VA trying to change electorial college what say all?
Post ReplyPost New TopicPosted 1/24/2013 by firepaws in NSBR Board
 

firepaws
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Posted: 1/24/2013 4:32:32 PM
I have seen this on a several sights, this quote was taken from the Washington Post.


Here is how this would work: Each presidential candidate would get a certain number of electoral votes depending on how many congressional districts he or she carried in Virginia. On top of that, an extra two electoral votes would be awarded to whichever candidate carries the most districts in total.

As Dave Weigel points out, this would have altered the results of the 2012 election. Barack Obama, recall, carried Virginia with 51 percent of the popular vote. But under Carrico's system, Obama would have received just four electoral votes while Romney would have received nine. In other words, Obama would have received 150,000 more ballots and still lost the state decisively.


I don't care which end of the spectrum you are on, this is just wrong. Maybe, we should just start going to popular vote. I don't know, I don't have the answer but this is just going TO far. For those needing a link here ya go. You can also Google it and find several articles.

Washington Post

jodster70
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Posted: 1/24/2013 4:39:29 PM
Outrageous. I'm Republican, but that is just.plain.wrong. Oh my gosh, that makes me furious!!!!

Shameful. Utterly shameful.


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Posted: 1/24/2013 4:42:21 PM
I am a strong supporter of the electoral college.

I do not support the idea of awarding electoral votes per district won. Mostly because Gerrymandering is already ridiculous and with the presidency on the line too it would get completely out of control.

I do like the idea of awarding the electoral votes based ont he states votes with the 'house' electoral votes going based on the percentage of the vote won in that state and the 'senate' electoral votes go to the overall winner of that state.

So... in a state with 12 electoral votes and a winner with 51% of the vote the winner would get 7 electoral votes and the loser would get 5.

I think the VA idea is a bad one because it will lead to vicious cut throat fights over redistricting. And I say that as I sit in what might be the most terribly gerrymandered congressional district in the nation.





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jodster70
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Posted: 1/24/2013 4:45:24 PM

So... in a state with 12 electoral votes and a winner with 51% of the vote the winner would get 7 electoral votes and the loser would get 5.


That makes sense. The scenario described by the OP is utterly ridiculous.


**Jody**

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Posted: 1/24/2013 4:52:40 PM
The spirit of the electoral college is that the States elect the President and not the populace in general. We have chosen to have general elections within each State to determine who the State elects. So within the spirit it would be up to each State figure out how they go about determining their candidate of choice. I would support Virginia's right to change the rules how ever they want.

But if I was a resident of Virginia, I wouldn't like this. It does open itself up to even worse gerrymandering and all kinds of fights over districting. I'm also not a fan of splitting electoral votes. I think all or nothing is more in line with the intention of the electoral college.

desertpea
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Posted: 1/24/2013 4:59:22 PM
Doesn't NH do something similar already?

And momofkandn is correct, each state has the right to determine how their electors are decided.

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Posted: 1/24/2013 5:15:47 PM
Yes, they do. If my state were doing that, and their bill would benefit one party over the other, I would NOT be happy, and my state lawmakers would know about it.


In other words, Obama would have received 150,000 more ballots and still lost the state decisively.


That's just wrong, however someone spins it.


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Posted: 1/24/2013 5:23:47 PM

So... in a state with 12 electoral votes and a winner with 51% of the vote the winner would get 7 electoral votes and the loser would get 5.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



If we have to have an electoral college, I like this idea best.





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Posted: 1/24/2013 6:06:42 PM
Hell no. I am against it. Virginia, where I was born, is still a backward, racist state, despite its proximity to DC.


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Posted: 1/24/2013 6:12:36 PM
I don't like any plan that's based on trying to win extra electoral votes for one party. I don't like anything that will contribute to more gerrymandering. And that goes for whichever party is in power.

I don't mind if the electoral college is changed or done away with (although I think there are actually good reasons to stick with it) but I think it needs to be universal throughout the country. Having only the states that vote one party for president but the other party for statewide elections change to splitting their vote, while other states keep winner-take-all, is not conducive to electing a president truly representative of the country as a whole.


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Posted: 1/24/2013 6:18:03 PM
I'm in the minority that I'm okay with the electoral college, but I do like this:


I do like the idea of awarding the electoral votes based on the states votes with the 'house' electoral votes going based on the percentage of the vote won in that state and the 'senate' electoral votes go to the overall winner of that state.


