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Opinions » Poll

Should the United States abolish the electoral college?

Electors from each state pick the president and vice president, based on the popular vote. Opponets of the system, embedded in our Constitution, say it violates the one man/woman, one vote mandate. Those who support it say electing the president solely by popular vote would allow candidates to ignore sparsely-populated states. The number of electors in each state mirrors its total number of U.S. senators and House of Representatives members.

Disclaimer: This poll represents an unscientific sampling of users.
Select one of the following options, then click the "vote" button.
  Yes
  No
  Undecided
(666 Votes)
Member Comments (14)
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Mark House
November 28, 2020 at 8:33 pm
Time to burn the Electoral College to the ground. It is an old, antiquated system that is no longer needed in this day and age, and it is ripe for corruption within its ranks of electors.
Jerome Fields
November 20, 2020 at 12:57 pm
I agree with Mitt Romney who states: “It is difficult to imagine a worse, more undemocratic act by a sitting American President.” It is dangerous what the President has done and is doing. We believing in voting rights in America and for those of us who have been in conflict zones we have seen varying versions of how Democracy ends, but in most it ends with disregarding votes. The electoral college is a ticking time bomb and few people even knew or know how states have moved to retain or pass new laws that gave state legislators a window to go through to select electors and by slight of hand steal our hard fought political gains to let the people elect the President. No President in history has acted this way. And those that came close never crossed the line of attempting to destroy the Republic like the out the going President has. We have to put legal fire walls in place in our laws and Constitution to prevent this from ever happening or coming close to happening again.
Cammie Rodgers
November 18, 2020 at 6:45 pm
This should have everyone concerned:

"This is not supposed to be a controversial process. But in the state’s most populous county, Wayne, where Detroit is, the four-person board of canvassers deadlocked over whether to certify results. The two Democrats voted for it, and the two Republicans voted against it, citing concerns about voting errors. It was a surprise to local and state election officials, since the Trump campaign has failed to prove in court a single vote in the area was cast fraudulently.

The Trump campaign immediately jumped on this to try to create enough chaos to urge the Republican-controlled Michigan legislature to take over and choose electors. (Legal experts say that’s likely completely illegal.)

After widespread pushback in an hours-long hearing from voters and poll workers, the Republican board members changed their votes to yes. Still, the Trump campaign got close to the first step to steal a state’s electoral results."
Demosthenes
November 17, 2020 at 10:35 pm
Badelectronics:

No.

I would not want to disenfranchise the small number of citizens who live there.

Our goal as a nation has to be real democracy, where the votes from every voter in Wyoming carries the same weight as those that come from Texas, or Florida, or Virginia, or New York.

Anything less than that undermines our claim to be a great democracy, and a beacon to the rest of the world in regards to how governments should be chosen.
badelectronics
November 17, 2020 at 12:56 pm
Demosthenes we could abolish Wyoming.
Demosthenes
November 16, 2020 at 9:11 pm
3. This unscientific poll could have better represented options that are available to fix this. Getting rid of the electoral college at this point would be almost impossible, as you would need a constitutional amendment.

But it could be fixed more easily in one of two other ways. We could fix it by convincing every state to follow Maine and Nebraska in giving out electoral votes proportionally rather than in a winner take all situation. That still doesn't address the fact that people in Wyoming would still have more clout than they ought to, but at least it would bring the electoral college winner in line with the popular vote far more often than it does now.

Or we can fix this with the plan already adopted by 16 states in which those state governments have pledged to give all of their electoral college votes to whoever wins the popular vote, as long as enough states eventually pledge to do the same to cover the 270 needed for a candidate to be elected. This would preserve our tradition of the electoral college, and would not need a constitutional amendment, but would guarantee that every president had won the popular vote.
Demosthenes
November 16, 2020 at 9:05 pm
2. Under our current system we have unbalanced representation in the electoral college. Based on the last census (new numbers still pending) Wyoming got one electoral vote for every 178,000 people or so, while California got one electoral vote for every 677,000 people. That does not look like democracy to me.

Our current system can be seen in a few ways as problematic. We can see that it is essentially giving votes to cows and acres of land instead of to citizens. Or if you want to look at it another way it punishes citizens for living close to other people by making their vote count for less in the electoral college.

A popular vote would ignore sparsely populated states BECAUSE they are sparsely populated. Why should a state with more cows than people have more than their fair share of clout in choosing a president?!!
Demosthenes
November 16, 2020 at 9:01 pm
suterli made an argument that at surface value almost seemed clever. But approximately 1.5 seconds later I realized it was the dumbest thing I have read all year.

In a global democracy China would not choose our leaders. They would have about 20 percent of the popular vote, making them more like the California of global democracy.

Not to mention we don't have a global democracy. That argument was so pointless and I regret wasting my time even thinking about it.
suterli
November 16, 2020 at 6:40 pm
The balance between Federal and State Governments consists of two things - the Senate and the electoral college. Without the electoral college - the popular vote would win the election every time in the Presidential race. Think of it this way- if the entire world was governed by a popular vote government - then China would rule the USA because they have so many more people. The electoral college was so smart - our founding fathers did an outstanding job of setting up all the checks and balances in our government. The only thing they did not account for was the huge administrative state that now controls so much via regulations set by agencies that do not consist of elected officials, but bureaucrats.
Mark House
November 16, 2020 at 6:24 pm
PRAllen - Getting 3/4th of the States to ratified is likely a lost cause, I agree.

".....could lead to a more authoritative Executive Branch. As an example, there may be more incentives for Presidents to favor highly populated states when divvying up federal programs and the money that comes with them." Did you know that of the large Farmer Bailout, $21 Billion went to Red States while $2.1 Billion went to Blue including California where much of our fruits and vegetables are grown. The States that received the biggest chunk are growing corn not for human consumption but for Ethanol and export, while Smithfield owned by China received millions as did the Brazilian beef company owned by Brazilians. What you say could happen has already happened.
PRAllen
November 16, 2020 at 5:39 pm
I voted no simply because I think the framers of the Constitution got it about right when they split up control between the states and the federal government. The state proponents largely won the debate through establishment of the Congress (arguably the most powerful branch of the Federal government). But they won several other concessions as well like the electoral college.

I don't have much evidence to back it up, but removing the state electors would slightly erode state control and logically could lead to a more authoritative Executive Branch. As an example, there may be more incentives for Presidents to favor highly populated states when divvying up federal programs and the money that comes with them.

Anyway, it's probably an academic question since more than half the population resides in less than a third of the states but it would take three fourths of the states to ratify the constitutional amendment needed to make it happen.
Cammie Rodgers
November 16, 2020 at 3:35 pm
When the Electoral College was embedded in our Constitution they didn't have the internet, cell phones, radio, wide spread newspapers, television, airplanes, vast abilities to reach the populace. We do now.

Saying you are a sparsely populated state and that you might not have equal representation is moot. The only way you will not be represented equally is if you have Senators and Representatives that do nothing for your state.
Sammy
November 16, 2020 at 1:49 pm
majority should rule ... alternative is apartheid
Linda Ward
November 16, 2020 at 12:52 pm
"...would allow candidates to ignore sparsely-populated states."

They only focus on the swing states, they are already ignoring sparsely-populated states.
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