If you read the first installment of this article, you will recall that we discussed the real reasons for the American Revolution and the true charactor of the Founding Fathers who initiated that Movement. We also talked about the fact that those same founders also felt they; as the Elite Class; had the right to determine the course of the nation in perpetuity. So today we will discuss the nature of our Electoral process and look behind the facade of freedom that hides the true nature and purpose of the Electoral College. A most insideous institution? Or a miracle of American Political Thought? How do you get in? What does it do? Is the Electoral College a danger to the American people and is there a better way? Let’s begin with a simple question; with a simple but perplexing answer. What is the Electoral College?……………………………………………. Oh; wait till you hear this.
The Electoral College is a body of voters who in many states have the right to vote in opposition to the desires of the voters in the state that they represent if they deem it wise or just because they feel froggy that day.
They are chosen by the Presidential candidates to represent them.
So if you want to be an Elector; you should probably arrange to earn alot more money and become friends with high profile politicians.
As an Elector you will have zero duties until the time of the actual election. Then after the people in your state have voted and chosen a prefered winner; you will be expected to cast your vote in harmony with the candidate who chose you; because if the other candidate wins; …… you will never get to vote.
Still though, you have a big choice to make. Even though you were chosen by the popular winner and have pledged to cast your vote for that winner; you can (with no fear of penalties) vote for whichever Candidate you chose to.
Some states don’t even bother to require you to vote for the Candidate you promised to. As an Elector; appointed by a Politician (not elected by the people) you have the power to defy the will of the American people and the beauty is that in many states; (are you ready?) the people are never even told the names of these Electors so no one will ever know who did it.
There is one consequence of voting against your pledge and it is enough to set any Elector considering such a betrayal to shaking and hiding his face in anticipatory shame. An Elector who betrays his promise is labeled a “Faithless Elector”. Oh! My! Perrish the thought.
You might want to take a look at the two lists below and see what your state allows its electors to get away with.
So the peoples vote does not elect the President unless all of the electors vote in accord with the people in their state. If just one elector, in one state votes in opposition to the people, then the vote is no longer that of those people and it then follows that the total vote tally is no longer that of the people either.
No Legal Requirement
Electors in these States are not bound by State Law to cast their vote for a specific candidate:
ARIZONA – 10 Electoral Votes
MISSOURI – 11 Electoral Votes
That’s 24 states-no control
Legal Requirements or Pledges
Electors in these States are bound by State Law or by pledges to cast their vote for a specific candidate:
ALABAMA – 9 Electoral Votes
24 States where the electors are required to vote
CALIFORNIA – 55 Electoral Votes
in accord with the majority popular vote. Some
ALASKA – 3 Electors
have pledges and some even have laws to assure
COLORADO – 9 Electoral Votes
compliance but these are seldom if ever enforced
CONNECTICUT – 7 Electoral Votes
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA – 3 Electoral Votes
FLORIDA – 27 Electoral Votes
HAWAII – 4 Electoral Votes
MAINE – 4 Electoral Votes
MARYLAND – 10 Electoral Votes
MASSACHUSETTS – 12 Electoral Votes
MICHIGAN – 17 Electoral Votes
MISSISSIPPI – 6 Electoral Votes
MONTANA – 3 Electoral Votes
NEBRASKA – 5 Electoral Votes
NEVADA – 5 Electoral Votes
NEW MEXICO – 5 Electoral Votes
NORTH CAROLINA – 15 Electoral Votes
OHIO – 20 Electoral Votes
OKLAHOMA – 7 Electoral Votes
OREGON – 7 Electoral Votes
SOUTH CAROLINA – 8 Electoral Votes
VERMONT – 3 Electoral Votes
VIRGINIA – 13 Electoral Votes
WASHINGTON – 11 Electoral Votes
WISCONSIN – 10 Electoral Votes
WYOMING – 3 Electoral Votes
Now; if all of the Electors in all fifty states and the District of Columbia were required to vote for the candidate who won the popular vote in their state, this still would not guarantee that the President elected was the one voted for by a majority of the people due to the all or nothing nature of the electoral system in most states. In other words, if you live in a state with 10 electoral votes and 60% of the voters vote for candidate A, and the other 40% for candidate B, all ten electors are given to A thus the voters who voted for B have effectively lost their ability to affect the outcome of the electoral vote. If the electors were divided proportionate to the state vote and 6 electors voting for A and 4 for B (as some states do) then the electoral vote would more accurately reflect the wishes of the people but would still not be a true reflection of the peoples will and would still leave us vulnerable to an election where A receives more of the popular vote but loses the election to B because a sufficient number of electors decide to vote in opposition to the popular vote. Now wait. Don’t panic. The truth is that there has never been a Presidential election where the Electoral College elected a President in opposition to the popular vote. BUT! There has been at least one election where the proportion of electoral votes given to the popular winner far exceeded the proportion of popular votes he received as follows:
The Presidential election of 1968 ended with Richard Nixon receiving 301 electoral votes to Hubert Humphrey‘s 191. Yet, Nixon had only received 511,944 more popular votes than Humphrey, equating to less than 1% of the national total.
