Faithless elector: A court ruling just changed how we pick our president

  
Via:  perrie-halpern  •  one month ago  •  85 comments

Faithless elector: A court ruling just changed how we pick our president
The decision could give a single elector the power to decide the outcome of a presidential election — if the popular vote results in an apparent Electoral College tie.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T


By   Pete Williams


A federal appeals court ruled late Tuesday that presidential electors who cast the actual ballots for president and vice president are free to vote as they wish and cannot be required to follow the results of the popular vote in their states.

The decision could give a single elector the power to decide the outcome of a presidential election — if the popular vote results in an apparent Electoral College tie.

"This issue could be a ticking time bomb in our divided politics. It's not hard to imagine how a single faithless elector, voting differently than his or her state did, could swing a close presidential election," said Mark Murray, NBC News senior political editor.




It hasn't been much of an issue in American political history because when an elector refuses to follow the results of a state's popular vote, the state simply throws the ballot away. But Tuesday's ruling says states cannot do that.

The decision, from a three-judge panel of the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver, is a victory for Micheal Baca, a Colorado Democratic elector in 2016. Under state law, he was required to cast his ballot for Hillary Clinton, who won the state's popular vote. Instead, he crossed out her name and wrote in John Kasich, a Republican and then the governor of Ohio.

The secretary of state removed Baca as an elector, discarded his vote and brought in another elector who voted for Clinton. In a 2-1 decision, the appeals court said the nullification of Baca's vote was unconstitutional.

When voters go to the polls in presidential races, they actually cast their votes for a slate of electors chosen by the political parties of the nominees. States are free to choose their electors however they want, Tuesday's ruling said, and can even require electors to pledge their loyalty to their political parties.

But once the electors are chosen and report in December to cast their votes as members of the Electoral College, they are fulfilling a federal function, and a state's authority has ended. "The states' power to appoint electors does not include the power to remove them or nullify their votes," the court said.

Because the Constitution contains no requirement for electors to follow the wishes of a political party, "the electors, once appointed, are free to vote as they choose," assuming that they cast their vote for a legally qualified candidate.

A total of 30 states have laws that bind electors, requiring them to cast their votes for whichever candidate won that state's popular vote. But the laws are weak, providing only nominal penalties for what are known as "faithless electors" who fail to conform to the popular vote.





The Supreme Court ruled in 1952 that states do not violate the Constitution when they require electors to pledge that they will abide by the popular vote. But the justices have never said whether it is constitutional to enforce those pledges.

Legal scholars said Tuesday's ruling was the first from a federal appeals court on the issue of faithless electors. It applies immediately to the six states of the 10th Circuit: Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Kansas, Oklahoma and New Mexico.

“This court decision takes power from Colorado voters and sets a dangerous precedent," said Jena Griswold, Colorado's secretary of state. "Our nation stands on the principle of one person, one vote. We are reviewing this decision with our attorneys, and will vigorously protect Colorado voters.”

The federal court ruling conflicts with a decision from Washington state's Supreme Court in May, which said electors must follow the results of the popular vote. "The power of electors to vote comes from the state, and the elector has no personal right to that role,” the court said.

Lawyers from the nonprofit Equal Citizens, which represented the Washington state electors and Baca in Colorado, said they will appeal the Washington ruling to the Supreme Court.

“We know Electoral College contests are going to be closer in the future than they have been in the past. And as they get closer and closer, even a small number of electors could change the results of an election," said Lawrence Lessig, a Harvard law professor who founded Equal Citizens and is part of its legal team. "Whether you think that’s a good system or not, we believe it is critical to resolve it before it would decide an election.”

If the Supreme Court chooses to take up the dispute, it would have time to rule on the issue before the Electoral College meets in December 2020 to cast the formal vote for president.





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Perrie Halpern R.A.
1  seeder  Perrie Halpern R.A.    one month ago

Good idea or bad?

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
1.1  Vic Eldred  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @1    one month ago

The attempt to defy the electoral college?  Obviously it's a bad one. What's next, doing away with the US Senate?  As soon as the democrats win another Presidential election, we will cease hearing about stunts like this.

 
 
 
WallyW
1.2  WallyW  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @1    one month ago

Very bad idea. Visions of political sugarplums might have Democrats salivating, but if this ruling is affirmed  by the SCOTUS, it could just as easily work against the left.

“This court decision takes power from Colorado voters and sets a dangerous precedent," said Jena Griswold, Colorado's secretary of state. "Our nation stands on the principle of one person, one vote. We are reviewing this decision with our attorneys, and will vigorously protect Colorado voters.”

