The Electoral College: A Threat to Democracy?

In summary, the Electoral College and the Supreme Court can give an election to someone who doesn't win a majority of the popular vote, even if the person has won the majority of the electoral votes. This was seen in the 2000 election when George W. Bush won despite Al Gore having more popular votes. This problem could become even worse in the future if voter turnout continues to be low.
  • #36
Newai said:
I just did a search using a word string that mvymvy posted. Mvymvy is all over the Internet with this same set of replies.

Are you there, mvymvy? I'm just curious.
Thanks for the heads-up - we're working on the issue. In the meantime guys, ignore the (potential) spambot as me may end up just deleting the posts.
 
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  • #37
BobG said:
Unfortunately, there isn't a federal remedy on how to conduct elections within a state or how to conduct recounts, etc. That is a shortcoming. For federal elections, federal rules should apply. The elections (state and federal) can occur simultaneously and could even share the same ballots, but the federal laws should govern federal elections. The only way any of that could change would be by Constitutional amendment, though.
I agree completely - that's related to what I was referring to before. The Presidential election process should be standardized and challenges not be left up to local politicians to deal with. It's asking for (and in 2000, getting!) trouble.
 
  • #38
russ_watters said:
Frankly, that issue is of bigger concern to me than anything else being discussed here. The idea that an elector could randomly/without basis change their vote is troubling to me.

I agree with the logic for this system but it is bothersome. However, electors are chosen by elected representitives from each State. If an elector betrays the trust of the State, they won't be back. Also, less the very small States, we arse talking about a significantly sized group of people. One wouldn't expect wild aberrations in the behavior of all electors unless there was a good reason for it. In the mean time, in a catastrophic situation, we still have the impeachment proceess. But this thread may reference a good example of how the safety valve - the electors - could avert a Constitutional crisis.

This is also somewhat troubling to me, but the way I see it, you have the issue backwards.

I only meant that it could cause trouble in the sense expressed in the op. It could drive an election to a vote determined by the House, by fracturing the electorate. Presently we don't have this concern. By no means do I mean to suggest that a strong third party would automatically be bad, but it could be by undermining the majority system. If we see a new party emerge, I would prefer that an old one dies simultaneously. I don't think it would be good for the country to have multiple strong parties for extended periods of time. It is probably best for stability if a majority normally elects those who govern.
 
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  • #39
BobG said:
...
Unfortunately, there isn't a federal remedy on how to conduct elections within a state or how to conduct recounts, etc. That is a shortcoming. For federal elections, federal rules should apply. The elections (state and federal) can occur simultaneously and could even share the same ballots, but the federal laws should govern federal elections. The only way any of that could change would be by Constitutional amendment, though.

russ_watters said:
I agree completely - that's related to what I was referring to before. The Presidential election process should be standardized and challenges not be left up to local politicians to deal with. It's asking for (and in 2000, getting!) trouble.

I disagree. The above assumes that somehow the Federal rules, the federal overseers, would somehow be more effective and more impartial than the those of the state. I reject that assumption. The federal government is already tasked with the application of a rule set: the constitution via the 14th amendment. In this case it mandates that due process of law be observed, along with all of the particulars of the Voting Rights Act. In 2000 Fl law stated that the Fl secretary of state was tasked with insuring due process. She acknowledged her responsibility by certifying the election. SOTUS majority agreed. Should have been 9-0.
 

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