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Melissa Seideman

Teacher,

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Direct popular vote should replace the Electoral College.

Please state your opinion here about this debate and respond to one other person.

Pro- Lindy and Miranda
Con- Claudia and Caitriona

Debate is on Thursday.

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    Dec 29 2012: In the history of the U.S. the outcome was different from the popular vote I think twice. The reality is it does not matter.

    Additionally there is a reason that the electoral college exists of which a minority understands why.

    This has been discussed many times recently on TED
    • Jan 2 2013: Most Americans don't care whether their presidential candidate wins or loses in their state. . . they care whether he/she wins the White House. Voters want to know, that even if they were on the losing side, their vote actually was directly and equally counted and mattered to their candidate. Most Americans think it's wrong for the candidate with the most popular votes to lose. We don't allow this in any other election in our representative republic.

      The precariousness of the current state-by-state winner-take-all system of awarding electoral votes is highlighted by the fact that a shift of a few thousand voters in one or two states would have elected the second-place candidate in 4 of the 14 presidential elections since World War II. Near misses are now frequently common. There have been 7 consecutive non-landslide presidential elections (1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, and 2012). 537 popular votes won Florida and the White House for Bush in 2000 despite Gore's lead of 537,179 (1,000 times more) popular votes nationwide. A shift of 60,000 voters in Ohio in 2004 would have defeated President Bush despite his nationwide lead of over 3 million votes.

      In the current system, battleground states are the only states that matter in presidential elections. Campaigns are tailored to address the issues that matter to voters in these states. 80% of states and voters are ignored.

      Safe red and blue states are considered a waste of time, money and energy to candidates. These "spectator" states receive no campaign attention, visits or ads. Their concerns are utterly ignored.
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        Jan 3 2013: I hear you Susan

        But I think there were only 2 elections that would have had different outcomes if the POTUS was elected by popular vote.

        I wish the Representatives would start voting differently with their electoral votes otherwise this country is toast.
        • Jan 3 2013: Pat, not sure what you mean when you say "I wish the Representatives would start voting differently with their electoral votes..."

          The electors ARE NOT Representatives of the US - they are chosen by respective political parties!!!! This was at first a shock to me!!!

          The U.S. Constitution states only that, "no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector." -- Article II. section 1, clause 2

          Let the people pick the president, not the parties. Although you say the electoral vote only disagreed with the popular vote in 2 presidential elections, an electoral system makes a third-party win fairly impossible. Do electors really represent what the people want?
        • Jan 3 2013: Because of the state-by-state winner-take-all electoral votes laws (i.e., awarding all of a state‚Äôs electoral votes to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in each state) in 48 states, a candidate can win the Presidency without winning the most popular votes nationwide. This has occurred in 4 of the nation's 57 (1 in 14 = 7%) presidential elections.

          A shift of a few thousand voters in one or two states would have elected the second-place candidate in 4 of the 14 presidential elections since World War II. Near misses are now frequently common. There have been 7 consecutive non-landslide presidential elections (1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, and 2012). 537 popular votes won Florida and the White House for Bush in 2000 despite Gore's lead of 537,179 (1,000 times more) popular votes nationwide. A shift of 60,000 voters in Ohio in 2004 would have defeated President Bush despite his nationwide lead of over 3 million votes.
        • Jan 3 2013: Since 1796, the Electoral College has had the form, but not the substance, of the deliberative body envisioned by the Founders. The electors now are dedicated party activists of the winning party who meet briefly in mid-December to cast their totally predictable rubberstamped votes in accordance with their pre-announced pledges.

          If a Democratic presidential candidate receives the most votes, the state's dedicated Democratic party activists who have been chosen as its slate of electors become the Electoral College voting bloc. If a Republican presidential candidate receives the most votes, the state's dedicated Republican party activists who have been chosen as its slate of electors become the Electoral College voting bloc. The winner of the presidential election is the candidate who collects 270 votes from Electoral College voters from among the winning party's dedicated activists.

          The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld state laws guaranteeing faithful voting by presidential electors (because the states have plenary power over presidential electors).
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        Jan 3 2013: The electoral college can vote in way they feel is best for the country which may not be how the constituents voted.

        Here is a quote of why I feel that way:

        Let's look at what we have learned from this election:

        Twenty-one of 22 incumbent senators were re-elected, and 353 of 373 incumbent members of the House were re-elected. The American people
        re-elected 94 percent of the incumbents who were running for re-election to an institution that has an approval rating of about nine percent. This shows, as an electorate, we are a nation of idiots. We're now stuck with the same useless, dysfunctional government that we deserve. You can't fix stupid!
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      Jan 3 2013: Thanks for contributing to our classroom discussion!

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