 
 
 
TᵢG
2  TᵢG    one month ago

The freedom of the individual electors to vote against the will of the constituents is a vestigial element of the system.   It was there as a safeguard against an ill-informed electorate.  

The human electors should be done away with.   Their vote should be nothing more than a calculation.

 
 
 
bbl-1
2.1  bbl-1  replied to  TᵢG @2    one month ago

Ill informed electorate?  That is a subject onto itself which is worthy of serious debate and deeper discussion.

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
2.2  Vic Eldred  replied to  TᵢG @2    one month ago
 It was there as a safeguard against an ill-informed electorate.  

Which is totally subjective!

 
 
 
katrix
2.2.1  katrix  replied to  Vic Eldred @2.2    one month ago
Which is totally subjective!

Not really. Even Trump agrees that much of his base is ill-informed.

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
2.2.2  Vic Eldred  replied to  katrix @2.2.1    one month ago

Subjectively means: "based on or influenced by personal feelings, tastes, or opinions"....As in everybody's opinion. I happen to think anybody who votes for a democrat is feeble-minded. So if there are enough people like me who are electors we could overturn the will of the voters in a state. Are you sure you want to do this? Or was that just another hit and run on the President?

 
 
 
TᵢG
2.2.3  TᵢG  replied to  Vic Eldred @2.2    one month ago

Yes, human electors are by definition a subjective element. 

Worse, they were there to change the will of their constituents if they felt the constituents made a poor choice.

That is why I recommended the human electors be removed and use the will of the constituents directly.   It would be easy.   If a district votes for a candidate then that is the 'choice' of the virtual elector.

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
2.2.4  Vic Eldred  replied to  TᵢG @2.2.3    one month ago

As long as the will of the voter on a state level is respected. Jill Stein wins the state - she gets the electoral votes of that state. Simple!

 
 
 
TᵢG
2.2.5  TᵢG  replied to  Vic Eldred @2.2.4    one month ago

I get the impression that you think my position is the opposite of what I have been writing.

 
 
 
Dulay
2.2.6  Dulay  replied to  Vic Eldred @2.2.4    one month ago
As long as the will of the voter on a state level is respected.

As long as it's based on the 'state level' the will of the voter isn't respected. 

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
2.2.7  Vic Eldred  replied to  TᵢG @2.2.5    one month ago

Lol, no I'm trying to add some levity to a conversation that's getting very technical (in the weeds as they say)

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
2.2.8  Vic Eldred  replied to  Dulay @2.2.6    one month ago

When California turns over it's voter rolls, we can talk about voter integrity.

 
 
 
Dulay
2.2.9  Dulay  replied to  Vic Eldred @2.2.8    one month ago
When California turns over it's voter rolls, we can talk about voter integrity.

We haven't finished talking about votes being respected. Why change the subject? 

 
 
 
Dulay
2.3  Dulay  replied to  TᵢG @2    one month ago
The freedom of the individual electors to vote against the will of the constituents is a vestigial element of the system. It was there as a safeguard against an ill-informed electorate.

Ill informed or unduly influenced by 'foreign counsel'. The reasoning for the Electoral College, as expressed by Federalist 68, are utterly outdated. Much of it is centered on electors being 'ill informed' about the 'intrigue' in other states and that the electors aren't effected by faction.

That all goes out the window with global media and electors being chosen by political parties.

Add that to the fact that most states are winner take all, which IMHO, is where voters voices are lost. If Colorado, or any other state, REALLY wants the voters to have a voice, at minimum electors should be proportional. 

 
 
 
TᵢG
2.3.1  TᵢG  replied to  Dulay @2.3    one month ago
The reasoning for the Electoral College, as expressed by Federalist 68, are utterly outdated.

Agreed.  No human beings involved.  Their 'vote' should be a calculation.   It is absurd to have human beings today with such power.

TiG @2 -  ... is a vestigial element of the system ...
 
 
 
Dulay
2.3.2  Dulay  replied to  TᵢG @2.3.1    one month ago
It is absurd to have human beings today with such power.

It's the parties that have the power. The parties choose the electors. They aren't REALLY elected by the people. 

 
 
 
TᵢG
2.3.3  TᵢG  replied to  Dulay @2.3.2    one month ago

I did not suggest that the electors were chosen by the people.

My point has been that human electors serve no modern purpose and that we should do away with them with a calculation.

The parties choose the electors.

And the power to elect the PotUS then rests with the electors.   My point.   A faithless elector's power is inappropriate; I have suggested to do away with this.

