AM PST by zaker99
Laura Olson reports on the happenings in Harrisburg, where Republicans now control all of the branches of government:
Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi is trying to gather support to change the state's "winner-takes-all" approach for awarding electoral votes. Instead, he's suggesting that Pennsylvania dole them out based on which candidate wins each of the 18 congressional districts, with the final two going to the contender with the most votes statewide.
In other reports, Pileggi sounds awfully sanguine about the effect this would have on PA as a swing state. Why even bring that up? Pennsylvania is typically a closely-divided state, and while it's gone Democratic in every election since 1992, it's been heavily campaigned-in every year.
(Excerpt) Read more at slate.com ...
Yes. Will the Republicans have enough sense to do this? No.
Don't be so sure.
This proposal was brought up after 2008 and the "compromise" was Voter ID.
Now, its time to push this one through and start assigning electors by congressional district.
Where is that US map of red vs blue counties?
The RATS would never win again if something like this was implemented.
This would have given the bulk of the elctoral college votes in Wisconsin to Romney, as Republicans hold most of the Congressional seats. Being a traditionalist, I never wanted to see the electoral college changed, but this is a good idea, IMHO. Worthy of consideration.
I’m of the opinion that a winner-take-all of ONE vote per county is the best approach.
But I also think congressional district electoral votes is a good idea as well. Maybe across the boared, one vote per district, then and addional vote per million residing in that district?
This makes great sense. Each state is apportioned one EV for each US Rep and one for each Senator. So, If you win the state overall, you get 2 (for the Senators) and one more for each House District you gain the majority of the vote in. This is a much fairer representation of the country. It really doesn’t penalize densely populated states since House Districts are apportioned by population. So, Los Angeles does have more Districts than eastern California, but there is no winner take all. It is hard to argue by anyone that it isn’t fair to do this. That way your district is fairly represented in the Electoral College. Now, how to make it actually happen?
It's not really a change to the electoral college. States are already free to decide how to determine how their electors vote.
Maine and Nebraska already choose their electors based on congressional district voting. Their other two electors are determined by the statewide vote totals.
What I like about this is it pretty much eliminates swing states, and instead creates swing districts.
Certain sections of California would be in play for Republicans, and certain sections of Texas would be in play for Democrats.
Instead of a billion dollars going into a few states, it would be spread out more.
I agree, I would also favor drawing Congressional districts along county lines. This would eliminate the practice of making district lines to favor the parties
Of course I would also favor a voting ban on anyone who receives any form of government money
At the presidential election level, voter fraud would be completely or almost completely useless, depending on the way the electoral votes are allocated. Dead voters will not have the same voice that they do now.
A good idea but I think we need to do it across the country as I advocated here:
There is no way to get states like CA, NY (where I live) to do this except through a constitutional amendment AND there is no way to get this done but through a constitutional convention (because Washington, D.c. will never go for it).
Now there are some arguments on my post that a con-con is not a good idea but I am thinking that if we have the majority; how can we lose? Why is it a bad idea? But, maybe I am wrong about this....
Would have changed the outcome in OHIO too.
Is that map from Tuesday’s Presidential election? If so, I am even more furious!
We don’t need a constitutional convention to achieve this. Each state has absolute power to allocate its electoral votes. We won’t get it done in every state. In fact, we don’t even need it in every state. There are some states that are already locks for republicans. We need to start fighting in the difficult states, and this is a legal way to achieve this.
“Of course I would also favor a voting ban on anyone who receives any form of government money”
Here’s a radical idea.
How about a ban on government handouts in the first place?
Everyone pays the same rate of taxes, nobody gets “special” favors, nobody can buy votes.
Also good for cutting down the effects of vote fraud. Let the Donks steal all they want in Philadelphia - won’t hit the rest of the state.
This is STUPID..
The entire purpose of the electoral college is to ensure large states do not overwhelm smaller states.. in the winner take all model, small states have overrepresentative power.. if you play this game, you basically are removing the states completely from the entire thing and just going with the popular vote which was not what the founders intended.
