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Author Topic: What if electoral votes were awarded proportionally?  (Read 7837 times)
The Arizonan
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« on: December 14, 2016, 03:16:17 pm »
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What if instead of winner-take-all, candidates won electoral votes in each state based on the percentage of voters that voted for them?

The winner of each state would get two electoral votes, which would be the at-large votes, and the rest is based on proportion.
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« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2016, 03:51:41 pm »
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For 2016, Trump would've likely still had more EVs than Clinton, but whether he cleared 270 would depend on your rounding rules and third party thresholds.
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« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2016, 08:46:48 pm »
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What if instead of winner-take-all, candidates won electoral votes in each state based on the percentage of voters that voted for them?

The winner of each state would get two electoral votes, which would be the at-large votes, and the rest is based on proportion.

How would you handle Rhode Island with 4 EV?  The clear victor at 55% has "about half" of the popular vote.  Who gets the 4th EV?

I think it should go to the victor; unless an argument could be made that someone else won one of the two Congressional districts.  Then you would be describing how Nebraska and Maine handle it.

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« Reply #3 on: December 17, 2016, 09:03:47 pm »
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What if instead of winner-take-all, candidates won electoral votes in each state based on the percentage of voters that voted for them?

The winner of each state would get two electoral votes, which would be the at-large votes, and the rest is based on proportion.

Why should the winner of each state get two electoral votes?
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« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2016, 05:05:28 pm »
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I think it would make sense to proportionally distribute the votes based on how many CDs each state has, then giving the two senator EVs to the winner of the vote overall.
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« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2016, 05:12:55 pm »
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I think it would make sense to proportionally distribute the votes based on how many CDs each state has, then giving the two senator EVs to the winner of the vote overall.
So basically, you're saying that the EV should be by congressional district?
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« Reply #6 on: December 18, 2016, 06:24:35 pm »
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I think it would make sense to proportionally distribute the votes based on how many CDs each state has, then giving the two senator EVs to the winner of the vote overall.

This would be the system I would prefer
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« Reply #7 on: December 18, 2016, 11:03:53 pm »
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I think it would make sense to proportionally distribute the votes based on how many CDs each state has, then giving the two senator EVs to the winner of the vote overall.
So basically, you're saying that the EV should be by congressional district?

No, under a proportional system, if you win 70% of the vote, you get 70% of the house EVs plus the 2 senate EVs for winning the vote statewide.
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IceAgeComing
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« Reply #8 on: December 19, 2016, 06:14:21 am »
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third parties would only really have had a shot in the big states; and that's depends on the method that they use to allocate the votes - Saint Lagne would give more smaller party electors that D'Hondt for example.

There actually wouldn't be that many smaller parties represented - just done a quick check using D'Hondt and in California there'd be one Johnson and one Stein (35 Clinton, 18 Trump); one Johnson in Texas (20 Trump, 17 Clinton), 1 McMullin in Utah (3 Trump, 2 Clinton), none in New York and most of the other states are too small for third parties to be near.  Probably would be close overall; Trump probably still edges it though - I might actually go and fully do it when I get some from work tonight.
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« Reply #9 on: December 19, 2016, 07:13:31 am »
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third parties would only really have had a shot in the big states; and that's depends on the method that they use to allocate the votes - Saint Lagne would give more smaller party electors that D'Hondt for example.

There actually wouldn't be that many smaller parties represented - just done a quick check using D'Hondt and in California there'd be one Johnson and one Stein (35 Clinton, 18 Trump); one Johnson in Texas (20 Trump, 17 Clinton), 1 McMullin in Utah (3 Trump, 2 Clinton), none in New York and most of the other states are too small for third parties to be near.  Probably would be close overall; Trump probably still edges it though - I might actually go and fully do it when I get some from work tonight.

