Should the Citizens Party support a National Popular Vote Plan?
Is it time to abolish the electoral college?
7 states have voted to enact the National Popular Vote Plan and it is making progress in other states. Should the Citizens Party support such a plan? Please discuss the pros and cons of switching to a system that would elect our President by popular vote.
That is correct Troy. The 538 members of the Electoral College cast their vote for President and Vice-President in meetings held in the 50 state capitals + D.C. in mid-December of Presidential years. 270 electoral college votes are required to elect the President of the United States. If we or another third party gains enough strength and fields a strong Presidential ticket, then it is possible that no candidate would reach the magic 270 number. A procedure exists if that happens, but it would likely spur a real crisis (and the third party would not come out the winner in that situation).
Thus, the Electoral College system does not lend itself to having 3 or 4 strong political parties. That is reason enough that all third parties need to take a close look at the current Electoral College system and consider taking some sort of position. The current Electoral College system could be kept or it could be adjusted to lower the magic number of 270 or it could be scrapped all together for a National Popular Vote system.
The electoral college was created in a time when communication across the country was a logistical impossibility. It is outdated and encourages the current damaging two party system. A return to the days when the person who got the most votes became president and the second most votes became vice president might help to reduce the amount of vitriol in our public discourse as well.
I agree. The people need to feel like they themselves are electing their executives and not through proxies (electors), thus truly empowering the people.
The electoral system in general is redundant because in the majority of our presidential elections, the winner ends up getting the highest amount of votes anyway.
Proponents of the electoral college make the old argument that the electoral college prevents extremist groups from attaining power. This is a predominantly redundant argument because the American electorate is not swayed by extremists anyway. I highly doubt, for instance, that communist or fascist parties will obtain any meaningful traction in this country in either a winner-take-all system or a plurality system. The winner-take-all system prevents any meaningful development for broader political choice by limiting that choice, while in a plurality system, multiple parties can compete meaningfully.
Additionally, they initiate a debate regarding the power of highly and lowly populated states, i.e. that the electoral college prevents highly populated states from overpowering lowly populated states by giving every state a one or two-digit numerical value that equals the amount of senators and congressmen each state possesses. This is somewhat redundant because in a winner-take-all system lowly populated states will always lose to more populated states, thus decreasing their power and importance. In a plurality system, these states would get more attention by candidates running for office.
These are several of many arguments proponents of the electoral college try to make that, upon closer analysis, are bunk.
I completely support the abolition of the Electoral College and the support of a National Vote Plan as part of the Citizens Party Platform!!
I have always thought that the popular vote is best, but I have a nagging feeling that voter fraud would be even more of a problem. There are already so many cases now, how could we combat it.
National social security database, would have a record of citizens. Electronic voting, where you enter your SSN to vote (like a password), then it crosses you off and your social doesn't work any more. Could add other identity verification measures to fight fraud as well.
A two fold ID system would be a great help. I would be worried about just using SSN alone since the numbers are bought and sold all the time. I know that there is never a system that is with out problems. If something like that was in place it could work.
A League of Women Voters study notes that Americans are twice as likely to get hit by lightning as to have their vote canceled out by a fraudulently cast vote.
The current state-by-state winner-take-all system of awarding electoral votes maximizes the incentive and opportunity for fraud. A very few people can change the national outcome by changing a small number of votes in one closely divided battleground state. With the current system all of a state's electoral votes are awarded to the candidate who receives a bare plurality of the votes in each state. The sheer magnitude of the national popular vote number, compared to individual state vote totals, is much more robust against manipulation.
National Popular Vote would limit the benefits to be gained by fraud. One fraudulent vote would only win one vote in the return. In the current electoral system, one fraudulent vote could mean 55 electoral votes, or just enough electoral votes to win the presidency without having the most popular votes in the country.
Hendrik Hertzberg wrote: "To steal the closest popular-vote election in American history, you'd have to steal more than a hundred thousand votes . . .To steal the closest electoral-vote election in American history, you'd have to steal around 500 votes, all in one state. . . .
For a national popular vote election to be as easy to switch as 2000, it would have to be two hundred times closer than the 1960 election--and, in popular-vote terms, forty times closer than 2000 itself.
Which, I ask you, is an easier mark for vote-stealers, the status quo or N.P.V.[National Popular Vote]? Which offers thieves a better shot at success for a smaller effort?"
Absolutely should be abolished. The country does not need the electoral college disrupting the peoples will anymore. Look at the 2000 presidential election. The popular vote lost. That shouldn't be possible. It should be, the people vote, and whatever party has the most votes wins the election. Period. Very simple to me.
Should be, the people vote, and whatever person has the most votes wins the elections. Get rid of parties, have individuals run on their own merits.
UPDATE: 9 states have now enacted the National Popular Vote Bill (California being the latest). The National Popular Vote bill has now been signed into law in states possessing 132 electoral votes. This is almost one-half (49%) of the 270 electoral votes needed to bring the National Popular Vote interstate compact into effect.
Washington D.C., Hawai'i, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Washington, Vermont and California