Home General Two Pennsylvania Legislators Say They Will Introduce Bill to Give Each U.S. House District its Own Presidential Elector
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Two Pennsylvania Legislators Say They Will Introduce Bill to Give Each U.S. House District its Own Presidential Elector

Published on December 20, 2012, by in General.

Two Pennsylvania State House members, Robert Godshall (Hatfield) and Seth Grove (York) say they will introduce a bill to let each U.S. House district choose its own presidential elector. See this story. Thanks to Rick Hasen for the link.

29 Responses

  1. Demo Rep

    One more EVIL gerrymander machination by the EVIL incumbent gerrymander MONSTERS from Hell.

    1/2 votes x 1/2 gerrymander areas = 1/4 control.
    —-
    Uniform definition of Elector in ALL of the U.S.A.

    P.R. and nonpartisan App.V.

  2. Jed Siple

    I prefer national popular vote, but this is better than the current system.

  3. Proportional allocation of electors in each state!

  4. Baronscarpia

    Only worsens the problems of the current day effects of the antiquated EC. Focus of campaigns will shift from “battleground” states to “battleground” CD’s, and opportunities for electoral corruption will be enhanced. In Pennsylvania, in the last election cycle, we saw a brazen effort to manipulate the electoral process to deliver a state’s EC votes to one candidate. Can we really expect anything different at the CD level? Think Ohio 2004, but no a more granular and more effective level.

    Implement NPV, then amend the constitution when popular vote election of the president becomes the “new normal.”

  5. Be Rational

    This is the best solution for election of POTUS. We need to get every state to adopt the ME/NE plan. Let’s hope this goes through in PA and we have the ME/NE/PA plan.

    This would end the multiple problems we have with swing states. Other than the 3 EV states, most states and every large state in the nation would have some competitve districts. Tthe allocation of Electoral Votes would follow the allocation of House and Senate districts – as intended in the constitution.

    The NPV plan and direct election of the President would be a mistake for the US. Imagine recounting every vote in the nation in a close election. Imagine the fraud when every one-party precinct in America can stuff the box in the attempt to swing the entire nation. There would be millions of fraudulent votes every four years, followed by legal battles and eventally violence leading to martial law.

    Large, continental sized nations should not elect anyone on a nationwide direct vote basis. The Electoral College was a brilliant idea ahead of its time. The rest of the world should eventually follow.

  6. Baronscarpia

    5 –

    The NPV does not, and will not, require the “recount of every vote in the nation.” That is simply and factually incorrect.

    To whatever extent it is possible to “stuff the box” under an NPV system, there is nothing which prevent same from occurring under the present EC system.

    Read Madison’s notes to the Constitutional Convention. The EC was devised quite hastily, in fact, at the end of the convention when delegates wanted to get home. Several of the problems it was actually designed to correct do not exist anymore (examples – inability to gather vote totals in a timely manner when news traveled no more quickly than a horse could carry it, national awareness and familiarity with candidates and fear that favorite sons would dominate elections) and it is almost certain that none of the FF’s would approve of how the system has evolved since, effectively disenfranchising systemically created “minority” voter blocs in solid red and blue states.

    They also granted authority to elect the president to state legislatures. Was that “ahead of time?”

  7. Richard Winger

    Recounting every vote for president would not be a nightmare. It’s less work than counting all the votes the first time for president, congress, state office, county office, ballot questions, etc. If we can do all once, why can’t we recount just president later?

    Besides, the larger the pool of votes for a particular office, the less likely it is that that election will be excruciatingly close. 2000 was not close. Gore received 537,179 more votes than Bush.

  8. Rich Moroney

    7 –
    Votes aren’t counted by hand. Most are tabulated by scanners that handle one race or 20 races all in a single pass. Consequently a machine recount of just one race isn’t any less work, while a hand recount of even one race would be far more work than the election day count was.

    Not only is it not less work, as we’ve seen in FL in 2000 and the Franken US Senate race in MN in 2008, the whole post-election process of counting late arriving absentees and dealing with provisional ballots becomes a slow-moving train wreck of media and lawyers.

    And “excruciatingly close” isn’t a number of votes, it’s a percentage of votes; a 100 vote difference in a city council race of 1,000 voters is way different than a statewide US Senate race. The 1960 POTUS difference was 0.17% and that’s at least uncomfortably close.

    6 –
    The payoff for “stuffing the box” is currently capped at 55 electoral votes (California). Under NPV, there is no cap. This can only mean there would be added incentive to do so. As noted in #5, there are many one-party precincts (be they R or D) where there would be opportunities to manipulate the outcome with relative impunity.

    There’s a lot about the EC to not like, but things might be worse without it.