 
 
 
bbl-1
3  bbl-1    one month ago

Electoral College is no longer necessary.  Slavery is abolished and the Slave States no longer need 'the protection or advantage'.

 
 
 
Heartland American
3.1  Heartland American  replied to  bbl-1 @3    one month ago

The electoral college never ever had anything at all to do with slavery.  It, like the senate had everything to do with the rights of small population states and to limit mob rule as the senate protected the small states and its membership was picked by the state governments via legislative and or executive branches. The electoral college is the same size as each states combined house and senate delegations.  The electoral college now protects presidential elections from the rule of bi coastal urban mobs.  

 
 
 
bbl-1
3.1.1  bbl-1  replied to  Heartland American @3.1    one month ago

False.

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
3.1.2  Vic Eldred  replied to  bbl-1 @3.1.1    one month ago

"False" by itself dosen't dispute anything. Tell us why he is wrong.

 
 
 
bbl-1
3.1.3  bbl-1  replied to  Vic Eldred @3.1.2    one month ago

The slave states had the lesser population.  The concept of the EC lessened the burden.  Without the possibilities provided by the EC it was not only likely but also assumed that the slave states would not have participated in being members of the Thirteen Original Continental States.  

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
3.1.4  Vic Eldred  replied to  bbl-1 @3.1.3    one month ago
The slave states had the lesser population.

It was new states/territories which were underpopulated, but needed some motivation to join and partake in the union. Thus they were given some state integrity via the electoral college. All of it is well balanced by the way we elect the people's representatives to congress. The House gets it's quorum based on populations while the US Senate gets two Senators from each state.

This great system has served the country well. Don't worry, as soon as the democrats win the White House again, this whole discussion will all be forgotten.

 
 
 
Texan1211
3.1.5  Texan1211  replied to  Vic Eldred @3.1.4    one month ago

Remember being told that enough Electoral College members were going to flip and vote Hillary into office?

I don't remember these same folks complaining back then, do you?

 
 
 
bbl-1
3.1.6  bbl-1  replied to  Vic Eldred @3.1.4    one month ago

Obviously 'not learned' on this subject.

 
 
 
WallyW
3.2  WallyW  replied to  bbl-1 @3    one month ago

Yeah, but.....

we don't want Mexifornia and/or New Yawk picking who will be the president.

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
3.2.1  Vic Eldred  replied to  WallyW @3.2    one month ago

It would make it so easy on the campaigns, wouldn't it? Just hit NYC, LA and Chicago.

 
 
 
WallyW
3.2.2  WallyW  replied to  Vic Eldred @3.2.1    one month ago

I forgot about Chicago, where the dearly departed arise briefly from their eternal rest to vote early and often. jrSmiley_100_smiley_image.jpg

 
 
 
Texan1211
3.3  Texan1211  replied to  bbl-1 @3    one month ago
Electoral College is no longer necessary. Slavery is abolished and the Slave States no longer need 'the protection or advantage'.

Maybe you should start a drive to amend the US Constitution then.

 
 
 
igknorantzrulz
4  igknorantzrulz    one month ago

What sense does this make...

besides none. y even bother to have an election if the will of the people is not to be abided by ?

Just let the electors choose whomever they wish, what the hell, we couldn't do any worse than where we are now.

 
 
 
Heartland American
4.1  Heartland American  replied to  igknorantzrulz @4    one month ago

We would do much worse if we had a direct nationwide popular vote for the Presidency.  Fortunately it can not happen unless 2/3 of both houses or 34 of the states agree to propose it and 38 states ratify it.  

 
 
 
cjcold
5  cjcold    one month ago

Even though I don't hold out much faith in the intelligence of many of my fellow humans, I still believe in one person one vote.

 
 
 
Dulay
5.1  Dulay  replied to  cjcold @5    one month ago

Yet the US Presidential election has never reflected one person, one vote. 

 
 
 
Tacos!
6  Tacos!    one month ago

It's kind of an odd ruling because the Constitution (Article 2) grants authority to the States to choose electors how ever they like. 

Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors

So, to me, that says that if a state legislature's manner of choosing electors includes an agreement that the elector will vote with his state's popular vote, then that's the manner they chose, and the elector is bound by that agreement. If you don't like that rule, you don't get to be an elector. Refusing to vote as the elector has agreed basically puts him in breach of contract and the state can respond by terminating his contract and choosing someone else who will vote the way they want.

The federal government doesn't get to tell states how to choose its electors when that authority has been specifically delegated to the states.

