Are We Going To Do Away with The Electoral College?

If the United States was a real democracy, Hillary Clinton would be president-elect right now.

So far she has nearly 2 million more votes than Donald Trump, and when all the votes are counted it's expected she'll have won by well over 2 million.

Similarly, Al Gore got a half-million more votes than George W. Bush in 2000.

This is an outcome that was fine by the Framers of the constitution, who didn't totally trust "We The People" - particularly when it came to selecting senators or a president.

Many of them represented slaveholding states that, while large and populous, had a relatively small population of white men - the only people who could vote at that time.

Those slaveholders, though, like Jefferson and Madison, wanted to make sure that their slave states had a large influence on the fate and future of the republic, which is why they wrote into the constitution that 3/5ths of the slaves in each slave state would be counted for purposes of determining the number of members of Congress from each state, and, in part, why they put in the Electoral College, which grants votes to states based on the total number of their US Senators and members of the House of Representatives.

Because smaller states and slave states had two senators just like more populous non-slave states like New York and Massachusetts, they had a disproportionate influence in determining who runs the country, from the Senate to the White House.

At the end of the day, it was all about keeping slavery intact.

Slavery, at least explicit slavery, is over in the United States outside of prison walls, but the Electoral College is still with us.

Is it time to end it?

Comments

cccccttttt 1 year 33 weeks ago
#1

Informative history of the electoral college.

Believe it will take a constitutional amendment

to change it.

Would not the repubs fight this?

They know they are a minority party and will cling

to every such trick in our archaic form of democracy.

How could it be presented so they would go for it?

ct

Diveswim48's picture
Diveswim48 1 year 33 weeks ago
#2

Yes, it's time for the electoral college to end. In spite of that--and in spite of being a strong supported first of Bernie then of Hillary--I have not signed any petitions asking the college to vote for the winner of the nationwide popular vote. I am quite sure that, if that were to happen, Hillary Clinton would find the country ungovernable. If she were elected fairly under the roles existing at the time of voting, she would have had a hard time. If she wins it this way--OMG! the reaction could be more chaos and violence than we can tolerate. I lived through the late 60's and know how violent it got and how close we got to violent revolution. We may be headed that way anyhow, but a shift in college votes now would go off like a bomb. But, yes, of course, use of the electoral college has become a highly destructive procedure, and it needs to end.

Ou812's picture
Ou812 1 year 33 weeks ago
#3

A foolish question. If you are Democrat, It's time to end the electoral college. If you are a Republican, no it's not. Either way, It's not going to end any time soon. Changing the electoral college system requires a Constitutional Amendment to be passed.

Everyone knew going in to the election, that Presidents are elected by the electorial college. The electoral college vote is even close. As of today Trump has 292 electorial votes, Clinton has 232. Michigan, with 16 electorial votes will finish counting by the end of the month. With 96% of the votes counted, Trump leads Clinton by about 12,000 votes. The final electorial vote tally will probably be Trump 308, Clinton 232. In the unlikely event Clinton wins Michigan, the final tally will be Trump 292, Clinton 248. Still not close.

I don't believe writing race baiting articles saying slavery is the reason the electorical college exists helps anyone. At the time the constitution was written, Virginia was the most populous state. James Madison, who was from Virginia, is considered the father of the constitution. Virginai slave owner Jefferson won the popular vote in the second presidential election, but lost the Electorial vote to John Adams of Massachesetts (a non slave state). You should be ashamed of yourself Thom Hartmann

Diveswim48's picture
Diveswim48 1 year 33 weeks ago
#4

History of the formation of the electoral college is what Thom wrote. There is no need to ashamed of reporting it.

ellyn leigh's picture
ellyn leigh 1 year 33 weeks ago
#5

God, yes.

dtodd560's picture
dtodd560 1 year 33 weeks ago
#6

The problem with your argument, is that the election race was waged knowing the electoral college would decide the election. Also, in a popular vote, candidates would campaign only in the most populous areas, ignoring the less populous midsection of the country, leaving voters there feeling disenfranchised. Not a good way of uniting an already fractious country. Some traditions are a good thing.

Hephaestus's picture
Hephaestus 1 year 33 weeks ago
#7

Ou812 - Not too sure I understand the race connotation with regard to slavery! It is not necessarily always a black and white matter. Pun intended!

Ou812's picture
Ou812 1 year 33 weeks ago
#8

Hephaestus. :):)

TomDorr's picture
TomDorr 1 year 33 weeks ago
#9

The electoral college prevents candidates from campaigning solely in the cities and ignoring the rest of the country.

It also discourages the voter fraud that would influence a presidential election if there were a popular vote.

This has nothing to do wth race, at present.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 1 year 33 weeks ago
#10

We need to do away with swing state election fraud before we do anything!

Crooked Donny has admitted to "de facto" guilt in both his university fraud and charity fraud cases. Lock him up, lock him up, lock him up! ...c'mon Skeeter! lmao

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 1 year 33 weeks ago
#11

Does anybody recall what Comey did? I didn't think so!

