Propose Amendments to the Constitution All the ideas and discussions
286 votes Vote

eliminate the electoral college.

Elect the president by popular vote.

Dean Dietrich , 30.09.2011, 18:58
Idea status: under consideration


Alice Lindley, 16.10.2011, 03:21
I would like the President to be elected by Direct Election with Instant Runoff Voting. Thank you for consideration of this idea.
James, 02.12.2011, 01:58
I agree. Instant runoff voting (also called ranked choice voting and single transferable vote) is the closest to one person, one vote as it is possible to get, and has the added advantages of eliminating the spoiler effect (which has been very prominent in U.S. presidential elections in recent decades) and making strategic and tactical voting impossible.
jsnow, 06.08.2013, 01:00
I think that's a bit of an exaggeration -- all voting systems have significant flaws (see Arrow's theorem). I believe IRV would be a vast improvement, but I prefer approval voting, if only because it's simpler.
Edward Machnik, 08.12.2011, 12:31
The Electoral College of electing the President is brilliant and has worked well. Making the election of the President by popular vote would give the most Populas States an unFair advantage.
Marc, 17.01.2013, 12:05
You are a sheep and apparently stupid too. Who do you think controls the election now, populous states have more votes in the electoral college duh. So in a nation of 250 million your right the 25 million in California will all vote the same way and control the election. You show your ignorance. 100 yrs ago the large populous in one city could have had an affect but now that is not the case. Now many don't vote as they are already outnumbered party wise and so their vote doesn't mean anything .
luvmusic, 17.10.2011, 23:41
The electoral college is fine. It avoids the need to potentially have a nationwide recount. Today, only close races would need a recount. If we eliminate the electoral college approach, then every close race will end up with a nationwide recount which would be a complete nightmare. Imagine Florida time 50.
jsailor, 05.11.2011, 16:28
Since we are the only developed country with an electoral college, I wonder how other countries manage to hold national elections.
Edward Machnik, 10.12.2011, 21:34
We should not look to other countres for advice on elections. Most all others, particularly are socialist, and only allows for different degrees of socialism. I put my faith in the Founding Fathers.
GabeDowney, 20.01.2012, 20:23
Socialism has categorically no relation to how you're elective process works. As in almost all of life's endeavors evaluating what has and hasn't worked tends to work better than banging one's head against a wall repeatedly aimlessly hoping for a different response.
mcmaced, 11.01.2012, 16:16
Please don't put your faith in other countries. Most use guns to change leadership. Believe in the Founding Fathers.
Marc, 17.01.2013, 12:01
How funny you are ---the founding fathers did not invent the electoral college.
JW, 25.01.2013, 05:01
Marc, I suggest you go back to school. The founding fathers set it up in the constitution. See Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution.
Silverback, 10.03.2013, 19:53
The amount of navel-gazing ignorance in this thread is stunning.

@mcmaced: Most other countries use guns to change leadership? Well, that's actually false, and in any case we're not talking about using dictatorships as examples.

@Edward Machnik: Most other countries are socialist? Even if that were true, what the hell does economics have to do with electoral models?

DMFairchild, 19.10.2011, 06:17
Except that the likelihood of a close Presidential race from the combined votes of all 50 states would be small. It would significantly delay the election returns though as all of the mailed in ballots aren't counted until after the polls close. We usually are looking at a relatively reliable prediction before the polls are even closed on the west coast.
Jonah, 28.10.2011, 18:12
of course it should be a popular vote..........and what if that vote elected a king/president who would run the country for 5 years and if at any time he or she became bad for the people they could vote him or her out of office or dethrone them. also there could be 4 reps from each state voted to an advisor group that would express the needs of the people to the king. with this there would be one leader like in everything else: sports, business, school, or anything else. the king could get a lot more done because there would be no congress like today that laws would have to pass thru. the leader could actually do what they say in their campaign. and like i said at any time the leader became oppressive or against the majority they could be voted out of office. just a thought don't really know if it would work yet but its an idea
shanedk, 05.11.2011, 16:14
The problem with this is, it would leave the election of the President to the people of just a few large cities, and the rest of the country would lose out on representation.
jsailor, 05.11.2011, 16:26
Cities don't vote, people do.
shanedk, 05.11.2011, 17:35
Glib evasion of the point. I said THE PEOPLE OF just a few large cities. Stop trying to be clever when you're not.
mcmaced, 11.01.2012, 16:19
Cities are heavily Democrat. I would guess that Popular vote would favor liberals. Not a good idea to puit Democrat in further control.. They have successed in screwing the country with massive debt.
Ibrahim, 05.11.2011, 21:32
as Shanedk said, it would leave rural people (and the inhabitants of small population states) severely underrepresented. after-all, ~76% of the population is urban.