Another change I think is interesting is rotating primaries so not always the same states go first.



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Posted: 1/24/2013 6:18:12 PM

I don't like any plan that's based on trying to win extra electoral votes for one party. I don't like anything that will contribute to more gerrymandering. And that goes for whichever party is in power.





LUCY!!! WE AGREE!


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jodster70
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Posted: 1/24/2013 6:21:17 PM

Another change I think is interesting is rotating primaries so not always the same states go first.


I've been wanting this for years. I've always lived in states that vote after the nomination has been decided, and that totally stinks.

PS...Pudgy, love your avatar!!!


**Jody**

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lucyg819
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Posted: 1/24/2013 6:29:37 PM

LUCY!!! WE AGREE!

ha ha. I'm glad.


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Posted: 1/24/2013 6:30:45 PM
This plan looks very transparent to me. So I would be asking:

What problem are you trying to solve.
What makes this the best model to address it?
What unintended consequences do you foresee and how will you address them?

Basic policy stuff. Because I don't think they can find even a fake way to answer.


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Posted: 1/24/2013 6:35:19 PM
Thanks Jody.



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Posted: 1/24/2013 6:36:12 PM
I am the first yo say I don't really GET the electoral college but in have thought with today's technology if should b popular vote. Usually that's one in the same. Not always. But I think if would change slog about our elections.


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Posted: 1/24/2013 6:37:26 PM
Yes, Maine and Nebraska use this method. The state can decide for themselves (barring anything unconstitutional, of course) the system for awarding their electoral votes. This is part of preserving the principle of federalism.
As a practical matter, whoever wins in the electoral college wins the popular vote (2000 Bush v. Gore an obvious exception) because in the other 48 states, whoever wins the popular vote in the state is awarded all of that state's electoral votes. This is known as "winner-take-all".

I can't imagine that there's political will to make a change now when there wasn't after the debacle of 2000.


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Posted: 1/24/2013 6:46:37 PM

I can't imagine that there's political will to make a change now when there wasn't after the debacle of 2000.


There doesn't have to be political will. They just needed a plan. The Republican party was playing a long game - they picked off state legislature seats for cheap in the blue states prior to the 2010 census. The national Democratic party wasn't paying attention, it was focusing on the national elections. The Republicans controlled those legislatures during the redistricting process. They gerrymandered the heck out of the districts (as has often been done historically) and marginalized the Democrats so much that even though the Democrats actually won the popular vote tally for the House in Nov. 2012, they still lost the House and have no reasonable chance of regaining it in 2014.

Now the Republican controlled state legislatures in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan and Virginia (all blue states with popular vote victories for President Obama) plan to try to change how electoral votes are awarded for the sole purpose of taking those votes away from the next Democratic Presidential candidate. All seemingly legal but completely undermining the system of representative democracy which has served our nation for nearly 250 years.



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Posted: 1/24/2013 7:05:14 PM

And are you as outraged by gerrymandered districts in, say California, which pretty much always favor Democrats? There are a far sight more congressional seats at stake in CA than in Pennsylvania.


Excuse my vulgarity but I think gerrymandering in any state, for any purpose, is bullshit. There should be bi-partisan redistricting commissions in every state.

As for the legality, we'll see. I've no doubt that when these things are passed (and they will be passed just like PA's blatant attempt to rig the vote with the last minute voter ID law), there are going to be legal challenges and I assume that some of the top legal minds in the country are already hard at work framing the challenges. In my state, I'm counting on Justice Max Baer to preserve the union.

ETA: I will say that despite the gerrymandering done by both parties throughout our history, they've never been audacious enough before to try something like this. I'm prone to hyperbole but this kind of attempt to subvert the will of the voters to grab power should frighten everyone. We are not a third world dictatorship.



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Posted: 1/24/2013 7:43:20 PM

"seemingly legal"? You may not feel it's morally right, but it is entirely legal. And are you as outraged by gerrymandered districts in, say California, which pretty much always favor Democrats? There are a far sight more congressional seats at stake in CA than in Pennsylvania.

Well, I (who could be considered a "beneficiary" of Democratic gerrymandering in California) think it's as wrong here as it is anywhere else.

Actually, we have a new system for redistricting now that's supposed to be non-partisan. We shall see. But I can tell you that Athena and I both agree it's a step in the right direction.


