Electoral College: Discuss!

  • Thread starter wfooshee
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The EC map is not redrawn for anything. The EC map is the US map, of states. The level of a state's EC representation matches their representation in Congress: two Senators and a number of Representatives apportioned by population. EC representation of the states matches Congressional representation of the states, and the only way to change how many EC votes a state gets is by the Census (every ten years) finding a population change among the states.

Local lines are redrawn all the time, like zones for city councils and school boards, and court districts within states that consist pf parts of several counties. No such lines exist at the federal level, all "zoning" at that level is by the states.

There is actually no Constitutional mandate that the states commit 100% of their EC vote to the winner of that state's popular vote. It is up to the states' legislatures to determine the EC voting policy of the state. All but two states are "winner-take-all." Maine and Nebraska divide their EC votes by Congressional district within the state, the those states can have split EC votes.

Further, there is no Congressional mandate that the Electors are locked into their state's decision. Indeed, in 2016 there were seven "rogue" Electors who cast their votes differently from their state's popular vote.

I don't think I would be averse to an EC reformed along the lines of splitting the states' EC ballots proportionately with the popular vote in that state. I doubt it would do more than make the states as close to 50/50 as is possible, with the swing in small states becoming oven stronger, though. Say Wisconsin is 52% Republican and 48% Democrat. That would probably split their EC at 5 to 5, basically a "no decision." If Montana was the same popular proportion, they would vote in the EC 2-1 Republican. And people already complain that the small states have too much voice in the EC! Changing the states' balloting in the EC is individual states' rights decision, though, and not something that can be mandated by Congress. However, the move by some states after 2016 to ignore their own state results and cast the EC ballots by the national popular vote count has no basis in actually representing that states' voting power.

Thank you for the info, it’s much appreciated. :cheers:

“Further, there is no Congressional mandate that the Electors are locked into their state's decision. Indeed, in 2016 there were seven "rogue" Electors who cast their votes differently from their state's popular vote“

This part feels odd though, not that it’s incorrect, but that it seems silly that the entire state can vote one way, only to have the guy who casts the vote, to vote against the state’s wishes. Why in the world would they allow that? What’s the point in voting if that guy can’t just say FU to the whole state and vote for the other party anyways?
 
Thank you for the info, it’s much appreciated. :cheers:

“Further, there is no Congressional mandate that the Electors are locked into their state's decision. Indeed, in 2016 there were seven "rogue" Electors who cast their votes differently from their state's popular vote“

This part feels odd though, not that it’s incorrect, but that it seems silly that the entire state can vote one way, only to have the guy who casts the vote, to vote against the state’s wishes. Why in the world would they allow that? What’s the point in voting if that guy can’t just say FU to the whole state and vote for the other party anyways?

The supreme court says states can require electors to vote according to state law.

https://www.npr.org/2020/07/06/8851...s-state-faithless-elector-laws-constitutional
 
I'm triggered.

A perfectly insane defense of the electoral college courtesy of National Review.



Ok, that sounds great.



What?!

The notion that the electoral college exists as a bulwark against majoritarianism is ludicrous. It doesn't prevent majoritarianism as much as it promotes minority rule. How is that better? What reasonable argument can be made to support the idea that it is better for the minority of the population to govern? Sure, argue that minority rights should be respected. That's fine. But to enshrine a higher level of enfranchisement...just because? Also, how can the author possibly jump from the Post's position to claiming that the Post would support a majority of states having the ability to overturn the first amendment. There is a completely different and separate process for constitutional amendments - not to mention it being completely irrelevant to the topic at hand.



This is completely laughable. What the electoral college actually does is focus the entire presidential race on a handful of states that are not typically representative of the country as a whole. That fracking was such a huge part of the campaign speaks volumes to how broken our elective process is. We're in the middle a pandemic recession, we have incredible homelessness spreading throughout the country, we are not building enough housing. There is a massive amount of more pertinent issues to talk about than fracking.



So in practice, the fact that neither candidate spent any time in California or New York is somehow better? Again, please explain why. Maybe Donald Trump would have been a better ****ing President if he actually gave a **** about California or New York voters. The electoral college actively discourages a President from caring about California or New York, especially if that state doesn't vote favorably.



