'Faithless elector': Supreme Court will hear case that could change how presidents are chosen

  
Via:  perrie-halpern  •  one month ago  •  76 comments

By:   Pete Williams

'Faithless elector': Supreme Court will hear case that could change how presidents are chosen
A ruling could come in the spring — just as the 2020 presidential race is heating up.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T


WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court agreed Friday to take up an issue that could change a key element of the system America uses to elect its president, with a decision likely in the spring just as the campaign heats up.

The answer to the question could be a decisive one: Are the   electors who cast the actual Electoral College ballots for president   and vice president required to follow the results of the popular vote in their states? Or are they free to vote as they wish?

A decision that they are free agents could give a single elector, or a small group of them, the power to decide the outcome of a presidential election if the popular vote results in an apparent   Electoral College   tie or is close.

"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.

America has never chosen its president by direct popular vote. Instead, when voters go to the polls in November, they actually vote for a slate of electors chosen by the political parties of the presidential candidates. Those electors then meet in December, after the November election, to cast their ballots, which are counted before a joint session of Congress in January.

More than half the states have laws requiring electors to obey the results of the popular vote in their states and cast their ballots accordingly. The problem of what are known as "faithless electors" has not 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 usually simply throws the ballot away.

The cases before the Supreme Court involve faithless electors during the 2016 presidential election. Instead of voting for Hillary Clinton, who won the popular vote in Colorado, Michael Baca cast his vote for John Kasich, the former Republican governor of Ohio. And in Washington state, where Clinton also won the popular vote, three of the state's 12 electors voted for Colin Powell, the former secretary of state, instead of Clinton.

Colorado threw Baca's vote out and found another elector to vote for Clinton. Washington accepted the votes of its rebel electors but fined them for violating state law. The electors challenged the fines, but the Washington state Supreme Court upheld the state law requiring them to conform to the popular vote.

The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver reached a different conclusion, however. It said electors can vote for any legitimate candidate.

Jena Griswold, Colorado's Secretary of State, praised the Supreme Court's decision to hear the case."

"Unelected and unaccountable presidential electors should not be allowed to decide the presidential election without regard to voters' choices and state law," Griswold said.

States are free to choose their electors however they want, the court 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.

The lawyers representing Colorado and the electors from both states urged the Supreme Court to resolve the question now, instead of waiting for a crisis that could come if a renegade elector's defection threatened to affect the outcome of an election.

But the states and the electors disagreed on how the court should rule. Colorado's legal brief said that because the Constitution gives the states broad powers to decide how electors are appointed, it also authorizes the states to attach conditions to how they must vote.

"The American people choose the president while electors are mere agents who cast their Electoral College ballots according to the will of their constituents, not the reverse. The court of appeals decision upsets over two centuries of practice covering all previous presidential elections," Colorado said.

The lawyers for the electors, however, said tradition is not the same as the law.

"The structure of the Constitution, as interpreted by this Court over our 230-year history, prohibits the states from interfering with the exercise of this plainly federal function," said Lawrence Lessig, a Harvard law professor involved in both cases.

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.

"The Electoral College is unbelievably important to the mechanics of how we select a president, but it's almost a mystery. The Supreme Court has told us virtually nothing about it, and certainly, this Supreme Court hasn't said anything," said Tom Goldstein, a Supreme Court expert who co-founded the website SCOTUSBlog and argues frequently before the court.

The court will hear the issue in the spring and decide the case by late June.






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SteevieGee
1  SteevieGee    one month ago

It's time to get rid of the Electoral college.

 
 
 
MUVA
1.1  MUVA  replied to  SteevieGee @1    one month ago

No.

 
 
 
WallyW
1.2  WallyW  replied to  SteevieGee @1    one month ago

What if Trump wins the popular vote, but loses the electoral vote?

He  will win both this fall, of course

 
 
 
Donald J. Trump fan 1
1.2.1  Donald J. Trump fan 1  replied to  WallyW @1.2    one month ago

Just like Bush did in 2004 after the electoral college win in 2000.  

 
 
 
The Magic Eight Ball
1.3  The Magic Eight Ball  replied to  SteevieGee @1    one month ago
It's time to get rid of the Electoral college.

not even a chance that happens in any of our lifetimes.... 

too funny :)

 
 
 
Jeremy Retired in NC
1.4  Jeremy Retired in NC  replied to  SteevieGee @1    one month ago

And why would that be?  