If you set a 10% threshold (which is only reasonable), then only McMullin's counts, I believe. Third parties shouldn't get free EVs for simply existing in California. 10% is arbitrary, but it's a nice, round number that indicates a divide between success and failure.
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« Reply #10 on: December 19, 2016, 08:35:27 am »
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I'd go for 5% (since that's the amount that you need to get nationally to get Federal funding; makes sense to have everything at the same level) and that'd get rid of everything but McMullin as well I think; certainly in the big states it would.  Although that threshold would be a bit academic in every state that has less than 20 EVs which is most of them...
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IceAgeComing
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« Reply #11 on: December 19, 2016, 11:44:50 am »
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OK just done the maths: I'll post the state by state totals later on but the results without a threshold are Clinton 270, Trump 264, Johnson 2, Stein 1 and McMullin 1.  With a 5% threshold, its Clinton 272, Trump 265 and McMullin 1.  Only one area gives all of its EVs to one person (DC; indeed Trump would fall below a 5% threshold although its academic when you only have three electoral votes); everywhere else splits.  Some interesting results which show the disadvantage of PR with small number of seats: all of the three-EV state have to split 2/1 even where there's a tight margin, which Rhode Island is 2/2 despite Clinton handily winning.
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« Reply #12 on: December 21, 2016, 05:35:26 pm »
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I've done something like this: http://uselectionatlas.org/FORUM/index.php?topic=246616.0
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« Reply #13 on: December 21, 2016, 08:03:09 pm »
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OK just done the maths: I'll post the state by state totals later on but the results without a threshold are Clinton 270, Trump 264, Johnson 2, Stein 1 and McMullin 1.  With a 5% threshold, its Clinton 272, Trump 265 and McMullin 1.  Only one area gives all of its EVs to one person (DC; indeed Trump would fall below a 5% threshold although its academic when you only have three electoral votes); everywhere else splits.  Some interesting results which show the disadvantage of PR with small number of seats: all of the three-EV state have to split 2/1 even where there's a tight margin, which Rhode Island is 2/2 despite Clinton handily winning.

Those aren't the numbers I got. I don't think you're awarding the two-vote victory bonus, as there should be quite a few more 100% states if you do. It changes the calculation substantially.
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« Reply #14 on: December 22, 2016, 04:23:20 pm »
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In my mind, this is a much more reasonable proposal than a national popular vote.  My only concern is that allocating electoral votes (and making maps Tongue) would get very messy.
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« Reply #15 on: December 22, 2016, 10:53:01 pm »
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I'm pretty sure Clinton would win in this scenario. What killed her was her narrow losses in a bunch of big states (Florida, Pennsylvania, Michigan, North Carolina), not the fact that North Dakotans count more than Californians.

However, this proposal isn't happening. There's no constitutional way to do this on a federal level without an amendment, and no legislature would agree to do this on a state level because it would be unilateral disarmament.
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« Reply #16 on: January 07, 2017, 03:17:11 am »
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It's up to each state to determine how it will award electoral votes to candidates.
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« Reply #17 on: January 07, 2017, 11:16:36 am »
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There's no practical way to get it done, except maybe constitutional amendment, but this is the system I would support us switching to instead of NPV.

I calculated what the results of this would be the day after the election; results have shifted since then a little bit, but at the time the numbers were 262 Clinton, 262 Trump, 12 Johnson, 1 Stein, 1 McMullin. Johnson would've effectively become the kingmaker in the Electoral College, able to endorse a candidate and direct his electors towards them (assuming the loyalty of all electors in such a scenario). I think since then Hillary has probably picked up a few electoral votes, but not enough to win outright.
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« Reply #18 on: January 09, 2017, 08:12:55 pm »
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There's no practical way to get it done, except maybe constitutional amendment, but this is the system I would support us switching to instead of NPV.
Actually, the Constitution allows the states to allocate electors however they want, so implementing a proportional system would be a simple matter of passing the necessary legislation in each of the 50 states.
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« Reply #19 on: January 10, 2017, 08:23:40 am »
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I'm pretty sure Clinton would win in this scenario. What killed her was her narrow losses in a bunch of big states (Florida, Pennsylvania, Michigan, North Carolina), not the fact that North Dakotans count more than Californians.

However, this proposal isn't happening. There's no constitutional way to do this on a federal level without an amendment, and no legislature would agree to do this on a state level because it would be unilateral disarmament.
Remember that this would mean Republicans would get electoral votes in MA and CA too. It's not like Clinton won 90% of the statewide vote in either of them.
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« Reply #20 on: January 15, 2017, 09:26:34 pm »
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How would you handle Rhode Island with 4 EV?  The clear victor at 55% has "about half" of the popular vote.  Who gets the 4th EV?

Exactly. How do the five states that have only 4 electoral college votes split them? Not just Rhode Island, but Maine, New Hampshire, Idaho, and Hawaii. Wouldn't ME and NH always split the four EVs evenly, giving two to both candidates? At what threshold does a state that has only 4 EVs decide to split them 3-1 instead of 2-2?

The seven states that have just 3 EVs will always split them 2-1 in favor of whoever wins. No drama there. The states that have 5 EVs will very likely always split them 3-2 in favor of whoever wins.

