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News Any idea when Colorado's Amendment 36 (electoral college reform) will be voted on?

  1. Oct 23, 2004 #1
    I'm sure most of you have heard that there's a proposition in Colorado (Amendment 36) that their electoral votes should be split proportionally among the presidential candidates. So if Bush gets 55% and Kerry gets 44%, Bush gets 5 votes and Kerry gets 4 votes. Anyway, I was wondering if anyone had any idea when this would be voted on. Is the date not yet decided, will it be on election day, will it be before election day?

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  3. Oct 23, 2004 #2

    Ivan Seeking

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    See also

    http://yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/federal/fed68.htm [Broken]
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  4. Oct 23, 2004 #3


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    It will be voted on this election, to take effect immediately, if approved. Of course, the lawyers for both sides are perched and ready, so, if approved, it will be weeks at the earliest before it's really resolved, probably before the US Supreme Court.

    My opinion on this is mixed. I like the general principle and might even vote for it, but I would have preferred something along the lines of Maine and Nebraska. I think the state's giving up too much by reducing it's electoral votes to one as compared to the electoral votes of California or New York. (Of course, the Nebraska/Maine system wouldn't be very good for me this election - Colorado Springs is very pro-Bush - he'll win a huge majority of the vote from my congressional district).

    The winner take all system is definitely flawed. Western New York and New York City are practically like different states, but the state goes wichever way New York City goes - people in Buffalo may as well not vote for president.

    Many other states have a huge divide in their populace. Western Washington and Eastern Washington have little in common. Ohio is very segmented between Southern Ohiya and the Northeastern Ohio rust belt. Colorado is practically like four different states - Western 'We have all the water' Colorado, Eastern 'This looks like Kansas to me' Colorado, I-25, and Denver.

    On the flip side, I'm not even in favor of the idea of Amendments to the State Constitution being accomplished via voter initiative. The amendments that have been approved in Colorado tend to support the idea that a representative republic works a lot better than a true democracy. I don't think the average voter understands the difference between voting on a tax initiative or an amendment to the constitution - one is like dating and the other is like marriage.
  5. Oct 24, 2004 #4

    As for the latter portion of your post, I have to say, I agree and well put.

    The great problem with this voter initiative, as it impacts the country as a whole, is that it is ultimately unbalancing to the process. In a national election, the rules governing voting should be consistant across the country. I would further encourage making other systems consistant nationally.

    I think the big arguement here is the power of a vote. The problem is not that votes don't matter in some places, but that voters don't actualize, or even realize the true power of their votes.

    On a basic level, votes matter in popular vote elections, like congressional races. The Electoral College exists to balance out the powers of these popular votes (which are also winner take all, but in a different manner), with an election that, as Hamilton points out, creates a balance between the disinterested and sometimes uneducated public and the representatives who effective choose the president.

    The Electoral College has more and more become a poplar vote as it is, and the changes within specific states increase that effect.

    The unused power of a vote is the matter of changing tides. For example, while there is no chance for third party candidate in this election to win, votes for a third party candidate can show a growing possibility for a third party to win. If Perot's supportors continued to support him, he would likely have taken 20-25% of the popular vote in the second election he ran in (also had he not dropped out). He took something like 18.6% of the popular vote in the first election he ran. I think this is supported by the fact that he took over 9% of the popular vote dispite dropping out.

    This trend would have yielded the potential for a serious attempt at a third party, or a revamping of the current two parties at the bare minimum. This is the true power of a vote, but it has to be made consistantly, and the people of this country need to first realize and then actualize that power.

    Someone may live in a state which consistantly goes to the other presidential candidate, but they can make a push for change by always voting and encouraging others similarily minded to vote.

    The power of vote is not simply the ability to elect someone, but a way to encourage change. There is a particular election locally here where the incumbant is a better choice, but not a good one. The challenger has no chance of winning, he's 23 points behind in the polls, but I'll be voting for this challenger, despite thinking he's not the right choice, to show the possibility of a future challenger defeated an incumbant. Likewise, I don't like Nader, but I voted for him in 2000 because I disagreed with Bush & Gore and wanted to show support for whomever the strongest third party candidate was to show that its possible and there may be a growing trend of voting against the two main parties.
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