I live in PA, and I’m a Republican but I would not support such a short sighted crap action such as this.
How is allocating by congressional district, for example, unfair? Each state would still have the same number of electoral votes. This is legal and constitutional, and is not the same as going with the popular vote.
Absolutely, but my plan would ban government employees as well. Your average schoolteacher would argue (and not without merit) that her salary is not a handout -- It is however, government money and therefore would require she be barred from voting. This would also eliminate any political activities from government unions as they would not have a means of voting themselves a pay increase.
I would exempt active duty military from this as the military is one of the few things allowed in the Constitution
I think so. I found it here:
States already have the right to apportion their EV’s as they see fit. R’s control nearly 30 state legislatures.
Doesn’t matter if CA follows suit or not. Just getting started changes the game in a way that benefits voters.
Voters in conservative rural districts are disenfranchised by WTA rules that allow the urban districts to control the EV.
Photo ID is the only thing that will work.
Fraud goes on predominantly in areas that are heavily democrat. This system would effectively eliminate it at the presidential level, but you are correct, voter id would be necessary to combat fraud in statewide races.
I didn’t say it was unfair, every state can do what they want with their EC Votes, I said doing so undermines the intent of the EC in the first place and basically makes it meaningless.
Why do you think we have an EC vs a straight popular vote?
If you don’t know I suggest some reading up on history.
The purpose of the EC was to ensure populous states could not just run roughshod over less populous ones. To enable this the EC is set up so that all states have a vote for every senator and every representative.
Why? What does that do? Well simply put that allows smaller states to have a disproportionate weight related to their populations.. IE big state has say 30 Reps and 2 Senators 32 EC votes.. small state had 5 reps and 2 senators.. 7 EC votes. The Larger state has over 6 times the population of the smaller state (32 vs 5) but its EC weight is not 6 times the smaller state (7x6=42) it is closer to 4.6 times the smaller states weight 7X4.6 = 32.2
So the big state, in spite of having over 6 times the smaller states population its EC vote is only 4.6 times larger. The smaller less populated states actually carry more EC weight than larger ones per population. Now the Constitution does not stipulate how the states divvy up the votes, so what this guy in PA is proposing is not unconstitutional, but it does tend to lessen the effect of smaller states have to counter larger states.
Lets say for Example this rule was followed by all states.. if it were, you would effectively wind up with nothing more than the popular vote.. the extra 2 votes for senators, while still there, and could be divied up by who won the state as a whole or some other method, won’t really carry the same weight to preventing larger states from running roughshod.... You are dilluting the countering.
PA for example has 18 districts... roughly with the same population each. This election O clearly won 10 of those districts, and assuming the senate votes go to him, he’d get the extra 2 for winning the state overall... so he’d get 12 of the 20 EC votes.
Okay so Romney now gets 8 votes he wouldn’t have had.. but if you assume ALL states go to the same model, you really are dillute those 2 extra votes, and wind up with really nothing more than a popular vote... Because for a state like PA or OH where this might seem like it would help the republican.. you have a state like GA or FL or VA.. where the R can win the state, but lose a lot of the congressional districts, so its a mixed bag, lets say Romney gets FL.. that’s 29 votes right now, but under the proposed change, he’d likely only wind up with 14 of the 27 districts, and the 2 extra.. so he’d get 16 votes for FL, and O would have gotten 9... Take those 16, add the 8 from PA and you net 24 votes for Romney.. then you take the 13 O votes in FL add them to the 12 votes from PA and Obama gets 25! So it went from 29 votes for Romney for FL, and 20 for Obama for PA to 24 for Romney, and 25 for Obama... you’ve dilluted the extra EC votes to nearly meaningless and gone to a true popular vote by proxy.
Can states do this? Absolutely.. they can allocate the votes however they wish, but don’t think for one minute messing with how the states allocate their EC votes it won’t impact things.