 
 
 
Dignitatem Societatis
1.4.1  Dignitatem Societatis  replied to  Jeremy Retired in NC @1.4    one month ago

For one thing, the public is no longer as illiterate and ignorant as it was in 1788. Thanks largely to public education, btw.

512

For another, and most importantly, it is inherently unjust. Aside from the faithless elector issue, the power of electoral votes aren't even equal across the country. Voters in some states (both blue and red) have much more power than voters in others.

And as I'm sure we all know, it is the only electoral process we have in which a candidate can receive the most votes (from the actual people being governed) and still lose. It's hard to claim we have much of a republic when the public isn't genuinely sovereign and empowered with equal votes across the board, no matter where anyone happens to live.

I doubt that any serious person would claim that the Founders came up with a perfect system of government right from the start. There were flaws at the outset, and there are still flaws today. The Electoral College is one flaw whose time has long since come. It really needs to go.

 
 
 
1stwarrior
1.4.2  1stwarrior  replied to  Dignitatem Societatis @1.4.1    one month ago

As you know DS, it will REQUIRE a Constitutional Amendment with 2/3's House and 2/3's Senate votes - plus being ratified by 3/4's of the states.

That's a battle I don't think anyone wants to take on.

 
 
 
Dignitatem Societatis
1.4.3  Dignitatem Societatis  replied to  1stwarrior @1.4.2    one month ago
That's a battle I don't think anyone wants to take on.

Well, there is certainly a movement growing against it. Maybe someday.

 
 
 
bugsy
1.4.4  bugsy  replied to  Dignitatem Societatis @1.4.3    one month ago
Well, there is certainly a movement growing against it.

Honestly, I don;t think you can call a relatively small group of TDS afflicted folks a "movement".

I can assure you that if a democrat wins the White House in 2024 (it won;t happen before), winning the EC but losing the popular, the "movement" will mysteriously go away.

 
 
 
SteevieGee
1.4.5  SteevieGee  replied to  1stwarrior @1.4.2    one month ago

Here's somebody who'll take it on.

https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2019/07/20/bernie-sanders-abolish-electoral-college/

That's right.  Bernie!

 
 
 
Dignitatem Societatis
1.4.6  Dignitatem Societatis  replied to  bugsy @1.4.4    one month ago
Honestly, I don;t think you can call a relatively small group of TDS afflicted folks a "movement".

I'm not sure if it could actually succeed, but The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact has been gaining traction since 2006, with 15 states and DC currently on board.

Incidentally, there's been a historical majority against the EC in polling going as far back as 1944 and running all the way to the present, with the minor exception of 2016, when the total in favor of doing away with it temporarily dropped to 49%, but that was still 2 points higher then those who were opposed.

Public support for Electoral College reform

Public opinion surveys suggest that a majority or plurality of Americans support a popular vote for President. Gallup polls dating back to 1944 showed consistent majorities of the public supporting a direct vote. [68] A 2007 Washington Post and Kaiser Family Foundation poll found that 72% favored replacing the Electoral College with a direct election, including 78% of Democrats , 60% of Republicans , and 73% of independent voters . [69]

A November 2016 Gallup poll following the 2016 U.S. presidential election showed that Americans support for amending the U.S. Constitution to replace the Electoral College with a national popular vote fell to 49%, with 47% opposed. Republican support for replacing the Electoral College with a national popular vote dropped significantly, from 54% in 2011 to 19% in 2016, which Gallup attributed to a partisan response to the 2016 result, where the Republican candidate won the Electoral College despite losing the popular vote. [70]

In March 2018, a Pew Research Center poll showed that 55% of Americans supported replacing the Electoral College with a national popular vote, with 41% opposed, but that a partisan divide remained in that support, as 75% of self-identified Democrats supported replacing the Electoral College with a national popular vote, while only 32% of self-identified Republicans did. [71]

 
 
 
bugsy
1.4.7  bugsy  replied to  Dignitatem Societatis @1.4.6    one month ago

I think what has to be seriously taken into account is the states in which these percentages are coming from. More than likely, they are coming from high population states like New York and California, where the popular vote would benefit them the most, but leave the smaller states at the whim of east coast and west coast elites.

The doing away with the EC will never happen. No way the overwhelming majority of states would allow for it.

