Monday, October 29, 2012

A better way to do it.

Short of totally abolishing the Electoral College, two states have a process that gives the voters a little better representation.

I live in the state of Utah, which for the last 40 years has given all it’s electoral votes to the Republican candidate for President.  Because I live in what is now known as a solid-red state, my vote is irrelevant.  And frankly, according to every Presidential candidate in every election I’ve been here for, every single Utahn is irrelevant at election time.  They know where the electoral votes are going to go, they never personally campaign here (yes, they do fundraise here, but that’s a one-stop and then hit the road), and we hardly ever see campaign ads here (blessing in disguise).

The entire population of Utah is marginalized, and the same is true of all the solid blue states.  We simply don’t matter come election time.

The Electoral College made complete sense in it’s day.  But now, with electronic voting, it makes no sense at all, and is detrimental to the democratic process.  It should be abolished.

That would take a Constitutional Amendment to do, since the electoral process is spelled out right in Article II of the United States Constitution.

But the way a state chooses it’s electors is up to the states themselves.  There is no requirement for all the electors to vote for one candidate.

Case in point: Nebraska and Maine.

Each state gets the same number of electors as the number of members they have in congress.  2 electors for their Senators and one for each Representative in the House.

In Nebraska and Maine, the two electors for the number of Senators go to the Presidential candidate that has the most votes state-wide.  The rest go to the Presidential candidate that their House of Representatives District votes for.  In 2008, the 2nd District of Nebraska gave one of the state’s electoral votes to Obama, while the other 4 went to McCain.

It may not be as good as eliminating the outdated Electoral College and actually letting every person’s vote count, but following Nebraska and Maine would be heading in the right direction.


Karen S. said...

Max your post is a prime example why I think voting pretty much stinks. So much for living in a free country.... Yep, it's pretty basic, like going back to school and voting for class president. Each student puts in his/her vote (like I did for 1 out of 3 spooky houses at the vet's office) and once everyone has voted, let the new clas president rise (or the best spooky house get it's ribbon) and let life continue on! Yeah, probably too easy.

Lisa Shafer said...

Well said.
The electoral college has been out-of-date for decades. Even push-pin voting was more efficient than the electoral college.
But you know that Utah will fight hard against any change.
I've always wondered what it would be like to have my Presidential vote count. Even when I lived in Scotland (it was an election year), it didn't count. First of all, I was still registered to vote for Utah, and then, they didn't even count the absentee votes that year anyway (2004, remember the year of the pregnant chad???)