Get Rid of the Electoral College

It's time to re-think the our election process.

According to Michael Medved contributor to Newsweek The Daily Beast; "No candidate without major party backing can be president if we don’t get rid of the Electoral College."

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What is the Electoral College?

27 states have Legal Requirements or Pledges
Electors in these States are bound by State Law or by pledges to cast their vote for a specific candidate:

24 states have No Legal Requirement
Electors in these States are not bound by State Law to cast their vote for a specific candidate:

For more information on the Electoral College and the election responsibilities of the States and the Archivist of the United States, contact the Office of the Federal Register:

Telephone: 202-741-6030

E-Mail: electoral_College@nara.gov


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    St. Swithin October 19, 2012 at 04:54 PM
    The Electoral College was created when you had to ride a horse to Philadelphia to announce the election results from your state. I read somewhere that because of the strange rules of the EC it is possible to win the election with just 32% of the popular vote. It's definitely time to revise this system.
    J. B. Schmidt October 19, 2012 at 04:56 PM
    The biggest problem I see with removing the electoral college or changing the rules is that you could have a Presidential winner that receives less then 40% of the vote and create more chaos then currently exists. While it might inhibit the creation of a third party, who is to say that it would stop the head butting in Congress. Honestly, the less congress does, the better. The solution to fixing the log jam is a more informed voter base.
    J. B. Schmidt October 19, 2012 at 05:02 PM
    @St. Since the first president only 10 have won with less then 50% and of those, only 5 with less then 45%. The first time it happened was in 1824 when John Quincy Adams won with 30.9% of the popular vote. I would not call that the will the of the people. Eliminating the EC would only increase the chances of this happening. The more candidates, the more the votes get spread around. If we feel it is a problem, then work to change the parties we have, not re-invent the wheel.
    Randy1949 October 19, 2012 at 05:14 PM
    The very idea that an elector has no legal requirement to vote for the candidate selected by the people of his state enrages me. That said, this year, like back in 2000, it looks like we may have an electoral winner who loses the popular vote. If that happens, look to see some GOP support for doing away with the electoral college.
    Michael McClusky October 19, 2012 at 05:25 PM
    Just a footnote: I recently read a complaint that concerned the rule that states that the minimal amount of electoral votes to be awarded to a state is 3. Take Montana for instance- no one lives there. Well, the complaint stated that the rule gives an unfair advantage to Republicans. How this can be- let me know, I am all ears!
    Steve ® October 19, 2012 at 05:26 PM
    This comes up every 4 years.... never has real legs
    Randy1949 October 19, 2012 at 05:43 PM
    I've been to Montana, and there are people living there. Maybe not enough to earn them three electoral votes as their true percentage of the US population, but there are people. Most, not all, are Republicans. I guess it would be frustrating if a President were to win by one electoral vote and that was Montana's. It's the winner take all factor of the electoral college -- you can win a state by a close margin or a landslide and still get the same number of electoral votes.
    Michael McClusky October 19, 2012 at 05:58 PM
    @Randy 1949 I am aware that people live in Montana. My point is that I don't believe the rule concerning 3 electoral votes was meant to favor anyone. My problem with the electoral college is this: suppose you are a Republican living in Illinois. Well, you go and vote while knowing full well that Illinois'electoral votes will be going to the Democratic candidate. Does your vote really count then?
    Craig October 19, 2012 at 06:08 PM
    We have bigger fish to fry than this issue. If and when it becomes a current event problem it may get addressed. Current events like voter ID and illegal immigrants voting is more important at this time. Issues like BS campaign commercials willfully manipulating the voter are more important. Putting the elctoral college issue on the front burner is like a dollar waiting on a dime.
    Lyle Ruble October 19, 2012 at 06:25 PM
    The Electoral College is an institution that is archaic and doesn't reflect the current state of political process. It was originally devised to protect against the "will of the masses" and to assure the installment of a member of the selected elite. It is time to do away with the institution and go to elections by popular vote. By doing so, it means that each voter has a vote independent of the state's majority.
    Randy1949 October 19, 2012 at 06:34 PM
    @Michael McCluskey -- I agree with you. The rule was created to give very low-population states a voice, and it's only coincidental that most of these states skew GOP at the moment. As for my vote 'counting', I have often voted one way with the state going to the other candidate -- as in 1988 when I voted for George Bush Sr. and Wisconsin went for Dukakis. LOL
    Craig October 19, 2012 at 06:45 PM
    On a scale of 1-10, how important is the need to change the electoral college before fixing all the other issues we are facing? I would give the EC a -3 The economy a -10 Debt -10 spending- 10 Voter ID- 9 I agree it is archaic, but I think we should focus on what is most important.
    James R Hoffa October 19, 2012 at 07:12 PM
    Interesting issue - not really sure what the right answer is here.
    St. Swithin October 19, 2012 at 08:27 PM