Even this election with only a few million voted between them, this sort of allocation change if done nationally would not have changed the outcome... It would make the EC closer reflect the popular vote, but it would not have given Romney the win.
I for one do not wish to dillute the purpose of the EC.
Now Romney lost because it seems the GOTV didn’t do its job.. Obama lost 10 MILLION votes, and Romney didn’t even get the same amount as McCain.. that’s not a failing of the EC model, or allocations or even vote fraud.. that’s the failing of the ground game.
This map is MEANINGLESS when talking about the EC folks..
EC is not COUNTY by COUNTY... it is Congressional District by Contressional District and if you change the map to represent this, you will see that Obama like it or not WON more of them than he lost..
It sucks, but they won the ground game.. or more appropriately the GOP seems to have @)$*ed up its ground game.
I think it should be done where we have control, if it will help us. I’m not advocating that it be done everywhere, because clearly there are traditionally republican states where this would help democrats. The democrats continuously impose laws on us that violate the constitution. We need to defeat them, and we can do it legally and within the constitution.
While I understand your sentiment, by your logic no one serving in the armed forces would be allowed to vote either, or anyone working in the defense industry, etc etc etc.
It will be tough because the majority of the electorate is taker rather than maker. Trying to change them from one to the other is like telling a child on Easter morning or Halloween that eating all that candy isn't good for them. Only when they have their teeth pulled out because of decay do they realize their error. Maybe that's what it will take. There are already countries out there (Greece, Spain, perhaps France and Ireland) whose teeth are falling out because of the rot of socialism.
If you do this, and you don’t do it across all states, all you are doing at the end of the day is giving democrats bigger EC wins. If Cali/NY et all stay in lump sum distribution and states like OH, FL and PA go to the congressional district distribution model you are LESSINGING the counter to the larger states on average more than you are helping.
Yes any state can do what it wants, but there is a reason they are all with the exception of 2 winner take all.
County by county is a great idea. Whoever wins a majority of counties gets all the electoral votes. The state can allocate electoral votes in any manner it decides.
That’s the point I am trying to make, IT DOESN’T HELP.
Look at my example in another post.. if PA were to have been district distributed Obama would have gotten 12 PA votes, and Romney 8.. Okay that’s nice... BUT if FLORIDA or VA or NC were doing the same things Romney would get far fewer votes than the winner take all scenario.
PA and FL are my example.. District by District.. PA would have gone 12 O 8 R... but Florida would go 16 R 13 O So, instead of those 2 states equating to 29 R and 20 O, they would be 25 O and 24 R.. That’s not HELPING your cause. Same would be true with V and NC! Sure R would have gotten some votes in OH.. but he would have lost far more in VA and NC...
The system right now is relatively UNIFORM nearly all states follow the same model.. this makes sure the founders original intent is viable.. if states decide to do things different and they can, you dillute the intent and do not help things in the long run.
End of the day, this model if adopted uniformly would cause the EC to more closely reflect the popular vote.. It would also dillute the smaller states power to counter larger state will. Secondly if it is not implemented UNIFORMLY by all states, it will just hand votes to the victor and make the EC even more lopsided.
We have to face it, like it or not we lost.. The GOTV by all reports wasn’t there! Romney and the GOP failed where it was the most important... Obama lost 10 Million votes since the last election and Romney didn’t even get McCains turnout... Why is up for discussion, but it wasn’t the EC’s fault.
Yes the states can decide how to do whatever they want with their EC, however you are really trying to advocate that in a presidential election, a voter in a less populated county should hold more weight than a voter in a more populous one? Good luck with that one, never going to fly.
Relax. I’m just making the point that it’s constitutional. By the way, has Florida been called yet?
Oh I know its constitutional from the sense every state has the right to decide how to allocate its EC votes, have said that many times in this thread.
This isn’t about whether it could be done, this is about the wisdom of doing it, and to me, messing with EC vote allocations is a very very foolish thing to do indeed.