 
 
 
bugsy
1.4.8  bugsy  replied to  Dignitatem Societatis @1.4.6    one month ago
Republican support for replacing the Electoral College with a national popular vote dropped significantly, from 54% in 2011 to 19% in 2016, which Gallup attributed to a partisan response to the 2016 result, where the Republican candidate won the Electoral College despite losing the popular vote.

If a Democratic nominee wins the presidency in 2024 by winning the popular and losing the EC, you can change the Republicans to Democrats in the stat above, and get the same results.

 
 
 
Sparty On
1.4.9  Sparty On  replied to  1stwarrior @1.4.2    one month ago

That’s because there’s almost a zero chance of it getting amended.    

It’s not broken, no matter how hard a few liberals/progressives scream that it is.

 
 
 
Sparty On
1.4.10  Sparty On  replied to  Dignitatem Societatis @1.4.6    one month ago
In March 2018, a Pew Research Center poll showed that 55% of Americans supported replacing the Electoral College with a national popular vote, 

I’ll submit to you that a significant percentage of that 55% don’t really understand the concept behind the EC and/or have been fed bogus reasons for it via partisan sources.

Admittedly a big percentage are also probably simply pissed that Trump won the presidency via the EC.

The percentage for getting rid of it will drop precipitously without those two factors.

 
 
 
The Magic Eight Ball
1.4.11  The Magic Eight Ball  replied to  bugsy @1.4.4    one month ago
winning the EC but losing the popular, the "movement" will mysteriously go away.

they loved the electoral college right up until nov 2016

I remember when the left said there is no way trump could break the  Big Blue EC Wall

he did, and now they hate the EC

 cracks me up to this day :)

 
 
 
TᵢG
1.4.12  TᵢG  replied to  The Magic Eight Ball @1.4.11    one month ago
they loved the electoral college right up until nov 2016

D party members were not at all pleased with the results of the 2000 election.   There was bipartisan support for revising or removing the electoral college back in the late 1960s.   The debate has been ongoing since ratification and is elevated every time the popular vote did not yield the winning PotUS (first happened in 1824).

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
1.4.13  seeder  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  TᵢG @1.4.12    one month ago

Thanks for bringing in some history to that. 

 
 
 
Old Hermit
1.4.14  Old Hermit  replied to  TᵢG @1.4.12    one month ago
There was bipartisan support for revising or removing the electoral college back in the late 1960s.

In 1969, Democrats and Republicans united to get rid of the electoral college. Here's what happened

It turned out to be a bipartisan effort.

In 1969, Republican President Richard Nixon supported a push in Congress to abolish the electoral college. So too did his rival in the presidential race a year earlier, Democrat Hubert Humphrey. 

The reason both united in support: Former Alabama Gov. George Wallace.

Wallace — who had famously said, “Segregation now, segregation tomorrow and segregation forever” — stoked racial animosity as the candidate of the American Independent Party. He won five Southern states and netted 46 electoral votes.

Even before the 1968 election, there was fear that Wallace would win some electoral votes and possibly cause a tie between Nixon and Humphrey. Under the Constitution, the House of Representatives would then select the president and the Senate the vice president. 

Although there had been previous proposals to abolish or alter the electoral college, Wallace’s strong showing finally gave the cause some momentum. 

“I believe the events of 1968 constitute the clearest proof that priority must be accorded to electoral college reform,” Nixon said in February 1969.
.............

But hope for a change to the electoral college quickly faded. 

Mark Weston, a historian of the electoral college and author of the “The Runner-Up Presidency,” said the amendment was filibustered and finally killed in the Senate by a group of Southern senators concerned that states with large populations would dominate elections. 

“This really was essentially one of the last serious attempts to end the electoral college,” Weston said in a recent interview.

Ahh the 60's.  That mystical time when our elected R's still had a sense of honor and faith in the American people. 

Looking back it would seem that, once again, a small handful of Southerners mucked up things for the rest of America.

( filibustered and finally killed in the Senate by a group of Southern)

 
 
 
The Magic Eight Ball
1.4.15  The Magic Eight Ball  replied to  TᵢG @1.4.12    one month ago
D party members were not at all pleased with the results of the 2000 election. 

