2006/08/31

California Begins The End Run Around the Electoral College

California hasn't been a player in presidential elections for a long time. Our primary is late, and we've voted Democrat in every presidential election since 1988. Consequently presidential candidates largely ignore our state despite it's 55 electoral votes. But now it seems that California will be the first state to push for making the Electoral College obsolete.

The so-called National Popular Vote movement seeks to modify the electoral landscape by having states commit their electors to whomever wins at the national level (rather than at the state level). Legislation sent to the governor's desk would go into effect if states making up a majority of Electoral College votes also commit to the movement, and legislation is pending in New York, Illinois, Missouri, Colorado and Louisiana.

Predictably, conservatives are decrying the movement as an 'end run around the Constitution' and complain that it will force candidates to campaign in urban centers, ignoring rural areas. Though the latter point is certainly true (and would be a boon to California, BTW), the former is absolute nonsense. Article Two, Section 1 of the Constitution places no restrictions on whom an elector actually casts their ballot for.

Conservatives are complaining because they don't want to see a change in a system that works to their advantage, allowing them to ignore America's population centers as campaigners and as policy-makers.

9 Comments:

I love this. This will wreak utter havoc and can only be addressed by Congress or the Courts nationalizing election standards. This will make a lot of work for Constitutional lawyers.
So when is Cal ceding from the Union?
SA, havoc? Absolutely, but I don't think that merely nationalizing the election standards can fix the problem. This is, for better or worse, a hole in the Consitution that you can drive a truck through. Any federal law that attempts to put restrictions on how electors vote would be challenged as unconstitutional.

Nope only an amendment is going to fix this problem.

Cartledge, next Wednesday I think, but the paperwork will take decades.
Kvatch,

Let me know when it's safe for me to return to the homeland. . .is Hemet still a nice place to live?
If this will help dump the Electoral College, I'm all for it.
Sounds like a good idea - the Electoral college was designed to usurp the authority of poor, uneducated Americans in the first place. Dumping it will do more good than harm
Hey John... you from around these parts? I suspect that, after God smites the coast for our hubris, Hemet will probably be just fine.

Ms. Cracker, Windspike, I'm for it as well. But as the Station Agent pointed there will probably be much wailing and gnashing of teeth if it's actually used.
yes yes yes - this is great....thanks for the info!!
Kvatch,

Hey John... you from around these parts? I suspect that, after God smites the coast for our hubris, Hemet will probably be just fine.

I was born in Hemet, and spent my first few years in Lemon Grove.

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