DHBranski's picture
DHBranski 1 year 33 weeks ago
#12

I'm pretty sure that with each election, the party that lost has called for doing away with the Electoral College system. Of course it no longer serves a legitimate purpose, and we've known this for decades.

DHBranski's picture
DHBranski 1 year 33 weeks ago
#13

Establishing the electoral college system was not about slavery.

http://uselectionatlas.org/INFORMATION/INFORMATION/electcollege_history.php

DHBranski's picture
DHBranski 1 year 33 weeks ago
#14

It's important to keep in mind that unlike the 1960s, those who are not on the right wing today are deeply divided by class and race. We're 20 years into our war on the poor, brought to fruition by the Clinton wing. The majority of US poor are white. Even though we don't talk about this issue, it certainly has an impact.

stabilizer's picture
stabilizer 1 year 33 weeks ago
#15

It appears that Russia may have tampered with the vote count in many states. We need to raise holy H about this. I met people in Florida who laundered money for the mob. They ran legitimate restaurants that were PACKED all the time becasue they sold fabulous food very cheap. They were losing money but all revenue became "clean". About once every 5 years the restaurant would fail, and re-open with another brother or cousin running it. The kids (between 20 and 30) who ran it were all cousins, the "millenials" of Miami based Mafia families. Their income was a %, a fee for running the place, which they didn't own or fund. What they did was legal, anyone is allowed to borrow money from an uncle to open a restaurant, then run below cost and constantly borrow money for operations, then go belly up after 5 years. They told me that if they did a good job running the laundry, which was intended to lose money anyway, they would be funded in a legitimate business, from which 50% went back to the family. It sure looks like Trump is laundering money for the Russsian mafia, as most of his ventures go bankrupt and usually he doesn't own anything, he just licenses his name.

stabilizer's picture
stabilizer 1 year 33 weeks ago
#16

Slavery may have ended legally, but it hasn't ended in the minds of many Southerners. I've lived mostly in the south the last 35 years, and MANY people feel superior to blacks, well not just blacks, anyone darker than them, anyone who has an accent, and women.

In pursuing WHY, I found it starts in school. Southern history books don't mention the two main reasons the South seceded:

1. to protect slavery - it's in the first 3 sentences of EVERY articles of secession.

2. to oppose State's Rights - the South was LIVID when the SCOTUS refused to upold Federal slave laws over State laws that said any slave making it across the border was free. It's noteworthy that in the Confederacy, Federal Laws SPECIFICALLY overruled ANY individual state - they were never going to allow any state to free slaves.

In fact, most Southerners falsely believe that slavery wasn't the main issue, and actually argue the OPPOSITE on State's Rights, they are told the south was PRO-State's Rights, when the exact opposite is true.

I agree the EC should be eliminated, but the far larger problem is the brainwashing of America. If Americans were all high knowledge, the EC wouldn't matter.

Let's start addressing the disease instead of treating the symptoms.

stabilizer's picture
stabilizer 1 year 33 weeks ago
#17

It now appears that Russia may have hacked vote counts in every state where Donald Trump won by 1%. How do we demand this be investigated properly? Never forget that if Gore had demanded an investigation, we would still have the WTC, we'd have single payer, and incomes would probably be doubled by now. It is also sad that it seems Gore thought he cheated more than Cheney, but I'm results oriented, and pragmatic, I'm sure they ALL cheat.

stabilizer's picture
stabilizer 1 year 33 weeks ago
#18

Excellent comment, spot on.

bobcix's picture
bobcix 1 year 33 weeks ago
#19

The intent of the Electoral College was to provide a protection to the various states, including small population states. The real difficulty is that a vote by an uneducated individual but easily fooled by the media is worth just as much as a college professor who has studied the pros and cons of the campaign. The framers assumed that only educated and responsible interested individuals would be voting. This is not true when we have a populist voting group that is basically uneducated and unable to differentiate between lies and demagoguery. Unfortunately, in my opinion, man of our legislators fall in this this classification! I see no solution to the problems of a populist electorate.


One solution to part of the problem is to enable tort law to apply to false statements by candidates, not monetary but to eliminate the candidacy of liars! Opinions must be stated as opinions and facts should be admitted as facts. Ideology must be supported by facts or be considered as being propaganda lies.


Another useful restrictions on candidacy is to allow unlimited but publicly released to the media (within 24 hour) financial contributions by individuals with no contributions by associations, corporations or groups of people. Also, any contribution from a source outside the respective district of the candidate must be considered to be ordinary income for tax purposes. Contributions from individuals registered within the electoral district is to be frilly allowed. "Education" contributions are to be considered the same as any other contribution and not be considered a different classification for tax purposes.

Dianereynolds's picture
Dianereynolds 1 year 33 weeks ago
#20

Sorry Thom. The United States is a Republic not a Democracy. As for the electoral college, stop with the slavery BS. You make a living off your white guilt and continually trying to divide the country. Injecting race into literally every rant didn't work so well in the last election. New stradgety needed.

