The electoral college issue we forgot

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Re: The electoral college issue we forgot

Postby windwalker on Tue Mar 05, 2019 6:56 pm

Steve James wrote:
A few States that have most of the u.s. population would determine the president who is in charge of the federal government for all 50 states.


Not true. It only affects the presidential election.

Kinda about what is being discussed no? presidential elections.
Secondly, every state does not get the same number of electors. In fact, the number of electors a state has is directly correlated to its population. The same is true in the House. Alaska only has one representative; California has 50 something. This fact is usually reflected in the election. You counted 5 exceptions. The other 40+ times, the candidate won the popular vote.

"The electoral college votes are based on the number of senators (2 for each state) plus the number of representatives (roughly one for every 500,000 people) per state.

Thus Florida has 27 Electors (2 for the senators and 25 for the c13million population)
.
Each state (and the District of Columbia) is guaranteed at least three Electors however small it is (2 senators and 1 representative) so Wyoming which has a population of 453,000 gets the same number of electors as say Nebrasksa with 800,000.




It would therefore pay to wrap up the small states as they would deliver more Electors per head of population, but in practice it is easier to concentrate on the biggest states such as California, New York, Texas etc as you'd get more Elector votes per campaign dollar spent.

More importantly, Electors have a choice. They usually (almost universally) vote according to who wins the state, but the're not legally required to do so.
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Re: The electoral college issue we forgot

Postby windwalker on Tue Mar 05, 2019 7:02 pm

edededed wrote:The few populous states have the advantage in both systems anyway; however, I still stress that the popular vote makes each vote "count," while the electoral vote is more like a game with complicated rules. (In either system, I don't think that candidates will visit low-population states.) Not necessarily true,,the smaller states become more important in a closer race

By complexity, I just mean that I think voting should be as simple as possible - i.e. "who had more votes?" That would reduce political opportunity to make strategies around just certain big swing states like Ohio and Florida, etc. A 3rd party might actually have a chance as well.

Another way to look at it:

Popular vote: every vote has an equal effect
Electoral college: some votes have a stronger effect than others


The states themselves can set up the way their election results will be divided among their electors

maybe some need a refresher


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Re: The electoral college issue we forgot

Postby Steve James on Tue Mar 05, 2019 7:19 pm

Thus Florida has 27 Electors (2 for the senators and 25 for the c13million population)
.
Each state (and the District of Columbia) is guaranteed at least three Electors however small it is (2 senators and 1 representative) so Wyoming which has a population of 453,000 gets the same number of electors as say Nebrasksa with 800,000.


Why did you bother to repeat what was said? The big states have bigger populations AND more electors. Using the popular vote wouldn't meant that a few big states would have any more power than they do now --which was your argument for keeping it.

It's interesting how Trump claimed that he only lost the popular vote because of (millions of) illegal voters. He formed a committee to investigate illegal voting. It folded without finding any. But, now NC has to redo an entire election because of fraud --not by Democrats.

RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina officials on Thursday ordered a new contest in the Ninth Congressional District after the Republican candidate, confronted by evidence that his campaign had financed an illegal voter-turnout effort, called for a new election.

The unanimous ruling by the five-member Board of Elections was a startling — and, for Republicans, embarrassing — conclusion to a case that has convulsed North Carolina since November.

And it followed testimony that outlined how a political operative had orchestrated an absentee ballot scheme to try to sway the race in favor of Mark Harris, the Republican candidate. It is now the single undecided House contest in last year’s midterms.

Robert Cordle, the state board’s chairman, cited “the corruption, the absolute mess with the absentee ballots” when he called for a new election. “It was certainly a tainted election,” he said.

Mr. Harris had a 905-vote lead over his Democratic opponent, Dan McCready, but his success in Bladen County — where he won 61 percent of absentee ballots even though Republicans there accounted for just 19 percent of them — alarmed regulators.
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Re: The electoral college issue we forgot

Postby Trick on Tue Mar 05, 2019 10:11 pm

isnt the OP Canadian ??
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Re: The electoral college issue we forgot

Postby everything on Tue Mar 05, 2019 10:30 pm

More importantly, Electors have a choice. They usually (almost universally) vote according to who wins the state, but the're not legally required to do so.


Doesn't this fact answer the objections about there being no democracy?

Because the popular vote in most states affects the electoral votes.
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Re: The electoral college issue we forgot

Postby edededed on Tue Mar 05, 2019 11:03 pm

"Faithless electors" (e.g. electoral college members not following the state rules, and voting for someone else they like better) are another problem.