this is in fact at the heart of the idea behind the electoral college: It's (and was at creation) a compromise between high and low population areas. This idea also explains the structure of congress we have, where there is a proportional body (the house) and an equal representation body (the senate).

and of course, there are other problems to this idea, which for propriety's sake (the post is already long), I will not go into. just remember, I don't like what we have already, but I don't think this idea will be better.
Silverback, 10.03.2013, 19:54
Rural people are overrepresented as it is. If they make up 24% of the nationwide population, they should represent 24% of the federal government. Fair's fair.
jsjailor, 06.11.2011, 16:58
Under the current system, Delaware gets one vote for 300,000 people and California gets one for 654,000 people. The Supreme Court held in Baker v. Carr that people vote, not trees or interests or areas. Each person should be entitled to one vote and that should not be diminished or enlarged by where they happen to live. That is the essence of democracy. What rational reason can be given that a Delaware voter's choice is worth twice what mine is? If we gave the Delaware vote two ballots, everyone would be outraged. Think about it.
mcmaced, 12.12.2011, 00:48
I did my research on the population per House seat for California and Delaware:

California: 702,905
Delaware: 900,877

These numbers are based on 2010 Census and seems Fair!!!
GabeDowney, 20.01.2012, 20:26
Your own supplied evidence shows that some voters have a disproportionate voice in determining our Chief Executive, yet somehow you exclaim that this seems fair.
Dave, 16.11.2011, 20:41
The thing I would not like about getting rid of the electoral college is it could open everything up to 3rd and 4th parties and we would have presidents who never get a majority of the vote and they pay off the fringe parties in order to get their support in run off elections.
Malinda, 06.11.2012, 21:23
Would opening things up to 3rd and 4th parties really be a bad thing? George Washington warned us against a two party system during the founding of our country, and he seems to be right. Our country is run by two parties that say they represent the people of the country when they do not in fact represent the majority. We need more parties and a dismantle of the EC in order for each person's vote to truly count.
Dan Rau, 22.11.2011, 00:03
Any attempt to "abolish" the Electoral College through constitutional amendment is destined to failure. Because, the smaller states wouldn't agree to giving up the balancing emphasis placed on STATE influence against population concentrations in larger states, which the Electoral College provides. It does this by allocating 2 senatorial electors to each state in addition to their population related number of representative electors (same as their congressional makeup). This addition is very significant to the smaller (less populated) states that only have a few representative electors. Therefore, it would be virtually impossible to get 2/3 of each congressional house to pass and 3/4 of the states to ratify such an amendment.
Jsailor, 22.11.2011, 17:04
I agree that the small states would never give up their prerogatives and abolish the Electoral College but there is another way it could be done by proposing an interstate compact which would commit each state to casting all of its electoral votes for the candidate who has the largest number of votes in the popular election. The compact would take effect only if the states approving it had enough electoral votes to elect a President, 270 I believe. This bypasses the objections of the Delawares and Rhode Islands.
mcmaced, 11.01.2012, 16:24
Holly crap, this compact between States sounds like tyranny. The Founding Fathers warned of it. That is why we have the 3 branches of government. Decentralize Power!!!!
mcmaced, 12.12.2011, 00:41
I question your assertion that California gets a disproportionate vote in the electoral College. Please provide supporting figures.
jsailor, 12.12.2011, 17:45
The number of votes a state gets in the electoral college is equal to its representatives in the House (which is based on population) AND two senators, which obviously is not based on population. Hence, the smaller states, such as Delaware, are overrepresented, or conversely, the larger states, such as California, are underrepresented. Simple math.
mcmaced, 11.01.2012, 16:28
Jsailor, the simple math is the Census. That is why we have a Census. I posted the representation above and again here. If you disagree, do a Census of your own.