I was only talking about 2016

in 2016 the left loved and depended on their big blue wall and once they lost they hated it again.

your history lesson means nothing. the EC is not going away regardless of who cries about it or when they cry about it.

 
 
 
TᵢG
1.4.16  TᵢG  replied to  The Magic Eight Ball @1.4.15    one month ago
I was only talking about 2016

Referring to this by you:

8-ball @ 1.4.11 they loved the electoral college right up until nov 2016

Gotcha.   So the above is not you suggesting the D party loved the electoral college right up until Nov 2016.     jrSmiley_84_smiley_image.gif

your history lesson means nothing. the EC is not going away regardless of who cries about it or when they cry about it.

Well the history I provided is correct.   Some of us think it is good to know things.   Others prefer to bullshit their way through life.

the EC is not going away regardless of who cries about it or when they cry about it.

Indeed:

TiG @ 6.1.6 Getting states to agree is an arduous task.   On something like the electoral college (where smaller states stand to lose influence) getting 3/4 ratification would be quite a feat.
 
 
 
Paula Bartholomew
1.5  Paula Bartholomew  replied to  SteevieGee @1    one month ago

Absolutely.  It is time to return the election to the people, not a select few who were probably bought off.

 
 
 
1stwarrior
1.5.1  1stwarrior  replied to  Paula Bartholomew @1.5    one month ago

Paula - since the U. S. has been the U.S., the "people" have never decided the Presidential election.  It has always been done by the Electoral College.

 
 
 
The Magic Eight Ball
1.5.2  The Magic Eight Ball  replied to  1stwarrior @1.5.1    one month ago

the concept of the "states" voting to elect a president seems hard for some to grasp.

 
 
 
Texan1211
1.5.3  Texan1211  replied to  Paula Bartholomew @1.5    one month ago
Absolutely.  It is time to return the election to the people, not a select few who were probably bought off.

Bought off?

Where did THAT come from?

Weird shit there.

Unrealistic and rather silly.

 
 
 
Paula Bartholomew
1.5.4  Paula Bartholomew  replied to  1stwarrior @1.5.1    one month ago

Okay, I see your point in that the people have never decided which I knew and I probably worded my comment wrong.  My point was.....let the citizens decide, not a select few who becomes POTUS.  It always amuses me the ridiculous amount of money that candidates stump for during elections.  It would just be cheaper to send it directly to the EC.

 
 
 
WallyW
2  WallyW    one month ago

 "The structure of the Constitution, as interpreted by this Court over our 230-year history, prohibits the states from interfering with the exercise of this plainly federal function," said Lawrence Lessig, a Harvard law professor involved in both cases.

I don't think the intent of the Founders and the 12th Amendment allowed for "faithless" electors, so I suspect the SCOTUS will rule to uphold tradition and historic Constitutional precedence

 
 
 
Nerm_L
3  Nerm_L    one month ago

Maybe it's time to outlaw political parties.  The electoral college was established by the Constitution; political parties were not.  And it is becoming more evident that political parties are attempting to undermine the Constitution.

Political parties are private businesses.  Political parties are not a function of government.  Political parties are not required to conduct an election.

Seems to me the problem lies with political parties and not with the Constitution.  

 
 
 
Tacos!
4  Tacos!    one month ago
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.

That argument just defies good sense. If the state has the authority to make a rule, they have the power to enforce it. Otherwise, the ability to make a rule is meaningless.

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.

Being an elector and thus earning the right to vote is a privilege bestowed upon someone on the ground that they abide by certain conditions. If one of those conditions is that the elector vote in accordance with the popular vote and they can’t bring themselves to do that, then they forfeit their privilege.

The state similarly gives me the privilege to drive so long as I follow certain rules. If I break those rules, I lose that privilege - even if I want to drive on a federal highway.

Should it be that way? Did the founders intend for electors to be subject to the popular vote? Maybe not, but I believe they left that possibility open through the broad allocation of authority on this matter to the states.

 
 
 
Texan1211
5  Texan1211    one month ago

I don't remember much about "faithless electors" until the last election, when many Democrats were asking electors to become unfaithful.

If I recall, it backfired on them as Hillary lost some electors.

 
 
 
Donald J. Trump fan 1
5.1  Donald J. Trump fan 1  replied to  Texan1211 @5    one month ago

They got what they deserved. I hope Trump loses California and New York by a combined six million votes and yet wins both the meaningless popular vote and the all important electoral college.  It is time to make the bicoastal urban elites irrelevant to government in America. 

