New York State may once again become in play in presidential elections after Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill that would join New York into a compact with other states to select the president by popular vote instead of the Electoral College, a bill that quietly passed the state Senate and Assembly last month. NY1’s Zack Fink filed the following report.
With overwhelming bipartisan support in the state Senate and Assembly last month, New York State voted to join the growing national popular vote movement.
“Right now, for every election that we have in this entire country, the person with the most votes wins, except for president, the most important position,” said Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz of the Bronx.
Yes, Assemblyman Dinowitz, and that is because the Presidential election IS the most important, and this method prevents heavily populated states from having all of the say (instead of just a proportionate plurality). If you disapprove of that, you can always try taking your objections to the Senate. On second thought, better try the House!
The whole American system seems bizarre (from a Canadian standpoint). To me it seems odd that the states decide how the electors are selected. Some states, if you win the state, you get all the electors. In others, you can get some of the electors, not all. And is it true that even if you won a state and all its electors, an elector may in theory vote for someone else?
NOTE: This is NOT a criticism, so put away your flamethrowers. Our electoral processes are just so different, s’all I’m sayin’. I’m sure our first-past-the-post, majority/minority government, system seems equally alien to my American brothers and sisters (and don’t get me started on the “Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod”!).
Help this Canadian to understand how the electoral college works. Right now think of all the Republicans who live in NY and California who don’t bother to vote because they KNOW it won’t matter. By getting rid of the Electoral College permanently across all 50 states then it encourages everyone to vote because then it won’t matter if your state is blue or red. Considering that participation rates are only 50-60% over the past 34 years, it could really change how election campaigns are done.
Definitely. It would change the campaigning strategies of the respective nominees of each party. In recent elections almost the entire campaigns have focused on so-called swing states. Ohio and Florida et al typically get out their ground forces to get everyone to vote in their respective states. Money is usually concentrated there.
On the downside, in close elections the recount procedures would be extremely expensive. It was enough in the 2000 elections just to have one county recount its votes.
George Soros is helping to fund the National Popular Vote Compact. Why?
I have seen it noted that every state that has joined the National Popular Vote Compact went for Barack Obama in 2012 and also that 11 - 14 states, which have the highest populations would end up deciding elections, isn’t that a similar problem to what is happening with the Electoral College and Battleground states, that about 10 or so states end up deciding the election. You would like to think that in a National Popular vote every person’s vote would be sought for, but why would a presidential candidate spend lots of time in rural areas and spend time and money there, when he or she could focus on highly populated areas like a large city, when there is limited time and resources?
There are two alternatives to the National Popular Vote and the Electoral College, and that is proportional voting or congressional district.
Nebraska and Maine already have voting given by congressional district in presidential elections and the congressional disctrict already exists in presidential primaries.
Romney won 55 counties in Pennsylvania in 2012, but because the 12 countries Barack Obama won were more populous, he won the electoral votes in that state. Many will say that is politically fair, Barack Obama won more votes, and that is true, but under the congressional district method, Romney would have won Pennsylvania, because he won more congressional districts.
But to make congressional district method fair across all states in presidential elections, you would have to end redistricting.
Despite Obama overwhelmingly defeating Romney in 2012 in the electoral college and popular vote, Romney would have won via a congressional district method because of how ridiculous the districts are gerrymandered towards Republicans. Personally, I’d be in favor of a percentage. So if there are 13 House seats and 2 Senate seats, the winner of the state gets the 2 Senate electoral votes and the 13 House seats are divided by percentage win of the state. So if you won 51% - 49% in this state, you’d get 9-6. This would lead people to campaign in every state, as you would want to run up numbers as high as possible. And every vote would actually matter.
Also, the fact that Soros is funding the project isn’t because it favors Democrats. In fact, the Electoral College is heavily biased towards Democrats right now; it’s virtually impossible for a Republican to win the White House at the moment. They have to pretty much sweep Colorado, Virginia, Florida, Ohio, New Hampshire, and Iowa. Democrats just tend to favor fairer election laws.
I would think it would be the other way around. Gore would have won the White House in 2000 with the popular vote, and with several hundred votes in the right place Romney would have won in 2012, despite having soundly been defeated in the popular vote. As far as the House goes, the 2010 census allowed many states to redistrict and as the Republicans basically controlled the vast majority of governor positions and state legislatures in 2010, they were able to control the gerrymandering of those districts for many years to come. As it turned out even though the Democrats managed to pull in over a million more House votes last election, the House still remained in Republican control and will be so for many years.
Personally, I think if you want the right balance of power, you would leave the current system of different representation of the House, Senate, and Presidency alone.
No, the Electoral College gives less populated states an exaggerated say on who becomes president.
By population, the most populated state, California, has 76x the population of the least populated state, Wyoming. In the Electoral College, however, CA has only 18x the voting power of WY.
When you look at a red state-blue state map, it’s easy to forget that those huge swaths of red are largely empty, and many of those states are really just a single decent sized city spread out over an enormous area.
Of course, what discussions like these really show is that, despite all the talk of silent majorities, moral majorities, voter fraud and the like, conservatives know the truth deep down: the numbers aren’t there: one man - one vote, or even proportional voting = GOP losses.