California 702,905 people per representative
Delaware 900,877 people per representative

Red them and weap!
Jsailor, 11.01.2012, 17:28
OK, here is the math: The 2010 census has CA: 37,253,000 and DE: 897,934. CA has 55 electoral votes which = 677,323 people per vote. DE has 3 electoral votes, which = 299,331 people per vote. This means that DE has more than twice as much representation as CA (677 divided by 299). Who is "weaping" now?
mcmaced, 11.01.2012, 17:52
Your math is flawed with the law of small numbers. You must count representatives only. Delaware gets 1 representative but 3 electoral vote for its two senators. your math is fuzzy.

Try this: http://www.census.gov/prod/cen2010/briefs/c2010br-08.pdf
mcmaced, 11.01.2012, 17:56
Figures don't lie, but liars figure. Trust me, Jsailor!
mcmaced, 11.01.2012, 18:01
And by the way Jsailor, trust the Founding Fathers, more knowledge than all the monday morning critics of the Electoral College.
GabeDowney, 20.01.2012, 20:33
The broader point of the math argument is that unless all of the states are identically equal in representation per person than it is by definition an inequitable system.

But, outside from that point, for those in swing states the electoral college is unfair as it ignores the will of nearly half of the population. For those in solidly red or blue states it completely disenfranchises the opposition party. Republicans in VT, MA, NY, MD, DE, DC, CA, HI and surely some others' votes are thoroughly meaningless. Likewise, Democrats in SC, GA, AL, AR, MS, LA, TX, OK, KS and surely others' votes are equally meaningless. The will of the people must trump adherence to a flawed and antiquated system.
Jsailor, 20.01.2012, 23:05
Equal representation means one vote for an equal number of people. This can't occur with the electoral college because each state starts with two votes (for their senators) irrespective of their population. So the smaller states will also be overrepresented. I agree with your other point; that is the problem with a "winner take-all" system. This system also makes it near impossible for another party to break the Demo/Republican monopoly. Ross Perot got about 20% of the presidential vote but didn't win a single state. Only in America.
mcmaced, 23.01.2012, 12:00
GabeDowney you appear to be hopelessly literal, wanting absolute equality. That is what liberals do and it cost us trillions of dollars.

You call the Electoral College flawed and antiquated but don't say why. The electoral college has served us well and should not be tampered with. I live in Massachusetts and it went for Reagan so it is possible that an exceptional candidate can change minds.
RJ, 06.06.2012, 00:33
Alright, so why don't we make the electoral college, instead of going to the state level, go to congressional district level. That seems like it would make the process a lot fairer proportionally while still retaining some of the equal representation factors in deciding presidency.
GabeDowney, 23.01.2012, 12:31
A system that is not based upon equal representation is flawed. Four times a candidate has had the most votes from the US citizenry yet not become the President. Your position has a 93% success rate at electing the person the majority of the American public voted for. Bravo.

Basing your argument upon an exceptional candidate is not a logical proof, it's lazy pandering to an indefensible argument. An argument, let us recall, that was made on the conditions that blacks were 3/5th of one person, and that women, Native Americans, and non-land owning whites couldn't vote.

I'd like to have constructive conversations and this seems like an excellent forum to discuss rational goals for this nation. But, I'm also quite prepared to defend common sense ideas against ad hominem attacks if the need arises.
mcmaced, 23.01.2012, 16:25
Maintaining the Electoral College based on over 200 years of history is proof enough not to tamper with it. The Founding Fathers were strong believers in States Rights, hence the Electoral College.

Electing the President on Popular Vote will allow a few States to determine the President. That means the big city States that are heavily LIBERAL will always pick the LIBERAL candidate. Not a good thing.

You dismiss my example that liberal States can be convinced to vote for the Conservative Presidential candidate. Exactly who am I pandering to. You must remember George McGovern. I believe he carried DC.
jsailor, 23.01.2012, 17:24
@ GabeDowney: You are responding to mcmaced as though he (or her) were a rational, intelligent person. Big mistake. The best way to deal with this gibberish is to ignore it.
mcmaced, 24.01.2012, 12:06
jsailor: Your personal attack signals the end of debate with liberals as is always the case. I put my faith in the Founding Fathers. You may want to change things for change sake. A trully liberal position. And a bad one.
GabeDowney, 23.01.2012, 17:46
Ah much obliged sailor, being new here I was presuming that statistics and logic might be persuasive. I shall take your advice and move forward.
mcmaced, 24.01.2012, 12:12
Gabe: The statistics that I present were persuasive. Going to a popular vote system would mean that you can forget about counting votes in Wyomming, Utah, North Dakota, South Dakota, etc etc etc.