This kind of system does not make any sense to me. The system would only be relevant in the largest states. So I prefer a NPV.
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« Reply #21 on: January 16, 2017, 03:33:08 pm »
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How would you handle Rhode Island with 4 EV?  The clear victor at 55% has "about half" of the popular vote.  Who gets the 4th EV?

Exactly. How do the five states that have only 4 electoral college votes split them? Not just Rhode Island, but Maine, New Hampshire, Idaho, and Hawaii. Wouldn't ME and NH always split the four EVs evenly, giving two to both candidates? At what threshold does a state that has only 4 EVs decide to split them 3-1 instead of 2-2?

The seven states that have just 3 EVs will always split them 2-1 in favor of whoever wins. No drama there. The states that have 5 EVs will very likely always split them 3-2 in favor of whoever wins.

This kind of system does not make any sense to me. The system would only be relevant in the largest states. So I prefer a NPV.
If the Rep.-Senator divide that I suggested was used, New Hampshire would be 3-1 (1-1 for vote proportion, 2 for Clinton since she won statewide) and Vermont would be 3-0 (1 for vote proportion, 2 for Clinton since she won statewide).
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« Reply #22 on: January 17, 2017, 06:38:08 pm »
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A proposal by Senator Howard Cannon  (D-NV) to the 91st Congress suggested a proportional electoral vote allocation plan. The number of electoral votes would be the same as before, but instead of popular electors choosing electors of the President, the popular vote would be used to divide the electoral vote of each jurisdiction calculated to three decimal places.

This is a much more radical proportional allocation plan than the one suggested by the diarist.

The key part of the proposed constitutional amendment was as follows. http://www.every-vote-equal.com/sites/default/files/eve-4th-ed-ch3-web-v1.pdf


Quote
‘SECTION 4. Within forty-five days after such election, or at such time
as Congress shall direct, the official custodian of the election returns
of each State and the District of Columbia shall make distinct lists of
all persons for whom votes were cast for President and the number of
votes cast for each person, and the total vote cast by the electors of the
State of the District for all persons for President, which lists he shall sign
and certify and transmit sealed to the seat of Government of the United
States, directed to the President of the Senate. On the 6th day of January
following the election, unless the Congress by law appoints a different
day not earlier than the 4th day of January and not later than the 10th
day of January, the President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the
Senate and House of Representatives, open all certificates and the votes
shall then be counted. Each person for whom votes were cast shall be
credited with such proportion of the electoral votes thereof as he received
of the total vote cast by the electors therein for President. In making
the computation, fractional numbers less than one one-thousandth
shall be disregarded. The person having the greatest aggregate number
of electoral votes of the States and the District of Columbia for President
shall be President, if such number be at least 40 per centum of the whole
number of such electoral votes, or if two persons have received an identical
number of such electoral votes which is at least 40 per centum of
the whole number of electoral votes, then from the persons having the
two greatest number of such electoral votes for President, the Senate
and the House of Representatives sitting in joint session shall choose
immediately, by ballot, the President. A majority of the votes of the com-
bined membership of the Senate and House of Representatives shall be
necessary for a choice.
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« Reply #23 on: January 21, 2017, 10:54:26 pm »
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Alexander Hamilton's version of the 12th Amendment would have provided that presidential electors be elected by electoral district drawn by Congress (e.g. a state with one representative would have three electoral districts) and that the mode of election be specified by Congress, and that the electors designate presidential and vice presidential votes.

Hamilton's proposed 12th Amendment

Had this been adopted, there wouldn't be any questions about national popular vote, since nobody would be adding up the votes, anymore than they total the national popular vote for Congress.

A modern version would provide that:

Electors be apportioned among the United States and their territories based on the Citizen Population over age 18. An elector would represent between 20,000 and 50,000 persons.

Electors be chosen by the voters eligible to vote for the larger house of a legislature, with time, manner, place regulations set by the legislature, subject to a congressional override (e.g. same rules as apply to the election of Congress).

Electors would meet as a single national body, perhaps electronically linked; and would determine a president and vice president by majority vote. If no candidate received a majority on the initial vote, voting would continue by rounds among the (up to Top 10), with one eliminated on each round.
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« Reply #24 on: January 31, 2017, 06:25:24 am »
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You basically have a popular vote election with a slight edge to the candidate who won the majority of the states.  My college professor drew diagrams about this on the chalk board and everyone laughed at him.
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