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  Presidential Election Process (Moderator: muon2)
  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 59536 times)
pbrower2a
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« on: February 15, 2013, 09:59:59 am »

The one thing that the electoral college does is to insulate the system from State governments that effectively become single-Party dictatorships. Just imagine how a national popular vote would go if some State cast 50 million fraudulent votes for someone who ends up winning by 3 million popular votes. 
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pbrower2a
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« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2014, 04:15:03 pm »

One case for the Electoral College is that it makes ballot-stuffing for the President (let us say giving one nominee more votes than the size of the electorate) pointless. If one State has an extremely-rigged set of votes (100% of all electors vote, and all vote for one Party) that means no more than if the winner of that state's vote got only a plurality of 48.86% of the vote over the second-place finisher who got 48.85% of that state's vote.

As 2000 showed, there might not be time in which to contest vote fraud on a large scale, especially if the state making the difference between winning and losing is the last to certify its vote total. Flawed process, as in 2000, is bad enough. Outright fraud could lead to the nullification of a Presidency that has already begun. 

Suppose that in 2012 there had been a Presidential election chosen by direct popular vote, and that the only crooked state in its voting were Texas.  In an honest vote based on the popular vote in real life, President Obama wins the Presidency by  4,985,401 votes. The State Legislature of Texas issues 5 million more votes than were in fact cast for Mitt Romney in Texas and certifies that result. Romney wins, barring a decision in the courts that gets incredibly messy.   

Nothing in the Constitution mandates an honest count of the vote except for some "equal protection of the law" clause that might not overtly apply to voting. Nothing in the Constitution, for that matter, mandates that there even be a popular election within the State; the vote could be conceivably made by the State Legislature or even a coin flip.

One crooked politician could decide everything.

OK -- so 2000 stinks. By 2008 Barack Obama had established a beat-the-cheat strategy that ensured that no single State would decide everything.  If one is ahead one uses such a strategy.

 

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pbrower2a
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« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2014, 04:42:54 pm »

One case for the Electoral College is that it makes ballot-stuffing for the President (let us say giving one nominee more votes than the size of the electorate) pointless. If one State has an extremely-rigged set of votes (100% of all electors vote, and all vote for one Party) that means no more than if the winner of that state's vote got only a plurality of 48.86% of the vote over the second-place finisher who got 48.85% of that state's vote.

As 2000 showed, there might not be time in which to contest vote fraud on a large scale, especially if the state making the difference between winning and losing is the last to certify its vote total. Flawed process, as in 2000, is bad enough. Outright fraud could lead to the nullification of a Presidency that has already begun. 

Suppose that in 2012 there had been a Presidential election chosen by direct popular vote, and that the only crooked state in its voting were Texas.  In an honest vote based on the popular vote in real life, President Obama wins the Presidency by  4,985,401 votes. The State Legislature of Texas issues 5 million more votes than were in fact cast for Mitt Romney in Texas and certifies that result. Romney wins, barring a decision in the courts that gets incredibly messy.   

Nothing in the Constitution mandates an honest count of the vote except for some "equal protection of the law" clause that might not overtly apply to voting. Nothing in the Constitution, for that matter, mandates that there even be a popular election within the State; the vote could be conceivably made by the State Legislature or even a coin flip.

One crooked politician could decide everything.

OK -- so 2000 stinks. By 2008 Barack Obama had established a beat-the-cheat strategy that ensured that no single State would decide everything.  If one is ahead one uses such a strategy.

 


As Ernest mentioned, if we do a national popular vote then we would have federal control over elections, making a cheating politician's job a lot more difficult.
Also, voter fraud like that is far more difficult than you make it out to be.

I most certainly hope so! It would be a crime -- at the least federal perjury to certify a false statement of a vote.
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