[EM] Answers regarding claim about Approval's enact-ability

Richard Fobes ElectionMethods at VoteFair.org
Mon Apr 16 16:49:54 PDT 2012

On 4/16/2012 12:50 PM, robert bristow-johnson wrote:
> hey Richard, how did you get "ElectionMethods at VoteFair.org" for the
> Reply-to header?". i had to change it to get this to post.

That's the email account I sent the message from.

> On 4/16/12 12:42 PM, Richard Fobes wrote:
>> As I recall the issue is that I stated in a previous message that
>> Approval voting was very unlikely to be adopted for use in U.S.
>> Presidential _general_ elections. Here are some reasons:
>> 1: Making that change requires adopting a Constitutional Amendment.
> not precisely. there is a going state compact movement that will
> essentially make the Electoral College a figurehead. it will exist, but
> it will be powerless. and it doesn't need a Constitutional amendment,
> because the Constitution says that the state legislatures have the
> exclusive authority in defining how the presidential electors are
> chosen.  ...
 > ...

Notice that the "state compact movement" specifies that the state's 
electoral votes goes to the candidate with the "most votes."

That will lead to ambiguity if there is a strong three-way race.

For example, if the group that has gotten approval in many states to add 
a third Presidential candidate in the upcoming Presidential general 
election (I forget their name) were to choose a well-liked liberal 
candidate, vote splitting between the Democratic candidate (Obama) and 
the added candidate could cause the Republican candidate (Romney, 
presumably) to get the most votes, even though a majority of voters vote 
"against" the Republican candidate.

That would "break" the "most votes" workaround.

Yes, I agree that it is possible that the reform could happen without a 
Constitutional Amendment.

However, at this rate of progress, the Constitutional Amendment seems as 
likely as a well-written workaround.

(Jameson made the same point, so this reply also applies to his comment.)

Richard Fobes

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