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| | |-+  Is there any plausible argument in favor of the electoral college? (search mode)
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Author Topic: Is there any plausible argument in favor of the electoral college?  (Read 57851 times)
minionofmidas - supplemental forum account
Lewis Trondheim
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« on: September 09, 2008, 02:49:20 pm »

Quote
John F. Kennedy was elected President on November 8, 1960, by 303 electoral votes, drawn from 23 states, to 219 votes for Richard M. Nixon, drawn from 26 states. ... The margin of this electoral vote, so apparently substantial, is however a tribute not to the victor but to the wisdom of the Constitutional Fathers who, in their foresight, invented the device of the Electoral College, which, while preserving free citizen choice, prevents it from degenerating into the violence that can accompany the narrow act of head counting. ...

John F. Kennedy received 34,221,463 of these votes, or 112,881 votes (one tenth of one per cent of the whole) more than Richard M. Nixon, who drew 34,108,582. ... This margin of popular vote is so thin as to be, in all reality, nonexistent.
As 2000 proved so well. Roll Eyes (good book though.)
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minionofmidas - supplemental forum account
Lewis Trondheim
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« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2008, 02:53:13 pm »

One unusual argument here...

as of current, different US states have all sort of weird and arcane, but different, balloting laws. That would have to go out of the window if you introduce the national popular vote (or else somebody'd be crying foul play at every election decided by less than 4% nationally, and even have a point.) That's a real loss of one of the last vestiges of genuinely federal structure in the US.
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minionofmidas - supplemental forum account
Lewis Trondheim
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« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2008, 03:30:45 pm »

An incredible amount in some states, next to none in others.

Ballot access rules (with regard to the Presidency, anyhow). Another point that would be standardized.
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minionofmidas - supplemental forum account
Lewis Trondheim
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« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2008, 06:32:30 am »

The primary advantage of the electoral college is that in the event of a recount, the recount is held only in the States that are close.

A secondary advantage is that it does not require there to be a Federally imposed uniformity on voter registration requirements and the like.

A tertiary advantage is that in the event that a locality engages in vote fraud, the damage caused by that is limited, altho that is offset by the fact that a smaller degree of fraud in certain close States might have an effect.  Still, we certainly don't have to worry that vote fraud in Utah in DC will affect the presidential election anytime soon under the electoral college.
In other words, fraud capacities can be moved to where they matter, as the GOP demonstrated in 2000. Tongue
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