Changing the allocation of votes is not the same as the popular vote. It would prevent the big cities from over running the rural parts of the country. The electoral votes are based on congressional districts anyway, therefore candidates would have to campaign to win a majority of the congressional districts, thus making every citizen’s vote worth more. I.E. Romeny won 13 of 18 congressional districts in PA, but all those votes were “overridden” by Philadelphia. The founding fathers attempt to not let large states run the show has not succeeded since the electoral votes are based on population, so at the end of the day, the big states dominate with the most electoral votes. This is the best, (nothing is perfect), but the BEST way to acheive the goals of not only the founders but all Americans today. It not a poplular vote where the candidates just sit in the big cities and run up the vote and its not the stupid system now that provides for the institutionalized fraud that happens every election. How nice would it be for the candidates to travel to virtually every state to compete for individual districts? So many more people would get to meet the candidates and more would be involved knowing that their vote would make a difference. I too am a PA resident so I enjoy the attention we get every 4 years, but my friends in KY and SC always have to watch from a distance, other than throwing some $ for ads they will never see, they don’t get to participate. What could be more American than an election where the candidates travel all over the country and have to appeal to Americans of all stripes to win instead of just certain areas of a few states?
And lastly, I can tell you as a former state committee person, that the legislation was on the table to change our allocation method, (which would have given R 13 more votes, thus replacing the need for VA)but our RINO state chairman twisted enough arms in the legislature to shoot it down because he didn’t want to “diminish” his influence in helping R win the election for PA. Like most political party people they actually beleive they make the difference in winning elections.
It wouldn’t be changing the EC. A winner take-all system is a pretty new thing, as ways to select Electors go. Many states have historically used different methods, some of which were proportional. Two states, Nebraska and Maine, already use this system.
For example - Alabama in the mid 20th-century had 11 electors. Each citizen had 11 votes that they could distribute as they saw fit. So you could potentially have a split between the electors in a given election - that’s what happened in 1960. The electors in Oregon, Ohio, North Dakota, West Virginia, Kentucky, and California at the turn of the century could also be split via the popular vote - that happened in 1880, 1892, 1896, 1912 and 1916. Michigan used a Congressional district method in the 1890s.
In the 1820s, a CD system was used in Maine. District systems (with each district having a representative who would meet with other representative and in turn elect the electors for the state) that often became proportional were used in 7 states. I could go on, but something other than winner-takes-all is hardly incompatible with the EC.
Not if you only do it in states like Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, etc., where Obama won the EV, but Republicans control the state government. I still wouldn't recommend it, because (a) there are few, if any, states that consistently have R state governments and vote D in Presidential elections (so the benefit is minimal), and (b) such a move would be viewed (rightfully) as the blatant manipulation of the Electoral College for partisan political gain. Ultimately, it would feed into the argument that the Electoral College itself should be abolished.
Photo ID may help a little, but professional voter fraud is enacted by those who work inside the polls. One poll worker can simply vote as many times as needed. Second, even if you have a photo ID, they would simply go up and down through town and vote at each poll. Do you think they bother to get a bus load of people to go to one poll and vote only once? Rules only matter if those in the polls enforce the rules. WI has same day voter registration, so when they bused in from MI to knock off the state senator in the recall election, do you really think they went through all that hassle to only vote once. Voter ID is a feel good start, but would do little to stop fraud
You are wrong on one point. Today many states are controlled by the votes of one or two large metro areas. Ohio is a good example. All you have to do is win Cleveland, Columbus and Cincy and you can win the state. If you allotted by CD those cities would lose their impact in terms of the electoral college. Each of those cities probably has parts of a couple CDs which also extend into more GOP friendly suburbs. They might still carry their districts but the would have a much smaller impact on the total allotment of Ohio’s total EV vote.
It is not a guarantee of victory, but it really does change the electoral landscape. I seem to remember we won big in the House races in 2008 and held up pretty well this year while losing the statewide races for pres and senate in many states because of the inordinate influence of the large metro areas of the battleground states. I think if you look at the R vs D breakdown in the House right now you would have to say Romney would be pretty happy with that number.
