SCOPE NY

Electoral College

11/18/2020 2:47 PM | Anonymous

Electoral College  by Tom Reynolds

The left is trying to do away with the Electoral College and replace it, directly or indirectly with the popular vote.  In the Electoral College, each state gets one vote for each Senator and one vote for each Representative.  (A minimum of 3.  Eight states and D.C. have only 3 votes.) It would take a constitutional amendment to do away with the Electoral College.  All but two states have a winner take all approach; whoever wins the majority of the popular vote in that state gets all the electoral votes, whether the majority was by one vote or one million votes. 

Keep in mind that the Electoral College helps protect the minority (small states) from the tyranny of the majority (large states). 

There are some interesting numbers that need to be considered:

  As of July 1, 2019, the USA’s population was estimated at 328 million people. 

  The 10 most populated states had 178,000,000 (54% of the total population). 

  The next 10 most populated states had 71 million (22% of the population). 

  Combined, the top 20 states had 249 million (76% of the population).

  The 30 least populated states have only 24% of the population.  (The 30 least populated states are certainly the minority that needs to be protected.)

California (population 39 million) has the most electoral and popular votes but gets little attention during the campaign since it will reliably go Democrat.  Nevada (population 3 million) has only 6 electoral votes but it got a lot of attention even though its vote was fairly evenly split. 

If the President was elected by only the popular vote, the 30 least populated states would get much less attention from presidential candidates (before and after the election) since the election would depend on voter turnout and piling up numbers in the top 20 states - or maybe only the top 10 states.

There is another reason to keep the Electoral College.

In the current election, several states are very evenly split and there are numerous legal challenges as well as a possible recount in those states.  Imagine a national popular vote that was close and we had lawsuits and recounts in all 50 states!

What is the chance that the Democrats can pass a Constitutional Amendment and do away with the Electoral College?  Unless the bottom 30 states have a death wish, virtually zero.  (Unfortunately, some states do seem to have that death wish.)

One way the Amendment process can start is in Congress but if Republicans win in Georgia’s special election, they can use their majority in the Senate to stop it.

An Amendment can also start if: two-thirds of the states (34 states) call a constitutional convention to draft a proposed amendment or if the Democrats have the majority in the Senate (they win both Georgia elections) and Congress passes the proposed amendment.  In both cases, the proposed amendment must then get the approval of three-fourths of the states (38 states).  Again, unless the bottom 30 states have a death wish, it won’t happen. 

What if the deep blue states in the bottom 30 decided to vote for the proposed amendment, would that be enough?  There are only 8 deep blue states in the bottom 30.  And only 10 of the top 20 are deep blue.  Well short of the 38 needed.

There are about 23 reliably Republican states that should not, in their worst moment of madness, ever consider doing away with the Electoral College.

Democrats are trying another approach; on a state by state basis, they want to have each state assign all of their state’s electoral votes to whoever wins the national popular vote. (Assuming that the party they favor will forever win the national popular vote is a very chancy assumption since the future is…well…unknown.)  A smaller state could vote 100% for a candidate, but if that candidate loses the national popular vote, that state’s citizens will have lost their voice.  Any small state that agrees to that - and some small blue states have - would be giving away all of its votes to the 10 largest deep blue states.

Apparently, political suicides do happen because 16 states have entered into an interstate compact and agreed to do this; 14 are deep blue and the other 2 lean blue.  9 of the 16 are relatively small to small states who, apparently, believe in political suicide.  (New York is the 4th most populated state – and declining – and is one of the 16).  The agreement would not take effect until these states had a majority of the electoral college votes in the agreement.  If a Republican should take the popular vote in a coming election, how many states would reconsider their commitment to this?

By the way, interstate agreements for political purposes require Congress’ approval and Congress has not given its approval, so the agreement is currently illegal.  But hey, legality never stopped Democrats.

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