[EM] Electoral College-Pragmatic approach

Dave Ketchum davek at clarityconnect.com
Thu Jan 31 08:24:07 PST 2002

On Wed, 30 Jan 2002 18:37:39 -0800 Richard Moore wrote:

> I think the EC is actually an obstacle to election method reform.
> The EC can take an FBC-compliant method and make it non-compliant,
> for instance. Suppose one large state selects a Green slate of
> electors by Approval, and this causes the Republican candidate
> to win because that state, that usually selects a Democratic slate
> of electors, went Green. If some of the voters in the Greens >
> Democrats > Republicans camp had not voted Green then they would
> have improved their outcome.
> It would be harder to make people see the advantages of a new
> method if adopting that method fails to bring those promised
> advantages. So abolishing the EC is either a prerequisite or a
> corequisite to getting a better method in place.
>  -- Richard

The glass is not overflowing, but neither is it as empty as you imply. 
Think of the fun in every state if we were electing the President by 
national popular vote, and came as close to a tie as happened in 
Florida in 2000.

Now think on the EC - the Constitution authorizes each state a quota of 
electors, but leaves up to the state legislature how to choose them.  How 
about making this a board, with each candidate getting as many electors as 
deserved by their vote within the state?  For the leftover fractions, give 
an extra elector to each of the candidate(s) with the largest fraction(s).

Now, look at the total EC makeup based on the above, in making a decision 
for this state.  Electors of this state dedicated to the two candidates 
with the highest counts nationally shall be required to vote for their 
candidates.  Electors for remaining candidates shall proceed according to 
whatever instructions their candidate and/or party may have given them.

Some say a big state such as NY would never buy the above.  By comparing 
options, I see a possibility:
      Per present law, in 2000 in NY:
           Gore OWNED ALL NY electors.  Therefore he did not campaign here 
(no need) NOR did he have to make any promises to try to please NY voters.
           Bush had NO HOPE of getting any NY electors.  Therefore he did 
not campaign here (nothing to gain) NOR was there any value in his making 
promises to try to please NY voters.
      Go back, but with above new law.  Now NY becomes important to 
campaign in, and important to make promises to, to try for an extra 
elector or two.

BTW:  Note that the above:
      Can be used in one or more states even if not used in others.
      Can be used in even the smallest states - come in third with 23% of 
the vote and you get at least one elector (even in Alaska, where 17% would 
do it except for a landslide in which the top candidate takes two and the 
second candidate takes the third there).
      Encourages votes for minor parties within a state without 
discouraging the EC from achieving a majority vote - if the most popular 
candidate has achieved a majority of the electors they get to keep their 
win; if not, the two most popular candidates get to campaign to pick up a 
win from the minor candidates.
  davek at clarityconnect.com    http://www.clarityconnect.com/webpages3/davek
   Dave Ketchum    108 Halstead Ave, Owego, NY  13827-1708    607-687-5026
              Do to no one what you would not want done to you.
                    If you want peace, work for justice.

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