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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 57576 times)
True Federalist
Ernest
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« on: September 16, 2008, 05:04:43 pm »

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.
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True Federalist
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« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2008, 06:09:08 pm »

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.

But is that much of an advantage? And if so, how?

Is the argument that the number of ballots would be so large as to make a national recount impractical? If so, I can't understand the focus on re-counts--surely the first count is no different in that respect. But whatever the case may be, the assertion certainly isn't obvious, and no evidence has been offered to substantiate it.

A recount of the entire country wouldn't be any harder to do than a recount in one state, since you'd have more election workers available to assist in the recount.

If we had a uniform national ballot it might not be any harder, tho it would still be more expensive. However, we don't have a uniform national ballot and we are unlikely to even have one.  That means there will be questions that have to be decided at a local level, such as what happened in Florida in 2000, where some of the lawsuits were at the county-level.
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Quote from: Ignatius of Antioch
He that possesses the word of Jesus, is truly able to bear his very silence. Epistle to the Ephesians 3:21a
The one thing everyone can agree on is that the media is biased against them.
True Federalist
Ernest
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« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2011, 07:40:51 pm »

In America we don't vote for the president directly.  We actually vote for a contingent of candidates that are pledged to support one presidential hopeful when the Electoral College meets in DC and casts the actual vote for president.  They are not required by law to vote for the person they pledged to support.  And indeed there are numerous examples in history of people breaking this pledge.  If the people choose someone crazy (ie Palin) then presumably the more level headed representatives in the Electoral College will vote for a more appropriate candidate.

Actually, a number of States have laws that require electors to vote as they pledged under penalty of law. The validity of those laws have never been tested . Besides, since electors are usually hyperloyal party functionaries, so unless a candidate started acting crazy after the popular election but before the electoral college meets I doubt more than one or two electors will ever be faithless and vote contrary to how they pledged in any presidential election.
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Quote from: Ignatius of Antioch
He that possesses the word of Jesus, is truly able to bear his very silence. Epistle to the Ephesians 3:21a
The one thing everyone can agree on is that the media is biased against them.
True Federalist
Ernest
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« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2011, 02:11:49 pm »

Actually, a number of States have laws that require electors to vote as they pledged under penalty of law.

What if the winner of their state died after the election, but before the electors meet?  Do they have to vote for a dead guy?

And actually, does the constitution require that the electors vote for someone who's eligible to be president?  Thus, is it legal for an elector to vote for a dead guy?


In 1872, Horace Greeley died between Election Day and the day the Electoral College met.  For the most part, the Democratic electors chose other people to vote for, but three of the eleven electors in Georgia chose to vote for Greeley for President and Brown for Vice President as they had pledged.  Their votes for Greeley were not counted by the House.  However, it wouldn't have mattered if they'd counted, even if all of Greeley's electors had remained faithful as Grant won that election by a landslide.

The law has changed somewhat since then.  The language of 3 USC 19 suggests that votes for a dead person were cast, they would be counted, and if a dead person were to win the Presidency, the Vice President-elect.  Similarly if votes for an unqualified person are cast, they would be counted, but that if such a person won the Presidency, the Vice President would serve as acting President until they qualified.  Hence if someone who would turn 35 on January 30 were elected President, their running mate would serve as Acting President for ten days until the young whippersnapper was old enough to take office.
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Quote from: Ignatius of Antioch
He that possesses the word of Jesus, is truly able to bear his very silence. Epistle to the Ephesians 3:21a
The one thing everyone can agree on is that the media is biased against them.
True Federalist
Ernest
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« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2011, 02:22:48 pm »

EVs will vote for the candidate they were elected for, as has always happened since 1824.

There have been 13 elections since 1824 that have had faithless electors. (15 if you count 1872 and 1912 where the cause of faithlessness was their candidate died.) One of those cases, 1836, was sufficient to force the election of the Vice President into the Senate, where the end result was the same as if they had remained faithful.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2011, 02:33:29 pm by True Federalist »Logged

Quote from: Ignatius of Antioch
He that possesses the word of Jesus, is truly able to bear his very silence. Epistle to the Ephesians 3:21a
The one thing everyone can agree on is that the media is biased against them.
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