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celiasmoot
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Posted: 1/24/2013 10:58:15 PM
The really ugly part about this is that the Repubs are literally bragging about how this will neutralize the urban vote which demographically tends to vote democratic. So if you can't win fairly, just cheat. Yeah, that's democracy and freedom. Two words they are always shouting.

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Posted: 1/25/2013 12:48:41 AM
I know...on political threads if we post off subject, we shouldn't call it hijacking...we should call it gerrymandering.


**Jody**

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lucyg819
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Posted: 1/25/2013 3:09:43 AM
LOL


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Posted: 1/25/2013 7:04:11 AM
I'm all for it. It's how it should have worked all along. And it is the way it worked (if I am reading it right) until states started going to a "winner takes all" way of allotting their votes. Ohio too would have gone for Romney if the votes were actually allotted according to the districts they actually won. As it is, the three major urban areas when to Obama, but most of the rest of the state went blue. But Obama got the votes.

I have always felt that winner takes all is wrong and a direct undermining of our system of government. We the people were never actually intended to directly elect the President. We were supposed to elect the electors that elect the President. And if my district votes Republican, in should be able to expect my elector to vote republican. That does not happen now. And it is all kinds of wrong.





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Posted: 1/25/2013 7:38:14 AM

I'm all for it. It's how it should have worked all along. And it is the way it worked (if I am reading it right) until states started going to a "winner takes all" way of allotting their votes. Ohio too would have gone for Romney if the votes were actually allotted according to the districts they actually won. As it is, the three major urban areas when to Obama, but most of the rest of the state went blue. But Obama got the votes.

Romney might have won Ohio if votes were allocated by "district", but isn't this just another form of "winner take all" that they are complaining about in the first place? So it's not fair to have a "winner take all" vote at the state level, but it is at the district level? If their problem is with one candidate getting all the electoral votes regardless of how close the popular vote is, then just allocate by percentage of popular vote or push for an amendment to do away with the electoral college.

This "district" plan doesn't help solve the problem; it just moves it down to a lower level.

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Posted: 1/25/2013 7:43:11 AM

As it is, the three major urban areas when to Obama, but most of the rest of the state went blue. But Obama got the votes.


So your vote should count way more than an urban voter's vote. Got it.



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Posted: 1/25/2013 7:48:04 AM
I want popular vote and not electoral vote. I think the candidate that gets the majority of votes should win the election. I think that may encourage more people to vote. I know many that don't vote because they think their vote doesn't count.

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Posted: 1/25/2013 8:00:15 AM

As it is, none of the minority votes in a state count. That's why when the popular vote is relatively close percentage wise, you have a hugely lopsided electoral vote. And many who know they are in the minority in a state wont bother.


And the proposed system is... the districts with the most cows take most? The districts that show up brightest red on the map take most? Winner take all is traditionally how many elections work. And at least proportional assignment of electoral votes based on actual votes has valid theoretical underpinnings.

This is just flat out saying that if you live in the country, your vote should count more than someone who lives in Cleveland because you are more likely to vote Republican. I guess those urban people all crammed together like ants should only count as half persons while those who live in the real parts of America count extra.



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Posted: 1/25/2013 9:03:52 AM
This surprises me considering it swings either way. It has never been a totally GOP or DEM state. I think it is wrong and we should go to popular vote.





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Posted: 1/25/2013 9:45:05 AM

As it is, the three major urban areas when to Obama, but most of the rest of the state went blue.


Virginia was similar. If you looked at a map of the state and its voting pattern by district or county, you would see a few urban areas voting heavily for Obama and the rest of the state going for Romney. It would look as though the state had overwhelmingly voted for Romney. But that was only geographically. In an election, we cast one vote per voter, not one vote per acre, so it would make sense that the geographic distribution of voters (as seen on a map) would matter less than the tally of the votes cast.

The gentleman proposing this bill is from a rural southwest Virginia district - in fact, the one I grew up in. I understand the frustration of seeing Fairfax and Richmond throw the whole state to one candidate - I do. However -


We the people were never actually intended to directly elect the President. We were supposed to elect the electors that elect the President. And if my district votes Republican, in should be able to expect my elector to vote republican. That does not happen now. And it is all kinds of wrong.


- I think we elected the electors that elect the President because that was a necessary arrangement for that time in our history. Today we have absolutely immediate communication of information. Election results are not carried to Washington by horse-drawn coach anymore. Therefore, electing the electors that elect the President is an antiquated system that is no longer relevant for our modern world.

Personally, I don't understand the objection to a direct election of the President - especially considering that we don't elect the President by congressional district either, and yet this is the model that is being proposed.