 
 
 
Paula Bartholomew
5.1.1  Paula Bartholomew  replied to  Donald J. Trump fan 1 @5.1    one month ago

Him losing CA is a given.

 
 
 
XDm9mm
5.1.2  XDm9mm  replied to  Paula Bartholomew @5.1.1    one month ago
Him losing CA is a given.

That's a real bit of foresight there I tell you.   Hell, California is so far left, even Sanders might have trouble being too conservative.

 
 
 
bbl-1
6  bbl-1    one month ago

How about this?  The candidate with the most votes wins.

This too.  What is The Electoral College?  And why was it created?

 
 
 
XDm9mm
6.1  XDm9mm  replied to  bbl-1 @6    one month ago
This too.  What is The Electoral College?  And why was it created?

Read all about it in the US Constitution.

 
 
 
bbl-1
6.1.1  bbl-1  replied to  XDm9mm @6.1    one month ago

My questions were not answered.  Electoral College is in The Constitution. 

Do you know why?

 
 
 
TᵢG
6.1.2  TᵢG  replied to  bbl-1 @6.1.1    one month ago

It was created as a compromise to ensure smaller states would ratify the Constitution and as a safeguard given the large level of illiteracy and ignorance among the population in 18th century USA.

Several alternate systems were considered in the Constitutional Convention (including Madison's Virginia Plan which called for electing the PotUS by the legislative branch) but in the end the Electoral College system prevailed.

 
 
 
GregTx
6.1.3  GregTx  replied to  TᵢG @6.1.2    one month ago

Why do you think the Electoral College system prevailed?

 
 
 
TᵢG
6.1.4  TᵢG  replied to  GregTx @6.1.3    one month ago

Because it worked well enough for its intended purpose.   By time we got to the level where the system was showing signs of obsolescence we were past the point where, politically, it would be possible to ratify a Constitutional amendment to change it.

While it probably is possible to change the system via amendment, I would consider it a magnificent feat of diplomacy to do so.

 
 
 
1stwarrior
6.1.5  1stwarrior  replied to  TᵢG @6.1.4    one month ago

But, even back then, two states were opposed.

 
 
 
TᵢG
6.1.6  TᵢG  replied to  1stwarrior @6.1.5    one month ago

Getting states to agree is an arduous task.   On something like the electoral college (where smaller states stand to lose influence) getting 3/4 ratification would be quite a feat.

 
 
 
GregTx
6.1.7  GregTx  replied to  TᵢG @6.1.4    one month ago

Yeah, I doubt it would ever happen without one party dominance at the fed and state level......I doubt diplomacy will have much to do with it. Obsolescence? I don't agree with that.

 
 
 
TᵢG
6.1.8  TᵢG  replied to  GregTx @6.1.7    one month ago

The electoral system does not need human electors.   That is an obsolete element.    see TiG @9 and @9.1.1 where I detail my position.

It would take a great deal of diplomacy to get states to agree.   I am not talking about international diplomacy but rather interstate diplomacy.

 
 
 
GregTx
6.1.9  GregTx  replied to  TᵢG @6.1.8    one month ago

Yes, I understood what you meant by diplomacy.

 
 
 
TᵢG
6.1.10  TᵢG  replied to  GregTx @6.1.9    one month ago

What is your opinion on human electors?   Do we really need human beings to ceremonially vote according to the wishes of the people?   The human beings could be replaced by a simple vote tally.

 
 
 
GregTx
6.1.11  GregTx  replied to  TᵢG @6.1.10    one month ago

No, I don't see any reason they need be human as long as the duty of the elector is carried out and the votes are represented.

 
 
 
TᵢG
6.1.12  TᵢG  replied to  GregTx @6.1.11    one month ago

Yup, I see no reason for human electors either.

 
 
 
bbl-1
6.1.13  bbl-1  replied to  TᵢG @6.1.2    one month ago

Yes.  Smaller states which were agrarian, less industrial that were also slave states.  Slavery was the bulwark of the economic underpinnings of The Antebellum South.  This had to be protected or some of these states would not have joined the 'new nation'.