    @J.B I think you are referring to elections with 3 or more candidates. I was referring to the fact that in a two-party race the winner may only have 32% of the popular vote. This is due to two EC rules - every state gets at least 3 votes and many states have winner-take-all rules. I have no problem with a candidate winning with less than 50% if his opponents all received less that the winner. That happens all the time in other countries. There are ways to solve this, such as asking voters to also pick a #2 choice. Then you don't even need a run-off election.
    Craig October 19, 2012 at 08:45 PM
    St.: On the surface it sounds good. So if 34% vote for the "R" and 34% vote for the "D" and 32% vote for the "I" as their first choice.... But 68% picked "I" as the second choice... who wins?
    J. B. Schmidt October 19, 2012 at 08:59 PM
    @St. Isn't three parties what Medved is looking for? So you are fine with a final of 33%, 33% and 34%; making 34% the winner. Please explain how that ends gridlock? The winner would barely have 1/3 of the country on his side.
    St. Swithin October 19, 2012 at 09:32 PM
    @Craig - a good question. It would depend on the rules, of course. Of the cuff, I could see two solutions - First, you just consider the two that tied. So you would just add the 2nd place votes for the D and the R and ignore the I. So in effect the 2nd choice of the I's would determine the outcome. Alternately, you could give a weight to your ranking. So 1st choice might get 2 points, 2nd choice - 1 point. This might give the I the win. @J.B. - The presidential election does not cause gridlock - that is Congress's problem. And remember that the EC could also produce a president with 34% of the vote. I often prefer gridlock. I wish Congress had been slower to act on many things, such as the Patriot Act, the Iraq war, etc. An urgent matter will require a coalition, like in most parliamentary countries. I am not say any of this is perfect, mind you. I just think we can do better than the current system.
    J. B. Schmidt October 19, 2012 at 10:31 PM
    @St. I agree on gridlock, the less done the better. However, this appears to be a case of the grass always being greener on the other side. I can't think of an election system in existence that doesn't create its own set of problems. I would argue the solution doesn't exist in the restructuring of the election process but rather a better educated electorate.
    AWD October 19, 2012 at 11:03 PM
    All one has to do is remember back to the protests in Madison. The electoral college was created to prevent a 'mobocracy'. The Founding Fathers' fear was that democracy unhindered by checks could get out of control. I once again side with the Founding Fathers. The last thing America needs are hoards of unhinged radical Progressives running things.
    Denise Konkol (Editor) October 20, 2012 at 01:23 AM
    I'm with AWD. Technically presidents are elected by individual states' elections, and there wasn't always a single election night. State's rights were behind the idea, giving each state it's own ability to decide on their vote for a president. You get rid of the college, I doubt you will ever see politicians campaign beyond Milwaukee, if that. If we were to change anything, I'd wonder what would happen if each state were assigned the same number of electoral votes.
    Lyle Ruble October 20, 2012 at 01:45 AM
    @Denise Konkol.....I don't follow your logic concerning that politicians wouldn't campaign beyond Milwaukee. Could you please elaborate?
    Lyle Ruble October 20, 2012 at 02:32 AM
    @AWD....You seem obsessed with mobs and anarchy. Many times in the past you have written of your fears of the rabble crossing the Milwaukee River coming into your village and murdering, pillaging and raping. So concerned about this you decided to arm yourself and conceal carry. The needs of 240 years ago are much different than the needs of today. In the first place we now have a literate society and people are better informed now than at any time in the past. My suggestion to you is adapt or go extinct.
    Patriot October 20, 2012 at 02:07 PM
    @AWD-I second that!! Lyle says not true. Hmmmm lets just take a look at some of the far left progessive liberals actions during occupy, during the Walker recall, ect ect. Maybe Lyle you need to purchase the Brietbart film occupy unmasked and see some of the radical lefties!! When Barack Obama is DEFEATED on NOV 6th lets just see if what you say Lyle holds true. I have a gut wrenching feeling that we are going to see mass chaos and riots breaking out Greece style within our own borders!! There are many people living on the system today compared to 4 years ago. Many of those people honestly needing help but a very large majority sucking off the Government Tit!! Mass chaos and riots which will give Obama the authority to invoke Marshall Law thus canceling out the election and preventing Pres Romney from taking office!!! Hmmmmmmmmmmmm
    Tom Schultz October 20, 2012 at 04:38 PM
    Mormons believe that the US constitution was written under divine guidance, so don't mess with it, Binkie.
    Eric October 21, 2012 at 01:36 AM
    If you really disagree with the EC and want to get rid of it, then while you're at it eliminate the US Senate and go uni-cameral.
    Adam Erickson October 21, 2012 at 03:25 AM
    Politicians would only campaign in larger cities, ie Chicago, L.A., New York, etc.... The larger cities favor democrats. So, if you're really willing to give every senate, house, and presidential seats to democrats, then get rid of the electoral college. If there was a serious 3rd party candidate running, there wouldn't be an issue.
    Michael McClusky October 24, 2012 at 11:41 AM
    @Kenneth Did you watch the independent candidates' debate on C-Span last night? What these candidates need is more air time so that the American people atleast know who they are.
    Michael McClusky October 24, 2012 at 12:17 PM
    @Kenneth Their ideas need to be better circulated so that the Republicans and Democrats would have to answer them. This would open up a whole new ballgame.


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