  9. Richard Winger

    The percentage is not the sole determinant. As the total number of votes gets larger and larger, the percentage becomes less and less important. A margin of one-sixth of 1%, in a race with only 1,000 votes, means a recount is fairly likely to change the outcome. But a margin of one-sixth of 1%, in a race with over 100,000,000 votes, is not. Fairvote has done some good research about recounts that bolster this statement.

  10. Rich Moroney

    I’ll look for the Fairvote research.

    That said, in order for a recount to damage the credibility of the election process, it’s not necessary that the recount change the outcome.

    The simple fact is that an exhaustive recount of any election involving 100,000 votes or more is likely to reveal at least a few irregularities (whether innocent random error or malicious) in voters’ registrations or residency or identification or whatever. This can be a good thing – processes get improved, mistakes get fixed – but it also undermines the credibility of the entire process. In the admittedly very unlikely (but non-zero) event of a nationwide recount, the credibility of every single state’s election process would likely suffer.

    I’ll gladly leave the last word to you. I include my thanks for the great work that you do with BAN.

  11. Richard Winger

    If we can send rockets to Mars that successfully put vehicles on the surface that crawl around for years sending back data, we ought to be able to figure out how to count votes accurately. France and Mexico seem to elect their presidents with a direct popular vote; why can’t we? Maybe having the direct popular vote in place would push us to improve vote-counting technology and security.

  12. Demo Rep

    How many States in the U.S.A. manage to survive by having their State Guvs be directly elected by the Electors-Voters ???

    NO uniform definition of Elector in the NPV scheme from Hell.

    Perhaps IF the SCOTUS party hacks detect the Prez is NOT an elected god- emperor- dictator- tyrant, then the Electoral College would get abolished a whole lot quicker.

    MAJOR brain rot in the U.S.A. since the 1929-1941 Great Depression I — esp regarding such Prezs.

  13. Be Rational

    The fraudulent voting that would occur in the US under any nationwide election or NPV would be more massive than anything seen in France, Mexico, India or anywhere considered even moderately democratic.

    Massive voter fraud and ballot box stuffing with dead voters has been notoriously documented and continues to this day nationwide including: Chicago, West Virginia and the State of Maine – well known to all for decades of fraudulent voting.

    This fraud, already happening for state rep, congressional and statewide races in these well known areas is just as bad in the areas not yet exposed.

    What will happen when POTUS is the prize? … massive organized fraud will see reported voter participation doubling in the least likely areas, even those already over 50% turnout.

    When the POTUS race is within 1/2% there will always be a nationwide recount, on the order of the Bush FL recount – but every precinct in America.

    We do not need such a disaster. The other nations of the world should learn and adopt a version of our EC.

    We can expand the size of the House of Representatives and increase the number of Electoral Districts. Coupling this with the adoption of the ME/NE electoral system nationwide would perfect our system of chosing our national leaders.

    Finally, it must be remembered that democracy has no value in and of itself. Our goal is to secure and preserve liberty. Having a strictly limited government or none at all is essential. The method of choosing leaders for whatever limited government we have is less important than the liberty of the people.

    Pure democracy leads to loss of liberty and eventual dictatorship – both in theory and in practice. Democracy has only limited value in the selection of leaders within a strictly limited system, designed and set up formost to preserve liberty. Democracy-in-form ruling over a totalitarian nation – an end we can expect from any NPV for POTUS – should be avoided.

  14. Baronscarpia

    8 –

    55 votes? The “cap?” Not even close. The “cap” on the “payoff” for “stuffing the ballot box” under the current EC is…the election. The final result. The winner. The Big Enchilada.

    Example:

    Eliminate the widespread, coordinated electoral fraud in Ohio by Republican officials at the state and local level in 2004 and Kerry would have been elected president. No, I didn’t vote for him, but yes…Bush should have been president given his popular vote advantage. But had it not been for the Republicans’ manipulation of the electoral process in the single state that both parties were quite sure would be the key to winning the election under our stupid, antiquated, laughing stock EC system, Kerry may have been the EC winner with about three million fewer popular votes than Bush.

    And for the record, again, there is nothing about the NPV compact which requires a national recount of votes in all 50 states. Nothing. Having said that, however, I agree with Richard – what’s the big whoop about recounts? IS immediacy of results more important than accuracy? This isn’t a cheeseburger we’re ordering up here, after all.

  15. Demo Rep

    Democracy = Majority Rule

    monarchy/oligarchy = Minority Rule — the *norm* for thousands of EVIL years of EVIL MONSTERS from Hell —

    major recent monsters – Kaiser Bill, Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Hirohito, Mao, Saddam

    ALL so-called monarchy regimes are really OLIGARCHY regimes — since even the most evil monarch reptile killer needs lots of help to do its EVIL deeds.

