Re: NYTimes.com Article: Abolish the Electoral College

From: Charlie Strauss <cems_at_earthlink_dot_net>
Date: Mon Aug 30 2004 - 00:18:35 CDT

I'll also add that with winner-take-all in a close election there is a
strong incentive to cheat. with proportional assingment this incentive
is drastically reduced. a 500 vote shift in florida would not make any
difference at all to a presidential election (still would make a
difference to a congressional or local election but the stakes are less
high).

On Aug 29, 2004, at 11:09 PM, Charlie Strauss wrote:

> Note this reply actually has on-topic content!
>
> On Aug 29, 2004, at 10:46 PM, David Mertz wrote:
>
>> On Aug 29, 2004, at 9:30 PM, Charlie Strauss wrote:
>>> namely: Discard winner take all and assign the electors in
>>> proportion to the popular vote PLUS two electors for the winner of
>>> the plurality.
>>
>> I tend to like this idea as well. But there is likely to be a sort
>> of "prisoners dilemma" issue here. Every state wants the *other*
>> states to adopt a more proportional system so that their *own*
>> electors voting as a block increase the influence of that state.
>
> I think maybe not. This PD logic only applies to swing states, which
> currently dont have problem getting attention, so going proportional
> might dillute their attention as you say. But "safe" states get less
> attention as there is no marginal utility in campaigning in a state
> whose outcome is a foregone conclusion. Also swing states might still
> prefer to go proportional as well. The raucous instability of minor
> events jack-knifing the outcome dont really sit well with anybody in
> the majority, its just the swing minority in the state that benefits
> to the detriment of majority. the two-elector bonus is still an
> attractant. one can easily imagine a compromise in which states
> sweeten the pot with say four electors for the winner.
>
>>
>> A national requirement for states to use a more proportional
>> allocation of electors would require a Constitutional amendment, not
>> simply an act of Congress. It's possible, of course, but the burden
>> to get that passed is pretty high.
>
> I thought so too but then I went back and checked the constitution.
> Article I, Section 4 of the Constitution says, "The times, places, and
> manner of holding elections for senators and representatives, shall be
> prescribed in each State by the legislature therof; but the Congress
> may at any time by law make or alter such regulations, except as to
> the places of choosing senators."
>
> I have been guilty of quoting the first sentence and not realizing the
> second sentence basically overrides it "but the Congress may at any
> time by law make or alter such regulations". So all it takes is an
> act of congress, like HAVA. This might also have implications for the
> legality of congress eliminating the nased/election center
> stranglehold on ceritification and simply appropriating the task for
> itself. Something for OVC to bring up with Soaries if it ever should
> be so lucky.
>
>
>>
>> And BTW for Ed: No, this ain't part of OVC's mission. But it -is-
>> moderately interesting to think about and discuss.
>>

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Received on Tue Aug 31 23:17:20 2004

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