So, I don't see this ruling holding up, but if it did, not only would it frustrate the wishes of several states, but it would also torpedo the National Popular Vote movement. For the unfamiliar, that is an agreement between states who all agree that their electors will vote in line with - not with their state's popular vote - but with the national popular vote.

 
 
 
Dulay
6.1  Dulay  replied to  Tacos! @6    one month ago
Refusing to vote as the elector has agreed basically puts him in breach of contract and the state can respond by terminating his contract and choosing someone else who will vote the way they want.

Yet as the seed says, states have failed to put any teeth in the penalty for breach of that contract, intentionally it seems. Even this ruling doesn't preclude the state from penalizing an elector for 'faithlessness'. 

Since the elector is ELECTED and we seem to have normalized and now accept that ALL elected officials LIE to get elected, it's hard to see what moral ground there is to harshly penalize a 'faithless' elector. 

 
 
 
Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom
7  Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom    one month ago

I'm so confused!

 
 
 
WallyW
7.1  WallyW  replied to  Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom @7    one month ago

We know that. jrSmiley_79_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
igknorantzrulz
7.1.1  igknorantzrulz  replied to  WallyW @7.1    one month ago

n here comes Wally

right, out of Left fielders choice, a new brand of Coffee for those with Taste, but a bad cold, and holding their knows

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
8  Bob Nelson    one month ago

The Constitution defines a great number of limits on democracy. The founders wanted to prevent mob rule, and the dictatorship of the majority. The Electoral College was one of these dispositions.

The Fathers were representative of their times. In French Revolutionary terms - the two revolutions were more or less simultaneous, and many of the Fathers frequented French salons , the Fathers were not plébéien - common folk. They were bourgeois - propertied.

The Fathers did not intend the Presidential election to be a "popular" election. They wanted to isolate the Presidency from the plebeians. So they created the Electoral College. The Electors were to be men of stature, whose wisdom would then choose the President.

Originally, then, the Elector was supposed to make his own choice... but very quickly pressure built to vote as had the popular majority. There have been 179 cases of "faithless electors" , including the 22 whose candidates died before they had the opportunity to vote.

 
 
 
WallyW
8.1  WallyW  replied to  Bob Nelson @8    one month ago

The Founders were correct on this issue. I agree with their collective ad informed wisdom.

 
 
 
TᵢG
8.1.1  TᵢG  replied to  WallyW @8.1    one month ago
The Founders were correct on this issue.

Maybe so at the time, but today it is absurd to have human being electors who, in theory, could vote against the will of their district (faithless).   The USA is now 327+ million people who are substantially better educated and informed than our 17th and 18th century ancestors.   While there exist plenty of apathetic and ignorant people who have the right to vote, it makes zero sense today to have such a tiny minority of hand-picked electors with such power.

Simple solution:  do away with the human being electors and simply derive each elector's vote from the will of their associated district.   That, in effect, is what happens anyway since the electors almost always simply vote per the will of the people.

 
 
 
Dulay
8.1.2  Dulay  replied to  WallyW @8.1    one month ago
The Founders were correct on this issue. I agree with their collective ad informed wisdom.

The founders were misogynists and bigoted. They only allowed white, landed, men the vote.

They were also naïve, decrying the influence of political parties in the Federalist papers while almost immediately embracing political parties in the First Congress. 

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
8.1.3  Vic Eldred  replied to  Dulay @8.1.2    one month ago

Thus we have two Constitutions. The one those great men (who happened to own slaves) wrote and which guided this great nation for so long and that "living document" that the proud racist Woodrow Wilson first referred to about 100 years ago.

Progressives and their totalitarian vision must be defeated!

 
 
 
Texan1211
8.1.4  Texan1211  replied to  Dulay @8.1.2    one month ago
he founders were misogynists and bigoted. They only allowed white, landed, men the vote.
They were also naïve, decrying the influence of political parties in the Federalist papers while almost immediately embracing political parties in the First Congress.

The Founders were some pretty smart people, too.

They allowed a mechanism to change the Constitution.

Have at it!

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
8.1.5  Vic Eldred  replied to  Texan1211 @8.1.4    one month ago

As soon as they wrote the Declaration of Independence they realized there was a contradiction that had to be reconciled and it influenced how the Constitution was written. 

 
 
 
WallyW
8.1.6  WallyW  replied to  TᵢG @8.1.1    one month ago
The USA is now 327+ million people who are substantially better educated and informed than our 17th and 18th century ancestors.  
I strongly disagree. Schools and colleges nowadays graduate brainwashed idiots, for the most part

 
 
 
TᵢG
8.1.7  TᵢG  replied to  WallyW @8.1.6    one month ago

You think the average citizen today is less educated and informed than the average citizen of the 17th and 18th centuries?

