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 likely 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 reformed in other ways. 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 It is outdated and encourages the current damaging two party system.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 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
The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).
The National Popular Vote bill is state-based. It preserves the constitutionally mandated Electoral College and state control of elections. It changes the way electoral votes are awarded in the Electoral College, instead of the current 48 state-by-state winner-take-all system. It assures that every vote is equal and that every voter will matter in every state in every presidential election, as in virtually every other election in the country.
Under National Popular Vote, every vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in every presidential election. Every vote would be included in the national count. The candidate with the most popular votes in all 50 states and DC would get the 270+ electoral votes from the enacting states. That majority of electoral votes guarantees the candidate with the most popular votes in all 50 states and DC wins the presidency.
National Popular Vote would give a voice to the minority party voters in each state and district (in ME and NE). Now their votes are counted only for the candidate they did not vote for. Now they don't matter to their candidate.
With National Popular Vote, elections wouldn't be about winning states or districts (in ME and NE). No more distorting and divisive red and blue state maps.
Every vote, everywhere would be counted equally for and directly assist the candidate for whom it was cast. Candidates would need to care about voters across the nation, not just undecided voters in the current handful of swing states and less than 60 districts. The political reality would be that when every vote is equal, the campaign must be run in every part of the country.
States have the responsibility and power to make their voters relevant in every presidential election. The bill uses the power given to each state by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution to change how they award their electoral votes for president. It does not abolish the Electoral College, which would need a constitutional amendment, and could be stopped by states with as little as 3% of the U.S. population. Historically, virtually all of the major changes in the method of electing the President, including ending the requirement that only men who owned substantial property could vote and 48 current state-by-state winner-take-all laws, have come about by state legislative action, without federal constitutional amendments.
Most voters don't care whether their presidential candidate wins or loses in their state or district . . . they care whether he/she wins the White House. Voters want to know, that even if they were on the losing side, their vote actually was directly and equally counted and mattered to their candidate. Most Americans consider the idea of the candidate with the most popular votes being declared a loser detestable. We don't allow this in any other election in our representative republic.
Support for a national popular vote is strong among Republicans, Democrats, and Independent voters, as well as every demographic group in virtually every state surveyed in recent polls in closely divided Battleground states: CO - 68%, FL - 78%, IA 75%, MI - 73%, MO - 70%, NH - 69%, NV - 72%, NM-- 76%, NC - 74%, OH - 70%, PA - 78%, VA - 74%, and WI - 71%; in Small states (3 to 5 electoral votes): AK - 70%, DC - 76%, DE - 75%, ID - 77%, ME - 77%, MT - 72%, NE 74%, NH - 69%, NV - 72%, NM - 76%, OK - 81%, RI - 74%, SD - 71%, UT - 70%, VT - 75%, WV - 81%, and WY - 69%; in Southern and Border states: AR - 80%,, KY- 80%, MS - 77%, MO - 70%, NC - 74%, OK - 81%, SC - 71%, TN - 83%, VA - 74%, and WV - 81%; and in other states polled: CA - 70%, CT - 74%, MA - 73%, MN - 75%, NY - 79%, OR - 76%, and WA - 77%.
The bill has passed 31 state legislative chambers, in 21 small, medium-small, medium, and large states, including one house in AR, CT, DE, DC, ME, MI, NV, NM, NY, NC, and OR, and both houses in CA, CO, HI, IL, NJ, MD, MA, RI, VT, and WA.