Legend 1 year 33 weeks ago
#21

There is no Constitutional provision or Federal law requiring Electors to vote in accordance with the popular vote in their States. Some States have such requirements.

26 states have a law. Some with minor fines.

Population per electoral vote Do the people pick? New York get 520000 voters per electoral vote. Wyoming gets 142000 voters per electoral vote.

The constitution was written with feather quill pens. We have modern printers and computers today. Which generation should we be living in?

Dianereynolds's picture
Dianereynolds 1 year 33 weeks ago
#22

Legend wrote: The constitution was written with feather quill pens. We have modern printers and computers today. Which generation should we be living in?

Aren't you the guy that wants to have gun laws changed to only allow muzzleloaders?

The founders were a whole lot wiser than we are.

"Elections have consequences"

Lana R. Kissa's picture
Lana R. Kissa 1 year 33 weeks ago
#23

A new amendment to drop the Electoral College is crucial. We have been duped by expecting democratic elections in Republic system designed to protects minority, which in the reality - the class of rich wolves. But I am afraid that such amendment requires a huge movement that can only arise as result of people being educated. And yes, Republicans will not let it go without fight: they have been benefiting from it for many elections. Political news or radio stations, internet petitions (without asking for donations by the way) are the key for solving this problem.

Legend 1 year 33 weeks ago
#24

Diane

Never mentioned muzzleloaders.

Why would you think that the founders were a whole lot wiser? Because many owned slaves? Education? Because of their policies towards Native Americans? Tri cornered hats?

Times have changed. I do not live in the past.

Ou812's picture
Ou812 1 year 33 weeks ago
#25

Legend:

The time to change the way we elect the President is before the election, not after. Doing away with the Electorial College requires a constituntial amendment. A constituntial amendment requires a super majority (2/3's) of both the Senate and House of Representatives. Once the proposal passes both houses by the required 2/3's majority, it must be ratified by 3/4 of the states.

You might want to get started.:)

dianne.w's picture
dianne.w 1 year 33 weeks ago
#26

People from both parties have been advocating getting rid of the EC for decades. It was never a "great" idea... simply the least objectionable of possible methods.....I believe December 19 will prove interesting.

http://edition.cnn.com/2016/11/23/politics/faithless-electors-donald-tru...

Legend 1 year 33 weeks ago
#27

Ou812, Where did I say anything about overturning the Electoral College. I did post some of the rules. I know the process to amend the Constitution. I for one would rather live in a Democracy but you obviously do not want to.

You did not answer my question to your response: Why would you think that the founders were a whole lot wiser? Because many owned slaves? Education? Because of their policies towards Native Americans? Tri cornered hats? How about an answer rather than a change of subject.

By the way, What are you doing in that profile picture. Are you practicing for a future event?

Ou812's picture
Ou812 1 year 33 weeks ago
#28

Legend:

You wrote "There is no Constitutional provision or Federal law requiring Electors to vote in accordance with the popular vote in their States. Some States have such requirements."

You are implying Electors could overturn the election.

Try to keep the facts straight. You didn't ask me any of those questions, Those questions were asked of someone else. They appear to be rhetoriacal questions to me, So I understand her not answering them.

Lastly, Asshole, don't try to bully me with questions about my profile picture. Stick to the facts.

ChristopehrCurrie's picture
ChristopehrCurrie 1 year 32 weeks ago
#29

To the contrary, for the more realistic description of how our Electoral College System has beneficially shaped the nature of politics in the United States, read my article "The 'Golden Goose' of American Politics" at http: //www. onesalt.com /p0000043.htm (remove the spaces).

Legend 1 year 32 weeks ago
#30

OU612, Yes that is fact. If you click on the blue type that is an embedded link to the reference source. Facts and references are something you die hard Republicans need to learn about and use.

If you are so sensitve about your profile picture you should change it.

Dianereynolds's picture
Dianereynolds 1 year 32 weeks ago
#31

Sobering facts:

The statistical list below should once and for all answer any troubling dilemmas regarding the existence of the Electoral College.
“There are 3,141 counties in the United States.
Trump won 3,084 of them.
Clinton won 57.
There are 62 counties in New York State.
Trump won 46 of them.
Clinton won 16.
Clinton won the popular vote by approx. 2.5 million votes.
In the 5 counties that encompass NYC, (Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Richmond & Queens) Clinton received well over 2 million more votes than Trump. (Clinton only won 4 of these counties; Trump won Richmond)
Therefore these 5 counties alone, more than accounted for Clinton winning the popular vote of the entire country.
These 5 counties comprise 319 square miles.
The United States is comprised of 3, 797,000 square miles.
When you have a country that encompasses almost 4 million square miles of territory, it would be ludicrous to even suggest that the vote of those who inhabit a mere 319 square miles should dictate the outcome of a national election.

These statistics could change but only slightly.

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