But even ignoring them, you can think of the electoral college system as:

Step 1: Take popular vote
Step 2: Use arbitrary rules to weight votes and decide who wins

Shouldn't we just have:

Step 1: Take popular vote
Step 2: Count votes

A lot of countries add strange complexity to the voting mechanism, but I think the simple way is the best (and fairest) way. (Anyway, for governments the appearance of democracy is usually more important than actual democracy.)


A bit different, but similar in a way, is the Japanese medical school examination fiasco last year where it was found that many medical universities were adding a funny algorithm to decide who was accepted to schools. Basically, 2nd/3rd+ time test-takers and women were having their scores "adjusted" lower, while others had theirs adjusted higher - of course the universities had their reasons for doing this, but ultimately it wasn't fair. We would just want them to simply count the scores.

If there was a vote for school president or something, but they decided who won in any way besides a simple count, I would feel that something was not right about it, too.
Last edited by edededed on Tue Mar 05, 2019 11:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The electoral college issue we forgot

Postby meeks on Wed Mar 06, 2019 12:41 pm

Trick wrote:isnt the OP Canadian ??


"I stayed in a quality inn last night"

Actually, where I was born, where I grew up, where I currently live, and what the last entered location on my profile is may not necessarily coincide.
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Re: The electoral college issue we forgot

Postby edededed on Wed Mar 06, 2019 5:01 pm

It's not that important, anyway. Wrong is wrong - good to have opinions both from "inside" and from "outside."
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Re: The electoral college issue we forgot

Postby Michael on Fri Mar 08, 2019 7:50 pm

Meanwhile, back on the ranch...

There is a movement to circumvent the electoral college that asks states to join a legal compact so that their electors would cast their votes for the overall popular winner of the election. Some states have already joined.

The only immediate impediment are punishments for electors in particular states, but those could be changed and the punishments are not really deterrents, something like small fines.

I don't know how realistic it is for this to happen, but the only thing to stop it would be federal legislation, which could be avoided by waiting for the gradual demographic change to make that impossible, or federal legal challenges. I could see this happening in 10 years or so as the country gets more blue, but in that case the chances of a Republican president decrease, so it would matter less and less.
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Re: The electoral college issue we forgot

Postby Michael on Fri Mar 08, 2019 7:51 pm

meeks wrote:
Trick wrote:isnt the OP Canadian ??


"I stayed in a quality inn last night"

Actually, where I was born, where I grew up, where I currently live, and what the last entered location on my profile is may not necessarily coincide.


This is Trick's favorite question. Why Trick, why? ;D :P
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Re: The electoral college issue we forgot

Postby Steve James on Fri Mar 08, 2019 8:30 pm

Imo, the problem comes from seeing the process and government in terms of colors and parties. Demographic changes are meaningless if our concern is for the citizens ("We, the people") and how best to serve them, no matter what demographic group they're in.

Anyway, the worry about demographic changes comes from the fear that one group (say Democrats) will act exactly as the other group (say Republicans) has done. If their idea was to impose their point-of-view by any means necessary, their biggest fear becomes losing power. So, the danger of the other side is exaggerated to the point of being apocalyptic. "It'll be the end of the _______" fill in the blank: race, religion, freedom, America, our way of life, etc, --because that is what the other side intends.
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Re: The electoral college issue we forgot

Postby Michael on Fri Mar 08, 2019 10:32 pm

Yeah, I guess both sides are concerned the other is gaming the system.
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Re: The electoral college issue we forgot

Postby Trick on Fri Mar 08, 2019 11:22 pm

Michael wrote:
meeks wrote:
Trick wrote:isnt the OP Canadian ??


"I stayed in a quality inn last night"

Actually, where I was born, where I grew up, where I currently live, and what the last entered location on my profile is may not necessarily coincide.


This is Trick's favorite question. Why Trick, why? ;D :P

i hear people say we are all one, and i try, i really try, maybe one day 8-)
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Re: The electoral college issue we forgot

Postby jimmy on Sat Mar 09, 2019 3:55 am

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Re: The electoral college issue we forgot

Postby Steve James on Sat Mar 09, 2019 9:08 am

Michael wrote:Yeah, I guess both sides are concerned the other is gaming the system.


I don't see it as sides. Once that happens, people feel they have to be loyal, like they're on a team and the other "side" is the enemy. The national election should be about how the people vote nationally, not about the way some people have decided their state's votes should be counted. YEAH, I know "the people of the state choose." That's why there are states asking for a change. Why is there resistance? Because it means a loss of power for some people.

Women weren't able to vote 100 years ago. It wasn't about the different parties. It's not that women had been holding anyone back. Yet, there's a fear of women in power and powerful women. That they're asking for too much. Of course, any "more" is too much.

Btw, most of the time, the winner got the popular vote, and the other side survived ok. In fact, when decisions didn't simply go along party lines, "America" was better off no matter the party of who was in office.
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