 
 
 
Mark in Wyoming
8  Mark in Wyoming    one month ago

All the talk of abolishing the electoral college is moot anyway, to do so would require a constitutional amendment to pass the ratification process to change the constitution, simple question , can anyone think of 13 states that would REFUSE to ratify a proposed amendment to abolish the same? And I could tell you whom they would most likely be , those states that have the least number of delegates to the college itself.

Another approach I have thought of would also require a constitutional amendment , since all but 2 states use the winner take all method , reduce the number of electors to one per state , 50 states , 50 electors , of course factoring in the territories that also vote the count would be slightly higher, again chances of such an amendment passing is about as good as the abolition of the EC ,nill.

Now the one idea I have that is in the hands of the states legislatures is to do away with the winner take all concept  and adopt designs such as like nebraskas and maines where the awarding of delegates is determined by the actual votes in the states , which to my way of thinking actually makes each persons vote more valuable and not disregarded because they may have voted in the minority within a state which under the present system they just get disregarded and thrown away.

Under a proportioned system within the states borders , more votes are actually counted fairly as they had been cast making each and every vote within the state count .

 
 
 
TᵢG
9  TᵢG    one month ago

We should do away with electors and simply have their votes be determined by the congressional districts they represent.   State elector votes would be based on proportion of statewide popular vote.   That way the people decide with no higher ‘official’ serving as a buffer.

One might argue to do away with the electoral college altogether but that is far more complex and less likely than simply doing away with the obsolete and entirely pointless human electors.

 
 
 
1stwarrior
9.1  1stwarrior  replied to  TᵢG @9    one month ago

That will require a HUGE Constitutional Amendment.

As it stands now, nowhere in the Constitution does it say/state that the President/Vice President can be/will be elected by the "People".  Every mention of the election process regarding the two offices is based on the results of the Elector's votes - not the people's vote.

In the U.S. presidential election system, instead of the nationwide popular vote determining the outcome of the election, the  president of the United States  is determined by votes cast by electors of the  Electoral College . Alternatively, if no candidate receives an  absolute majority  of electoral votes, the election is determined by the  House of Representatives . These procedures are governed by the  Twelfth Amendment to the United States Constitution .

When individuals cast ballots in the general election, they are choosing electors and telling them which candidate they think the elector should vote for in the Electoral College. The "national popular vote" is the sum of all the votes cast in the general election, nationwide. The presidential elections of  1876 1888 2000 , and  2016  produced an Electoral College winner who did not receive the most votes in the general election.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_presidential_elections_in_which_the_winner_lost_the_popular_vote

So, to make the "People's" vote the choosing vote for President/Vice President, a Constitutional Amendment would be required for each of the statements explaining the electoral process and how the changes would be made.

 
 
 
TᵢG
9.1.1  TᵢG  replied to  1stwarrior @9.1    one month ago
As it stands now, nowhere in the Constitution does it say/state that the President/Vice President can be/will be elected by the "People".  Every mention of the election process regarding the two offices is based on the results of the Elector's votes - not the people's vote.

That is correct.   That is why I have suggested to simply do away with the human electors.   In effect, this is equivalent to all electors being faithful.   In reality, only on the rarest of exceptions have we found faithless electors.   And that is good, because a faithless elector is changing the wishes of the people s/he represents.

So my suggestion was simple:  do not use human electors.   Instead of a human elector voting according to how the people voted we can have a virtual elector do the same thing.

In other words, the human electors are an obsolete buffer.   No reason to have that extra layer ... just go by how the people voted in each congressional district and at the state level.

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
9.1.2  seeder  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  TᵢG @9.1.1    one month ago

I have to agree with Tig. The easiest way to handle this is to require all of the college members to be faithful and probably the best way to do that is to not have humans doing this. But even if that was not possible, at least it should be required by the whole college to vote the way they were supposed to vote and represent the people. 

I would like to add, that I am for proportion electoral colleges, too like Maine and Nebraska have. I think that is the fairest way to do this without any major changes to the Constitution. 

 
 
 
Mark in Wyoming
9.1.3  Mark in Wyoming  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @9.1.2    one month ago
I would like to add, that I am for proportion electoral colleges, too like Maine and Nebraska have. I think that is the fairest way to do this without any major changes to the Constitution.

That's about the only way it can be changed without amending the constitution since it is left to the states how those votes are distributed, the problem is the parties have a lock on legislatures that can change that, and like the old axim , once a power is granted ,it is seldom given up freely, and right now with winner take all parties , not the people have a lock on the delegate power. 