I still think that one vote for one eligible voter makes the most sense. Because then liberal urban areas or conservative rural areas can't swing the whole state - then no vote has significantly more power than another. One voter, one vote.

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Posted: 1/25/2013 9:51:41 AM

On top of that, an extra two electoral votes would be awarded to whichever candidate carries the most districts in total.


I'm against the extra votes going to the winner.
I am also in favor of the popular vote. But I live in NY, so I am sure the smaller states would not like that.




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Posted: 1/25/2013 10:11:09 AM

I don't mind if the electoral college is changed or done away with (although I think there are actually good reasons to stick with it) but I think it needs to be universal throughout the country. Having only the states that vote one party for president but the other party for statewide elections change to splitting their vote, while other states keep winner-take-all, is not conducive to electing a president truly representative of the country as a whole.


I agree. I like the Idea of it being universal. I do believe it should be one person one vote. I just think this whole thing has gotten out of hand. Regardless of which party. It's just not right and the system needs to be reevaluated.

Katherine- I like the idea of the rotating primaries.

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Posted: 1/25/2013 12:24:54 PM

I support the idea that the electoral college vote for that congressional district go to the candidate that gets majority vote in that district. But the electoral votes that represent the senate would go to the candidate that got the popular vote for the state. So my district might give its one vote to the republican candidate, but there would still be the two electoral votes to go to the candidate that got majority vote for the state. I do think that makes the electoral college more representative of the people casting the votes.


Not if one party stacks the deck so to speak. The only reason Virgina is doing this is because the Republicans have figured out a way to push the outcome of an election their way by a combination of redistricting and changing the electoral college.

And no I wouldn't like it if the Democrats were trying to do this either. I'm not sure I'am all that happy Californa has a Democratic super majority in the state government and will have until the next election.

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Posted: 1/25/2013 12:32:22 PM
I'm sorry, I understand what the rest of you are trying to say, but I still don't think it's right.

I could go along with a proportional allocation of electoral college votes, so in the case mentioned in the OP, it would be 7 votes Pres Obama to 5 votes Gov Romney, but not Pres. Obama-4/Gov. Romney-9.

The person who wins the most votes should get the most electoral college votes. Any other way isn't morally right IMO.

To the people who think it's ok: if the situation were reversed and it was the Democratic Party doing this, would you think it's right?


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Posted: 1/25/2013 12:36:46 PM
Jody, I tried to Like your Facebook post about this in the middle of the night when I couldn't sleep but my FB was acting up and wouldn't let me post on anything at that moment.


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jodster70
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Posted: 1/25/2013 12:44:12 PM
Lucy,

It showed up that you liked it, thanks.


**Jody**

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Posted: 1/25/2013 2:40:24 PM
Urging going BACK to what was in place before, Electoral votes by apportionment, not "winner" (of the popular vote) take all.

This restores the influence of small towns, and decreases the power of major metropolitan areas to decide for everyone!

Otherwise, it becomes a popularity contest between NYC and LA


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Posted: 1/26/2013 7:10:22 AM
"Personally, I don't understand the objection to a direct election of the President "
--------------

That would be exactly what the founders did not want. That gives far too much power to the "majority", allowing for the "minority" to have its rights trampled. We are coming dangerously close to that now.





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twinsmom-fla99
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Posted: 1/31/2013 1:10:48 PM

Theoretically the congressional districts have roughtly equal numbers of citizens. So portioning electoral votes based on districts should be at least a little more reasonable than winner take all.

True, but the congressional districts are also subject to rampant partisanship in drawing the lines. Minority votes can be diluted by gerrymandering to the point that they have NO say so in any election--state or federal.

State borders are NOT subject to political manipulation at this point. Whether a state swings red or blue isn't going to change because of political manipulation of district lines but by other social factors. I think it's pretty clear that the system as it currently stands is pretty well-balanced as we have seen pretty consistent change in the the party representing us in the White House over the past several decades.

So how did that change happen? By having the "message" of each party change to reflect the times and desires of the voters. If a party's message is unpopular, it will risk losing the vote of the entire state and cannot "pander" to its hard-core extremists.

If the VA plan becomes common among other states, you will see the extremists rule the country, because the party in charge can redraw the lines to ensure their own victory. They can stay "on message" wiht extremist views regardless of the will of the MAJORITY of voters (including those of the other party and those of their own party who are more moderate).
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