Not a chance. 

There are limits to cynicism.

 
 
 
livefreeordie
8.1.8  livefreeordie  replied to  TᵢG @8.1.7    one month ago

Absolutely. Most US voters have little to no knowledge of our Constitution or US history.   

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
8.1.9  Bob Nelson  replied to  TᵢG @8.1.7    one month ago
You think the average citizen today is less educated and informed than the average citizen of the 17th and 18th centuries?

Undoubtedly.

The educational level has surely risen, but the complexity of the topics requiring demos's attention has exploded.

The difference is much wider today than in the 17th and 18th centuries.

 
 
 
TᵢG
8.1.10  TᵢG  replied to  Bob Nelson @8.1.9    one month ago

Do you advocate electors as a safeguard for the electorate?

Do you think we need informed officials who know better than the average voter who can override the will of the voters in their district?

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
8.1.11  Bob Nelson  replied to  TᵢG @8.1.10    one month ago

Do you advocate electors as a safeguard for the electorate?

Do you think we need informed officials who know better than the average voter who can override the will of the voters in their district?

IMNAAHO, we need to rethink government from the ground up. The world has grown too complex to hope for a competent demos, but as Churchill said, it's the best we know.

It's time to invent something better.

Many years ago, I read an excellent interview with Lee Kuan Yu, the long-time PM of Singapore. He said that the Occident's great invention was not democracy, which always ate itself sooner or later. The great invention was human rights (which presumes rule of law).

We need to be governed by experts, if we are not to destroy ourselves. But we need recourse against abuse of that rule. We need to find an effective balance of those two imperatives.

 
 
 
TᵢG
8.1.12  TᵢG  replied to  Bob Nelson @8.1.11    one month ago

Well the point of my starting comment in this topic is that the original reason for the human electors is now obsolete.   Human electors are a vestigial mechanism in our system.  Having human beings who almost always vote mechanically per their pledge is silly.   It would be easy to do away with the electors and simply determine their vote based on the will of their constituent districts.

 
 
 
Dulay
8.1.13  Dulay  replied to  Vic Eldred @8.1.3    one month ago
Thus we have two Constitutions.

Nope, there is just one.

 
 
 
Dulay
8.1.14  Dulay  replied to  Texan1211 @8.1.4    one month ago
The Founders were some pretty smart people, too.

At minimum, at least they realized when they fucked up and endeavored to fix it.

The Articles of the Confederation proved to be wholly inadequate yet it still took them 7 years they set themselves to the business of FIXING that problem with a Constitutional Convention. 

They allowed a mechanism to change the Constitution. Have at it!

And it's good that they did since they used that mechanism immediately after realizing just how remiss the Constitutional Congress had been by not enumerating rights. In fact, promises were made that Amendments would be forthcoming in order to gain the votes needed to ratify the Constitution. Hence the Bill of Rights were immediately taken up for passage by the First Congress. 

 
 
 
Texan1211
8.1.15  Texan1211  replied to  Dulay @8.1.14    one month ago

Thanks for reinforcing my exact point.

Want to change the Constitution?

Have at it!

 
 
 
Dulay
8.1.16  Dulay  replied to  TᵢG @8.1.12    one month ago
(deleted)
 
 
 
TᵢG
8.1.17  TᵢG  replied to  Dulay @8.1.16    one month ago

Another reason to do away with the human electors.   It is a pointless ceremony.

 
 
 
Dulay
8.1.18  Dulay  replied to  Texan1211 @8.1.15    one month ago
Thanks for reinforcing my exact point.

I thought your exact point was that the founders were 'pretty smart'. History shows that eventually they got it kinda right. 

 
 
 
Texan1211
8.1.19  Texan1211  replied to  Dulay @8.1.16    one month ago
The fact that the primary locks in electors votes is troubling. We have primaries starting in March and per the status quo, no matter the subsequent events, those electors are stuck with who their state voted for.

That isn't true. Just because Joe Blow wins a primary in the state doesn't mean that electors must vote for him.

Subsequent events DO matter--like who the party's nominee is. Just because Joe Blow won that state doesn't mean he won the nomination.

 
 
 
Texan1211
8.1.20  Texan1211  replied to  Dulay @8.1.18    one month ago
I thought your exact point was that the founders were 'pretty smart'. History shows that eventually they got it kinda right.

Well, then, you obviously missed the point.

History show me that they got it right by allowing changes to be made.