*waits for author to clarify why this is a rational process*



That sounds fantastic. Maybe without the electoral college, our entrenched 2-party system would have to compete for voters rather than just counting on massive, unwieldy, fat coalitions and lazy voters. Maybe the GOP wouldn't be the party of raging fringe ********.



Well then what the **** do we do every 4 years?



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One of Harsanyi's fans on Twitter tried (and failed) to defend this using the following article:

https://electoralvotemap.com/5-reawsons-to-keep-the-electoral-college/

Reason four, "Clear And Decisive Outcomes" cracked me up. Abolishing the EC would lead to fifty Floridas as each state argues about results? So we don't have five Floridas now as Trump drags their results through the courts?
 
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"Clear And Decisive Outcomes"

Hmmm... I'm not a fan of this argument when it comes to our own parliament either.

But anyway... other countries don't need electoral college's to get clear and decisive outcomes. For two successive elections, one a particular country got 99.96% support for the sitting president, followed by 100% the next time, for the same dude! That's decisive! Sadly, thanks to outside intervention, he's no longer president, and now, the country's elected government represents people who voted for no less than 30 different parties, with nothing anywhere like an absolute majority... pffft... bet they can't get anything done now...

Let's have a thumbs up for clear and decisive outcomes!

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Another argument the National Review posse put forward was that country folk will stop providing food if the pres doesn't support them. I had to reply that I thought California makes most of the food.

 
California is source for a lot of our produce, but not much in the way of grain. Not sure about meats, haven't looked that up.

Produce doesn't come from Los Angeles, San Francisco, or San Diego, though... California's rural population is pretty much irrelevant, politically speaking.
 
Another argument the National Review posse put forward was that country folk will stop providing food if the pres doesn't support them. I had to reply that I thought California makes most of the food.



Ok, they want to stop producing food? Great, they no longer get government subsidies. Take away their free money and I can almost guarantee that they'll start producing food again to get it back. Plus, what else are they going to do in the country? It's not like there's a ton of opportunities in the middle of nowhere, especially since the population tends to be less educated without access to things that make a modern society function, like working internet or mobile coverage for example. Farming is kind of it.
 
California is source for a lot of our produce, but not much in the way of grain. Not sure about meats, haven't looked that up.

Produce doesn't come from Los Angeles, San Francisco, or San Diego, though... California's rural population is pretty much irrelevant, politically speaking.
But the electoral college votes as a state, not by cities. Unless you're saying that rural Californians would join this mythical food strike to make the coastal elites notice them as well.
 
Excuse the double post.

State electoral colleges aren't enough for some Republicans... apparently there's no way your founding fathers could have predicted the growth of cities lmaoooo.

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I think what's being "proposed" in that state electoral college is to have county electors elect the governors, rather than the general population, and not county-by-county electors for the President.

Were something like that to actually be feasible, it would have to mirror the legislative districts, the same way that the Federal Electoral College mirrors the state representation in Congress. There's nothing constitutional about that, one way or the other, as states decide their own processes. Also, since every few years one party or the other makes huge efforts to redraw he districts...
 
I think what's being "proposed" in that state electoral college is to have county electors elect the governors, rather than the general population, and not county-by-county electors for the President.

Were something like that to actually be feasible, it would have to mirror the legislative districts, the same way that the Federal Electoral College mirrors the state representation in Congress. There's nothing constitutional about that, one way or the other, as states decide their own processes. Also, since every few years one party or the other makes huge efforts to redraw he districts...

Yea, what I'm saying is that it's painfully obvious how dumb this plan is, and how it's specifically designed to disenfranchise democrats by deweighting cities. Much that's dumb about this plan applies to the electoral college.
 
Excuse the double post.

State electoral colleges aren't enough for some Republicans... apparently there's no way your founding fathers could have predicted the growth of cities lmaoooo.

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I think I am ok the premises of the electoral college and it's original intent , but implementation is what is wrong with it: the lines delineating counties, are more than doubtful and unfair.

Gerrymandering needs to be remapped, until then then electoral college should be suspended
 
I think I am ok the premises of the electoral college and it's original intent , but implementation is what is wrong with it: the lines delineating counties, are more than doubtful and unfair.

Gerrymandering needs to be remapped, until then then electoral college should be suspended
The point of my post was that electoral college has nothing to do with counties. I'm not sure what gerrymandering has to do with counties either. It affects voting districts which I understand to be separate from historical county lines.

