Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Pennsylvania Electoral College votes

Republican State Sen. Dominic Pileggi (pictured at right) is at it again. Last year he proposed that PA award its Electoral College votes by Congressional Districts that was predictably was opposed by Democrats and actually freaked out many Republicans. So his new idea is to divvy it up proportionally.

PoliticsPA: But instead of determining the votes by congressional district, they would be allocated according to percentage of the popular vote, plus two for the statewide winner.

His Memo:  Under the proportional system, two of Pennsylvania’s 20 electors are chosen on a statewide, at-large basis (representing the two senatorial electors).  The remaining 18 electors are chosen based on the percentage of the statewide vote earned by each candidate (rounded to the thousandths).  For example, President Obama won 52.088% of the vote in November.  Under this system, he would have received 12 of Pennsylvania’s 20 electors (the two statewide electors plus 10 of the 18 remaining electors, which would be distributed proportionately).

This doesn't work unless you can get the rest of country to adopt the same system. State Senator Daylin Leach tweeted:  How about when Texas does it too?

The Constitution leaves it up to the states to decide how to cast their electoral votes so the next proposal from Harrisburg might be to skip the election altogether and let the legislature decide the Electoral College votes. 


Anonymous said...

Senator Leach is just another example of the fear to lead. Who cares what Texas does? Isn't this a better and more fair system if it better represents the actual vote?

toto said...

A survey of Pennsylvania voters showed 78% overall support for a national popular vote for President.
Support was 87% among Democrats, 68% among Republicans, and 76% among independents.
By age, support was 77% among 18-29 year olds, 73% among 30-45 year olds, 81% among 46-65 year olds, and 78% for those older than 65.
By gender, support was 85% among women and 71% among men.

The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

Every vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in presidential elections. No more distorting and divisive red and blue state maps. There would no longer be a handful of 'battleground' states where voters and policies are more important than those of the voters in 80% of the states that now are just 'spectators' and ignored after the conventions.

When the bill is enacted by states with a majority of the electoral votes– enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538), all the electoral votes from the enacting states would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states and DC.

The bill uses the power given to each state by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution to change how they award their electoral votes for President. Historically, virtually all of the major changes in the method of electing the President, including ending the requirement that only men who owned substantial property could vote and 48 current state-by-state winner-take-all laws, have come about by state legislative action.

In Gallup polls since 1944, only about 20% of the public has supported the current system of awarding all of a state's electoral votes to the presidential candidate who receives the most votes in each separate state (with about 70% opposed and about 10% undecided). Support for a national popular vote is strong among Republicans, Democrats, and Independent voters, as well as every demographic group in virtually every state surveyed in recent polls in recent closely divided Battleground states: CO – 68%, FL – 78%, IA 75%, MI – 73%, MO – 70%, NH – 69%, NV – 72%, NM– 76%, NC – 74%, OH – 70%, PA – 78%, VA – 74%, and WI – 71%; in Small states (3 to 5 electoral votes): AK – 70%, DC – 76%, DE – 75%, ID – 77%, ME – 77%, MT – 72%, NE 74%, NH – 69%, NV – 72%, NM – 76%, OK – 81%, RI – 74%, SD – 71%, UT – 70%, VT – 75%, WV – 81%, and WY – 69%; in Southern and Border states: AR – 80%, KY- 80%, MS – 77%, MO – 70%, NC – 74%, OK – 81%, SC – 71%, TN – 83%, VA – 74%, and WV – 81%; and in other states polled: AZ – 67%, CA – 70%, CT – 74%, MA – 73%, MN – 75%, NY – 79%, OR – 76%, and WA – 77%. Americans believe that the candidate who receives the most votes should win.

The bill has passed 31 state legislative chambers in 21 states with 243 electoral votes. The bill has been enacted by 9 jurisdictions with 132 electoral votes - 49% of the 270 necessary to go into effect.

Follow National Popular Vote on Facebook via NationalPopularVoteInc

Anonymous said...

The National Popular vote is an UNFAIR vote and based on democracy, mob rule mentality, rather than representative government that America is based on. Because of pa becoming a winner take all state most of the state has no say in who is elected President. Philly gets to dictate who wins because they have more people there. If you look at the maps of both Pa and California, most of the state is red. Those districts basically have no say in who gets elected. That is not fair. The electoral college votes should be given to the candidate who won that specifc district. That is how it is suppose to be. It is not a radical Idea, it is how it was set up to begin with.

toto said...

Unable to agree on any particular method for selecting presidential electors, the Founding Fathers left the choice of method exclusively to the states in section 1 of Article II of the U.S. Constitution-- "Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors . . ." The U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly characterized the authority of the state legislatures over the manner of awarding their electoral votes as "plenary" and "exclusive."

The constitution does not prohibit any of the methods that were debated and rejected. Indeed, a majority of the states appointed their presidential electors using two of the rejected methods in the nation's first presidential election in 1789 (i.e., appointment by the legislature and by the governor and his cabinet). Presidential electors were appointed by state legislatures for almost a century.

Neither of the two most important features of the current system of electing the President (namely, universal suffrage, and the 48 state-by-state winner-take-all method) are in the U.S. Constitution. Neither was the choice of the Founders when they went back to their states to organize the nation's first presidential election.

In 1789, in the nation's first election, the people had no vote for President in most states, only men who owned a substantial amount of property could vote, and only three states used the state-by-state winner-take-all method to award electoral votes.