New York, California, Texas , Pensylvania, Ohio would determine the President in every election. Nice that I am attacked for not be intellectual enough, but I think about the consequences. Those who attack me personally, do not think about the issue, they feel about them. Quite diferent.
Edward machnik, 03.03.2012, 19:04
We have to break down the current system that gives us Republican and Democrat flavors of BIG GOVERNMENT.

Amend the Constitutions that: Forgets about electors and assigns fractional electoral votes based upon the proportion of votes earned in each State. Also require that only a pluality of electoral votes needed to be declared President.

These Amendents would open up the election to political parties that actually follow the Constitution.
woodmantech, 04.05.2012, 18:34
I HIGHLY suggest you read this article: http://www.wallbuilders.com/libissuesarticles.asp?id=95
jony28, 06.05.2012, 12:25
Why not let the congress elect the president, and also use proportional representation or d'hondt method , then the people will pay more attention to who send to congress. Also the President should have the power to dissolve the congress.
mcmaced, 23.05.2012, 13:39
You want to give Congress more power! That on the surface is not WISE!
I would want to limit their power as the Founding Fathers intended.
Glide08, 11.03.2016, 08:57
Inspired by the Knesset, didja?
Edward machnik, 06.05.2012, 13:20
Thanks for the link, but have my pocket Constitution that discribes how the President shall be elected. My suggestion is just a variation of a theme. Proportion electoral college votes instead of winner take all. The current systme guarantees a two party system! Tha't not working so well now with debt being tacked on by both corrupt parties.
Dean D, 06.01.2013, 16:56
Proportional voting would be fine. The problem is the party in power in a particular state wouldn't support it unless all the states did. For example, why should California (Democratic) or Texas (Republican) give any votes to the other party? As I have posted earlier, there is an interesting that would break this logjam: the states sign a mulistate compact that they will cast all their electoral votes for the candidate who gets the most popular votes. The compact goes into effect only if and when enough states sign up that have 270 electoral votes.
ScottD, 06.01.2013, 01:58
An interesting idea would be one vote per state. If that is too radical how about 1 vote per congressional district?
Dean Dietrich, 06.01.2013, 16:48
"One vote per state?" So the 600,000 people of Delaware would get the same vote as the 46 million in New York? Maybe more people would move to Delaware. Not.
Marc, 17.01.2013, 11:58
From reading this thread I see a lot of people with no understanding. First and foremost those that state that a large city would control an election under popular vote are sheeple as they don't understand that that is exactly what is happening now. New York City can control almost all of the electoral votes of the state of New York, San Fran and la could conceivably control ca. By going popular it allows every vote to count no more is it campaigning in the swing states. As it is if you live in a state that is 60% democratic and you are republican why would you vote your voters meaningless as the party line majority will award your votes for you.

The reason for the electoral college was to prevent a mass population center, of which there were scant few, from controlling an election. We are now a mobile society, the population center is meangingless and this the way to rest the control from them and make every vote count. Urban rural people have cars and the Internet, they are not disconnected as you imply by stating that their vote won't count.

Having additional parties under an electoral college is just a way of insuring victory by a major party by separating the liberals and allowing all the electoral votes to go against the majority of the populace.

3 of the last 4 elections have been won by a candidate that did not win the popular vote .. And those that think Obama won a popular vote over Romney .. Read again how many did not vote and his current popularity which includes those that did not vote is sub 50% . More people will vote and the election will more fairly represent the will of the people if popular.

In case you have not noticed congress does not vote your voice they vote what they want so assuming the congress could ever elect a president is a joke.

Al Barrs, 18.08.2013, 01:55
this is not a good idea! It will turn over the election of members to a few larger states and the smaller states will no longer have any say in national elections. The majority will run roughshod over the rest of us...
ghcooper, 22.06.2015, 21:16
A better plan. Modify the Electoral process so that only 2 electors go with the state while the other electors are assigned by rep. district. This would break solid states and force candidates to focus on rural as well as urban areas.

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