Romney wouldn’t have won 13 EC votes in PA.. by district with state winner getting the senate votes Romney would have gotten 8 votes... And then he would have lost 13 in Florida (assuming he wins it) and only gotten 16... So Romney instead of being up 9 votes (29 for florida, losing 20 in PA) winds up down 1 25 for O, 24 for Romney.
This isn’t hard to understand its basic bath folks. This would not have won the election for Romney, and in fact his EC total in this particular election would have likely been WORSE! Because he would have lost more votes in FL/VA/NC than he would have gained in PA, OH etc.
This is a false premise, and silly.
Unless the ship of state is prevented from sinking, fine tuning is a waste of time.
Allocating by Congressional District doesn’t change this.. Congressional districts are based on populations and are roughly equivalent. So take PA for example there are 18 districts, Obama won flat out 10 of them, Romney 8... Same is true in OHIO. Obama won more of the congressional districts.. so the idea this change would change the outcome is silly.
At best you get the EC closer to popular vote, but you don’t counter the denser populated regions, because the denser populated areas have more congressional districts.
Look at SE PA for example.. the Philly metro area for example... http://www.govtrack.us/congress/members/PA then look at the rest of the state.. See how many districts are bunched together there. You aren’t changing anything with this scenario other than lessening the EC Sentoral votes effect. This model does NOT counter the larger cities overriding rural areas..
And in spite of your protests, your supposition is false Columbus, Cleveland and Cincy combined dont even add up to 1/11th of the states population. In PA, MI and IL yes you have supercities who can pull the entire state.. Philly, Detroid and Chicago.. but OH, IA, WI, IN do not get overrun by cities...
Those states were lost, like it or not, not because of the cities, in fact, Romney won BACK the suburbs!! Why the Republicans lost appears to simply be GOP GOTV crashed and burned!! Obama lost 10 Million votes from 4 years ago, and GOP couldn’t even get the same number of voters to the polls that McCain got in 08... Need to stop making excuses and just deal with reality.
EC isn’t the problem, Sandy clearly stopped the momentum, and the GOP GOTV was ineffective. Sad but true.
It has to help or they would not have spent so much money fighting it.
Possibly, but it might be that reasonable compromise between the current EC system and the popular vote option which would quell the popular vote movement.
Such a proposal would certainly change the dynamics of campaigning. Instead of 50 individual races like now, there would be 438 separate races (or 1 race if the popular vote option were enacted). In a state such as mine, Kansas, we'd probably get some attention. The state's 6 electoral votes were safely in the Romney camp. If there were a CD allocation of EV, the third district containing Johnson County (KC suburb) and Douglas Country (Lawrence) could be in play. So we wouldn't have been completely ignored by the two campaigns.
I said that military personnel would be exempted from the ban but government union thugs would not. and why would we want anyone who has a vested interest and able to vote themselves largess in letting them do so? If a teacher in a government school wants to vote they should teach in a private school. If a bureaucrat wants to vote they should get a job picking peaches or changing tires or something else that would be useful and not destructive.
It's the only way I can see of solving the problem of the "professional voter"
All I know is that I am tired of being disenfranchised by the urban districts of my state, who get basically get to change the vote of my district and award our EV to their candidate.
There are many states like Oregon that would split its EVs between the R’s and D’s rather than giving them all to the D’s.
Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, Ohio would all shave EV’s off to R’s.
What about postal workers? That's allowed in the Constitution.
Also, the Constitution allows your example (schoolteachers) as well. The Constitution does not allow the Federal government to run schools, hire teachers, etc., but it certainly does allow the states to do so. And because teachers are paid by the states (and localities), rather than by the Federal government, what is the justification for prohibiting them from voting in Federal elections?
Also, what about people who work for defense contractors (and others who may be employed by a private entity, but whose paycheck depends entirely on a government contract of some sort)?
Your plan is one that sounds nice in theory, but is practically unworkable.