The Electoral College is one of the most undemocratic features of U.S. elections.

Feb 2006
15,760
4,301
California
Make America Great Again!

Colorado, New Mexico, and Delaware just became the latest states to take a stand against the Electoral College and join the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact (NPV, or the Compact). The NPV is a multi-state agreement that, when active, would ensure that the presidential candidate who wins the popular vote nationally also wins in the Electoral College. With signatures of Governors Jared Polis of Colorado, Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico, and John Carney of Delaware expected, this trio of states will have pledged themselves to the growing nationwide effort.

The states’ approval of the Compact is a victory for democracy and the principle of “one person, one vote.”

However, this does not mean that Colorado, New Mexico, and Delaware will award their collective 17 electoral votes to the biggest national vote-getter in 2020. There’s still more work to be done before we can wave goodbye to the current function of the Electoral College—one of the most fundamentally undemocratic parts of U.S. elections.

 
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Dec 2018
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Make America Great Again!

Colorado, New Mexico, and Delaware just became the latest states to take a stand against the Electoral College and join the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact (NPV, or the Compact). The NPV is a multi-state agreement that, when active, would ensure that the presidential candidate who wins the popular vote nationally also wins in the Electoral College. With signatures of Governors Jared Polis of Colorado, Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico, and John Carney of Delaware expected, this trio of states will have pledged themselves to the growing nationwide effort.

The states’ approval of the Compact is a victory for democracy and the principle of “one person, one vote.”

However, this does not mean that Colorado, New Mexico, and Delaware will award their collective 17 electoral votes to the biggest national vote-getter in 2020. There’s still more work to be done before we can wave goodbye to the current function of the Electoral College—one of the most fundamentally undemocratic parts of U.S. elections.

The NPV is a fascinating piece of legislation as it fundamentally alters with Constitution without an amendment (normally a no-no) yet does it in a way that is entirely Constitutional. Legislation doesn't get more clever than that.

There's also a good write up here on the chances of the NPV getting the 270 e-votes worth of states needed: The Movement To Skip The Electoral College Is Picking Up Steam

But for those wishing for a stability in our government, however, the NPV is not such a good idea. There is a problem looming that NPV supporters have not thought through: a state's ability to withdraw from the NPV.

Today, the political right (largely in favor or the EC) have not been too worried about the NPV as it doesn't look like there are enough states willing to sign on to make it operative. But that could change. Imagine that we get to a point where, say, states totally exactly 270 EC votes sign up, and suddenly US Presidents are chosen by popular vote. What do you think will happen when, at some point down the road am NPV purple state, say Maine with its four EC votes, suddenly swings to the GOP? They will waste no time pulling out of the NPV and suddenly we're back to counting electoral votes again. Then, of course, it could easily swing back if ME or some other state goes all blue.

So, as the NPV approaches reality, we could easily wind up in absolute mess where we thrash between the electoral college meaning everything one year and nothing the next. Not good.
 
Sep 2014
1,609
214
On the outside, trickling down on the Insiders
Make America Great Again!

Colorado, New Mexico, and Delaware just became the latest states to take a stand against the Electoral College and join the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact (NPV, or the Compact). The NPV is a multi-state agreement that, when active, would ensure that the presidential candidate who wins the popular vote nationally also wins in the Electoral College. With signatures of Governors Jared Polis of Colorado, Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico, and John Carney of Delaware expected, this trio of states will have pledged themselves to the growing nationwide effort.

The states’ approval of the Compact is a victory for democracy and the principle of “one person, one vote.”

However, this does not mean that Colorado, New Mexico, and Delaware will award their collective 17 electoral votes to the biggest national vote-getter in 2020. There’s still more work to be done before we can wave goodbye to the current function of the Electoral College—one of the most fundamentally undemocratic parts of U.S. elections.

Refuse to Seat Those States' Representatives

First they'd have to change the name of the United States of America to the United Coasts of America. In that country, the wobbly bookends can have all the totalitarian tremors they want.
 
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Dec 2016
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Refuse to Seat Those States' Representatives

First they'd have to change the name of the United States of America to the United Coasts of America. In that country, the wobbly bookends can have all the totalitarian tremors they want.
That's why I don't think they can make this bird fly! The Democrats who are calling for eliminating the EC do not say what they would do to rebalance political power to prevent what would be an obvious imbalance if the most populous states determined the presidency. There is no way Republicans who make up majorities in most of the small states are going to approve of this. Though it's worth noting that in the past, when Republicans made up majorities in California and some other big states, while Democrats controlled a lot of the farm belt, it would have been easy to see the shoe going on the other foot and Republicans campaigning to end the electoral college system!

They could shorten the campaign though, since there would only be three or four states determining the winner!
 
Mar 2013
10,722
11,884
Middle Tennessee
The issue with eliminating the EC is, how do we prevent California and New York from deciding every election?? Cali alone in more than 10% of our population. NY is another 8%. The only balance would be Texas. No one else has sufficient population to counter the big city states. The Dakotas and some of the other flyover states might as well not bother holding elections.

A republic is a terrible way to run a country, except for all the others.
 
Nov 2018
6,426
3,919
Rocky Mountains
The issue with eliminating the EC is, how do we prevent California and New York from deciding every election?? Cali alone in more than 10% of our population. NY is another 8%. The only balance would be Texas. No one else has sufficient population to counter the big city states. The Dakotas and some of the other flyover states might as well not bother holding elections.