 
 
 
Tacos!
8.1.21  Tacos!  replied to  TᵢG @8.1.12    one month ago
Well the point of my starting comment in this topic is that the original reason for the human electors is now obsolete.

Not entirely. Even if we assume the modern voter is better informed and educated, the framers of the Constitution still wanted to preserve the power of smaller states in electing the president. The EC has always diluted the power of highly populated states to decide a presidential election as opposed to what you would see in a direct democracy. 

 
 
 
TᵢG
8.1.22  TᵢG  replied to  Tacos! @8.1.21    one month ago

That was part of the reasoning for the electoral college  in particular, the determination of electoral votes.   I am talking strictly about the human electors.

Using human beings to serve as a buffer between the 'unwashed masses' and the votes for PotUS is obsolete — especially given the size of the modern electorate.   If the human electors did indeed go rogue (unfaithful in states that do not mitigate this) they would wield substantial power.

My suggestion (throughout this article) has consistently been straightforward:  get rid of human electors and replace them with a friggin' calculation.    The electoral votes from a state is a simple calculation.   No human electors required.

 
 
 
Dulay
8.1.23  Dulay  replied to  Texan1211 @8.1.19    one month ago
Just because Joe Blow wins a primary in the state doesn't mean that electors must vote for him.

Actually, each elector is connected to a candidate. Since Trump is running unchallenged [unless you count Bill Weld] they are stuck with him no matter what happens from the primary till the general. The RNC is all in for Trump so the very idea that a GOP elector  that isn't a sycophant would be elected is ridiculous. 

Most State Party conventions are held in June/July and the electors are locked in thereafter. 

 
 
 
Texan1211
8.1.24  Texan1211  replied to  Dulay @8.1.23    one month ago

But what YOU stated is this:

We have primaries starting in March and per the status quo, no matter the subsequent events, those electors are stuck with who their state voted for.

I merely pointed out that your statement was incorrect.

I even gave you an example.

 
 
 
Tacos!
8.1.25  Tacos!  replied to  TᵢG @8.1.22    one month ago
My suggestion (throughout this article) has consistently been straightforward:  get rid of human electors and replace them with a friggin' calculation.    The electoral votes from a state is a simple calculation.   No human electors required

That's fine, but are you still going to allow the states to decide their own calculation? They don't all do it the same.

 
 
 
TᵢG
8.1.26  TᵢG  replied to  Tacos! @8.1.25    one month ago

Tacos! the only thing I have commented on is removing the human beings.   I have proposed no other changes.   Just get rid of this vestigial element.

Net effect, no wasted time,cost and effort assembling these unnecessary electors and no possibility of any elector going unfaithful.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
8.1.27  Bob Nelson  replied to  TᵢG @8.1.12    one month ago
It would be easy to do away with the electors and simply determine their vote based on the will of their constituent districts.

Of course.

But the problem isn't "Faithless Electors". There haven't been very many in the history of the republic.

The problem is the unfair weight that the College gives to small states. That would not be improved by "simply determining their vote based on the will of their constituent districts".

 
 
 
TᵢG
8.1.28  TᵢG  replied to  Bob Nelson @8.1.27    one month ago
But the problem isn't "Faithless Electors".

But this is the topic.   This seed is not about the design of the electoral college but rather the change of rules on the human electors themselves.   My comments have been on that point (the human electors).   I have made no comment on the design of the electoral college proper.

The comment to which you replied was itself a repeat of my point on the vestigial mechanism of using human electors:

TiG @8.1.12 Well the point of my starting comment in this topic is that the original reason for the human electors is now obsolete.   Human electors are a vestigial mechanism in our system.  Having human beings who almost always vote mechanically per their pledge is silly.   It would be easy to do away with the electors and simply determine their vote based on the will of their constituent districts.

The electoral college design is an entirely different and substantially more complex discussion than the use of human electors.  

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
8.1.29  Bob Nelson  replied to  TᵢG @8.1.28    one month ago
But this is the topic .

So... saying that Faithless Electors are not really a problem is pertinent. On topic.

Right?

The Fathers wanted Electors to do as they pleased, regardless of the popular vote. They haven't, very often, but they have the legal right. Always have.

If that's the extent of the topic here... I guess we're done.  jrSmiley_82_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
TᵢG
8.1.30  TᵢG  replied to  Bob Nelson @8.1.29    one month ago
I guess we're done.

Ok

 
 
 
freepress
9  freepress    one month ago

Until that "elector" won't cast a vote for Trump in a state that Trump wins.