The original intent of the electoral college was to offset the popular vote. I'm not sure why it should exist as it skews the vote towards a minority of isolated rural voters over a majority of city dwellers.
 
The point of my post was that electoral college has nothing to do with counties. I'm not sure what gerrymandering has to do with counties either. It affects voting districts which I understand to be separate from historical county lines.

The original intent of the electoral college was to offset the popular vote. I'm not sure why it should exist as it skews the vote towards a minority of isolated rural voters over a majority of city dwellers.
Sorry for the confusion, my post wasn't aimed at or to respond to you directly. I merely used your post only as reference.

Overall I agree with you.
 
Dudebros on Twitter seem to hate that citydwellers have a vote at all. I bet they wouldn't mind taxing them without representation though.
 
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Dudebros on Twitter seem to hate that citydwellers have a vote at all. I bet they wouldn't mind taxing them without representation though.
I'd guess that most or at least a staggeringly large number of Americans have never actually been to NYC or LA, largely because of their extreme locations. A bunch of Midwesterners go to Chicago but very few venture beyond the downtownish tourist areas. I get the sense that many of the rural people who dont believe in the amount of power cities have simply have no concept of how big they are, how many people there are, how much money is flowing. They don't get it. Another factor could be that the ones who do realize this are simply desperate for relevancy.

I hate to use the term relevancy to describe real people with real needs but that's the truth of it. It takes vast swaths of farmland, ranchland, and their tiny supply towns to produce the economic output of major cities.

It takes the entire states of Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, Nevada, and New Mexico (a random group of states I picked which I know don't generate squat) to match the GDP of New York City. Further, it takes more than twice as many people to generate that GDP as it does in NYC which literally means the people are half as valuable. Three of these states have surprisingly high per capita numbers, ND, NE, and WY, but none are as high as NYC. Then you look at the entire state of New York which has the same population as alllll those states I already mentioned combined, but twice the GDP.

Small town American is absolutely desperate for relevancy. But many of these people actually live in the suburbs of these cities and depend on the wealth of the city for their own livelihoods. They'll say they live "in the country" but they don't really - they live on a plot of land just outside the burbs which used to be farmland but is now occupied by somebody who has some sort of well-paid urban-centric job like construction or shipping or something like that. A lot of pilots in my industry love to do this, they make their money and move to the edges of the developed area, yet none of us would have a job without cities.
 
I can't believe I am going to try to talk on their behalf of those rural people:

I am a city boy, primarily leaving and growing in urban environments, so I don't know much about rural lifestyle and their struggles, but my guess is that:

They see all the amount of money flowing through the big towns and city and major arteries, and they feel jealous that that are not getting any of it and so they feel "alienated" in their own country, feeling that "people of colors" in major cities (myself i consider myself to be a people of color) getting money that they should be having instead...

Everyone seem to want to have a bigger piece of the pie than the portion they are getting....

My guess is that the government is not being fully transparent on the money that goes through and how it is being split... (Although the information is there, it is just not easily accessible to people, i myself don't know, too busy to look around for it, like the farmers, I have a life)

So that's why there will always the split divide between urban vs rural... It is sad and it shouldn't be, if the government does a better job of being transparent, and maybe the electoral college would actually not be such a problem and would perform the way it should be....

Right now, there is groups of people trying to manipulate the electoral college and gerrymandering process to benefit them and their group, when in normal times these sorts of things would not be necessary.
 
Dudebros on Twitter seem to hate that citydwellers have a vote at all. I bet they wouldn't mind taxing them without representation though.
That's also why some conservatives have floated the idea that you have to be a property owner to be eligible to vote thus eliminating city apartment dwellers and other renters.
 
They're missing the fact that back in the day real estate property was the only effective way to accumulate and measure wealth. Those conservatives are probably still poorer overall than big city libruls with an apartment and a big fat 401k.
 
I hate to use the term relevancy to describe real people with real needs but that's the truth of it. It takes vast swaths of farmland, ranchland, and their tiny supply towns to produce the economic output of major cities.

