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# Question regarding the Electoral College and such.

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posted on Nov, 7 2012 @ 01:24 AM
Can someone explain why the entire electorate for each state votes their color, regardless of how many precincts within that state voted opposite?

Example: California has 55 electoral votes. 54% voted for Obama and 44% voted for Romney. Shouldn't Obama get 30 of the electoral votes and 22 for Romney?

I'd love an actual explanation to this, the reasons it's done this way, and the reasoning behind why what I suggested isn't logical.

posted on Nov, 7 2012 @ 01:31 AM

Originally posted by graphuto
Can someone explain why the entire electorate for each state votes their color, regardless of how many precincts within that state voted opposite?

Example: California has 55 electoral votes. 54% voted for Obama and 44% voted for Romney. Shouldn't Obama get 30 of the electoral votes and 22 for Romney?

I'd love an actual explanation to this, the reasons it's done this way, and the reasoning behind why what I suggested isn't logical.

Because that system is much harder to manipulate and control...
edit on 7-11-2012 by Sly1one because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 7 2012 @ 01:32 AM

Why yes.
Wikipedia can.

en.wikipedia.org...

Basically- as I skimmed it, and mostly remembering my High school government class.
A state decides if it is a winner take all, or split by vote.

posted on Nov, 7 2012 @ 01:32 AM
I mean, I (basically) understand the need for the electoral college, and the "weighting," if you will, of each state, but shouldn't the votes be split within each state as outlined above?

posted on Nov, 7 2012 @ 01:33 AM

Because that would make sense, and as we all know politicians never do anything that makes sense.

posted on Nov, 7 2012 @ 01:35 AM

From what I read, it seems that all of the states, with the exception of Maine and Nebraska, just arbitrarily go the "winner takes all" route.

How is this representative of what the people in the state want, and why is it done this way?

posted on Nov, 7 2012 @ 01:43 AM

Originally posted by graphuto
Can someone explain why the entire electorate for each state votes their color, regardless of how many precincts within that state voted opposite?

Example: California has 55 electoral votes. 54% voted for Obama and 44% voted for Romney. Shouldn't Obama get 30 of the electoral votes and 22 for Romney?

I'd love an actual explanation to this, the reasons it's done this way, and the reasoning behind why what I suggested isn't logical.

Actually, the Electoral Vote does not work that way. The Electors can vote differently from the Popular Vote when they actually cast their votes. It can be an Election changer as it has been 4 other times in election history in the United States. The last time it was a changer was when George H.W. Bush ran against John Carey.

The Electoral Vote could change the outcome of this election. They do not vote until December. That can change everything and put Romney in the White House.

posted on Nov, 7 2012 @ 01:48 AM

I realize that, but it has only happened in those instances. Really, what I'm getting at, is why is there no legislation mandating what was outlined above?

posted on Nov, 7 2012 @ 01:56 AM

It's a Constitutional matter -- see Article II, section 3, which has, however, been updated a little. It used to be that each state would have its electors vote for two people, the topmost vote getter becoming president and the second highest becoming vice president. This was amended with the 12th Amendment in 1804, which essentially ratified a winner take-all system for the executive branch. Before this, it left it as a fairly awkward case of the runner up becoming vice president, which evidently didn't work too well -- that or nobody liked it much in practice. And reading more closely the fine print, I guess it doesn't say that states can't split their electors, but it has been tradition that they don't. If a significant amount of such elector shenanigans did occur, political chaos would ensue -- and the two establishment parties certainly don't want that, so are willing to abide by this tradition for the most part.

To respond to your question of why electoral votes are not delegated on a proportional vote basis, I believe they thought a winner-take-all system was both more expedient, in that would decrease the chances of very close elections, but there is also a political reason -- that is, not to dilute the political power of a state in its part in choosing the president. I imagine this would particularly be felt to be the case for larger states with more electoral votes; if their electoral votes were split, it would give them less political power in choosing the president. And since at this time slaves were considered 3/5th's of a person, I would think slave states would also want a winner take all system, so that their political power in choosing the president would not be diluted.

Keep in mind that we have had political parties from almost the get go in this country, and that generally each state legislature is controlled by one party or the other, so one can see why they would insist that their man (at the time, only men were allowed to vote, and reading the Constitution literally, i.e. its use of omnipresent masculine third-person pronouns, it implied that only men could run for office) from their party get their state electors' votes for president.

Out of curiosity, did you ever have a civics course on this subject. In high school (in the 1980's) we had a required class called U.S. Constitution, which taught the history/founding of the country and how the constitution came to be written. I'm curious if such stuff is still taught.

US Constitution

edit on 7-11-2012 by MrInquisitive because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 7 2012 @ 02:01 AM

Originally posted by graphuto
Can someone explain why the entire electorate for each state votes their color, regardless of how many precincts within that state voted opposite?

Under the Constitution, each state legislature decides how that state will select its electors. They don't even have to allow a popular vote, but can just directly appoint the electors. This happened many times in the early years of the U.S., into the early decades of the 19th century. Delaware did this through the 1828 election and South Carolina did it up until it seceded in 1860. The most recent use of this method was Colorado in 1876 because it there wasn't enough time between its admission as a state and the national election day to organize a proper election. Congress has the power to determine a uniform national day for picking the electors, giving us our November election day.

States get one elector for each member of the House of Representatives from that state plus two more for the two Senators each state has. They can apportion the electors however they choose. Maine and Nebraska do it by Congressional district, with the extra two electors going to the statewide popular vote winner. Everyone else currently uses winner-take-all.

It's a crazy system, but it was developed in 1787. Inertia is probably the biggest reason we keep it. Most people don't want to put in the work to change it, even though four times it produced a winner who actually lost the popular vote.

posted on Nov, 7 2012 @ 02:07 AM
So how does one go about starting to try and push through legislation to mandate the process to go as a proportional weighted system doling out votes proportionately?

posted on Nov, 7 2012 @ 02:09 AM

The Electoral Vote could change the outcome of this election. They do not vote until December. That can change everything and put Romney in the White House.

Oh man, please tell me they aren't casting their votes on 12-21-12...cause my doom radar is going off!

posted on Nov, 7 2012 @ 02:16 AM

I think this year its the 17th?that leaves just enough "3 days of darkness" before the 21st
cant wait to die!
edit on 7-11-2012 by zonetripper2065 because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 7 2012 @ 02:22 AM
Where are all the know it alls when you actually need them....

posted on Nov, 7 2012 @ 03:20 AM

Originally posted by graphuto
So how does one go about starting to try and push through legislation to mandate the process to go as a proportional weighted system doling out votes proportionately?

It seems that this would be done at the state level. I guess one could also attempt to get the US Congress to come out with a resolution in favor of such change, but it would have no legal effect -- and good luck with that besides. The Constitution mandates that each state choose its electors, so it's in the hands of each state. As one poster said, the states don't have to even require a popular vote for president, but they all do just the same. Guess you could even go for a federal constitutional amendment or a constitutional convention, but GOOD LUCK with that.

For the primary reason I mentioned in my previous post, i.e. not diluting a state's electoral votes and the fact that one party or the other is in control of the state legislature, I don't see this system changing, unless the whole representation paradigm changed drastically -- say, to a parliamentary system.

But given the fact that the voting tends to be more lopsided in a number of red states than in their bluest counterparts, you might be able to get Rush Limbaugh, Grover Norquist, the Koch Brothers and FOX news, etc. to start pushing for proportional electoral votes in each state. But even then, it seems like one would have to get all the states to do it, because if only a few states did it, they would dilute their vote for their predominant party.

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