A republic is a terrible way to run a country, except for all the others.
Maybe it is better to think about the population as a whole, not the individual groups of populations in arbitrary areas called "states".
 
Apr 2019
4,578
780
America
Maybe it is better to think about the population as a whole, not the individual groups of populations in arbitrary areas called "states".
Maybe it is not. States have differences, that is what is called diversity. Now diversity is a bad word? You are a Communist collectivist. No thanks.
 
Dec 2015
21,111
22,010
Arizona
The issue with eliminating the EC is, how do we prevent California and New York from deciding every election?? Cali alone in more than 10% of our population. NY is another 8%. The only balance would be Texas. No one else has sufficient population to counter the big city states. The Dakotas and some of the other flyover states might as well not bother holding elections.

A republic is a terrible way to run a country, except for all the others.
But....even with the EC California (55), Texas (38), New York (29), Florida (29), Illinois (20), and Pennsylvania (20) DO determine our elections.
My problem with the EC is the winner takes it all. What were the framers thinking? It makes NO SENSE.
 
Feb 2006
15,760
4,301
California
As 2020 presidential candidates begin to declare their intentions, it’s time to think about what we’ll be doing after the polls close on Election Day. We won’t be counting votes. We’ll be counting states.

Twice in recent memory, the person elected president lost the popular vote but won the presidency in the Electoral College. Americans accepted this without any meaningful protest. We shouldn’t have.

The standard explanation (here, here and here) for the discrepancy between the popular vote and the election of the president is that the difference in state populations is not reflected in the number of electors each state has in the Electoral College. Each state’s set of electors consists of its two senators plus the number of representatives the state has in the House. California is the most populous state and Wyoming is the least. Because each elector in California represents 3.18 times as many people as each elector in Wyoming, the standard explanation tells us that Wyoming has 3.18 electoral votes to each one of California’s.

But the standard explanation is wrong. The disparity is far greater than this.

The total number of each state’s electors is not the relevant number in this calculation. The House electors don’t contribute to the disparity, because the House is apportioned between the states by population. The disparity is entirely due to the fact that each state, large or small, has two senators. The reason the popular vote diverges from the Electoral College vote is that each voter in Wyoming has more voting power in the Senate—and so in the Electoral College—than each voter in California.

Here is the proper calculation. California has 25,002,812 eligible voters and two senators. Wyoming has 434,584 eligible voters and two senators. Carol’s voting power in California’s Senate delegation is diluted because she shares it with 25,002,811 other voters. Will’s voting power in Wyoming’s Senate delegation is also diluted because he shares it with 434,583 other voters. Since Will’s voting power in the Senate is less diluted, it’s greater than Carol’s voting power in the Senate. If Carol has one vote in the Senate, how many votes in the Senate does Will have?


Fifty-seven.

Leaving out the irrelevant electors from the House, this is essentially what happened in the Electoral College after the 2016 presidential election: “Carol from California casts her vote for Clinton; Calvin from California casts his vote for Clinton… Will from Wyoming casts his 57 votes for Trump; Wanda from Wyoming casts her 57 votes for Trump…”

So let’s stop talking about states voting for the president. Let’s be clear. Each voter in California has one vote for president, but each voter in Wyoming has 57, a voter in North Dakota has 44, a voter in South Dakota has 39, a voter in Montana has 31, and a voter in Nebraska has 18.

In 2016, disappointed Democrats focused on Hillary Clinton’s surprising losses in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin. That wasn’t the problem. The problem was that each voter in New York cast one vote for president compared to each voter in Wyoming casting 28; each voter in Illinois cast one vote for president compared to each voter in Wyoming casting 21; and so on.


Those numbers are not only radically unequal, they are unrepresentative. Residents of the central states are, broadly speaking, more white, more religious, older and hold fewer college degrees than the residents of larger states.

Defenders of the undemocratic Senate argue that it was designed to be more deliberative and less reactive to the transitory popular impulses reflected in the House. Granting an equal number of senators to each state, however, was done only to entice the smaller original states to ratify the Constitution. Small states’ greater power in the Senate has no connection to the quality of the Senate’s deliberations—or the quality of the president.

The greater power of small states’ voters is sometimes defended on the ground that these states have unique interests because of their agricultural economies. But agriculture is a major part of the economies of California, New York, Illinois, Florida and Texas. Another defense—the claim that the “Heartland” values of these citizens deserve greater representation—is completely indefensible in a democracy. Rural citizens are not more American than urban citizens.

Many bemoan polarization in American political life, but there is something much worse going on. The more polarized we become, the more the Senate and the Electoral College distort democracy. This is indefensible, and, ultimately, unsustainable.

 
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Nov 2018
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Rocky Mountains
Maybe it is not. States have differences, that is what is called diversity. Now diversity is a bad word? You are a Communist collectivist. No thanks.
With the elimination of slavery, there are no major, inherent differences between states. South Dakota is not really significantly "different" from Oregon in any fundamental way. The borders are entirely arbitrary. Even cultural difference are greater within states than between states. States only exist for the convenience of local administration of various laws and regulations that could as easily be managed by 30-50 regional offices. In fact, life would be much easier to travel, work, healthcare, public health, insurance, business, and many other functions without states.