It takes the entire states of Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, Nevada, and New Mexico (a random group of states I picked which I know don't generate squat) to match the GDP of New York City. Further, it takes more than twice as many people to generate that GDP as it does in NYC which literally means the people are half as valuable. Three of these states have surprisingly high per capita numbers, ND, NE, and WY, but none are as high as NYC. Then you look at the entire state of New York which has the same population as alllll those states I already mentioned combined, but twice the GDP.
Thing is, it literally does - people gotta eat!

The relevancy for a number of those states is their agricultural output, which feeds cities like NYC. The bigger, or more dense the city (population wise), the more land there needs to be somewhere else to grow the crops to sustain it - at least with current methods. Unless you want food prices to increase this necessitates that some areas just have to be less economically productive.
 
For each story an appartment building goes up, the required farmland goes wide.
Well, based on some back-of-an-envelope calculations, but:

To feed NYC's population of 8 million people requires about 40,000 square miles of land. To feed NY state would be more like 80,000 square miles... but the state itself is only 47,000 square miles.

NYC itself 'only' being 300 square miles gives a ratio of farm land area required to support one square mile of NYC's high GDP existence, of 133:1 - or more broadly, for the state, 1.7:1.

Taking Iowa as a counterpoint, to feed the state of Iowa's population requires only 15,000 square miles of farm land, from a state of 56,000 square miles... that's a ratio of 0.26:1

In principle NY's GDP requires basic resource (food) it doesn't have. If we factored in those ratios to GDP numbers (i.e. what's the most it could do with it's theoretical maximum food/farm resource). NY's GDP would plummet from 2.15 Trillion, to 1.26 Trillion, IA's would rise from 0.25 Trillion, to 0.95 Trillion - which is a much smaller discrepancy between the two states.

I'm not really stating these numbers to say anything about New York or Iowa specifically, more to get an idea of what the non-economic contribution of lower GDP rural areas could be when you consider how much they support high population density economies found in cities.
 
But how exactly are electoral districts supposed to be broken up, if not by population? Do it by size and you have 10 million fighting over one seat in the NYC area, while if Joe in Wyoming doesn't vote, the vote count would end 0-0.

My main issue with the US system is the Gerrymandering. I've seen it defended on the grounds of minorities, but last I checked the UK was pretty diverse and had (mostly) block shaped electoral boundaries. Same for Canada.
I'd love to know, if you just drew boundaries on the lines of main roads/rivers etc to form roughly equal population blocks, how many more swing districts and therefore swing states you'd get.
 
I've seen it defended on the grounds of minorities, but last I checked the UK was pretty diverse and had (mostly) block shaped electoral boundaries. Same for Canada.
I'd love to know, if you just drew boundaries on the lines of main roads/rivers etc to form roughly equal population blocks, how many more swing districts and therefore swing states you'd get.

I'd say the UK's constituency map is pretty far from blocky, I'd go out on a limb though and say a lot of our boundaries are formed by more natural divisions (rivers/roads etc) already.

If you go to this site:


and select boundaries > Westminster constituencies, you can see the constituency boundaries laid out on a proper map to see what the perimeter is comprised of.
 
When I say blocky I don't mean it as a rectangular grid, just that the areas are pretty contiguous, following roads and rivers like you say. You don't look at it and go "why is that area that shape?"
I went to your link and zoomed in on London... most of them look pretty normal, with the outlier being the middle of London itself, which I assume is based on the historical boundary of the city.

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Then look at the area around Dallas... District 33 is an abomination.
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I'd say the UK's constituency map is pretty far from blocky, I'd go out on a limb though and say a lot of our boundaries are formed by more natural divisions (rivers/roads etc) already.

If you go to this site:


and select boundaries > Westminster constituencies, you can see the constituency boundaries laid out on a proper map to see what the perimeter is comprised of.
I think the UK ones tend to follow postcode boundaries, or groups of.
 
When I say blocky I don't mean it as a rectangular grid, just that the areas are pretty contiguous, following roads and rivers like you say. You don't look at it and go "why is that area that shape?"
I went to your link and zoomed in on London... most of them look pretty normal, with the outlier being the middle of London itself, which I assume is based on the historical boundary of the city.

View attachment 1367587

Then look at the area around Dallas... District 33 is an abomination.
View attachment 1367588
Republicans always said they didn't want to collect demographic data because it's a breach of privacy yada yada.

But they sure do love drawing districts based on that demographic data.
 

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