 
 
 
Texan1211
10  Texan1211    one month ago

I don't recall too many folks being upset about faithless electors last election. In fact, many folks were HOPING and ENCOURAGING faithless electors.

Some of those same folks frequent this forum.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
11  Nerm_L    one month ago

Apparently this is just another legal maneuver to eliminate the electoral college altogether and transform Presidential elections to a national popular vote.  Keep in mind that electing the President (and Vice President) is the only national Federal election.  All other elected Federal offices are filled by state elections.

The electoral college is based upon each state's Congressional representation.  Doing away with the electoral college would naturally open the door to challenge how Congressional representation is apportioned.  

The electoral college (and apportionment of Congressional representation) is based upon total population; providing representation for people ineligible to vote as well as voters.  By transforming the one national Federal election to a popular referendum, people ineligible to vote lose their representation in the election.  That would provide justification for Congressional representation based upon the eligible voting population, too.

The United States government does not represent the people according to one person, one vote.  The United States is not a democracy.  The electoral college places the responsibility of the President to represent the total population in the same manner as for Congress.  Eliminating the electoral college would remove that responsibility from the President.  Why should Congress be held to a higher standard than the Presidency?

 
 
 
Dulay
11.1  Dulay  replied to  Nerm_L @11    one month ago
Doing away with the electoral college would naturally open the door to challenge how Congressional representation is apportioned.  
By transforming the one national Federal election to a popular referendum, people ineligible to vote lose their representation in the election. That would provide justification for Congressional representation based upon the eligible voting population, too.

What brought you to those conclusions? 

The electoral college places the responsibility of the President to represent the total population in the same manner as for Congress. Eliminating the electoral college would remove that responsibility from the President. Why should Congress be held to a higher standard than the Presidency?

If the Congress, who are elected by the popular vote, manages to represent the total population of their district/state, why couldn't the POTUS? 

 
 
 
livefreeordie
12  livefreeordie    one month ago

Ending the Electoral College as the Democrats are seeking means the end of our Constitutional Republic or a Second Civil War

We are a FEDERAL Republic of Sovereign States, not a National Government like France or Germany.

The move to end the Electoral College has two purposes  

  1. To centralize power in Washington  
  2. To eliminate the power and influence of smaller, rural states so that California and New York control our elections and give the Marxist Democrats permanent control of Washington  

“Get Rid Of The Electoral College? It Would Lead To The Break-Up Of America, Or Worse

Under their vision, the 50 states would wither away in terms of power and autonomy. They would merely be geographical descriptions, beholden entirely to the federal government. This kind of "democracy" means states like California and New York, with their huge, dysfunctional cities and large Democratic majorities, would become in effect geographical dictators to the rest of us.

It would also result in far more power residing in a corrupt centralized government. It move us inevitably toward the Sovietization of America. If you doubt that, recall that under the now defunct Union Of Soviet Socialist Republics, the individual republics had theoretical autonomy. They in fact had none. All powers and rights resided with the central government.

America's election systems have operated smoothly for more than 200 years because the Electoral College accomplishes its intended purposes," wrote Tara Ross, a lawyer and author of "Enlightened Democracy: The Case For The Electoral College. "

"America's presidential election process preserves federalism, prevents chaos, grants definitive electoral outcomes, and prevents tyrannical or unreasonable rule," she wrote in a piece for the Heritage Foundation. "The Founding Fathers created a stable, well-planned, and carefully designed system — and it works."

Founding Wisdom

In creating the Electoral College, the Founders very carefully and intentionally kept us from having a pure democracy. Why? Pure democracy amounts to mob rule. Get a 51% majority for anything, and it becomes law. Such countries, the Founders knew from deep study of history, inevitably led to disaster, chaos and collapse.

No Electoral College? Some states might hate losing their ancient rights and autonomy  so much that they decide to secede. The left, which today cheers on far-left anti-Trump California when it says it might secede, would no doubt suddenly get very authoritarian about keeping Red States in the union. They're taxpayers, you see.”

https://www.investors.com/politics/editorials/electoral-college-democrats-rights/

 
 
 
Dismayed Patriot
12.1  Dismayed Patriot  replied to  livefreeordie @12    one month ago
We are a FEDERAL Republic of Sovereign States

Which is why any of those States can choose to award their electoral votes to whichever candidate they want. If that means they decide by a majority within a State to give their electoral votes to the national popular vote winner, then that is their States right to do so, no constitutional amendment needed and the electoral college would still exist, though it would no longer have the power to overturn the American peoples choice for President and give it to the less popular candidate. Just a few more States to sign on and its a done deal and there's nothing the tooth gnasher's can do about it. Red States threatening to leave the Union? Yeah, likely story since they are the most dependent on the Federal government. They like to whine and complain about entitlements all day long but when it comes time for the handouts they're almost always first in line. The top 10 most dependent States are deep red States.