And its pretty much in line with what I said up above as a means that would not require a constitutional amendment to change things that would represent more people that vote.

 
 
 
1stwarrior
9.1.4  1stwarrior  replied to  Mark in Wyoming @9.1.3    one month ago

And, depending on the political party in power at the state level, just "what direction" the selection of the EC would be.

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
9.1.5  seeder  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  Mark in Wyoming @9.1.3    one month ago
And its pretty much in line with what I said up above as a means that would not require a constitutional amendment to change things that would represent more people that vote.

Well Mark, we rarely disagree :)

 
 
 
Mark in Wyoming
9.1.6  Mark in Wyoming  replied to  1stwarrior @9.1.4    one month ago

And that goes back to what I said above about once a power is granted it is seldom given up freely.

Facing the truth , the EC is here to stay , I seriously doubt it will ever go to popular vote for a president or vice president , not when people in less populated areas consider that their entire states votes are negated by some county or even just a city in another state because of population density.

 Now how the Ec is used to make sure it IS actually fair and that every legal vote cast actually counts would mean that winner take all would have to go by the wayside , in states like Wy that only has 3 ec votes ( also has less population density) it wont change anything really without the EC those votes are negated by most counties in the nation and in some cases by single cities. under a proportioned system , how the state would decide to divide those 3 votes would be interesting , it WOULD make it more competitive in my opinion.

adopting TiG s idea would really make an impact on the high delegate count states that are winner take all red and or blue states would find out with out throwing out all those votes that didn't vote for the popular vote winner would actually find themselves very purple , all winner takes all says to me is unless you vote the same way as the popular vote turns out, your vote is basically tossed in the trash heap even if the candidate you voted for got 49% of the vote.

way I see it using how the popular vote is cast in the separate congressional districts to determine how that electoral college vote will be cast can address a number of different issues.

The biggest thing is no votes will be disregarded  simply because it was not cast for the popular vote total winner , that's a big reason some people don't vote , think it will never count.because the high population density areas outnumber them.

 As I said above , using a proportioned system to award EC votes only accounts for 435 congressional districts or votes , that leaves 100 reserved for the representatives each state gets for senators., how those can be proportioned could get interesting , since each state has 2  of that 100 , 1 could go to the winner of the overall winner of the popular vote within the state, or both of them could , ! could be held in reserve for the state legislature or the governor , either way getting those 2 votes could make it very competitive  for the candidates and would end up meaning there would be no such thing as "FLY OVER" territory to get to the more populated areas, where candidates most likely already have a lock dependant on party.

I have more thoughts , but have already made this long enough and think I have put out some of the key elements of my thoughts in favor of what I have posited, In conclusion I think there is definitely a better way to make sure every vote is counted in the way it was cast by the voter using the EC other than using a winner take all system. without having to try and change the constitution with an amendment that has a snowballs chance in hell of being ratified..

 
 
 
TᵢG
9.1.7  TᵢG  replied to  Mark in Wyoming @9.1.6    one month ago

The states have the right to decide if they are winner-take-all or not.   I would much prefer that all states be proportional but ratifying that would probably be impossible.  I think it would be possible to ratify the elimination of human electors.   In effect, that removes the pointless use of human beings and the obsolete buffer against an ill-informed electorate.   It also makes faithless electors impossible.

Simply to do:  the virtual elector for each district 'votes' per the tally of votes in the district and those for the state per the state popular tally; a trivial computation.

 
 
 
Mark in Wyoming
9.1.8  Mark in Wyoming  replied to  TᵢG @9.1.7    one month ago
The states have the right to decide if they are winner-take-all or not.

Yes , and that choice rests with the legislature, who are controlled by the voters themselves , the real issue is what do the individual parties think and where do they stand on the issue , which ever party has the most voters will control how the issue is handled in the legislature. about the only other way to get it through on a state level is to have it as a ballot initiative that would force the legislature , sans party affiliation to act.

goes back to what I said about once a power is granted it is seldom , or in this case ever , given up freely.

 
 
 
bbl-1
9.2  bbl-1  replied to  TᵢG @9    one month ago

So, the candidate with the most votes winning the election is to complex?  Really?  Why?