The current 48 state-by-state winner-take-all method (i.e., awarding all of a state's electoral votes to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in a particular state) is not entitled to any special deference based on history or the historical meaning of the words in the U.S. Constitution. It is not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, the debates of the Constitutional Convention, or the Federalist Papers. The actions taken by the Founding Fathers make it clear that they never gave their imprimatur to the winner-take-all method.

The constitutional wording does not encourage, discourage, require, or prohibit the use of any particular method for awarding the state's electoral votes.

As a result of changes in state laws enacted since 1789, the people have the right to vote for presidential electors in 100% of the states, there are no property requirements for voting in any state, and the state-by-state winner-take-all method is used by 48 of the 50 states. States can, and frequently have, changed their method of awarding electoral votes over the years.

toto said...

The National Popular Vote bill preserves the Electoral College and state control of elections. It changes the way electoral votes are awarded in the Electoral College. The candidate with the most votes would win, as in virtually every other election in the country.

Under National Popular Vote, every vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in every presidential election. Every vote would be included in the state counts and national count.

The candidate with the most popular votes in all 50 states and DC would get the 270+ electoral votes from the enacting states. That majority of electoral votes guarantees the candidate with the most popular votes in all 50 states and DC wins the presidency.

The National Popular Vote bill would end the disproportionate attention and influence of the "mob" in the current handful of closely divided battleground states, such as Florida, while the "mobs" of the vast majority of states are ignored. 9 states determined the 2012 election. 10 of the original 13 states are politically irrelevant in presidential campaigns now. In 2008, 98% of the campaign events involving a presidential or vice-presidential candidate occurred in just 15 closely divided "battleground" states. 12 of the 13 lowest population states (3-4 electoral votes), that are non-competitive are ignored, in presidential elections. Over half (57%) of the events were in just four states (Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania and Virginia). Similarly, 98% of ad spending took place in these 15 "battleground" states.

Pure democracy is a form of government in which people vote on policy initiatives directly. With National Popular Vote, the United States would still be a republic, in which citizens continue to elect the President by a majority of Electoral College votes by states, to represent us and conduct the business of government in the periods between elections.

toto said...

Maine and Nebraska use the congressional district method.
Maine and Nebraska voters support a national popular vote.

A survey of Maine voters showed 77% overall support for a national popular vote for President.
In a follow-up question presenting a three-way choice among various methods of awarding Maine’s electoral votes,
* 71% favored a national popular vote;
* 21% favored Maine’s current system of awarding its electoral votes by congressional district; and
* 8% favored the statewide winner-take-all system (i.e., awarding all of Maine’s electoral votes to the candidate who receives the most votes statewide).
A survey of Nebraska voters showed 74% overall support for a national popular vote for President.
In a follow-up question presenting a three-way choice among various methods of awarding Nebraska’s electoral votes,
* 60% favored a national popular vote;
* 28% favored Nebraska’s current system of awarding its electoral votes by congressional district; and
* 13% favored the statewide winner-take-all system (i.e., awarding all of Nebraska’s electoral votes to the candidate who receives the most votes statewide).


Dividing more states’ electoral votes by congressional district winners would magnify the worst features of the Electoral College system.

If the district approach were used nationally, it would be less fair and less accurately reflect the will of the people than the current system. In 2004, Bush won 50.7% of the popular vote, but 59% of the districts. Although Bush lost the national popular vote in 2000, he won 55% of the country's congressional districts.

The district approach would not provide incentive for presidential candidates to campaign in a particular state or focus the candidates' attention to issues of concern to the state. With the 48 state-by-state winner-take-all laws (whether applied to either districts or states), candidates have no reason to campaign in districts or states where they are comfortably ahead or hopelessly behind. In North Carolina, for example, there are only 2 districts (the 13th with a 5% spread and the 2nd with an 8% spread) where the presidential race is competitive. Nationwide, there have been only 55 "battleground" districts that were competitive in presidential elections. With the present deplorable 48 state-level winner-take-all system, 80% of the states (including California and Texas) are ignored in presidential elections; however, 88% of the nation's congressional districts would be ignored if a district-level winner-take-all system were used nationally.

Awarding electoral votes by congressional district could result in third party candidates winning electoral votes that would deny either major party candidate the necessary majority vote of electors and throw the process into Congress to decide.

Because there are generally more close votes on district levels than states as whole, district elections increase the opportunity for error. The larger the voting base, the less opportunity there is for an especially close vote.

Also, a second-place candidate could still win the White House without winning the national popular vote.

A national popular vote is the way to make every person's vote equal and matter to their candidate because it guarantees that the candidate who gets the most votes in all 50 states and DC becomes President.

Big Dan said...

Republicans ONLY do this in states they can't win. They ALWAYS try and do it in California.

Check if they've ever tried it in TEXAS, which they win all the time. It's easy to see what they're up to. They only want to split electoral votes on states they never win.

Big Dan said...

Ha! I made the above comment before reading the whole article. Sen Leach beat me to it: EXACTLY! They would NEVER want to split TEXAS electoral votes, because it's GOP take all, all the time in Texas. They want to NOT split states' electoral votes in states they WIN.

Put simply:

REPUBLICANS WANT TO SPLIT ELECTORAL VOTES IN BLUE STATES......BUT NOT RED STATES. Period. Easy. End of story. That's it in a nutshell, easy way to put it.

Aggie95 said...

want to go to the popular vote ....* SHRUG * ...O.K. so Cal and NY get to decide presidential elections