https://wallethub.com/edu/states-most-least-dependent-on-the-federal-government/2700/

"when the lens shifts to political ideology, the survey finds virtually no difference in the share of conservatives (57% ), liberals (53%) or political moderates (53%) who have been assisted by at least one entitlement program ."

https://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2012/12/18/a-bipartisan-nation-of-beneficiaries/

What your cut & paste is whining about losing is rural voting power that gives some red Stets more than three times the voting power as an American from California or new York. Why are they fighting so hard to preserve this obvious inequality? Because they know they can't win any argument on merit, they can't ever elect a monumental incompetent like Donald Trump without that inequity, the majority would make sure we didn't saddle America with another half-wit bumbling orange faced Mussolini.

 
 
 
Texan1211
12.1.1  Texan1211  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @12.1    one month ago
Which is why any of those States can choose to award their electoral votes to whichever candidate they want. If that means they decide by a majority within a State to give their electoral votes to the national popular vote winner, then that is their States right to do so, no constitutional amendment needed and the electoral college would still exist, though it would no longer have the power to overturn the American peoples choice for President and give it to the less popular candidate.

Looks like you don't understand what the ruling was.

 
 
 
Dismayed Patriot
12.1.2  Dismayed Patriot  replied to  Texan1211 @12.1.1    one month ago
Looks like you don't understand what the ruling was.

"The federal court ruling conflicts with a decision from Washington state's Supreme Court in May, which said electors must follow the results of the popular vote. "The power of electors to vote comes from the state, and the elector has no personal right to that role,” the court said."

This State court ruling will soon be overturned. Otherwise we'll have a system where 538 electors individually decide which candidate they prefer which then would determine the winner of each national election, there would be no point for any citizen voting if they don't have to follow either their State or national popular vote winner.

 
 
 
Dulay
12.2  Dulay  replied to  livefreeordie @12    one month ago

From your link:

Cohen's proposed amendment reads: "Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector."

It looks like the editorial board of Investor's Business Daily need to read the fucking Constitution, especially Article II, Section I, Clause I since they quoted THAT rather than Cohen's Amendment. 

Didn't you just decry voters lack of knowledge of the Constitution? 

jrSmiley_10_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
Steve Ott
13  Steve Ott    one month ago

http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/faithless-electors-have-right-to-vote-for-presidential-candidates-of-their-choice-10th-circuit-says

Here is a link to the article in the ABAJournal. It also contains links to other sites reporting on the case.

The case was decided on the merits, not whether it usurps one man, one vote. That has never been the rule in this country. Although many would like to believe the myth, it is just that.

The courts ruled that states may make rules about electors, but once the electors are in place and begin voting , they are no longer under the state's authority, but rather Federal authority, as their actions are now Federal.

Here is the full 125 page opinion if you care to read it. https://www.ca10.uscourts.gov/opinions/18/18-1173.pdf

 
 
 
Dismayed Patriot
14  Dismayed Patriot    one month ago

The electoral college encourages division, though only on those rare occasions, 4 so far in our history, that the electoral college gives the Presidency to the popular vote loser. It happens so rarely it's often forgotten till we get slapped in the face by it once again.

But why do I claim it sows division? Because in well over 90% of the elections there's no issue, the most electoral college votes go to the popular vote winner and Americans cheer and accept the new President because the winner had the most Americans supporting them. On these rare occasions that the electoral college hands the Presidency to the popular vote loser, you have millions of Americans angered that their votes were discarded, tossed out by what some see as unscrupulous political operatives working the system to prevent the will of the people.

Because it happens so rarely, the fact is, getting rid of the electoral college won't even really be noticed, odds of it happening again are less than 8%. But the fact that we have an 8% chance of a loser being selected as President by a handful of out of touch rubes who think they should have three times the voting power as other Americans is still too large a gamble.

 
 
 
MrFrost
15  MrFrost    one month ago

If we had, "one person one vote", the republicans would never win another election and they know it, so of course they want the EC. 

 
 
 
Texan1211
15.1  Texan1211  replied to  MrFrost @15    one month ago
If we had, "one person one vote", the republicans would never win another election and they know it, so of course they want the EC.

That is ridiculous.

Please tell me you haven't fallen for THAT, too!

 
 
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