 
 
 
TᵢG
9.2.1  TᵢG  replied to  bbl-1 @9.2    one month ago
So, the candidate with the most votes winning the election is to complex?  Really?  Why?

Doing away with the current process (via constitutional amendment) is what is complex:

TiG @9One might argue to do away with the electoral college altogether but that is far more complex and less likely than simply doing away with the obsolete and entirely pointless human electors.
 
 
 
bbl-1
9.2.2  bbl-1  replied to  TᵢG @9.2.1    one month ago

True.  Ending legalized slavery was also complex.  But it was done at great cost and the following question to be asked is, "Was it worth it?"

 
 
 
1stwarrior
9.2.3  1stwarrior  replied to  bbl-1 @9.2.2    one month ago

Yeah, and taking the Native American's lands, culture, heritage, religion and way of life was kinda complex too, and it cost the government "some" and the Tribes/Nations a lot more than some, ya think? 

Was it worth it?

 
 
 
TᵢG
9.2.4  TᵢG  replied to  bbl-1 @9.2.2    one month ago

Of course it was worth it to eliminate slavery.

Do you think it is possible nowadays to ratify an amendment that eliminates the EC?

 
 
 
bbl-1
9.2.5  bbl-1  replied to  1stwarrior @9.2.3    one month ago

That is whole other subject.  And yeah, for some it was more than worth it.  It was the breeding ground for America's new super wealthy class.  Which endures.

 
 
 
bbl-1
9.2.6  bbl-1  replied to  TᵢG @9.2.4    one month ago

Why not?  Every election is determined by the candidate that receives the most votes.  Slavery was ended long ago.  The slave states no longer need the 'collective voice and protections' the EC provided.

 
 
 
TᵢG
9.2.7  TᵢG  replied to  bbl-1 @9.2.6    one month ago
Why not? 

You do not think the smaller states would balk at losing their influence?    What benefit would you propose to them to convince them to agree to the change?

 
 
 
bbl-1
9.2.8  bbl-1  replied to  TᵢG @9.2.7    one month ago

Balk at losing their influence?  Their influence is sufficient.  After all, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming have six senators---the Borough of Queens New York exceeds their populations and has to share two senators with the rest of New York.  I would say their influence is more than sufficient.

Benefit?  The candidate with the most votes wins.  That is the benefit. 

 
 
 
TᵢG
9.2.9  TᵢG  replied to  bbl-1 @9.2.8    one month ago
I would say their influence is more than sufficient.

Trouble is, convincing you does not address the problem.   One needs to convince them.    I suspect telling them that their resulting influence would be sufficient and that the benefit is a national popular vote would not be very persuasive.

 
 
 
bbl-1
9.2.10  bbl-1  replied to  TᵢG @9.2.9    one month ago

They are easy to convince.  They bought 'the stable genius' line, right?  PT Barnum was correct. 

 
 
 
Mark in Wyoming
9.2.11  Mark in Wyoming  replied to  bbl-1 @9.2.10    one month ago

They are easy to convince

Well I live and vote in Wyoming , I have the absolute minimum allowed EC votes of 3 when it comes to electing a President , and you definitely have not convinced me that I have sufficient influence under a popular vote system for president when as another member posted , that he can drive for 10 mins from where he lives towards  down town Chicago and pass through areas with more people .

Now can you think of 12 other states where people wont think the same as I just described? because all it takes to defeat a proposed amendment is 13 states to refuse to ratify it.

The founders were pretty smart to realize that the office of the President is the only office that is suppose to represent the whole of the people, and that a mechanism was needed to insure that the office was not elected and dictated by simply the high population density areas of the country.

 
 
 
Sparty On
9.2.12  Sparty On  replied to  Mark in Wyoming @9.2.11    one month ago
Well I live and vote in Wyoming

Hey, do you know Longmire?   I hear he's a great Sheriff!

jrSmiley_18_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
10  Vic Eldred    one month ago

"The American people choose the president while electors are mere agents who cast their Electoral College ballots according to the will of their constituents, not the reverse. The court of appeals decision upsets over two centuries of practice covering all previous presidential elections," Colorado said.

In other words electors will decide who will be president, not the people! All because the progressives fear Trump will win again. 

 
 
 
bbl-1
10.1  bbl-1  replied to  Vic Eldred @10    one month ago

Applaud you admitting that the voters have neither the right or the intellect to choose their president.

 
 
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