    Sorry — a U.S.A. Prez AIN’T a monarch from Hell.

    Note – the *commander-in-chief* stuff came from the Brit regime commission forms for colony Guvs before 1776.

    i.e. each Colony Guv was the CIC of the Brit military forces in each colony.

    BUT – the MORON media and courts have hyped the CIC stuff to EVIL INSANE monstrous proportions — esp. since WW I and WW II.

  16. Proportional allocation of electors in each state would result in candidates besides just Democrats and Republicans getting electoral votes.

    Other proposals, not so much.

    We need proportional allocation of electors in each state.

  17. Jonathan

    16 – What happens next? What do we do with the three or four electoral votes which go to a third party candidate?

  18. Use it to build.

    It helps raise awareness that these other parties/candidates exist, which in some cases leads to people finding out what they are about.

    It also gives them more leverage in close elections.

    That in turn gives them a wedge to pressure establishment parties to adopt some of their issues.

  19. Jonathan

    18 – I don’t see it. An electoral vote here, another there? Hardly influential.

  20. It can make the difference in a close election, and the Democrats and Republicans know it, so they would have added incentive to pay attention.

    The biggest third party right now, Libertarian, may have never gotten anywhere if it hadn’t received a single faithless elector vote its first time out 40 years ago.

  21. Jonathan

    20 – I still don’t see it. Johnson got barely 1% of the popular vote. If EC votes were allocated proportionally and nationally based on popular vote, there would be maybe 5 EC votes allocated to his party. The odds that neither major party candidate would receive a majority of EC votes and that a third party candidate would have some say in determining the winner on the strength of holding 5 EC votes are pretty long, in my view. And in any event, under the current system the vote would go to the House and who would represent the Libertarian interests there?

    If there is ever to be a viable third party movement, it has to start at the bottom, not the top. That means state legislatures and the House of Reps. Not the presidency. And it means gobs and gobs of money, of course. Sorry, but that’s the reality.

    Even TR, one of the most popular and effective presidents of the 20th century, certainly as well known as any person in his day, couldn’t seal the deal as a third party candidate. Gary Johnson? Please…

  22. “The odds that neither major party candidate would receive a majority of EC votes and that a third party candidate would have some say in determining the winner on the strength of holding 5 EC votes are pretty long, in my view.”

    Not impossible, and just the chances of it happening would cause the larger parties to pay closer attention than they have to right now, since it’s largely guaranteed not to happen.

    You also discount stronger runs, such as Perot. He got zero electoral votes as it was, but would have had quite a few with proportional representation.

    ” And in any event, under the current system the vote would go to the House and who would represent the Libertarian interests there?”

    That’s only if it got to the House. Libertarians could throw their electors to one party or the other depending on which one gives them a better deal and keep it from going to the House.

    And you ignored the publicity factor I mentioned. Those electors would be reported.

    “If there is ever to be a viable third party movement, it has to start at the bottom, not the top. That means state legislatures and the House of Reps. Not the presidency. And it means gobs and gobs of money, of course. Sorry, but that’s the reality.”

    It has to start and build at all levels continuously. The presidential candidate makes more people aware of the existence of another party, and that they might be interested in it, than legislative candidates do. The legislative candidates have more of a chance to actually win. One is only effective with the other. Run lots of candidates at every possible level, from school board and water and sewer commissioners to president.

    And lobby for proportional allocation of electoral votes in every state so that you get more publicity and leverage.

    It’s a game of inches. Every extra fraction of a percent, every elector, every additional news story means more members, donors, and candidates the next round.

  23. Derek

    Allocating the Electors proportionally would be a better idea. If you include allocating any to the Libertarians or Greens, sure, they’d get no say in the House.

    Greens and Libertarians should try to form fusion tickets to get people elected to the House.

  24. Jonathan

    22 –

    Everyone is entitled to their dreams.

  25. “Allocating the Electors proportionally would be a better idea.”

    Exactly.

  26. “Everyone is entitled to their dreams.”

    Proportional allocation of electors helps make them reality.

  27. Arthur C. Barker

    The Electoral College is an anachronism which should be abolished instead of being manipulated into serving one party or another’s interests. A single, straight direct vote based upon some kind of preference voting system will handle all the problems we currently confront. This type of system is modern and even superior to the French and Mexican methods — although I like the single-term idea the Mexicans use for their Presidents. But first we have to decide whether Presidents should be what the Constitutional Founders intended, sort of a single Roman Republic Consul who merely “executes” the law passed by Congress, or a god-emperor we have allowed to be created.

  28. Direct elections would take us further down the god-emperor road. Be Rational is correct about that part.

  29. TruFoe

    28 –

    Why? Be specfic.

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