I think this leaves us with a big, nagging, biting horsefly of a problem. What if, let’s say 2% more of the people had voted for Humphrey and he were 500,000 votes ahead. Do you really believe that enough of those ”
***faithless electors” would have changed their mind and voted in accord with the popular vote? “Me thinks not”. In fact “Me thinks thar be somethin rotten and it warn’t as far off as Denmark” No it was right here in River City. Potomac River City. Looks to me like Nixon had the election sewed up no matter who the people voted for. Imagine that. And a Republican too. With money. Hmmmmm……………………………………………. Well, go ahead. Now you can make those Conservative/Crook comparisons if you want to. I know I am.
Any novice conspiracy theorist shouldn’t have too much trouble connecting the big, red, dots in this scenario and if it could happen once………………………………………………………….
Becoming a “faithless elector” is no small matter. And if you are already convinced to go that route, I doubt if you’re going to let a little thing like the will of the American people stand in your way.
It would take a large conspiracy though. I mean you would have to be able to convince or coerce a lot of electors to be faithless and vote for your candidate despite the popular vote.
It would also require huge amounts of money and perhaps manpower. Maybe even some covert operations to gather information to be used in extorting the vote from any given elector. It would probably take the combined efforts of a whole group of covert operatives (probably private), willing to bug important peoples offices or break into,,,,,oh,,,,I don’t know,,,,,,say,,,,, the offices of the other Party located in a large Washington D.C. Hotel. Who knows what enormous effort it would require but again; I refer you back 5 paragraphs to
faithless elector is one who casts an electoral vote for someone other than the person pledged, including one who refuses to vote for any candidate. There are laws to punish faithless electors in 24 states. (so in 27 states there is nothing to stop the faithless elector)In 1952, the constitutionality of state pledge laws was brought before the Supreme Court in Ray v. Blair, 343 U.S.214 (1952). The Court ruled in favor of state laws requiring electors to pledge to vote for the winning candidate, as well as removing electors who refuse to pledge. As stated in the ruling, electors are acting as a functionary of the state, not the federal government. Therefore, states have the right to govern electors. The constitutionality of state laws punishing electors for actually casting a faithless vote, rather than refusing to pledge, has never been decided by the Supreme Court. While many states may only punish a faithless elector after-the-fact, some such as Michigan specify that his or her vote shall be canceled.As electoral slates are typically chosen by the political party or the party’s Presidential nominee, electors usually have high loyalty to the party and its candidate: a faithless elector runs a greater risk of party censure than criminal charges.
I know; you might say it doesn’t seem likely to happen again soon but it could easily happen given the corrupt state of our political system and even discounting that dismal possibility the truth is that the only way the peoples vote could be guaranteed to have the final say about who the next President will be is if the Electoral College is done away with. After all; it doesn’t take a genius to see that if the Electors always vote in harmony with the popular vote; they are at best redundant but at worst they are a constant threat to the people and their will as expressed by their vote. And I am by no means the first person to suggest this although the plans some had for replacing it may not have been any better. It seems to me that what is really needed is a true plebiscite. One person, one vote. Simple and to the point. I am also not the first to suggest this.
Those who want to keep the Electoral College say that a simple system like that would give too much power to urban areas etc. etc. yadda yadda yadda. But it seems that what they mean is.
“I don’t think I have enough people around here who will side with me to get my man elected and I can’t apply any political pressure to 300 million Americans to force the issue so how are my vast millions of dollars going to control the Presidential election now?) And that is the true beauty of this simple, effective, and easy to understand system. Rather than allow unknown Electors to choose the President; we the people do it ourselves. Rather than allow millions of votes to count for nothing because they were not the majority in their state; we count each vote and credit the appropriate candidate with that vote even if that vote is the only one in a state for that candidate.